Pteranodons are beloved by ARK players because they’re relatively easy to tame and because they’re one of the first flyers you can reasonably gain access to. They’re suitable for a variety of things beyond flying, too.
Once you’ve learned how to trap, tame, and care for Pteranodon, you’ll have a speedy friend who can help you move from one part of the map to another.
What is a Pteranodon?
A Pteranodon is a giant, flying dinosaur with a slender body and large wingspan. Equipped with the right saddle, it can ferry you all around the map, pick up some creatures, and store items for you in its inventory.
The Pteranodon is a carnivore, which means that you need to keep it supplied with meat after you tame it. You can store the meat in its inventory, and it will eat as required. Be sure to check it occasionally, though, because the meat can go bad and leave it without a source of fresh food.
This flying reptile is also a bit scared of people approaching it. It might land near you or tolerate your presence, but there’s also a chance it will take to the skies the second you step too near. When you’re ready to tame one, you must account for its nervous temperament.
Pteranodon Stats and Breeding
As with all creatures in ARK, your Pteranodon will increase in stats as it gains levels. If you want to assign each level to a particular stat to have your tame proficient in a specific skill – like carry weight or health – look to tame a low-level one who will quickly gain levels.
However, wild Pteranodons gain a base stat while tamed ones gain a percentage. So while the base value of health for a Pteranodon is 210, a wild Pteranodon will earn 42 points per level while tamed ones gain 3 percent of the total health per level. So that is something to take into consideration.
You can breed Pteranodons as well. You have to set them to wander and ensure mating is enabled. However, they can fly away when they’re set to wander. You should build an aviary for them before attempting to breed your Pteranodons, or you may end up trying to find them and bring them home.
When Pteranodons breed, they lay an egg, and you have to keep it at the right temperature to hatch it. You can imprint on the baby Pteranodons and grow them into adulthood, often with very strong tames.
How to Tame a Pteranodon
To tame and ride your very own Pteranodon, follow these guidelines.
Crafting a Regular Kibble
To tame a Pteranodon with the highest possible bonuses in the shortest time, use Regular Kibble. While you can also feed it meat, you will get the best taming results from using Kibble.
Regular Kibble can be crafted in the Cooking Pot or the Industrial Cooker. Add the following items to the device to produce one Regular Kibble.
- 5 Fibers
- 2 Longrass
- 2 Savoroot
- 1 Medium Egg
- 1 Cooked Beef Jerky
- 1 Water Container
A medium egg is any egg that comes from a medium creature. For example, you can use an Ankylo egg, a Pelgornis egg, a Stego egg, or a Diplo egg.
It may take several Regular Kibbles to tame a Pteranodon. The amount of food needed to complete a tame varies depending on the level of the creature you’re taming.
Catching the Pteranodon
The next and possibly most challenging step is trapping the Pteranodon and knocking it out. It has to be unconscious with taming food in its inventory to tame it. Always do this on land and away from water because an unconscious air-breathing creature can drown.
To catch the Pteranodon, you need an immobilization method. There are a few to consider.
- The bola is one of the best items to have when trying to tame a Pteranodon. You throw it at the creature, and it tangles around its legs, making it unable to move. You only have a small amount of time before it frees itself and flies away. Prepare to knock it out immediately.
- An electric prod or a tranquilizer arrow is the best way to send it into unconsciousness. Aim for the head. The goal is to raise the torpor without killing it since the Pteranodon has relatively little health. It should only take one hit from either for most of them, as long as they aren’t very high level.
Remember to always wait a moment before firing the next arrow if you’re using tranq arrows. It can take time for a creature’s torpor to rise sufficiently to send it into unconsciousness. If you strike again too soon, you might accidentally kill it.
The Taming Process
Once the Pteranodon is unconscious, you can place the taming food in its inventory along with some Narcotic. Then you just wait for it to eat the food unconsciously.
Keep an eye on its torpor levels. You don’t want them to rise too high and have the Pteranodon awaken. When necessary, right-click on the Narcotic and feed it another to raise the torpor.
Once you’ve tamed the creature, you will see a notification pop up that it’s tamed where you can name it. When the naming is done, start changing its settings so that you don’t lose it.
Settings for a Tamed Pteranodon
There are a few settings to consider. Which you choose is up to you and situational, but these are the ones I use for a newly tamed Pteranodon away from the base.
- Set its aggression level to passive flee. Pteranodons can get away from most enemies by simply flying out of melee range. However, sometimes even that doesn’t work. In a semi-enclosed cave on The Center, a Megalosaurus grabbed my Pteranodon set to passive flee in midair and killed it.
However, it does give it a fighting chance, and you can always find it later when it escapes.
- Set its following level to whatever you prefer. I like to keep it at medium because I don’t like it interfering with my activities, and it often gets very close at lower distances.
Choosing a saddle for your Pteranodon isn’t hard. The most important thing is the quality of the saddle, which varies depending on what you have access to at the crafting bench. You can loot saddles of various qualities and types from drops, as well as blueprints to make your higher-level gear.
You can’t ride the creature until you unlock the engram for the Pteranodon saddle at level 38. However, check Supply Drops to get your hands on one sooner than that possibly. It can provide a boost and swift movement early in the game.
As the quality of the saddle increases, so does the amount of armor. Ideally, you’d wait to take your Pteranodon into dangerous circumstances until you can craft an upgraded one. However, since they’re easy and relatively cheap to tame, many players use these fliers as cannon fodder when needed.
Uses for Pteranodons
You can do many things once you have a tamed Pteranodon, though most people primarily use them as fliers.
Their low carry weight makes them less than ideal for the transport of heavy items. Many people prefer to tame an Argentavis or higher-level flier for those purposes. However, if you don’t have a long distance to go or much to carry, their speed is ideal.
Pteranodons are relatively quick compared to other fliers, though, so they’re often used for moving players from one place to another.
The Pteranodon can also pick up other players. You can roll dodge in fights with its rollability. Many people use them in PVP servers because of their low barrier to tame, ability to pick players up, and quick movement speed.
I’ve always liked to use Pteranodons to pick up small creatures and move them into a safe pen for taming. It lowers the risk of a creature attacking what I’m trying to tame and helps to ensure I can complete the process. It can carry a surprising number of creatures, including:
So always check to see whether your Pteranodon can help you tame others before you begin.
Painting a Pteranodon
You can customize your tamed Pteranodon by adding paint to six different regions on its body.
- The first region is the pattern on the Pteranodon itself.
- The second region is the base of the wing.
- The third region is the top of its head, face, and hands.
- The fourth region is the inner crest.
- The fifth region is the largest part of the wingspan.
- The last region is the body.
Using these regions as guides, you can paint each Pteranodon you tame to look different or create an army of tames with the same color scheme.