ark best maps
by Samuel James in

Ark: Survival Evolved has captured the hearts of millions of gamers worldwide with its blend of immersive gameplay and stunning environments. With a plethora of maps to choose from, you might be wondering which one will provide you with the ultimate Ark experience. Look no further, as we’ve compiled a list of the best Ark maps to play, giving you an in-depth overview of each map’s unique features, and answering some frequently asked questions.

The Island

The Island is the original Ark map, offering a balanced gameplay experience for both beginners and veterans. The Island features various biomes, including forests, jungles, swamps, and snow-covered mountains. With its intuitive layout and diverse range of creatures, The Island is an excellent starting point for new players.

Key Features:

  • Balanced gameplay: The Island offers a well-rounded experience for players, with a good mix of resources, creatures, and biomes.
  • Wide variety of biomes: From lush forests and swamps to arid deserts and snowy mountain peaks, The Island has something for everyone.
  • Ideal for beginners: The Island’s relatively simple layout and balanced gameplay make it a great introduction to the world of Ark.

Scorched Earth

Scorched Earth is Ark’s first expansion pack, taking players to a harsh desert environment with unique challenges. This map is designed for experienced players seeking a more challenging and intense experience. The extreme heat and scarce resources force players to strategize and adapt to survive in this inhospitable landscape.

Key Features:

  • Harsh desert environment: Scorched Earth’s arid climate presents players with new challenges, such as managing heatstroke and dehydration.
  • Unique creatures and resources: Discover new creatures adapted to the desert, such as the Wyvern and the Rock Elemental, as well as exclusive resources like Silk and Cactus Sap.
  • Challenging gameplay: The scarcity of resources, extreme temperatures, and dangerous creatures make Scorched Earth a thrilling experience for seasoned Ark players.


Fjödur is a community-created map that boasts a vast and diverse landscape inspired by Nordic mythology. Players can explore a range of biomes, including lush forests, frozen tundras, and volcanic regions. Fjödur’s intricate cave systems and abundant resources make it an exciting and rewarding map for both solo players and tribes.

Key Features:

  • Nordic-inspired landscape: Fjödur’s design draws heavily from Norse mythology, giving players a unique and immersive experience.
  • Diverse biomes: Traverse a variety of environments, from dense woodlands and icy glaciers to fiery volcanic regions.
  • Expansive cave systems: Delve deep into Fjödur’s network of caves to uncover hidden secrets and valuable resources.
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Ragnarok is a fan-favorite map that combines the best elements of The Island and Scorched Earth, while also introducing unique features such as the Griffin and the Ice Wyvern. This massive map offers a diverse range of biomes, from dense forests and snowy mountains to vast deserts and picturesque coastlines. With its beautiful landscapes and challenging gameplay, Ragnarok is a must-play map for Ark enthusiasts.

Key Features:

  • Massive map size: Ragnarok is one of the largest maps in Ark, providing ample space for exploration and base-building.
  • Unique creatures: Encounter exclusive creatures such as the Griffin and the Ice Wyvern, offering new taming and breeding opportunities.
  • Rich biomes: Experience a wide array of environments, including lush jungles, arid deserts, and treacherous snow-covered mountains.
  • Hidden secrets: Ragnarok is filled with hidden locations and easter eggs for players to discover, adding an extra layer of depth to the gameplay experience.

The Center

The Center is an official Ark map, created by a community modder and later adopted by the game’s developers. This map is known for its stunning visuals, unique land formations, and challenging gameplay. With massive floating islands, deep underwater trenches, and a gigantic underworld, The Center offers a breathtaking environment for players to explore.

Key Features:

  • Striking visuals: The Center’s beautiful landscapes and unique land formations, such as the massive floating islands, make it a visually impressive map.
  • Challenging gameplay: The Center’s larger size and diverse biomes offer more challenging gameplay for experienced players.
  • Underwater and underworld exploration: Dive into deep trenches to uncover new aquatic creatures or venture into the vast underworld to discover unique resources and challenges.

The Lost Island

The Lost Island is a free DLC map that offers a fresh experience for Ark players. With over 150 new creatures, unique biomes, and hidden secrets, The Lost Island provides a thrilling adventure for both new and experienced players. The map includes several new features, such as a dynamic weather system and giant beaver dams, which further enhance the gameplay experience.

Key Features:

  • Over 150 new creatures: Discover a wide variety of new creatures, including the massive Amargasaurus and the agile Dinopithecus.
  • Unique biomes: Explore diverse biomes, such as the murky swamp, the mysterious redwoods, and the dangerous volcanic region.
  • Dynamic weather system: Adapt to the ever-changing weather conditions that can impact gameplay and survival strategies.
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Aberration is an expansion pack that takes players to a damaged Ark with an underground biome system. The map features unique environmental hazards, such as radiation and earthquakes, as well as new creatures and resources. The challenging conditions and distinct gameplay mechanics make Aberration a fascinating experience for veteran Ark players.

Key Features:

  • Unique underground biome: Aberration’s subterranean environment offers a completely different experience compared to other Ark maps.
  • Environmental hazards: Face new challenges, such as radiation, earthquakes, and extreme temperatures, as you navigate the depths of Aberration.
  • Exclusive creatures and resources: Encounter creatures like the Rock Drake and the Reaper, and gather unique resources such as Element Ore and Fungal Wood.

Genesis Part II

Genesis Part II is the final expansion for Ark: Survival Evolved, offering players a massive map filled with new biomes, creatures, and story elements. This expansion introduces new gameplay mechanics, including missions and the AI companion, HLN-A. With its diverse environments and engaging narrative, Genesis Part II provides a thrilling and immersive experience for Ark players.

Key Features:

  • Massive map with diverse biomes: Explore a vast array of biomes, including lunar, ocean, and Eden environments.
  • New gameplay mechanics: Take on missions and utilize the assistance of the AI companion, HLN-A, to advance through the story.
  • Exclusive creatures and resources: Discover new creatures, such as the Astrodelphis and the Noglin, and collect unique resources like Mutagel and Ambergris.


Valguero is a free DLC map that offers a vast and varied landscape for Ark players to explore. The map features a diverse range of biomes, including redwood forests, vast deserts, and deep underwater trenches. Valguero is also home to the unique Aberration Trench, which contains creatures and resources from the Aberration expansion. With its striking visuals and challenging gameplay, Valguero is a popular choice among Ark players.

Key Features:

  • Expansive map with diverse biomes: Traverse a wide variety of environments, such as redwood forests, deserts, and snowy mountains.
  • Aberration Trench: Explore the unique Aberration Trench, which contains creatures and resources from the Aberration expansion.
  • Exclusive creatures: Encounter unique creatures like the Deinonychus, which are only found on Valguero.


Extinction is an expansion pack that takes players to a post-apocalyptic Earth, filled with mutated creatures, dangerous environments, and powerful Titans. The map features new gameplay mechanics, such as Orbital Supply Drops and Element Veins, which provide players with new challenges and opportunities. With its dystopian setting and intense gameplay, Extinction offers a distinct experience for Ark players.

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Key Features:

  • Post-apocalyptic Earth: Explore a ravaged Earth filled with mutated creatures and remnants of human civilization.
  • Unique gameplay mechanics: Engage in Orbital Supply Drops and defend Element Veins to obtain valuable resources and rewards.
  • Powerful Titans: Battle against colossal Titans, each with unique abilities and strengths, providing a new level of challenge for experienced players.
  • Exclusive creatures and resources: Discover new creatures, such as the Gasbags and the Velonasaur, and gather unique resources like Scrap Metal and Element Dust.

What Ark Map has the Best Dinos?

When it comes to the best dinos, it’s a matter of personal preference and playstyle. Each map features its own unique set of creatures, as well as some shared across multiple maps. If you’re looking for a well-rounded experience with a diverse range of creatures, The Island and Ragnarok are both excellent choices. However, if you’re interested in discovering new, exclusive creatures, maps like Aberration, Extinction, and Genesis Part II offer unique options to expand your Ark experience.

Is Ragnarok or Valguero Better?

Deciding between Ragnarok and Valguero depends on your personal preferences and playstyle. Both maps offer a diverse range of biomes, unique creatures, and challenging gameplay. Ragnarok is more extensive, with a greater variety of biomes and exclusive creatures like the Griffin and Ice Wyvern. On the other hand, Valguero is home to the unique Aberration Trench, which offers players access to Aberration creatures and resources without needing the expansion.

In summary, if you prefer a larger map with a more extensive range of biomes and exclusive creatures, Ragnarok is the better choice. However, if you’re interested in experiencing a taste of the Aberration content and exploring a unique trench biome, Valguero might be the better option for you. Ultimately, the best way to determine which map suits you best is to try both and see which one resonates more with your personal preferences and playstyle.

As you can see, Ark: Survival Evolved offers a wide range of maps, each with its own unique features, creatures, and environments. Whether you’re a new player looking for a balanced experience in The Island or an experienced survivor seeking new challenges in maps like Aberration or Genesis Part II, there’s an Ark map for everyone. By exploring each map and uncovering their hidden secrets, you’ll be sure to find the perfect setting for your Ark adventures.

Samuel James is a passionate writer with a love for MMO and ARPG games. When he's not busy exploring virtual worlds, he enjoys taking his dog for long walks and writing detailed gaming guides for XPGoblin. He also loves watching sci-fi films, with a particular fondness for the works of Stanley Kubrick and Ridley Scott.
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