How to tame in ARK Survival Ascended – beginner’s guide to taming dinosaurs

How to tame in ARK Survival Ascended – beginner’s guide to taming dinosaurs
Alex Raisbeck Updated on by

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Once you’ve got yourself settled with your new survivor, you’re going to want to get started on learning how to tame in ARK Survival Ascended. Taming dinosaurs is one of the key features of the game, and the sooner you learn how to do it the better, so we’re here to teach you how to do it step-by-step with our beginner’s taming guide.

ARK Survival Ascended has more than just some new graphics, so check out our ARK Survival Ascended new features guide to see what’s been added. And to keep up to date on the ARK Survival Ascended maps release schedule, we’ve got a guide for that too. For now though, let’s take a look at our guide on how to tame in ARK Survival Ascended.

ARK Survival Ascended how to tame: A player looking at a nearby triceratops.
Image captured by VideoGamer

How to tame dinosaurs in ARK Survival Ascended

Before we start, I want to clarify that this guide is for total beginners. If you already know how to tame dinos, or are looking for tips on how to tame a specific creature, this isn’t the guide for you. With that, here is our guide to the full taming process:


At the most basic level, there are three steps you need to follow to tame a dinosaur. These are to immobilise it, knock it out, and then feed it. For this, you’ll need three basic items: a Bola, a Club, and some of the preferred food of the dinosaur you want to tame. If it’s a herbivore, use berries, and if it’s a carnivore, use raw meat. For your first time, we recommend taming a herbivore.

ARK Survival Ascended how to tame: The Wooden Club in the Engram menu.
Image captured by VideoGamer

You can craft both a Bola and a Club once you’ve unlocked their respective Engrams. The Bola is a type of sling that, when thrown at a creature, will wrap around its legs and prevent them from running away. The club, meanwhile, is used to knock the creature out. It doesn’t deal very high damage, but will do the job early on. Once you’ve crafted one of each and have your berries/meat, it’s time to tame.

To craft a Bola, you need: Thatch x10, Stone x3, Fiber x15, and Hide x3. To craft a Club, you need: Fiber x15, and Wood x4. 

Alex’s Advice

Instead of a Club, you could also use a Slingshot. When taming herbivores early on, we find a Club to be better, but if you’re after any carnivores, having a ranged weapon can be a lifesaver.

Taming a dinosaur

Once you’ve located a dinosaur you want to tame, the first thing you want to do is throw your Bola at it. This will stop the dinosaur from running away from you, allowing you to easily take it down. With your club equipped, head over and hit the dinosaur until it falls over unconscious. Herbivores don’t fight back, which is why we recommend hunting one like a Parasaur for your first time. No point going after a Rex or some Raptors just to die immediately after all.

ARK Survival Ascended how to tame: An unconscious Parasaur being tamed.
Image captured by VideoGamer

Once the creature is unconscious, open up it’s inventory. Drag and drop the dinosaurs preferred food into its inventory, which it will begin to consume. Now it’s just a matter of waiting. Over time, a bar will begin to fill up showing how tame the creature is as a percentage.

Once that number reaches 100%, the dinosaur will wake up, and it’ll be yours to keep. You’ll be asked to give it a name, and once you’ve selected one, that’s that! As you proceed through the game, you’ll gain access to more types of food like Kibble or Prime Meat, as well as better gear such as traps, rifles, darts, crossbows and more, making your taming effectiveness much higher.

Narcotics and Tranquilizer Arrows

Later on, you’ll unlock better ways of taming dinosaurs, thanks to access to better equipment. The first unlocks you should look for are Narcotics at Level 6, as well as the Bow at Level 11 and Tranq Arrows at Level 21. 

Narcotics are made from Narcoberries and can be used to put a dinosaur to sleep. You can craft them alongside a Stone Arrow to make a Tranq Arrow which, when fired into a dinosaur, will slowly knock them out. Immobilising a dinosaur with your Bolas before hitting them with some tranquilizers is a great way to quickly take a dinosaur down, especially in the case of more dangerous carnivores.

The bigger the creature, the harder it will be to take down. A giant Brontosaurus will take much more tranquilizer than a tiny Dodo. This might be a struggle at first, but once you start getting better gear, these massive dinos won’t seem as tough to take down.

Narcotics are also useful for keeping the dinosaur asleep. If you find that a dinosaur is waking up too quickly or you haven’t brought enough food to tame it, place some Narcotics in their inventory. This will lengthen the time they’re asleep for, giving you more time to tame them.

That’s it for how to tame in ARK Survival Ascended. For more early game tips, check our how to light campfires in ARK Survival Ascended and how to cook meat in ARK Survival Ascended to make sure you stay warm and keep that hunger down.

ARK Survival Ascended how to tame FAQs

What do you need to tame in ARK Survival Ascended?

To start taming, you need a Bola and a Club to immobilise and knock out dinosaurs, as well as some food to tame them.

Can you tame dinosaurs in ARK Survival Ascended?

Yes, you can tame dinosaurs in ARK Survival Ascended.