ARK: Survival Evolved is an adventure video game developed by Studio Wildcard. In the game, players are living with plenty of prehistoric animals and they need to survive, all in online multiplayer!
However, the game appears to be impossible to play for some people as the ARK “Fatal error” appears after the game crashes to desktop. It appears to be impossible to play which annoys users who paid for the game. There are several methods which can help you fix the game so make sure you follow our steps below.
What Causes ARK Fatal Error?
The error is most likely caused by faulty or missing game files which need to be redownloaded immediately. That can be done by verifying the integrity of game files. Another thing which might cause the problem is the game optimization done by GeForce Experience so try turning it off for ARK: Survival Evolved.
Outdated drivers can be a cause for the problem and you should update them as soon as you get the chance if you want to prevent further problems as well. Finally, running the game in compatibility mode may fix some Windows 8 or 10 incompatibility issues with the game!
Solution 1: Verify the Integrity of Game Files
This highly successful method is, unfortunately, limited to Steam users and it allows the Steam client to scan the game’s installation folder for missing or corrupt files and redownload them to your computer easily. Follow the steps below in order to do so with ARK: Survival Evolved and check to see if the ARK Fatal error still appears.
- Make sure you open Steam by double-clicking its icon on the Desktop or by searching for it in Start menu. Switch over to the Library sub-section and locate ARK: Survival Evolved in the list of games you own in your library.
- Right-click on its name in the list and choose Properties from the context menu which will appear. Navigate to the Local Files tab and click the Verify Integrity of Game Files button.
- The tool should download any missing or corrupt files and you should launch the game afterwards and see if the ARK: Fatal Error message keeps appearing.
Solution 2: Install the Latest Available Graphics Card Driver
It’s recommended that you always use the latest available graphics card driver in order to optimize all games running on your PC. Outdated drivers are a cause of many different problems on your PC, including the ARK Fatal Error. Follow the steps below in order to fix the problem!
- Click the Start menu icon at the lower left part of the screen, type in “Device Manager” with the menu open, and select it from the list of results by simply clicking the first one.
- You can also press the Windows Key + R key combination in order to start up the Run dialog box. Type in “devmgmt.msc” in the dialog box and click OK in order to run it.
- Since it’s the video card driver you want to update on your PC, click the arrow next to the Display adapters section, right click on your video card and choose the Uninstall Device option.
- Confirm any dialog choices which may ask you to confirm the removal of the current graphics device driver and wait for the process to complete.
- Look for your graphics card driver on the card’s manufacturer’s site and follow their instructions which should be available right there. After performing a search for your card, OS, and CPU architecture, you should try various different drivers, starting from the newest one.
- Save the installation file on your computer and run the executable from there. Your computer may restart several times during the installation.
- Check to see if the ARK Fatal error message appears after launching the game.
Solution 3: Disable the Optimization of the Game in GeForce Experience
This method might be highly helpful to NVIDIA users who experience this issue quite often. The thing is that a new NVIDIA GeForce Experience update has made some problems with the game optimization feature. It should be used to make the game run better but plenty of users claim that it just caused the game to crash.
- Open GeForce experience by searching for it on your Desktop or the Start menu. Wait for it to open and click the Cog icon from the Home screen which should be located in the upper right corner.
- Switch to the Games tab in the Settings window and uncheck the “Automatically optimize newly added games”. This will disable automatic optimization for all games. If you wish to only exclude ARK, check the box again and go back to GeForce Experience home screen.
- Hover over the game you want to stop optimizing and click Details. You should see a green check saying Game is optimized. Click on Revert in the same line and confirm your choice. Check to see if ARK Fatal error still appears after the game crashes.
Solution 4: Run the Game in Compatibility Mode for Windows 7
This simple method has worked for plenty of users and you should try it out as well. If you are running the game on Windows 8 or 10, you might want to try it in the compatibility mode for Windows 7 as that OS was the common one at that time. Let us know how it worked!
- If you can locate the game’s installation folder manually, you can find the game’s executable. The easiest way would be to right-click the game’s shortcut on Desktop or anywhere else and choose Properties from the menu. An alternative would be to search for ARK in Start menu, right-click the first result and choose Open file location. It should open its shortcut so right-click on in and choose Properties.
- If you have installed the game via Steam, open its shortcut on the Desktop or by searching for it in the Start menu simply by typing “Steam” after clicking the Start menu button.
- After the Steam client opens, navigate to the Library tab in the Steam window at the menu located at the top of the window, and locate the ARK: Survival Evolved entry in the list.
- Right-click the game’s icon in the library and choose the Properties option from the context menu which will open and make sure you navigate to the Local Files tab in the Properties window straight away and click the Browse Local Files button.
- Inside the ARK Folder, navigate to ShooterGame >> Binaries >> Win64 and right-click the ShooterGame.exe file in order to choose Properties. Navigate to the Compatibility tab in the Properties window and check the box next to the “Run this program in compatibility mode for” option. Choose Windows 7 (recommended by us) from the menu which will appear.
- Under the Settings section in the same window, check the box next to the “Run this program as an administrator” entry in order to give it some more permissions in hopes of solving the problem for good.
- Apply the changes you have made and try restarting the game to see if the ARK Fatal error has stopped appearing.