Ark: Survival Evolved Tweaks Guide to Improve Performance and Graphics

By   /   Jun 10, 2015

ARK: Survival Evolved is currently in its Early Access stage, and everyone who is playing it seems to have a love-hate relationship with it.

Despite its brilliant idea and fun sandbox/survival hybrid mechanics, it is terribly optimized at the moment, and sadly because of the relatively new and unexplored Unreal Engine 4, most users are unsure how to get the best out of the game, despite having some high quality rigs.

For more help on Ark: Survival Evolved, read our Crafting Guide, Leveling Tips and Taming Guide.

Ark: Survival Evolved Tweaks

Here are Ark: Survival Evolved Tweaks that could greatly improve your game’s performance. It’s a good idea to apply all these tweaks to get an overall boost of 15-20 frame-rates.

If you do have any additional tweaks and recommendations other than the ones below that worked for you, please do share with us in the comments section below.

Setting Files Optimization
Unreal Engine 4 is still pretty new to many people, but this clever fellow on Reddit called primension came up with some useful Engine.ini and GameUserSettings.ini tweaks that are granting great frame-rate boosts.

In order to apply these settings, you’ll need to head to \Steam\steamapps\common\ARK\ShooterGame\Saved\Config\WindowsNoEditor.

In this folder, you’ll find two files: Engine.ini, and GameUserSettings.ini.

Copy the data from the following into the respective ini files:

This should give a drastic increase in performance.

If you are having problems with everything going black at night and campfires not working, try removing the following line from the Engine.ini:


Adjusting Shader Models
ARK: Survival Evolved is pretty badly optimized as of now, and you’ll need to sacrifice certain visual aspects in order to make it playable on your system. One method to do so is to reduce the Shader Model being used.

For this, head into your Steam Library and right-click on ARK: Survival Evolved. Select ‘Set Launch Options’ and paste the following in the new tab:


This will use a lower Shader Model technology, but should give some boost in frame-rates.

Nvidia Boost (For Nvidia GPU users)
Players who have Nvidia cards can take a lot of advantage of a specific performance option in the Nvidia Control Panel.

Head to the Nvidia Control Panel. Here, change the Global ‘Power Management’ from Adaptive to ‘Maximum Performance’.

This setting should greatly boost your frame-rates as well.

Unparking CPU
If you’re an owner of a multi-core CPU, you can further boost your frame-rates for ARK: Survival Evolved by ‘unparking’ your CPU.

Modern CPUs tend to ‘park’ multiple cores to save energy, but at times certain software have difficulty ‘unparking’ them and utilizing the cores to the fullest.

In order to assess this issue, download the Coderbag Unparking Tool.

Start the “UnparkCPU.exe” application and click on “Check Status.”

Once done, select ‘All Unpark’ – this should unpark all CPU cores and will get the most out of CPU. Expect slightly higher CPU temperatures than normal though.

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