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The Survivor is the most basic of character builds. Maxed out at Level 25, the Survivor knows all of the crucial survival skills and has the best all-around starter stats.

The Survivor is a great starter for any character build. It's recommended that all players start by creating a Survivor.

Items with a (CORE) notation should be paid special attention as these best represent the Character Class


24 attribute points is not a whole lot to sling around, but in the right places these points will get you a lot further than before.

Level 25 Goal

Attribute Value Points Points-Per
Health 140 +4 +10
Stamina 100 +0 +10
Oxygen 100 +0 +10
Food 100 +0 +10
Water 100 +0 +10
Weight 140 +4 +10
Melee 115 +3 +5
Speed 112 +8 +1.5
Craft 100 +0 +10
Fortitude 10 +5 +2

Low level players should first focus on getting their Speed and Fortitude as these will help keep you alive by out-running your opponents and braving the environment (Fortitude is especially important if playing Scorched Earth).

It may be tempting to put all your points in Weight but resist the urge; get a Parasaur instead!

Saddles & Tames

Tames make the difference between a successful stay on the ARK or a stressful one. Tames enable a Surviour to cover more ground, harvest more resources and win more fights.

Tames can be acquired from Level 1, either by feeding the animal passively or by placing food in its inventory while it's Unconscious (often called "hand-feeding" or a "topor tame").

There are several main Tame Types:

  • Companions are tames that cannot be ridden
  • Shoulder Mounts are tames that ride the player's shoulder
  • Mounts are ridable tames
  • Calvary Mounts allow you to use weapons while mounted

Recommended Saddles, Survivor

Level Saddle Core
9 Parasaur *
13 Ichthyosaurus
18 Raptor *
20 Equus

The Parasaur is the first mount most players will be familiar with. Common and easy to tame, the Parasaur makes for an awesome starter transport or beast-of-burden, thus the Parasaur Saddle makes for an excellent first saddle.

Raptors make the Survivor a force to be reckoned with. Take any opportunity to get yourself a Raptor early on, as a Raptor Saddle can be made without a Smithy.

If you've Carrots, it's time to make friends with an Equus. Put the Carrots in your last item slot and sneak up to an Equus to feed it. Jump on for a ride and make sure to feed your potential Equus when it starts bucking. Equus can be ridden without a Saddle, with one you have mobile access to a Mortar and Pestle. This is especially handy when using an Equus to harvest berries for Narcotics.

Both Raptors and Equus are Calvary Mounts, meaning you can draw and use as weapon while still mounted. This is immensely useful for hunting, fighting and even working (you can harvest resources in this way).

Recommended Tames, Survivor

A pair of escorting dilos
Dino Type Core
Dilophosaur Companion *
Dimorphodon Shoulder Mount *
Jerboa Shoulder Mount *
Bulbdog Shoulder Mount *
Phiomia Mount
Dodo Companion *

A pair of Dilos following a Parasaur makes for a great safety net. Dilos can also be placed on Turret Mode to protect your base or boat.

Dimorphodon and other Shoulder Mounts are invaluable at any level. Dump attribute points into Weight and Melee Damage for a personal packmule or bodyguard.

Phiomia are handy for poop. This may be exciting if you need Fertilizer. Feed StimBerries to your Phiomia to enduce a literal shitstorm.

Dodos are great for eggs, so make sure to get a female. Dodo eggs last a long while in a Preserving Bin (or in the Dodo's inventory) and can be eaten raw or used in recipes like Dodo Kibble (or sold!). Dodos can also be used later on as sacrificial tames for things like C4 and Catapults.


Getting started as a Survivor means learning all the right survival skills at the right time. The Survivor engram selection represents the most basic of these skills that all players should know.

Level 25 Engrams

Level Engram Core
25 Crossbow *
27-24 Basic Stone (Wall/Ceiling/Floor/Door) *
21 Tranq Arrow
20 Refining Forge / Smithy / Forge / Metal Pick / Metal Hatchet *
18 Preserving Bin
16 Wooden Raft / Large Storage Box
15 Flare Gun
15 Gun Powder
14-11 Basic Wood (Wall/Ceiling/Floor/Door/Ramp)
10 Bow / Stone Arrow *
9 Bola
8 Wooden Club
7 Standing Torch / Simple Bed *
6 Narcotic / Mortar and Pestle / Sparkpowder *
5 Preserving Salts / Clay
4 Basic Thatch / Sleeping Bag / Storage Box *
3 Full Cloth / Waterskin *
2 Campfire / Stone Hatchet / Spear *
1 Note / Stone Pick / Torch *

Unlocking new Engrams and using them early and often is the best way to level up. Protip: make a shitload of hats.