I’ve recently decided to get the game for XBox One and the Windows Store platforms, and I have noticed what I consider a great difference in experiences, tied in with load times, tethering, and graphics. I thought that I should share this somewhere so other people have a chance to know without buying the game first.
Pros & Cons (XBox One & Windows Platform)
- Faster Loading! In my experience, the loading times are dramatically faster on the Microsoft platform. I have no clue why, but I am no longer waiting 15 minutes just to launch into a map, and if I accidentally make a hosting mistake, I don’t have to wait 5 more minutes to get into the menu. It’s nearly instantaneous now! I’ve even got the game installed on the same drive!
- Better Graphics & Performance! (Slightly). I’m not entirely sure why, but both aliasing and overall performance are better for me on this version. I’m getting this result on an older mid-range GPU (RX580).
- XBox & PC Crossplay! Since the PC version is basically just the XBox game being played on your PC, both XBox and PC players can play with one another. This is why I ended up buying the game on two XBox accounts, as this title is Play Anywhere. This leads into my next point…
- Play Anywhere! After buying the game for your XBox account, you can now play the game on XBox AND PC! Since this title is under the Play Anywhere category, you can play this game on either platform as long as you sign into your XBox account.
- Tether Distance! When running a non-dedicated server, you are bound with a default tether distance that you cannot change. Once upon a time, you could, but they removed it and I believe that is due to bugs and performance concerns. This one really bums me and many others out, I’d rather they just add a warning instead of place restrictions.
- No Mods! The XBox / Microsoft version does not support modding. They do not have a workshop like we do here. Sadge, but I don’t mind too awfully much as vanilla Ark has its charm.
- Less Options! Between the tethering and graphics options, and probably some others I’ve missed, there are less options for configuration on the XBox / Microsoft platform. I haven’t found this to be an issue beyond tethering.
- No Crossplay With Steam/Epic! You cannot play with anyone or server that runs on the Steam or Epic games platforms. The server listings are separate for XBox / Microsoft and Steam / Epic.
Obviously there are some key differences here that will matter to people with different needs. I chose to write this guide because ARK is on sale right now and it’s the perfect time to nab a cheap copy for whatever reason. Crossplay can be complicated, and I hope I have simplified it for anyone who comes across this.
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