ARK: Survival Evolved on M1 Mac: Can it run on Apple Silicon?

Delete icon BIGNo, ARK: Survival Evolved still cannot run on M1 Macs.

At its core, ARK: Survival Evolved is a survival first-person shooter, similar to Rust, but on top of being able to craft tools and build fortresses, there are also dinosaurs you can tame and ride.

Needless to say, this is an incredibly entertaining, deep, and punishing game where both opposing players and dinosaurs are a constant threat.

ARK: Survival Evolved on Mac

As explained in our official Mac review, ARK has always been a difficult game to run on Windows. In spite of offering the same core features as the Windows version, including cross-platform multiplayer, ARK has always been poorly optimized for macOS.

Genre: Survival Shooter 64-Bit Support: ARK: Survival Evolved on M1 Mac: Can it run on Apple Silicon? 4 M1 Support: Rosetta 2
Developer: Studio Wildcard API: OpenGL M1 Performance: Crashes

Is ARK: Survival Evolved worth it? The reviews

ARK Survival Evolved Mac featured V2

ARK’s reviews are mixed. People either love it or hate it. It certainly has enough depth and entire gameplay loops to keep you entertained for hours, but the game is generally riddled with bugs, which hold it back:

ARK: Survival Evolved on M1 Mac: Can it run on Apple Silicon? 5 79% Reviews

ARK: Survival Evolved Mac requirements

These are the game’s official Mac requirements:

Minimum Requirements
OS: 10.9
Processor: 2.0 GHz CPU
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: OpenGL 3 Compatible GPU with 1 GB Video RAM
Hard Drive: 20 GB

Chat icon Note that according to these system requirements, a Mac with integrated graphics should not be able to run it. And in this case, we can confirm MacBooks struggle with this game. More on that below.

ARK: Survival Evolved M1 Mac support

ARK: Survival Evolved on M1 Mac: Can it run on Apple Silicon? 6 No, ARK: Survival Evolved still cannot run on M1 Macs. Not even with Rosetta 2.

Last Updated: February 13, 2021:

No screenshot can be shared as the game simply crashes at launch without even giving an error message.

The game was tested on the following M1 Mac:

  • 13-inch MacBook Air (2020): Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU, 8 GB RAM

As you can see below, the game is still exclusively written for Intel-based Macs, which is usually not an issue thanks to Rosetta 2. But in this case, ARK: Survival Evolved still cannot run on M1 Macs.

Tested versions:

  • MacBook Air: MacOS Big Sur version 11.1
  • ARK: Survival Evolved: Version unknown

What is Rosetta 2? Rosetta 2 is a translation process that enables an M1 Mac with Apple silicon to use apps built for Intel-based Macs.

More M1 gaming? Visit our M1 Supported Games list for 100+ Mac games we have tested and confirmed as M1-compatible.

ARK: Survival Evolved M1 Mac benchmarks

No benchmarks have been recorded on M1 Macs so far, but as soon as the game becomes compatible with Apple Silicon (if ever), we will update the table below:

Benchmarks Medium Settings & 900p Max Settings & 900p Max Settings & 1440p
MacBook Air (M1, 2020) 

As a reminder, this is how we describe the different levels of performance:

  • Below 20 FPS: Unplayable: Laggy gameplay, full of stutters and slowdowns.
  • 20-30 FPS: Borderline: Can be OK in slow-paced games. Still, not optimal.
  • 30-45 FPS: Playable: Acceptable for most (most gaming consoles do this).
  • 45-60 FPS: Smooth: Fluid gameplay, with no perceivable stutters.
  • 60+ FPS: Very Smooth: For hardcore and professional players, a luxury for most.

We usually aim for 30 FPS, because 30 FPS is enough to guarantee a smooth and fluid experience for most casual gamers.

M1 Performance VS Intel Macs

For the record, this is how ARK: Survival Evolved runs on Intel Macs:

Benchmarks 2020 M1 MacBook Air 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro Difference
Medium Settings & 900p 60 60 +0%

Submit & Request M1 results

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If you’re interested in testing games on your own M1 Mac, you can use this form:

Submit your results

You can also join our Discord to request a game or talk with other M1 Mac users.

ARK: Survival Evolved Mac download

You can download ARK: Survival Evolved from the following digital stores:

  • Humble Bundle
  • Epic Games
  • Steam

And more importantly, if you have your own M1 test results to share, on this game or another, please share them with us using this form.

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