Everything we know about Ark: Genesis

Ark: Genesis was announced by Studio Wildcard—a two-part expansion pack for the multiplayer dino-survival game Ark: Survival Evolved. We've seen the announcement trailer and some screenshots, and we talked to Studio Wildcard to learn a few interesting details about the upcoming expansion.

Here's everything we know about Ark: Genesis.

Ark: Genesis release date

There are two parts to the Ark: Genesis expansion. 

We don't have solid dates for either part yet, but as the announcement trailer above shows, we know Part One is coming in December of 2019. Part Two will follow in Winter of 2020.

Where and when does Ark: Genesis take place?

(Image credit: Studio Wildcard)

The name Genesis would seem to indicate that this expansion could be a prequel of sorts. An interesting detail from the teaser could hint at that: The wrist of the player isn't embedded with the specimen implant we've always seen in Ark. However, the presence of Helena and the fact that this appears to link up with the ending of Ark: Extinction, the previous expansion, contradicts the idea of Genesis as a prequel.

In other words, we don't really know where this fits into the Ark timeline. Feel free to speculate!

As for the map that will arrive with Ark: Genesis, we can see it has some volatile volcanic regions, some snowy mountainous areas, and some more temperate biomes. There will also be an expansive water biome.

You'll have an AI companion, HLN-A

Ark: Survival Evolved

(Image credit: Studio Wildcard)

You won't be alone in Ark: Genesis. Helena, the biologist who authored the lore-filled explorer notes, has created a hovering AI companion designated HLN-A. Fully voiced, she'll act as a guide, providing you with missions, tasks, and story, and she'll also have practical uses as she follows you around, like illuminating dark areas.

HLN-A can also perform her own version of emotes—as you can see in the image above, she can display a danger warning by projecting a skull and crossbones (though you probably already grasped the peril from the looks of the extremely angry creature.) She can also signal warnings for extreme heat, dangerously low temperatures, or even just give you a thumbs-up.

You don't have to wait for December to meet HLN-A. Players who pre-purchase the season pass can have her join them in Ark immediately, on any map in the game. She's not fully feature-complete yet but she can talk a bit and Studio Wildcard says she may give players bits of lore relating to Genesis as we get closer to its release date. You can also customize her looks with various dyes.

You can build a base on a giant turtle's back

(Image credit: Studio Wildcard)

No need to settle on one spot to build your base in Ark: Genesis. If you tame a giant sea turtle, you can build your home right on its shell. The turtle can swim around in the water biome, and even dive underwater with your base, which will be protected and oxygenated by the turtle with no need for scuba gear.

Resources will grows on the turtle's shell, so you can even do a bit of farming on your new aquatic mobile home.

What new dinosaurs will be added?

Ark: Survival Evolved

(Image credit: Studio Wildcard)

We don't have names for all the new dinos yet, but we know a bit about them already. There's the sea turtle, obviously. There's also the giant volcanic lizard, who has a powerful AOE attack and can also spit huge lava projectiles. It will be tamable, which is great because I'd much rather be friends with it than fight it.

There's also a small shoulder pet nicknamed Tiny. It's adorable until it gets its hands on some Element, one of Ark's resources, which makes it completely hulk out and turn into a vicious, rampaging multi-limbed fangbeast. Seems like just the kind of pet you'd like in your arsenal.

I'm sure there will be more creatures to fight and tame in Ark: Genesis, and we'll update this article as we discover them.

Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring stories in RPGs so he can make up his own.