Ark: Survival Evolved was announced back in June 2015, and in August 2017 it finally went on sale across PC and consoles. It showcases an open world game complete with a robust collection of dinosaurs on PC, Mac, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, the graphics are extremely impressive and the gameplay is phenomenal.

Here's all we know about Ark: Survival Evolved including Nintendo Switch support, gameplay information and the best mods available right now. 

Ark: Survival Evolved release date and platforms

Nintendo Switch release date: Autumn 2018

Originally, Ark: Survival Evolved was due for full release on PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but developers Studio Wildcard saw the potential for Nintendo's hybrid console and, at GDC 2018, announced that the hugely popular game would be coming to the Nintendo Switch at some point in autumn 2018.

The Switch’s handheld mode provides a fantastic new capability for survivors who want to fully immerse themselves in the vast worlds of ARK,” said Studio Wildcard’s Jeremy Stieglitz. “With this new version, Switch players can go directly from hunting and taming while sitting on the couch, to forming online tribes and searching out new conquests when on the bus, waiting in line, or wherever they happen to be.”

Not many other details were shared, and we were only treated to a glimpse of gameplay, but we expect to hear and see more from the port in the coming months. 

The game is now available for PS4 (£49.99) and Xbox One (£49.99) alongside PC (£49.99). 

Read next: PS4 vs Xbox One

What is Ark: Survival Evolved?

So, what is Ark: Survival Evolved? It reminds us of a cross between Jurassic Park and Minecraft, where you start off with no clothes or weapons and you have to craft items, grow crops, research technologies and build shelters to protect yourself from the elements. It sounds simple but it’s not, thanks to other online players in the same situation as you, and, of course, wild dinosaurs roaming around.

The environment itself is vast, with many environments from swamps filled with Titanoboas and huge crocodiles, to snowy mountains and vast forests full of Velociraptors. It’s not just above ground either, as there are many caverns to explore and even underwater caves (if you can survive the marine life). By exploring the environment, you’ll develop your in-game ARK map, as well as being able to add custom points of interest. You’ll come across random creatures, as well as Explorer Notes that have been left behind by past explorers.

Some dinosaurs can be tamed though, and you should experiment with different kinds of plants and meat as they all have varying effects on different dinosaurs. Or, if that’s a bit tame for you, you can always weaken it, knock it unconscious and then nurture it until it’s healthy again. The options are there; you just have to find the style that’s right for you. You can fly a Pterodactyl, race through forests on the back of a Raptor or even destroy an enemy base on the back of a Gigantosaurus.

You have to keep on top of your food and water levels, as without it you’ll die. Different foods will have different effects on you just as it varies with dinosaurs, and all physical actions come at a cost of food and water – even walking around. The changing weather pattern will also have an effect on your water and health levels, as hotter weather will decrease your water levels faster as you become dehydrated in the sun.

As we mentioned earlier, it’s an online game and is essentially PvP (Player vs Player). You can choose to work with other players in your world, or go to war with them. If you decide to work together, groups of players can form tribes, allowing anyone in your tribe to command or ally your pets. Also, don’t worry about dying, as your tribe will be able to respawn at any of your home spawn points (as long as there’s a bed).  With regards to communication, you can chat with players via proximity text and voice chat, or long-distance radio once you’ve crafted them.