Starting out in Ark Survival Evolved can be daunting. As far as survival games go, Ark is pretty unique, and with so many dinosaurs out there to rip you to pieces it can be hard to know which ones are the best to tame first.
If this is your first time on Ark, you might want to have a look at our handy Ark leveling-up guide too, so you can level up and unlock engrams quicker, which will unlock new gear that can help make taming better creatures easier.
To give you the best chance of surviving in Ark, here are the best-starting dinos to tame, when starting a new character in Ark: Survival Evolved.
The Best Starting Dinos in Ark
You might think the Parasaurolophus is an odd choice for a first dinosaur if you’re new to Ark, why not something cool like a T-rex?
The answer is simple, if you’re a bambi in Ark, a T-rex is going to rip you apart. Start small and build up before taking on the kings of the Jurassic world.
The Parasaur can hold a lot of weight, which is going to come in handy when you are trying to build your first base. While it’s not the fastest dino in-game, it will help you outrun some of the other dinos out to eat you.
The Parasaur can also alert you if players or dinos get too close to your base, and function as an alarm system that could give you enough early warning to prepare yourself, should you be attacked. It’s also a good starting dinosaur in Ark if you want to gather some berries quickly to start making narcotics.
The Trike is an easy tame, which is a good reason to make it an early starter tame in Ark. But it also has the advantage of being a semi-decent farming mount, which you will need to get off the ground running.
Defensively the Trike can hold its own too, which will be helpful in keeping you alive on your first few days on your server, just make sure not to take on anything too big with it.
Trikes are also great berry farmers, which will help you to tame other new starting dinos too. Once you have your first Trike, you will find farming Narcoberries much quicker than by hand.
Having the ability to fly is a game-changer in Ark, and while pteranodons aren’t the strongest or quickest flyer in Ark, they are one of the best-starting dinosaurs to tame, as they are quick and easy.
They’re also not the slowest flyer in the game. They can get you around the map at a decent speed, as long as you keep the weight down, as they do suffer from low weight stats, meaning they’re not great for transporting goods around the map.
Dilo’s can work well as guards for your base. If you are playing PVP they will blind any players that stumble across them, and if they are killed, you will be notified that someone is attacking you.
They are very quick and easy to tame, which makes them one of the best starting dinos in Ark. It also means it won’t take you long to get a few of these and scatter them across your base perimeter as early defenses.
They can be a great way to start getting eggs to make kibble with too, as well as also being useful to store items in until you have something a little more secure.
The Dodo went extinct for a good reason. They’re mostly useless, they are slow and easy to kill, which might make you overlook them.
But, before too long you’re going to want to start making kibble. Taming a Dodo is quick and easy, meaning you can get enough of them to quickly produce an egg farm.
As well as being useful for eggs, just like the Dilo, they can be used as a temporary storage solution, until you are able to make something much more secure.
During your first few days on the Island, you might be tempted to kill every Dodo you come across for Hide, which is a good plan, as you need a bed, but make sure to tame a couple too.
You might want to wait until you have unlocked the crossbow for this one, but the earlier you can tame an Argentavis in Ark, the better.
They are slower than the Pteranodon, but they can not only carry much more weight but also small dinos too, making them one of the best-starting dinos in Ark.
Taming uses: If you are playing with someone else on Ark, then you can have them pick up a dino with the Argentavis and simply hover in one spot.
Your tribe mate can then tranq the held dino, without any worry about taking damage, which will make taming much more efficient.
If you are playing solo, then make a 4 by 4 building, two walls high, with windows and no roof, drop the dino into the taming pen, and tranq it through the windows.
Building uses: One of the hardest parts of base building in Ark at the start of the game is gathering enough resources, once you have an Argy, you will find that you are able to go to mountains to gather metal ore or gather and transport much more resources.
The Raptor is one of the best starting dinos in Ark due to its speed and attack damage. Having a raptor early on in-game will help you to stay alive against other lower-level players, it will also give you a quicker way of getting around the island on land.
They don’t have the best weight, so use them for exploration, defense, and also gathering Hide. Although they’re currently ranked the 53rd best hide farming dino.
If you have already tamed an Argy, you could look at taming a Dire Wolf instead, as these are much more efficient hide farmers.
The Carbonemys is a giant turtle that can be used both on land and in the sea. While they’re not going to beat a natural sea creature, they are a good starting dino to start dipping your toes into the dangers of Ark’s oceans.
The Carbonemys can be found all over the map and are slow and easy to tame, making them an easy first tame for anyone learning the ropes with Ark’s taming system.
If you’re ready to get something with a little more fight in it, the Carno is one of the easier predators to tame in Ark at the start of your journey. While the Carnotaurus might not be able to hold its own in a fight against a T-rex, it’s a much easier dino to tame, and will make the start of the game much easier, and increase your chances of survival.