Skip to content

Is Genesis 1 ARK Free? A Detailed Look at the Pricing and Content of ARK‘s Epic Expansions

ARK: Survival Evolved has grown tremendously since its initial early access release in 2015, with numerous free content updates and paid DLC expansions adding everything from new creatures to maps, gameplay modes and story-driven campaigns. Among the most game-changing paid content drops were the two parts of the Genesis DLC, introducing sci-fi-tinged biomes, missions and an overarching narrative. But with a $34.99 price tag for the full Genesis Season Pass, many ARK survivors have wondered – is any of this new content free?

An Overview of ARK: Survival Evolved and the Genesis DLC

For those unfamiliar with the game, ARK: Survival Evolved is an open world survival game set in a world filled with dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. Players start out vulnerable and nearly naked on the beaches of a mysterious island called The ARK, and must hunt, harvest, craft and build bases to survive against the harsh environment and creature threats.

The core game is set across a number of free official maps like The Island, Ragnarok and Valguero, but also has a number of paid DLC expansion maps. The Genesis DLC is the pinnacle of this expanded ARK storyline and worldbuilding.

Genesis Part 1 launched in February 2020, and Genesis Part 2 launched in March 2021. Together these two expansions make up the Genesis Season Pass.

What‘s Included in the Genesis Season Pass?

According to the Steam store page, the Genesis Season Pass includes:

  • Access to the Genesis Part 1 and Genesis Part 2 expansion maps and content
  • Three new creatures known as the Noglin, Shadowmane, and Amargasaurus
  • One new HLN-A companion pet
  • One new armor set

The key things to note are that the pass includes both Genesis 1 and 2 expansions, along with some extra creature and cosmetic bonuses. It does not include other past ARK expansions like Aberration, Extinction, or Scorched Earth.

Are the Genesis Expansions Free?

Now to answer the core question – no, the Genesis expansions are not free DLC additions to ARK: Survival Evolved.

The Genesis Season Pass costs $34.99 USD across all platforms:

This is in line with the pricing for ARK‘s previous expansions like Extinction ($19.99) and Aberration ($19.99).

There are occasionally sales and discounts on the Genesis Season Pass – for example during Steam‘s Autumn Sale it was discounted to $20.99. However, most of the time it stays at the full $34.99 price point.

So in summary – the Genesis expansions are premium paid content packs that are not freely included with the base ARK: Survival Evolved game.

What Does Each Genesis Expansion Include?

Now that we‘ve established the Genesis passes aren‘t free, what exactly do you get for the $34.99? Let‘s break down what each pack includes:

Genesis Part 1 Key Features:

  • Five new story-oriented simulation zones: Bog, Arctic, Ocean, Volcanic, and Lunar
  • New creatures like Bloodstalker, Megachelon, Astrocetus and more
  • Missions system with configurable challenges
  • Tek hover skiff vehicle for land and water travel
  • Tameable creatures that can be converted into AI-driven bots to defend bases
  • Limited flight via Tek suits and the Aerodrillo shoulder cannon
  • Industrial forge alternatives like the Forge of Hephaestus
  • Simulation overhaul of some vanilla mechanics like no natural player stat growth

The volcanic biome introduced in Genesis Part 1

Genesis Part 2 Key Features:

  • One massive new space-themed map
  • New story missions and boss fight
  • New creatures like Voidwyrm and Astrodelphis
  • Tek hovercraft vehicle with improved weapons and logic
  • Shoulder-mounted weapons like the Gravity Grenade
  • Tameable Megachelon can be built into massive mobile bases
  • Powerful end game gear, structures and items
  • Tek sleeping pods allowing fast travel around the map

The Genesis Part 2 map

So in summary, the Genesis expansions provide almost an entirely new version of ARK concentrated into focused, story-driven experiences separate from the core survival gameplay. There are a ton of new creature options for breeding, structures to build creative bases with, and quality of life improvements to the base game mechanics.

Are the Expansions Worth Buying?

Whether or not the Genesis content is worth buying depends largely on your level of investment in ARK‘s world and creatures.

For hardcore ARK players and breeders, the Season Pass is likely a must-buy, providing access to over a dozen powerful new creatures to tame and mutate for PvP or PvE. The varied biomes also present new environmental challenges to overcome.

For casual players focused just on the survival experience, Genesis may not be essential, especially if you still have lots of mileage left on the Island and free maps. The mission system also caters more to end game players.

That said, if you enjoy sci-fi themes and technology in your survival games, Genesis‘ heavy use of Tek visuals, gear and mechanics adds a fresh high-tech twist to the standard ARK recipe.

Key Reasons to Buy the Genesis Season Pass:

  • You want to tame unique creatures like the X-Creatures, Bloodstalker and Space Whale
  • You enjoy difficult end-game challenges and boss fights
  • You want to experience the full ARK backstory and lore
  • You enjoy futuristic sci-fi themes and visuals
  • You want as much content and playtime as possible from ARK

Reasons It Would Be Fine to Skip Genesis:

  • You mostly enjoy the standard survival gameplay loop
  • You haven‘t explored much of the Island or other free maps yet
  • You play solo and don‘t need new creatures for breeding/mutating
  • You‘re waiting for a bigger sale to get it cheaper
  • You don‘t care as much about story and lore content

Overall there‘s enough meaty content in the Genesis expansions to justify the $35 investment for most serious ARK players. But it also isn‘t essential to enjoy the core survival experience.

How Can You Get Genesis for Free or Cheap?

While Genesis normally costs $35, there are a few ways you may be able to snag the expansions for free or at a discount:

  • Wait for a Steam sale – discounts up to 50% off are common during seasonal sales
  • Buy a used copy – you can find cheap used Xbox/PlayStation physical copies on sites like eBay
  • Xbox Game Pass – Genesis is included with Game Pass on Xbox consoles
  • ARK Console Bundle – occasionally the full game + all DLC is discounted in bundles
  • MOD maps – unofficial player-made maps inspired by Genesis exist

Out of these options, Xbox Game Pass is by far the easiest way to get free access to Genesis. However, Game Pass is a $10/month subscription, so keep that cost in mind.

Tips for Surviving and Thriving on the Genesis Maps

If you do grab the Genesis Season Pass, here are some key tips to help you get established on these challenging new ARK maps:

  • Use HLN-A to teleport between biomes – beds do not transfer your items/gear between zones
  • Build small starter bases in each area first before attempting big projects
  • Bring a greenhouse on Gen 1 to grow plants for important kibble
  • Tame a Bloodstalker early on Gen 1 for mobility and resource gathering
  • Take your time exploring to uncover hidden caves, rare resources and mission triggers
  • Enable cryopods before traveling to another zone so your tames can come with you
  • Grab XP notes ASAP on Gen 2 to quickly unlock Tek grams
  • Start mission tames early as many have very long passive timers
  • Build a raft base on Gen 2 to avoid annoyance fauna on land

With smart preparation and an explorer mindset, you‘ll be thriving on the Genesis maps in no time!

Key Details About the Genesis DLC

For completion‘s sake, here are a few other technical details worth knowing about the packs:

System Requirements

Genesis has the same minimum and recommended PC system requirements as the base game. But you‘ll want a solid rig for the best experience.

Install Size

The Steam store lists the disk space needed as 40GB for Genesis Part 1, and 35GB for Part 2.

Enabling Flight

Flight via flyers like Argentavis is disabled by default on Genesis maps, but can be toggled on via server settings.

Extinction Creature Unlocks

You need to complete boss fights on Extinction to unlock certain new Genesis 1 creatures to tame.

The Bottom Line – Genesis Delivers Plenty of Epic ARK Content

At the end of the day, the Genesis Season Pass offers a combined package stuffed with new内容, creatures, gear, challenges and stories to enrich the ARK experience. While not free, you do get tremendous value across two massive expansion maps for the $35 asking price.

For ARK fans who have put hundreds or thousands of hours into the base game and want even more, Genesis is a worthy investment that delivers fresh new adventures. For more casual players or those just starting out, it may be better to wait for a sale or hold off until you‘ve explored more existing content.

Hopefully this overview has provided a comprehensive answer to the question "is Genesis 1 ARK free?" – and given you all the details needed to decide if Genesis is worth purchasing for your own ARK journey. Happy surviving!



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