Breeding is a special feature in ARK Survival Evolved which allows players to better their breeds. Breeding leads to eggs and that’s where the Incubation system comes into play.
Keep in mind that new eggs are not automatically assigned to an owner so other players might steal them if you don’t pay attention.
Newly born dinosaurs (from the eggs) do not require being tamed and can be controlled by anyone. They also need frequent feeding.
Because of all these things, you would want to pay even more attention when the eggs are hatched.
Basic mechanics of breeding in ARK
Of course the first and foremost step to take in breeding is that you have to successfully tame 2 opposite gender creatures of the same species, and then have them to mate with each other.
Note that Original and Aberrant Dinosaur variants are separate species and can only be bred with Original/Aberrant Dinosaur accordingly.
In ARK Survival Evolved, aside from sterile creatures such as Zomdodo, Leech, Basilisk, Phoenix …, the other tameable creatures are all breedable.
To successfully mate, the two creatures must be:
- Within mating range of each other
- Wandering (Enable Wandering option must be enabled for the two)
- Not following anything (Disable Following on both creatures)
- Not carrying too much weight that they can’t not move
You may want to build a dinosaur pen, just a big enough pen to keep the creatures close to each other, stay within the mating range.
If you really don’t want to build a pen for some reason, you the Whistle (Stop All) command near the creatures.
The command stops them from moving for a while after the whistle. That means you have to stay near them and whistle again and again until they successfully mate.
When all conditions are met, there will be a heart icon above the creatures’ heads.
A mating bar then appears on the female creature’s HUD, it also shows which creature she is mating with.
Due to server lag/delay time, the bar’s progress does not update constantly in real time.
This bar can be affected even more when you mate only one male to multiple female creatures.
On a side note, the mating progress can be delayed and won’t start if there are too many tamed dinosaurs in your tribe already.
Mating wait interval
Female creatures have to wait until the wait interval has expired to start mating again while male creatures have no wating time and can mate continuously.
This wait interval time is indicated in the females’ HUD.
Mating a male creature to many female creatures will increase these female creatures’ mating wait time.
Read more about Incubation in ARK Survival Evolved in Part 2.