Explorer Notes are collectible items scattered across The Island, Scorched Earth, Aberration, Extinction, Genesis: Part 1, and Genesis: Part 2 that are either a Dossier or a piece of narrative from actual survivors intended to tell the story behind the ARKs. The Explorer Notes are collected just by walking or flying near it.
For every Note found you gain 100 XP an effect that lasts 10 minutes where XP-Collection is twice as high (Similar to the " Broth of Enlightenment"). It is advisable to collect them while on a dino because your dino gets the XP and the effect as well. So the reward for finding these are doubled. If you find two Notes within a short time the effect time is added to the current one and not reset.
Collecting all Explorer Notes unlocks an additional 10 levels for your character.
Notes from ARK Survivors
Gaius Marcellus Nerva
Sir Edmund Rockwell
The One Who Waits
Non-canon Preview Notes
Notes / Trivia
- During the development process Helena's name might have once been Elimisha and Nerva's name might have once been Gellia according to the DevKit.
- Due to the similar looks and name, Helena Walker could be an Easter egg to the European show, Primeval's Hellen Cutter
- Currently you can't open the notes while in pause mode (at least in single player), i.e. pressing Esc and using the Survivor Profile menu item at the bottom. Instead you can go into your inventory and use the Survivor Profile button at the top right.
- Dying or using fast travel (sleeping bags/beds) will cancel the double XP multiplier
- The XP bonus stacks, so collecting one explorer note, gives 600 seconds double XP, and if another explorer note is collected before the first double XP expires, then 600 seconds will be added to the remaining XP time from the previous Dossiers. As such it is possible to get a fast flyer and collect a few in quick succession before taking on a titanosaur or Alpha for best possible XP gains
- The double XP does not affect XP shared To tribe members
- Some of the additional text in the Raia tablets are the names of Studio Wildcard Developers.
- In ARK Digest 49, the woman riding the raptor on the box art was confirmed to be Helena.
- Since 280.114 and the release of the Extinction Chronicles event, an unknown author's Explorer Notes have appeared in several locations, with the first three at boss arenas. The notes are related to the Extinction DLC, and unlike previous notes, these came in the form of a hologram with what appears to look similar to a Specimen Implant projecting the note itself.
- Similarly, at 299.26, at the release of Genesis Chronicles event, "elemental disturbance" are seen at some of the caves, with the first three at the main island. The notes are related to Genesis: Part 1 DLC, and unlike all the notes so far, it requires Mini-HLNA Skin equipped for any form of note to trigger nearby.
- AMA from the creator of most of the explorer notes on Reddit with more answers on the background story: https://www.reddit.com/r/ARKLore/comments/iz13jo/i_wrote_arks_explorer_notes_now_my_new_game/.