Most Popular Maps in ARK: Survival Evolved


ARK: Survival Evolved adventures are full of wonder with flowing waterfronts, underground caverns of dread and mystery, and forests of life, all containing majestic creatures for all to discover. For such amazing quests, bringing unique worlds with new areas and dinos for you and your players to experience can greatly enhance the amazing times to be had!

You and your fellow ARK explorers can try new journeys through unique maps when you play on your ARK: Survival Evolved server from battling dangerous mega bosses, uncovering lore to learn the story of ARK, or just taking a step back to build with new structures found only in that world. To assist in your exploration, we’ll trek through what makes a popular map, the best maps to add to your server, and how you can get those added today!


When checking ARK: Survival Evolved worlds for the perfect map to play on, there are a few very important factors to consider for both you and your players.

  • Will the map be large enough to support my friends and other players?
  • Does the map contain content you and your players would enjoy playing?

While considering the content of that map, look into the story of that world, the creatures in it, and everything you can explore inside. When the answer is yes to both of those questions, you’ll know you have a great map you and your ARK friends can try together!

The best part is that if you don’t enjoy that map, it is very easy to switch to a different map on your ARK server panel to try something else. Now that you know what to look for, let’s delve into the most popular maps you can try together on your ARK:SE server!



The Island forest ARK: SE


The starting map for ARK: Survival Evolved included with the base game, The Island offers a bit of everything for all types of players! Beautiful deep oceans, massive volcanoes, and lush forests await. Take on cave exploration, uncover the story of ARK, gather artifacts and strong weapons, and take on the deadly boss found in this world.

oceans in The Island map on ARK


  • The Island is easily accessible to all ARK players right as they first start playing ARK: Survival Evolved. This means that anyone with ARK is able to play this map without any additional downloads.
  • A map with diverse biomes to traverse through, no matter how your players prefer to play there will always be the perfect area for them!
  • Dynamic weather and temperature changes ensure an adaptable experience as you and your friends venture across this island.
  • A huge ocean surrounds The Island, with drop-offs that provide very large areas to explore. Watch out for the Megalodon though!


Lost Island river in ARK


A free “non-canon” ARK: Survival Evolved DLC, the Lost Island map brings in many new creatures including the small and cute flying creature the Sinomacrop, as well as many diverse Wyverns that you can uncover in Wyvern Trenches! As well as trenches, throughout the map you’ll find different biomes to explore including a huge ruined city, scattered ships in the oceans, lava pools, and even a lake filled with only Black Pearls!

Sinomacrop in Lost Island DLC on ARK


  • This very first free DLC map released adds four unique creatures, Amargasaurus, Dinopithecus, Dinopithecus King, and the Sinomacrops that players find and tame in Lost Island.
  • Containing more Peninsulas than any other ARK map, Lost Island includes 6 in total!
  • Wyvern trenches are included throughout the map, with more nesting places than any other map including Scorched Earth, Ragnarok, or Crystal Isles.


  • Lost Island is considered visually as a replica of “Tamriel”, a map made famous in The Elder Scrolls game series.


Genesis II ship and DLC for ARK


Come aboard a massive colony ship, the Genesis, and travel through deep space as you discover a map of both beauty and corruption in the final DLC for ARK:SE, Genesis II! The Genesis ship features two rings of life on either side. One ring, a world of amazing life and flowing rivers. The other ring is one of corruption and horrifying creatures sure to bring both horror and delight as you play!

corruption in ARK Genesis II DLC


  • Experience adventure in the deepest parts of space, with extremely unique areas split between parts of a ship with asteroids orbiting between these areas.
  • Discover unique missions as you go through your quest, with rewards including special graded loot and useful Tek items!
  • Start in a special zone called the “Elden Zone”, an area designed with mountains, rivers, and all of the resources needed to begin and survive.
  • Jump into hyperspace, an event that occurs during the night where the ship will speed past millions of stars until it arrives at a new planet. This will also cause the asteroids to change around the ship.


Valguero mountains in ARK dlc


As one of the largest maps for ARK: Survival Evolved, Valguero is a “non-canon” free DLC world that focuses on bringing a brand new adventure while keeping that classic ARK gaming experience. There are areas to explore for every type of ARK player imaginable with a deep-water abyss, tall rocky cliffs, savannas, forests, jungles, and icy deserts! Those are just some of the many different places you’ll find in the beautiful world of Valguero.

underground in Valguero map DLC


  • Valguero is a massive 63km2 world, perfect for large communities where players can both explore and create a homestead anywhere on the map!
  • An abundance of different terrains and biomes provide an amazingly diverse world, including hidden dungeons and mysteries to be uncovered.
  • Dangerous bosses lie in wait within these dungeons and, while extremely dangerous, offer very exciting rewards to acquire!
  • A very gorgeous world with rainbows across the map, shooting stars in the sky, and the occasional auroras bringing beauty to all eyes.


Extinction obelisks and DLC map


A world full of deadly corruption on an unfamiliar destroyed Earth, the Extinction map takes place as the third “canon” paid DLC for ARK: SE. In this map, destruction surrounds an abandoned city known as the “Sanctuary” with remains of lost advanced technology previously used to build the ARKs. In the corners of the map surrounding the city, bordered Proto-ARKs including “Snow Dome”, “Sunken Forest”, and “Desert Dome” exist featuring dinosaur life and challenges reminiscent of previous ARK DLC maps including Aberration and The Island!

Extinction DLC map for ARK


  • Four “Proto-ARKs” exist on Extinction, smaller ARKs with a protected border, that offer unique areas with exclusive resources, new designs on previous creations, and hidden Obelisks that must be activated.
  • Corrupted creations and bosses will roam about this map! As you journey further into the story of the Extinction world and activate Obelisks in the Proto-ARKs you will find dangerous corrupted foes including “Titans”, which you can not only take on with your fellow ARK players but you will also be able to temporarily tame these creatures!
  • Orbital Support Drops and Element Nodes containing important supplies will appear throughout your adventure. When you discover these, you can fight waves of corrupted creatures with the goal of surviving and collecting the resources within these drops!
  • Not only will you be able to tame the living creatures of this world, but you will also be able to tame some of these new mechanical creatures including the Enforcer and Scout. Since these are technology-based creatures, you will also be able to build these creatures for your ARK tribe through parts from destroyed creatures and blueprints gathered from Supply Drops.


Changing the map on your ARK: Survival Evolved server can be performed quickly right from your Nitrado custom control panel. We will guide you through adjusting the map for your ARK server!

  1. On your ARK server panel, to the left below “SETTINGS” press on the “General” setting.
    General ARK map settings
  2. While in your General settings, under “Base settings” locate the “Mapname” option.
  3. Use the dropdown for this option to set the map for your server!
    Changing your ARK server map
  4. Once you have selected the map you’ll be playing with your friends, click “Save changes” to set that map for your server.
    Saving your ARK: Survival Evolved server map
  5. Lastly, restart your server to ensure that the ARK server map is loaded!


The beauty and exciting adventures offered when playing on a new ARK: Survival Evolved map ensure that you and your players will have many hours of fun ahead! With so many different maps to uncover, after a quick map change your ARK: SE players can enjoy jumping into unlimited possibilities. Try one of the popular maps listed above, or try many of the other ARK DLC and custom maps, together with your friends on your ARK: Survival Evolved server!

May 6, 10:00 am
Kevin Lott
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