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Best Weapons In ARK: Survival Evolved

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Highlights

  • Bola: Tactical tool immobilizes to tame or disorient foes, useful for taming beasts.
  • Slingshot: Fast Torpor dealer, versatile beginner weapon for taming and combat with headshots.
  • Fabricated Sniper Rifle: Long-range tactical choice with high DPS, slower reload but worth the investment.

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ARK: Survival Evolved is a strategy survival game where players are trying to create a decent lifestyle on an island full of dinosaurs and other deadly creatures. This may sound like a challenge, but the game offers some great weapons to make the player’s life easier.

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These weapons include some simplistic ones and some very high-tech, futuristic ones as well. These legendary weapons are the ones players strive to obtain. Weapons come in all shapes and sizes, from chainsaws and swords to rocket launchers and rifles, for the ultimate experience. Once a player gets their hands on these, they’re unstoppable.

Updated February 29, 2024 by Rhenn Taguiam: With ARK 2 teased as a direct sequel to the Genesis: Part 2 DLC of Survival Evolved, fans of survival games who want competitive but brutal experiences should consider grabbing ARK: Survival Evolved. Given the game’s competitive environment, staying alive in ARK isn’t just about creating the best settlements and maintaining nourishment but also acquiring the right armaments for intense combat.

Thankfully, ARK has no shortage of weapons capable of giving players a much-needed edge in the survival title. Among the recommended weapons in the game are powerful variants of advanced weapons as well as a special kind of pistol. However, just how would they fare against the game’s roster of hard-to-kill foes?

1 Bola

Damage: 0

Bola

Type

Ranged Weapon

Weight

0.5

Durability

100

Required Level

9

The Bola proves that sometimes the best way to play in ARK: Survival Evolved is to get tactical instead of highly aggressive. Although the Bola deals 0 Damage, its effects can make it a pretty efficient starting weapon regardless of the situation. Its primary use is a throwing weapon, with the ropes wrapping around the target to immobilize them, making it ideal for taming beasts. In the game, the Bola will aggro wild creatures and make them attack the player. However, they can’t necessarily fight back with the Bola incapacitating them for 30 seconds.

When used against humans, the Bola roots them for 25 seconds. Although humans can still attack while put in place, their lack of movement leaves them vulnerable. Since the only way to get out of a Bola is to either wait for it to stop or attack with the Fists, the Bola is an excellent way to disorient opponents. Not to mention, a Bola disabling a dino will force its rider to dismount, making this a great way to counter foes who think having a mount can outsmart a character on foot.

2 Slingshot

Damage: 14

Slingshot

Type

Short-to-Medium Range

Weight

3.0

Durability

40

Required Level

5

Despite its status as the first ranged weapon players can find in their ARK: Survival Evolved gameplay, the Slingshot remains one of the most versatile armament gamers should consider using. While the Slingshot deals minuscule damage, it’s the fastest Torpor-dealing weapon in the game. At its full charge, even a primitive Slingshot can deal 18.9 points of Torpor.

The Slingshot can help new players tame and incapacitate stronger animals for resources when appropriately used. For more practiced players, aiming high to compensate for the short drop can make it a deadly weapon, especially when they manage to score headshots. As fans may remember, 50 Torpidity is the level that forces players to go unconscious, leaving them vulnerable to attacks.

3 Fabricated Sniper Rifle

Damage: 165

Fabricated Sniper Rifle

Type

Ranged Weapon

Weight

25.0

Durability

70

Required Level

83

Boasting one of the most “tacticool” appearances for a weapon in the game is the Fabricated Sniper Rifle. The rifle works as an improved Longneck Rifle, compensating less damage with an 8 Magazine Size, making it act quite close to its modern FPS counterparts. However, fans must be mindful of the Sniper Rifle’s expensive crafting costs and relatively slow reload speed.

Thankfully, the Sniper Rifle performs well compared to most other firearms in the game. Despite its preference for distance, the Sniper Rifle’s burst DPS is close to that of the punchier Pump-Action Shotgun. Moreover, its decent handling makes the Fabricated Sniper Rifle a more worthwhile investment compared to the equally expensive Assault Rifle.

4 Crossbow

Damage: 95/35/95/0/30/75

Crossbow

Type

Bow

Weight

8.0

Durability

100

Required Level

25, Damage relies on Arrow Type (Stone/Tranq/Flame/Zip-Line/Feathered Stone/Obsidian)

Despite the firepower of other conventional guns, the Crossbow remains a go-to ranged weapon for its efficiency. Serving as the direct upgrade for the Bow, the Crossbow boasts higher damage at the cost of lower attack speed. However, the Crossbow compensates for its sheer versatility, allowing players to use a myriad of arrows to control the battlefield with stuns (Tranq Arrow), fire (Flame Arrow), zip-lines (Zip-Line Anchor), and cheap damage options (Stone Arrow).

The Crossbow also shines regarding numbers, especially when compared with other weapons. A Tranq-equipped Crossbow may deal less Torpor per Damage than a Tranq-equipped Longneck Rifle, but it still deals higher Torpor per Second at its highest firing rate. Not to mention, its cheap ammo can make the Crossbow an accessible ranged weapon in all circumstances.

5 Pike

Damage: 50

ARK: Survival Evolved Pike

Type

Melee

Weight

10.0

Durability

40

Required Level

25

The most efficient of the starter weapons, the pike is an upgrade from the spear. It has great range and causes surprising amounts of damage. It’s best to upgrade quickly, though, as it doesn’t match the better weapons. Still, those starting out should keep the pike very close at all times.

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In the future, it can prove to be a great asset, as it’s repairable and great for a number of tasks. Players should definitely make it a priority to craft one of these.

6 Chainsaw

Damage: 14

Ark: Survival Evolved Chainsaw

Type

Tool

Weight

20.0

Durability

80

Required Level

55

This weapon (or, according to the game, this tool) is recommended for those who like to cause a massacre. Although it’s best for gathering hide and wood, it also causes high damage in combat and is very cool to use.

A big downside to the chainsaw is that it uses a lot of gasoline, making the usage and upkeep frustrating and expensive. But it’s great as a piece of equipment and great as a weapon, so it’s good to have it on standby when anything attacks unexpectedly.

7 Simple Pistol

Damage: 97/210

ARK: Survival Evolved Simple Pistol

Type

Gun

Weight

5.0

Durability

60

Required Level

34

The earliest obtainable weapons are the flare gun (which is useless) and the simple pistol. This is a great little weapon to have in the inventory, as it causes significant damage. It also has a great range, and when equipped with a scope, it can become a sniper pistol.

A huge setback in this almost flawless equipment is the recoil, which most players find annoying and hard to handle. This makes it dispensable for most when other weapons become available, but for those who don’t mind, this is a great asset to keep in the long run.

8 Grenade

Damage: 175

ARK: Survival Evolved Grenade

Type

Explosive

Weight

0.5

Durability

Required Level

38

The simplest explosives to craft, grenades are very useful to have at hand. They can easily break down stone walls and reinforced doors. As with any other explosive, this one is a little harder to craft, and players will need to farm some main ingredients. Patience is a virtue when crafting these weapons, but it’s definitely worth the wait.

Although the main goal of many players is obtaining the rocket launcher or the C4, this weapon is a great starting point and can be useful even after having the others.

9 Shotgun

Damage: 64 x 10

ARK: Survival Evolved Shotgun

Type

Gun

Weight

10

Durability

300

Required Level

39

Everybody knows the shotgun. In any combat game, the shotgun is an item everyone has in their inventory. It’s a classic, elegant, effective weapon.

In ARK, the shotgun can cause massive damage, and anyone who has it is surely one to look out for. Because it only houses 2 bullets, players might think it’s hard to use, but it actually has an amazing reload speed unmatched by any other weapon in the game.

10 Assault Rifle

Damage: 47

ARK: Survival Evolved Assault Rifle

Type

Gun

Weight

10

Durability

40

Required Level

58

Although very powerful, this weapon is best used for taming. It has a huge recoil, making it a hard weapon to use. But if a player isn’t bothered by the insane recoil and masters the use, the assault rifle is one of the most effective in the game.

9:02

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Because of the difficult usage, other than taming, it has better results with larger prey rather than small animals or other players, which are harder to aim at.

11 Compound Bow

Damage: 75/75/27/175.5

ARK: Survival Evolved Compound Bow

Type

Bow

Weight

12.0

Durability

55

Required Level

79, Damage depends on Ammo (Stone/Flame/Tranquilizer/Metal)

A huge step up from bows and crossbows, this weapon causes the most damage when paired with metal arrows. Surprisingly, it holds very well against other weapons, as it’s easy to aim and causes extreme damage when used right.

It’s also nearly silent, letting players sneak up on any unsuspecting dino (or other players), which makes it a fantastic choice for players wanting to opt for a stealthy approach.

12 Flamethrower

Damage: 12-100

ARK: Survival Evolved Flamethrower

Type

Ranged

Weight

20.0

Durability

40

Required Level

65

Everyone’s childhood was once spent wanting to destroy everything with a flamethrower. It’s incredibly cool and effective, and in the game, it’s not forbidden to craft one’s own. This awesome weapon is available in the Scorched Earth DLC and quickly became a fan favorite.

While its power is greater than most weapons, it can only be used in close combat. Still, it’s definitely worth it. As a bonus, it’s better than other anger management solutions.

13 Rocket Launcher

Damage: 700

ARK: Survival Evolved Rocket Launcher

Type

Gun

Weight

20.0

Durability

50

Required Level

87

Defined as “mankind’s ultimate portable killing device,” the rocket launcher is the most popular weapon to raid bases with in ARK: Survival Evolved. These weapons are slightly cheaper than the C4 and cause a lot of damage.

While it’s not as popular or in demand as the C4, this is a great weapon for newcomers to raiding. Plus, as anyone who has played shooters before knows, Rocket Launchers are often just such great fun to use.

14 C4

Damage: 6899

ARK: Survival Evolved C4 Charge

Type

Explosive

Weight

0.1

Durability

100

Required Level

65

The aforementioned C4 offers spectacularly devastating results, blowing holes through metal walls in mere seconds. As mentioned above, this is the most popular weapon for raiding; using just two C4s can destroy anyone’s base.

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Most players make it their mission to get their hands on these to raid and pillage other players’ structures. This is a more expensive weapon, but if a player has one or two, they’re the ones to fear the most.

15 Pump-Action Shotgun

Damage: 46 x 14

ARK: Survival Evolved Pump-Action Shotgun

Type

Gun

Weight

15.0

Durability

300

Required Level

55

The Pump-Action Shotgun is one of the most popular and strongest guns in the game. Ammunition can be created at low levels, and it can shred through enemies like a knife through butter.

Players love this weapon, as it’s easy to obtain and works like magic. The only weapon that comes close to the Pump-Action Shotgun is the Longneck Rifle itself. Perhaps the only downside to this weapon is its lackluster long-range use, as it’s much more powerful up close.

16 Longneck Rifle

Damage: 280/26/26/26

ARK: Survival Evolved Longneck Rifle

Type

Gun

Weight

15.0

Durability

70

Required Level

35, Damage depends on Ammo (Simple Rifle Ammo, Tranquilizer Dart, Shocking Tranquilizer Dart, Pheromone Dart)

Easily the best weapon in the game, the longneck rifle has amazing range, causes extreme damage, and is easy to obtain. Both the weapon and its ammo are inexpensive, and no player regrets making it. Adding a scope to it is the best strategy and will allow players to kill any unsuspecting prey.

This is one of the first modern weapons players craft in the game, but it doesn’t mean it’s dispensable in the future. It can also be used with tranq darts, making it a great asset for dino taming. Most fans love this because although it’s cheap, it’s very effective.

17 Tek Railgun

Damage: 850

Tek Railgun

Type

Gun

Weight

10.0

Durability

80

Required Level

Unlocked upon defeating Desert Titan Rockwell (Alpha)

In the tougher endgame portion of ARK: Survival Evolved, players may need something that packs more punch compared to the Fabricated Sniper Rifle. This is where the Tek Railgun comes in, as it’s the upgraded version of the aforementioned long-ranged weapon and is the resident specialist weapon in the endgame against foes from afar.

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Due to its status as a Tek Tier Weapon, the Tek Railgun doesn’t necessarily need reloads. However, players need to remember that the weapon does overheat with each shot, leaving players vulnerable to counter-attacks while it cools down. It’s also unusable underwater, making it tricky for multi-terrain endeavors.

18 Tek Grenade Launcher

Damage: Varies

Tek Grenade Launcher

Type

Grenade Launcher

Weight

12

Durability

140

Required Level

55, Damage depends on the Grenade equipped

Similar to other ranged weapons in the game with different projectile options, the TekGrenade Launcher is a remarkable weapon not for its damage output but for the way it can hyper-optimize plays with Grenades. Being a grenade launcher, the weapon still needs Grenades to launch, as this is its primary basis for damage. However, where the Tek Grenade Launcher shines is in its capability of throwing Grenades much further, allowing players to fight foes from incredible distances while having the room to adjust their strategies on the fly.

Its usefulness does have a cost, however, as unlike other Tek Tier gear, the Tek Grenade Launcher needs Element for repairs. Interestingly enough, the Tek Grenade Launcher also comes with a timing toggle, allowing players to set whether Grenades immediately detonate upon impact or after some time.

19 Fabricated Pistol

Damage: 50

Fabricated Pistol

Type

Gun

Weight

2.5

Durability

210

Required Level

55

At first glance, the Fabricated Pistol might not be as appealing a weapon for ARK: Survival Evolved newcomers as it boasts the second-lowest per-shot damage among the game’s guns. However, in the right hands, players can make use of the Fabricated Pistol as a ranged powerhouse. Economically speaking, the Fabricated Pistol’s 0.1 per shot Durability consumption means the gun only needs to be repaired at 2,100 shots, making it last far longer than other guns. Not only that, it has the largest magazine size among guns in the game save for the Assault Rifle and the Tek Rifle.

Much of the Fabricated Pistol’s utility has to do with its accessibility. Its Advanced Bullet is the game’s cheapest ammunition, and its lack of sway boosts its handling. Attaching a flashlight to the Fabricated Pistol also gives players the largest light projection area, making the weapon a practical choice for cave explorers.

20 Tek Rifle

Damage: 150

Tek Rifle

Type

Gun

Weight

10.0

Durability

140

Required Level

55

Considered one of the best rifles in the FPS survival game, the Tek Rifle is perhaps the one weapon of the Tek Tier capable of being an all-rounder due to its innate components. Noticeable to this benefit is its lack of a reload mechanic that is replaced with an overheating system, forcing players to be economical with their shots and strategic with their timing. The weapon is known for its extremely high rate of fire, making it quite an efficient gun versus the game’s tougher challenges.

Its firing capabilities also make the Tek Rifle unique among players. For instance, its bullets can do AOE damage, damaging clusters of opponents instead of a single target. Unfortunately, its sheer firepower can destroy resource nodes when carelessly fired, and its Durability cost of 1 per 20 Shots and 2 per resource source hit can make it costly to repair.

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