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ARK Survival Building Guide – How to Build a Base

When building up your shelter and constructing a farm in Ark Survival Evolved, it is really important to have a nice stronghold to store all of your resources and be able to have a safe place when things get too rough. Assuming you have made your first Thatch shelter, this will help you upgrade that shelter a more stable place to live.

The first thing I’d do is settle on your location. I’d pick a place that you are happy with that is close to food and water, and you are willing to spend some time at.

The next available upgrade from Thatch is wood. The first thing that is needed is you have to be level 10 in order to unlock the crafting ability to craft wooden structures. I would recommend doing this as soon as you are level 10 and have enough resources to be able to upgrade your stronghold.


It takes approximately 20 to 150 wood for each upgrade so prepare wisely. Although upgrading from thatch to wood is expensive, it is well worth it. Wood structures provide more protection from players and dinosaurs than thatch. Another positive to wood is that wood structures take no damage from stone tools, and have about 10 times more health than thatch structures.

Structural Items in ARK Survival

Another positive to upgrading from thatch to wood is that you have a lot more options regarding your hideout. You have a lot more options such as a dinosaur gateway, a trapdoor, a ladder, and even a ramp. You cannot directly upgrade your thatch structures into wood, so you will have to break the pieces down, gather the resources from the broken down structures, and start to build your upgraded fortress. The breakdown for costs on the popular items are as follows.

Dinosaur Gateway – 140 wood, 40 stone, 35 thatch, and 25 fiber.

Notes about the Dinosaur Gateway: There are certain dinosaurs that are too large for this enclosure those include: Mammoth, Brontosaurus, Spinosaurus, Sarcosuchus, Megalodon, and Plesiosaur. The gate is 4 panels high and 2 panels wide.

Dinosaur Gate – 60 wood, 15 thatch, and 10 fiber.

This is the gate that attaches to the gateway to make sure the dinosaurs cannot get out. This cannot be destroyed by any dinosaur.

Wooden Catwalk – 20 wood, 7 thatch, and 4 fiber.

Wooden Ceiling – 60 wood, 15 thatch, and 10 fiber.

Wooden Door – 20 wood, 7 thatch, and 4 fiber.

Wooden Doorframe – 30 wood, 8 thatch, and 6 fiber.

Wooden Fence Foundation – 10 wood, 3 thatch, and 2 fiber.

Wooden Foundation – 80 wood, 20 thatch, and 15 fiber.

Wooden Hatch Frame – 50 wood, 12 thatch, and 8 fiber.

Wooden Ladder – 4 wood, 7 thatch, and 4 fiber.

Wooden Pillar – 40 wood 10 thatch, and 7 fiber.

Wooden Ramp – 60 Wood, 15 thatch, and 10 fiber.

Wooden Trapdoor – 20 wood, 7 thatch, and 4 fiber.

Wooden Window – 8 wood, 2 thatch, and 1 fiber.

Wooden Window Frame – 36 Wood, 9 thatch, and 6 fiber.

Wooden Wall – 40 wood, 10 thatch, and 7 fiber.

Once you have a solid wooden starting point, you can begin to upgrade to stone, and then metal as the top tier. There are some things that can even be reinforced such as the wooden door, dinosaur gateway, and dinosaur gate.

These are modifications to the wooden structure that will improve the quality and reduce the amount of damage taken by tools.

Fortress Storage Items

On top of improving your homestead, you can also craft different storage items and crafting services. Those include:

Bookshelf – 100 wood, 45 thatch, and 35 fiber. This is used to store all types of blueprints, notes, recipes, and specimens. This can hold up to 100 different items.

Feeding Trough – 120 wood, 60 thatch, 40 fiber, and 8 metal. This allows you to place food inside of it which will feed animals within 10 foundation distance from where it is placed. Any type of food can be placed inside. It can be placed underwater to feed aquatic animals.

Large Storage Box – 50 wood, 35 thatch, and 25 fiber. This takes up a 1 by 1 by 2 space and can hold up to 30 items.

Storage Box – 25 wood, 20 thatch, and 10 fiber. This takes up a 1 by 1 space and can hold up to 12 items.

Vault – 300 metal ingot, 60 cementing paste, 30 oil, and 60 polymer. This is a larger storage unit that will hold 150 items. The only way to destroy it is by using explosives so it is very durable against other players. This also has a lock so no other players can access it without having the code.

Water Reservoir – 30 stone, and 5 cementing paste. This is a storage device for water. This will automatically fill up when it rains. This will also automatically irrigate crops that are close by.


ARK Survival Crafting Structures

Those are all of the different storage units, there are also a lot of crafting structures. Those include:

Fabricator – 35 metal ingot, 20 cementing paste, 50 sparkpowder, 15 crystal, and 10 oil. This is used to create weapons, armor, and components. For example, a pump action shotgun can be crafted here using 30 metal ingot, 55 polymer, and 45 cementing paste.

Mortar and Pestle – 65 stone, and 15 hide. This is used to break down resources into other resources. For example, narcotics can be made by combining 5 narcoberries and 1 spoiled meat.

Refining Forge – 125 stone, 5 flint, 65 hide, 20 wood, and 40 fiber. This is used to refine different metals such as metal into material that can be used to craft. Metal turns into metal ingot.

Smithy – 5 metal ingot, 50 stone, 30 wood, and 20 hide. A smithy is used for crafting different tools and armor. You first need to use a refining forge to melt metal into metal ingots to use the smithy. For example, you can make a metal hatchet using 8 metal ingot, 1 wood, and 10 hide.

Farming Items in ARK Survival Evolved

Before getting into how to start your own farm, we must first know the units that must be crafted to efficiently use the farm.

Compost Bin – 50 wood, 15 thatch, and 12 fiber. This is used to create fertilizer out of thatch and feces.

Large Crop Plot – Largest farming plot. Holds 600 water.

Medium Crop Plot – 40 wood, 20 thatch, 30 fiber, and 50 wood. Upgraded version of the small one, holds 400 water.

Small Crop Plot – 20 wood, 10 thatch, 15 fiber, and 25 stone. This is the first farming item that you can craft. It allows you to plant berry seeds on it and can hold 200 water. It can be placed anywhere on the ground.

Stone Irrigation Pipe (Inclined) – 10 stone. Used to irrigate crops. This will transport water up and down hills.

Stone Irrigation Pipe (Intake) – This is needed to start an irrigation network. Can be placed by any natural water source to start an irrigation system. This pipe can be connected by any pipe or tap and the water will flow.

Stone Irrigation Pipe (Intersection) – 15 stone. This is used to create an irrigation network that will split water in 3 different directions.

Stone Irrigation Pipe (Straight) – 5 stone. This is used for an irrigation network. This will push water across land.

Stone Irrigation Pipe (Vertical) – 5 stone. Used in an irrigation system. Allows water to flow up and down cliffs.

How to Build a Farm in ARK Survival

Now that we know all of the items that can be crafted, we can now start to farm and grow our own food and resources. The first thing one should do is construct a crop plot. Pick your location wisely as it will have to be close enough to water to have irrigation access.

Your first plot will be able to grow up to 300 berries. You will need a few things to make this task easy, those are: seeds, water from a jar, and poop.

Once you have your plot picked out and set, you’ll need to start gathering some berries to start the process. Managing and looking after your plants is extremely important in order to have a successful farm. It will take a lot of work to start up, but it will eventually sustain itself and have a lot of long term benefits.

Once you have the plot of land down, access the inventory screen by pressing E and placing seeds on it. Before anything can actually grow, you have to fertilize it. Fertilize the ground by going into the inventory and putting poop on it. You can put poop onto it, or you can use the compost bin to create real fertilizer. After putting the poop onto the plants, it’s time to water the berries.


Place a container full of water onto the plot for the berries to start growing. There are much more efficient methods that we will get into.

I recommend creating a compost bin and making fertilizer. This is much more effective than just putting poop onto your plants (it is about 5x faster at growing). 50 thatch and 3 poop make 1 bag of fertilizer. Each bag will provide you with 54,000 fertilizer which compares to the 5,000 per poop.

Irrigation System for Water

The next step in upgrading the farm is to start an irrigation system. This will water your crops automatically so it saves you the burden of having to make infinite trips to collect water. It is really easy to get started with this. Find the closest water source to your plot of land. Any source of water will do be it a lake, pond, sea, or a river.

The first pipe has to be facing the water directly so you can build off of it and connect it to your crops. If there are elevation changes between you and the water source that can be handled by constructing the appropriate piping. The pipe will turn blue once the intake has been placed to show you that the water is running through it.

Once that is properly set, go to the plot of land and place the tap on the end. All crops within the area will now be watered regularly.

This is the very basic beginning of a farming system that can be improved upon and expanded endlessly. You can grow all kinds of plants and berries so it’s just a matter of scavenging and finding different roots and seeds and placing them onto your farm.

This farm should be built near your homeland so you can cater to it as it needs. You can even build a pen and house dinosaurs and feed them via a trough and grow your dinosaur army as well.