ARK Leveling Guide

ARK Leveling Guide


When playing ARK: Survival Evolved, you might find yourself stuck at a specific level or in need of just a couple more levels to get your desired engram. Depending on your level, getting to the next one can become very tedious. In order to help you, we’ve created an overview with the fastest way to get experience. The overview is divided into specific level categories, as there will be different methods available when you get access to better items and gear. Reach level 94 as fast as possible by using the tips in this guide.

In case you have improvements for the list, leave a comment and we’ll be happy to add it! Also, don’t forget to check out the Experience calculator to see how much experience a creature gives!

Low levels (1-30)

When you are just starting ARK, you should focus on getting to know the game. Play around and you’ll see that you will level without too much effort. Also, don’t be afraid to die; it will happen a lot in the beginning (we all had that problem). The good thing is that you won’t lose your progress upon death (except if you play on a hardcore server), except for your gear. Even when you die, keep looking at it from a bright side: you can kill enemies / creatures to get your gear back or craft items / build a base again, which will all result in experience and help you level up. Other ways that you can get some easy experience for the first 30 levels include:

  • Get experience from doing nothing (you will receive a very small amount from just standing still or walking around)
  • Explore the island: just walk around, craft some stuff, find some berries to eat, create a small hut; just anything to make yourself cozy as you will be spending a lot of time on the island 😉
  • Crafting necessary items such as base materials (especially the wooden stuff) for a small base.
  • Crafting notes or cloth hats. Both the note and hat give 1 exp, for very small amount of resources. The note is a little cheaper (3x thatch, 1x fiber) than the cloth hat (10x fiber), but you will need to cancel a “write note” message every time you craft one.
  • Crafting narcotics! This is the best way as it gives 2 experience per craft and is pretty quick. Just make a couple of pestles and fill them up with narcoberries and spoiled meat (5x narcoberry, 1x spoiled meat). With a stack of 100 spoiled meat, you should add 500 narcoberries to be able to create 100 narcotics. To make it quicker, it is advised to divide your amounts over different mortars as you will then craft them in parallel and get the most experience / second. Note that you don’t need to be in range of the mortar to get the experience, so just put everything in and press the ‘craft all’ button and go on with gathering more spoiled meat and berries while you get experience.
  • Another good thing to craft is the storage box (25x wood, 20x thatch, 10 fiber). These will give you 3.7 exp each, but are a bit harder to make as you need a lot of wood, thatch and fiber. The best way to get these is by either owning a mammoth or some good tools. For the fiber, try to get a hold on a scythe and you will be drowning in it. A word of advice: don’t drop your created storage boxes, but place them and destroy them. This will give you back half of the resources, which you can then use to create some more.
  • From level 15 on you’ll also be able to craft rafts. The resources for it are not too hard to get (250x wood, 125x fiber, 75x hide) and it gives a reasonable amount of experience (91 to be exact). The needed resources might seem like a lot, but in comparison to the storage boxes you’ll need less wood to get the same amount of experience (around 25 storages boxes for 91 experience equals 625 wood!)
  • Get yourself a cooking pot and craft the new (since v238) dish: Broth of Enlightenment. This will give you 1.5x experience for 20 minutes. The recipe is as follows:
    • 10x Mejoberry,
    • 2x Each vegetable (Citronal, Longrass, etc.)
    • 5x Rhino Horn
    • 1x Black Pearl
    • 1x Waterskin

Medium levels (30-60)

Now that you’ve got the hang of the game, you should be able to do some more advanced stuff:

  • The things stated for low levels may still apply to you, as they are all good ways to get some easy experience.
  • Kill bugs: find an easy dino target to kill, and leave its carcass laying around. After a little while, it should attract bugs that you can then kill. Do keep a track on your health with this approach, and especially keep an eye on your dinos, as you can get killed yourself if you don’t pay attention!
  • Build a nice base (preferably wood or stone) and get experience while building your dream home!
  • Kill alphas (but be careful): best way to go about alphas is to find a spot where they can’t reach you, but where you are able to hit them with a bow / crossbow. With the recent updates they might run away, so this makes it a bit harder to pull off nowadays. Another approach is to get a high level rex / spino / giga and go after them with that. Also, don’t got for the alpha rex yet, as it is much stronger than the raptor and carno. If you’re brave enough, you can start killing alpha raptors from level 30 on with a pike, but make sure you don’t bring your most important supplies as there is a risk that you may die.
  • As always, the Broth of Enlightenment can be used to get yourself 1.5x experience.

High levels (60-94)

At this point in the game there aren’t that much “easy experience hacks” left. The main thing to do is going on killing sprees, as that gives you most experience.

  • Kill alphas
  • Just go on a killing spree with a rex / spino and kill everything you see. Save the meat that you get from this, so you can let it spoil later on and use it for crafting narcotics.
  • Build the biggest base you’ve ever seen and gain experience while crafting.
  • As always, the Broth of Enlightenment can be used to get yourself 1.5x experience.

Tribe (all levels)

  • Tribe experience: just be in a tribe and do things together. As long as you are close to another tribe member, you will get experience from the action he performs. So if you are just going to gather some berries: make sure to stick together.
  • More tribe experience: find a tribe and craft narcotics or other items together in big amounts. This time you will have to make sure to keep in range of the place where the stuff is crafted (so the mortar for narcotics, but it could also be that you need to be near someone when they are crafting something in their inventory).
  • Even more tribe experience: if you got a tribe with a couple of rexes / spinos / gigas: go on a rampage together and kill every creature you see. Make sure to stick together though, as you otherwise won’t get any experiences. Also a good approach is to kill alphas together, as they are much easier to take on in a team.
  • Build a massive base together with your tribe; go farm together, craft together, build together. It’s both fun (as you will end up with a big base, fully to your liking) and useful, as you’ll receive extra tribe experience.
  • As always, the Broth of Enlightenment can be used to get yourself 1.5x experience.

In short

Just play the game and make use of the game mechanics such as building, taming and crafting to earn experience and level up. If you enjoy playing the game, you will level up no matter what. If you do get stuck and need for example a specific level for a saddle or engram, then you can check out the options listed above. Do remember though, that there are also blueprints that will make it possible to craft items even if you are not the right level yet.

Gathering resources

In the guide some resources, such as narcoberries, are used to get a lot of experience. Since there are multiple ways to gather resources, we list some of the easiest / fastest way to get them, so you can level even faster.


Tame a (low level) dino, e.g. a trike or bronto or mammoth, and go around through the woods and places where there are a lot of bushes. Drop everything except for the narcoberries and you will have a lot in an instant.

Spoiled meat

Tame a carnivore, e.g. a raptor or rex or sabertooth (others are also applicable) and hunt some animals. A good source of meat are especially the schools of fish that are swimming around, as they are easy to kill and give a ton of meat. Next, remove all the meat from your dino’s inventory and put it in your own (as that reduces the spoil timers). The next step is to split up all your stacks. This means that you need to split your single stack of 20 meat into 20 stack of 1 meat. The reason for doing this, is that only the top item in a stack has a spoil timer. After the item is spoiled, the next item’s timer will go in, etc. By dividing all your meat into single stacks, you create a spoil timer for every piece of meat you have: resulting in much quicker spoiling.


The fastest way would be to get a scythe and hit plants with it to get huge amounts of fiber in mere minutes. If you happen to have a Gigantopithecus, then you can also use that by putting it on “Wander” and leave it to gather some. It would be optimal if you can combine the two; set the Gigantopithecus on wandering and use your scythe to get fiber yourself. That way you can keep an eye out on your giganto, so it won’t wander off or get killed, while also being productive yourself.

Level experience and engram points

For those interested in the exact amounts of experience you need for each of the level, you can check it out in the table below. The table also contains the engram points for each of the levels, which might come in handy when picking your desired engram.

LevelXP neededXP totalEP gainedEP total

Share your experiences

Again, this list might not be exhaustive and new ways to gain experience might be added in future versions. If you happen to know another way to get experience that is not listed yet, please let us know in a comment. We will happily add it so others can also benefit from it.


  1. This is a very nice guide. I have been playing for about a month and a half now and people always ask me how I level so fast. I usually go from 0-60 in about 2-3 days! What I have read here is exactly what I do, except that I do not usually kill bugs, I usually start killing alpha’s raptor’s at around level 30 while wearing hide armor and using a metal pike! However, it is not an easy task at that level and most should probably avoid alpha’s of any type until around level 50!

  2. Crafting rafts is an excellent way to grind EXP too early game – the materials are relatively cheap and you only need to get to lvl 15 before learning the engram.

  3. if im under level 30 hell or under 15, how the fuck do you expect me to own a mammoth?

    1. Author

      If you are on PvE, you can usually trade things for tamed creatures (and saddles). On PvP it will indeed be difficult to pull this off at low levels; in that case the metal hatchet is your best choice 🙂

  4. I made a macro key to repeatedly tap E quickly and that harvests stones and berries and such for me as I’m walking around which gives you experience. It’s not the quickest way to level up but it helps in addition to all the stuff on here.

  5. Beavers are an excellent way to get wood too. I tamed one around level 15 and set her to wander, got tons of wood and thatch in a few minutes while I was gathering fibers and berries. And beavers have reduced weight of wood, thatch and stones so they’re great companions for builders. Only thing is they have a mean bite (she killed me while I was trying to down her; lucky my house was right next to her river spot…) and a fast torpor drop so you need to babysit once you knock it out. Well worth it tho.

  6. Speaking of beavers, when looting the beaver dams I keep a bunch of fiber and thatch in my inventory, then construct wood foundations with all of the wood I get from the dams. I use my argent to fly from dam to dam, and store the foundations on the bird. I get experience from each foundation I make, and it lets me haul the wood at 20% of the weight of the logs. Granted, you lose 50% of the wood, but the dams have so much that I still get plenty, plus the paste, pearls, and flowers.

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