Imprinting your baby creatures in Ark provides a huge boost to some of their stats. It is a time-consuming processes, but well worth the time and effort for dinos that need to be at their absolute best, like rexes for boss fights, or your most-used utility dinos.
After you breed your dinos and hatch their eggs or wait for them to give birth, the raising process will begin. The babies will require lots of food, much more than their adult counterparts. They will also make a request of you. These requests can be completely ignored with no penalties, but fulfilling the baby’s request will give you a great bonus in stats before you put any levels.
Having a fully imprinted dino will give you this buff when riding it. This only works for the player that imprinted it.
- 30% increase in damage given
- 30 % decrease in damage taken
The creature will also get a permanent 20% increase in all stats (see exceptions), no matter who rides it, even if it was given to another tribe. These stats are not inheritable.
- No movement speed boost to rideable fliers (except snow owl)
- No increase to stamina and oxygen
The 20% increase in stats stacks on the base stats and the 30% bonus while being ridden by the imprint also goes is also applied to base stats.
There are three types of requests made by the babies
- Food not usually the one they are eating, it might be kibble, and not necessarily the one their species eats.
- Cuddle - the easiest request to make simply hit the key or button that is asked for
- Walk -also easy, depending on how much room you have to maneuver. Simply have the baby follow you until it is satisfied.
When you look at a baby it will say it wants care in hours, minutes and seconds. Once that time is reached you will have a little time in order to give it the care it wants.
If the baby requests a food you don’t have, or can’t make you can cryopod it and release it. This resets the request, and you might get lucky and it will ask for something you can give it.
As you can see breeding and imprinting creatures in Ark Survival Evolved is well worth the effort. You can also select for the best stats, or go through the grind of selecting for mutations, which is another topic.