Eight burning questions about Ark's growable beards, answered

Sure, the Tek Tier update for Ark: Survival Evolved contains goodies like jetpacks, sci-fi weapons and structures, new dinosaurs, and laser cannons you can strap to your T-Rex's head. That all sounds great—provided you like excitement, adventure, and insane laser-dino battles. Personally, I'm more interested in how the patch will change players' faces, since the update is also adding beards that grow in real time and can be cut with craftable scissors.

As a real-life beard-haver, I realized I had a number of questions (eight) about Ark's beards, and so I went to the source for answers. Jesse Rapczak is Co-founder and Co-Creative Director of Studio Wildcard, the developer of Ark. More importantly, Jesse has a beard, and most importantly, he was willing to answer my beard-related queries.

The men AND women of ARK are both veritable beard-growing machines.

PC Gamer: You say beards will grow in real time, but my real beard grows extremely quickly. Meanwhile, I have a friend only has to shave once a month. What type of person are you basing the beard-growth rate on: someone like me who grows hair like a werewolf or someone who barely grows hair on his face at all?

Jesse Rapczak: Hah! Good point. We mean it grows dynamically and smoothly in game, so if you really want to you can sit there and watch your character’s beard go from stubble to something Tom Hanks’ character in Cast Away would be proud of. The men AND women of ARK are both veritable beard-growing machines. Yep, you read that right.

Jesse Rapczak, bearded Co-founder, studio wildcard

Will server mods be able to adjust beard-growth rates on their servers?

Sure, why not.

If I transfer my bearded character to another server, will his beard remain intact?

Yes, when you transfer your character to another server your hair and beard along with any customizations (like hair dye) will transfer over.

What if I never cut my beard in-game? How long will it grow? By ‘long’ I mean, like, how long time-wise, and how long lengthwise.

In real life you’ll be waiting about 5 hours for your hair to fully grow out and 8 hours for the beard. We want there to be a constant sense of progression without making it too tedious to maintain.

Cutting your hair could save your life!

When I do cut my beard, will the hair be usable as a crafting resource? If so, what could be crafted from beard hair? The only thing I can think to craft from beard hair would be a fake beard. Will I be able to cut off my real beard and craft a fake beard to wear until my real beard grows back?

Human hair is a great resource in ARK, and can be used as a substitute for Pelt. We love this because it means growing out your hair and beard can provide real benefits when you are in a pinch. In fact, cutting your hair could save your life!  

If my character dies and respawns, is beard growth reset?

Yes, hair and beards reset when you die and respawn. New characters always start naked and hairless in ARK!

Will my character’s beard continue to grow while I’m offline? In multiplayer and singleplayer?


Is body hair included?

That sounds like a great idea for a mod! Maybe.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. 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 storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.