Nighttime in Ark Survival Evolved can be terribly frightening for new players and even veteran survivors. It is relatively easy to light a base with torches and even easier when you advance into electricity. On your own, out in the jungle, it can be nearly impossible to see dinos waiting in the night to rip your face off. In this post, I describe some of the items you can craft and strategies you can use when you are away from your base. I will only discuss items that you can unlock and craft on the free Ark Survival Evolved maps. Click gamma commands if you want to know how to use those.
Hand-held torch – level 1 unlock
From level one you can craft the torch, the engram is already unlocked, and it takes practically no resources. You do need to craft a pick first in order to get flint. The torch is far more useful than you might first imagine. It obviously lights up your surroundings, but it also keeps you a little warm, when equipped. The other real benefit is equipping the torch on the saddle of the creature you are riding. Equip the torch the same way you would as a skin. Drag and drop the torch onto the saddle that is equipped on your dino and it will burn until its durability goes to zero. The humble torch can also be thrown to keep an area lit up for a while. It is helpful in caves to light up the bottom of a cliff to check for dinos waiting on the ground, and to see if there is any ground. The torch also works as a fun, but not very effective weapon that lights your enemies on fire.
Craft in inventory
Flashlight attachment – level 52 unlock
My favorite item for lighting up the night in Ark is the flashlight attachment. For me, this provides the best light, while still having a good weapon to defend yourself. The flashlight only attaches to guns with the exception of the double-barrel shotgun. You must turn the flashlight on to use it, like a laser sight. To turn on the flashlight attachment, use the N key on PC. The worst thing about the flashlight from my perspective is that every time you check your inventory or switch a weapon, the flashlight turns off. So when I am walking in a cave, look in my inventory, and find myself under attack by some spiders, when I draw my weapon, I still can’t see. Please patch devs! You attach the flashlight to a weapon by dragging it from your inventory and dropping it on the weapon you choose. There can only be one attachment on a weapon at a time, so for example, if your long-neck rife already has a scope, the scop will come off the rifle and appear in your inventory as you attach the flashlight. One of the nice things about the sniper rifle is that it has a scope permanently attached, so you can have both a scope and a flashlight.
|Craft flashlights, miners helmet, torch etc.|
Craft in fabricator
Miners Helmet – Level 63 unlock
The miner's helmet is also a useful but expensive way to equip a light source for you or any creature that can be equipped with a helmet. I often use an otter in caves to light up a portion of the cave. Unfortunately, shoulder pets look off to the side, so the light isn’t directly in front of you. Equipping it yourself is helpful, but it doesn’t provide great armor (120) compared with higher-end helmets from supply drops and blueprints. I have only found one blueprint for a non-basic miners helmet, so they seem very, very rare. Perhaps I dreamed of the whole experience. As I said, the miner's helmet is expensive to craft, and since it continually loses durability while equipped, it has to be repaired often. The loss of durability seems slower when equipped on otters, and perhaps other creatures too.
Resources required to craft the miner's helmet
Craft in Fabricator
15 Metal Ingot
12 Polymer or Organic Polymer
5 Angler Gel
Flare Gun – Level 15 Unlock
The flare gun is a fun piece of kit, but I almost never use it for practical purposes. If you are a high-level player, you probably forgot you unlocked it. It was a requirement to learn the engrams for the simple pistol, long-neck rifle, and shotgun. It is cheap to craft, and doesn’t weigh much, which is good because it’s not the most useful piece of kit. My favorite practical use is to light up distant parts of dark caves. It shoots out a bright flare, which lasts for a few seconds. Its use is somewhat glitchy. I almost never remember to bring a flare gun though, because I never use it for anything else. The best part of the flare gun is using the fireworks skin for celebration, which is available from killing plesiosaurs.
Craft in inventory
Night Vision Goggles – Level 86 unlock
These are great for traveling at night and even underwater. There is nothing that matches their ability or expense! You won’t be able to craft these until level 86, their durability decreases with time, and they provide no armor. I think it is pretty much a hardcore player option.
Craft in fabricator
24 Polymer or Organic Polymer
18 Metal Ingot
3 Angler Gel
2 Absorbent Substrate
The Aberration map has some of the best things for lighting up the night, like the bulb dog and the glow stick. You will need to be on that map to unlock the engrams and collect the gems to craft them. If you can travel to that map to craft glow sticks or tame a bulb dog, or better yet a, breeding pair, it will be beneficial.
The glowtail pet chibis will cast light for a very short distance. It is almost a useless amount of light, but if you are going to run with a chibi, you might as well get some light out of it. I suppose in PvP it would make you an easy target.