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ARK 2 gameplay, story, trailers, and everything we know

Details of ARK 2's expected release date, platforms, and more

When will ARK 2 release on PC? ARK 2, the sequel to hit survival game ARK: Survival Evolved is officially on its way, and this time around it's inviting some pretty big names to play around in its open world, where dinosaurs roam free and humans eke out a way of life however they can. A tie-in animated series will feature a mind-bogglingly stellar cast, with Vin Diesel's character carrying over into the game itself.

We're here with answers to all your most burning questions about ARK 2. Right now we know fans are mostly concerned with when they'll be able to play the game and on what platforms, so below we've put together everything we know on the subject, as well taking another look at the cinematic trailers we've seen so far.

ARK 2 expected release date

ARK 2 is currently expected sometime in 2023. Admittedly that's so vague as to be almost no answer at all, but right now it's the best we have.

ARK 2 was originally slated for a 2022 release date when it was first announced back in 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed production such that it was pushed back a year. That's maybe not too surprising, and it leaves us feeling quietly hopeful that that new 2023 release target isn't too unrealistic.

ARK 2 platforms

ARK 2 will be arriving on PC and Xbox Series X|S in Early Access to start with, as a Microsoft launch exclusive. There's already a Steam page live for the game (pre-orders aren't open yet, but you can wishlist it).

Given that the original ARK: Survival Evolved is also available on the Epic Games Store, there's reason to believe that the sequel might also end up on PC storefronts other than Steam, although we don't yet have confirmation of that.

The game has been described as a "console launch exclusive" for the Xbox Series X, wording which suggests that a PS5 release later on might not be out of the question. Given that its predecessor was a hit on PS4, it would be surprising to see that money left on the table once the exclusivity deal with Microsoft ends; but at this point there's been no official word on ARK 2 coming to other platforms.

Like a lot of other flagship titles in 2023, there don't seem to be any plans to bring ARK 2 to last-gen consoles like Xbox One or PS4.

Is ARK 2 on Game Pass?

ARK 2 will also be coming to Game Pass on its launch day, as is increasingly often the case with Microsoft-exclusive titles. The game is slated to remain on the service for at least three years; and, while this probably shouldn't be taken as an indication that the exclusivity deal lasts that long, it does give Game Pass subscribers plenty of time to get stuck in.

ARK 2 trailer

Here's the most recent ARK 2 trailer, which premiered in June 2022 at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase:

Though it's a bit older, you might also enjoy the cinematic reveal trailer from The Game Awards 2020, when we first got to see Vin Diesel in action in his role as Santiago:

According to ARK 2 developers Studio Wildcard, these trailers were made in-engine. This bodes well for the production values of the final product, although might leave some players struggling with system requirements (which are currently listed as "TBC" on Steam).

ARK 2 gameplay

Given the succcess of the first game, it should come as no surprise that ARK 2 intends to stay true to its roots as an open-world, multiplayer survival title. However, various refinements are on the way. The action in ARK 2 will be third-person only, so you'll be able to watch your character undertake a variety of traversal activities, from basics like mantling and sliding to more advanced free-climbing, parkour, and swinging, which sounds exciting.

Combat in the game is being described as "souls-like", which is always a brave claim. The emphasis will be on player skill in melee encounters, and you'll have to learn to dodge and block as well as making use of your character's special attacks.

Item-crafting has also been given added depth for this follow-up, with a wealth of component combinations allowing for the creation of unique gear. Utilising different modules and materials in crafting will have both a functional and cosmetic impact on the finished article.

ARK 2 story

ARK 2 promises an "epic story", and although details are sparse right now, the broad premise is intriguing. Vin Diesel will be portraying Santiago, a lore character familiar to seasoned ARK players, although there's reason to believe that this version of Santiago might be a little divergent from the original. He'll be a major player in ARK 2's "epoch-spanning" narrative along with his daughter Meeka (voiced by Moana's Auli'i Cravalho). Yes, it's another dad-and-kid adventure epic with a big-name cast — rejoice, God Of War fans, I think I've found your next favourite game.

That's everything we know right now about ARK 2's planned release, but there are so many more games due out in 2023. If you're eager for news of more big titles, be sure to check out our pages detailing everything we know about Starfield, and everything we know about Hollow Knight: Silksong.

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Rebecca Jones avatar

Rebecca Jones

Guides Writer

Rebecca is ⅓ of RPS' guides team, ⅓ of the Indiescovery Podcast crew, and currently looking for something else to take a 33% share in so she can call herself a fully rounded games journalist.

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