ARK: Survival Evolved

ARK: Survival Evolved

1,133 ratings
Better FPS using 6 launch options & wizardry! Updated 2019
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 11/19/2019

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. Paste this in

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

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. The game has a more matte look to it but it is not bad. 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 starry 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!

Launches the game in high priority mode instead of normal mode.

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
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.
Before I list my results I will first give some context on what is going on. I am testing the game with the following rig:

Computer Specs
OS: Windows 10 Pro Edition (v1903)
Resolution: 1920x1080
GPU: EVGA Nvidia Geforce GTX 970 FTW+ Edition
CPU: Ryzen 3600 @ 3.6GHz base clock, 4GHz boost clock
RAM: 32 GB

I am using the built in FPS counter included with the Nvidia Geforce software. In order gauge the fps properly I used the same save file and just loaded into a single player world. My character is inside a forest with lots of foliage.

Preset on Epic - No Motion Blur - 100% Resolution Scale
FPS with all launch options: 51-60
FPS with only -nomansky -USEALLAVAILABLECORES -novsync: 23-27
FPS without launch options: 22-24

Preset on High- No Motion Blur - 100% Resolution Scale
FPS with all launch options: 86-95
FPS with only -nomansky -USEALLAVAILABLECORES -novsync: 36-40
FPS without launch options: 32-38

Preset on Medium- No Motion Blur - 100% Resolution Scale
FPS with all launch options: 94-107
FPS with only -nomansky -USEALLAVAILABLECORES -novsync: 48-52
FPS without launch options: 42-48

Preset on Low- No Motion Blur - 100% Resolution Scale
FPS with all launch options: 144+
FPS with only -nomansky -USEALLAVAILABLECORES -novsync: 82-93
FPS without launch options: 71-86

Recommendation for lower end computers
If you are playing a cheap laptop you will not get stable FPS with or without this guide. You will see no performance gain if you are using the Intel HD Graphics integrated GPU. There really isn't anything you can do about it other than upgrading to newer hardware. If you have a lower end GPU from either Nvidia or AMD then applying the launch options will make a difference!

Recommendation for higher end computers
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?
    Sadly 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 this guide, word for word, 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.
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Jun 20 @ 6:40pm 
if i have 16gb of ram, should i put the command -lowmemory?

Very good guide by the way
JIKO (MHHAGHI) Jun 5 @ 12:54am 
thx bro
best info:steamhappy:
would any of these work on Csgo, not Ark Survival only? If any at all, please tell me thx

Down to Clown May 7 @ 11:21am 
Even now, when I've come around to getting used to setting my graphics on my computer on my own, it's still really nice to see people like yourself give invaluable optimization information! Thank you very much for this guide!
Jonas blin Mar 11 @ 5:11am 
Thanks so much. Just got the game and was confused why a gtx1050ti with a i7 2600 would run on high only on low so thanks yea high around 60-100 :)
fefersten Dec 15, 2019 @ 10:07am 
will this stop me querying server info for invite? cause that's happening
Viper Infinity  [author] Nov 19, 2019 @ 8:40pm 
Guide updated for 2019!
Viper Infinity  [author] Jun 23, 2019 @ 7:54am 
@Lizard <3
Cryptix Jun 18, 2019 @ 11:35am 
This guide was a godsend back when I has a bad computer. Literally went from an unplayable 20fps~ to a playable 50fps.

Now that I have a beefed up PC, these options are less relevant to me personally, though I still appreciate the significance of this guide and still often play around with these settings just to see how my rig differs from low to high settings.

Honestly, I can't stress how helpful this guide is. You sir, have my belated gratitude. :heart:
Viper Infinity  [author] Feb 15, 2019 @ 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. "