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Pokémon mod for Ark: Survival Evolved lets you hunt Charizard in first person

It’s super effective in VR as well

A Rapidash, trailing its fiery mane, stands amidst the tall jungle grass in Ark: Survival Evolved.
A wild Rapidash in the world of Ark: Survival Evolved.
Mystic Academy/Ark: Survival Evolved
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

One of the most popular mods for Ark: Survival Evolved lets you hunt Pokémon in first-person and virtual reality. The mod, called Pokémon Evolved, was recently hit with a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) claim, but it’s recently been lifted allowing the mod to be downloaded once more.

The mod’s developer, who goes by Mystic Academy on Valve’s Steam marketplace, tells PC Gamer that he thinks the original DMCA complaint came from another modder making a competing Pokémon mod for Ark. If that’s the case, then The Pokémon Company itself hasn’t gotten involved... yet.

Suffice it to say, if you’d like to give it a try it might be a good idea to do it now.

Ark is a multiplayer online survival game which rose to prominence after its launch in 2015 on Windows PC via Steam. Since then, the game has consistently ranked among the top 5 most-played games on Steam.

In the base game, players wake up on the shores of a vast island covered with dense jungle and dozens of prehistoric creatures, including mammoths and several species of dinosaur. Over the course of the game players can scavenge resources, build bases and hunt animals for food. They can also tame those animals, turning them into pets or epic mounts.

“Instead of gathering resources,” Mystic Academy writes in the mod’s description, “you will gather credits by killing Pokémon. Once you have gained credits you can use the credits in the [in-game] Poké terminal.”

We spent some time inside the world of Ark with one of its creators.

Soon after it launched, Ark integrated with the Steam Workshop system which allows users to create and share custom content for games. Pokémon Evolved is one of many such mods. Rated at five stars by more than 600 users, it’s one of the game’s most popular add-ons.

“This mod was created to bring a whole new world to the players of Ark,” Mystic Academy writes. “Like many other Ark players, I had become bored with just modding dinos and the other Ark craftables. The team went ahead and started to create a conversion to Ark that would remove everything that you are used to and replace it with the style from Pokémon.”

Currently Pokémon Evolved includes 29 different Pokémon that spawn around Ark’s main island, including Bulbasaur, Charmander and Charizard.

No Pikachu are available at this time.

Ark: Survival Evolved is compatible with Linux, Mac and Windows. It has built-in VR capabilities, and works with both Oculus Rift and Vive. The game is also available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Mystic Academy/Ark: Survival Evolved

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