'Ark: Survival Evolved' Underwater Base
'Ark: Survival Evolved' got underwater bases in update v256 and this guide tells you how to build one. Just make sure you have enough Element to keep it running. 'Ark: Survival Evolved' is available on PC, Xbox One, PS4, OS X and Linux. Studio Wildcard

Ark: Survival Evolved v256 brings underwater bases to the game, but the process of building one isn’t really explained. In this guide, we’ll cover the basics to get you started. If you’ve never built a base before, check out this beginner’s guide.


Underwater bases in Ark: Survival Evolved are built using Tek gear, and those materials are generally reserved for the highest-level players. However, even if you’re a member of a strong alpha tribe, aquatic bases may be too expensive right now. All Tek gear requires Element to craft, and that’s mostly obtained by killing high-level bosses.

Bases also introduce a new wrinkle called the Tek Generator. If you don’t want your base to flood, you’ll need to keep stuffing the generator with Element. At maximum radius, 1 Element will only get you one hour of active time. In other words, this stuff is stupid expensive and is only truly viable with cheats. Check out our updated list of admin commands for more details.


Underwater bases operate much like regular ones. Because of that, there are only three new structures to worry about. Just like all other Tek gear, it’s crafted at the Tek Replicator.

Vacuum Compartment: These are essentially your foundation pieces. You’ll need to build lots of them.

  • 450 Metal Ingot
  • 170 Polymer
  • 225 Crystal
  • 3 Element
  • 40 Black Pearl

Vacuum Moonpool: Allows you to breathe in your base. It has the same requirements as a standard Vacuum Component.

Tek Generator: Seals the Vacuum Components and powers everything in your base. After it’s built, you’ll need 1 Element per hour at max radius. Large bases may require multiple generators.

  • 30 Element
  • 2,400 Metal Ingot
  • 250 Crystal
  • 120 Black Pearl
  • 500 Polymer


Once you’ve got the supplies, it’s time to head underwater and look for a spot. Ideally, if this is something you want to do, we’d hope you’ve unlocked the rest of the Tek suit or have scuba gear to look for an area. The base parts won’t build on rocks, so look for a large plot of sandy floor.

Next, create the framework for your base using compartments. Tek gear is so strong that you don’t really need a building strategy. Just design a foundation that looks cool to you. The only things to be aware of are your Moonpool and doors. You can’t place the door yet, but we’d advise building two stories with the door at the bottom and the pool directly above it. That way, you swim up and into your base.

Once that skeleton is set, place the Generator in the middle of it. To get it working, you’ll need to put some Element in its inventory. After that, everything we’ll be powered. In most cases you’ll have to manually go around clicking “Open Porthole” on any Vacuum you placed. Otherwise, you won’t be able to move around.

That tedious process establishes how the base’s walls are laid out. Open and close in the pattern you want. Freezing a porthole not only hides objects behind it, but it also offers a more finished look. This helps to better stylize your floors and roof.

The last piece of the puzzle is to align a Dino gate to your planned entrance hole. After that, you’ll be ready to go.


  • You can build an aquatic cage if you open your portholes, let wildlife in and then close the porthole off.
  • It’s a smart move to seal the Vacuum with your Moonpool to keep intruders out. When you want to get back in, you can open it manually.
  • You can attach powered turrets to an underwater base just like a traditional one. However, they need to be close to your generator.
  • Rockets cannot harm an underwater base, but they’re still slightly vulnerable to explosives like C4. As of now, the challenge of an underwater base is powering it to protect it. Demolition is almost no threat at all.

Ark: Survival Evolved is available on PC, Xbox One, PS4, OS X and Linux. Update v256 and underwater bases are exclusive to PC at this time.

What do you think of Ark: Survival Evolved update v256? Are underwater bases awesome or useless? Tell us in the comments section!