The cake is a lie!
No, seriously, it is. Don’t eat it. That’s not people food. What am I talking about I hear you cry? Why sweet vegetable cake of course! That can mean only 1 thing. Yup! That’s right. Taming!!!
Arguably the best part of this game is the dinosaurs. Admit it. You’re only here to charge around the world on a scaly/feathery/furry beast of mayhem and destruction.
Well, I’m sure by now you have wandered past someone’s base and marveled at all the creatures calmly sat side by side not tearing each other limb from limb and wondered to yourself, how do I amass such an arsenal of teeth and claws?
It’s actually rather simple and before we go any further I’m going to introduce you to the best tool to help you: https://www.dododex.com/
Dododex taming calculator will tell you what a tames favourite food is and how much of it you will need. (it’s not 100% so make sure you always have at least 1 more than required). At the bottom of the page for each creature are user comments that can also help with taming and utility. But before we go into that let’s look at why you are taming and what tames can do for you.
What tames can do for you?
Now, whilst dinosaurs are fun to have and look at, they have a multitude of uses. However, you are limited by the fact that most tames require a saddle to ride and the more impressive the tame the higher the level required to craft the saddle.
So, why do we tame?
Defence – Whilst this guide is based on our PvE server so protecting yourself from other players isn’t required, the environment is still out to get you. Having a strong tame to help you get around even if you can’t ride it is a huge bonus when you are innocently picking berries and ambushed by a raptor pack.
Travel – The maps are hoooooge. Some more so than others but it still takes a while to get from one side of the map to the other on the smallest of maps. Tames will help speed this up by both moving faster and having increased stamina allowing them to run for longer
Gathering – Every resource has a gathering efficiency. Some tames can get more than double the number of resources compared to others. This is on top of carry weight bonus, such as the mammoth that reduces the weight of wood by 75%!!! Allows you to carry 4x as much wood in one trip as well as having a 5* gathering efficiency.
See https://ark.gamepedia.com/Domestication#Resource_gathering for a full breakdown on the best tame for each resource.
So now we should have a good idea of what we want from our tame. Next to look at is the different methods of acquiring tames.
I’m sure you’re sat there thinking, acquiring tames? Tame them. DUH! But hold your horses! (or Equus…) there are several ways for you to acquire tames on our cluster.
Claim an inactive player’s tame
Ark has a built-in decay timer that means if someone hasn’t logged in for around 8 days their tames become claimable by any other survivor. The only proviso on this is that any base or group of tames under a Tek Shield are deemed to be under admin protection. Any base covered by a Tek Shield is to be left alone. This also means that your tames will become claimable should you not play for a while.
In-Game Coin Shop
The whole time you are playing on our cluster you will passively gain coins at the rate of 60 per hour. This can be increased up to 120 coins per hour by helping fund our servers by signing up to one of our VIP packages. The packages are available at our shop. These coins can then be used to purchase items and tames from our in-game shop! Especially helpful for new players to help them get going. A full list of commands is available on our discord in the #Shop channel and a full list of the available items are list on our ingame shop page.
Auction House Mod
Not necessarily available early game but defiantly worth checking out later. The auction house has tames available from any server running the mod not just our cluster so there’s no telling what you could find!
We got there in the end. Yes taming.
So back to taming. What affects taming?
Level – As you would imagine the level of the creature you are taming plays a large role in the chances of actually taming it. The higher the level, the longer it takes.
Species – Different tames take different amounts of time. Generally, the larger the tame the longer the time
Food – The food you give the wild creature plays a huge role in how fast and how well the creature is tamed. Most creatures have a preferred kibble which will be the fastest and the most effective.
Whilst on food it is also worth noting that carnivores like meat starting at mutton then prime meat, raw meat, cooked meat, etc and herbivores eat berries or vegetables if you’re not using kibble. Certain tames require different food as well. Oviraptors are tamed with eggs, basilisks with rock drake eggs, scorpions and spiders with spoiled meat. Consult Dododex for the best option available to you.
By far the most effective and fastest way to tame a creature is using the appropriate kibble. Kibble is basically a mix of a certain dino egg mixed with high-end vegetables and some meat. Since the kibble rework this has been vastly simplified. There are now only 6 types of kibble required to tame most of the creatures available to you. Each kibble requires eggs from a specific group of dinos. The recipes and dino eggs required can be found here https://www.dododex.com/kibble. Isn’t Dododex great?!
The simplest way to gain eggs for use in kibble is to go out and pick the easiest tame from each group you can and find a low-level one. Tame this using the best method available to you (meat/berries) and get 1 male and 2 females. This will generate an endless supply of eggs.
You will also require a greenhouse with each of the vegetables in-game available for you to use. This can take some time to get set up and I tend to make it my first objective after getting a small base setup. With the S+ mod on our servers managing greenhouses is fairly easy. (see our mod discussion).
Now I have mentioned taming effectiveness a few times. So what is it? Basically, any wild creature whilst being tamed will have its effectiveness in %.
It starts at 100% and decreases the longer the tame takes. So, when taming high-level creatures, it is worth using kibble as at 100% effectiveness the creature will gain an extra 50% of its level on top. So a level 240 creature will tame out at 359 with 100% effectiveness.
Attacking an unconscious creature will also reduce the taming effectiveness, whether it’s you, another of your tames or a wild creature.
Not so much a consideration when your starting but as you progress and have access to kibble it will become more important.
Now we know what creature we want but where the heck is it! Creatures spawn all over the maps. Some will cover the entire map whilst others will be In specific parts. The easiest way to find where the creature spawns is to use a spawn map.
https://ark.gamepedia.com/Spawn_Map_(The_Island). This is a link to the spawn map for the island. On top of the map on the left is a dropdown box listing the creatures available on the map. Selecting a creature will place coloured squares on the map from green to red showing where the creatures spawn into the world. Green being most likely/abundant and red being least. At the bottom of that page are links to the other official maps and their spawn maps. Once more towards the endgame, you can unlock the Tek transmitter which will allow you to perform a dino scan from the radial menu. This will list every creature on your map and its exact location at the time of scanning. This is a Tek unlock and will require you to kill some bosses to obtain it.
Protect your tame.
Next up for consideration is how do I protect myself whilst taming my creature. It’s a good idea to clear the area of any aggressive creatures in the immediate area once you have located your tame. Also, carry with you some spiked walls. Once your creature is down/trapped surround it with the spiked walls, they will stop other creatures running straight in to attack your creature and give you a chance to deal with them.
Ok, so you have picked which tame you want and why, know where to find and protect it, the next questions is, well, what next? Here we need to know whether the tame we are after is a passive tame or requires us to render the creature unconscious.
A passive tame is tamed by placing the item the creature wants to eat in the last slot on your action bar. Walking up to the creature and pressing e, dead easy. Dododex will tell you the feeding interval as well. This is the period of time between being able to feed the creature (I know, complicated concept right).
Active tames, however, require us to render the creature unconscious and keep it unconscious throughout the taming process. These are tamed by rendering the creature unconscious and putting the food it wants in its inventory (look at the creature and press f) The creature will then eat the food as its food drains. A good way to tame active tames is to knock it out and protect it until its food has dropped a bit then place the food inside. Especially useful if your using a limited amount of kibble and are worried about other creatures interfering.
But how do we knock it out?
Several ways. You can repeatedly punch it until it is unconscious, best left for small tames or creatures that will run away rather than attack you. You can use a slingshot and shoot at it, but the best way to render creatures unconscious is by using tranquilisers. There are again several options here.
Firstly starting with tranq arrows made from narcotics and stone arrows which are fired from a bow or crossbow, followed by tranq darts fired from a longneck rifle, up to shock darts fired from a longneck rifle and finally using the dan inject rifle which is a part of the Aku Shima mod running on our cluster.
The dan inject rifle fires 2 sizes of bullets for small and large creatures. For underwater tames a harpoon gun with tranq bolts is best as bows and rifles will not work underwater (crossbow still works).
Right! Nearly there….. your creature is down. Off to lullaby land. It’s protected, the other nasties have been dealt with and you’re patting yourself on the back thinking its all over, sit back and wait. Nope. Sorry.
See that bar at the bottom dropping way faster than the food. That’s torpidity. That is what is keeping that creature asleep and not eating your face. If it hits 0 before the tame finishes it’s going to wake up and be grumpy and you’re going to have to start all over again.
So how do we keep it having pleasant dreams?
Narcoberries and narcotics. Narcoberries are collected from bushes the same as any other berry. Narcotics are crafted in a pestle and mortar from 5 Narcoberry and 1 spoiled meat.
The difference between the 2 is that a Narcoberry will increase the torpidity of a creature by 8 points over 3 seconds whilst a narcotic will increase it by 40 with the added bonus that they don’t spoil as the berries do. Just place them in the creature’s inventory and remote use (press e on it) to keep that torpidity bar nice and high.
And there we have it!
Congratulations on your new tame! I knew you could do it. I’m so proud *sniff*.
I hope this small guide helped some of you out with your journey into taming.
Before I go, I will make just a small note about creature stats. They work the same as survivor stats. Your tame will gain levels from killing things with you and passively if you’re in a tribe. Have someone sitting on the creature whilst someone else crafts and it will get a share of the XP.