ARK: Survival Evolved will have day one upgrades for Xbox Series X, compares to Xbox One version

ARK: Survival Evolved Xbox Series X Image
ARK: Survival Evolved Xbox Series X Image (Image credit: ARK: Survival Evolved)

What you need to know

  • ARK: Survival Evolved is a long-running survival and crafting game with a dedicated playerbase.
  • It's notorious for how demanding it can be on gaming hardware, and runs quite poorly on the base Xbox One.
  • Today, ARK: Survival Evolved released an update enhancing and upgrading the game for the Xbox Series X.
  • That means players can play ARK: Survival Evolved in a gorgeous 4K resolution on next-gen launch day.

ARK: Survival Evolved is still a very popular survival game that collects regular updates and expansions on top of the absolutely massive game that already exists. However, ARK is also notoriously demanding, especially on aging console hardware like the OG Xbox One or One S, which can barely play the game at a 720p resolution. Today, ARK: Survival Evolved is releasing an update for the game that enhances the title for the upcoming Xbox Series X, netting a huge number of improvements ahead of the console's launch on November 10, 2020.

The side-by-side comparison in the above trailer shows just how impressive this update is, with ARK: Survival Evolved looking like two completely separate games from Xbox One to Xbox Series X. In some ways, ARK: Survival Evolved squeezes more out of the Xbox Series X even than gaming PC's, which is an interesting note. Improvements included in ARK's Xbox Series X update include:

  • 4K resolution at 60 to 30fps
  • Increased draw distances (higher than PC)
  • Increased level streaming distances (higher than PC)
  • Sky and atmospherics quality set to Epic
  • Subsurface scattering quality set to Epic
  • Infinite-range high precision screen space ambient occlusion
  • Max texture resolution
  • 16x anisotropic filtering
  • Infinite-range distance field shadows
  • Terrain self-shadowing
  • Dynamic shadow quality set to Epic
  • Ground clutter distance set to Epic
  • High-precision HDR output
  • Postprocessing quality set to Epic
  • Tetherless non-dedicated hosting
  • Tetherless splitscreen
  • 100-player dedicated server hosting
  • Splitscreen multiplayer uses Epic graphics settings
  • Loading speeds increased by seven times

There's no mention of the Xbox Series S here, but it's already becoming quickly apparent from multiple developer sources that the Xbox Series S is just as capable as its more powerful sibling, just at much lower resolutions. If this update applies to the Series S as well as the Series X, expect many of the same improvements, but at a 1080p to 1440p resolution.

ARK: Survival Evolved is also joining Xbox Game Pass on November 17, 2020, so if you wanted to give the game a try without committing to a full purchase, that would be the best possible time to do it.

Xbox Series X/S


Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.