Swimming is an important part of ARK: Survival Evolved. Players can mount tamed creatures and swim on their backs, which allows them to travel quickly and access areas that are not as easily accessible without swimming equipment. Swimming also allows players to access underwater caves.
Being submerged consumes a player's oxygen, so players must occasionally come to the surface, or use swimming equipment. Swimming also consumes stamina. Swimming on the surface of the water is slower than being completely submerged.
- SCUBA Mask — allows players to see more clearly.
- SCUBA Tank — supplies oxygen to players wearing it.
- SCUBA Leggings — provide a large amount of hypothermal insulation when in water.
- SCUBA Flippers — multiply a player's movement speed by 2.5x while underwater, but have less movement speed while walking on land.
- Lazarus Chowder — Eating will significantly decrease the rate at which you consume oxygen for 10 minutes. (The ingame description mentions 15 minutes, which is an error)
Rideable Swimming Creatures
The following creatures can be mounted by players.
|Species / Common Name||Diet||Temperament*||Saddle Level||Amphibious||Water Breathers||Surface**|
|Angler||Carnivore||Aggressive to small fry, otherwise skittish||No Saddle Required||No||Yes||No|
(Aggressive at close range)
|Diplocaulus||Piscivore||Passive||No Saddle Required||Yes***||Yes||No|
|Dunkleosteus||Carnivore||Territorial (Aggressive at close range)||40||No||Yes||No|
|Mosasaurus||Carnivore||Aggressive||75, 85 (platform)||No||Yes||No|
|Plesiosaur||Carnivore||Aggressive||60, 75 (platform)||No||Yes||No|
(Aggressive at close range)
* Their actual temperament, whatever their dossier says.
** Tamed creatures that will surface if unridden.
*** Diplocaulus, while amphibious, cannot be ridden on land. The player must open the radial menu to ride them, while the dino is in the water; the player will be forced to dismount once they reach a point where Diplocaulus and the player begin to walk.
- Swimming on the surface of the water is slightly slower than swimming under water.
- Swimming consumes Stamina. If you run out of Stamina, you will swim much slower, and surfacing will take much longer, causing potential death by drowning.
- Players can swim indefinitely, although at a slower speed once stamina is exhausted (even if encumbered). Land-based animals though, tamed or wild, mounted or unmounted, will drown once stamina is fully exhausted.
- Increasing Oxygen skills also increases your swimming speed.
- By putting Oxygen on a non water dinosaur will gain it a bit of speed.
- Certain creatures, such as Karkinos, Enforcer, Arthropluera, Rock Elemental and Titanoboa do not swim. Instead, they move along the ground as if the water was not there.
- Similarly, the Bloodstalker will walk on the water.
- The Ocean biome in the Genesis Simulation is more forgiving towards the survivor on how long the oxygen lasts before suffocating.