While there’s a lot your survivor can accomplish themselves in Ark Survival Evolved, knowing what creatures are best in certain roles like gathering materials and combat will greatly increase your productivity. For each type of resource, there is usually one or two dinosaurs/ creatures that can gather it (all of which will be much faster than using your survivor).
The same goes for combat. Certain dinos excel in certain combat situations. Flyers are good against large dinos with riders, large dinos against small.
To maximize your productivity, resources gathered, and combat potential, here are our picks for the most useful dinosaurs and creatures by role.
Note: Increasing the melee damage of your creatures increases their gathering rate.
Mammoths are by far your best bet for gathering wood, as the other dinos like the trike tear up the trees giving you more thatch than anything. Brontos will give you copious amounts of thatch, but are much harder to tame and take a lot of resources to saddle.
When it comes to thatch most animals that can destroy trees will work, but a Trike is a great option because it is fairly easy to tame and get a saddle for early on.
You have a couple of options when it comes to berries. Basically any of the herbivores will harvest them with their melee attack, but the ones that do it the fastest are the Bronto, Trike, and Stego. Brontos especially can bring in a massive amount of berries with a single swipe of their tail.
The Anklyo used to be the best stone farmer, but it was surpassed by its smaller, more armored cousin the Doedicurus. Their rolling ability also makes them able to get the stone back to base quite quickly, although they can’t carry a lot of it.
The Anklyo is still the king of farming metal. They can also hold a good deal before becoming overburdened, but you should bring a pack dino regardless.
Again, the Anklyo reigns supreme in the Flint farming category. You’ll gather flint while farming metal or stone, but stone has a higher chance of giving the sparking metal.
Doedicurus doesn’t just farm stone, they hold their own in the Obsidian department as well. The rare black rock is harvested fastest by the tiny tail smasher.
The final ore that can be mined can also be smashed up by the Anklyo. The only trouble you may have is getting the bulky dino to where the crystals are located which is usually either in caves or high atop mountains.
Almost any creatures can be used for combat in Ark, but a few stand out above the rest.
Vs. Players on Large Creatures
Unless you’ve got a Rex or Spino of your own, you’ll want to get your hands on a Ptero or Argentavis. Swoop in and pluck the rider off of the dinos before they can swing around for an attack.
Vs. Large Numbers of Small Dinosaurs
In this situation you should get a dino or creature with a large cone of attack. Trikes, Brontos, and even Rex’s attacks strike a large area in front of them, allowing you to wipe out whole swaths of weaker dinos with only a few attacks.
Vs. Unmounted Survivors
Any mount is good against an unmounted survivor, but if they are particularly well armed, you’ll want to have some speed on your side. Raptors and Sabretooths are particularly lethal early one because of their high damage output, movements speed, and their attack speed.
Vs. Other Large Dinos (Unmounted)
If the enemy has a herd of large dinosaurs, your only hope is to counter with as many large, hard hitting dinos as you can. The Rex and Spinos are still staples of many a tribeès army, but the more powerful ones can have Gigantos on their side.
Don’t discount the larger herbivores either. A well levelled Bronto can pack a punch, and has a ton of health.
Any large dino is good for storage, as they have a high base inventory stat. Start off with trikes and Paras as your pack animals, and then as you progress you can start going for bigger targets like Mammoths and even Brontos.
Scouting the island is extremely important, as you will not find a single place that has every resource you’re going to need to get the high end goods that come in the later levels. Scouting on the ground with a Raptor or Sabre is fine early on, but to maximize your range and keep you safe at the same time, you should try and get a Ptero or Argentavis as soon as you unlock the saddle for them.
Scouting in the water is just as important once you start needing oil and pearls. Megalodons and the Ichthy move the fastest, allowing you to make the most of the limited time you can spend under water.
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