While the forthcoming Ragnarok expansion is an official mod adding in tons of new areas and creatures, the Ark community hasn't just been sitting on its hands waiting for additional content.
There are easily thousands of mods ready and waiting to be downloaded to increase your dino options, which leads to the question -- how do you sift through all the drek and find the good stuff?
That's where we come in! These are the 9 best mods we've come across so far for adding new creatures or extending the options on current dinos in your Ark: Survival Evolved experience.
Rather than adding in new dinos to the spawn list, this mod instead extends the range of coloration on all existing creatures for a more satisfying color palette.
Blue rexs, shockingly white raptors, pink and teal fish, jet black flying birds, and more can all be achieved by adding in a few extra colors to the various creature skins.
The alternate version linked above has a similar functionality, but lets you pull up a color wheel and select your own color options for each individual dino you come across.
One of the single most useful creature mods, the homing pigeon won't be carrying your tribe into battle or even scouting out locations -- but it does provide a much-needed service.
This mod lets you place flags as locations, then equip the homing pigeon leg ring on any of your flying beasts. You can manually recall any flyers to the flag, or when you die, your "pigeon" will automatically return to the flag location.
No more losing your dumb flyers who get eaten while randomly wandering around! The tribe log is also updated when the flyer is recalled, letting your tribe know what happened so everyone is well informed of player activity.
Considering this "early access" game is now up to version 263, it goes without saying that there have been more than a few changes to creatures and stats since Ark was first released.
Not everyone has been crazy about all of those changes, most notably in how certain flying dinos were nerfed in various updates. With the Classic Flyers mod, original stats are returned to the Argent, Moth, Pelas, Ptero, Quetz, Tapejara, and Wyvern -- in addition to returning the ability to level up the speed stat.
Yep, its what you think it is -- the Discworld turtle that holds up the world arrives in Ark! As expected, he's massive in the extreme. And yes, you can tame, saddle, and ride him. Heck, you can pretty much have your whole tribe and entire settlement ride him...
15 new dinos and creatures are added with this mod, all modeled after dinosaurs from the Jurassic Park franchise... and featuring their JP sound effects as well!
Remember the Spinasaurus from Jurassic Park 3, or that goo-spitting Dilophosaurus from the original movie? Yep, they're both there, as is the poor goat that gets eaten by the T-Rex.
Now just build some pens that will inevitably fail and invite your friends and family to come gawk at your tamed dinos. I'm sure nothing at all will go wrong, and it certainly won't go wrong four separate movies in a row!
Lately we have been getting more mythical beasts in updates, expansions, and official mods -- but there's always more room for magical creatures in Ark's vast landscapes.
While Scorched Earth gave us the hard-to-acquire wyverns, this fan mod adds in the legendary Manticore, which is tamed in a similar way by stealing an egg and then pacifying a female of the species to acquire milk.
Another flying beast is always a welcome addition. And as you can see by the size comparison to some golems, these bad buys get big!
Sadly this mod now has more than a few kinks in it since the 260 update, which will hopefully be resolved before too long. The basics still work, but there are some serious problems with animations and spawning.
What you get are smaller versions of that epic (and frustratingly hard) dragon boss, including the ability to tame, saddle, armor, and of course ride each randomly spawning dragon. Your whole tribe can eventually soar through the skies on a flight of colorful dragons!
Friendship is survival! Add a little Rainbow Dash into your Ark experience with this hilarious mod that creates colorful unicorns covered in glitter who spawn wherever Equus are normally found.
Everything gets rainbow-ized, and I mean everything -- from tri-colored unicorn poop to a very fabulous roar attack. Just don't be surprised if your tribe members give you some side eye when you roll on up on your purple unicorn. It's the perfect mod for all you bronies out there.
It took me a little while to get on board with this one, but now it totally makes sense. I mean, the predators have whole worlds devoted to hunting various dangerous creatures, so it could make sense for Ark to just be one of their hunt playgrounds.
Of course wandering xenos spawn across the map with this mod -- but that's just the tip of the iceberg, since it lets you play as a predator and adds in classic predator abilities like thermal vision.
That wraps up our list! If you want to find a server running a particular mod rather than setting it up in your own game, you can get a huge list of all servers with different settings over on ArkFinder.
What did you think of our list of the best dino mods currently available for Ark: Survival Evolved? Let us know if you downloaded any of these, and be sure to leave a comment with your favorite dino mod we might have missed!
If you still need ever more mods for this massive survival arena game, check out the rest of our ARK mod roundups: