Oil is one of the most valuable resources in ARK Survival, but it isn’t as easy to collect as some of the other commonly-used items. However, there are a few different ways to get it. The hardest part of obtaining oil in ARK is preparing for the conditions and enemies you’ll face while collecting it.
What’s the Point of Oil in ARK?
You mine oil from various resource types to craft certain items. Without oil, you can’t make machines like a fabricator, industrial cooker, or industrial forge. You also need it to make soap, a tripwire alarm trap, and a vault.
One of the most important uses for oil is gasoline, which is used to power many different machines. If you’re trying to use devices powered by gas, you might have to find different oil-collection strategies on different maps.
How to Get Oil in ARK
There are a few different ways to obtain oil in ARK. The method you choose will depend on how far you are in the game and what other items you can access.
How to Mine Oil Underwater With a Pick
One of the fastest ways to get oil early in the game is to dive underwater and mine it. You can find oil deposits in the water that look like rocks with liquid black ooze rising out of them.
When you locate a deposit, harvest it with a pickaxe like you do with stone.
- Select your pickaxe by clicking the number of the quickslot location that holds it.
- Swim down to the oil deposit. They’re often located fairly deep underwater, but you should be able to reach them in many locations without specialized gear.
- Aim your pickaxe at the oil deposit.
- Click to swing the pickaxe and begin harvesting the deposit. The deposit will disappear when it’s fully harvested.
- Open your inventory to see the oil.
Now you can use the oil in any crafting recipe you choose.
While you can use a stone or metal pickaxe and still get oil, try to wait to harvest it en masse until you have the metal pick. You have a chance to get ten times more oil with the metal option than with the lower-tier stone one.
You can do a few things to make getting oil with this method easier.
- Put more of your attribute points into your underwater breathing skills. This helps you stay under longer without having to resurface. Since oil deposits are often close together, staying down longer can make gathering much more efficient.
- Use an underwater mount to help you get to the deposits faster. This is an excellent tactic in the giant ocean areas where you have to cover a lot of space. Specific mounts can also defend against nefarious sea creatures and help you hold more of the oil you’re mining.
- Try using a scuba suit and oxygen tank. These items help you stay down longer, move more quickly, and maintain better in harsh environments.
- Craft a Lazarus Chowder and eat it right before you enter the water. It reduces the amount of oxygen you use and increases your stamina a bit. It isn’t as
Mining Oil Underwater With a Dunkleosteus
A dunkleosteus isn’t a very easy animal to tame in the first place. However, if you manage it, you can use it to gather oil. Using a tame dunkleosteus to harvest oil is the most efficient method and will give you the most bang for your buck.
- Swim up to your tame and press E to mount the dunkleosteus. You will have to equip it with a saddle, which you can’t make until level 44.
- Move the dunkleosteus to an underwater oil deposit.
- Click on the deposit to mine it. Click until the deposit disappears to make sure you’ve harvested everything.
- Press F to open the dunkleosteus’s inventory and see the oil it mined.
This tame can also mine black pearls from eurypterids, stone, and metal.
Mining in Underwater Caves
One place where you can get a lot of oil very quickly is in underwater caves. They’re caves with oxygen in them but hidden deep in bodies of water.
To get into an underwater cave, you will very likely need a dinosaur companion that you can ride. You’ll also want scuba gear, flippers, and an oxygen tank to be sure that you can stay alive long enough to make it into the cave and back up to land.
You can mine the deposits in underwater caves the same as you do underwater deposits. The trick is getting down to the underwater caves because they’re deep and surrounded by fiendish creatures.
You can also tame a tusoteuthis to carry you and an ankylosaurus down to the underwater cave. However, anks don’t have a very high oxygen stat and will likely have to be very leveled and have a lot of oxygen to survive the trip down and back.
If you can manage it, though, the ankylosaurus can make quick work of any oil deposits in a cave.
Overall, the best way to mine oil in underwater caves is to tame a tusoteuthis or a dunkleosteus, ride it down, and use your pick to quickly mine before mounting your tame and riding back to the surface with your oil. Both should be able to defend against some dangers that might approach outside the cave while you’re mining.
Remember, you can always transfer harvested oil into your tame’s inventory so that you can go back and collect more without being overloaded.
Mining Oil in the Snow Biome
You can find oil deposits that aren’t hidden by water in the snow biome. The area itself may offer some dangers, not the least of which is environmental damage.
The actual harvesting is done with a pick or an ankylosaurus. The method to harvest the oil is exactly the same as underwater, except you’re walking up to it instead of swimming.
Many players prefer to train a quetzal to carry an ankylosaurus to the snow biome for mining. If you’re worried about the dangers there, have another player mount the ank before you pick it up with the quetzal. The player on the ank can harvest the oil deposits as long as you fly them close enough. You don’t even have to set the ankylosaurus down.
Before attempting this strategy, train your quetzal for stamina and your ank for stamina and weight.
In Scorched Earth, there are a few other ways to get oil. These are likely intended as substitutes for the oil deposits underwater since there aren’t large bodies of water on that map.
If you see a Jug Bug, walk up to it and press the key that you’re prompted to press. It should let you collect some oil from that creature.
You can also get oil from rock elementals after they’re dead by harvesting their bodies with a pick.
Finally, there’s an oil pump machine you can build. It’s pretty advanced but will help you get much more oil quickly.
- To create an oil pump, combine 75 metal ingots, 25 electronics, and 25 crystals in a fabricator or tek replicator.
- Locate an oil vein. They exist in the Badlands and Low Desert on the eastern side of the map. They look like rocks with black ooze around and on them.
- Set the oil pump down on an oil vein and let it harvest. It should pull up one oil every 20 seconds. When the vein goes dry, you’ll have to move it and replace it later.
Sometimes you can find oil pumps in supply drops, which can help you get oil earlier in the game before you’re able to craft them yourself.
You can find oil deposits on other maps. Look for the engram for the oil pump in the Scorched Earth part of the engram menu.
Getting Oil From Creatures
There are a few creatures you can harvest for oil after they die.
Once you’re dead, you can get oil from their bodies.
You can also use a dung beetle to create oil. You have to manually drag feces into the dung beetle’s inventory and then change its behavior to wander. While it wanders, it can convert the feces to oil which you can remove from its inventory.
Remember to only set your dung beetle tames to wander in a safe and enclosed space so you can find them again.
One of the things to consider when harvesting oil in ARK is that there are many ways to get to the deposits and mitigate the danger. Have fun with it! My clan and I once got to an underwater cave with a pack of tamed carbonymous that held off the angry creatures attacking us long enough to do what needed to be done.
One of the best ways to get oil in ARK is to find a way that’s fun for you.