Few flying mounts are as versatile as the Argentavis: they’re fast, tanky, and have plenty of utility in other areas. However, it’s not as friendly or easy to obtain as a Pteranodon because it’s a predatory bird that attacks any survivor that wanders too close. Once you’ve made friends with an Argy, you’ll have one of the most useful tames in ARK.
All About ARK’s Argentavis
You might spot Argentavis flocks hopping around on any of ARK’s maps. They look like ordinary birds of prey from a distance and about the same up close. They come in various colors, but all adults are the same size and have the same model.
Many of the larger flying creatures in ARK are dinosaurs rather than birds. The Argentavis is by far the largest actual bird in the game. They’re also much stronger fighters and have more stamina than the Pteranodon. As far as fliers go, you can’t go wrong with an Argy.
When you anger one Argentavis, you anger all others nearby. They will attack you as a flock – and they might win if you aren’t prepared for a serious fight. They can also take out some of your other tames; don’t hunt for Argentavis without advanced firepower or predators. They become a lot easier to face as you get later into the game. Early on, though, they’re a threat.
Where Do Argentavis Live?
While you can find flocks of Argentavis on every map, they’re clustered more densely in some regions than others.
- On The Island, Argys flock to the northern parts of the map, preferring the cooler climates. However, you can also find a healthy flock in the center.
- On The Center, look for Argentavis on the north and west side of the map. Some also live on the center islands but in lower populations.
- Scorched Earth has the highest Argentavis spawns on the western side of the map.
- On Ragnarok, stick toward the center of the map, moving from south to north. There aren’t a lot of very high-density areas, but anywhere in the center column has a chance of Argys.
- Extinction survivors should check the upper third of the map from west to east. You may find more as you move east, but they spawn all along the upper part of the map.
- Valguero has higher Argentavis populations in the north and west.
You can always use online heat maps to find the highest population of Argentavis on any given map. Knowing where they spawn before you hunt for one will make the entire process much more manageable.
What Do Argentavis Drop?
You get the typical drops you’d expect from predators, like hide, raw meat, and even raw prime meat. With Primitive Plus, you also get fresh poultry and feathers.
The Argentavis drops a Talon, too. This is a unique loot drop you use to summon bosses for arenas. To get it, check the inventory of the Argentavis before you attack the corpse with an axe or pick to harvest the other drops.
- The Center Arena and the Ragnarok Arena require 10 Argentavis Talons to open at the beta level and 25 at the alpha level.
- The Forsaken Oasis requires 50 Argentavis Talones for the gamma level, eight for the beta level, and 15 for the alpha level.
Since completing the arenas can help unlock some great engrams, it’s worth starting a collection of Argentavis Talons early and saving them for future endeavors.
What Roles Does an Argentavis Play?
My favorite role for the Argentavis has always been an early-game transport for heavy loot. While it really shines in this role, the Argy is a tremendous all-around tame who can do a ton for solo players or entire tribes.
- Argentavis can reduce the weight of certain items in its inventory. Black pearl, crystal, metal, metal ingots, obsidian, organic polymer, polymer, stone, and scrap metal ingots are all reduced in weight by 50 percent when stored in the Argentavis inventory. We used it to gather metal from nodes on cliffs and then fly it back to our base.
- They’re also great at collecting meat and prime meat. While they aren’t the most efficient gatherers in the game, they’re pretty high up there and can yield a lot if you use them as harvesters. They also do decent at collecting keratin, chitin, and hide.
- Argys aren’t the fastest fliers in ARK, but they’re decently quick and have incredible stamina. Since they can also fight, they’re safer to take into dangerous situations than something like a Pteranodon, which might fly faster but hits much less hard.
- Take an Argentavis into battle, and you might be surprised just how much it benefits you. It has a buff called Rapid Regeneration that ups your health and stamina recovery for 20 seconds. This occurs when it’s eating a corpse.
- Since Argentavis can carry certain other creatures that gather like a Doedicarus, it can bring them over impassable terrain to get resource nodes that would otherwise be difficult to reach with such slow creatures.
No matter what you need a tame for, the Argy should be able to help.
How Do I Fly an Argentavis?
To fly an Argentavis, you first need to make a saddle. The engram for the Argentavis Saddle is unlocked at level 62. It requires 21 Engram Points to unlock. When equipped, it gives the Argy an additional 25 armor.
To craft it, combine: 350 hide, 185 fibers, and 150 of either chitin, shell fragments, or keratin. You can do it in your inventory crafting menu by clicking on the right engram. The saddle also works as a Smithy.
Once you put the saddle on your tame Argentavis, mount the bird and press jump to fly. You must keep directing it forward when you’re in the air, or it will eventually stop and just hang out until you press the button again.
Remember that flying consumes stamina. If you’re moving and the mount runs out of stamina, it will land and not be able to fly again until it regains the resource. You might be in danger depending on where it touches down.
When you’re ready to dismount, hit jump again, so the Argy heads for the ground. Once it’s down, you can dismount like usual.
Can an Argentavis Carry Other Creatures?
Argentavis can carry particular other creatures around. This feature is helpful for moving a beast you need to a different location or taking another into a trap for taming. Some of the things you can carry include Achatina, Trilobite, Dodo, Kairuku, Otter, and Ferox.
Taming an Argentavis
One of the most challenging things about taming an Argentavis is ensuring it doesn’t fly away once its torpor rises and its near unconsciousness. If you can manage that possibility, you’ll be able to tame one in no time.
When you’re taming in ARK, the usual method is to knock out the creature with tranqs and then feed it until it likes you.
You can use a Crossbow with your tranq darts to take out the Argentavis, but it won’t raise its torpor as quickly as using a Longneck Rifle. Since the Argentavis will fly away once it realizes it’s in danger, you need to apply torpor quickly. Choose your weapon and be prepared to move fast once the Argy starts escaping.
To Trap or Not to Trap
You don’t have to trap an Argentavis to tame it. Still, it can make it easier, especially if you’re dealing with multiple birds or trying to harvest Argentavis Talons en masse quickly.
If you don’t want to build a trap, just start shooting the Argentavis you wish to tame. Be prepared to dodge and move to avoid its attacks quickly. You can take them down this way, but you may experience some problems if you aren’t quick and agile.
The benefits of a trap are pretty impressive, though. First, it lets you take shelter from other Argentavis that are still conscious and from nearby predators. Argy spawns often take you near dangerous predators who will want to eat both you and your potential tame.
Since Argys can fit through most spaces, you can create a 3×3 space to tame it. Leave a wall down or gate open and build a door on the opposite end. The goal is to run into the room through the open wall or gate, exit through the back door and close it behind you, then run to the front, close the gate, or install the last wall.
Argys can fly, so creating a small viewing room with space to shoot and a window might be the best option for a long-term Argentavis trap. If you’re just doing it for one bird, it’s easier to stand outside the door, shoot, close it when necessary, and continue doing so until it falls unconscious.
Making Friends with Food
Argentavis is happiest when it’s fed Superior Kibble. However, Raw Mutton, Cooked Lamp Chops, and Raw Prime Meat are all good enough options that you probably won’t need additional torpidity to complete the process.
The trick to taming is that your target must stay asleep until after the process is complete. The unconscious creature eats its preferred food from its inventory and then wakes up ready for a new name and bound to you and your tribe.
To ensure it stays down, add Narcotic to its inventory and the taming food. Watch the torpidity meter in the menu and force it to eat Narcotic when necessary. Other than that, wait until the taming food is devoured and the Argentavis wakes up as friends.
Some players like to trap an Argentavis, raise its torpor with tranqs, and then put a dead creature in the trap with the Argy. Once it eats the beast and you see the Regeneration effect kick in, quickly knock it out and start taming.
Hunting an Argentavis
Hunting an Argentavis isn’t much different than taming it. If you don’t want just to shoot it and dodge its attacks, you can lead it into a trap and then use lethal ammunition to kill it and harvest what you need. One of the most complex parts is separating it from its flock – but a large trap can hold multiple Argys, and you can harvest even more loot from them at once if you’re willing to put in the work to build it.
One tip is to use a large bear trap on the ground. If you can get the Argys into a tight space, the trap might snare them and keep them in place while you close the doors or build a wall to seal them in. Make sure you have an accessible space to shoot them once they’re trapped.