Both Ark and Conan Exiles are popular survival games that have amassed a steady following over the years. But if your budget only extends to one game, which out of Ark vs Conan Exiles is better?
The choice of whether to play Ark: Survival Evolved or Conan Exiles should be a fairly easy one as they are both aimed at different audiences, making it easier to decide.
With Ark, you want to take time and research the best servers as there are some toxic ones out there, more so than in Conan.
Conan Exiles, on the other hand, has much less chance of stumbling across the same type of annoying players, with the game generally being aimed towards a much more mature audience.
Ark vs Conan: Platforms
Ark is available to play on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Android, Windows, Linux, and MacOS. Players on Xbox and Windows can use cross-platform as well as Steam users.
Conan Exiles is available on PC, PS5, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One. There is no support for cross-platform play, so you wouldn’t be able to play on a PC with a friend who has an Xbox.
Back in 2020, there were around 157,000 Ark players, compared with Conan Exiles at 23,000 in just one day.
Ark vs Conan: Graphics
Both games are extremely impressive visually. However, Conan pips Ark to the post in terms of player models, especially for those who want something a little more… adult.
Conan has very detailed player models, as you can see from the image below.
The characters do feature nudity. For this reason, it attracts a slightly more mature audience and has a PEGI rating of ages 18 and over.
There is the option to turn off nudity in the settings though if you prefer not to look at a bare naked rear!
At the start of Conan Exiles, everything was desolate and dusky, which didn’t do its graphics any favors. But as the years have gone on and the game has developed, we’ve seen lush jungle biomes and new attractive environments.
Ark: Survival Evolved, unfortunately, doesn’t have the same level of detail in character models that Conan Exiles does, with over-the-top muscles and at times some odd textures.
As you walk around Ark’s multiple maps, you soon realize the amount of care and attention to detail that goes into these maps, with many of them even including entire other biomes underneath the main map.
If you get yourself a flyer or play Ark’s new Genesis 2 DLC, you will soon start to see how many diverse biomes there actually are.
There’s a wealth of unique creatures, each living within its own beautiful environment, with no two biomes looking the same.
The downside to all this beauty is the strain the ultra-graphics settings can have on your computer, the latest hardware will keep up, but anything less might struggle.
You might find that you struggle more on some maps than others. Ark’s Genesis DLC has a known issue with some players’ machines dropping to extremely low FPS when entering the ocean biome.
In some cases, depending on the features/functions they add to the game, certain mods have been reported to cause extra strain too. The more mods present, the more chance of further strain on your PC.
If you have a lower-end computer, it might be worth considering Conan Exiles. The graphics aren’t bad but are much easier to run than Ark’s.
Ark vs Conan: Building and Crafting
If you are anything like me, you absolutely love building in survival games. While I love some PVP, I personally spend most of my time on survival games perfecting my base design.
Neither game is hard to build in but with the addition of some great mods, Ark Survival Evolved wins the building vote from me.
The Thralls on Conan are a really cool addition too, whilst it’s nice having dinosaurs in your base, seeing slaves pushing the wheel of pain, or working at the forge actually brings your base to life.
Mod Enhanced Building
Personally, now that I’ve been using Structures Plus for some time, I cannot play without it. Small features such as ensuring fences are straight on hard terrain amaze me, and it makes the game more enjoyable to play.
Structures Plus also has some quality-of-life enhancements, many of which simply take away the dull chores of the game, automating many routine tasks, but all the while not making things too easy.
There are tons of other mods out there too, many of which add finer details and new props Another one of my favorites is Eco’s RP Decor pack which adds small props to the game.
While Conan Exiles do have their own mods, I personally have found they just don’t stack up to the ones offered by Ark.
For some of us who played Conan Exiles in its earlier days, you will remember having to manually add each mod which was frankly a real pain.
Ark vs Conan Exiles: PVE
Although Ark has some great bosses, it has one major disadvantage over Conan Exiles. Its story and lore, which compared to Conan is lacking somewhat.
Each time Conan has released a DLC, we’ve seen more pieces of lore and story come together. This detailed history of storytelling from Conan is one of the reasons there are so many RP and ERP Conan Exile servers out there.
The story for Ark: Survival Evolved has now come to an end, and Ark players will have to wait for Ark 2 before seeing there their adventure leads next. But Conan Exiles is still going strong, with new story elements being added to the game frequently.
Both games have some impressive bosses and while I do love Ark, I must admit, I have found myself enjoying taking on some of the Conan Exiles world bosses more than the Ark bosses.
Ark vs Conan Exiles: PVP
This one is a clear-cut choice for me. Conan’s fighting system, while it has been improved over the years, doesn’t come close to the PVP experience you get in Ark.
While Conan does have mounts, nothing beats the feeling of flying on a jet pack-powered dinosaur, hurling grenades at an enemy base, or riding on the back of a giant turtle, with a FOB built on it.
With dinosaurs and ranged weapons, it almost feels like an unfair fight. I have found games that focus on melee combat seem to struggle much more than games with ranged weapons.
Both games have their own strengths and weaknesses, but no matter how great Conan Exiles is, I always seem to find myself coming back to Ark: Survival Evolved.
But with Ark 2 creeping ever closer, the amount of new content for Ark has started to slow down, whereas Conan Exiles on the other hand is still receiving frequent new updates packed full of new content, and as a result, its player base is starting to grow.