Tutorial - How to setup a TC

So originally I wanted to make a post about the issues I found with the cooker including a detailed repro for Wildcard Studios but as it turns out I got my test TC running. I am still not sure about the current state of Mod cooking and I think something is off there. I will investigate further but I want to use the moment and share my knowledge of how you get your TC started. The setup is quite annoying and one wrong move breaks your TC so listen carefully. :smiley:

First of I want to point you to these two tutorials which are currently our only starting point. And as good as there were in the beginning as confusing can they be by now. They are a little bit outdated I saw enough people getting stuck on them. So who ever did that should do a updated series again cause they were kinda awesome.
I want to focus on TCs today. Mods itself should not be that different but can only guarantee for TCs.
TCs are Total Conversion. That means that you can overwrite every inch of the exposed game and modify it however you want. But that also means that you can not run this combined with the vanilla version of Ark. This replaces the vanilla version. That also means that TCs are not stackable with each other unlike Mods. So in theory you could skip most of the following steps and just modify the original game data. There are multiple reasons why you should not do that but the most important one would be that the files you edited might get overwritten as soon as we get an update for the ADK. So always create child blueprints or copies of the files you want to change. Having that in mind let’s start:

Setting up our folder and creating a level
Start up your editor and open a new level. The “default” one is totally fine.
Now open your content browser follow the folder structure until you reach the mod folder (Game->Mods). Right-click the “Mods” folder and select “New Folder”. Name it MyTC for this test.
Save your level into that folder. Let’s call it “EntryMapMyTC”.

Creating our GameData, GameMode and GameState**
To kick off our mod we need our own GameData. Find this blueprint “Blueprint’/Game/PrimalEarth/CoreBlueprints/PrimalGameData_BP.PrimalGameData_BP’” drag it onto our ModFolder and selct “create child here”.
Rename the new created blueprint PrimalGameData_MyTC. It is important that the blueprint name always starts with “PrimalGameData”. They say it has something to do with how the name is referenced in the code. It’s an old information and I am not sure how valid it still is. Just do it.
Next you want to create your GameMode. So right-click into your Mod folder and create a new blueprint. A window will pop up asking you what this blueprint should be based on. Select CustomGameMode and name the blueprint GameMode_MyTC.
Last one on the list is the GameState. You do the same as with the GameMode but you select the CustomGameState as a base blueprint. Name is GameState_MyTC.

Now open up the GameData and search for DefaultGameMode. Select your new created GameMode in here.
Open up your GameMode and scroll down until you reach the GameMode section. In here you have to change a few a variables.
DefaultPawnClass - PlayerPawnTest
HUDClass - ShooterHUDBP
PlayerControllerClass - PlayerControllerBlueprint
SpectatorClass - ShooterSpectatorPawn
GameStateClass - GameState_MyTC

Later on you can change these variables depending on your needs but you should be careful. Some other options cause crashes. Try to base your new blueprints on these classes.

Setup the level
Last but not least you press open the world settings by pressing the settings button in the top of your main editor window and scroll down until you reach PrimalGameDataOverride. Select your GameData. You can leave ForceLoadMap empty you do not have your own level. Put the name of your own level in here if you have one. Make sure that name is unique.

It is absolutly important that you always start your TC from your EntryMap or parts of the TC will not be loaded.

That’s it. These are the very basics. Not much changed since the video so why do you need this tutorial, right? Well, because I also want to attach a more advanced TC to this post. Take it as a reference. You can download it on Steam ( and test it but you can also download the source files here. I tested it with v215 and everything worked. Within this testcase you will find edited Pawns, Engramlists, Engrampoints, Server and Client side scripts in the GameMode, GameState and in the Pawn to test full functionality. As well as a testmap and a entry map for the island and the testmap. This TC was made for testing purpose only but feel free to make use of the base of it and create your own TC.

Source files are here:

This needs to be linked from the tutorials list.

This is true. It really should be.

I wanted to cry on finding this. It’s so beautiful. :*)

Thank you for the information posted. I had a lot of questions about overwriting that this post answered.

This was really helpful for figuring out why my TC wouldn’t build. Thank you very much!

I’ve set this up exactly how it has been stated and when I cook it appears to work fine but when I actually go onto Ark and try and use it the game doesn’t get past the loading screen, any ideas why?
Even the source TC that you provided doesn’t appear to work and I’ve tried this on two different PC’s :confused:

Haven’t checked these files in a while. I can try to test them sometime this week once I have setup my work station. Keep in mind that I wrote this article September last year. A lot has changed since then.

I’d really appreciate it if you could, I have seen any other information (that has worked) on how to setup a TC so I was hoping this would be the solution.

Kenturrac THANK YOU SO MUCH for these clear instructions. I have been having problems where my mod’s engrams wouldn’t show in the engram list and your instructions for setting up the blueprints was exactly what I needed to fix the issue. If you have time to write posts like these in the future I would really appreciate it. You fixed a problem that I had been working on for a week~ with no progress and I really appreciate it :o

Hey MelY22,
so I found some time to test it today and it seems to work fine. Even with the latest update. So not sure what´s up with your setup. I can recommend using the attached source files and try them aswell.

@SleepyLloydy: Glad I could help. :smiley: Always excited to see more people trying them self on TCs instead of item tunning mods. :smiley:

Hey, thanks for the great tut, got it all setup but I had a question. I’m trying to change the max difficulty from 4 to 8 as a test but that doesn’t seem to be working. To test if my TC is working I set the first engram to a bow and that works but not the other variable? Is there something I may be missing? I changed the variable inside the Gamemode BP. Cheers.

I managed to get mine working out of the blue after moving my files around, no idea what the actual fix was but thank you for testing and checking I really appreciate it! :slight_smile: