Dino breeding is a new feature in ARK: Survival Evolved since patch v219 (14 October 2015). Everyone is going wild about breeding their own little dinosaurs, but how do you do that exactly? This post will cover all the ins and outs of dino breeding and help you on your way to get your own perfect little dino. Currently we have also a breeding calculator available that can help determining in advance what the possible stat outcomes for the baby dino are. If you want to know whether the dino you are currently taming is a good candidate for breeding, check out the dino stats calculator!
We need your help: Currently we are working on an extension of the breeding calculator to show you the amount of food and time needed for each of the breedable species. However, we could use your help with this and would really appreciate it if you could leave a comment below, or shoot us a message, including the following information: The species and stats of the baby dino (preferably in the different stages), the amount of food it loses per second and the (approximate) amount of food and time taken to reach each of the stages (baby, juvenile, adolescent) and adulthood.
Before we start with the actual breeding, make sure you meet the following prerequisites:
- Have some spare time, as it will take a long wait before your little dino is matured
- Have access to: an A/C unit, torches, campfire and running water or ocean. Not everything is needed, but it will make it easier if you have access to more of these items. In case you only have a campfire / torch, try to get inside a cave where it is cool to be able to regulate the temperature (Tip for primitive server users!).
- Have a supply of food or the possibility to harvest meat / berries near your location. A little tip beforehand: make sure you have your hatched dino not near a food trough, because it will eat all of it in a matter of seconds / minutes. A little update on this: a newly hatched dino still in its ‘baby’ stadium will not eat from the trough yet.
- Both a male and female dino of the same species to let them mate (so male / male and female / female will not work). Also make sure that the female is ready to mate, which is indicated on her HUD when you move close by.
- A little / medium sized pen where the male and female dino can wander around (otherwise they won’t mate). Since wandering mode can sometimes be a little glitchy, make sure this pen is either kept an close eye on, or contains double / triple walls. However, make it not too big as the dinos have to be close together to fill their mating bar.
Available dinos for breeding
Most of the tameable dinos are able to breed currently (as of patch v220) as mammals and flyers are added. Sea creatures (such as megalodon, plesio, etc) are not able to breed yet, but will be able in the near future hopefully. The full list of all available dinos for breeding is currently as follows:
- Carbo / Turtle
As soon as new dinos are able to breed, they will be added to this list so stay tuned. To check whether a dino has to possibility to breed, keep an eye out for the option “Enable wandering to mate” on their HUD.
The creatures that are currently unable to breed are the following:
Incubation Temperature Table
This table is not complete yet. If you know any of the missing values or see any incorrect values, please let us know in a comment and we’ll update it. The newly added dinos (mammals and flyers) are not added to this table yet.
|Dino||Temperature (°C)||Temperature (°F)||Time|
|Ankylosaurus||13 – 20||55 – 67||1.5h – 2h|
|Brontosaurus||25 – 33||77 – 91||unknown|
|Carbonemys||13 – 20||55 – 67||1h – 1.5h|
|Dilophosaurus||28 – 31||82 – 87||1h – 1.5h|
|Dodo||21 – 29||70 – 84||45 min – 1h|
|Parasaur||21 – 29||70 – 84||1.5h – 2h|
|Raptor||24 – 29||75 – 84||2h – 2.5h|
|Rex||30 – 35||86 – 95||5h – 6h|
|Sarcosuchus||30 – 35||86 – 95||unknown|
|Spinosaur||23 – 30||73 – 86||unknown|
|Stegosaurus||22 – 27||72 – 81||unknown|
|Triceratops||18 – 29||64 – 84||unknown|
Baby dinosaur stats
The baby dinosaurs that you will get from breeding in ARK: Survival Evolved, will get their stats inherited from their parents. This means that “genetics” plays a role in the breeding process. The stats will be randomly assigned to the baby, however it will have a 70% chance that it will get the best base value from each of the parents. This means that a baby dino with a parent A with a high base damage and a parent B with high stamina, has 70% chance to also have a high base damage or stamina (or even both!). The other stats are also randomly taken from parent A or B, meaning that a baby dinosaur has a good chance to have better stats than one of the parents. With selective breeding, and a lot of time, it can therefore result in a baby dinosaurs with incredible stats.
Also note that the level of the baby dinosaur depends on those of the parents. It can also happen that a baby dinosaur has a higher level than both of its parents, due to the amount of stats it inherits! For more info, check out the breeding calculator.
Now we have some basic information, we will get to the actual breeding process. This process is currently divided into three steps: from getting an egg (mating), to getting the baby dino (hatching) to raising it to a full adult (maturing).
With the introduction of mammal breeding, the mating and ‘hatching’ fase don’t apply to every dino anymore. Therefore there will be an indication for which of the dino types (general or mammals) the steps apply.
Step 1: Mating (Getting an egg – General breeding)
Get your male and female dinosaur together and put them in the love-pen you created for them. Now set both of them to “Enable Wandering” and they are ready to go. Watch them for a while and they should get a beating heart symbol over their heads. When this happens, you can check on the HUD of the female dinosaur the mating bar. This mating bar will also indicate with whom the dinosaur is mating, but what we are currently interested in is the progress bar. The mating bar will fill as long as the two dinosaurs are in close proximity of each other (hence the pen) and the only thing you have to do at this point is wait for it to fill (sounds easy right?). When the mating bar is full, the female dinosaur will drop a fertilized egg (which can be recognized by the alpha-like mist / glow coming from it). Now that you have an egg, we will move on to the next step: hatching it.
Step 1: Mating (Getting pregnant – Mammal breeding)
For the mammals the breeding is the same as the general explanation (so please take a look at the first step there). The only difference is that after the mating bar is full, the female will not drop a fertilized egg. Instead she will enter a gestation period, which you can find more info on in the next step.
Step 2: Hatching (Getting a baby dino – General breeding)
A quick heads up on the fertilized egg that was dropped: you are able to pick it up to move it somewhere else. However, it will not be able to hatch when it’s in your inventory and please be careful not to eat it by accident (so don’t put it on your hotbar, as you will not drop it but eat it instead).
So, now that we have the egg you will have to care for it until it hatches. The egg will also have a HUD on which some information is displayed. The important information you have to keep an eye on are as follows:
- Too cold / Too hot indicator: whenever the egg is not at the right temperature, it will give in indication whether it is too hot or cold. If an egg is too cold, make sure you create warmth as soon as possible by placing torches / campfires around the egg. When the egg is too hot, make sure you put out any fires that are near and if that doesn’t work you can try putting it under a watertap or in a river nearby. An A/C unit can help to keep the temperature more stable, however you will still need fire or water to maintain the right temperature for the specific egg (as those differ per species). Currently there is a table at the top of the post that lists some temperature values, however we don’t have a list for all off the optimal temperatures, so if you know anything feel free to share it with us.
- Egg Incubation bar: This progress bar will slowly fill when the egg has the right temperature to hatch. Keep a close eye on it and the temperature indicator, to make sure it hatches as quickly as possible. Whenever the bar is full, the egg will hatch and you will get your little baby dinosaur. The time it takes for an egg to hatch also differs per species, so please share the time your egg took to hatch so we can create a list of the times.
- Egg Health bar: You want to keep this progress bar as full as possible, as it indicates the health of the egg. Every time the temperature is too hot or cold, the health of the egg will drop. When this progress bar is empty, the egg will be destroyed and you will have to start over with a new egg.
Note: When the egg hatches, make sure you are near so you can imprint on them. People from outside the tribe will also be able to do this, so make sure they are not around.
Step 2: Gestation (Mammal breeding)
Now that the mating is done, the female dino will enter a gestation period in which the baby dino grows inside the female’s belly. During this gestation period, you will see a gestation progress bar on the HUD of the female that indicates how far she is. During the gestation period, the female will gradually start to need more and more food (up to double of the normal food rate near the end). This means that you should keep an eye out on the food that is available to the female, either in troughs or in inventory, as she will need more and more in the same timespan. When the gestation period has been finished, the female will give birth to her baby dino (with small chances of twins or even triplets). After this, the female will enter a cooldown period in which she is temporarily unable to breed again.
Step 3: Maturing (Raising your little dino – Both breeding types)
If everything went well, you should now have a little dinosaur running around (or just standing). These little fella’s will need a lot of attention to stay alive, so be aware!
The first thing you should do now is keeping them safe from attacks and other harm. The dinosaur babies have a low health and will flee any fight, so make sure you put them somewhere where no others can get to it. Furthermore, the babies will require food to grow so stack up on those berries / raw meat and get going.
In the first stadium, your baby dino will need to be hand fed. You should check up on your baby dino regularly as it will need food often. The best approach is to feed the baby dino until it eats something, but its food won’t go up anymore; at that point you have reached its food cap. What you do now is wait for a while and feed it a berry or some meat when the food drops. So say the baby dino has its food capped at 600, then just wait till it drops to 500 and feed it until it is back at its cap (or if you are brave enough, let it drop a bit more).
When your little dino reaches the juvenile stage, it will also be able to feed from throughs, however be careful: when placing it near a trough, the little dino will eat all the food in a matter of minutes as it is always hungry (it is capped on its food, but since this cap is lower than the total food it will think it’s ‘hungry’ and eat). So manually giving it food might at this point still be a good approach.
The maturing stage will take a long time, as you will need to feed it until it’s maturation progress bar is completely full. Luckily, the little dinosaur will dynamically grow bigger, get more health and a higher weight capacity, meaning that it should become easier over time to keep them alive. Furthermore, the little dinosaurs have different states depending on the percentage their maturation bar is filled:
- Baby = 0-9%
- Juvenile = 10-49%
- Adolescents = 50-99%
- Adult = 100%
When the maturation progress bar is filled: congratulations! You now have fully bred a new dinosaur.
Since breeding is still very new, many people have questions about it. The most frequently asked questions will be listed below, so you hopefully get answers to every question you have. In case your question is not listed, you can always leave a comment.
Can we make kibbles with fertilized eggs?
Yes, this is possible. So go ahead and grind those fertilized eggs into kibbles before they are hatched!
At what temperature should I keep my egg?
The optimal temperature differs for each of the species. You can find a table in the ‘Incubation Temperature Table’ paragraph in this post.
What dinos can currently mate?
Please see the ‘Available dinos for breeding’ paragraph in this post. It lists all dinos that are currently able to mate.
Can you kill baby dinosaurs?
Yes, this is possible and the younger they are, the more chance you’ll have to harvest prime meat from them.
Can the fertilized eggs be transported?
Yes, you can pick them up and put them in your inventory to drop them somewhere else. However, please be careful not to accidentally eat them.
Will the baby dinos mature quicker when using kibble?
No, the only food you can give the little dinos is berries or meat (only raw, so raw meat or raw prime). The kibbles are not being eaten by the dinos, so it won’t increase the mature progress at all.
What happens when I put the fertilized / partially incubated egg in the fridge?
This will result in the egg being ‘paused’ for a while. The exact times are not known yet, but it is possible to keep your partially incubated egg in the fridge for a while and resume incubating afterwards. The incubation bar will also be frozen in the meantime, so you won’t lose any time.