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How to Level Up Fast in Ark: Survival Evolved

Level up quickly in Ark and become the alpha tribe in no time.

Ark: Survival Evolved is a difficult survival game that can take some time to level up in, especially for new players still learning how to play the game. Thankfully there are a few tips and tricks to help you level up fast in Ark and spend more time on building, PVP or PVE.

Whether you’re a new survivor washed ashore on the mysterious island of ARK: Survival Evolved or a seasoned player looking for fresh strategies, leveling up quickly is crucial, especially for PVP players needing to defend themselves quickly.

This guide assumes you are starting from level one, but if you are not, skip ahead to the parts that are relevant to your level. It’s also worth noting that the speed at which you level up will depend on the server you are playing on and their set rates.

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One way to ensure you level up faster in Ark is to rent your own server and adjust the settings, or find another server with higher rates. But if you’re set on continuing with the server you are on, read on to level up quicker.

1. Make Tools (Level 1-3)

This should be obvious, but to progress further, you will need to make sure you have a few stone pickaxes and Hatchets to gather resources with.

Make a few more than you actually need, not only will this give you some quick low-level XP, but it will also come in handy, as they’re bound to break quickly while trying to power level.

2. Craft Thatch Foundations (level 4-11)

At this point, you should have some stone hatchets and picks, make sure to gather as much fiber, wood, and thatch as you can with these tools, and keep stacking foundations in your build queue.

When you start getting close to your weight limit, just throw them on the ground, don’t worry about them, you don’t need a building to level up with this method.

At this point you want to start adding some of your points towards your weight, having the extra weight will help you with the next steps, without getting black-boxed as quickly.

3. Craft Wooden Foundations (level 11-16)

Wooden foundations require a lot of wood but stacking up tons of them won’t take as long as you would think. By this point you should have some decent weight stats, so you should be able to carry more wood, allowing you to build more foundations quickly.

It might seem boring, but this is a quick way to level up in Ark, so just stick with it and keep whipping up foundations until you hit level 16.

During these levels, put some melee damage and more weight into your stats, per level up, this will help you with the next stages.

4. Build Wooden Rafts (level 16-20)

Make a spear and head on over to the nearest easy beach, if you are nowhere near one, give a T-rex a little cuddle and respawn at the easiest beach on whichever map you are on.

Find some Dodos or Parasaurs and kill as many as you can for hide. Then get back to farming wood, thatch, and fiber. You’re going to need to keep building rafts until you hit level 20, but don’t worry, while they can take some time to build, rafts give massive amounts of XP, making them the quickest way to level up around this time in the game.

Don’t throw the rafts away, place them on the water, then demolish them for a part refund on your resources, this will make crafting the next one quicker.

5. Build a 2×2 Base & Make Forges (level 20-24)

Now that you have reached level 20, you can start to look at getting metal tools, the first thing you are going to need to do is to create a couple of forges, so it’s back to killing for hide again.

Once your forges are created, start looking for smooth gray-looking rocks around rivers, hitting these with the stone hatchet has a chance of giving you metal, keep going till you have 10 metal.

Now that you have 10 metal, which will then smelt down to 5 ingots, you can create a smithy, build the smithy, and get back out for more metal to make yourself metal tools.

Having metal tools is going to make farming much easier, you should be ready to move on to the next step, which will make leveling up in Ark so much quicker from here.

6. Build More Rafts & Find Explorer Notes (level 24-50)

Considering you unlock them at level 16, you might think I’m mad for suggesting this, but it works, just keep spamming as many rafts as you can until you get to level 60.

If you want to take a break from building rafts, then create a crossbow and some tranq arrows and take down a Pteranodon, you can use this to get to some explorer notes… And build more rafts but with bonus XP.

When you get to the explorer note, make sure you get off the Ptera, or you won’t end up getting the bonus XP yourself.

At this point, you will want to find a permanent base location. You’ll also need to set up some base defenses if playing on a PVP server, as well as making sure you’ve got mortar and pestles, fabricator, and other production buildings up and running.

7. Tame, Kill & Horde (level 50-64)

Once you’ve hit around 50, you’ve started to unlock a few saddles for some more aggressive dinosaurs, get yourself a Carno, or something that can hold its own in a fight, and as your new dino levels up, killing and getting more XP for you and your new tame will only become easier.

With your Carno, start collecting explorer notes & killing as many dinosaurs as you can, if you can aim for dinos that give you chitin or Keratin then you can use that to make cementing paste, which is needed for the next part of the guide.

It might sound like fun, but eventually stomping around killing anything with a pulse might get boring, that’s fine, use some time to do a couple of metal runs, and try and get some crystal stocked up too.

Person in armor standing next to a large, dinosaur-like creature with sharp teeth on a sandy beach with tropical plants and rocks.

8. Get a Grinder (level 64-100)

By this point you should have a small base set up somewhere secure, you’re going to want to build a grinder next to get some very easy and quick levels.

Grinders are ridiculously expensive so you might want to see if you have an ally that could help you with some of the resources, if not, focus on grinding, it’s worth the time for a grinder.

Grinder Construction Costs

  • 800 Cementing Paste
  • 2,000 Crystal
  • 3,200 Metal Ingots
  • 600 Oil
  • 600 Polymer

Once you have a grinder, not only is it great to help you level up quickly in Ark, but it can also help nearby tribe mates level up quicker too.

9. Change Server Settings

If you’re playing on a private server or single-player mode, you can adjust the XP multiplier settings. While it might seem like a cheat, it’s a valid option for those wanting to explore the game without the grind.

If you’re playing on someone else’s server, or an official server but you want to level even faster, you might want to consider setting up your own Ark: Survival Evolved server.

Ark Extra XP Methods

There are some other things you can do to get XP that didn’t make it into our Ark Level up quickly guide, the guide above looks at easy, no danger, straightforward ways to level up, but the other ways might come with some danger.

Building rafts can be incredibly boring, so having another way to level up quicker and get some fast XP is good, but having ways that are fun, is even better!

Killing Alpha Raptors And Rexes

Killing Alpha dinosaurs is a great way of gaining some extra XP and leveling up quickly in Ark. Bear in mind, they are difficult to take out if you still leveling and haven’t got yourself fully established on the map.

A feathered dinosaur standing on a dense forest floor with dappled sunlight filtering through the trees.

If you have tribe mates and some decent dinosaurs, then go for some alpha T-rexes. You shouldn’t have too much trouble taking them out but go for Alpha Raptors if you’re not as well-equipped.

As well as taking on alpha’s, you could try to defeat one of the Ark bosses, not only will this give you new engrams, but it will also reward you with a lot of XP.

Have Your Tribe Mates Craft Rafts

When things get too hard, or too boring, don’t give up, get someone else to do it for you. If you can get your tribemates to build rafts, you will get the shared XP. So with you and your tribemates building rafts, you should level up in no time.

Another way to push this even further is to have you and your tribe building rafts, while someone is pumping a grinder full of resources. Combining all this will be costly, but nothing else will constantly keep your XP going up like this in Ark.

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