'ARK: Survival of the Fittest' rejoins the main ARK game

ark survival fittest game mode main arkfittest01
ARK: Survival Evolved has been one of the biggest Early Access hits of the past few years, so much so in fact that a single game mode from the main title was spun off into its own free-to-play game. But now, as the developers look to make changes to the engine and the game world, the game is coming back to the fold and has become part of the original game again.

If you haven’t heard of it, ARK: Survival Evolved is an open-world survival title, with a major focus on taming, riding, and fighting with the local dinosaur population. If you’ve seen images or videos of some game where people are riding giant prehistoric beasts and wailing on each other with everything from bows and arrows to grenade launchers, chances are you were looking at ARK.

And if you werent’t looking at ARK, you were likely looking at its spinoff game, Survival of the Fittest (SotF). As a free-to-play game, it acted as a great introduction for many people and it has even become a bit of an esports hit. However because it’s built on the same foundations as the main game, the developers didn’t want to do all the leg work of modifying both code bases, so they’re just making Survival of the Fittest part of the main ARK again.

The developers also admitted that the game mode was a bit of a money sink, since it was free to play and didn’t feature any micro-transactions or ways for the developer to earn anything from its many thousands of players.

Related: Play ‘Skyrim’ on PS4 and Xbox One this fall with mods

“If we’re able to make performance updates due to optimization work done on the main game, SotF will also receive them,” developer Wildcard said in a post on Steam (via Eurogamer). “Major content upgrades to SotF will be pending further expansion of the team, and the development kit will continue be updated with content from ARK: Survival Evolved (which can be directly copied into SotF by modders).”

None of this means anything will break for anyone though. The standalone game will still work for those that have it, whether they purchased ARK: Survival Evolved or not. It also means that those using the recently released ARK development kit will have access to all of the same resources whether they want to modify the main game or Survival of the Fittest.

It does however also mean that the console ports for Survival of the Fittest have been shelved for now, but since bringing that to consoles in its current guise would have been expensive without retooling it, Wildcard said that doing this would have required it to learn how to become a free-to-play developer.

Neither the firm nor the player base were keen to see micro-transactions or other paywalls appear in ARK, regardless of game mode, so this is likely the best decision for everyone moving forward.


These are the best video games you shouldn't leave 2018 without

Developers showed up with a number of amazing games this year. Each capitalized on something unique but there's always one that outdoes them all. Here are our picks for the best video games of 2018 and game of the year.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?
Product Review

‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ is an ode to gaming that lives up to its name

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a loving tribute to Nintendo and video game history. It’s a terrific multiplayer fighter that also has plenty for single-player fans to love this time around.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.

Relive Nintendo’s handheld golden age with the 25 best Game Boy Advance games

The Game Boy Advance was the swan song of the Game Boy era. It also happened to have a boatload of amazing games. We decided to countdown our 25 favorite GBA games. Check it out and let us know your favorites in the comments below!

Xiaomi’s Gamepad 2.0 turns the Black Shark into a mini Switch

Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi has introduced the Gamepad 2.0 for its Black Shark gaming phone that launched earlier this year. The new gamepad is similar to the Switch Joy-Con, with one piece attaching to each side of the phone.

Skateboarding legend says ‘Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam’ will appeal to his fans

Tony Hawk's Skate Jam is now available for free on iOS and Android devices, and Digital Trends had the chance to talk to the legendary skater about its development and how it captures the magic of his best games.

Cops called to handle ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ noise end up playing the game

A group of friends were playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch when cops arrived to respond to noise complaints from neighbors. In an unexpected twist, the officers ended up playing the game, too.

The third DLC for ‘Spider-Man’ swings onto PlayStation 4 next week

The third part of Spider-Man's episodic DLC, Silver Lining, releases on December 21. The episode focuses on Silver Sable and Hammerhead, and it includes three new suits for Peter Parker.

Spawn creator suggests the antihero could appear in ‘Mortal Kombat 11’

Spawn creator Todd McFarlane hinted that the comic book antihero could join the cast of Mortal Kombat 11 during a Reddit AMA. Spawn previously appeared in SoulCalibur II on the original Xbox.

Hey, Sony! If you make a PS2 Classic, it needs these games

158 million PS2 consoles were sold worldwide during its lifecycle, making it the most successful video game console of all time. It was hard, but we narrowed down the PS2's vast library of games. Here are the best PS2 games of all time.

Grabbing a Switch for the holidays? Here's what you need to know to play online

If you want to play online multiplayer on Switch, you'll need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Here's what you need to know about Nintendo Switch Online, from price to features to the awesome library of NES games.

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.

Check out the best deals from GameStop’s Game Days Sale

GameStop has hundreds of games available for discounted prices between now and December 25 as part of its Game Days Sale. We checked out the deals and have rounded up all of the best Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One deals here.