Ark Survival Evolved: Best maps for beginners

Published: 15:27, 17 June 2022
Updated: 15:29, 17 June 2022
Studio Wildcard
Unique Ragnarok landscape
Unique Ragnarok landscape

Are you having a tough start to Ark? Choosing the right map is as important as reading beginner tips and tricks.

Since Ark: Survival Evolved is free on Steam at the moment, many new players are finding it difficult to adapt to the rough game environment, so we took the time to write about the best maps for beginners in Ark. 

The map selection below is subjective of course, and although some players would disagree over the second or third choice, our picks co-align with the most popular choices among beginners.

The Island

This would be the obvious first choice and for a reason. The Island is the first ARK base map which consists of five larger mountains in the north and plains in the south. The level distribution favors lower levels and was designed with beginner players in mind. 

The map is simple to learn as all the resources are spread out in a way that's obvious to figure out. The outer part of the Island is more friendly and safe compared to the inner part of the Island which can get tricky but in a manageable way. The chances of spawning high-level dinos are small so in most cases, you'll be surrounded by lower-level dinos. 

The map has three bosses and one final boss.

So if you're new to the game, this is the map for you. Spend some time on it until you feel comfortable and safe, and then move on to other maps. If you're a returning player, then this map might be too easy for you and we recommend trying out the other two maps below.

Studio Wildcard Island is a great map to learn the game's basics like taming a dinosaur


Ragnarok is the map released with the free, official, non-canonical DLC expansion with unique environmental features like an active volcano, Basilosaurus corpses, and massive beaver dams.

Just like The Island, Ragnarok is a passive map suitable for low-level players who like a challenge, as its environment is a bit more to handle than The Island, but nothing too much. It has lots of variety, an enjoyable landscape, and fun caves to explore, and it's massive in size so you can dive for hours and hours in it.

Recommended spawn points would be Viking bay, Highlands, and SW2. 

This is a great map for returning players as it will give you space to fit back in while challenging you.

Studio Wildcard Viking Bay is a good spawn point Viking Bay is a good spawn point


Crystal Isles

Crystal Isles falls in the same category as Ragnarok. It is a free, official, non-canonical DLC map that will challenge the player in a convenient way, unlike non-official maps and custom maps with higher preset default difficulty levels.

The map has large crystals from which it got its name, an Eldritch isle with floating water bubbles and plenty of rare resources, a massive cluster of floating islands (Apotheosis), and an enormous bee hive in the form of a cave filled with honey. The map features Crystal wyverns, tamable and non-aggressive creatures.

The center of the map is less forgiving so head there with caution. You might want to check out the southwest part of the map first, as it's a more calm, tropical area with lots of wood, stone, and metal.

This is also a good map for returning players, and it's the player's preference between Ragnarok and Crystal Isles.

The game will be free to keep on Steam until the 19th of June, 19:00 CET. You can get the game at the  Steam store.

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