There are several tools that can improve your chance of underwater survival. These tools are not a must but are definitely recommended to make your underwater adventure as smooth as possible.
Scuba Gear; Probably the most useful tool for underwater survival, the goggles give you better vision and allow you to see prey or threats from a much greater distance, the flippers will give you increased swimming speed allowing you to get away from predators if necessary. The tank provides you with an oxygen supply while its durability lasts and along with the legs protect from the cold temperatures beneath the water.
Due to the high-level requirement of Scuba Gear, Lazarus chowder comes in handy, this will give you an Oxygen depletion buff which allows you to stay underwater for a much longer time than you usually would be able to. Though it does not help with the vision this can be used once you become familiar with the locations in the water or for short trips underwater.
Crossbows are the earliest ranged weapon you can use underwater, the inability to use rifles and bows underwater also makes it one of the best ways to tranquilise dinos underwater, very handy for a first tame.
The Harpoon Launcher is the best Underwater weapon you can obtain, it provides a very strong shot, with the option of tranquilliser spears it also makes it the best weapon for underwater taming. It does come with a higher crafting cost and low durability though. To save on cost only use this to tame high level and strong dinos such as the Plesiosaur and Mosasaurus.
Vacuum Compartments are a Tek tier level structure that can make life in the oce01an plenty easier. They can be placed on the surface or ledges underwater and provide a place to eat and recover oxygen during your adventure. These can also be used to allow the use of rifles to fight and tame underwater dinos which gives you a great advantage to taming, compared to the Harpoon Gun and Crossbow.
There are plenty of underwater dinos to tame in ARK, though most of them are tamed through the usual knock out method, I will run through some of the other taming methods to give a better understanding.
Ichthyosaurus’ are passive Dolphins and are passively tamed through feeding. Nothing extremely special here, they are inclined to swim towards you to be fed making them one of the easier underwater tames to get.
Mantas are amazing underwater, not due to their combat power but due to their incredible swimming speed! Being able to outswim most if not all dinos. Similarly to the Itchy, they are passive tamed through feeding but unlike the Itchy the Mantas are aggressive creatures making it hard to tame without dying. The use of Cactus broth and Ghillie armour makes it easier for you to approach and feed them.
The Basilosaurus is another passive tame through feeding but is the more challenging passive tame, they are usually surrounded by packs of Mantas that follow them as they swim, these should be dealt with before approaching. The Basilosaurus also has an unusual feeding pattern, with the first feed taking a very long time and progressive feeds getting quicker and quicker until tamed.
The Tusoteuthis is the last on the list and the last passive tame, though passively tamed in a very different way. The Tuso can only be tamed by allowing it to grip one of your Dinos ( The Basilosaurus and Tuso cannot be gripped so cannot be used) and as the dino is being gripped and attacked, you must get off your dino, swim to the mouth of the Tuso and feed it. The Tuso can eat most foods similarly to a carnivore. But the only food that can be recommended is Black Pearls.
The Black Pearls can be hard to come by, but due to the damaging method of taming the Tuso, you want to tame it as quick as possible. The Tuso can eat up to 50 food at one time. You may need a decent weight stat to tame it as Black Pearls are very weighty and can slow you down or leave you encumbered when trying to feed it. Due to the damage your tame will take while taming the Tuso, ensure that you have a tame that can take the hits as if it dies, you will be left at the Tusos mercy.
A lot of ARK Players never venture into the depths of the waters. To be honest, why would you? Well, let’s have a look at what benefits you can find underneath the depths.
Starter Oil Nodes
Though there are a few different ways to gather oil in the game, one of the best ways for newer players would be the underwater resource nodes. These nodes give quite a decent amount of oil. The two benefits of these nodes are they are not too far from the surface, so a Scuba Suit is not needed (Any deeper nodes can easily be reached with the use of Lazarus Chowder) and the nodes are very visible due to the oil trail they release which this means, though recommended the Scuba Mask is not needed.
Underwater Resource Caves
The depths of the oceans reveal more treasures or untapped resources I should say. Beneath the waters, there are several resource caves which probably have the highest density of resources such as Crystal, Oil and Silica Pearls.
There are a variety of resources that are exclusive to the Depths, most notably Ammonite Bile, Bio Toxin and Black Pearls. Ammonite Bile is probably the rarest of the lot, it is found by killing Ammonites on the Sea Floor. The main use for the Ammonite Bile would be the creation of S+ Dedicated Storage which allow you to store extreme amounts of a particular resource, it is also used to create less notable items such as Pheromone Darts and also used to make Lesser Antidotes. WARNING: The Ability of the Ammonites is Siren like, attacking them in the presence of Oceanic Creatures will cause them to unleash a wail which will make all creatures in your presence aggressive towards you.
Bio Toxin is easier to come by, but an easy death trap for newer players. Bio Toxin can be harvested from the bodies of Cnidaria which are the Blue Jellyfish that swarm the Oceans. Though it may seem easy enough, the Jellyfish can cause quite a threat with their stun attack, which can render most Dinos useless, apart from the reliable Basilosaurus which are immune to all stun attacks, which makes it the best way to gather Bio Toxin. There are other ways to gather it though, my advice if without a Basilosaurus, use a crossbow or harpoon launcher from a good distance, a few arrows and they are done. Due to their low health pool, the Cnidaria are easy to kill.
Black Pearls are possibly the most varied resource of this list, the easiest way to get them would be as simple as walking down the beach and killing the passive Trilobites, but if you want to gather a decent amount you will need to travel to the deepest parts of the oceans and face one of two menacing creatures, the Eurypterid or the Tusotheutis. The Eurypterid would be the easier of the two for lower level players to kill, but take care even though the Eurypterid attack does not seem to do much damage, its secret weapon is its torpor attacks; slowly leaving you stranded at the bottom of the sea sleeping with the fishes. The best Dino to use would have to be the Itchyosaurus. These Dolphins are immune to torpor and have no knockback, meaning they can make quick work of the Eurypterids with ease. The Tusotheutis is a bigger problem, with the ability to subdue most dinos in their grip there is only one optimal dino to kill these beasts. the reliable Basilosaurus due to their immunity to stun attacks and large health pools, they can easily kill a Tusotheutis without too much of hassle.
I can’t give you all the good without giving you something to be wary of. There are over 15 different species of dinos exclusive to the Oceans! These 6, in particular, are the ones to look out for and may end your underwater adventure too early.
Cnidaria are probably the most common of these threats and without the safety of a Basilosaurus’ immunity, these jellyfish, even with their low speed can sneak up and instantly end your adventure. The stun attack they use will force you off your dino and leave it rendered useless and with multiple of them attacking, can leave your dino permanently stunned until it reaches an untimely death. Deal with these with either long-range attacks with a crossbow, harpoon launcher and Tusotheutis or a Basilosaurus.
Electrophorus similarly to the Cnidaria and are scarier more for their stun than their damage. The Electrophorus’ are extremely quick, travel in packs and have a vicious stun attack. The stun attack of the Electrophorus, unlike the Cnidaria, does not take you off your mount but will severely drop your Dinos speed and reduce it’s damage, making it very vulnerable to other predators. Take into consideration that even though they are not deadly on their own if they happen to join a fight versus a predator they can change the tide of the battle extremely quickly.
Ammonites though allow you to gather a rare resource in Ammonite Bile, their siren abilities cause an extreme threat. Accidentally attacking one of these can cause a very quick death and simply overwhelm any tame. Ensure that there are not too many predators near and around the ammonites before engaging them to make sure you do not get overwhelmed. If not it’s better to slowly clear the surrounding predators one at a time rather than being outnumbered.
Plesiosaurs, if to be compared, are the Rexes of the depths, unlike Rexes the Plesiosaur is a very fast swimmer. The Plesiosaurs travel in pairs which doubles the initial danger of one, with higher damaging attacks than even a Rex. You do not want to find yourself in front of these without a dino. The Plesiosaurs do have one major weakness, depth. The Plesiosaur can only be found and remain at a certain depth of the ocean, to easily escape from these beasts you can travel up to a depth where the plesiosaurs are forced to stop chasing you.
Mosasaurus are the monsters of the oceans. These colossal beasts are nothing to trifle with. With an attack stronger than most dinos you will find. If you are new to underwater adventures stay clear of these beasts. The Mosasaurus have several weaknesses to help combat their raw damage, they have a massive turning radius which means they can have a hard time hitting you if you manage to keep alongside them. Also similarly to the Plesiosaur the Mosasaurus can not chase you past a certain height, which allows for easy getaways if you can manage to climb your way out.
Tusotheutis can be recognised as a Giant Squid, they can deal large amounts of damage very quickly and even deadlier, they have the ability to dismount you from your dino leaving your dino at their mercy and you vulnerable. Though due to their relatively small health pools compared to their other deepwater counterparts, they can be battled with a fast dino who can manoeuvre around their attacks and grabs. The Basilosaurus is definitely the recommended dino for this encounter due to the immunity to the grab attack and their large health pools
There are a tiny few dinos that are more worrisome than the few mentioned above. Unless you have a strong underwater dino remain clear of these predators at all times. I am talking about the Alphas.
Similarly to the surface, the underwater depths are home to a rare spawning of Alpha dinos. There are Four Dinos that may appear as Alphas. The more common Megalodons, the Passive Leeditchys, the already deadly Mosasaurus and the even more terrifying Tusotheutis.
The Alpha Megalodons pose a threat to many first tames in the water, they have terrifying speed, health pools and damage. Unless purposely looking for these, avoid them when you can. They are not deep within the water like some of the other Alphas on the list and can be encountered quite soon after entering the water.
The Alpha Leeditchys is passive until attacked, possibly the fastest of them, do not engage it unless you are prepared to fight, though they have decent damage their low health pool and massive size give them a disadvantage as they have an extremely large turn radius so they can easily be attacked from the side without any danger; they are a very good source of prime fish meat if required.
The Alpha Mosasaurus can maul your dino in just a few bites and boasts insane health pools which take a while to whittle down. Unless on an extremely powerful tame its best to avoid them and turn away as soon as they are spotted. As with all Alphas they also have very good speed, so keep your distance and try and spot them before you get too close. Similarly to the normal Mosasaurus the best way to evade it is to swim higher to a height which forces them to stop chasing you.
The Tusoteuthis is terrifying enough normally, but, it’s Alpha variant with the increased damage, speed and health pool makes it a very tough fight. DO NOT fight these without the use of a Basilosaurus or another Tusotuethis, because it can dismount you, it will make short work of your dino then proceed to make easier work of you. They also similarly have a blinding Ink attack that, though it does no damage, will block your vision, this attack is used as a last resort for it to getaway.
The Oceans may be deadly, but keep a good eye out and follow this guide and you’ll be conquering the depths in no time.