Is Atlas, Worth Playing?
Atlas could still become something special, but floundering on the rocks for almost four years has done little to assure the survival community of a positive outcome.

The Lowdown.

Product Details
Genre: Survival
Developer: Grapeshot Games
Publisher: Grapeshot Games
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 22 December 2018
Supported Modes:


Atlas is certainly better optimized than Ark Survival Evolved was at a similar age; however, much of that performance increase could be attributed to how much more powerful hardware has become; before the Covid-19 pandemic, it was possible to pick up fairly powerful GPU that was beyond anything on the market when Ark Survival Evolved released for less than £300.

As for raw performance data when using a 5700 XT, I can run Atlas at a stable 95fps/1080p on maxed settings on land and closer to 144fps/1080p when at sea, which is very playable and enjoyable, with even the most frantic engagements rarely causing the fps to drop below 65.

For me, the biggest performance gains I have encountered involved moving my installation of Atlas to a NvMe drive; loading times are now counted in seconds on even a highly modded install, and screen tearing and texture streaming issues are almost non-existent.



Atlas is a pretty survival game; when played at maximum settings, like its sibling Ark Survival Evolved, it becomes considerably less attractive when hardware/performance limitations necessitate lowering visual quality to medium or even lower.

For those who can play Atlas the way it was meant to be played, it is one of the most visually stunning survival games on the market, and exploration is a game unto itself; I could happily sail around for hours discovering new islands and points of interest.


Character Customization.

Players can customize almost every aspect of their character’s appearance, which can result in some horrifying creations; that being said, for players who wish to create a unique character, Atlas has one of the best character creators in the genre, improving upon the one found in Ark Survival Evolved considerably.


Diverse Community

The Atlas community is not a monolith and comprises multiple distinct groups of players, each with their own personalities and goals.

Role Players

Roleplayers like to immersive themselves in the world and lore of their particular server; they are often friendly, not prone to unprovoked violence, and, as a general rule, make great neighbours; if you can fit into their world, often roleplay servers will have additional rules and restrictions, such as naming conventions and limitations on the types of ships and bases players are allowed to construct.

In addition, most roleplay servers require players to remain in character (IC) and frown upon players engaging in out-of-character chat (OOC) in public chat channels.


Pvpers range from trolls who enjoy levelling the shack of new players and leaving racist messages on noticeboards to sporting individuals who enjoy the thrill of testing their mettle against others.

One of the most misunderstood groups in Atlas, most assumes them all to be bloodthirsty trolls, when in reality, the vast majority of PvPers have a good sense of sportsmanship and fair play and will not attack small companies or solo players unless provoked, and will actively step in to protect smaller companies from aggressive larger companies when asked.



These players love building and often do not wish to engage in any other activity; they create some of the most magnificent structures and ships in the game and, as a general role, hang out on roleplay or PvE unofficial servers.

PvE / Causals

Wrongfully dismissed as carebears by the toxic elements of the PvP community, Pve players enjoy exploring, battling NPCs, and working with other players; as a rule, PvE players are more commonly found on the official PvE server or unofficial PvPvE servers, where PvP is limited to certain areas of the map.


It’s Dead In The Water.

While Atlas is a great game in principle, that alone does not keep players engaged throughout the long content droughts and prolonged PvP seasons that attract fewer returning players with each subsequent season.

The Atlas official servers are only alive due to crossplay support with the Xbox community, with most official server players coming from that platform, ensuring that the official PvP and PvE servers remain viable.

Unlike the console community, most PC players prefer to spend their time on modified unofficial servers, which offer increased experience gain and a wide selection of quality-of-life improvements that make Atlas more palatable for small groups and solo players.

While individually, these communities are far smaller than the official servers, most PC players prefer them as they allow for more frequent roleplay and pvp encounters due to players being able to replace lost ships and items quickly.

Several unmodded boosted unofficial servers allow crossplay between Xbox and PC; however, these are not as popular as modded servers with the PC community.

Image credit Atlas - Published by Grapeshot Games and developed by Grapeshot Games.

Lack of Direction.

Despite what some in the community may say, Grapeshot Games consistently updated Atlas from launch in 2018 until April 2023, when Snail Game USA’s/Wildcards’ financial troubles became widely known.

Unfortunately, many of those updates were undoing changes introduced by previous updates or adding features that were either unwanted or too little too late in the eyes of the community to counter one another, as various project leads took the project in different directions before abandoning ship, often to work on Wildcard’s darling Ark Survival Evolved.

While those who accuse Grapeshot Games of abandoning Atlas are wrong, I understand their frustration regarding Atlas and its future.

Over the past five years, we have seen the focus of Atlas shift from a large-scale piratical MMORPG to something very different; while Atlas in its current form isn’t bad, it’s not what we paid for.

The most blatant example of this is the relegation of custom shipbuilding to a legacy mechanic while an inferior module ship system has taken its place; while I understand WHY this change had to occur to allow some semblance of balance in PvP, the new system is far less immersive and honestly far less enjoyable to partake in, and mainly consists of grinding gold and then buying a ship from a vendor.


In addition, the developers have danced back and forth between making Atlas more like Ark Survival Evolved by introducing new mounts and land-based mechanics and focusing on making Atlas more nautical by making ocean-based gameplay more rewarding than investing in land-based tames and exploration.

While they have succeeded somewhat in this regard, the constant swapping between priorities slowed development to a crawl before appearing to end entirely in early April 2023, before the team vanished entirely in June of the same year.

Without question, Atlas is a very different game than the one we were sold back in 2018, but it’s not all bad news; Atlas is now far more friendly to solo players and small groups, and Grapeshot Games have introduced new ways for players to automate some of the more tedious elements of grinding resources, such as the introduction of trade winds, portals, dedicated resource gathering buildings and trade routes.

But with the future of Atlas and grapeshot games in doubt and the majority of the team being reassigned to Ark Survival Ascended, I cannot help but feel that Atlas is doomed and only the unofficial server community will offer some semblance of community before long.


Atlas FAQ

Atlas is a survival video game developed and published by Grapeshot Games, it was released on 22 December 2018 and retails for $29.99.

Platform Availability.

Atlas is available on the following platforms: PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

Are The Developers Active?

Atlas has not been updated since June 2023 and has not received any content updates since April 2023, indicating that development may have ended prematurely and the developers reassigned to Ark Survival Ascended.

How Many People Play Atlas?

As of April 2024, around 5000 people play Atlas on a fairly regular basis.

How Active Is The Atlas Playerbase?

Atlas is barely active, and while a few players continue to log in regularly, finding an active server is difficult and may require playing on a server with very high latency.

Is Cross-Platform Multiplayer Supported?

Atlas supports:

  • Cross-Platform Multiplayer.
  • Cross-Platform Parties.
  • Cross-Generational Multiplayer.
  • Cross-Generational Parties.
  • Cross-Platform Progression.

Is There Group Finding/Matchmaking Support?

Atlas offers the following matchmaking options:

  • Server Browser

What Peripherals Are Supported?

The following peripherals are officially supported:

  • Console - Controller.
  • PC - Controller.
  • PC - Mouse and Keyboard.

Is There Any Mature Content?

Atlas is rated PEGI 16+ and contains the following:

  • Gore
  • Violence

Final Verdict.

I enjoy playing Atlas, and if you can find the right unofficial server/company, it will be a very enjoyable experience; however, at this time, I cannot recommend anyone pay full price for Atlas, as Grapeshot Games appear to have disappeared following the publication of Snail Games USA (and Wildcards) financial woes.

Atlas often goes on sale for 66% off or greater during Steam sales, and I feel that is a great buy-in price; for those who understand, Atlas may never become all we, the community and Grapeshot Games themselves, had envisioned it to be, and that Atlas may very well be abandoned like so many other games that are within Snail Games USA sphere of influence.

Is Atlas Worth Playing In 2024?

Honest Video Game Reviews has given "Atlas" a rating of 5/10, which means, while it is mediocre/average, and has its fair share of issues, the average gamer would not regret playing it.

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