Caves in ARK provide two things: new places to explore and significant amounts of rare resources. What you’ll get all depends on which cave you explore. Each map has a few different caves you can explore, so get your highest level gear and be prepared: many new dangers likely await.
Why Should I Explore Caves in ARK?
First and foremost: it’s fun! I remember going into a cave in Valguero for the first time that seemed almost empty but kept going deeper into the depths. I started building a tiny home near a chasm only to find that a colossal carnivore I’d never seen before objected to my easement and killed me – along with destroying my shack.
I had to gear up for my journey. Once I got past that point, I found shinehorns for the first time. There were all kinds of creatures and resources I couldn’t have imagined waiting just past the dangers in the cave.
Next, though, is because caves have many resources that you can plunder. If you need oil, underwater caves can offer a significant amount. They also host fascinating landscapes and creatures you might not see anywhere else. Most maps have a variety of caves, each with an Artifact waiting inside.
Caves on the Island
The Island has a variety of caves. A critical feature of these caves is that they often contain an artifact you need to summon one of the map’s bosses.
This cave is tiny and complicated. Twisting paths overlap so that you can’t always be sure you’re making progress. Consider bringing dinosaurs who can cling to walls or offer some kind of safety on the treacherous ledges.
The biggest threat you’ll face here is the megalosaurus. It’s best to come here for the first time during the day, so they’re less strong than they are at night. Beware of piranhas in the waters, too.
North West Cave
You can’t take dinosaurs into this cave without using some kind of cheat, so make sure you have weapons and health buffs at the ready. It’s so cold that you need to have fur or chitin armor to stay alive as you work your way to the artifact.
Grappling hooks and bug spray are two other valuable items to help you reach loot and avoid danger.
The Caverns of Lost Faith
Much of this cave is underwater, and it gets frigid. Pack accordingly. A SCUBA suit is one of the most valuable things you can have before entering. Fria curry is another smart choice that can help you harvest the silica pearls that spawn there.
If you have a tame basilosaurus, it can help you take on the cnidarias that lurk in the water. Without it, you’ll have to ensure you know how to fight them and win if you want to complete this area.
This cave is full of toxic gas, so having a gas mask is a must. You should also consider using a ghillie suit because the heat can quickly drain your health. In this dangerous environment, stimulants, health potions, and bug repellants will also offer you a fighting chance.
Lower South Cave
One of the neatest features of this cave is that enemies will ambush you. Watch out for surrounding foliage and even for impacts from above. There are a lot of resources here that you might want to harvest. Some players create bases within the cave to refine materials and repair their harvesting tools nearby.
A swimming mount is also helpful since some of the loot can be underwater.
North East Cave
Pack a metal harvesting tool to clear the paths in this cave. Warm armor will also help you maintain your health. However, it isn’t the most dangerous or complex cave on The Island.
The cave also has three dossiers that you can locate.
Upper South Cave
This cave is challenging, and you shouldn’t attempt it until you have flak armor, at the very least. It’s below freezing and full of enemies. Also, some places are inaccessible without swimming. Make sure you have points in your underwater breathing. Lazarus chowder can also help you get through these areas.
Unsurprisingly, the cave is very hot. You’ll need to find a way to keep cool and maintain your health. Mega Rabies is something you’ll come into contact with, so have lesser antidotes available.
Falls into lava are one of the easiest ways to die here. Try to have a grappling hook close at hand so you can move around more easily.
The Caverns of Lost Hope
This is a dangerous cave with massive underwater areas and high-level aggressive enemies. It’s not for new players or the faint of heart.
Using a mount that can swim underwater and has a high attack percentage might help you survive longer. Also, bring SCUBA gear and bug repellant.
This cave gets seriously cold. You’ll want fur armor of the highest level and improvement – and still pack Fria Curry for the warmth boost. Bring a campfire and standing torches to give yourself a little space to cook, heal, and warm up before continuing.
You also must bring a grappling hook. While you can clear the way with a pick, having the grappling hook will help you avoid enemies and difficult-to-cross terrain. If you get the right mods, you can use a reusable grappling hook to cut down your supply losses.
You can’t get into the Tek Cave without bringing the right items with you. You need:
This cave is the most difficult on the map, with extreme hot and cold environments. Tek Armor is the best choice if you don’t want to switch your gear in the middle of the cave. You will probably also want Tek weapons to take on the enemies inside.
The Island also has several underwater caves at different locations. They’re resource-heavy caves with oil and other crafting materials.
To get to these caves, you’ll need SCUBA gear, Lazarus Chowder, and a robust underwater mount that can both get you there and hold its own while you’re harvesting oil. Some of them are deep under the sea.
Caves on The Center
Like the Island, the caves on the center have artifacts to help you summon bosses.
This cave has multiple entrances, including an opening for flying dinosaurs at 52.5 latitude and 67.6 longitude. The most accessible entrance to get to is the land entrance.
You will likely need Lazarus Chowder and SCUBA gear to get all the gear from this cave. Be wary of the dangerous creatures lurking inside, including the Titanoboa.
Lava Oasis Cave
This is one of those caves where dangerous enemies will lurk just out of sight in the lush fauna. Keep your eyes open and bring lots of poison antidotes. Grappling hooks will also help you get around more easily.
South Ice Cave
Not only does this cave have lots of places where you can fall, but it’s populated with yetis that can push you over the edge and kill you. Make sure to bring armor to help lessen the effects of the cold.
This is another one of those caves that are difficult to get into. Bring a flying mount. Once you’re inside the cave, grappling hooks are extremely useful.
It’s a scorching environment. Make sure to bring armor that can help mitigate the heat. A Ghillie Suit would be beneficial.
This place is vast, and it’s challenging to get out of. You should probably bring a flying mount when you enter it so that you can make it back to the surface – unless you intend to build down there and eventually build a way out.
Underground World features its own sun, ocean, forests, and many creatures. However, it’s a freezing place. Bring warm armor and good weapons.
The entrance listed above requires a flying mount to get in. There are other entrances, but this is a relatively safe one to start with.
This location is very dark. Night vision goggles will help you get around in it. You can find some resource deposits, like oil, silica pearls], and obsidian inside.
North Ice Cave
You might not be surprised that you need fur armor to survive in an ice cave. However, you might also want to pack the grappling hook and crossbow if you’re here to get the artifact. The cave itself isn’t dangerous, but the cold and the extreme fall damage can kill you if you aren’t careful.]
The hardest part of this cave is getting around in it. It’s recommended to bring a tamed flyer, especially if you’re planning to try to get the artifact and leave. Overall, it’s not a scary place, but you need to watch out for Titanoboas.
This is a beautiful cavern worthy of a base. It’s lit by crystals in the wall and even has an ice castle inside. Check out the little kairuku that you see wandering around.
This isn’t a cave where you have to fight many high-level enemies. Other than dire bears, most things you meet here will be friendly. Prepare for the cold and bring plenty of items to set up an area for storing and refining resources.
Many of the caves in Valguero are made up of hazardous environments.
If you don’t have a radiation suit, craft one before you try to enter The Unknown. Your tames can also be sickened by radiation, but something like a Karkinos that is immune can help you navigate it with a helper.
Inside, you’ll find powerful enemies, rare resources, and rare harvestable drops from creatures like prime meat and Titanoboa venom.
- Located at 73.1 latitude and 40.6 longitude
- Contains the Artifact of the Strong, the Artifact of the Immune, and the Artifact of the Pack
Pack lesser antidote or nameless venom because there’s a chance you’ll get swamp fever since there are plenty of diseased leeches. You’ll also need a gas mask or SCUBA suit because there is a lot of poisonous gas in the air.
Enemies in the cave are strong, so ensure that you have appropriate weapons.
The Lost Temple
You will want a parachute, grappling hook, and crossbow for this one because the cave has a lot of places where you might fall. You can also meet enemies who can poison, stun, or electrocute you. Go slowly and be safe.
One warning: there are a few areas where you can die instantly. Be prepared, save your game, and have backup gear waiting near the entrance if you want to try again.
The Great Trench
You’ll find an entrance into the caves at either side of the long and treacherous trench, which is filled with ice wyverns. Don’t worry – fire wyverns await you in the caves if you prefer fire.
Bring armor to mitigate both hot and cold on your journey.
Not every artifact found in the Ragnarok caves is helpful on this particular map. Some caves are difficult and dangerous, while others are relatively tame.
The Frozen Dungeon is very cold – bring warm armor and something to help you stay warm. You should also get weapons, especially if you plan to fight the Iceworm Queen.
Fallen Redwood Cave
No dinosaurs spawn in the Fallen Redwood Cave, but some that live nearby might come in for a visit. Overall, it’s a peaceful place with abundant wood and a small water source.
One of the biggest dangers in the Carnivorous Caves is how twisted the path can get. It’s also very dark. Bring something to light your way.
- Located at 51.6 latitude and 77.5 longitude
- Contains the Artifact of the Skylord, Artifact of the Massive, Artifact of the Clever, and the Artifact of the Devious
Life’s Labyrinth is a complicated and confusing journey. Expect to come up against puzzles and traps as you make your way through. You’ll need parachutes, antidotes, potions, something to help you breathe underwater, and flak armor.
One of the rooms requires you to sacrifice one of your tamed dinosaurs to progress. Make sure to bring a very small one or one that can mount you – most won’t fit into the cave.
Bring potions to keep yourself from being tranquilized and torches to help you see in the dark. You will also need to prepare to fight waves of hostile creatures.
IF you reach the end, you’ll face the Lava Elemental.
The Monkey’s Temple
This is a very small cave. You’ll have to bring a pick to clear rocks away if you want to reach the artifact.
Scorched Earth Caves
The Scorched Earth caves offer a bit of different scenery, as long as you’re geared enough to survive.
The Old Tunnels
Don’t bring large tames for this one. If they can’t move through a space where you’re crouching, they probably won’t fit.
Falling danger and the threat of overheating are two environmental things you should consider.
The Grave of the Tyrants
Remember that you might come up against a Rubble Golem in the Scorched Earth caves. Unless you’re very prepared, you should consider running.
Bring armor and foods that can help you mitigate the heat.
Ruins of Nosti
The Ruins of Nosti are a fascinating place because it’s a decrepit, abandoned city. However, you’ll have to gear up with antidotes and weapons before you go inside. There is a lot of danger awaiting you.
Each of the Aberration Caves takes a lot of preparation before you enter.
The Elemental Vault
A Rock Drake can help you move around in the cave, but you might be attacked by the creatures inside. Having a high-powered weapon should help you survive as you work to get the artifact.
The Old Railway
This is another cave with lots of enemies who will attack you. Tek Armor or using ziplines can help you move around without engaging many of them.
To get the artifact in this cave, you’ll have to climb. You should also prepare for extra time underwater with Lazarus Chowder or SCUBA gear. It’s a hazardous area with many aggressive enemies, above and below the water.
Caves on Extinction are relatively straightforward, though still dangerous.
The Cave in the Forest
You can call on the Forest Titan in the cave. Overall, it’s easy to get around in as long as you can kill or avoid the larger enemies like the allosaurus and baryonyx.
The Cave in the Desert
This is a basic cave with dangerous enemies waiting at the front. Don’t expect to enter without a fight.
The Ice Cave
Don’t plan to bring a flying dinosaur to this one. Other than Managarmr, they’re unable to enter. You’ll have to get by without flying unless you want to mod ARK to change the settings.
Expect aggressive creatures, cold temperatures, and nothing that you will be able to tame.