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Swimming is an important part of ARK: Survival Evolved. Players can mount tamed creatures and swim on their backs, which allows them to travel quickly and access areas that are not as easily accessible without swimming equipment. Swimming also allows players to access underwater caves.

Being submerged consumes a player's oxygen, so players must occasionally come to the surface, or use swimming equipment. Swimming also consumes stamina. Swimming on the surface of the water is slower than being completely submerged.

Swimming-related Items


  •  SCUBA Mask — allows players to see more clearly.
  •  SCUBA Tank — supplies oxygen to players wearing it.
  •  SCUBA Leggings — provide a large amount of hypothermal insulation when in water.
  •  SCUBA Flippers — multiply a player's movement speed by 2.5x while underwater, but have less movement speed while walking on land.


  •  Lazarus Chowder — Eating will significantly decrease the rate at which you consume oxygen for 10 minutes. (The ingame description mentions 15 minutes, which is an error)

Rideable Swimming Creatures

The following creatures can be mounted by players.

Species / Common Name Diet Temperament* Saddle Level Amphibious Water Breathers Surface*
 Angler Carnivore Aggressive to small fry, otherwise skittish No Saddle Required No Yes No
 Basilosaurus Piscivore Passive 60 No Yes No
 Baryonyx Piscivore Territorial

(Aggressive at close range)

49 Yes Yes Yes
 Beelzebufo Carnivore Defensive 40 Yes Yes Yes
 Carbonemys Herbivore Defensive 10 Yes Yes Yes
 Castoroides Herbivore Defensive 55 Yes No Yes
 Diplocaulus Piscivore Skittish No Saddle Required Yes** Yes No
 Dunkleosteus Carnivore Territorial (Aggressive at close range) 40 No Yes No
 Ichthyosaurus Carnivore Curious 10 No Yes No
 Manta Carnivore Aggressive 25 No Yes No
 Megalodon Carnivore Aggressive 48 No Yes No
 Mosasaurus Carnivore Aggressive 75, 85 (platform) No Yes No
 Plesiosaur Carnivore Aggressive 60, 75 (platform) No Yes No
 Sarco Carnivore Aggressive 35 Yes Yes Yes
 Spino Carnivore Territorial

(Aggressive at close range)

71 Yes No Yes

* Tamed terrestrial creatures that will surface if unridden.

** Diplocaulus, while amphibious, cannot be ridden on land. The player must open the radial menu to ride them, while the dino is in the water; the player will be forced to dismount once they reach a point where Diplocaulus and the player begin to walk.


  • Swimming on the surface of the water is slightly slower than swimming under water.
  • Swimming consumes  Stamina. If you run out of Stamina, you will swim much slower, and surfacing will take much longer, causing potential death by drowning.
  • Players can swim indefinitely, although at a slower speed once stamina is exhausted (even if encumbered). Land-based animals though, tamed or wild, mounted or unmounted, will drown once stamina is fully exhausted.
  • Increasing  Oxygen skills also increases your swimming speed.
  • By putting  Oxygen on a non water dinosaur will gain it a bit of speed.
  • Certain creatures, such as  Karkinos,  Enforcer,  Arthropluera,  Rock Elemental and  Titanoboa do not swim. Instead, they move along the ground as if the water was not there.
  • Certain structures and items cannot be placed, or do no work underwater. For example  Beds cannot be placed underwater, and Campfires and Refining Forges cannot be turned on.
  • Some weapons can not be used while swimming. This includes most guns and torches.
  • Akin to falling most consumables cannot be eaten while underwater(but can be while riding a creature that is swimming)


  • The Ocean biome in the Genesis Simulation is more forgiving towards the survivor on how long the oxygen lasts before suffocating.