Surviving in a post-apocalyptic dinosaur world is more fun with friends, and if you’re wondering about Ark cross play and cross platform support, there’s good news for you – depending on who you want to play with. Studio Wildcard did implement Ark cross play support, but the way it works for PC players is somewhat restrictive. If you are able to play with your friends, joining a session is a straightforward process, as long as you don’t want to host a dedicated server, so you can hop on with your friends in almost no time.
Ark cross play and cross platform explained
Ark cross play and cross platform functionality only works between PC and Xbox players and between Android and iOS players. On PC, Ark’s cross platform includes those playing on the Epic Games Store and Steam. However, it doesn’t include Mac players, who are currently unable to join anyone other than Mac users.
If your friends are on Nintendo Switch or PlayStation, they can only play with other PlayStation or Switch users for now. Whether Studio Wildcard expands Ark’s cross platform play in the future remains to be seen, though it hasn’t featured in any recent developer updates.
How to join friends in Ark
You can join your friends in a few different ways. The easiest is just choosing “Join Ark” from the main menu and selecting the server your friends are on.
If you want a bit more control over the session, choose the “Host/Local” option instead. From here, you can pick the “Non-Dedicated Server” choice, which gives you the option to use mods and tailor variables under the rules menu. The caveat here is that a non-dedicated server won’t let anyone stray too far from the session host (that’s you). If they do wander off, an invisible tether forces them back to the host’s location.
The third option is hosting a dedicated server, though – as the name suggests – you have to actually own and run the hardware and software to maintain that server.
If you’re looking for more to do in Ark, check out our compilation of the best Ark mods. Brush up on Ark’s dinosaurs so you know which ones are worth your time, and if you need a bit of unofficial help, use Ark’s console commands to make life a bit easier.