Ark: Survival Evolved is quite the complicated game at times, but the first thing any new player wants to do when they first wake up on a beach is ride the nearest dinosaur. Its not quite as simple as hopping on their back unfortunately, and any attempt to force the issue may cause some injuries in the shape of jaws locked around your leg. This guide will teach you exactly how to tame your first dinosaur, and what comes next once you're finally sat on their back!
For the purposes of this guide, we will be taming a Level 30 Trike, a tank-like Herbivore that excels in gathering berries, a crucial task for new players as the gateway to bigger and better tames. Trikes are neutral, and will not attack until attacked, so take your time to scout for the perfect one for you and your tribe, and prepare yourself for the battle ahead. Although you may be a new player, you don't want to tame anything too low levelled. A level 5 Trike may be tempting for an easy first tame, but taming a trike just that little bit higher level will pay dividends in the future, as well as raising its maximum level cap and resource gains.
There are many weapons that can knock out dinosaurs in Ark, some being more effective than others. The Club and Slingshot are low-level available options for taming non-attacking dinosaurs such as Dodos, but will prove horribly ineffective against many other dinosaurs, especially our Trike. The most realistic option for us here is the Bow or the Crossbow, both of which fire Tranquilizer Arrows, regular Stone Arrows bathed in Narcotic to induce Torpor, the effect that induces unconsciousness.
The Crossbow is perfect for taming the Trike, so that is what we will be using. The bow is definitely also a valid option, though will be overall less viable in the long run as it will require more Tranquilizer Arrows to knock out our choice of dinosaur. Some other options later on will be the Longneck Rifle with Tranquilizer Darts, but this is a much higher level choice and relatively unattainable for new players.
So we have our Crossbow and our Tranquilizer Arrows, how do we best prepare? Dododex is a wonderful resource that allows you to look up any dinosaur, input their level and find out exactly how much food and narcotics it will need, how many shots it will need from your chosen weapon, and how long the tame itself will take.
The Taming Process
The taming process itself is fairly simple, in essence. Using the Dododex, you can find how many shots from your crossbow your chosen dinosaur will need before it becomes unconcious. Some dinosaurs have headshot multipliers for the damage and torpor they gain from attacks, some don't. The Trike has a negative Headshot multiplier due to its heavily armoured skull, meaning that you will want to take body shots at this dinosaur. A Level 30 Trike will need 9 Tranquilizer Arrows fired from a crossbow to the body to knock it out.
When the Dinosaur is finally unconscious, you are able to place things inside its inventory. Kibble is the best food for Herbivores as of the time of writing, but Kibble can be very hard to attain. The Trike's favourite food is Carno Kibble, a large aggressive dinosaur that will destroy weaker players and is a pain to tame, and you would also have to wait for it to lay eggs. Therefore, we will be using Mejoberries, the favourite berry of most Herbivores. This Trike will need 125 of them, 21 Narcotics to keep it asleep, and 56 minutes to fully tame. The best idea here is to let the Trike's food and Torpor slowly whittle down, and then feed him all 21 Narcotics at once when he is close to waking up. The reason we do this is to ensure we don't put all of our resources onto him, only to have them stolen by other players, or for the Trike to wake up and wander off with your valuable resources.
After you have feed the Narcotics to the Trike, place the Mejoberries into its inventory. It will slowly and steadily eat them whenever it is hungry enough, eventually waking up tamed under your name.
Now that your shiny new Dinosaur is up on his feet again, learn the Saddle engram and make it for him. Saddles for Trikes are very cheap, but higher level saddles cost more and more resources. Place the saddle onto his Saddle slot and you can finally ride your dinosaur, taking full control of how he moves, what he attacks and what he harvests.
A word of advice is to put your trike on Passive, done through either the radial interaction menu on the dinosaur, or through the Whistle menu. Dinosaurs left on Neutral or Aggressive can easily go for a wander and disappear, taking your saddle and your hard work with it. Other players could also grief you by luring your dinosaur into the deep water and letting it drown. It is always a good idea to build a small pen for your dinosaurs to keep them safe when they're not in use, though you will need a Dinosaur Gateway to get them in and out because, if the size hadn't given it away, Trikes aren't going to be able to get through a regular doorway.
And there you have it, your first dinosaur on Ark. The first tame is always a memorable one so take care of it and use it wisely. Low level dinosaurs like the Trike are wonderful early-game resource gatherers, and will allow you to stockpile resources for bigger, better tames in the future.