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Is ARK still free on Epic? Let‘s dive deep into this massively popular dinosaur survival game

Hey friend! If you‘re wondering whether you can still get ARK: Survival Evolved for free on the Epic Games Store, I‘ve got you covered. Grab a snack, sit back, and let me walk you through everything you need to know about ARK‘s recent Epic promotion and how you can get this incredible game in your library.

What Makes ARK Such an Amazing Survival Game?

Before we jump into whether it‘s still free or not, let me give you an overview of what makes ARK such a unique and addictive open world survival experience.

At its core, ARK thrusts you alone or with friends onto mysterious prehistoric islands filled with dinosaurs and other primeval creatures. You start with nothing but your wits and must hunt, harvest, craft, research new technology, build bases, and ultimately tame and breed over 150 different beasts to thrive on these harsh lands.

Some key features that make ARK stand out:

  • Huge, diverse maps to explore like giant snowy Valguero, fiery volcanic Ragnarok, and bioluminescent Aberration cave systems.

  • An expansive tech tree to unlock everything from basic stone tools to high-tech automated turrets, underwater bases, cloning facilities, and beyond.

  • Challenging boss fights against epic dinos like the Dragon, Megapithecus, and Broodmother. Requires serious prep and creature breeding to even stand a chance!

  • A living ecosystem where creatures interact with each other in complex food chains – watch out for deadly rivalries!

  • Robust base building that lets you construct anything from thatch huts to intricate metal bases with power, traps, and more.

  • Creative mode for those who just want to build.

  • An active modding community with thousands of mods to enhance gameplay from new items to total conversions.

With tons of creatures to tame, endless technology to unlock, challenging foes to defeat, and fully customizable bases to design, you‘ll always have something exciting to pursue in ARK‘s prehistoric playground. Got all that? Okay, now onto the big question…

Is ARK Still Free on the Epic Games Store?

ARK was available as a free game promotion on Epic Games Store for one week from September 1 to September 8, 2022.

This was a limited time offer and ARK is no longer free as of today. The promotion period has ended.

Epic Games rotates free games on a weekly basis, with the deals typically lasting for 7 days before the next free game becomes available. So ARK‘s window for being claimed at no cost expired once the week was up.

How Much Does ARK Normally Cost?

While you can no longer grab ARK for free on Epic currently, let‘s look at what it normally costs across some popular PC platforms:

  • Epic Games Store – $49.99 USD full price
  • Steam – $49.99 USD full price
  • GOG – $59.99 USD full price

Based on the standard pricing above, the week-long 100% off promotion on Epic was an incredible deal while it lasted, saving you $50 off the normal cost!

ARK and its expansions also go on sale fairly regularly across different platforms, usually in the range of 25-50% off during major seasonal sales events. So at best you can grab it for around $25-$30 on sale, still an awesome value.

Have Patience! ARK May Return Free Again

While ARK is now back to full price on Epic, take heart that popular free games often cycle back around in future promotions.

Both Epic and Steam have dished out repeat free offers for their most downloaded titles to drum up more buzz and players. So fingers crossed ARK may return as a freebie once more further down the road!

In the meantime, be sure to grab any other free games that catch your eye from Epic‘s weekly lineup. They offer fresh titles every Thursday, and you never know what gems you‘ll uncover across genres like action RPGs, platformers, puzzle games and more.

Over the last year, some of Epic‘s bigger freebie repeats included games like Civilization VI, Just Cause 4, Borderlands 3, and Red Dead Redemption 2. So keep an eye out, as you never know when ARK or other AAA titles could swing back around!

What Do You Get for Free? Breaking Down ARK Editions

Now you might be wondering exactly what content is included if you did manage to claim ARK during the free period. Let‘s break it down:

The Epic promotion was for the base ARK: Survival Evolved game only. The different expansions and DLCs that exist beyond the core maps were not included for free.

Here‘s a quick overview of what‘s in each edition and DLC:

  • ARK: Survival Evolved (free on Epic)

    • Includes The Island, Ragnarok, Valguero, Crystal Isles, and other official maps
    • 150+ creatures like dinosaurs, mammals, mythological beasts
    • Full crafting, building, and technology tree
  • ARK: Survival Evolved Season Pass ($20 additional)

    • Access to expansions like Aberration, Extinction, Genesis Part 1 & 2
    • 15+ new creatures not in base game
    • Additional items, resources, and building parts
  • ARK: Ultimate Survivor Edition ($70 total)

    • Base game + Season pass bundled
    • Genesis Part 2 expansion (latest paid DLC)

So in summary, while the base game alone provides a ton of content to keep you busy for hundreds of hours, the paid expansions add even more maps, creatures, gear, and depth to an already massive experience, easily doubling playtime.

Storage Space – Make Room for this Beast!

Before you get trigger happy claiming any ARK freebies, make sure your PC has enough storage capacity to hold this beast of a game!

Here‘s a quick look at the approximate install size for ARK:

  • PC (Epic) – 118GB
  • PC (Steam) – 118GB
  • Xbox – 103GB
  • PS4 – 103GB

As you can see, ARK clocks in at over 100GB across platforms due to its massive open world maps and 100+ high quality creature assets.

It‘s one of the largest installs out there, comparable to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (175GB) and Red Dead Redemption 2 (150GB).

So do some pre-cleanup if needed and treat your SSD kindly before attempting to house ARK‘s sprawling world. It‘s worth it!

Is ARK Worth Playing? Here‘s What Fans and Critics Are Saying

Let‘s see what both professional critics and the ARK community itself have to say about the game:

Critics – Very Positive Reviews

  • IGN – 8/10 "Amazing survival sandbox experience once you get past initial hurdles."

  • PC Gamer – 82% "An impressive and intimidating survival game full of emergent stories."

  • GameSpot – 8/10 "You‘ll overlook the flaws thanks to the ambitious scale of this dinosaur fantasy."

Fans – Overwhelmingly Positive

  • Steam – 92% positive (300,000+ reviews)

  • Epic – 4.5/5 Stars (20,000+ ratings)

Looking at both critic assessments and the overwhelmingly positive reception from players, it‘s clear ARK offers something truly special in the survival genre and is absolutely worth playing.

Between the rewarding progression loop, breathtaking living world, memorable dinosaur encounters, and endless sandbox freedom, ARK has secured its place as a GOAT in the survival space.

Any Alternatives While You Wait for ARK?

Maybe you missed out on the Epic freebie window but ARK‘s concept interests you. In that case, here are a few games to look at in the meantime that offer a similar prehistoric survival experience:

  • Far Cry Primal – Fight like a caveman in a brutal Stone Age open world with woolly mammoths and sabretooth tigers.

  • Horizon Zero Dawn – Hunt mechanized dinosaurs with a spear in a unique post-post-apocalyptic Earth.

  • Second Extinction – Team FPS where you battle mutated dinos. Still in Early Access.

  • PixARK – More cute and cartoony take on the formula with blocky dinosaurs.

While they all have unique flavors, these games capture some essence of ARK‘s spirit and may help scratch that dinosaur survival itch while you await your next chance to grab it on promotion.

There are also plenty of great non-dino survival games to try like Rust, The Forest, Conan Exiles and more that offer rich sandbox worlds. But for the authentic prehistoric experience, ARK is still king!

Final Thoughts – Grab This Gem Whenever You Can

Well, that covers everything you need to know about ARK‘s recent free promotion on Epic and whether you can still get it for free today. While the limited-time deal has ended, keep an eye out in the future as popular games often come back around.

Given ARK‘s overwhelmingly positive reception and mountain of content, it‘s absolutely worth claiming whenever you see a good discount or free offer – you‘ll be taming raptors and rexes in no time.

For now, be sure to grab the weekly free games on both Epic and Steam to slowly grow your library. And let me know if you have any other questions my friend – maybe someday we‘ll tame our first quetzal together!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.