ARK: Survival Evolved

ARK: Survival Evolved

1,062 ratings
Better FPS using 6 launch options & wizardry!!
By Viper Infinity
Boost FPS!!!
Increase Performance!!!
Optimize your game!!!

Use these very basic 6 launch option to double your FPS! There is also a detailed step by step process on how to increase your FPS even more using computer wizardry!!!!!!

Updated on 3/16/2016

Image used is from
Steps to take for better performance
1. Go into your steam games library
2. Find Ark Survival and right click it
3. Select properties
4. In the General tab, click: Set Launch Options...
5. Past this in

-USEALLAVAILABLECORES -sm4 -d3d10 -nomansky -lowmemory -novsync

6. Click okay
7. Launch the game NORMALLY, meaning do not click anything else but normal game start when booting the game up.
What it does
This makes it so the game uses all of your CPU cores. If all of your CPU cores are NOT being used after using this launch option then disable it as it may cause more stuttering.

It forces the game to use Shader Model 4 instead of the usual Shader Model 5. The game looks and feels almost the same but you get much better performance. There is more a matte look to the game but it is not bad at all. Best performance boost out of all of these options.

If you have your FOV slider up 100% of the way then a circle will appear in the sky. Just lower your FOV to about 70% (give or take ~10%) or until the circle goes away. If you didn't touch your FOV slider then you are fine.

Using sm4 forces the game into using DX10 instead of DX11 and this does the same thing. I put it here to make sure it launched correctly. you are not missing out on anything.

This disables a lot of the detailed sky features like a lot of clouds and super stary night sky. This minimizes all of those but you still get them. It looks almost the same but it has less of all of it. You still get stars and you still get the sun and moon. This just gets rid of the sparkling stars at night that can blind you.

A user reported that -nomansky causes the FOV bug to pop up as well. I have yet to verify it but it was worth mentioning anyway.

This launches the game in 4gb memory mode. If you have less than 16 gigs of RAM then this is basically a must have for better performance. You are missing out on some effects like the breaking of bushes and leaves go everywhere. Nothing major at all and the game runs better!

This forces Vsync to be off. Vsync is typically used to stop screen tearing when over your monitors refresh rate. If you are getting below 60fps then make sure to leave this in, if you are getting over 60fps then leave it as it can cause screen tearing.
Other things you can do to improve performance & FPS
ShooterGame.exe High CPU Priority
This will just make your CPU prioritize the game above everything else. This will NOT affect anything else on your computer like Skype, Teamspeak, Mumble, etc. It helps with reducing the amount of stuttering in the game. Stuttering still happens but it is nowhere near as bad.

1. Open windows task manager
2. Go to the "Processes" tab
---A. Right click ShooterGame
---B. Select "Go to details"
3. Find ShooterGame.exe (should be the first on on there if you are ordering the list by memory)
4. Right click it and hover over "Set Priority"
5. Select High

Set ARK Survival settings inside Nvidia Control Panel
This will make it so the game runs at its best with little to no visual loss!

1. Open Nvidia Control Panel
2. Go to "Manage 3D Settings"
3. Click on the "Program Settings" Tab
4. WAIT for the dropdown menu area to fully load so you dont make the panel freeze (common issue for me anyway)
5. Select "Add"
6. SKIP TO STEP 7 IF YOU ALREADY PLAYED THE GAME, IF NOT THEN READ THIS AND GO ON TO STEP 8. Click on Browse and go to the install directory for the game (Example: C:/ProgramFiles (x86)/Steam/Steamapps/common/ARK/ShooterGame/Binaries/Win64/ShooterGame.exe) and select the ShooterGame.exe file and click Open.
7. You will see a window pop up that has the sorting set to "Recently Used." If you already booted the game up then you should see ShooterGame in the list somewhere. Select it and click "Add Selected Program"
8. When you added the game to the list then it should have automatically opened the game within the control panel window. Edit the following settings:
  • Multi-display/mixed-GPU acceleration: Single Display Performance Mode
  • Power Management mode: Prefer Maximum Performance
  • Texture Filtering - Antisotropic Sample Optimization: On
  • Texture Filtering - Quality: Performance
  • Triple Buffer - Off
  • Vertical Sync - Off
  • Maximum Pre-rendered frames - 1
9. Click apply
10. Check the settings to make sure they changed correctly, if not then change them.
For the following two tests I set the game on low and disabled all possible graphics options. I also put the resolution to its highest and resolution scale to the highest as well. The low-end computer is a cheap laptop my SO picked up at best buy. The high-end computer is a custom built desktop PC with three monitors. The main monitor is only for gaming and the other two are for browsing while playing and things like that.

I will post the specs of the computer first then give my recommendation for computers that are similiar to the specs I posted. The FPS before means that I have not done anything in this guide to improve the performance. I just set everything on low and the such. The FPS after means everything in the guide was applied to the game and is the end result. to gauge the fps properly I used the same save file and just spawn into a single player world and look around.

Low-end rig
OS: Windows 10 Home Edition
Resolution: 1366 x 768
GPU: Intel HD Graphics 5500
CPU: i3-5015u dual core @ 2.10 GHz
RAM: 6gb
FPS before: 8 - 10
FPS after: 10 - 13

If you are playing a cheap laptop you will not get stable FPS with or without this guide. If you can handle playing at low FPS then this guide will only help a little bit. Since most low end computers have Intel HD Graphics this will be an issue. There really isn't anything you can do about it other than upgrading to newer hardware. This is not an issue with the game or this guide, it is an issue with not meeting the system requirements for the game.

High-end rig
OS: Windows 10 Pro Edition
Resolution: 1920x1080
GPU: EVGA GTX 750ti FTW Edition
CPU: i5-4690K quad core @ 3.5 GHz
RAM: 16gb
FPS before: 32-42
FPS after: 67 - 91

The results speak for themeselves. The FPS boost is well over double the FPS with all of the launch options being used. If you have a decent computer but this game runs like garbage, use these launch options and enjoy that silky smooth 60 FPS.
  • Will this hurt my computer/laptop?
    This cannot hurt your computer at all. All this is doing is making the computer work less per frame rendered. You get more FPS because the computer is having an easier time rendering everything

  • Will the devs drop support for this method later?
    This game is still in alpha but the devs made a patch for the sm4 pipeline which made it much faster. If they created a patch to optimize it then it is likely they will keep supporting it.

  • I am running at 1fps but this only helped get me to 5!
    You probably shouldn't be playing this game if your computer doesn't get over 10fps WITHOUT these steps on low graphics settings.

  • Are you planning on making a Mac/AMD version of this guide in the future?
    Sadely I have no experience with either of these options. Since I cannot personally test it I will probably not have a guide for either of those.

  • How can I help spread this guide?
    You can select the like button up on top and favorite it! You can also share it, as long as you link this guide and not rewrite and repost.
A note about copying my guide.
Personal request
I would like to ask anyone that wants to use my guide, word for word for anything other for personal use, to link to my guide on top of your webpage or article. I have already called a couple articles for directly copying, word for word, my guide without giving credit. Some of these articles even included the section where I asked to link my guide if they try to post an article or something like it.

Plagiarism is defined as "the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own." - Google[]

They teach this concept in middle school, high school, and college in the United States of America. It is not hard to give credit where credit is due. If you are copying my guide, word for word, then please give me credit by linking to this original guide as a source.

People caught plagiarising
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Viper Infinity  [author] Feb 15 @ 7:01am 

"For the following two tests I set the game on low and disabled all possible graphics options. I also put the resolution to its highest and resolution scale to the highest as well. "
MrFrodZ Feb 14 @ 9:47am 
For the high-end rig setup what quality did you put. low medium or high?
Viper Infinity  [author] Feb 13 @ 7:42am 
@R3set well you aren't wrong :p
R3set Feb 9 @ 6:40pm 
I think they teach about plagiarism in all countries of the world not just the United States of Amercia... It just come to the person.
Your educational system (and level) is kinda low compared to many other countries...

Nice guide tho
AngryDragon Feb 7 @ 2:50pm 
Yeah, well then, I've got plenty of headroom in that sector. The thing that is really limiting my FPS right now is my video card. It's a 1060 6GB. Still probably better then what quite a few gamers have on hand, but definitely not enough to run the game the way I would like.
Viper Infinity  [author] Feb 7 @ 1:54pm 
@AngryDragon system RAM
AngryDragon Feb 7 @ 10:26am 
Also, question like that... When you mention the low memory mode, are we talking about system ram, or the ram that would be found on a video card?
AngryDragon Feb 7 @ 10:24am 
Yeah well... Charlie, there's a lot of peoples who don't have 700$ for a video card. Ark is also one of those games that obviously has some problems in the code which makes it heavier then it should be. Fog simply can't be turned off on the island and there's been a lot of comment to the effect that this was something that even the devs did not know how to do. It makes you wonder what else they didn't know.

There's also a choice to be made. I simply can't tolerate medium shadows. The pixelation is very visible, at least to me, and I would rather take the FPS hit then have to see those ugly shadows. It's also a fact that I'm probably taking a bigger hit then most since I have a dual monitor setup. It's a case of choose your poison, drink it and be happy with what you can get.
Triggered_Atheist Jan 31 @ 2:34pm 
Charlie wade, if everybody could do that, don't you think this guide wouldn't f*cking exist??
CharlieWade Jan 30 @ 6:11pm 
or buy a better pc and stick to settings that work instead of trying to push an old computer to do what it cant do