Ark: Survival Ascended Steam Deck compatibility and best settings

To ensure you don't run into issues playing Ark: Survival Ascended on the Steam Deck, we have low-down on the game's compatibility and best settings.

Key art from Ark Survival Ascended on the screen of a Steam Deck.

Is Ark: Survival Ascended Steam Deck compatible? Playing Ark: Survival Ascended on the Steam Deck shouldn’t make your Steam Deck feel extinct, but the demanding graphics of this brand-new remaster will put a strain on your favorite PC gaming handheld. However, tinkering with the settings, and switching to offline mode can still provide a roar-some dinosaur experience on the go.

The Ark: Survival Ascended system requirements ask for 70GB worth of install space before you can get to your carnivorous jaws on the brand-new remaster. Picking up one of the best microSD cards for Steam Deck will ensure you have enough of that precious storage space, especially if you’ve got the 64GB model of the PC gaming handheld.

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Is Ark: Survival Ascended Steam Deck compatible?

Yes, Ark: Survival Ascended is playable on the Steam Deck, but due to the inclusion of the anti-cheat software, BattlEye, only in offline mode.

Due to Ark: Survival Ascended’s inclusion of BattleEye, any attempts to join online matches will be met with a timed-out error on the Steam Deck. Although the game does run on the PC gaming handheld, only offline mode functions for the time being.

The original game, Ark: Survival Evolved, currently sits on Steam with a ‘verified’ commendation, which could bode well for this remaster eventually receiving a similar acclamation. However, this brand-new iteration of the game hasn’t yet been checked for compatibility by Valve. Unlike its predecessor, Ark: Survival Ascended was built from the ground up using Unreal Engine 5, and as a result, the Steam Deck struggles with the more demanding graphics. This problem is likely to persist on the Valve handheld until the introduction of a major performance update.

Ark: Survival Ascended is still in early access, so while it hasn’t yet earned a spot in our best Steam Deck games list, this could change when the game fully launches, and any performance issues are rectified.

The best Ark: Survival Ascended Steam Deck settings

Here are the best Ark: Survival Ascended Steam Deck settings:

  • Graphics Preset: Low
  • Advanced Graphics: Low
  • Anti Aliasing: Low
  • View Distance: Low
  • Textures: Low
  • Post Processing: Low
  • General Shadows: Low
  • Global Illumination Quality: Low
  • Effects Quality: Low
  • Foliage Quality: Low

When first booting up Ark: Survival Ascended on the Steam Deck, the first course of action should be to immediately lower all the in-game graphics to the lowest possible settings. Without this, the Steam Deck will crash on the character creation screen, and you won’t be able to progress any further.

We recommend switching the graphical preset settings to low, as well as the advanced graphics options, and the global illumination quality. This won’t help entirely resolve any sporadic crashing on the handheld, and it will drastically lower the gameplay to sit around 20fps. Yet, for the time being, it’s the only way to make Ark: Survival Ascended remotely playable on the Steam Deck.

While you wait for life to find a way to get online matches working on the Steam Deck, check out our best Ark servers guide to make it easier to join matches on your desktop PC instead. Our best dinosaur games for PC guide is also full of some of the best dino-action if you’re looking to get your T-Rex fix elsewhere.