With the Ark 2 release date now set to an unspecified date in 2024, you're going to need to wait a little longer to jump into Studio Wildcard's exciting new survival game. I have a feeling that it'll be worth the wait though, at least from everything we've seen of the Ark: Survival Evolved sequel so far.
Announced three years ago with Vin Diesel revealed to be on board as an executive producer and set to play a leading role in the Ark 2 story, there's plenty to get excited about. For example, we know that Ark 2 will feature "Souls-like melee combat", and Wildcard CEO Doug Kennedy has gone so far as to say that it will do "something which has never been done" in video games before.
News of delay has pushed the game back a year, so while we won't be seeing it on our list of new games for 2023, there are still plenty of confirmed details to get excited about. Ark 2 is set to come to PC, Xbox Series X, and and Xbox Game Pass, with development on Unreal Engine 5, making it one of the biggest upcoming Xbox Series X games of next year. In the meantime, read on below to find out everything we know so far about Ark 2, from news to plot and gameplay details.
Our Ark 2 guide was updated on September 13. While there's no new info to share on the game, we have verified that this is the most up-to-date news surrounding Ark 2 so far.
Ark 2 release date moved to 2024
Studio Wildcard has delayed Ark 2 once again, with the new release date set for 2024. When the survival MMO was first unveiled at The Game Awards in 2020, it was set to launch in 2022. After two years with no updates, Studio Wildcard pushed Ark 2 to 2023, before it was subsequently delayed into 2024.
In a community post, Studio Wildcard confirmed the sequel's launch has been delayed "to the end of 2024", saying, "We’ve put much thought into delaying ARK 2 for the betterment of the final product and the team's well-being... So why the delay? Our goal is to make ARK 2 the best game it can be and provide a truly exceptional and rewarding experience for players."
Ark 2 platforms
Ark 2 is one of the most anticipated upcoming PC games of 2023, but there's also a window of console exclusivity to consider. Ark 2 is a launch exclusive for Xbox Series X; Studio Wildcard announced this partnership with Microsoft Gaming alongside its reveal of the game. Ark 2 will also be added to the Xbox Game Pass list from day one.
Will Ark 2 come to PS5?
The question of whether Ark 2 will come to PS5 remains unanswered by developer Studio Wildcard, however it is only listed as a "console launch exclusive" for Xbox Series X. This means that Ark 2 will only be on PC and Xbox Series X for an undetermined amount of time, before coming to other platforms – such as the PS5. Given that ARK: Survival Evolved found success on PS4, it wouldn't be all that surprising to see this sequel head to PlayStation once its exclusivity window with Xbox expires.
Ark 2 trailer
The first Ark 2 trailer was revealed in 2020, as part of The Game Awards. The Ark 2 reveal trailer was fully captured in-engine, though Studio Wildcard has since confirmed that development has moved to Unreal Engine 5. While this reveal trailer doesn't feature any gameplay, it does set the tone of the upcoming sandbox, reveal some famous faces that are joining production, and hint at some of the new features we can expect to see when Ark 2 finally launches.
The Ark 2 trailer that dropped at E3 2022 though is captured in Unreal Engine 5 and looks utterly stunning. Although it's not gameplay, it sets the tone for the game's storyline, which takes place in a world long after a massive battle. Of course, in a world filled with dinosaurs, every day is still a battle, but thankfully Vin Diesel's character and his daughter are ready with their very own pet T-Rex complete with bone armor.
Ark 2 development
Studio Wildcard is yet to confirm whether there will be an Ark 2 early access period, however it is worth noting the developer's history in this area. When Ark: Survival Evolved first released in 2015, it did so as a console launch exclusive in the Xbox Game Preview program. This placement allowed Studio Wildcard to gain "valuable feedback from Xbox One players along the way before launching in August 2017."
Given that Microsoft Gaming has maintained a close relationship with Studio Wildcard. Ark: Survival Evolved was one of the first games to be optimized for both the Xbox One X in 2017 and the Xbox Series X in 2021, and the sandbox survival experience has remained a constant fixture in the Xbox Game Pass library since 2019. If Ark 2 early access happens, it's likely the Xbox Game Preview program will be involved once again.
Ark 2 story
The Ark 2 story is set to take place after the events of Genesis: Part 2 – the fifth and final paid DLC expansion pack released for ARK: Survival Evolved in 2021 – on an unknown, alien planet. While Studio Wildcard is yet to detail all that much around the Ark 2 story, we can begin to piece together some clues by looking at the Genesis: Part 2 ending.
The expansion, which is set onboard a colossal colony vessel, ends as the Genesis Ship is ruptured in two. One half (Rockwell's corrupted ring world) crashes into a gas planet, while the other is dormant in space. In Genesis: Part 2's closing moments, we see one of the Santiago clones wake up from stasis – just in time to be fired from the debris of the Genesis Ship towards a mysterious Earth-like planet. It's likely to be the planet Ark 2 is set on.
Ark 2 Vin Diesel
Vin Diesel is set to star in Ark 2 as the hero character, Santiago. For those of you not keeping up-to-date with the overarching series story here, Santiago is a clone of the ARK: Survival Evolved player-character Santiago da Costa. Studio Wildcard promises that we'll learn more about the character when he crosses over in the upcoming Ark: The Animated Series, which is expected to air sometime in 2023.
As Vin Diesel's involvement, he actually holds the title of 'president of creative convergence' at Studio Wildcard. Now, we can't even begin to explain what that means, but Microsoft says that the Fast and The Furious star is a massive fan of the series, having logged over 1,000 hours in ARK: Survival Evolved. Studio Wildcard CEO Doug Kennedy says Diesel is putting that experience to good use: "He understands the game intimately and is providing direct feedback to the development process."
Ark 2 gameplay
We are yet to see any direct Ark 2 gameplay, but developer Studio Wildcard has started to tease what we can expect. Originally, Ark 2 was set to be much like its predecessor, aka a 'sandbox survival experience' but things have changed somewhat.
Ark 2 will feature fairly substantial changes when compared to its predecessor. For starters, the game will feature Souls-like melee combat – you'll be able to target-lock, block, dodge, pull off combos, staggers, and even special attacks. Ark 2 will also have a heavier focus on primitive-only weaponry and "strict" third-person mechanics and character traversal systems – such as sliding, swinging, free-climbing, mantling, parkour, and more.
Ark 2 is set in a massive new alien environment, which will offer up dynamic world events that happen independently to what you're up to. The choice whether to interact with them will then yield their own rewards and challenges. You'll also be able to craft weapons and tools from various modules to design their look and functionality, making for millions of possible combos. Materials will also affect the look of these items too.
Ark 2 mods
Studio Wildcard also confirmed as part of its E3 2022 announcements that Ark 2 will feature mod.io's cross-platform mod and user-generated content support. What that means is that it will enable mods and UGC to function across PC and Xbox platforms.
"ARK 2's fully stackable, user-created mods will open the door for players to generate new dinosaur and creatures, items, and gameplay features, with maps distributed across all platforms — including onto Xbox — and support for modded servers, via mod.io!" reads the developer's statement.
While you wait for more info on Ark 2, why not jump into one of the best survival games.