ARK: Survival Evolved for Nintendo Switch

A new and returning player guide

ARK: Survival Evolved will receive a patch on November 1st at 10:00am EDT for Nintendo Switch, which allows players to experience a much improved version of the game completely rebuilt in the latest version of Unreal Engine. Players will immediately notice improved visuals, improved performance, and a reduced install size. Before the patch releases, there’s some information we’d like to share with you;

Development of the Switch title has been taken over by Grove Street Games. We’ve been working on this improved version of ARK: Survival Evolved all year long and are excited for players to get their hands on it. We’ll be supporting this game with content updates and necessary fixes for a long time to come. If you need help with anything, then please visit where you can access our Knowledge Base and fill out a Support Ticket for assistance with a specific issue.

Save Data - We have gone to great effort to ensure that all save data carries forward to the new, patched version of the game. As a precautionary step, we recommend that you do the following before downloading the patch:

  • Remove items from Hot Bar slots 9 & 10

  • Do not have any in-progress tames or crafting recipes

Players will keep all of their items, tames and structures. Players may experience the following issues due to the change in save data files:

  • Foliage may re-appear inside your base

  • You may lose any custom Options settings

  • Any structures left ‘on’ will automatically be turned ‘off’

  • Fog of War will be reset on your in-game map

  • Your Level Up & Engram Points may need to be reapplied

  • You may need to re-discover any previously unlocked Explorer Notes

Servers - Prior to launch, we are adjusting the maximum player count of all Official Servers to 40. This is to ensure a smooth multiplayer experience for all players at launch. We will be paying close attention to server performance and will consider raising the player cap post-launch.

On Monday, October 31st at 5:00am EDT our Official Servers will be brought offline to begin the process of migrating them to the upgraded engine. We expect to bring them all back online to coincide with the launch of our big update on Tuesday, November 1st at 10:00am EDT. If there is a delay, announcements will come from @PlayARKSwitch on Twitter. These servers will not be wiped and time will not advance while they are down. They will start from their most recent save when they are brought back up. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this transition to a fully rebuilt game for our players.

Unofficial Servers will be available for rent from Nitrado at the game’s launch. 

The Host/Local Menu has been renamed to Single Player, where we have refined the menus to provide a more streamlined experience to starting a Single Player game. While Single Player is fully present, please note that Local Play and Non-Dedicated Sessions are removed from the game at launch. They need a little more time in development to work out some issues, and we intend to bring them back in a post-release patch.


When does the patch release?

Unfortunately the environmental situation in the Pacific Northwest has delayed our planned October 25th release date. The patch will release for all players on November 1st at 10:00am EDT. Players should expect an approximate 6.5GB download. After downloading the patch, the install size on your Switch for ARK: Survival Evolved will shrink from approximately 11.7GB down to 6.5GB.

How much space do I need for maps?

Each map will require approximately 1 - 2GB of storage space. Please consult the eShop store listing for final file sizes before download. All maps (besides The Island) are optional downloads.

When do the maps release?

Scorched Earth is available on November 1st in North America as part of ARK: Ultimate Survivor Edition. For those who already own ARK: Survival Evolved, you can obtain Scorched Earth by purchasing the Season Pass (which also grants access to Aberration & Extinction upon release) or the Ultimate Survivor Upgrade (which grants access to all expansion maps upon release). All of the aforementioned items will be available for European players on November 8th and Australian players on November 9th.

When will the remaining expansion maps release?

We plan on releasing Aberration in December 2022, followed by Extinction in Q1 2023 and then Genesis Parts 1 & 2 in Q2 2023. 

What is ARK: Dinosaur Discovery?

ARK: Dinosaur Discovery is a low-pressure, kid-friendly, dino-fact-filled adventure for players of all ages. Anyone who owns ARK: Survival Evolved, regardless of when you purchased the game, can download ARK: Dinosaur Discovery for free upon its release in the eShop on November 9th. It will be available for purchase to anyone who does not own ARK: Survival Evolved.

Where can I find other Switch players to talk to?

On our Discord server, of course! Join our growing community here: