This year’s Winter Wonderland for ARK: Survival Ascended may be the biggest yet. The annual winter-themed event launches alongside the Battle Royale-like Survival of the Fittest mode, as well as hundreds of mods available on console for the first time.

Raptor Claus returns in the Winter Wonderland event, flying through the sky and dropping presents full of sweet loot (and coal!). Survivors can use Mistletoe and Coal to craft special limited-time cosmetics.

This year’s event also adds unique creatures such as Santa’s Big Helper Yeti, Abominable Snowman, and Pegomastax Grouch, as well as ridable reindeer. New cosmetics include Krampus skin, and Santa’s Workshop Smithy.

During the event, survivors can enjoy 50% boosted rates of harvesting, taming, breeding, and experience gain.

Survival of the Fittest is a dino-themed Battle Royale spin-off that pits 60 players against each other in a competitive, last army standing version of ARK.

The update also officially adds cross-platform mod support for console gamers, adding over 600 mods created on the PC version. Officially supported mods can be found on the website Curseforge and include smaller additions such as creatures and weapons to full-blown maps and entire game modes. Mods can be easily browsed and downloaded through the in-game mod browser.

ARK: Survival Ascended is a remake of ARK: Survival Evolved, featuring shared worlds of survival, crafting, and dinosaurs. It’s available on PC (Steam), PlayStation, and Xbox ($44.99).

The Winter Wonderland event ends January 7, 2024.

This article was written by

Eric has been writing for over nine years with bylines at Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer, Tabletop Gaming magazine, and more covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games, and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on his YouTube channel. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.