Ark player wanting to know the differences

Primarily a builder, playing on PVE only private servers (6 maps clustered), with mods, S+ and Castles Keeps and Forts (if you don’t know what all of that means, you don’t know enough to give me a reasonable answer).

While I’ve heard that Conan Exiles is better for building, I want to know if that assessment is based on comparing official servers vs. player run servers with mods.

:smiley: Well, if in doubt, try it out - or watch some streams demo-ing the game.
Conan Exiles, though mainly geared to the PvP player, has a surprisingly large PvE and PvRP (role-play) environment. There are a ton of PvE/PvP servers too, that embrace base building and some limited combat.
My opinion: based purely on the fact that all survival/world games like CE and Ark (and the Ark dlcs) have their serious share of griefers and exploiters that just trawl through public servers causing issues. For that reason I personally like private servers - and in many cases, accessing these are simple and relatively cheap. Modded is even more fun as there are some really incredible mods out there that expand the game a lot.
The overall world has three major regional zones: desert savanna, snowy cold area, and swamp/jungle. The creatures are realistic (kinda) and can be vicious.
The actual gameplay is very good. Movement realistic, combat moves excellent and building leaves most other games in their tracks.
If you are wanting someone to talk you into the game, well sorry, I think you will have to actually give it a try. Play solo to get your feel and then dip toes in the online world. There are servers for all preferences.
Oh, if you are at all familiar with the Conan genre, then you have been missing out by not playing. Go check out shaiQuera’s stream. She does an excellent demonstration of PvE/PvP playing. Search PvP to see the other side.
Go explore - and try not to get eaten.

I make my own private servers for games when I can. For Ark I did the same and had S+ and I know of the other mods you mention. (also has a ton of other mods…lol).

While the building is better in Conan than ark, it has its idiosyncrasies as well. There are work arounds in most cases, so like ark you need to work those out before you can build without too much frustration. But CE is a ton better imo.

For Conan, I have pickup+ and Less_Building_Placement_Restrictions_Overlaps_Edition (not to mention a bunch of others). There are some cool building mods you can add, to be able to add a ton of extra stuff. I haven’t added any of them yet, however they look pretty cool. You can literally build awesome looking castles complete with Drawbridges and very cool blocks like crenellations.

Either way default CE vs Ark, CE is better, and with CE mods vs Ark mods, its even better for building. However I find CE has a lot more bugs than Ark, but for PVE its not such an issue.

Main point between Ark and CE for me, is that Ark was insanely hard. Conan is a walk in the park in comparison (as far as mobs go). Very different feel to the game though and I love so many aspects that were not in Ark. Thralls are awesome, and I like the whole religion thing. Very unique. No mounts though, no boats either. You can build in water though and half way up cliff faces…lol.

If you like building you will love CE. First thing I built was a castle, and only took me a few hours. In ark took me a few hours just to build a crappy little shack with a slanted roof. Of course I got much better at over time, but learning curve for CE building is much lower than ark.

EDIT: Sorry forgot to mention, there is no native linux server. However it does work via wine. I use debian and the server does not work very well unfortunately. If you have ubuntu though, u shouldn’t have an issue. I ended up creating a VM and using windows in the end. Works surprisingly well…lol


There’s a free weekend coming up in the next little bit. Is it this weekend? Anyway–great opportunity to try CE on for size!

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The major differences between ARK and CE is this:

As you know in ARK you can build rooms of infinite sizes as long as a foundation and it’s overarching ceiling is connected by 2 opposing walls or pillars. E.g : Pillar-less rooms of any size, as long as it’s indoor.

In CE you have structural integrity to consider, meaning tiles loose structural support, the strength of which radiates out from pillars and walls connected to foundations… Eg. Pillarless rooms can only be 8 tiles from wall to wall, otherwise you have to place pillars at every 7th tile interval. (walls at every 8th tile interval)


Other then that, construction in ARK and CE is identical. Same wedges (triangles).

The strairs are much longer on ARK… in CE stairs are perfectly sized to occupy 1 square tile. So… if you have a 2 tile high room, you need 2 tiles to accomodate a 2 tile stair to go up to your “second floor” - practically 3 tiles, because you need access infront of those stairs but you know what I mean.

Ramps and stairs are the same dimensions in CE, and don’t poke through the floor like they do in ARK.

Ceilings are perfectly level with foundations, unlike in Vanilla ARK.

Walls have clearly marked “outward facing” ghost placement models. Mousewheel is used to orientate tiles, as oppossed to the awkward “Q” and “E” of ARK.

Pillars have a singular snap point, as oppossed to ARK’s multi-snap pointed Pillars…so you can’t do things in CE like this:

But since everything is uniformly 1 tile high in CE, you can do things like this:

After the latest CE updates, all chests and workshops are pick-up-able. This is built-in vanilla functionality.

Overall CE does feature a better construction set “out-of-the-box”.

The only thing ARK has over CE, is the “ladder” furniture orientation trick and the perspective camera for placing furniture.

in CE, trying to align furniture in a particular orientation is a hassle, especially on large structures because the camera can’t zoom out far enough to see the back of said structures.

The “snap-stackable storage boxes” feature of the S+ mod is perhaps the single most under-appreciated feature in the survival game genre, that no development studio has ever managed to implement out of the box.

Like, what else would you do with a bunch of chests?

Oh yeah - speaking of chests.

In ARK, you can place Canvas and signs over storage chests and you can dye chests.
In CE, you can only mount signs on structural tiles, not furniture, and you can’t dye chests, but you can pick them back up, with it’s inventory auto-transferring.

Most notable feature: Your character can have an “encumberance build” which means you can go infinitely over-weight without it affecting your run speed. You have 600 “slots” or stacks as your total cap.

With wood, stone and plant fiber stacking up to 1000, that’s quite substantial.

Better than Theri + Direbear all day…

Furthermore, all construction tiles are crafted on your person. You don’t have to split stacks with your Argy all day.

You can climb any surface with your character, even completely overweight, at no penalty to your stamina. This is a boon when you are building. Everything is your ladder. Climbing axes are so yesterday.

All doors auto-close, but you have to manually open them. (one feature I miss from about S+ mod…)
Half Tek Doors :stuck_out_tongue:

You have Dino gates. They make for pretty good parameter walls as usual.

Fence foundations in CE aren’t terrain height conforming and 45 degree angle snappy as they are in ARK, but foundations can clip into the terrain more leniently, than on ARK. basically: Use foundations like fence foundations. Fence foundations are meant to be used in conjunction with foundations. (fence foundations can be stacked ontop of eachother… think of CE fence foundations as stand-alone stackable walls that are particularly fence-friendly.


I don’t play either game on official servers or with mods.

CE amazes me in almost every way over Ark. (I do love/study paleontology though)

I only play solo. (I obviously don’t have your answer, but I just tried to play ark again…I can’t, the game looks like crap imo)

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