Ark: Survival Evolved Aberration expansion hits Xbox One and PC, cross-play coming this week [updated]

You can download it right now on Xbox One, Steam, and PlayStation 4. Survivors wake up on the Aberration, a derelict, malfunctioning Ark featuring an elaborate underground biome. What's different about this map is that extreme radiation and environmental hazards require increased attention. You have to be careful where you venture. Exploring the world is also more treacherous because the caves house new challenges and creatures.

According to the developers, the intense radiation of Aberration has led to incredible genetic mutations, resulting in new creatures with amazing abilities. The Rock Drake is a camouflaging, chameleon-like creature that can clamber up walls and glide through the air. The Lantern Pug can illuminate the dark caves which you must traverse. Lastly, the grotesque Cave Crustacean and Reaper Queen are good for taking out enemies. You have to use all of these creatures to thrive in this new region.

As you may know, Ark: Survival Evolved is all about gathering resources and crafting. Aberration adds more than fifty unique new items. You can protect yourself with hazmat outfits, explosive rounds, railguns, and much more. Gathering resources is also easier because now you can use fishing baskets, gas collectors, and other tools. This makes accumulating resources in bulk feasible.

Environmental hazards are a new problem to contend with and players will experience everything from earthquakes, radiation damage, and gas leaks. One of Aberration's greatest challenges is a group of monsters called the Nameless. These creatures have been infused with a mysterious substance called Element that makes them incredibly powerful. They're controlled by a leader which only the most skilled survivors should attempt to face.

Aberration is available as a separate purchase for $19.99 or as part of the season pass. This week Studio Wildcard will also enable cross-play between Xbox One and Windows 10. Gamers have been asking for the ability for months now so hopefully it'll work well. Ark: Survival Evolved also supports Xbox One X even though the title is still quite rough around the edges.

Update 12/13/17: According to Studio Wildcard, Xbox One players experiencing connection issues with Ark: Survival Evolved's Aberration map have to update the file. The studio says that Microsoft published the wrong version of Aberration and informed them of the error. Microsoft rectified the problem with the correct build but it took a few hours for it to roll out. If you downloaded Aberration earlier today, you'll have to update the file by launching Ark: Survival Evolved and instructing the console to download the correct version after you're prompted to do so.

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Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.