Ark: Survival Evolved - Dinos and Leveling Survival Game

I tried Ark briefly on launch, but bounced off it. But my boy is 6 now and dinosaur obsessed, so I had to fire it back up, particularly after getting a survival crafter itch in playing Conan Exiles as well.

My kid looooves it! He and his nephews were screaming and freaking out yesterday when I was creeping around the starter area an getting ganked by various dinos (and piranhas)!

And he got to ride his first dinosaur today and walk around the beach collecting a troupe of Dodos.

Time for another Ark adventure!

I’m playing on Valguero and I’m out hunting for giga’s because I need the hearts to do the alpha boss fight. First off, it is amazing how hard it is to actually find them. I’ve lost complete track of giga’s in a forest before. When that happened, I gave up and left. There was no way I was going to be playing hide-and-seek with a giga.

Eventually I find a pair of giga’s. They are in a valley so I try to setup on the ridge lines so I can use my velon to machine gun them down, except giga’s have learned a new trick, cliff climbing. They seemed to always find paths up to the ridge where I was. That made for a few minor heart attacks.

The one giga runs around and finally ends up in a lake, where I decide to just let it drown. Then some piranha eat the body before I could recover the heart. One giga heart lost.

The second giga gets itself stuck so I was able to use my velon to kill it.

After a bit of scouting around, I find a third giga (lvl 150). I lead it down into another valley, but before I un-cryo my velon, I shoot it a couple times to see if it can get up to me and yes it can. Hop on the ptera and quickly fly out of reach. After a few minutes I think I’ve found a good spot where the giga can’t get me. Un-cryo the velon and get to work, only to discover that the giga was smarter than I was.

My ptera was quickly munched and the giga chased me down on my velon. Just before the velon died, I hopped off and left him to his fate (sorry Frank Butler the 6th, yeah, I lose a lot of velons). The giga was to busy eating the velon to chase me down.

Then I get back to my base and and figure I should tame this one since there are not many gigas on the server, besides being a 150. So I craft up the necessary building components for a portable taming pen while I am un-cryoing Frank Butler the 7th. (I actually have about 10 velons cryoed for when I lose one).

The tame was anti-climatic. The giga went into the pen, the door shut, got tranqed, ate kibble and was tamed. Now I need to figure what I want to do with a giga.

I feel like that’s the lead in for an ARK joke meme or something. :)

Grats on the Giga.

I’ve been playing WoW with Trip here lately. I’m assuming we’re getting close to whatever expansion date they’ve promised for ARK, right? Or is there a date yet?

It’s time to teach it the loving art of fratricide!

I think they said January, but no specific date.

Question about spino traps. I have a 4x4x4 with a ramp down one side and double doors all around the bottom so my ravager can exit the trap. How is the spino still escaping?

Edit: Never mind, got it, although I’m not quite sure what I fixed.

For the future, I’m a converter to the, “Regan School Of Trap Minimalism.”

Take a few of the normal gateways around with you on your dino. Place 3-4 of them in a loose semi-circle with room for one more to be placed. Shoot the spino, run like a bandit into the semi-circle. When the spino comes in, drop that last gateway behind them.

They can’t get through or out, and you have clear shots to tranq them down from outside the setup.

An amazing number of large dinos can be tamed using that same setup, plus it weighs less and takes less time to set up than carrying around the mats to build a trap somewhere with normal building pieces.

If you have the appropriate mods installed (stargate and S+) then you have the easiest and safest taming method, short of those insta-tame type mods.

First make a permanent taming pen at your base. You can do it in stone at first, but I just recently upgraded mine to tek & metal because I got tired of fixing stuff when I was taming dinos that could damage stone (looking at you therizin’s). Next, place a raised stargate in it. If you plan on using this method for fliers you will need to put a roof on it also.

Then you take a second stargate with you and find the dino you want to tame. Place the gate down and have it start dialing to your taming pen gate. Poke the dino and have it chase you through the gate. Congrats, the dino is now at your base in a secure pen. Be careful to not go through the gate before the dino. Use the S+ Demo gun to pick up the stargate and fly back to your taming pen and begin tranqing & taming.

There are couple caveats with this method. One, stargates are considered wood structures, so they can be damaged by a lot of dinos. You may need to bring materials to repair it. Two, try to only send one dino at time to your taming pen via this method. I’ve tried sending multiple dinos through and sometimes only the last one through is in the pen when I get back to my base. The other ones are just gone. Three, usually the dinos you are attempting to tame are teleported way away from their spawn point. If you go into render range of your base, then go out, there is a good chance Ark will despawn the dino. Tranq it before leaving your base.

I’ve been using the method Skipper talked about for my giga killing. I’ve made a dozen metal gateways, place them in semi-circle, lead the giga into it, close up the hole, then get out the velon and kill it. That is much safer than trying to get a vantage point on the giga, because if the unexpected happens (which happens a lot), there is a lot of running, screaming, blood, and eventually death.

I’ve got 4 giga hearts now, so I’ll be attempting the alpha Valguero bosses pretty soon. Once I’ve got that, I’ll see about hopping over to the island to kill the broodmother for the trophy so I can try the ascension boss.

Beaten the Valguero Alpha bosses and finished off my great hall.

S+ has mannequins which you can change their posture, body sizes/colors, and put armor on. I figured it would make my base look more lived in.

I’m starting to think about going after Rockwell on Aberration next.


I traveled to Aberration on a PVP cluster server I’ve been playing on recently, and I’d stupidly forgotten to research which dinos could be taken out of cryo pods there. Then I got my Anky, the only rideable dino I brought, killed and lost everything but my armor, a pike and metal tools. So I built a little temp base near a couple of spots where I know drops sometimes appear, in Edge 1 near where the river drops into the Blue zone, and tamed an Iguanadon while I waited for the drop. Hours later, the drop still hasn’t appeared and it seems I’m spending the night. At some point tomorrow I guess I’ll cave and scout a little further for other drops, but I don’t want to go too far because I have loot I want to bring back and I’d rather not maroon Iggy far from the temporary base. Advice?

No advice here beyond yep, this is what keeps us playing. Iggys are awesome to load up so do that and get the heck outta dodge?

I’ve become jaded at Ark but pop up a shack and build from there. There is no, “bad spot,” in the game. You make your course or you dont. I mean, you have an Anky. That’s a huge head start.

Thanks for the reply and tips. To be clear, the Anky perished in Blue minutes after I arrived, when I thought I could chance a quick gem run without a bodyguard. But after many little adventures, I eventually made it out on foot, despite taming a Ravager and establishing a kitted out little outpost. I’d been working towards getting mats together for a cryopod (my pods were on the Anky when he died) when suddenly I spotted a drop across the river. So I dropped everything, locked up and made a run for it with my cliff platform gems. I’ll head back tomorrow to recover the dinos and loot.

So, you’ve had a miserable experience but you will be coming back to experience it all over again. That sounds like Ark.

Reminds me of the time I transferred over to Extinction (on Skipper’s server cluster) to harvest some resource. I didn’t have any cryopods so I had uploaded my dinos to the obelisk. I ended up over loaded and a city terminal no where in sight to get my dino. Since I didn’t bring any taming gear, I had to make a slingshot (a lvl 100 character sporting a primitive slingshot, haha) and find a low level dino that I could reasonably KO with it. Hence why I have a lvl6 tek stego now.

I had to keep dropping stuff and picking it up to refresh the item cache expiration timer so I could move around while taming.

And even after all that, I still keep doing expeditions on the Extinction map.

wow your pretty badass for transferring to a pvp server!! good luck!

personally ive found drops to be near worthless? I mean, I guess Skippers servers have increased gather rates and all that (how could ark be playable with less than this, I’ve no idea) but the drops are usually filled with nonsense…

Not really, if I’m being honest, but appreciated. I’ve played on about 20-30 PVP servers, and mostly play defensively, although I will confess I occasionally scout bases I come across, looking for unlocked doors and unguarded loot, which plays with my conscience a bit. Otherwise, I focus on defenses, redundancy and befriend admins and strong tribes when I can. It’s surprising how many people will decide to leave you alone and even help you when they see that you’re friendly and fun to play with, even super aggressive players. I hate getting raided, but I like the additional shadow of danger.

Drops allow player/dino travel between servers, btw, in addition to obelisks, and the Aberration obelisk is surrounded by death on the surface, so drops are really the only ticket out of there.

Forgot to respond to this. I love me some trap minimalism. Here’s a Karkinos trap I’ve been testing:

This design (well, something close to it) used to work great, but for some reason now the Karkinos is turning around and walking right out of the trap. Does anyone know if WC tweaked their behavior in the last few months? Maybe it’s just bad luck.

Currently testing a variant with a stone behemoth gate at the opening of the trap, and now I’m worried the stone gate is attracting crab wrath and needs to be metal.

Hard to say, they’ve patched twice I think since my last login. Let’s hope they didn’t funk with dino pathing too much if so.

I like that trap though. The Ragan/Grembel design that I stole was similar, using the small gateways and a raised platform for shooting down on it. There are still so many dinos I’ve not tamed in the game.

Example: Basilisks. How?

This is how I’ve done it. You will need:

  • 4 to 6 stone gateways
  • A tame that does not aggro basilisks, like a rock drake or reaper king. There probably are others, but those are the ones I typically use.
  • Wyvern or rock drake egg(s), how many depends on your taming rate.

Step 1: Find a basilisk worth taming, don’t worry, I’ll wait
Step 2-7: Still waiting
Step 8: Take you non-aggroable tame and park it on top of the basilisk as it is buried. Do not dismount.
Step 9: Place the gateways around you in a square or hexagon so that the basilisk cannot go between them.
Step 10: Get out of your enclosure and pick a gateway and while still riding, drop the egg from your inventory
Step 11: Dismount and wait for the basilisk to aggro on you. As soon as it pops up, get back on your tame
Step 12: This is the tricky part, sometimes if you are just close enough to the gateway, the basil will attack the gateway and accidentally eat the egg and get tamed. Other times I’ve had to get it to attack my tame so that when it bites/attacks at me, it eats the egg at the same time.
Step 12.5: If the basilisk get’s out of your enclosure, let it deaggro (out of render range probably) and reburrow, then try again.

That is the method I’ve used on the last 2 or 3 that I’ve tamed.

Geez. So they eat the eggs on the ground to tame. Strange mechanic. I may try it. Then again, if they are that rare to get a good one … oh well.

I still remember taming those damn things. Rock drake work very well for me.