When starting any game regardless of starting conditions, players are given an Ark. Arks cannot participate in combat, but they can relocate to pre-determined locations on the map (the relocate icon in upper right corner). The Ark has zero maintenance cost or energy requirements and has no effect on the ecobalance.
When starting Anno 2070 you will have a standard Ark, but by earning career points and equipping it with upgrade modules in-game you can improve its support role dramatically, and even choose its model and appearance. E.V.E, your trustworthy advisor is installed as a standard part of your Ark, and you are its captain.
- The first tab on your Ark display is the Warehouse tab. It lists stored goods and up to six Express Delivery options.
- Ark-storage and upgrades are both disabled in offline mode. In order to take advantage of the Ark's full functionality, the game must have an active connection to the Ubisoft servers.
- Ark-storage functions just like an island Warehouse. Goods ordered from E.V.E. arrive in Ark-storage (ordered goods do not get stored during offline play, they are dropped in a crate in front of the Ark).
- You can request weapons, building modules and tools from E.V.E in exchange for credits. Express delivery has a 20 minute cooldown and is significantly higher in cost than buying goods from NPCs. You can also gain the ability to request concrete, wood and carbon by reaching rank 12 in the corresponding faction's Career Progression in the Deep Ocean expansion.
- The Ark's module slot and goods storage capacities can be expanded via reaching rank 4 and rank 7 in each faction's Career Progression.
- When applicable, the Command Ship (3500 credits), the T38 Ocean Glider (5000 credits) and the building rights to Eco, Tycoon and Tech (10000 credits) are all purchased on the Ark order tab in the upper left corner.
- The second tab on the Ark display is the Upgrades Tab. Ark upgrades are activated by placing your Ark module into storage, switching to the Upgrades tab, selecting an appropriate 1-3 star row empty upgrade slot (shown with a green + symbol), then the desired module. The module tooltip will now read: This item is active at the moment, and the effects of the module will take effect immediately.
- Upgrades equipped on the Ark this way will only be saved for the out-of-game Ark Configuration when done in Continuous Games created with the "Ark Storage" setting turned on.
- Third and final is the Politics tab, which provides an overview to the current World Patron as determined by World Council votes, the active effects of the current Senate votes, and your available options of four World Council Actions.
Note: Politics powers are only available in Continuous gameplay and are disabled in every other game mode.
There are three tiers of improvements you can get for your ark (rarity 1-3). You can have a total of three improvements of each rarity. In some cases, you will need a specific career rank to be able to insert more upgrades. Typically, you start with three unlocked slots for upgrades with rarity rank 1, 2 open slots for upgrades with rarity rank 2, and 1 slot for rank 3 upgrades. These upgrades are items just like you use on vehicles and warehouses. You can easily see that it's an ark item if it has a red symbol in the corner, as opposed to blue for vehicles and yellow for warehouses.
These upgrades can be acquired by multiple means. Sometimes you can get them from doing expeditions with a coordinates item, you can get them from completing quests, buy them from third parties or you can research them in your Academy. An easy (but cheap) way to obtain Ark upgrades is by playing a continuous game on the easiest setting without opponents and building a large number of academies in your tech city. The obtained upgrades can then be used in other, harder, games.
Equipping all sockets in the ark upgrade menu earns an achievement and the title Mad Scientist. This can be earned even before all sockets have been unlocked; just fill the sockets that are available to you.