How to improve FPS in Ark: Survival Evolved

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ARK: Survival Evolved, even though it’s still in the Early Access phase, has a formidable player base and such, its developers are using player feedback to polish the game before release. Preliminary reviews are positive but time will tell if the game indeed meets gamer standards.

Even in beta, the graphics look great but that that comes at a¬†cost: ARK is a quite demanding game. For that reason, a playable FPS is not easy to achieve, especially¬†on older PCs with underwhelming GPU and CPU capabilities. For that reason, we’ll bring you a few workarounds to improve your FPS up to 50%.

Improve FPS and reduce lag in Ark: Survival Evolved

Insert various launch commands

There are a large variety of launch commands that can prove useful in optimizing overall gameplay and improving FPS. They are all safe to use but can cause crashes or lags. We advise you to try them out since it is easy to get rid of them in the case of malfunction. This is the way you can insert those commands:

  1. Open Steam client.
  2. Open library and choose Ark.
  3. Right-click and open Properties.
  4. In the General tab, select Set Launch Options.
  5. In the command line type following lines with spacing:
  • -useallavailablecores – Makes your PC use all available CPU cores.
  • -high¬†-Sets game as a high priority process.
  • -sm4 – Runs DX10 shader model.
  • -d3d10¬†– Runs DX10 mode.
  • -nomansky – Lowers in-game sky quality.
  • -lowmemory¬†– Optimizes the game for 4GB RAM

6. Save your selection and run the game.

In case of any issues, you can retrieve your original setup by going to Set Launch Options and delete all commands.

Change GameUserSettings.ini file

Additionally, you’ll probably want to change some settings. You can change the majority in the game settings menu but we offer you a whole settings list of edited values. You can change GameUserSettings.ini file this way:

  1. Go to the Steam client.
  2.  Open Library and right-click Ark: Survival Evolved.
  3. In the Local Files tab open Browse Local Files.
  4. Open Shooter game folder.
  5. Click Saved, then Config and finally open WindowsNoEditor.
  6. Find GameUserSettings.ini file.
  7. Open with Notepad and delete all.
  8. Copy and paste these values:

[/script/shootergame.shootergameusersettings]
MasterAudioVolume=0.317460
MusicAudioVolume=0.412698
SFXAudioVolume=0.519841
CameraShakeScale=0.000000
bFirstPersonRiding=True
bThirdPersonPlayer=False
bShowStatusNotificationMessages=True
TrueSkyQuality=0.000000
FOVMultiplier=1.250000
GroundClutterDensity=0.000000
bFilmGrain=False
bMotionBlur=False
bUseDFAO=False
bUseSSAO=True
bShowChatBox=False
bCameraViewBob=False
bInvertLookY=False
bFloatingNames=True
bChatBubbles=False
bJoinNotifications=True
bCraftablesShowAllItems=True
LookLeftRightSensitivity=1.000000
LookUpDownSensitivity=1.000000
GraphicsQuality=4
ActiveLingeringWorldTiles=12
bUseVSync=False
ResolutionSizeX=1920
ResolutionSizeY=1080
LastUserConfirmedResolutionSizeX=1920
LastUserConfirmedResolutionSizeY=1080
WindowPosX=-1
WindowPosY=-1
bUseDesktopResolutionForFullscreen=False
FullscreenMode=1
LastConfirmedFullscreenMode=1
Version=5
bHideServerInfo=False
LastServerSearchType=2
LastServerSearchHideFull=False
LastServerSearchProtected=False
HideItemTextOverlay=True
bDistanceFieldShadowing=True
LODScalar=1.000000
HighQualityMaterials=False
HighQualitySurfaces=False
bTemperatureF=False
bDisableTorporEffect=True
VoiceAudioVolume=1.277778
bLocalInventoryShowAllItems=False
bRemoteInventoryShowAllItems=False
ClientNetQuality=3
bToggleToTalk=False
bChatShowSteamName=True
bChatShowTribeName=True
EmoteKeyBind1=0
EmoteKeyBind2=0
bNoBloodEffects=False
bLowQualityVFX=True
MacroCtrl0=
MacroCtrl1=
MacroCtrl2=
MacroCtrl3=
MacroCtrl4=
MacroCtrl5=
MacroCtrl6=
MacroCtrl7=
MacroCtrl8=
MacroCtrl9=
bSpectatorManualFloatingNames=False

[ScalabilityGroups]
sg.ResolutionQuality=100
sg.ViewDistanceQuality=3
sg.AntiAliasingQuality=0
sg.ShadowQuality=2
sg.PostProcessQuality=0
sg.TextureQuality=2
sg.EffectsQuality=0
sg.TrueSkyQuality=0
sg.GroundClutterQuality=0
sg.IBLQuality=0
sg.HeightFieldShadowQuality=2

[SessionSettings]
SessionName=ARK #563569[/script/engine.gamesession]
MaxPlayers=70

[AdminPassword]
Password=
ServerPassword=

9. Save and close.

Change the Engine.ini file

The procedure is similar, if not the same, with the Engine.ini file. The path is the same since the Engine.ini file resides in WindowsNoEditor. Open the file with Notepad and delete all. Move on, copy these values and paste them to the ”ini” file:

[/script/engine.renderersettings]
r.DefaultFeature.Bloom=False
r.DefaultFeature.AutoExposure=False
r.DefaultFeature.MotionBlur=False
r.DefaultFeature.LensFlare=False
r.EarlyZPass=0
r.SSAOSmartBlur=0
r.HZBOcclusion=0
r.AmbientOcclusionLevels=0
r.BloomQuality=0
r.DepthOfFieldQuality=0
r.SSR.Quality=0
r.SSS.Scale=0
r.SSS.SampleSet=0
r.DetailMode=0
r.LensFlareQuality=0
r.MaxAnisotropy=0
r.oneframethreadlag=1
r.LightShaftQuality=0
r.RefractionQuality=0
r.ExposureOffset=0.3
r.ReflectionEnvironment=0
r.Atmosphere=0
r.Shadow.MaxResolution=2
r.SimpleDynamicLighting=0
r.UpsampleQuality=0
r.ViewDistanceScale=0.4
r.TrueSkyQuality=0[/script/shootergame.shooterengine]
bFirstRun=False
FrameRateCap=200
FrameRateMinimum=200

[Core.System]
Paths=../../../Engine/Content
Paths=../../../ShooterGame/Content
Paths=../../../Engine/Plugins/Experimental/CharacterAI/Content
Paths=../../../Engine/Plugins/TrueSkyPlugin/Content

[SystemSettings]
TEXTUREGROUP_World=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=2,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_WorldNormalMap=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=2,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_WorldSpecular=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=2,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_Character=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=4,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_CharacterNormalMap=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=4,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_CharacterSpecular=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=4,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_Weapon=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=64,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_WeaponNormalMap=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=64,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_WeaponSpecular=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=64,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_Vehicle=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=256,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_VehicleNormalMap=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=256,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_VehicleSpecular=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=256,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_Cinematic=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=128,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_Effects=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=128,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=linear,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_EffectsNotFiltered=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=128,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_Skybox=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=256,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_UI=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=256,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_Lightmap=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=8,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_Shadowmap=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=2,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point,NumStreamedMips=3)
TEXTUREGROUP_RenderTarget=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=128,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_MobileFlattened=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=2,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_Terrain_Heightmap=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=2,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)
TEXTUREGROUP_Terrain_Weightmap=(MinLODSize=1,MaxLODSize=2,LODBias=0,MinMagFilter=aniso,MipFilter=point)

[Oculus.Settings]
bChromaAbCorrectionEnabled=True
bYawDriftCorrectionEnabled=True
bDevSettingsEnabled=False
bOverrideIPD=False
bOverrideStereo=False
bOverrideVSync=True
VSync=False
bOverrideScreenPercentage=False
bAllowFinishCurrentFrame=True
bLowPersistenceMode=True
bUpdateOnRT=False
FarClippingPlane=0.000000
NearClippingPlane=0.000000

[WindowsApplication.Accessibility]
StickyKeysHotkey=False
ToggleKeysHotkey=False
FilterKeysHotkey=False
StickyKeysConfirmation=False
ToggleKeysConfirmation=False
FilterKeysConfirmation=False

Save document and close.

How to restore default settings in case of issues

If these changes make your FPS worse or cause crashes or bugs, you can restore original files with ease. Follow this path in order to retrieve original settings:

  1. Go to already mentioned WindowsNoEditor folder and delete it.
  2. Open Steam client and open Library.
  3. Right-click Ark and open Properties.
  4. In Local files tab click Verify integrity of game cache.
  5. The client will redownload stock folder.

Keep in mind these are just workarounds. We have to wait for the full version of the game for full optimization. Additionally, it is advisable to upgrade your hardware in order to play.

If you are keen to share other tips, please tell us in the comments section.

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