How to Play Single Player in Ark: Survival Evolved

Learn how to go it alone in our guide to playing single-player in Ark: Survival Evolved.


The island setting of Ark: Survival Evolved is massive, teeming with wilderness to explore, dinosaurs to discover, and other players to interact with. Fortunately, you're more than capable of going it alone and amassing a private army of dinos if you prefer single-player experiences. This guide breaks down the workings of the single-player mode in Ark: Survival Evolved for those who prefer to digest games at their own pace.

How to Play Single Player in Ark: Survival Evolved

Although Ark: Survival Evolved does include a single-player mode, getting a solo game up and running takes some work. Specifically, you'll need to decide on the rules you want to govern your setup and choose them in the game.

Running with basic rules—in other words, the game's default options—involves the least amount of fine-tuning. After launching the game, choose the Host/Local Option, then click Play Single Player from the menu. However, since you'll be the only one in your single-player instance, why not change this up? Go into the options and change the rules to your liking, modifying how much damage enemies take, how much experience you earn, and how quickly (or slowly) you want to tame dinosaurs.

Consider dialing in other options if you decide to invite friends into your game. Even if you don't, you'll be able to enjoy your customized rule set in your single-player instance.

More Options to Consider

Launching a single-player outing by playing in a local game gives you a wealth of advantages that you can't make use of online. Because you're running a private server, you can choose who is able to join your game: friends, public players, or no one. That means you can tap into settings such as procedurally generating your instance of Ark: Survival Evolved, letting you create an island that no one else has ever set foot in.

More appealing to players who enjoy storytelling, running a single-player session Ark: Survival Evolved affords you the ability to choose which story you want to play and the pace at which you want to experience it. And because you're playing on a private server, you shouldn't have to worry about players with poor latency slowing down your game.

Get ready for the release of Ark: Survival Evolved on August 29 by exploring more of our guides, and checking out other stories about the game on Shacknews.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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