Building a base is one of the corner stones of Ark because it serves so many purposes. Bases are essential to protecting tamed creatures, providing a safe area to log out, storing important materials for crafting, and other uses.

How a base is designed and built depends on how far a player wants to go, how intricate they want it to be, and how they utilize the resources close at hand. Bases can be designed anywhere from simple boxes located on the beach to intricate buildings soaring into the sky that resemble castles. While massive scale builds are impressive, everyone has to start from square one.

Finding the Right Place to Start Building


One of the greatest aspects of Ark is the rich terrain that survivalists will encounter on their adventures. Steep slopes, snowy peaks, massive mountains, rivers, lakes, and even sandy beaches are just a few places where players can start building. No place is off limits, but finding the right location to begin building is a momentous decision for any new player.

The area players choose to build should be at least moderately close to resources like metal, water, stone, and wood. Building in a remote location far from any of these materials can make it difficult later on in the game. This can also make it hard to continue building or expanding later on because the player is forced to fly farther for the resources they need to continue progressing.

The location should also be generally flat for easier building but big enough for future expansion. Later on, players may build outposts in other locations to make it easier to gather certain resources, but their main base is where they will usually keep their major supplies. Beginners should stick to areas with a low number of aggressive dinosaurs so they can focus on getting the essentials together.

Setting Up Basic Base Defenses


Setting up a line of walls before working on the main building may seem like going in reverse, but it’ll make it much easier and safer during construction. Crafting a large amount of foundations, walls, and other components for the main building does take some time. Players may even have a small team of dinosaurs they use to gather supplies or to store building components while making their main base. The walls will keep aggressive dinosaurs from attacking tames and allow the player to craft in general peace. While crafting, players are unable to sprint, so a line of walls for protection is essential.

Wooden spike walls are usually the best option for setting up the first line of defense against wild, aggressive dinosaurs. Unlike normal walls, these don’t require fence foundations to be set up. They can be arranged in any direction and wild dinosaurs that attack them will become damaged on the walls. Some players will even set up normal walls and have a line of spikes running along the outside to act as a buffer between aggressive dinosaurs and their base.

The Main Building


Survivalists new to the world of Ark shouldn’t worry too much about having a huge main building starting out. Planning out a building that’s too big from the beginning means more time spent gathering supplies and crafting materials to finish it off. The building also can’t be too small because there won’t be enough room to store essential supplies.

The building should be big enough for the following:

  • Storage

  • Crafting

  • One or more beds for respawning

Keeping these in mind, and planning for future expansion or additional components, is essential in early levels. Starter buildings can always be expanded in the future, but in the beginning go with the absolute essentials.

Dinosaur Area


Taming is another cornerstone of Ark and about a good 1/3rd of the game is about preparing for bigger and more difficult tames. Depending on the creature, players can spend hours babysitting a knocked out animal to finish taming so they can take it back home. When there’s so much time and investment put into these unique creatures, protecting them is usually priority number one for players.

The area doesn’t have to be massive, but should be big enough to fit the animals. Leave a little room for future tames because as players progress they will be better prepared to tame stronger creatures to add to their menagerie of animals.

Setting up defenses in this area is recommended too and in more dangerous areas may be necessary. Setting up turrets like Plant Species X is good way to kill off aggressive creatures quickly and provide a wider net of safety for tames.

Garden Area


The gardening aspect of Ark is pretty basic at this point, but it’s still an essential part of the game to crafting certain recipes and for making kibble to tame creatures faster. The Island rains often enough to water crop plots in the game so players don’t have to pipe water to their gardens unless they have them inside a building.

The garden area can be placed just about anywhere, but one of the most convenient places is usually beside the main building or on the roof. This provides easy access to the plants and is convenient when needing to grab extra berries or crops for certain recipes. The area should also be wide enough to place down a few compost bins for making fertilizer or have an enclosed section for a dung beetle.

Every base is different and there’s no right or wrong way to build in Ark. New players should aim for smaller builds starting out, usually a 3x3 house is a good start; large enough to add in crafting stations, have extra beds, and a decent amount of storage. Remember, starter bases can always be expanded later when necessary or torn down in favor of a new building. Sticking to the basic essentials in the beginning will make building a starter base easier and less time consuming. Bigger base builds should be done when certain ‘builder’ creatures have been tamed to making building such massive structures more efficient and easy.

If you think we've missed any essential Ark base building tips, let us know in the comments below!