ARK has a lot to offer players: a world where you can tame dinosaurs, build complex bases, and explore an ever-changing world of threats. However, ARK is also a challenging game for some systems to run at the highest settings.
If the graphics aren’t adjusted to work with your computer, you can experience some real problems in the game.
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How to Choose the Best ARK Graphics Settings
Choose your ARK settings based on your computer’s capabilities. If you have a high-end CPU, graphics card, and lots of RAM, you should be able to run ARK on high settings. If you’re using significantly older or lower-powered items, you might want to try using medium or low settings.
You don’t need to have the most up-to-date components. I’m using a 2080ti, i7-9900k, and 32GB of DDR4 RAM to run ARK, and I’m able to use the highest graphics settings with no problems on PC.
Ultimately, the whole point of ARK is to have fun. You should set your graphics to a level that makes the game’s performance the best that it can be.
Low settings are all about making the game as playable as possible. The graphics won’t look as sharp or defined as they might on higher settings, but you’ll still have access to all the same game features.
Always keep SSAO and distance field shadowing set off. They add to the graphics but impact performance. These should be off by default when you change the settings to low.
The trick to working out the proper medium settings for ARK with your build is to play with the settings a little. Try using the filters to see if you like the look more. Turn up the shadows a bit if your FPS is already high.
Keep an eye on your frames as you make adjustments and note where you might need to walk back changes.
You can toggle on high-quality materials at medium settings, but only if you have a lot of RAM. If your computer has 16GB or less, keep it off.
Setting ARK to the highest settings can give you a good balance of playability and realistic graphics.
As with other settings options, you can customize high settings to work better for your PC. For example, you can turn it to high and turn down the shadow settings to give your components a break.
Epic settings are the highest settings available in ARK without customizing your settings. They give you the most lifelike graphics and might help you immerse yourself a little more in the world.
If you want to crank up your setting even higher, move all your sliders up completely and then enable Distance Field Ambient Occlusion. You’ll have to have a high-powered CPU and graphics card — along with sufficient RAM — to run this, but it will give you the best possible graphics. It helps create better shadows.
ARK Settings for Console
Consoles come with standard hardware, so there aren’t many variables to consider when adjusting the graphics. Mainly, you want to make sure that you’re choosing the best setting for your console and display.
If you’re running ARK on a newer console — like the Xbox One X with more RAM than the original — or using a 1440p display, trying using the “Detailed Graphics” setting. This mode is designed to run at 30 FPS but has higher-quality graphics than the standard mode.
If you’re playing on an older console or a 1080p monitor, you’ll get higher FPS with the standard graphics mode. It’s supposed to deliver 60 FPS.
For some people, turning off motion blur and headbob can help the game run more efficiently.
One way to change ARK on Xbox or PlayStation is to use console commands. To access the console, use the pause menu and then hold the left bumper, the right bumper, X, and Y at the same time. Here are a few commands to try:
- sg.ViewDistanceQuality 1
- sg.ShadowQuality 0
- sg.TextureQuality 0
- r.ViewDistanceScale 0.4
- r.LightShaftQuality 0
- sg.ResolutionQuality 50
Always type “admincheat” into the console before the rest of the command. Console commands will only work on servers that you admin, of course.
You can play with different numbers and see how they affect your DPS and gameplay. Always be ready to reset the game if needed. There should be a reset to default option in your settings.
ARK Settings For Mobile
ARK is also playable on mobile devices — as long as they meet the game requirements. On Android, you need 3GB of RAM and Android 7.0, at least. For iOS, it’s available on iPhone 7 and up or on iPads released after 2015.
Sometimes choosing graphic settings is more about making the game work better — and ARK can be a battery drain on mobile. If you’re losing battery too quickly, switch to “Preserve Battery Mode.” It will make the game a little less detailed, but you’ll be able to play longer without sacrificing your battery.
The resolution adjustment is a slider on mobile devices. You’re going to drain your battery and the device’s components more quickly if you set it higher. The larger your screen, the more critical a higher quality will be.
If you’re playing on a smaller device, try low or medium graphics. Even on a larger device like a tablet, you’ll probably have the best experience if you stay more toward the medium end of the graphics.
What is The Best Setting for Me?
The kind of frames and lag you can handle are all about personal preference. Some people want to have the highest possible frames and might need to compromise on graphics to obtain them. Other people don’t mind a slightly lower frame rate if it means the game looks more realistic.
Signs of Trouble After Settings Update
Watch your graphics card and CPU temperatures as you’re playing with your new settings. Sometimes your frames will be acceptable, but the temperatures will be too high for your components. High temperatures can lead to your computer shutting down, ARK crashing, or other problems.
Low frames, lag, and high temperatures are the main signs that you need to adjust your settings. Start with the shadows and view distance to see if it helps your system.
Film Grain and Motion Blur
These are both options that don’t have much impact on your frames. Keeping them off may give you a slight boost but whether you use them depends on whether you like the look of ARK with them enabled.
ARK is Lagging
If ARK still lags after you’ve adjusted your settings, experiment with the shadow settings. The view distance can also have an effect on performance.
Shadow settings can be a real drain on your PC’s resources. Turn off the shadows and light blooms to help ARK run better. It won’t have a massive impact on the graphics in the game, but it will help you maintain higher frames.
Shadow and light settings include distance field shadowing, light bloom, and light shafts.
View distance is more important to gameplay than you might think at first. For example, if you’re out on your raft scouting a new area, you might not see the Alpha Rex down the beach if the view distance is too low for him to render.
The problem is that a high view distance also means more impact on your system. A low view distance means the gameplay and graphics are significantly affected. The view distance setting is one that you should tweak the most.
Inch it up and see where the performance impact becomes unplayable to you — but don’t leave it exceptionally low unless you absolutely must.
The view distance makes a big difference in how the game looks, even if you put all other settings to epic.
What graphics settings affect FPS the most?
Some of the most intensive settings are shadow-related settings and anti-aliasing. If you lower the settings for shadows and turn off anti-aliasing, you can increase your FPS in almost any game, ARK included.
How can I make my FPS higher?
You can increase your FPS in a few ways: adding more RAM to your computer, lowering your graphics settings, and playing at a lower resolution. Adding more modern components to your computer can make it easier to run games with a higher FPS.
You can also try using game mode in Windows 10. It’s designed to help improve your FPS in games.
Should I turn off motion blur?
Motion blur isn’t an essential element of any game. In games like ARK, a lot of people prefer to play without it turned on. It can also improve your FPS to turn it off, so try it out.
You can always turn it back on if you don’t like how it looks when motion blur is off.