Breeding is a feature of ARK: Survival Evolved that allows players to breed improved creatures through Eggs with non-mammals and gestation with mammals. Eggs do not have an owner, so it's possible to steal eggs laid by other survivors' dinos.
Newborn creatures are simply claimed (imprinted on) and do not require the usual taming processes associated with wild creatures. Anyone can claim a newborn. This must be done promptly, along with feeding it, as babies can die quickly from hunger.
The first step of breeding is having two opposite sex creatures of the same species for mating. Original, Tek, Aberrant and X variants of creatures count as separate species, and as such, cannot be cross-bred. They must be bred with their own variant. Most creatures can be bred; those few that cannot are listed at the bottom of this article. See Sterile Creatures for more information.
Always be prepared for having more than one baby dino to be born upon incubation/gestation. There is a 10% chance of twins, and a 2% chance of triplets.
It has been confirmed that there is no creature in the game capable of affecting chances of mutations, twins and triplets.
For creatures to successfully mate, both sexes must be:
- within mating range of each other
- wandering or set to mate (Enable Wandering or Enable Mating must be enabled on both creatures)
- not following anything (Disable Following on both creatures)
- unburdened (the creatures must not be carrying so much weight they are unable to move)
- not mounted
- not spayed/neutered
- not having a mating cooldown (once mated females have a mating cooldown interval before they can mate again, the cooldown can also be triggered when transfering the creature between Arks)
The mating range varies between species and is loosely based on the size of the adult creature. Building a pen of a suitably small size to keep the wandering animals within mating range of each other is one common approach.
If you do not want to build a pen, you can go onto the creature commands and enable mating, this will make the creatures stand still and then they will start to mate. You can also use the "Whistle Stop (All)" command (U on PC). This halts all dinos within the area to stop moving, even ones that are enabled to wander. It's best to use the whistle every time the dino starts to move again, or to prevent the dinos from ever moving, whistle constantly. While this method doesn't need a pen, it does need you or a tribe member to stay there and constantly whistle. This may be more helpful if one survivor is constantly whistling not to move, and another survivor enables the creatures nearby to wander and mate. In this way, you can achieve mass breeding in an area without ever building a pen, or moving creatures. Alternatively, you can set the dinos you want them to mate to that state without the burden of them wandering around.
To initiate breeding of a pair by yourself, whistle both creatures to follow you, then enable wandering or mating. Then, disable following on both. This prevents them from walking around in the meantime.
In the DLC Extinction, it is possible to use the Dino Leash, to restrict the range for mating. Then no mating pen is needed.
When the above conditions are all met, a small red heart icon appears over the heads of the mating creatures, and a mating bar appears on the female's HUD (look at the female to reveal the HUD). The HUD also indicates which creature they are mating with. Ensure the mating animals remain close together, as otherwise the mating stops. Due to server lag and game mechanics, the mating bar does not continuously update in real time. Additionally, mating multiple females to a single male at the same time can make this worse. Patience is advised as the bar moves in leaps and bounds.
Once the mating bar is completed, non-mammalian females drop a single fertilized egg , and mammalian females start gestating.
If there are too many tamed dinos in the server or in the tribe, the pair will refuse to mate until there is a free spot.
Special Conditions of Mating
Some of the dinosaur will only mate when certain conditions are given.
- Royal Griffin - will only mate with the other gender with similar surname.
- Ferox - will only mate when the female is at least 95%+ addiction as a small creature.
- Magmasaur - will only mate when the female is submerged in the lava surface in Volcano Region on any map.
- Megachelon - will only mate at deep depths in the ocean.
- Beelzebufo - will only mate in water.
- Diplocaulus - will only mate in water.
Mating Wait Interval
Females cannot mate again until a mating wait interval has passed (Cryofreezing them will still continue the mating interval cooldown). This interval is indicated on their HUD. For mammals, the mating wait interval does not commence until after their gestation has completed. Males can mate at any time.
- Main article: Incubation
The fertilized egg itself only begins Incubation when dropped onto the floor/ground, not in Inventory. When dropped, a Fertilized Egg must be kept at a certain temperature range depending on the species (this also factors in insulation). If outside of this temperature range, incubation won't make progress, and it loses "Fertilized Egg Health" over time and is destroyed if this reaches zero. This is all indicated on the HUD when looking at a Fertilized Egg, along with its parents.
The following eggs are an exception due to the nature of how it is obtained (No health loss in inadequate temperature area):
If there are too many tamed dinos in the server or in the tribe, the egg will continue to incubate with no timer information, but letting it hatch will not yield a baby.
The best method to ensure eggs are at an appropriate temperature for incubation is through insulation. Use one or more Air Conditioner, Dimetrodon, Kairuku or Otter. Six Air Conditioner should work for all eggs but eight is ideal for when there is a heat/cold storm. You might need up to 14 Air Conditioners for larger eggs such as the Giganotosaurus, or the Wyvern in Scorched Earth or Ragnarok. The Rock Drake in Aberration requires at least 15 Air Conditioners due to its very cold incubation requirement. Whereas the Deinonychus from Valguero needs a rough 23 Air Conditioners in the snow because of its extreme heat required.
Another way is to tame a handful of Dimetrodon. These seemingly useless finned creatures are actually one of the best sources of insulation in the entire game. The higher their melee damage, the higher their insulation bonus is; at ~1000 melee damage, it can even raise wyvern eggs. The insulation effect stacks with other Dimetrodons, so if one isn't enough to do the job, try two, or three, or more. Far cheaper to maintain than the expensive air conditioners, these guys are mobile and only need meat, compared to the stationary air conditioner that also needs electricity to run. However, everything has its drawbacks: the Dimetrodon is slow and hard to transport on foot; they are hard to tame due to where they spawn and their fast torpor drop. However, it is worth the risk, especially on Aberration, where Rock Drake Egg would normally require many air conditioners.
At the beginning of the game, when the Air Conditioner or Dimetrodon are not yet available, use a heat source to regulate the egg's temperature. Standing Torch, Torch, Campfire, Industrial Cooker, and stone fireplace work well. However, they all have the downside of providing negative Heat Tolerance, making careful management necessary, or going to colder areas to make the gap between cold resistance and heat resistance bigger. You may need four or more torches, depending on the biome and the egg.
Since temperature gradients can be very extreme between regions, easily reaching 20 °C or more, you can try and find a nearby biome where the temperature is closer to the eggs' ideal point; this is usually in the biome that spawned the creature. Early in the game, it is easier to find a biome that is too cold (e.g. near the coast) and heat the egg with torches, rather than trying to cool down a hot biome.
As Fertilized Eggs don't lose Egg Health in an inventory, and spoil incredibly slowly, you can keep them in your Inventory or in a preserving bin/refrigerator until able to achieve the appropriate temperature needed for Incubating. This can be very useful if you settled in a region with extreme temperatures as it's especially difficult to cool an egg in a hot biome without an air conditioner when it gets too hot.
While most creature's egg can be moved to its suitable location if the required temperature for incubation is not suited at its current location, some of the eggs cannot be moved once laid due to its glued nature. As such, females of the following eggs must lay their eggs at locations that allows incubation without causing complications:
During gestation, females can consume up to twice the amount of food they would normally. Ensure the expectant mother has access to plenty of food during gestation to avoid losing the baby.
The baby will need immediate attention to survive, so be sure to be there at the time the gestation ends. Trying to put a gestating mother into a cryopod will terminate the pregnancy.
Babies are born unclaimed, so a survivor must "claim" them immediately after birth by getting close to them, looking right at them, and pressing the "use" key (E, , ) to imprint them, otherwise they can be claimed by other survivors. The only exception is the Reaper King, which can only be claimed by the survivor who "gave birth" to it; no other survivor including the birthgiver's tribe mates can claim it.
Warning: Pets set on aggressive attack unclaimed creatures as soon as they are hatched/born. Whistle "Passive" or claim babies quickly to avoid this. Also Tek Shields will 'shunt' unclaimed babies out of their radius.
- As of 264.5, Auto Turrets and Plant Species X set to "Players and Tamed Creatures" will NOT attack unclaimed creatures after they are hatched/born. You can safely place turrets inside a hatching pen without fearing for babies' lives.
If babies are not very promptly claimed and then fed they can quickly die from hunger.
Caring For Babies
Young animals take significant time and intensive care, especially during the "Baby" stage; if you're busy, don't breed your animals right away. Alternately, you can just put the newborn baby into a cryopod for later. Most animals on stock server settings will require the better part of a weekend to raise. You can keep fertilized eggs in a Preserving Bin or Refrigerator, but beware they will eventually spoil. This is, of course, not an option for live birth animals, so make sure to time the mating appropriately.
New babies follow the nearest survivor if one is within a reasonable range, so survivors will probably want to disable these settings. New babies have extremely low health, carrying capacity and food, so survivors need to carefully feed and take care of them in their first moments of life, or they'll soon die. The creature must be fed by adding food to their inventory. Once they reach 10.1% of their maturation, Juvenile, they can eat from a Feeding Trough to ensure the creature has a sufficient food supply. The maturation progress is shown when looking at the creature.
Babies dynamically gain more HP, food capacity, and carrying capacity as they mature over time. They need lots of food because the babies eat very quickly, so stock up beforehand while the mother is pregnant/the egg is hatching.
Babies are not mountable and flee from fights. Mounts that can carry creatures (e.g. the Argentavis) can carry babies, which allows you to quickly reposition the little ones if needed.
It takes a long time for babies to mature; breeding should only be attempted if you or your tribe have the time. As the baby grows, you will be able to leave the baby alone for longer and longer periods of time. One good use of a survivor's time at this stage might be crafting kibble for imprinting. If you will be imprinting, the baby might request any of 6 different kibbles (on PC and Console) or 15 different kibbles (on Mobile), so make sure you have them on hand.
Caring for Baby Carnivores
Baby carnivores are especially difficult to raise as it takes a minimum of 48 real hours to mature them, and a stack of meat spoils every 26.6 real hours (40 x 40 mins) in the feeding trough. Therefore their feeding trough must be topped up every 26 hours to continue their development. Failure to do so will result in a lengthy development phase because of missed feeding. By using Fish Meat, this time is doubled to 53,3 hours (40 x 80 mins), although Raw Fish Meat is only half as nutritious as Raw Meat, so baby dinos will need twice as much meat. Dinos* will eat food with the lowest food value first (see food table below), thus fish meat before raw meat, so mixing the two will result in the longer keeping fish meat being eaten first. After progression to Juvenile phase, the dinos can eat from a trough, but will starve if not fed.
This is less of an issue for herbivores, because a stack of 100 berries lasts 66 real hours (2.7 days) before spoiling, a much more manageable interval. Remember not to try and feed the babies with stim or narcoberries because they won't eat them.
*Few creatures, like Baryonyx and Pelagornis will eat Raw Fish Meat before Cooked Fish Meat and they only eat fish meat. Similarly, their offspring will only eat raw fish meat until reaching adulthood.
Caring for Babies from Egg-only Hatching
|เนื้อหาส่วนนี้เป็นเนื้อหาเฉพาะสำหรับ ส่วนเสริม: Scorched Earth, Aberration, Genesis: Part 1, Crystal Isles|
Babies hatched from Egg-only taming (with the exception of Deinonychus) only takes a specific food until they fully matures. While their food drops down slower than other babies, feeding them with their usual food will not replenish their food.
- Wyvern = Only takes in Wyvern Milk which can be obtained by either knocking out an adult wild female Wyvern, or killing Alpha Fire Wyvern.
- Rock Drake = Only takes in Nameless Venom which can sometimes be gained by killing Nameless.
- Magmasaur = Only takes in Ambergris which can sometimes be harvested from the green-cracked rock formations in Lunar Biome at Genesis Simulation.
- Crystal Wyvern = Only takes in Primal Crystal which can be obtained by gathering (with "Use") from a knocked out adult wild Crystal Wyvern.
Some babies require special caring. Effects can be disastrous if not cared for properly.
|เนื้อหาส่วนนี้เป็นเนื้อหาเฉพาะสำหรับ ส่วนเสริม: Aberration|
For details on taking care of baby Reaper King or how to obtain them, check its own article. Reaper King babies will attack any dino and any survivor around if it is able to reach towards them and will be constantly on wander (with no options to stop wandering or follow target). It will not attack the birth giver with Reaper Pheromone Gland effect. Once it reaches Juvenile however, it will stop randomly attacking and can be ordered like every other baby.
Whenever the baby attacks an entity, a portion of its food will be lost.
|This section is about a feature exclusively available on Mobile|
Baby Griffins prefer to be secure to feel safe. While it feels insecure, it will refuse to eat food from inventory or trough. For it to feel secure, it must be close to its mother based on the current ancestor, or a female griffin with the same surname as the baby.
Until adulthood maturity, Beelzebufo babies must always be kept inside water. Any attempt to pull it out even as Adolescent will easily kill it.
Carnivores will only eat meat, while herbivores will only eat berries. During the baby phase, you have to hand feed the baby until it reaches the juvenile stage. This can take quite a long time so be prepared and have time to sit around feeding a baby. Also, food value does not seem to affect the baby anymore, it's a certain time stamp for how long the baby will grow into a juvenile as of 4-18-2016.
|Preferred Kibble||80 (53.33**)|
|Kibble made from Prime Meat Jerky (excluding Carbonemys kibble)||90|
|Raw Prime Meat / Raw Meat / Raw Mutton||50|
|Cooked Prime Meat / Prime Meat Jerky||50|
|Cooked Meat / Cooked Meat Jerky||25|
|Raw Prime Fish Meat / Cooked Prime Fish Meat / Raw Fish Meat||25|
|Cooked Fish Meat||12|
Maturation Phases & Food Consumption
Food consumption by babies is very large and varies by the maturation progress dynamically
FoodPerSec = 2.7 - 2.6 * maturationRatio
Note: This formula is an estimation and may not give exact numbers. `maturationRatio` is the maturation percentage divided by 100.
Some Perspective: For only one baby Rex (remember you could have twins or triplets) on an unmodified server, it will take roughly 450 stacks (almost 6 refrigerators) of raw meat to reach adult phase, so be sure to have plenty on hand before the baby is born!
- The food consumption rate appears to change with each stage of the maturation progress (at least for wolves and Dodos).
Imprinting is a way to improve the stat-values of a bred creature. It requires one of three interactions (giving specific kibble, cuddling, walking) every 8 hours. Only a single player can imprint a newborn baby (whoever claims it first). There is no penalty for not imprinting, and any imprinting done is permanent. Imprinting values will not be lost if you miss an imprint.
If this player manages to care for the baby during the entire maturation, the creature's base stats before modifications will be increased by 20% and, when ridden by the imprinter, it will also gain 30% increased damage and damage resistance.
All tameable creatures are breedable except for:
In ARK: Survival Evolved Mobile, Royal Griffin has gender and can be bred. However, they will only mate with members of the same house (they must have the same 2-3 last letters in their names).
Times for Breeding
Table of Breeding Table of Mammal Breeding
Stats of the Offspring
The spawn of two dinosaurs will inherit the "natural" stat levels of its parents. Natural stat levels are the levels in each stat after it has been tamed but before it gains any stats through leveling-up by a player. There is a 55% chance of inheriting the stronger stat of each parent. This means you have a certain percent chance of obtaining a 100% perfect (meaning with only the higher stats of both parents) dino from both parents from each mating.
The stat-values (not the stat-levels) of the offspring are calculated like for a creature that was just tamed with a 100% taming effectiveness with the taming effectiveness bonuses applied. This means that an offspring can have higher values than its parents in stats that get a bonus from taming effectiveness (for most creatures this is Melee Damage and sometimes Food). See also Creature stats calculation for how the values are calculated from the stats.
To understand this better, here is an example. Let's only look at the melee damage of a pair of Raptors. Assume they were just tamed with a taming effectiveness of 70% and have both already 4 levels in melee damage. The value you can see as melee damage is according to the formula on Creature stats calculation, the newly added extra modifier (balancing update), and the stats of the raptors
Value = (BaseStat × ( 1 + LevelWild × IncreaseWild) + TamingBonusAdd × TamingBonusAddModifier) × (1 + TamingEffectiveness × TamingBonusMult × TamingBonusMultModifier) Value = (100% × ( 1 + 4 × 5%) + 50% × 15%) × (1 + 70% × 40% × 45%) Value = 127.5% × 112.6% Value = 143.6%
The offspring inherits the values of its parents. But they don't inherit the plain value, but the levels the parents spend in the stats before being leveled up by a player. So the offspring inherits 4 levels for its melee damage (as both parents have 4 levels in this case). To get the value of the melee damage of the offspring, we calculate it like before, but this time we use a taming effectiveness of 100% (this is the way the game gives you another bonus if you breed creatures).
Value = (BaseStat × ( 1 + LevelWild × IncreaseWild) + TamingBonusAdd × TamingBonusAddModifier) × (1 + TamingEffectiveness × TamingBonusMult × TamingBonusMultModifier) Value = (100% × ( 1 + 4 × 5%) + 50% × 15%) × (1 + 100% × 40% × 45%) Value = 127.5% × 118% Value = 150.5%
The offspring has like the parents 4 levels in melee damage, but with the higher taming-effectiveness-bonus its value is 150.5% instead of 143.6%. The bonus is not much, but is clearly noticeable.
Amount of higher stats and chance of obtaining them when hatching
|Number of desired Stats||Probability [%]|
Finding the Best Parents
To maximize the stats of the offspring, specialized parents with a good value in few stats are needed. The more specialized a creature is in one stat, the higher it can be. To get a really good breed you need 6 creatures, each with a high upleveled (only the wild-leveling counts here) different stat. After at least 3 generations a creature with the best of the stats can be bred.
Wild Stats Level-up
Type in values of a wild creature to see on which stats it's emphasized. Green values on a high-level creature are very good for breeding. If you have already tamed your creature you can try to recover the breeding stats with an external tool.
The stat-calculator does not work in the mobile-view, see here for alternatives: Apps
Note that after the creature is tamed it gets bonuses on some stats depending on the taming effectiveness. This makes it hard to retrieve the levels on a tamed creature, so this tool is only for wild ones, but gives a first impression, how well the stats are distributed.
Level of the Offspring
The resulting level of the baby is the sum of wild level-points (i.e. level of the dino directly after taming) spent in the inherited stats by its parents. Assume for example, that one (highly unusual) parent has only leveled up in Health 40 levels and nothing else, while the other parent leveled up only in weight 30 levels. If the baby happens to inherit these higher stats, it inherits 70 levelups giving it level 71 with its starting level. Other possibilities are a level 41 Baby with only health leveled up, a level 31 baby with only weight leveled up or a baby with level 1 and nothing leveled up.
The (practically impossible to reach) maximum of levels a baby can get would be 223 levelups (149 natural + 74 by taming bonus (TE of nearly 100%)) in each stat, with 7 stats summing up to level 1562 (223 levelups in 7 stats plus the startinglevel: 223 x 7 + 1 = 1562).
One would need to find an average of 2.863×10^188 number of any dino to get all 223 wild stats put into any specific stat, assuming all levels have the same chance of spawning [1/((1/7)^223)].
Note that the levels a wild animal wastes in the movement stat is remembered and passed on during breeding. Thus two siblings with seemingly identical stats might have different levels if one of them inherited a higher movement stat than the other. This has one practical advantage: a higher torpor level.
Note that the cap level of dino on official are 450, after this level your dino will be deleted by server restart, transferring or if you cryo pod it.
Here's an example of two parents and possible children they can get. Child1 inherited random stats, ChildMax only got the maximum values and ChildMin only got the lower values. You can see that the level of the offspring can be lower, in between or higher as the levels of the parents. The higher levelup is displayed in bold.
Displayed are only the wild levels (the ones that can be inherited). Levelups by the player have no influence on the stats of the offspring.
In this example the levels of Stamina are the same for both parents, so you cannot tell which one the offspring inherited.
To get to the creature's level, you add up the levels of the stats and add one, as all creatures start at level one.
- The Titanoboa, Basilisk, Rock Drake, Coelacanth, Piranha, Sabertooth Salmon, Karkinos, Dung Beetle, Achatina, Astrocetus, Lamprey and Trilobite cannot be bred when domesticated.
- However, in the real world all reptiles, fish, crustaceans, snails, whales, and Trilobites and Dung Beetles are able to breed.
External Video Tutorials
Quick tutorial on hatching eggs.