Since its launch in 2015, ARK: Survival Evolved has 'evolved' a lot. It has gone through several updates, each with new creatures, new maps, and stories. The fan base of the game has also expanded a lot as well.
Studio Wildcard themselves have introduced a few official maps, including The Island, Scorched Earth, Genesis, Crystal Isles, Extinction, and many more. The versatility of the game has inspired many fans to design their own ARK: Survival Evolved maps.
Several unofficial mod maps like Lost Island, Fjordur, and Valguero later got officially released as a DLCs due to their popularity. Many developers have come forward and gifted the ARK community with various texture packs, add-on creatures, and realism mods.
5 best ARK: Survival Evolved mod maps and the unique features they have to offer
1) Sunken World
After 2 years of hard work, the developers finally released Sunken World on July 30th of 2020, though this work-in-progress map is only 30%-40% complete. As the name suggests, Sunken World is a single themed ARK mod map where most parts of the world are underwater.
This DLC size map really embraces the sea creatures of ARK. Sunken World also includes tons of exclusive creatures. The biomes on this map include: Sunlight, Twilight, Midnight, and various other unique biomes.
Released on November 21, 2020, Glacius is another single-biome ARK: Survival Evolved map, where players can find themselves surrounded by snowy mountains and dangerous icy creatures.
Even the common dinos from ARK got a complete new blue-themed makeover in this mod map. Alongside the stunning visuals, this mod map really quenches the thirst of players who love challenges.
Here, keeping themselves warm is an even bigger challenge for the survivors than fighting the ferocious dinos. The weather system on this map introduces snowstorms, blizzards, or the dreadful super cold to make survival even more difficult. The map introduces a new creature, Step Bison. There is also an artifact cave with a mini-boss.
3) Tropical Island
Released on February 3, 2022, Tropical Island is a fun-to-play ARK Survival Evolved mod map. Unlike the challenging aspects of other mod maps, it provides a laid-back experience with beaches and lagoons with stunning views and a comforting environment.
But like most other ARK: Survival Evolved maps, Tropical Island also hides some secret under its giant Kapok trees. Originally, it was designed to be part of a larger map. Later, when the project was cancelled, the developers decided to release it as a standalone map that is equivalent to the size of The Island.
4) The Volcano
Launched on July 1, 2016, The Volcano is an old map. Due to its early release, this is one of the few complete mod maps. This multi-biome map has snow, grass, desert, and redwood swamp biomes. Of course, it has a giant volcano in the middle of the map, and the map is sized a little bit bigger than the map of The Island.
This map contains all the creatures until The Extinction. It offers all the explorer notes from The Island and Scorched Earth. This ARK mod map also has a different take on caves, including the unique Tek Cave.
Released on July 8, 2017, Olympus is an ARK: Survival Evolved map with an original story. This map is roughly 1.4 times the size of The Island. Boasting a rich lore of the Gods in the sci-fi world hiding its secrets and modern technologies, Olympus is a one-of-a-kind map.
This multi-biome mod map contains everything from Pine Forest and Desert Oasis, to Volcanic Island and Snowy Mountains. Currently, the game is only about 80% complete, with artifact caves and end-game boss arenas yet to be added. But the map is still totally playable.
Note: This article is subjective and solely reflects the writer's opinions.