Learning how to breed a dinosaur in Ark: Survival Evolved is a good idea if you want to forego all the work of tracking down a dinosaur with the stats you want, tranquilizing them and feeding food to them for hours on end. That being said, breeding dinosaurs does present its own challenges that you’ll have to overcome if you want to get that T-Rex egg from a potential omelette to master of the island.
It should be made clear that you can’t just hatch any old dinosaur egg you find laying around, you’ve got to get two dinosaurs of the opposite sex (and the same species) to “get together” first. You can do this by placing them near one another and setting them to wander. A mating bar will then appear, producing an egg once the progress bar has completed.
Note: You have to wait until their mating interval has elapsed before a dino can mate again.
Eggs are delicate things and have to be protected and temperature controlled before they will hatch into beautiful baby dinos. As soon as an egg is dropped it must have its temperature regulated so that it stays in the green.
You can tell the state of the egg by the “Egg Health” bar that will appear when you hover over the egg. Hovering over the egg will also tell you what the egg needs to continue the incubation process. For instance, if it needs more heat a “Too Cold” message will appear at the bottom of the egg stat panel. While it remains too cold or too hot, it’s health will go down.
Because of the eggs sensitivity to temperature it’s a good idea to have an “incubator” setup in your base. What you need to pull this off is a combination of heat and a source of cool if the egg gets too hot. Unfortunately, the only real source of cooling the egg down (other than dunking it in water) is an air-conditioning which can be costly to build. For heat you can simply use a combination of torches and/or campfires surrounding the egg to get an adequate source of warmth.
When you manage to get the egg to the right temperature the incubation bar will begin to drop. When the bar completely empties, the baby dino will be born.
Note: Fertilized eggs can also be placed in a refrigerator to be saved for incubation at a later time if you need to gather materials or log off. You can even place them in the fridge mid-incubation and you will not lose any of the incubation process.
Incubation time varies by dinosaur, usually depending on the size on the animal you’re trying to hatch. For example, a Dodo only takes 50 minutes to incubate, but a Brontosaurus can take up to 5 hours.
Once your egg has hatched the real work begins. You’ve now got to keep the baby animal fed until it reaches 10% maturity, at which point it will automatically feed itself from a feeding trough.
Apart from that all you’ve got to do is keep an eye on the dino while it’s in its infancy. Baby dinos have very little health and can be easily killed, so you may want to consider holding them in a protective structure like a pen until they mature.
Maturation into a full adult dino can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. It is for this reason that being in a tribe is highly recommended so the work load can be spread around in terms of watching and feeding the growing animals, especially if you have more than one.
Eventually all that hard work will payoff though, as you introduce a dino you raised yourself into the world.
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