Understanding PVP, PVE, and PVPVE in ARK: Survival Evolved

May 9, 2023
ark pve vs pvp

In ARK: Survival Evolved, players can choose to engage in different game modes to cater to various playstyles. The two primary game modes are PVE (Player vs Environment) and PVP (Player vs Player). Understanding the differences between these modes can help you decide which one suits your gaming preferences best. In this blog post, we'll explore the key features of both PVE and PVP, as well as discuss the more complex PVPVE mode.

PVP (Player vs Player)

PVP is the most straightforward game mode, focusing on player-to-player combat. In PVP mode, the following rules apply:

  • Players can attack other players, regardless of level or location.
  • Bases can be destroyed.
  • Tamed creatures can be killed.
  • Raiders can loot your possessions if they choose to do so.

However, there are several misconceptions about PVP mode:

  • XP from killing players: Players do not gain XP from killing other players.
  • Resource blocking: More established tribes can block resources, and there is little an admin can do other than banning the offending tribe.
  • Offline raid prevention: This does not protect against raiding, as players can camp and wait for others to be online long enough to attack.
  • White flag: A white flag does not guarantee safety from PVP, and it is often disregarded by other players.
  • End game: PVP is not the true end game, as the latest expansion's cutscene reveals the actual intended end game.
  • Safe zones: There are no inherent safe zones in PVP mode; admins must establish and enforce them on the server.

When comparing ARK PVE vs PVP, the PVP mode is ideal for players who enjoy intense combat and competition with others.

PVE (Player vs Environment)

PVE mode focuses on players' interactions with the game environment, without the threat of other players' attacks. In PVE mode, players can expect:

  • No attacks from other players.
  • No base destruction by other players.
  • No killing of tamed creatures by other players.
  • No looting by other players, unless a container is left unlocked.

Despite the safety from other players, issues can still arise in PVE mode:

  • Resource blocking: Like in PVP mode, resource blocking can occur.
  • Land claiming: Players may use pillars or fence foundations to prevent others from building in certain areas.
  • Base decay: Base decay rates can cause problems, but active admins can resolve them.
  • Uncontrolled breeding: Players may leave their creatures set to breed while offline, leading to overpopulation.
  • Persistent bases: Bases that don't decay can be a form of trolling and make it difficult for new players to find base locations on established servers.

In the ARK PVE vs PVP debate, PVE mode is more suitable for players who prefer a more peaceful environment to explore and build without worrying about other players' aggression.

PVPVE (Player vs Player vs Environment)

PVPVE is a more complex and often misunderstood game mode, as it combines elements of both PVP and PVE modes. This mode primarily applies to clustered servers with a mix of PVP and PVE servers.

Some believe that allowing tribe wars on a PVE server validates the PVPVE term. However, this is a discussion of terminology, not game mechanics. Allowing tribe wars on a PVE server essentially permits PVP to occur, but it is not a server-wide event that affects everyone, which is the focus of this guide.

Players should exercise caution when joining servers advertised as PVPVE, as there is a lot of

ambiguity surrounding this term, and no universally agreed-upon definition.

Choosing the Right Mode: ARK PVE vs PVP

When it comes to deciding between ARK PVE vs PVP, it's essential to consider your personal gaming preferences and playstyle. Here's a quick summary to help you make your choice:

  • PVE: Choose this mode if you enjoy a more relaxed gaming experience, focused on exploration, building, and taming creatures without the constant threat of attacks from other players. PVE is perfect for players who prefer a cooperative and less competitive environment.
  • PVP: Opt for PVP mode if you're interested in intense player-to-player combat, base raiding, and competitive gameplay. PVP is ideal for players who thrive in a high-stakes environment and enjoy the thrill of battling against others for dominance and resources.

It's important to remember that your choice of game mode will significantly impact your experience in ARK: Survival Evolved. Be sure to consider your preferences carefully and join a server that best aligns with your desired playstyle.


In this blog post, we have explored the differences between ARK PVE and PVP, as well as discussed the more complex PVPVE mode. Understanding the nuances of each game mode can help you choose the one that suits your gaming preferences best.

Whether you prefer the adrenaline rush of battling against other players or the tranquil experience of exploring and building in a cooperative environment, ARK: Survival Evolved offers a game mode tailored to your needs.


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