What is the difference between PvE and PvP in ARK: Survival Evolved?


You just got into the game and want to know which game mode you are supposed to choose? I will tell you the differences between ARK PvE in comparision to PvP so you can make a choice for yourself. PvP and PvE are extremely different and depending on how much time and effort you want to put in, you can decide which mode you select.

What is PvP?

PvP stands for Player vs Player. Nothing you own is safe, and you can be attacked, and your belongings can be destroyed at any time. In the best case you have a lot of time or many friends with whom you play together so that there is always someone who can defend the base.

On official servers, it is even more difficult because large tribes (that’s what clans are called in ARK) have formed there, which often take over entire servers. As a new player who simply spawns and builds up a small base, you have no chance of settling down.

Joining these large tribes is often difficult and without good contacts you won’t get into their teams. On unofficial PvP servers, the whole thing is not quite so strict and solo PvP is no problem, especially thanks to boosted rates or mods.

PvP is regularly said to have a big issue with cheating and hacking. While the studio is always trying to improve the mechanics to catch cheaters and hackers, it is an even race. So if you get demotivated quickly when these things happen, then you should consider to maybe play unofficial PvP servers with active admins and enforcement at all times.

What is PvE?

PvE stands for Player vs Environment. That means players play with each other and not against each other. At least in theory.

On official servers, PvE is more of an economic simulation. You trade with animals, organize boss fights together, argue and get along again. PvE is in no way more peaceful than PvP.

Quite the opposite, in fact, because the power battles take place mainly in the global chats or through the appropriation of large areas on the maps—so-called pillaring. In theory, pillaring is not allowed, but if no one reports it, no action is taken against it.

Unofficial servers will have different rules on how you are allowed to build and how much land you are allowed to claim. So make sure you read those rules and follow them as well.

Despite what people say – PvE is just as much of a challenging game mode as PvP is. It just focusses on different things and skills. The official communities for PvE and PvP on official servers are about the same size. On unofficial servers the PvE community is larger by a lot. In our first step research of unofficial servers in ARK, about 10% where actually PvP servers.

Which mode you choose is up to you and your expectations to the game. And let’s be honest—you don’t even have to decide. In a poll I did in my community a while ago, 20% of the players said they actually play and enjoy both modes. 




Tiia is a bilingual Content Creator for the game ARK: Survival Evolved. She has over 12k hours experience in the game and her main interest is the complex breeding mechanic in ARK.

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