Jurassic World Alive Beginner's Guide

We play the role of Chris Pratt, giving you a tour of everything you need to get started with Jurassic World Alive.

It seems like every day there's an AR phone game trying to ride the white-hot coattails of Pokemon GO. The newest entrant into this real-world gaming genre is Jurassic World Alive, but if you think the game is just Pokemon GO with cool dinosaurs, well, you're only kind of right.

Jurassic World Alive has a whole bunch of features that set it apart from its brethren in the real-world gaming space, and even if you're an old pro at Ingress and Pokemon GO, some of the systems can take a bit of getting used to.

We've put together a Jurassic World Alive beginner's guide so that you can harvest dino DNA with drones and create horrific dinosaur hybrids (yes, these are things you do in the game) like a pro!

Jurassic World Alive Beginner's Guide

Getting Started

At first blush, Jurassic World Alive will look very familiar to anybody who has any experience with AR gaming. There's a map (colored with varying shades of blue, natch), complete with supply drop locations and dinosaurs scattered all over the place. You also have a small circle around your current location that shows you how close you have to be to a supply drop in order to collect it.

This, however, is where the similarities to Pokemon GO end. It's surprising, but you can actually get a lot of mileage out of the game just by sitting on your couch. As long as you're within 500 feet of a dinosaur, you can attempt to take it on. Instead of gyms, Jurassic World Alive has a simple turn-based player-versus-player battle system. You can combine and evolve dinosaurs to create more powerful ones and build your battle team.

Tips on "Catching" Dinosaurs

The first thing you'll want to do when you open up the game for the first time is build your dino-squad. You'll be tempted to do this from your couch, but it's actually very helpful to get as close as you can to the dinosaurs before you start any encounter. The game never tells you this, but the closer you are to the dinosaur you're trying to obtain, the more time you'll have to shoot it with darts from your little drone thingy. You can estimate the amount of time you'll have in the encounter using the battery icon at the top of your screen.

Once you're in the encounter, the goal will be to bullseye the dinosaur with darts in order to harvest its DNA. You'll then use that DNA to create your own version of the dinosaur, and you'll receive more DNA the closer you get to the bullseye indicator. It's important to remember that the encounter doesn't properly start until you fire your first dart, so take your time to line it up and ensure that you get a direct hit. After that, the dino will start moving and things will be much more difficult. Don't be discouraged if you don't get that much DNA from the dino at first; you'll get the hang of it soon.

After the dinosaur starts moving, keep in mind that you'll have to lead your shots. Look at where the dinosaur is heading, and aim a bit ahead of the bullseye on its path in order to score a direct hit by the time the dart reaches the dino. Keep in mind that the dinosaur will move more quickly as you hit it with more darts, so you'll have to lead your shots more as well.

Oh, and as a final pro tip, be careful firing off a final shot as time expires. If it doesn't hit the dinosaur before the encounter ends, even if you fired it beforehand, it won't count and it'll be a waste of a dart. 

Building Your Team

When you start the game, Chris Pratt will give you a starting dino, but you'll need at least four to get into battle. If you click the skull icon, you'll be taken to your dinosaur collection, where you can check your progress in gathering DNA to bolster your team (and later, modify your dino-strike team!)

Most low-level common dinosaurs only need 50 DNA to create, while rarer dinosaurs cost 100 or 150 DNA to create, so keep that in mind. You likely won't be able to snag a T-Rex for yourself in only one encounter, so adjust your expectations accordingly.

In most cases, a rarer monster is indeed more powerful than a common one, but not always. As you take part in more encounters, you'll also be able to evolve your dinosaurs, leveling them up to become stronger. A good indicator is the amount of DNA needed to evolve or create a dinosaur.

If you've sunk 250 DNA into leveling up a dinosaur, it will likely be stronger in battle than a rarer dinosaur that costs 150 to create (though if you're just getting started, both deserve a spot on your battle team).

As you collect and encounter more dinosaurs, you'll see that your collection screen will expand with purple dinosaurs in the "Not Collected" section. These are dinosaurs that can be made by combining two higher-level dinos that you already have. These dinosaurs are incredibly strong, so create them as soon as you can!

Evolving and fusing dinosaurs takes coins, which luckily, are plentiful both in supply drops and free incubators. Speaking of incubators ....

On Incubators

Whereas supply drops replenish your stock of darts and coins, incubators do that too but with a bit extra on top.

Depending on the rarity of the incubator (basic ones are available for free on a timer, though you can earn rarer ones by battling), you'll also get a varying amount of dinosaur DNA, sometimes even for a rare dinosaur.

You can check what kind of DNA you'll receive from battle incubators, while standard incubators seem like more of a crapshoot. That said, you can always check the shop page; it'll always tell you the minimum DNA you'll get from purchasing them, even though there's obviously a whole lot of randomness at play here.


So the first thing to know about battling is that you don't really get to pick your team. Once you get more than 8 dinosaurs to choose from, you'll be able to put together a battle team of 8, of which 4 will be chosen randomly to enter battle. Battles themselves are fairly straightforward affairs (Chris Pratt gives you a pretty darn helpful tutorial once you've unlocked battling), and it's really worth doing because you'll earn a new incubator with every single win!

As you rise through the ranks, you'll unlock new arenas, which is handy because each new location will come with its own dino DNA that you can collect, and of course, more advanced locations come with more and more powerful dinosaurs. 

Have you been enjoying Jurassic World: Alive? Let us know in the comments! We'll be busy grinding to snag that Indominus Rex and hoping that Niantic is paying attention to how to actually make a turn-based alternate-reality RPG!

Featured Contributor

RobotsFightingDinosaurs has been writing about games for 10 years and playing them even longer. Despite the millions of hours he's played across multiple gaming generations, his favorite games are The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild and Super Smash Bros. Robots has written for Polygon, Thrillist, Kill Screen, and more.

Published May. 7th 2019

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