How to build a shelter in Ark Survival Evolved

Ark Survival Evolved shelter
(Image credit: Studio Wildcard)

Knowing how to build a shelter in Ark Survival Evolved means you'll be able to protect yourself from the elements so you can stay warm and dry, while also staying out of sight from predators who may otherwise attack you, whether they're beast or human. Along with crafting Ark Survival Evolved clothing and sourcing Ark Survival Evolved food and water, finding shelter is essential to your ongoing survival, whether you're using it to stay safe or just stashing handy items and equipment in there for later use. If you want to know how to build an Ark Survival Evolved shelter, then we've got complete instructions for you below.

How to unlock Ark Survival Evolved shelter crafting

Ark Survival Evolved shelter

(Image credit: Studio Wildcard)

To begin Ark Survival Evolved shelter crafting, you need to unlock the Engrams that provide blueprints for the individual elements. Helpfully, the basic set of these unlock at Engram Tier 4, so you'll only need to level up a few times to gain access to them. To construct a basic shelter, you'll need the Thatch Foundation, Thatch Wall, and Thatch Ceiling, plus the Thatch Doorframe and Thatch Door if you want to be able to completely enclose and secure your dwelling.

How to collect materials to craft an Ark Survival Evolved shelter

Ark Survival Evolved shelter

(Image credit: Studio Wildcard)

Each individual section of your Ark Survival Evolved shelter requires a certain amount of materials to be gathered before they can be crafted, as follows:

  • Thatch Foundation: 15 Fiber, 20 Thatch, 6 Wood
  • Thatch Wall: 7 Fiber, 10 Thatch, 2 Wood
  • Thatch Ceiling: 10 Fiber, 15 Thatch, 4 Wood
  • Thatch Doorframe: 6 Fiber, 8 Thatch, 6 Wood
  • Thatch Door: 4 Fiber, 7 Thatch

Fiber can be gathered by pressing the Use button (Triangle/Y) when near ground vegetation, while Thatch and Wood can be harvested by hitting trees with tools – using a Pick will mainly yield Thatch, while a Hatchet will give you mainly Wood. Once you have the required materials, all you need to do is go into the Crafting section of your Inventory, highlight the appropriate Engram, then follow the Craft prompt to generate it.

How to build an Ark Survival Evolved shelter

(Image: © Studio Wildcard)

Once you have the various sections of Ark Survival Evolved shelter crafted and in your inventory, you now need to use them to construct your base. Ideally you should do this away from the beach in a secluded area to attract less attention, though don't get too hung up on where to build as you can always relocate and construct another shelter elsewhere later on.

First, highlight the Foundation section in your inventory then follow the Place prompt, which will give you a green outline of the section that you can put down and rotate then construct. Once you confirm a location for it, you have a 30 second period where you can pick it up again (handy if you make a mistake) before it becomes a permanent fixture, after which your only option to move it is demolition. With the Foundation placed, you can then select other sections such as Walls and Ceilings that will snap to permitted construction positions, so add those in along with a Doorframe plus Door and you'll have built your first Ark Survival Evolved shelter – congratulations!

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Iain Wilson
Guides Editor

Iain originally joined Future in 2012 to write guides for CVG, PSM3, and Xbox World, before moving on to join GamesRadar in 2013 as Guides Editor. His words have also appeared in OPM, OXM, PC Gamer, GamesMaster, and SFX. He is better known to many as ‘Mr Trophy’, due to his slightly unhealthy obsession with amassing intangible PlayStation silverware, and he now has over 550 Platinum pots weighing down the shelves of his virtual award cabinet. He does not care for Xbox Achievements.