ARK Survival Guide for Small Tribes

Copying this post that ownagedotnet made on reddit for future use. I want to credit him since I did not create this and am only archiving it because it is great advice.

your best bet is to find a hidden spot where you can build a few small bases, a couple flyer pens, and some hidden storage

you want to find an area that has 3-4 areas with dense tree cover, a deep water source nearby, and access to metal without needing to go by someone elses base

so you construct the base as follows:

  • build 3 separate buildings no where near each other
  • build each one as deep as possible into the trees
  • build the foundations as close to the trees as possible
  • keep them as small as possible: 2 1x2s and a 2×2 with a dino gate is usually good enough
  • keep your flyers inside the 2×2
  • keep all your forges, mortar and pestles, and smithy in a 1×2
  • keep your storage chests, preserving bins, and beds in the other 1×2
  • go down to the deep water nearby, place a few camp fires, a few cooking pots, and a few irrigation pipes with some large crop plots -swim under water and place 4-5 small storage boxes hidden inside the sea weed

now once you get this setup you need to play the game a certain way, basically with the intent of never being seen by another player until you are well equipped, and if you are spotted by another player you need to hope it is under 1 of 2 circumstances: 1) you are by the beach cooking food and potions or 2) you are out gathering resources

if you are spotted during either of these scenarios, your best solution is to do nothing; dont retaliate, dont chase them, dont shit talk in chat, just let them kill you and take the easy resources (whatever you were mining or whatever you were cooking)

once you are dead, random spawn and log off for a few hours, never respawn at your base right after an encounter and never go back to the area where you were attacked; if you were attacked on your beach while cooking food, then you need to setup a new cooking station on another beach

the next primary objective is to make sure people never find your base until you are equipped, tips to do this:

  • never light a fire at night, this includes camp fires, cooking pots, forges, and torches; just dont use them
  • spend as little time going to and from your base as possible
  • spend as little time outside of your base as possible (so land your flyer at the 2×2, run as fast as you can to the 1×2 for crafting, and stay inside while crafting)
  • never leave a dino outside
  • dont block any good resources with your base or build near enough to them that people can see your base while doing a metal run
  • dont setup plant species, spike walls, or turrets
  • store as little as possible in the 1×2 bases
  • keep valuable blueprints hidden in the underwater storage or a purlovia no where near any of your structures
  • when you are not at your base, move as many valuables as possible to the hidden underwater storage
  • before you log off, store everything you can in the hidden underwater storage, place a sleeping bag nearby in a bush, and drown yourself

these tips will guarantee a few things

  • you arent easy to spot at night
  • when you arent online or at your base, there is very little for the enemy to steal
  • you are really only vulnerable to attack while harvesting or crafting
  • they cant kidnap you while you are offline
  • they cant steal your loadout off your unconscious body
  • you will have a good idea whether your base was attacked each day when you login by checking the beds and the sleeping bag

follow this strategy until you are high enough level to craft auto turrets, have 16 auto turrets, and have a enough to produce a few metal structures (including the generator and cabling to connect them)

then you can assemble a 4×4 base with 4 turrets on the top with 4 2×2 turret towers nearby each with 4 turrets which should be adequate for your smaller tribe to operate out of and expand

however, dont expect to not be wiped, once you get the metal base up it will be a constant struggle against not getting wiped

you could essentially live and operate as a terrorist using the strategy i describe above forever without ever getting caught; i myself adopted it for 3 months after i got wiped, but eventually got bored