With so many different ARK maps available, it can be challenging to acclimate yourself to a new one. Consider trying out the Scorched Earth map if you’re looking for a contrasting kind of adventure.
It’s pretty different from the others and will offer even veteran players new trials and difficulties to face as they track down and tame the fierce beasts that populate the blazing hot landscape.
What is Scorched Earth
If you’re newer to ARK, you might not know that Wild Card Studios releases new maps every so often as official DLC. These are maps that cost money in addition to the base price of the game.
Scorched Earth is different than the maps preceding it for many reasons. For one thing, it isn’t a series of climates. Instead, all of the other areas are based in the desert. That doesn’t mean there aren’t different zones to explore, though.
Scorched Earth introduced several creatures and environmental effects to the game, as well as some new items. Knowing what was added is helpful to get the most out of the expansion and genuinely understand the map.
What Was New in Scorched Earth?
Scorched Earth added quite a few new things to ARK. While these may be available on later maps or in unofficial content, they weren’t when the map was first released in 2016.
- A variety of new creatures, including the Jugbug
- Dozens of new crafting recipes
- Weather effects, including electrical storms
One of the most marvelous things about trying out Scorched Earth is surviving all the new hazards.
Scorched Earth Basics
When you first spawn on Scorched Earth, you must immediately start looking for a way to gather water and construct a shelter. The risks of dehydration and overheating are two of the most dangerous foes on the map – before you even get near a predatory creature.
Places to Get Water
Water is one of the most critical resources. Scorched Earth is extremely dry, unlike other maps, where oceans, lakes, and rivers abound. However, there are new sources of water to utilize to stay hydrated and craft your favorite recipes.
Cactus is an abundant source of water for survivors on Scorched Earth. When you harvest a cactus plant, you get a resource called Cactus Sap. When eaten, Cactus Sap gives you food. Your water level is actually raised by harvesting the cactus itself.
You can harvest smaller cactus plants with your hands. However, you will get more Cactus Sap if you use a whip on the smaller plants. Larger plants require tools to harvest resources, notably the Hatchet, Pick, or Chainsaw. Working toward getting the Chainsaw engram unlocked can help you get much more sap from the cactus plants.
Water veins are located around the map. Like other veins on ARK, you can harvest them for the resource they’re named for. You don’t have to gather them to hydrate yourself, though. Instead, walk up to them and use the prompted key to drink.
If you want a more reliable water source from a water vein, a Water Well is the perfect solution. It’s relatively cheap and easy to craft – plus, you only need to be level 15 to unlock it. You can make it right from your inventory once the engram is unlocked.
To make a Water Well, combine:
- 50 stone
- 30 thatch
- 20 fiber
- 15 cementing paste
- 10 wood and 10 flint
And then, you can tap a water vein to have a reliable and steady flowing water source. Many people choose to make their base near a few water veins if they don’t set up near one of the few natural bodies of water.
Another benefit to tapping a water vein is that you can use it to create an irrigation system, as long as you have admin rights on the server you’re on. Official servers don’t allow any building near water veins except the Water Well itself.
Water Jug Bugs
Water Jug Bugs are living sources of water. You have to walk up behind it and drink using the appropriate key. They aren’t highly uncommon anywhere on the map, but they are more common in the south than in the north.
Natural Bodies of Water
Natural bodies of water do occur on the map. They’re small and often near the base of elevated regions. When you need water, these are available for use. Check near the obelisks if you’re having trouble finding it.
While Morellatops doesn’t make its own water, it can store water for you. It’s a valuable tame for exploration since you might be far away from water sources. It can hold 750 water in its hump.
Regions of Scorched Earth
There are several different types of regions on Scorched Earth to explore. Each offers various challenges to overcome, with some being more difficult than others.
The Oasis region is absolutely my favorite part of Scorched Earth because it’s a lovely respite from the harshness of the rest of the map. There are water ponds, lush greenery, and low-level creatures that are less dangerous than those on the rest of the map.
Choosing an Oasis as your starting base location is a safe choice that will give you the advantages you need to branch out and explore the rest of the map.
The Dunes are more or less the opposite of the Oasis region. They surround the map and are full of dangerous creatures. There is sand that appears to go forever. No water sources exist. If you want to explore the dunes, be sure to stock up on weapons, ammunition, and provisions before you set out. Even then, there’s a chance you won’t make it back alive.
The Canyons are large rock cliffs with water between them. While they’re another excellent water source for bases, they’re better for slightly more experienced survivors. They have more dangerous creatures around, including the Terror Bird. However, they’re excellent for survivors on maps with multiple tribes because they’re cooler, offer natural defenses, and never run out of water.
The Mountains are even more dangerous than the Canyon areas, not the least of which is because they don’t have water for survivors who don’t come prepared. There are many dangerous foes to face and not a lot of respite from the heat. However, you must venture into the Mountains if you want to access the Grave of the Tyrants.
Low and High Desert
The Low and High Desert regions have more resources than the Dunes but less water than the Oasis regions. They are bleak, with bleached bones embedded in the sand and scrubby vegetation. There are a variety of creatures, including some dangerous ones.
The High Desert is a little less challenging than the Low Desert. Start by visiting the High Desert so that you can get water and resources before trying to tackle the Low Desert.
The Badlands are a dry and vertically-inclined area with lots of rocks and ridges to traverse. It’s also the place to go when you need oil or metal. Though you may not want to settle there, it’s worth frequent trips to pick up all the items you might need as you unlock more engrams and want to craft more complex objects.
Weather on Scorched Earth
Three new weather patterns can have a profound impact on your ability to survive on Scorched Earth. Understand them before they start so that you’re prepared to get through them.
Super Heat is an intense heatwave that makes staying cool and hydrated much more difficult. You’ll notice that the clouds disappear and the sky appears red. You’ll see sparks and hear odd noises for the storm’s duration.
Plan to find your way inside and stay cool with appropriate armor and gear. If you’re near an Oasis, it shouldn’t affect you. If you’re not, have extra water available to drink.
Electrical Storms occur when the clouds go dark, and lightning starts to flash. Your electronic devices will cease functioning, which can cause a lot of damage to your setup if you’re relying on electronics to cool your base or perform other functions. If an electrical storm settles over your encampment, make sure you have backup plans.
Sandstorms have a neat side effect of putting sand into your inventory. However, they also make it difficult to see and can drain your stamina. Since it’s hard to travel during these events, plan things you can do in your base during that time.
It’s also helpful to carry a tent in case you’re away and need temporary shelter. Desert Goggles will help improve visibility during storms, too.
New Creatures on Scorched Earth
Whether they can be tamed or not, the new creatures are designed mainly to make survival easier in such a hot and dry climate.
- Jug Bugs come in two varieties – Water Jug Bugs and Oil Jug Bugs. They can’t be tamed, but you can collect oil and water from them without killing them. The Water Jug Bugs can be differentiated from the oil variety by the blue color on their rear ends.
- Vultures are great for companionship and collecting meat. Not only will they attack nearby foes when they’re riding you, but they’re heavy-hitters if you tame an entire flock.
- Jerboas are cute, shoulder-mounted pets that will also warn you about changes in the weather. Listen and watch them to see whether something is coming so you can reach your base in time.
- Lymantria looks like a giant moth and is a relatively slow flyer. However, they have an excellent carry weight, and you can even use them indoors to move large loads from one spot to another when rearranging your base.
- The Mantis is great for gathering resources, fighting, and even taming because it can hold weapons and tools. This increases its harvesting and damage abilities.
- The Phoenix is a rare spawn that can only be tamed during a Super Heat storm. It will be high up in the sky, and you must hit it with fire from fire weapons to tame it. It will immediately disappear into ash if it isn’t tame at the storm’s end. You can watch these ash piles to know where they will spawn during the next storm.
- The Thorny Dragon has a saddle that lets it function as a smithing table. When you travel to dangerous areas, bring this tame to craft and repair items as needed.
Unique Items on Scorched Earth
Certain items were introduced with Scorched Earth, including resources and engrams.
- Preserving Salt helps keep any item with a spoil timer fresh for longer. You can use it in your inventory to help get things back to the base or in devices to simply extend the freshness timer. One way survivors make good use of Preserving Salt is to use it during taming to extend the freshness of expensive taming food.
- Sulfur was introduced on Scorched Earth. You mine it from rocks that have yellow lines running through them. This is essential to mine if you want to tame a Phoenix since that is all it eats after it’s tame.
- Adobe structures, including railings, dinosaur gates, and ladders, have increased hyperthermal and hypothermal insulation. This means that you get an extra 56 protection from cold and an additional 112 protection from heat, which can stack depending on the pieces you use.
Clay and wood are the primary resources used to craft the basic adobe structures.
- Desert cloth clothes can help you survive when you’re away from the safety of your base. The pieces give you a moderate amount of cold protection and more heat protection. However, they don’t offer a lot of armor compared to some other high-level pieces.
- The wind turbine can help deliver energy to your base. If you decide to use them to generate power, plan for multiple turbines. The wind isn’t consistent, and having more than one pointing in different directions will keep the energy flowing.
Scorched Earth Tips
- Construct a tent and bring it with you when you travel. Silk can be expensive to get, but it’s worth the cost for the tent and desert clothes. Both of these will make traveling around much less hazardous.
- Food and other items spoil faster than on other maps if you have things set to the default rate. Plan accordingly. Use Preserving Salt or a Jerboa to increase spoil times on essential items.
- Don’t neglect the drop boxes. They can help you get building supplies and clothes early in the game.
- Fortitude matters more on this map than on others. Consider allocation some points to it.
- Craft a whip early on. They’re great for escaping creatures, harvesting, and even PVP.
- You can’t fill a waterskin from a water vein. Make sure that you find another water source or have a tame that can carry water before exploring away from your base.