Game Modes

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Game Modes are different ways to play Ark: Survival Evolved.

The current Ark game mode can only be changed by the server admin. The commands to change the game mode on your server are available here.

Available Game Modes

Player vs Player

Player vs. Player (also known as PvP or PvPvE) is a mode where players are able to deal damage to or kill each other. In PvP players can also damage or destroy another tribe's buildings or kill their dinos.

In ARK: Survival Evolved Mobile,  Industrial Grinders are disabled.

By default, PvP is enabled.

Player vs Environment

Player vs. Environment (PvE) is a mode where players are unable to directly damage another player. Players also can't damage other tribe's dinos or structures. However, there is a PvE demolish timer that allows destruction of other tribe's structures if no member of the tribe has logged in for a specific amount of time. On these servers, the only threat to survival is the environment.

PvE is available as a Server Parameter at startup and by default is set to false. To change this parameter, the server has to be restarted.

PvX (Mobile)

Logo Mobile.svg This section is about a feature exclusively available on Mobile

PvX is a game mode exclusive to ARK: Survival Evolved Mobile. In PvX, the aspects of PvP and PvE are combined into one map.

PvX Border.jpg
Rules for PvX
  • A giant border wall is present in the game, marking the PvP zone
  • The center of the Island, all caves, and Carno Island are all PvP zones
  • No building is allowed near the central PvP border for 100 ft. on either side
  • Standard PvE structure prevention rules are in place on the entire Island (ie. no cave building, no obelisk building)
  • Additional structure prevention rules are applied to Carno Island and the Volcano (except for the very top of the Volcano)
  • The following buffs are active in the PvP zones: +50% Stamina, +10% Melee Damage, +10% Movement Speed, +50% XP Gains, +50% Structure Health, and +50% Imprint Effectiveness
  • The following buffs are active in the PvE zone: -50% XP Gains
  • Resource respawn rates are reduced 3x in the PvE zone
  • Resource respawn rates are increased 2x in PvP zones
  • Tribe size is limited to 6 Survivors
  • Supply Beacons have been added to the PvP zones
  • Amber Deposits only spawn in the PvP zones
  • Revival Platforms cannot be placed in the PvE zone
  • Survivors cannot be dragged or carried from PvP to the PvE zone
  • Upon leaving a PvP zone, there is a 20 second cooldown timer before PvE rules take effect
  • The following 4 creatures are incredibly rare to find in the PvE zone: Tyrannosaurus Rex, Giganotosaurus, Quetzal and Argentavis
  • Crafting Stations are not available for purchase from the in-game store
  • Industrial Grinders are disabled.
Known Issues
  • Approximately 10% of Supply Beacons are landing underground


All game modes can be played in Hardcore mode. When a player dies in the Hardcore, they lose almost all levels and respawn only with 9 levels go up.

ARKpocalypse (PC)

Both PvP and PvE game modes can be played in ARKpocalypse mode. On ARKpocalypse servers, the server resets automatically after a month, with an in-game countdown and dramatic meteor impact.

By default, ARKpocalypse is disabled.

This gamemode takes place at a faster pace, as it has multiplies all rates (harvesting, taming etc.) x3. This mode is very good for new players or people looking to play for a short period of time.

Specialty Servers

Speciality servers are alternate game modes that last for a limited amount of time. Each new theme will bring on a new set of challenges different from that of servers currently available.[1]

Small Tribes

Small Tribes servers are a type of specialty server that limit the tribe size to 6 players and alliances are not allowed. Server rates are 2.5x (harvest, taming, experience) and are not be affected by Evolution Events. They also have 2x maturation, 2x egg hatching, 2x gestation and 50% reduced mating interval.[2]


Steam.svg This section is about a feature exclusively available on Steam

Conquest PvP servers are a type of specialty server that focus on big tribes and big battles. These servers have 2x rates (unaffected by Evolution Events) and have a player cap of 100. Tribes are limited to 25 players max, alliances are disabled, and 36 servers will exist within the Conquest cluster.[3][4]

Classic PvP

Steam.svg This section is about a feature exclusively available on Steam

Classic PvP is a new competitive player experience for PC players which focuses on the PvP experience from the days of old. These servers include:

  • Experience gain, taming, gathering, breeding, hatching, and raising rates have been doubled compared to our standard Official Servers (2x)
  • Tribes are set to 25 players max
  • Tribe alliances are disabled, though informal alliances are allowed
  • Servers have a maximum player count of 100
  • There will be 4 servers on each cluster, for a total of >25 Classic clusters
  • Each cluster will consist of The Island, Scorched Earth, Ragnarok, and The Center
  • Server transfers are only enabled between the 4 servers on each cluster
  • Classic PvP servers are unaffected by Evolution Events
  • Tek dinos (Tek Parasaur, Tek Quetzal, Tek Rex, Tek Raptor, Tek Stego), Giga, Paracer, Quetzal, Tapejara, and the Titanosaur are not available on Classic PvP
  • All Aberration and Extinction content is unavailable on Classic PvP
  • Scaling of weapon damage has been reduced[5]

With the beginning of Classic PvP Season 2 existing servers were wiped and the following changes were introduced:[6]

  • Cryopods are now craftable in obelisk terminals
  • Cave building is disabled


Both PvP and PvE game modes can be played in Primitive mode. When Primitive is enabled, the engram skill tree is missing everything from the advanced/modern tier except for saddles. High tier gear and structures are disabled. This includes fabricated items, all ranged weapons (excluding crossbows, Bows, and slingshots). By default, Primitive is disabled.

Survival of the Fittest

Survival of the Fittest was a special game mode that was introduced to Ark in Patch 200.0 and is now a standalone game. Its gameplay heavily differs from normal gameplay. The goal of the game mode is to become the last man standing by killing all other competitors on the island. In Survival of the Fittest, the game settings are modified to fit a faster paced style of gameplay.

Survival of the Fittest takes place on special servers.

Single Player

Single Player is a mode that allows survivors to play ARK offline as singleplayer. On the Xbox One and PS4 you can use the splitscreen function to play with a friend.