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Breeding for Stats!

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Breeding in Ark


This is a guide for anyone that is thinking of starting to breed dinos for stat mutations – In this article we don’t care what colour the dino is as long as it’s a badass so if you want some pretty colours this isn’t the place for you. The main thing to know about breeding for stats is that you need to start out doing it right or you will quickly find that you’ve done some damage to your blood line and, once you are experienced enough to understand your mistake, you won’t be able to rectify it . When you know the basics, the rest is easy. If you are new to breeding, I would recommend reading the entire article before you start. I understand that some people will not care about the “why” you do certain things and just want to know the “how” which is fine and so all explanations for actions will be coloured blue so that if you don’t care, you can ignore them.

Step 1: Finding base dinos


This is often considered THE MOST important step of your breeding journey. I very much disagree and would recommend spending no more than a few days taming every dino of the species you wish to breed above lv 180 that you see and keep the ones with the best stats in each of health, stamina, oxygen, food, weight and melee. You can check what is considered a good stat for your dino by entering the information about it into  http://www.dododex.com/stat-calculator/rex You can also make this even easier for yourself by purchasing a Donor Package to get a max level dino (+ ascendant saddle)  and asking the admins for one that is good in a specific stat that you want (usually this would be health or melee).

The reason that I don’t consider this step to be the most important is because once you’ve tamed a bunch of the dino you want to breed, it’s going to become harder and harder to find an even better one for a specific stat (which is where the donor package really comes in handy for those important stats) and you don’t want to waste weeks looking for something better because in that time you could have achieved multiple mutations and already had a far superior dino.


Step 2: Creating your “Big Daddy”


At this point I expect that you have been taming a lot of dinos and now have 6, each one with an exceptional number for one of the 6 stats. You’re going to want to breed these into one super strong dino before you even think about going for mutations and this may take a while because your biggest limiting factor is going to be the timers on the females. When you breed one dino with another, there is a 45% chance to inherit the lower stat from the parents and a 55% chance to inherit the highest stat from the parents, this means that if you breed 2 of your 6 dinos together, you have a fairly good chance of the offspring inheriting both good stats. Continue breeding them together and working around the timers until you have both a male and female with all 6 of the best stats that you found, by this point your dinos will probably be almost level 400 and we haven’t even started mutating! This pair must be called “Big Momma” and “Big Daddy” or else the ark Gods will taint your blood line whilst you sleep.


Step 3: Starting your brothel


So, we have our perfect mother and father, are we ready to start making mutated babies? No. What we first want to do is produce dozens of copies of the perfect female that we have created all without mutations.

The reason for this is that in ark there is a mutation counter for each dino which at this point should be 0/20 both on the matrilineal (mothers) side and on the patrilineal (fathers) side of both "Big Momma" and "Big Daddy". This counter increases by 1 every time your dino mutates and once that counter hits 20 you can’t get any further mutations. However, there is a way around this predicament and you can actually force a dino with a mutation counter that is over 20 to mutate even further. If a male with a counter reading something over 20 e.g 44, mates with a female that has a counter under 20 (preferably 0 to make things easier) then the offspring's stats can still mutate. This means that the baby’s ancestral line will have 44/20 on the patrilineal side and 1/20 on the matrilineal side and still get a stat increase.

There isn’t really an exact number that I would suggest to have in terms of base females. Just remember that the more of these base females you have, the faster you will produce mutations because you will spend less time waiting for timers. So to start this process you will breed big daddy and big momma together and slay any males that pop out (note – if at this stage you get a dino that  has either a health or melee mutation, put the dino to one side and continue breeding your non-mutated dinos, the purpose of this step is to have a ton of females with 0/20 mutations), keeping the females and putting them on hitching posts, you can then use these females to breed with big daddy (You’re gonna have to get used to incest if you’re gonna breed like a pro) to create more of these perfect females which in turn get added to hitching posts etc. etc. So in the end you should have something resembling this where your females are all bundled up nicely for the males to slide in and join them. All of these females should have exactly the same stats and none of them should be mutated.



OK, so we have all our females ready and waiting with 0/20 mutation counters each… what now? Well, that depends on whether or not you have unlocked the S + Mutator from defeating the alpha dragon.


Step 4: Pre-Mutator Breeding


So… You don’t have the mutator. I’m not going to lie to you it’s a tough and slow road ahead. But it’s worth it! What you should probably do at this point is focus your attention on breeding Rexes to try and beat the alpha dragon and unlock the mutator. Of course to do this we need some badass rexes and that’s where our pre-mutator breeding is going to come in. What you’re going to do is begin by slamming your big daddy into the piles of females until you pop out either a health or melee mutation –Important- ALL OTHER MUTATIONS ARE USELESS –important-.

The reason that the other mutations are useless is because the more stats you are trying to mutate the harder it because to achieve a perfect mutated male. Think about it, all of your females will still have your base stats even when your OP male rex has 20k base health and 700% base melee. This means that if you are mutating every stat, to get a rex to pop out with all your mutated stats, you have to roll the 55% chance dice on every single one of those 6 stats. Trust me, working with only health and melee is not only more manageable but actually wayyyy better in the long run. You don’t want to have to ignore a melee mutation just because the rex didn’t inherit your mutated oxygen stat.

Once you have either a health or melee mutation what you do depends on whether it is a male or a female. If it is a male, great! You breed that dino back into the pile of females and rinse and repeat. However, if it is a female, wait for it to grow up and breed it back into big daddy until you get a male that inherits all of the females’ stats, this male will become your new stud.

This is why we NEVER kill Big Daddy. If you get a mutated female that you wish was a male so that it could become your new stud, you need to breed it with a base male. If you bred this new, mutated female (e.g. 40/20) with your old stud (e.g. 39/20) then their mutation counters would actually add together when it produces a baby (79/20). This makes things really hard to keep track of and just generally annoying, it’s much easier just to keep big daddy alive and watch your mutation counter go up in increments of 1.

 Remember, you only keep the dino if it inherits both your highest melee stat and your highest health stat because if it only keeps one and gets a mutation then you would have to cross breed your mutated dinos which sends your mutation counter out of control very quickly.


Step 5: Post-Mutator Breeding


Alrighty so we’re at the fun part now. With the mutator, not only are you far more likely to get mutations but your mutations are also twice as good. This is because you can stack a mutator buff up to 2 times on your dinos. The only difference between breeding post-mutator unlock is that your mutation process will increase in to an insane speed if done correctly. Of course, this will cost 10 element per mutation pulse (20 if you stack the buff which you should ALWAYS do) and so you will eat through element quite quickly and have to farm yourself some more

An important thing to mention here is that you will probably get multiple dinos of different genders with different desired stats per breeding cycle. For example, you may get an otherwise perfect male with a new melee mutation, and also get an otherwise perfect female with a health mutation. What some players may be tempted to do is to breed these two dinos together and get a baby with both mutations. Do not do this! First of all, this uses at least one breeding cycle since even if you get the perfect male that inherits both mutations, you still have to wait for him to grow up. Secondly, the problem of cross breeding mutations arises once more where the mutation counter will essentially double for the offspring when compared to the individual parents. Thirdly, there is only a 55% chance of inheriting each of the individual mutated stats of the parents which means that there is only around a 27% chance that you will receive the perfect mutated male you are looking for. This means that you will be doing an average of 4 breeding cycles to get a new perfect male with a tainted mutation counter – put simply, it isn’t worth it! What you would do instead, is choose which stat you would prefer (either health or melee - I usually choose to keep melee) and use that dino as your new stud. However, keep in mind that if you choose to keep a female to use as your new stud, you are going to have to spend 10 extra element to turn it into a male and so I would recommend keeping a health mutated male over a melee mutated female.




Step 6: Have fun


Well done! Now you have your very own badass dino. You can now kill titanosaurs for fun, you can eat gigas for breakfast, even entire flocks of wyverns can do you no harm with your nifty ascendant saddle. But why stop there? There's no limit to how great your dino can get and we have absolutely no plans of wiping the server so yolo it and see how far you can go. In theory with this method you could create dodos and compys that are able to take down even the mightiest of wild dinos. Have fun with it guys! Now below are some additional notes that I may add to over time so keep an eye out.


If you ever have any questions regarding breeding, feel free to ask me. Some of these ideas can get kind of confusing and difficult to put on paper but I would be happy to walk anyone through individual questions you might have.


Helpful tips, explanations and facts:


- When a dino mutates, it will increase a single stat by 2 “wild levels” or with the use of a mutator will increase by 4. I call this a “wild level” because the amount that the stat will increase by is fixed regardless of the level or stat of the dino. Contrastingly a “tamed level” (one which is gained through experience points and the player allocates where the points should go), will have greater effects depending on the base stats of a rex. For example, a rex with 1k base health may only increase its health by 100 per “tamed level” but 500 per “wild level”, however a rex at 20k health base will still increase by the same 500 per “wild level” but will increase by 1000 per “tamed level”. The result of this is that the higher you go with your mutations, the more stat yield you get for putting experience into your dinos.

- Two common misconceptions I hear from people who are trying to breed is either 1) that when you mutate you always get either a colour mutation or a stat mutation or that 2) if your dino doesn’t change colour then it can’t have a stat change. Both of these are not true! In fact, a dino will ALWAYS receive BOTH a colour mutation and a stat mutation. The reason this may not be apparent is because there are 6 potential colour regions on a dino and you can actually get a mutation on one of the colour regions that your dino doesn’t even have meaning that it is a sort of hidden colour mutation. Similarly, you may get a colour mutation and see no stat change, this is because you can actually get a mutation on the movement speed stat which can never change from mutations meaning that technically the dino has more points in movement speed and will be a higher level, but its movement speed will remain the same.

- Despite what you may hear about different methods of breeding, as of right now there is no limit to how strong your dinos can get from mutations. The only limit on our servers is that dinos can only increase in “tamed levels” by 200 once hatched from an egg which is almost impossible to reach.

- If a mutated dino comes out with the exact stats that you want but is a female, don’t worry. With the mutator, you can perform a gender switch pulse which PERMANENTLY changes the gender of the dino as long as it isn’t put into a soul trapper for the first few hours of its transition. This saves an entire breeding cycle of trying to create a male to match those stats at the cost of only 10 element.

- With the use of a mutator, a rex melee mutation will always increase base melee damage by exactly 23.5% while health will increase by between 800 and 900 (I’m not sure of an exact number right now)

- For base rex stats to begin the process of mutating (way back in step 1), I would recommend 12-13k health and anything over 400% for melee with at least 2.5k stamina since you won’t be mutating that stat and what you start off with is what you have to live with for the entire future line of rexes.

- It's a good idea to keep any and all dinos on S+ Hitching posts at all times, even if you aren't using them for breeding. This is because the S+ hitching post actually gives dinos passive tribe exp even when you are offline. It's free levels!

- When it comes to levelling rexes with experience points, you're going to want to distribute your points between health and melee. The Health to Melee ratio will really depend on what it is you are going up against. The reason for this is because some dinos such as gigas and allosaurs apply bleed and some dinos such as the dragon and fire wyverns apply burn. Bleed will cause your dino to take 1% of its max health per second and burn will cause it to take 2.5% of its max health per second. This means that if you are fighting a dino that can apply such an effect, the higher your rexes health, the more damage it will be taking. By instinct, you wouldn't think of this as a problem right? I mean an 80k health rex losing 800 health/second will die just as fast as a 20k rex losing 200 health/second...right? Wrong. The reason for this is that when you're going into battle you should have a daeodon healing you and so it is much easier for the daeodon to keep up with healing when the rex is losing 200 health/second rather than 800 health/second. This actually means that in a fight like the alpha dragon, it is actually advantageous to have a rex with lower health! So, in conclusion, if you are fighting enemies which don't apply bleed or burn - pump health more than melee. Or, if you are fighting something which does apply bleed/burn then pump melee more than health.

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