ARK: Survival Evolved Guide - How to Efficiently Tame Your Dinosaur

The most efficient guide to taming every dinosaur in ARK: Survival Evolved!

The day has finally come to talk about the most anticipated feature in ARK: Survival Evolved: Dinosaur Taming!

If you've been following ARK at all over the past month, you know full well that the game boasts the insane capabilities of dinosaur taming. Jumping into ARK: Survival Evolved for the first time, I only had a singular goal: to tame a full pack of Dinosaurs.

No expenses were spared in attaining the many dinosaurs currently sitting unguarded in a pen at my base. The feelings invoked in me while hunting on the back of my Raptor, Temma, are completely unparalleled.

Taming a Dinosaur in the ARK is no easy feat. By the time you're finished taming your first Dinosaur, you will come to love it more than any other video game pet you've ever had (before it likely gets killed by something the George R. R. Martin way and you're forced to start all over again).

There are a lot of steps to effectively taming your dinosaur, so make sure you prepare properly beforehand.

ARK: Survival Evolved Dinosaur Taming Guide

ARK - Dinosaur Taming Preparations

There are three important things you're going to need before you even think about finding a dinosaur to tame: a knockout weapon, narcotics, and dinosaur food.

Knockout Weapons

In order to tame a dinosaur, you will first need to render it unconscious. There are many ways you can go about this:

  • Fists - Okay, so you don't actually need any preparations for this one. Fists were made for punching, and that's just what they'll do.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved SlingshotSlingshot and Stones - At level 5 you unlock the ability to craft a slingshot. With rocks, this is another form of blunt damage useful for knocking out a dinosaur.
  • Bow and Tranq. Arrows - At level 15 the Bow Engram unlocks as the ARK: Survival Evolved Bow and Tranquilizer Arrowsmost useful ranged weapon early on. At level 20, the Engram for Tranquilizer Arrows unlocks, which are great for taking down the bigger beasts. You shouldn't need more than x50 Tranquilizer Arrows for any given dinosaur.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved Scorpion Pulmonoscorpius SaddlePulmonoscorpius (Scorpion) - At level 25 you unlock the Engram for a Scorpion saddle. If you've managed to net yourself a Scorpion, their venom is fantastic for knocking things out — take full advantage of it!

Which one you'll need largely depends on the dinosaur you're going after. The bigger the beast, the badder the knockout weapon has to be.


This is where it starts to get tricky. In order to keep a dinosaur down, you need to force-feed it Narcoberries or Narcotics. Depending on which dinosaur you're taming, you may need anything from x1 to x150 Narcotics before the beast is tame, and exponentially more Narcoberries if you plan to use those.

You can create Narcotics by combining x1 Spoiled Meat and x5 Narcoberries at a mortar and pestle. It gets pricey to make a large batch of them, but there are certain dinosaurs that make gathering berries a painless process.

ARK: Survival Evolved NarcoticARK: Survival Evolved Narcoberry

How many Narcotics should you craft?

To figure out how many Narcotics you will need, consider the dinosaur's species and level you want to go for. How big is the species of dinosaur? If you're taming a Dilo or a Dodo bird, you're not going to need more than x5 Narcotics — you're probably better off using straight Narcoberries for those two.

If you're trying to tame a Brontosaur or a Spinosaur — some of the largest dinosaurs currently in the game — you're going to need around x60 Narcotics for a level 1. If you are aiming for a higher level (I assume many of you are), then you could end up needing x120 Narcotics or more!

As a rule of thumb, I always make about x20 Narcotics more than I think I'll need. After all, you don't want the dinosaur to wake up in the middle of taming and be forced to kill it, losing hours of work.

Dinosaur Food - Berries, Meat and... eww

In ARK: Survival Evolved, there are 3 archetypes of dinosaurs as far as food goes: Herbivore, Carnivore, and Carrion. Each dinosaur archetype has a particular food item that will raise its Affinity towards you faster than others.

  • ARK: Survival Evolved MejoberryHerbivores - The Mejoberry has the highest affinity gain than any other berry or vegetable in the game. Many people argue that other berries/vegetables make certain dinosaurs tame faster than Mejoberries, but this is simply untrue. The difference in time is negligible, because there's no great way to tame a Herbivore in the ARK's current state.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved Raw Prime MeatCarnivore - Nothing is better than Raw Prime Meat for a Carnivore. There's just one issue: it spoils 2 minutes after collection in a player inventory. 10 minutes in a dinosaur inventory, but that's still a relatively short amount of time, which means there's really no way to prepare it before taming unless you cook it. Cooked Prime Meat is only worth half of its Raw counterpart, though it lasts an outstanding 45 minutes in a non-preserved inventory. Use Raw Meat if you can't get yourself any Prime Meat.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved Spoiled MeatCarrion - The scavengers of the ARK enjoy the exquisite taste of Spoiled Meat in their diet above all other meat. If you're not sure whether you're taming a Carnivore or a Carrion, just try feeding it Cooked Meat — Carrion won't eat Cooked Meat.

Once you have everything in order, it's time to tame your dinosaur!

ARK - Maximum Efficiency Dinosaur Taming Guide

Taming your dinosaur is a long process, and you need to make sure you have enough time on your hands before you begin. How long it takes a Dinosaur to tame is in the same ball park as how many Narcotics you will need, so compare the species and level for a good point of reference. Longer attempts can take anywhere from 2 to 6 hours before the Dinosaur is tame, so plan accordingly.

ARK: Survival Evolved Dinosaur Taming Guide Scorpion Venom

1. Find a Dinosaur You Want to Tame

Some people prefer taming higher level dinosaurs to bring them to even greater heights before hitting the tamed level cap. Other people like finding dinosaurs that suit their taste in color. Some even desire to tame lower level dinosaurs simply for the ease of it.

Pick out your favorite dinosaur and prepare the book of names - you'll be needing it soon!

2. Lure it In and Knock it Out!

If you have a base, take the time to lure the dinosaur in near it so you don't have to travel very far to get anything done. A few dinosaur species will run away when attacked, so plan ahead.

Once it's in the area you want it, start whittling away at the dinosaur carefully. Any one of the knockout weapons listed above can easily end up killing the dinosaur instead of knocking it out. Make sure you give the Torpor time to bubble up in between hits.

ARK: Survival Evolved Dinosaur Taming Guide Knock Out

3. Drop Off Food and Narcotics Immediately

The quicker you can drop the dinosaur some food after it is rendered unconscious, the better off taming efficiency will be for the long-haul. There is absolutely no way to raise taming efficiency after it has dropped, as it will slowly lower over time as the dinosaur feeds.

Make sure the dinosaur never runs out of food, or it will greatly deplete the taming efficiency of the animal. During this stage, you need to keep a close eye on the unconscious bar, or the creature's Torpor. Whenever this bar dips down, click on the Narcotics in the dinosaur's inventory and then Remote Use Item. This essentially force-feeds it 40 points of Torpor and keeps it down that much longer.

4. ...And Now We Wait

Chances are, it's going to take a while to tame your dinosaur. It's okay to walk away and do your own thing for a little bit, but check up on it every few minutes to make sure it's not going to wake up.

Use the time to gather Raw Prime Meat or Mejoberries to make better progress. Play a round of Cards Against Humanity to kill the time. It really doesn't matter what you do, so long as the dinosaur doesn't wake up.

ARK: Survival Evolved Dinosaur Taming Guide

5. Name Your Dinosaur!

If you are the only member of your tribe around when the dinosaur is finally tame, ARK prompts you to give it a name. You're not forced to name them, but naming your dinosaurs gives each one a unique sense of personality.

Congratulate yourself for taming a dinosaur, you've earned it. That is no easy feat! There are so many things that you can do with dinosaurs in ARK: Survival Evolved that it sometimes seems impossible to do things any other way.

Good Luck Taming Dinosaurs!

Each dinosaur is unique and pivotal to your survival. Without dinosaurs on your side, you're never going to survive the ARK. Be the predator in a world full of things that could swallow you whole!

ARK: Survival Evolved Dinosaur Taming Guide

What creatures have you tamed?

Have you had any success taming dinosaurs? We want to hear all about your great success and fail stories! Link us an image of your dinosaurs while you're at it!

Having trouble with something in-game? Request an ARK: Survival Evolved guide and we'll jump on it right away!

We hope to see you in the discussion below!

Featured Correspondent

Autumn is a freelance writer that grew up on GameFAQs walkthroughs trying to suss out how to get through her favorite PC and Nintendo games. These days she's a capable game pioneer, mapping out guides and tips so players of all skill levels can join in on the fun.

Published Jul. 19th 2017
  • Bo jangles_1073
    Ever time I've tamed a dodo I named it meat shield because all of them have just died instantly
  • Yolowolf555
    One time i was taming a spin and it was about to be tamed if it ate one more meat it would be tamed but it was at like 10 for torpor and right when it at the meat it woke up fail
  • David ogborne
    I'm at a loss as to what Dino Kibble is, can you explain what it is and how to get/make it please
  • Arathane_7454
    I've had insanely bad luck when it comes to keeping tamed Dinos. So far I've tamed Trikes, Raptors, Dilos, Parasaur and a couple of Scorpions. Every time I log off (playing PvE) something gets into the pen and kills them, last time it was a level 92 Carno that killed me when I stepped into the pen :( I currently have a level 10 Raptor (Dashy), a level 9 Scorpion (Mr Pinchy) and a level 94 Dodo (Cluck Norris)
  • Nicholas RIvera
    my first tame was a dilo(fiesty), his family did'nt like the fact that he was tamed so they jumped us,rip fiesty
    tamed a turtle, called him tiger, a carno came and tiger took one for the team :'(
  • Erick Sanders
    Well done!
    I have to say that taming pets in this game is unimaginably satisfying.The only thing that makes the experience better is when you have an awesome partner to share it with. And I do. Makes me feel like a lucky fellow.
    Keep up the good work! With the many updates to the game coming in quick succession I hope to be reading your articles on this content for a very long time.
  • robert_9837
  • Nev_1160
    What I've Tamed so far in order(And still enjoying it):
    Dodine (Dodo)
    ParaPal (Parasaur) - Last seen in the mouth of a T-Rex :(
    Pet'O'Crash (Phiomia)
    Raphael (Carbonemys)
    Fluffy (Raptor) - Mate Boosted
    Leonardo (Raptor) - Mate Boosted
    Spike (Triceratops)
    Stan (Sarcosuchus)

    Next Up is Scales (Pulmonoscorpius) :D
  • Autumn Fish
    Featured Correspondent
    I hope your dinos live long and prosper! RIP ParaPal.
  • John (Fluffntough)
    First tame: Dodo
    I saw it and figured I want a legion of dodos- 900, to be exact. (Working on it) They like Amarberries.

    Hardest tame: Ankylosauras/Stego
    I'm basing difficulty strictly by how long it took.
    Can't wait to get an Ankylo saddle.

    What I've lost (post taming): ...
    6 Dilos (stego accident)
    1 Stego (MIA)
    1 Megalodon (this one also vanished, haven't had an opportunity or need to replace)
    5 Dodos (left Tribe)
    1 Pteranodon (accidentally jumped off at high altitude, currently MIA)
    1 Pulmunoscorpious (MIA)
    1 Parasaur (KIA)
    Something always happens to my babies and I'm not happy about it.
  • Autumn Fish
    Featured Correspondent
    Haha! My very first day taming seemed to have it out for my animals. My first tame was a Parasaur that I named Dove after the pacifist from NecroDancer. Well, turns out she wasn't a pacifist when she tried to attack a BRONTO who stomped out my campfire. Yeah. Was not happy with that Bronto.
  • JayRey
    I got my first tame today, a level 8 parasaur called Betsie xD
  • Autumn Fish
    Featured Correspondent
    How is Betsie, is she still around? :)
  • Autumn Fish
    Featured Correspondent
    How is Betsie, is she still around? :)
  • Eclipse_8267
    My first tame was a few nights ago, a lvl 11 ptera so I'm very happy tempted to go into a new server with a friend with no ppl so I can be top dog (in other words already have a large base and ready to defend it) when ppl come... Going to do some research a few things because I have one dino in mind for taming if it comes in a certian color.
  • Autumn Fish
    Featured Correspondent
    It would be nice to be the first on a server, wouldn't it? No matter where I go I feel like I can't quite progress past 30! Currently on a server with up to level 90 wild dinosaurs and have yet to keep a tamed dinosaur for very long. Both time they've been demolished to Trikes D:

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