DISCLAIMER: ARK: Survival Evolved is not available on BlueStacks just yet. The screenshots shown in this article were taken using the PC version, in Creative Mode, for illustrative purposes.
So let’s say you followed our previous guides and now have a place to call home in ARK. Here are the links for your easy reference, in case you need to jog your memory a little bit, Getting Started with ARK Survival Evolved (Part I) and Getting Started with ARK Survival Evolved (Part II).
What’s next? Sure, you could conform to having a simple shelter, with some boxes to store your supplies, and simply go out to forage or hunt when you get hungry and take a dip in the water when you’re thirsty, but where’s the fun in that?
There is no one true way to play this game; that’s the beauty of sandbox games; you can make your own fate. Whether you want to be a hunter/gatherer and focus on combat upgrades and engrams, or a farmer and prepare accordingly. However, due to ARK’s natural difficulty curve, it’s almost certain that you’ll need to upgrade your base to accommodate tougher challenges. Case in point, securing a constant supply of food and water is the very first task you’ll want to take on after you finish building your shelter. After all, if there’s no food around for you to eat after a long day of hunting, odds are that you won’t be able to heal properly.
In this guide, we’ll go over a few tips on how to preserve your food and create a readily available water supply, both of which will be especially useful for when you want to make a base further inland, away from the safety of the ocean and the water it provides.
When it comes to resources, water is probably the least of your concerns when you’re starting out. The calm weather of the seaside will often keep your body at cool temperatures and, if you sometimes heat up due to the midday sun, you can simply take a dip in the water and cool off. However, when it’s time to venture inland for resources or to scout out a new location for your base, water becomes one of the most vital resources you can have. In stark contrast to food, which can be found in the form of the fauna you can hunt at any time, water is not readily accessible in every place of the island. Furthermore, the lack of water, just as with food, will eventually kill anyone who didn’t prepare for the trip.
When you’re starting off, however, you will seldom find other ways to quench your thirst than by taking a dip in the water. All you need to do is submerge yourself for a second or two, and your water meter will replenish automatically. Alternatively, you can press the “interact” hotkey while standing and facing towards a body of water, and your character will drink from the water source without having to jump in.
Another way to take water to your base (for when you’re not as close to a water source than you’d like to be), is through the use of irrigation pipes. By placing an intake pipe inside a body of water, and then constructing a network of pipes leading to your base, you can basically secure a constant, uninterrupted supply of water for all your needs. By using this source of water, you can easily irrigate crops (more on that in another article), have water ready for recipes that require it, and even take a drink without having to run all the way to the ocean. By simply pressing the action key on the irrigation pipe, you can quench your thirst as fast and as easily as you did by dipping in the water. Handy!
Food is a tad more difficult to secure in a constant supply. Since food spoils rather quickly, you won’t be able to simply hunt a thousand dodos and eat their meat whenever you’re hungry. In the beginning, if you over-hunt, it’s likely that you’re going to end up with a large supply of spoiled meat and, while this product will be vital in the future in order to create tranquilizers, it can’t be eaten without dying in the process.
Berries will be the prime source of food for when you’re starting off, while you have yet to secure a way to preserve your food. Be careful not to eat narcoberries or stimberries, though; the former will put you to sleep, and the latter will outright dehydrate you without actually filling up your belly. As soon as you get some meat, make sure to put in the campfire so it can get cooked; cooked meat lasts longer without spoiling than raw meat. Other than that, don’t gather too much food so as to avoid waste.
So, in order to always have a constant supply of food early on, you have two options. The first consists of using a tamed dino to store your berries. Berries last dramatically longer without expiring in the inventory of a dino, than in yours. This is because herbivore dinosaurs can only feed on these berries and, since they have pretty large bellies, making the berries spoil quickly on them would just be a waste of time for the player, having to constantly resupply their herbivores with food.
The other method which you will be using to preserve your food for a huge chunk of the game will be through the use of Preserving Bins, which are this game’s version of rudimentary fridges.
Preserving Bins, as their name implies, are containers in which you can chuck all the stuff you wish to preserve without it spoiling. In order to craft this item, you will first need to learn the appropriate engram. Furthermore, you will also need the engram for Sparkpowder, which is the bin’s source of energy to power its functions. While this system takes a bit of time to set up, once you get it running, you’ll notice that your food supplies will last considerably longer, and you won’t have to worry about starving from now on.
Notice in the screenshots above, the raw meat in the preserving bin has a dramatically increased spoilage time, in relation to the ones on hand. Furthermore, if you consider that meat spoils one by one, a full stack of 20 pieces of meat can take days to spoil, so odds are that you won’t run out of food any time soon!
Now that you know how to secure a constant supply of food and water for your base of operations, you’re one step closer to mastering the art of survival in ARK: Survival Evolved.
Stay tuned for more guides on this amazing game!