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Ark: Survival Evolved Accessibility Report

We've documented 22 accessibility features for Ark: Survival Evolved in the Difficulty, Getting Started, Reading, Navigation, Controls, Visual, Audio and Communication areas to aid enjoyment of the game for different players. This report is created with input from accessibility experts and the player community to help people find games that have the accessibility features they require. Once you have found potential games on the database, there are excellent specialist accessibility sites that offer in-depth reviews to guide your purchasing decisions.

This game offers hunting-and-harvesting gameplay in a primal setting. Although not as polished or streamlined as a game like Horizon Zero Dawn, this is a more ambitiously open world where you can choose your own way to survive. With crafting and building, like Minecraft but with realistic visuals, this is a game where you step into your own monster movie.

NotesAccessibility Notes

Instead of traditional difficulty levels, in the game you choose the difficulty by assigning it a number between 0.5 and 4 to fine-tune the challenge. The higher the difficulty, the higher level the wild animals will be, and will subsequently be harder to defeat. Additionally, the amount of loot you get in loot drops is decreased. For some of the fights, especially in higher difficulties, you'll need to be able to react fast to attacks and quickly launch a counterattack.

All of the in-game information is displayed as text, which is crucial to the understanding and setting up of the game. Most of it is quite small and cannot be adjusted. Additionally, it is overlaid over the gameplay, meaning on occasion it can be difficult to distinguish from the scenery. The same goes for the information displayed over interactive objects regarding how to use, pick up and its use.

You can use the map item to view the lay of the land, and also, if you enable it in the settings, to view your location. It can, however, be difficult to interpret the map, due to its style, which only clearly shows coastlines, rivers and hilly areas.

The game's visuals are generally bright during the day, with most of the game elements contrasting well. However, some animals can blend in with tree trunks or other parts of the environment. Furthermore, during nighttime, the game becomes very dark, meaning if you don't have a source of light it becomes very difficult to play. Some of the essential parts in the game, such as supply drops, rely heavily on colours that can be hard to distinguish for colourblind people and cannot be adjusted.

While you can remap buttons on the PC version, on consoles this is not an option.

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 08/08/2017, updated in 2018

Price: 33% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting, Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: Survivetheark (@Survivetheark)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 8 players online

Costs: Purchase cost. Season pass and in-game purchases

 

DifficultyDifficulty

We've documented 3 accessibility features for Difficulty in Ark: Survival Evolved which deal with how you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.

Difficulty Options

Select Difficulty: Select the level of difficulty from a range of presets. This not only offers a way to adjust the challenge of a game but enables you to do so without dealing with individual criteria.

Customise Difficulty: Customise different aspects of the game to create a challenge of an appropriate level. Adjusting elements individually enables you to tailor gameplay to suit your needs and style of play.

Adjust After Setting

Adjustable Anytime: You can adjust the difficulty while playing, without having to restart the level you are on. This enables you to quickly adjust the game to suit your needs and see the difference immediately.

Getting StartedGetting Started

We've documented 4 accessibility features for Getting Started in Ark: Survival Evolved which deal with what support is offered to get started with the game. This includes customising the experience when you first open the game via any onboarding processes it provides as well as tutorials and other assistance when you first start playing.

Assistance Getting Starting

These features aid your play of the game in terms of cognitive load on learning controls, dealing with pressure and coping with the environment and challenges.

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials and instructions on how to play. Information is provided in a timely manner, with appropriate level of detail.

View Control Mapping: You can view a map of controls during play. This clearly displays the mappings of actions to buttons/keys/mouse/keyboard without having to leave the game.

Low Pressure: Game tasks aren't time-limited or there's a low-pressure mode. This avoids the pressure of being put on the clock for overarching missions, or failing tasks because you didn't reach a destination in time.

Assistance For Progressing

These features aid your progress through the game offering different ways of maintaining your progression.

Save Progress Anytime: The game automatically saves progress or you can save any time. This doesn’t mean you never lose progress, but it does mean you can stop whenever you want (without having to get to a save point) without losing progress.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Getting Started

If you want to play Ark: Survival Evolved, but it doesn't offer the Getting Started accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Getting Started accessibility:

ReadingReading

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Reading in Ark: Survival Evolved which deal with how much reading or listening comprehension is required, how well the game provides visual and audible access to the text and whether subtitles and captions are a good fit for purpose.

Reading Level

How much reading is required to play the game and how complex the language is. This doesn't include subtitles as required reading if they are fully voiced.

Moderate Reading: Moderate reading required. The quantity and complexity of reading are at a level that a high school student (14-year-old) would appreciate.

Captions

Speaker Indicator: Textual captions indicate who is speaking. This can also be indicated visually in the game with character icons or placing text in speech bubbles next to the person speaking.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Reading

If you want to play Ark: Survival Evolved, but it doesn't offer the Reading accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Reading accessibility:

NavigationNavigation

We've documented 3 accessibility features for Navigation in Ark: Survival Evolved which deal with how the game provides guidance and assistance to navigate its worlds. These are only for games that have traversal and exploration in 2D and 3D spaces.

Head-Up Display

Adjust Head-Up Display: Resize and adjust the content of the head-up display. This enables it to be made more visible. It can also enable the removal of too much information that can be distracting or confusing.

Game Map: View a map of the game world during play, with the landscape, points of interest and missions highlighted throughout the entire game. This enables the orientation of the player and the world, confirming a direction of movement and the location of destinations or points of exploration.

Menu Navigation

Menus Don't Wrap: Menus don't wrap and stop the cursor at the bottom of the list if you press down. Or menus do wrap but make it clear that you are back at the top of the list with sound or narration.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Navigation

If you want to play Ark: Survival Evolved, but it doesn't offer the Navigation accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Navigation accessibility:

ControlsControls

We've documented 4 accessibility features for Controls in Ark: Survival Evolved which deal with how you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Gamepad

Multiple Buttons & Two Sticks: Can play with multiple buttons and two sticks.

Mouse And Keyboard

Mouse and Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.

Remap Controls

Can customise the controls for the game as follows:

Remap Buttons: Can re-map all buttons so that you can use alternatives that better suit your play.

Controller Vibration

Informative Vibration: Controller vibration indicates events or interactions in the game, echoing visual and audio cues. This can provide additional information about progress, approaching enemies or hitting a target.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Controls

If you want to play Ark: Survival Evolved, but it doesn't offer the Controls accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Controls accessibility:

VisualVisual

We've documented 3 accessibility features for Visual in Ark: Survival Evolved which deal with how you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

Contrast

Medium Contrast: Game uses generally well contrasting and bright visuals, or has a slider to make this the case.

Visual Distractions

No Screen Shake: No screen shake effect or it is included but it can be disabled. This includes the absence of screen shake for dramatic effect as well as to indicate hits on a target.

Motion Sickness Friendly

Motion Sickness Friendly: Option to reduce motion sickness in 3D games. This includes the ability to disable motion blur, depth of field and field-of-vision effects. It also includes games that don't have these movement elements in the first place.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Visual

If you want to play Ark: Survival Evolved, but it doesn't offer the Visual accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Visual accessibility:

AudioAudio

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Audio in Ark: Survival Evolved which deal with how you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Adjustable Audio

Customise Audio Levels: Control volume levels of specific events and elements in the game. This enables you to tailor the most important sound levels to ensure you can hear them.

Play Without Hearing

Play Without Hearing: No audio cues are necessary to play the game well.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Audio

If you want to play Ark: Survival Evolved, but it doesn't offer the Audio accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Audio accessibility:

CommunicationCommunication

We've documented 1 accessibility feature for Communication in Ark: Survival Evolved which deals with how you can communicate with other players in the game and what options are available to customise and control this interaction.

Player-to-Player Online Communication

This is how players communicate with each other in online games. This can be to plan strategy, chat as they play or co-ordinate resources.

Text Chat: Chat to other players by typing text.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Communication

If you want to play Ark: Survival Evolved, but it doesn't offer the Communication accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Communication accessibility:

System Accessibility Settings

In addition to the accessibility features provided in the game, you can also use system-wide accessibility settings:

Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games.
 
PC
Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators.
 
PlayStation 4
PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping).
 
Xbox One
Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games.
 
Read more about system accessibility settings.

VSC LogoAccessibility Report supported by VSC Rating Board, PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors Ben Kendall, Jo Robertson and @GeekDadGamer


Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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