Ark: Survival Evolved has finally grown beyond Early Access, and its creative community has made it a haven for impressive mods. Some mods add new features, others tweak the interminable grind, and there are already a few full conversion mods that transform Ark into a pirate island or a Pokemon wilderness.
Here are the best mods for Ark: Survival Evolved. And for more ways to mess with Ark, here's our list of Ark cheats and console commands (opens in new tab).
Grind elimination mods
These mods cut down on the tedium, make building and crafting easier and more interesting, and give you cool new fast travel options.
For a game that’s all about building and crafting, Ark has some really heinous building mechanics. Structures Plus overhauls Ark’s building and crafting systems, fixing all kinds of weird snap points and silly limitations: add water pipes to your raft, add electrical wires to your walls, build ceilings that sit on top of your walls instead of clipping through them.
Best of all, Structures Plus gives you the ability to pick up things and move them instead of destroying and replacing them. The mod also includes master crafting stations that can craft every technology and pull materials from nearby containers, so you don’t have to run all over your house micromanaging supplies and building ingredients at three different tables.
A lot of the gear in Ark comes in multiple qualities, from primitive to master-crafted. The trouble is, high-quality gear only shows up randomly in loot drops or beacons. But why? You’ve got a workbench, you’ve got tools, you’ve got all the time in the world. The Upgrade Station mod adds a workbench where you can improve the quality of your weapons, tools, and armor yourself.
You can also use the upgrade station workbench to tear down extra items for materials, which is a nice alternative to chucking them in the river like I do.
The islands on Ark are big, and they’re full of things that will eat you. If you want to skip the long, dangerous dino rides, it’s easy: just walk like an Egyptian through the glowing event horizon of a wormhole connecting two points in subspace.
Using a Stargate in Ark isn’t a cheat. It will take you some serious time to build Stargates and power up their zero-point modules. Once you do, though, you can connect a network of Stargates and give yourself fast access to different parts of the island. It’s a powerful shortcut that you’ll have to earn, and that makes it more fun and more rewarding than walking or driving a boat ever could be.
The bigger your base gets, the more of a chore it is to keep it running. Especially if you’re farming, cooking, breeding dinos, you can spend a lot of time collecting poop and refilling troughs and pulling cooked meat off the fire. Automated Ark takes care of all of those kinds of things for you, with items that harvest crops, pull spoiled meat out of carnivores’ inventories, and many more.
There is some overlap between Automated Ark and Structures Plus, especially regarding auto-pulling items between storage chests and crafting tables. If you want to dive deep into farming and animal husbandry, through, you’re going to want to add Automated Ark to your kit.
Flint! I hate flint. I’m up to my damn neck in flint. When you’ve got two storage chests full of flint at home and you’re out mining for metal ore, stopping every few minutes to dump a ton of flint and stone on the ground is just one more tedious part of the grind. With Inventory Cleaner, you can auto-purge your inventory and drop (or destroy) any type of item you don’t want to pick up.
It works for anything: if you’re hunting for narcoberries, you can ditch plant fiber and other berries; if you’re hunting with raptors, you can leave behind heavy hides while you stock up on meat. A huge aggravation-saver for players who still want to grind and forage but aren’t opposed to working smart..
Carts and Wagons
If you want to carry tons and tons of materials but carrying a backpack with six tons of obsidian feels like a game-breaker, embrace the primitive island setting and go old-school: hitch a wagon to your butt and start pulling. Carts and Wagons is in development, but I haven’t come across any bugs hitching the basic wagons to myself or to common dinos. Now my raptors can pull enough weight to make my Stego obsolete, and solo farming runs don’t have to be limited by my own personal carry weight.
It takes so much work to craft items that it’s a real shame when a simple tool breaks after a single use. A flare gun that can’t be reloaded? A parachute that evaporates when you land? Come on, Ark. Thankfully, Reusable Plus adds blueprints for reusable versions of the bola, grappling hook, and spear. Now you can devote the time and resources to making these things once, then move on with your day.
Our mod list continues on the next page.