Pokémon – Tyrunt & Tyrantrum

While playing a lot of Ark Survival Evolved, I still have to play some Pokemon while not on the PC.  Here are my current two favorite ones recently. Super strong while wrecking every other team we harvest and play against. They both resemble T-Rex’s and I think I have a dinosaur problem.

Tyrunt Logo

Tyrunt – Introduced with the 6th Generation of Pokémon, Tyrunt is a Rock/Dragon using Pokémon from the fossil family. He very much resembles the Tyrannosaur.

Tyrantrum

Tyrantrum – This is the evolved final form of a Tyrunt. With iron skin and spear sharp teeth, he is a force to be reckoned with.

Best Ways to Farm Chitin Easy in Ark: Survival Evolved

Chitin is a common crafting component in Ark Survival Evolved.  It is a very durable material which is used to craft cementing paste, Chitin Armor, and is used to make metal and many other mid/late game Engrams.  The only way to get it is to harvest it from dead dinosaurs which have external skeletons(exoskeletons). The dinos that are best to farm/harvest for Chitin are the Titanomyrma, Meganeura, Pulmonoscorpius, and Trilobite.  After killing one of the listed exoskeleton dinosaurs, you should always harvest their body with an Axe to receive the maximum possible Chitin.  The best tamed Dino to harvest chitin with is by far the Sabertooth. You will get more per harvest when you level up the Sabertooth’s damage.

Now that the basics have been explained, lets discuss what the best and easiest Dino to find and farm from is.

Best Dino to Farm Chitin from is the Trilobite!

The Trilobite in Ark is a newly added Dino, and was not released yet at the time of the game launch.

Why are trilobites the best to farm chitin?

They are easy to kill -Trilobites do not fight back, they just slowly flee.  Once you attack one of them in a group, you need to kill fast so you don’t let any get away from their fate.

They are easy to find – You can find trilobites all along the coast lines and in some rivers. They are also in huge pack under the sea, but that can be more difficult to farm unless you are fairly advanced and have a good sea creature that is ride able. If you go to the Ark wiki page you will see a map on the right with all spawn points.

Easy Chitin from Trilobites in Ark

They drop other useful mats – Ontop of being able to harvest chitin from them, you will also receive Raw Meat, Silica Pearls, and Oil. This cuts down on how often, if ever that you will have to go deep sea diving for the pearls and oil.

Although Trilobites seem to be the best for me, you can still get a Sabertooth and farm inland if your server has a good spawn rate of dinos. Desert areas, usually near mountains can have big groups of scorpions which can add up to a good bit of chitin after being harvested. The choice is yours, do what is the most enjoyable for you and always just playing Ark Survival Evolved.

How to Overclock GeForce MSI GTX 970 Safely

I recently overclocked my MSI GeForce GTX 970 and the performance increase has amazed me. I believe I’ve found the perfect settings and it should work the same for you as long as your power supply is fairly decent.  I’m going to give you my speeds before and after, and some tools to monitor the overclock and temperatures once you’ve set it up to make sure it’s stable.  We will only be increasing the Power Limit, Core Clock, and Memory Clock.  I prefer not to touch the Core Voltage as we are limited by a 10% power limit, and I don’t think the gain from the increased voltage is worth it.  I will list the tools I used to overclock, monitor and benchmark at end of the guide.

The stock speeds from MSI’s website are below. Not bad, but we can do better, with a few simple slider bars.

MSI GeForce GTX 970 GPU Default

Base: 1114MHz / Boost: 1253MHz / Actual: 1366MHz. Default voltage 1.206v

After Overclocking GTX 970

GTX 970 GPU Overclocked speeds

As you can see, it went up to a max of 1469 MHz from the stock cards max boost of 1366. It may not seem too crazy, but for the games I play it has made a very notable difference.  One game improved more than others, and that was Ark Survival Evolved. It went from lagging every few steps to rarely giving me a hiccup, and I play on an Unofficial Server that has to render in HUGE base right next to mine every few minutes. I went from playing on medium/high settings to mostly epic settings while running better fps and stability than it did on the medium settings. This card is a pure beast.

Let’s Get to the Overclocking Settings – Step by Step

  1. Download MSI Afterburner
  2. Set Power Limit to 110%
  3. Set Core Clock to +140
  4. Set Memory Clock to +500MSI Afterburner GTX 970 Overclock Settings

Apply the settings and save the profile.

That’s it!

The only thing we need to do now is benchmark and monitor the card while playing your most GPU intensive game.

You can benchmark with a game, or use Heaven Benchmark.

Monitor the temperatures and speeds with Open Hardware Monitor or GPU-Z.

I have no reason currently to try to push it up anymore as I don’t want to degrade the life of my card or begin to get artifacts, but if you want to go a little higher, it can.

Maximum GPU Temperature (in C) per Nvidia website is 98 degrees Celsius.

How to Improve ARK Survival Evolved FPS Issues

How to Increase ARK FPS

In my entire life of PC gaming, I’ve never experienced a more difficult and frustrating game than ARK to optimize.  I am sure at least 90% of the ARK community can relate as well.   Don’t get me wrong, I love playing this game and have hundreds upon hundreds of hours invested, not counting the time that has been invested into reading the wiki, Reddit, watching videos and streams.

When I first bought the game and launched it, I had crazy lag and rubber banding, some good frame rates for a second, and then 5 fps for a few seconds, and this is how it has continued until very recently.  Many of these issues are caused from the game being in alpha and server lag which we are powerless to fix.

During my time playing, here is the list of things I’ve upgraded and tweaked to improve performance in ARK Survival Evolved. These changes have improved load speeds and FPS, but now to the point where it doesn’t happen or annoy me.

  1. Switched game install from a normal hard drive to a solid state with a fresh format.
  2. Set steam launch options to include –USEALLAVAILABLECORES
  3. Tried every single graphics setting, low, medium, high, epic – etc. You have to tweak these for yourself and figure out what works best. I always turn shadows to low.
  4. Launched game with low memory, no sky effects etc. For my PC, I actually get better game play when launching it in normal mode.
  5. Purchased a new video card. I had a Radeon HD 9750, not a bad card, but figured it just wasn’t enough for this game. I switched to a GTX 970. Unfortunately this barely increased my FPS, and didn’t do much for the sporadic lag and FPS drops.

What did work?

Overclocking the GPU! This is the one thing I haven’t thought of or read about on any forum. This might not be possible for many of you, but for the ones who have decent systems with less than satisfactory results should definitely try this.

I can only relate and tell you how to overclock the GTX 970, but if you have other cards just YouTube a guide for overclocking your card.  When you search, try to match your motherboard model to the video card so make it super straight forward and step by step.

There is software that can be downloaded, or came with your card that you can use to overclock the GPU. I use MSI Afterburner.

After overclocking, and while tweaking the settings, you will want to either benchmark and stress test the card, or have a hardware monitor open to make sure it’s not getting too hot and also hitting the speeds you expected. I use Open Hardware Monitor open on my other monitor while I play.

GPU-Z will also show you the stats and speeds or your card.

CPU-Z will show you and let you benchmark your CPU, but I believe ARK is more GPU intense than CPU. I have both overclocked but didn’t notice a huge difference until the GPU overclock.

You can go down the list and tweak everything I’ve discussed to greatly improve your game play and enjoyment from playing ARK Survival Evolved.

If you have a GTX 970, click here for my short tutorial on how to overclock the GPU to gain a massive performance and FPS increase.

 

 

 

How to level fast in Ark Survival Evolved

Ark Survival Evolved is a very complex and detailed game.  Leveling in Ark is also complex, which means there are so many ways to which you can level up.  You should first off understand that everything you do in Ark(for the most part) gives you XP points.   There are quite a few factors to account for when estimating your experience gains and what is the most beneficial at your current stage to get you leveled.

Things to take into account

  • Tribe Members – This is huge factor because if you are playing solo, well, straight up, you are going to level way slower than someone in a big tribe, heck even a tribe that only has two people.  This is because when you are within range of your tribe members they share XP with you, and it’s a good bit of it. Now imagine you have a tribe of 10 people, all in the base crafting walls, narcotics, metal parts, etc. it can add up fast.
  • Server Type – The XP will also vary depending on if you play on an official server or an unofficial server. Unofficial server hosts can set the XP multiplier to fit their needs, and I personally enjoy this feature because after playing originally on official servers, it just takes too long in my opinion. Some unofficial, like the one I play on have 20 x multipliers for experience points.
  • Engram’s available – If you are only level 10, well you don’t have everything you need to start producing high quality items which will grant you more XP.
  • Dinosaurs – If you have a high level Dino you can ride, you can go on trips and just kill everything in sight.  This is an easy and fairly safe way to level and also gather materials on the way. There is much more to this topic but it will have to be covered in another post.

Now that we understand how XP is gained, we have a good understanding of what needs to be done to maximize the amount of levels or experience points we gain per hour.  I wish there was a certain item I could tell you to create to just get to max level in 4 hours, but that isn’t possible or realistic, and it also ruins the point of the game.  I am going to give you an understanding of how to play, which will benefit the leveling process for the long term and also keep the game fresh and exciting for you.

Starting out – When you first join a server, I would suggest finding a good base location, but on the way constantly farm bushes as you run by tapping the E (interact) key.  Craft your basic tools, axe, pick, some spears, bow/arrows, armor etc. Usually by the time you have located your new base location you will have gained a good bit of level to make everything a bit easier.  Now it is time to build your first shelter or base. Depending on the size you choose to build it, it will level you up super fast.  Start chopping down trees,  continue to gather berries and fiber from random bushes and set the item you want to craft on your hot bar.  You can craft items as you move around and gather more materials. You will have to walk slowly while crafting but if you are in the forest etc it shouldn’t be too big of a deal.  You can also just gather / craft as you go and then once your weight is maxed, drop your inventory and continue on.  Everything in your hot bar will not be dropped when you do end up dumping your entire inventory so you shouldn’t have to pick as much/if any items or material out of the dropped bag.

Mid level – Once you are fairly leveled and have learned some more Engrams, you can move on to better items which will produce more XP with the downside of costing more materials. The sweet spot is finding an item you can farm the materials for fairly easy, seems to give good XP and you can use for something productive, in this case I would say wood/stone building components. The bigger you decide to build you base, the more levels you will get, so be creative and just enjoy the game and keep on crafting and the levels will start to roll in without you even noticing.

High Level – Now that you have a base and safe location with a bed, chests, etc, you can start taming Dinosaurs.  Dinos are great because depending where you put their stat points, the better they get which also enhances how fast you can run, gather and kill other Dinos.  You don’t get the full XP value when you kill or gather while riding a your tamed dinosaurs, but you get a good percentage of the XP they receive.  It’s still faster on a tamed Dino than manually running around shooting 30 or more arrows into a Triceratops.  If you are REALLY high level and ALSO your Dino, you can start searching for Alpha Dino spawns.  Alpha’s give tons of XP but at the cost of having crazy health and damage percentages so be prepared, you will probably die a few times until you understand what you can and cannot take down.

That is the general concept of the game. I’d love to give you a spreadsheet that has all the listed values, and it may be out on the internet somewhere, but who really cares.  Craft what you need, keep advancing and staying productive and most of all have fun with the game.

Personal Tips – There are some items you can just never really have enough of, or at least for me they seem like my go to items everyday when I log in to craft at least a few to get me rolling.

  1. Cementing Paste
  2. Narcotics
  3. Armor
  4. Weapons / Arrows / Ammo

You can set up multiple mortar and pestles to craft tons of batches of Narcotics/Cementing pastes and the XP from each can stack and really start to level you fast, but this takes time to stock all your fridges with spoiled meat, narco berries, stone and chitin or keratin. I believe, unless they changed it, that you need to stay within a semi-close distance of your Mortal and Pestles to still receive XP. I start a few batches and while they are crafting and giving me XP, I do the daily tasks like feed my dinos, refresh my fridges with gas or spark powder or just fix up my base with my already full cabinet of neatly sorted supplies.

That’s all I have without rambling on but hopefully if you are new to the game this can be helpful.  Check back often for more Ark Survival Evolved guides and much more! Thanks for reading.

Genius alert!

Genius alert!

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-vZqS1nd_jlUmdVdnV2VENSNkk/view?usp=sharing

Abyssinian Cats

Reseal an acrylic tank

Reseal an acrylic tank

DANA

DANA

Beer Fountain

Magot