Here’s burning question from the Ark community – is Ark Cross Platform? Being a popular open-world MMO even in 2021, Ark: Survival Evolved is ideally suited for cross-play to bring together players from different platforms.
If you are looking to enjoy the game’s action-adventure fun with your friends on other platforms — PC, Xbox One, PlayStation, mobile — you would also want to know the answer to this million-dollar question.
Is Ark Cross Platform?
We have good news and bad news. Like any good storyteller, we will begin with the good one first. Here it is:
We have the answer for you right here. One neat sentence; no bells, no whistles. Here it is —
We agree that the answer looks like an anti-climax. The truth is the issue is complex. A lot of factors weigh in when deciding if you can cross play with your friend.
And that is why we have created this incredibly detailed post for you. So here is everything on how to play Ark cross platform.
What makes Ark: Survival Evolved ideal for cross platform play?
Ark: Survival Evolved is an action-adventure MMO in an open-world setting that asks you to stay alive on a mysterious island inhabited by a bunch of exotic creatures. The game’s developers, Studio Wildcard, drew their inspiration for some of these from real, extinct animals such as dinosaurs, while imagination was the force behind others like the next-gen robots.
The game mechanics are exciting and fun – expect to hunt, jump and tame and ride the many colorful creatures. You even get to build a portable house-base on their backs in order to survive in this fantastic game world.
Its nature as an exploration-adventure survival game with a massive user base makes Ark: Survival Evolved perfect for cross-play. There are no unfair advantage issues that make shooting games a little unsuitable to playing cross platform. On the contrary, the MMO characteristic means as the number of users grows, the game also grows. The more, the merrier.
Crossing the Chasm –
One last detour before we get to the meat. There are a few similar terms related to cross platform play. You need to know the subtle differences between them to understand the Ark cross-play issue fully. Once you finish this part, you will be learning everything about playing Ark: Survival Evolved cross-platform, or across different platforms.
Cross-Play means you can play a game with your friends no matter which hardware platform they use. Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo – a game with true cross-play lets players on any device come together in the spirit of shared community. Besides growing the game’s user base fast, such a capability makes for fantastic fun.
Cross save support for a game lets you save your in-game progress on one platform, and pick up where you left off on other devices. For instance, if you have passed level 15 on Xbox One in a game, you can resume from level 16 when you next play on an Android device, but only if cross save is supported.
Another industry term for this ability is cross progression.
Finally, we have the term ‘cross generation‘ – it means you can play the game multi-player on different versions of the same device. For instance, a game with cross generation support will let two friends, one on PlayStation 4 and the other on PS 5, face off in multi-player mode.
With all the crosses out of our way, let’s get straight to ticking the right boxes about playing Ark: Survival Evolved cross platform.
PlayStation with Other Devices:
- Arc is Cross Generation on PlayStation
- Outside the PS ecosystem, you can’t cross play Ark with other devices like Xbox One, PC, or Nintendo Switch.
You can play the game in multi-player mode with your friend if both are on a PlayStation device – you may be on PS4, while he may be on PS5. As long as players are on the PlayStation platform, they can game together. But if someone uses Xbox One or Nintendo Switch, they are out.
However, Wildcard Studio has not released any version of Ark: Survival Evolved for the PlayStation 5. Players still use PS5 by running the PS4 version of the game, albeit with a slight performance and reliability hit.
Wildcard Studio has earned its claim to fame in the gaming world purely based on Ark (the founders had some bad press with the studio they worked for earlier). Along with their many operating subsidiaries, they are going the full distance to make Ark even better. Let’s hope we soon get a PlayStation 5 version of the game to achieve full cross generation support on these devices.
Xbox with Other Hardware:
- Yes and No – Cross-Play on Xbox with Windows PC only.
- You need to download the game from the official Microsoft Store to play between Xbox and Windows PC.
You have multi-player cross platform support between Xbox One and Windows PC. However, no other platforms are included. If you are on Sony PlayStation or Nintendo Switch, you cannot play with your friend on Xbox One.
In addition, you have to download your version of Ark from the Microsoft Store only to enjoy this ability. If you use Steam or any other storefront, you can’t enjoy playing Ark cross platform between Windows PC and Xbox One.
Microsoft and Steam have different servers, and they do not support each other. Xbox One, however, runs on the same Microsoft servers; hence you can enjoy cross platform Ark on it with a PC.
- Yes, Ark: Survival Evolved is only cross platform play on mobile devices
- Players on both the Android and iOS platforms can face off
- You cannot match up with players on PCs or consoles
The mobile platform is the only place where Ark achieves true and complete cross platform ability. Both Android and Apple iPhone players can game together. However, all other platforms are strictly out of bounds. For example, you cannot play with your friend on Xbox One or Nintendo Switch from your phone.
- Nintendo Switch is the worst-case scenario.
- No cross-play
- Cross generation support is also absent.
If mobiles were the best bet, Nintendo Switch presents you with the weakest odds. You cannot game with players on Xbox One, Windows PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation, Android, or iOS if you are on Nintendo Switch.
Even worse, you cannot cross platform play between different generation Nintendo Switch devices either. Once you get on Switch, you are pretty much restricted to your friends who also own the same model as your console to game with.
- Steam players can cross play on all versions – Linux, Microsoft Windows PC, or Mac.
- You cannot enjoy multi-player with those on consoles like Xbox One, PlayStation, or Nintendo Switch, or with mobile players.
- For Steam, players have to download the game from the same store – Epic Games Store purchases won’t cross play with downloads from the Microsoft Store.
Those on Steam can all play together – whether they use a Mac, PC, or a Linux system. But other form factors are all excluded – no consoles and no mobiles are supported for cross play.
How does it all tie together – Can you enjoy Ark: Survival Evolved cross platform play?
Taken together, sadly, you can’t. The two key takeaways are:
- Mostly, Ark cross play is restricted to devices in the same ecosystem.
Those on the Sony platform can match up – it doesn’t matter if they use the PlayStation 4 or 5. But they can’t play with Nintendo Switch or Xbox One players.
Similarly, those in the Microsoft ecosystem can game together – Xbox One players with Windows PC users. But there is nothing much beyond that in terms of cross play.
- Gamers on different ecosystems can mostly play together, but only if they are on devices with the Same Form Factor.
Mobiles users can all game together – but no consoles or PCs can be involved.
Similarly, those on PC can match up if they are on Steam (only upon buying the game from the same store) – but again, these players can’t play with mobile or console gamers.
The Road Ahead – Hope for Cross Platform Ark?
Is Ark cross platform play coming any time soon? Cross play is a trend that is growing in popularity and makes business sense. With social computing and social gaming being the next frontiers in tech, no studio can withhold support for seamless online multi-player cross play for long.
Ark is a top-rated survival game. Riding on its massive success, it is in the process of being converted into an animated series with a brilliant star cast that includes Hollywood bigwigs like Russell Crowe and Gerard Butler.
Hence, we believe it is only a matter of time before Studio Wildcard includes expanded cross play support for Ark. The official website also mentions that they plan to soon release a new version, Ark 2 (its exciting teaser is a must-watch, with Vin Diesel battling dinosaurs in the avatar of a caveman). Perhaps, we will see more cross play in the new version. We really hope we do.
Q. Can Ark console players play with PC?
Only those console players who are on Xbox One can play with Microsoft Windows PC gamers. Other consoles like PlayStation or Nintendo Switch can’t cross play with PC.
Q. Can I play Ark with PS4 players on PC?
No, you can’t play with Ark: Survival Evolved with PS4 gamers if you’re on a PC.
Q. Is Ark Crossplay between Steam and Xbox possible?
No. Steam Players can only play Ark with those on Windows PC, Mac, or Linux.
Q. Is Ark: Survival cross platform between Xbox and PC?
Yes, Xbox players can play Ark: Survival with those on PC. However, this is possible only they download the game from the Microsoft Store. Steam versions won’t work.
Q. How to play Ark cross platform?
You can play Ark between Xbox One and Windows PC. Alternately, Steam players can cross play, irrespective of their OS – Windows, Linux, and Mac users can game together. Finally, mobile users can cross play between Android and iOS.