ARK: Survival Evolved is *NOT* Optimized for Steam Machines


I already have a review of the game and a more recent one that I put up on Steam. This time, I’d like to take a few minutes to vent in regards to the so-called “optimization” of this game, where the developers had the clit to label this game as “Optimized for Steam Machines”. It’s been a few weeks since the advertisement was put on it, and it’s still there.


If any of you have tried ARK on Linux, you know how awful the performance is, as bad as it is on Windows. You can read most of my Steam review below. Someone was somehow able to find my review out of the almost 50k there are already and labeled it as ‘funny.’ If you get a chuckle out of it, great, but at the same time, it’s a warning for those who have a Steam Machine and might be contemplating whether they should buy this…sandbox or not. Also, if you’re a hardcore ARK fan, you might want to roll your eyes over, as I will admit I was a bit…critical.

I applied to be an alpha tester for this game. I still harbor resentment to those who were accepted and got the game for nothing, simply because they might have had a slightly more overclocked graphics card than myself, or the fact that I didn’t get to test the early Linux builds. But now I think I know the reason.

One word: performance. Put simply, you need a really (and I emphasize - really) beefy, jacked up son of a biscuit on steroids if you ever hope to achieve on par performance. Yeah, you heard me right: on par. I’m talking about an overclocked i7, an overclocked GTX 980, >= 16 GB of 2,400 MHz RAM, and even a Samsung EVO SSD, as loading times are painstakingly difficult to wait through.

What further adds to my aggravation is the advertisement: “Optimized for Steam Machines.”[] I seriously don’t know what kind of substances these folks were on when they advertised this. Maybe just to get more sales?

It’s probably the worst description ever. I’ve had this game since day one. Performance is, frigging, so bad, words cannot express myself. Lots of updates saying something like, “15% CPU performance increase.” Any framerate changes? No. Here we are, exactly six months later, with the same terrible performance. I’m using a GTX 750 Ti and get an average of 20 FPS on medium settings. On Windows. Can you guess what my framerate is on Linux? -_-

I emailed the developers, asking them to take the advert off. It’s been a few days. No response. So just be aware, you Steam Machine/Linux users. Unless you’ve got a GTX 980 packed in there (maybe you don’t even know what that means), my hat to you if you can get this game running at or above 30 FPS on high graphics settings. So much for “Optimized for Steam Machines.” Optimized for…shift, maybe?

Another thing, if “Optimized for Steam Machines” includes optimized controller support, that is false. The GUI is still designed for keyboard and mouse users in mind, meaning you have to drag items into your inventory with a cursor that you control with your thumbstick, and in-game prompts displaying keyboard inputs (ex. E: Access Inventory) That doesn’t really fit into the category of being totally optimized for controllers. And I know some of you are saying, “why not get a Steam controller?” Not everyone wants to buy one? And you still have to drag that mouse cursor around to put that shotgun on the second item in your inventory. What are they going to do when the XB1/PS4 ports arrive?

If the advertisement is taken off, I might convert my thumbs-down to a thumbs-up, as this game packs plenty of good content otherwise. But in the meantime, don’t try to tell me this game is “optimized” when clearly it is not.

But that’s not enough. Customers who actually do have a Steam Machine have reported other problems:

  • The game initially booted up fine, but I (mistakenly) changed the Windowed setting to Fullscreen in the graphics options, and now the picture is way of center on my display, making the game unplayable.
  • My big issue with ARK on the Steam Machine is it always takes two launches. I launch it once and choose a server (or standalone) and it goes through it’s long loading routing, then crashes back to the steam client. load it again and it works.

Please, please tell me that you agree. I want that advertisement to be gone.