Survival Ascended’s Xbox & PS5 Versions Are Worth Waiting For

Summary

  • Ark: Survival Ascended for Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 has been delayed multiple times, but the wait might be worth it.
  • The console versions of Ark: Survival Ascended will have cross-platform play, and support mods previously only available on PC.
  • The PlayStaton and Xbox versions will also grant boosted rates in-game for a period after launch, ensuring console players aren’t left behind by the late start.


Ark: Survival Ascended still hasn’t released on the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5, but holding out just a little longer to see the console launch should be worth the wait. Initially slated for an August 2023 release, Ark: Survival Ascended was pushed back to an October window that the PC version ultimately landed. Last-minute problems discovered in the Xbox and PS5 versions, however, pushed them back to November. The Xbox version is currently on track for a November 14 release, while the PS5 port isn’t going to appear until the end of the month.

For longtime Ark fans, this situation can be frustrating, especially in the midst of more significant delays for the highly anticipated Ark 2. Ark: Survival Ascended is a rebuild of the original Survival Evolved in Unreal Engine 5, the same engine as Ark 2, which should act as a reasonable diversion until the sequel finally appears. It hasn’t been without its share of criticism, as owners of the original game have now lost official servers and will still have to pay to move over to Survival Ascended, but it’s hard to argue that it’s not at least a graphical upgrade.

Related: Ark: Survival Ascended – Release Date, Differences, & Graphics Comparison


Although the last-minute delay of Ark: Survival Ascended on consoles might be disappointing, the issues that caused the shift are arguably helping the game out in some regards. If the Xbox and PS5 releases had met their original October window, they would have likely been plagued with many of the same troubles that met the PC port upon its initial release. A recent community update from the official Ark website promises that the Xbox version “will be up-to-spec with the latest PC functionality” when it becomes available on November 14, and the PlayStation version is likely to be prepared to the same standard when its time comes.

Of course, some optimization issues and bugs are likely to be unique to different platforms, so there’s no guarantee that everything will be smooth sailing the moment it drops. Optimization for consoles has less potential to run into severe problems, however, as standardized hardware means that it should be easier to establish a clear idea of what performance looks like ahead of launch and troubleshoot slowdowns or glitches. Whether it maintains a perfectly stable frame rate on consoles remains to be seen, but the odds are in favor of avoiding the game-breaking problems that some PC setups faced.

Related: Ark: Survival Ascended’s Release Date Is Great News For Ark 2

Ark: Survival Ascended Has Server Options On Console

A player character sits astride a leering, bipedal dinosaur before distant mountains in key art from Ark: Survival Ascended.

The console release of Ark: Survival Ascended is also set to hit the ground running when it comes to online play. Cross-platform with Steam will be available on November 14 for the Xbox launch, and cross-platform with both Steam and Xbox will be available day one for PS5. Each release will consequently see the overall playerbase grow by a significant margin, ensuring that servers will be appropriately populated for each launch date. Anyone uninterested in crossplay can opt for a set of console-specific servers that will also be made available instead.

Official servers will be available for PvP, PvE, and Small Tribes game modes.

One big concern with the Ark: Survival Ascended Xbox and PS5 delay could be the head start that the PC playerbase has had, but developer Studio Wildcard has already addressed this potential issue in the recent community update. Boosted rates will be available on the official servers to facilitate catch up, which could also make the initial grind easier altogether on console than PC. Rates are currently expected to be synchronized in mid-December, meaning the ports will need to be played at or near the initial release to take advantage of this particular upside.

Related: Every November 2023 Video Game Release Date (All Games Out This Month)

PC Mods Will Be Available On The Ark Console Ports

Three player character rush toward a raging dinosaur in a small, dusty clearing in a screenshot from Ark: Survival Ascended.

One huge upgrade from the original Ark: Survival Evolved experience on consoles is the introduction of cross-platform mod support. In Ark: Survival Ascended, mods created for the PC version of the game will also be available on Xbox and PlayStation, significantly opening up options for tweaking the game and enjoying diverse possibilities that can make things interesting again for Ark veterans. The staggered launch means that the in-game mod browser is likely to be more thoroughly populated at the time of each subsequent release, so there should be plenty to look forward to even for those who found that Survival Evolved had gotten stale.

Cross-platform mod compatibility comes courtesy of Curseforge, a mod platform available as a service from the overarching Overwolf ecosystem. Certain reviewed and vetted paid mods will be available through the client, but the majority should still be accessible for free. With years of development behind the Ark: Survival Evolved mod community, Survival Ascended has substantial groundwork in place already for a rich modding platform that will now be available to everyone playing the game, regardless of what device they’re playing it on.

Ark: Survival Ascended Will Have Split-Screen

Ark character - a shirtless man with a bazooka - riding a raptor.

A final common concern for Ark: Survival Ascended was the potential lack of split-screen gameplay, which initially appeared to be a dropped feature. The PC release does, however, include it, and it appears to be coming to both Xbox and PlayStation as well, according to the appropriate store pages. As long as this feature is ultimately included as advertised, this is especially exciting on Xbox, where parity requirements between the Xbox Series X and the less powerful Series S have sometimes made split-screen co-op too difficult to optimize.

Related: Why Forza Motorsport Doesn’t Have Split-Screen Multiplayer At Launch

With the general promise of many new and returning features and an extra period of polish compared to the PC release, the console versions of Ark: Survival Ascended are shaping up to be an excellent way to play. There’s no way to guarantee that the launches will ultimately go smoothly, but most signs right now are good, and the additional delay for the PS5 version makes it clear that Studio Wildcard isn’t willing to just throw in the towel and drop it before it’s ready. The wait for Ark: Survival Ascended on Xbox Series X/S and PS5 has been a little rough, but the light is visible at the end of the tunnel.

Source: Ark

  • ARK Survival Ascended Game Poster

    Ark: Survival Ascended

    Franchise:
    ARK

    Platform(s):
    PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S

    Released:
    2023-10-25

    Developer(s):
    Studio Wildcard, Grove Street Games

    Publisher(s):
    Studio Wildcard

    Genre(s):
    Action, Adventure, MMORPG, Survival

    ESRB:
    T

    Sequel(s):
    ARK 2

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