Farming is a fancy hobby in ARK Survival Evolved, but it also brings a ton of benefits to your tribe. One of the most important aspects of a farm is its irrigation system.
If you did it right, once the process is complete, your plants will be watered without any further action. You have a constant supply of plants to create advanced recipes and crafts.
What is irrigation in ARK?
An irrigation system is a facility consisting of an inlet, pipes, and a faucet. Once placed correctly, it will deliver water from a river, lake or ocean and transport it to your base. The tricky part of setting up your irrigation is connecting the pipes so that the water can flow freely through them.
What parts does the irrigation system consist of?
There are four critical components to consider for your watering needs.
the water fountainThis is one of the most important aspects as this is where the water enters the pipes. Before building pipes, consider how far the well is from your yard or foundation. Consider how many pipes you may need and whether there is a gradient to consider.
Recordingit's the part of the system that actually goes overboard. It is different from the other tubes and is required to start the process.
the pipesThey come in different types and materials:
- Stone whistles are the weaker of the two types, but are accessible at level 17. They cannot be damaged by ranged attacks, low-level weapons, or unarmed strikes. Many creatures won't damage it either. They have the same attack values as wooden structures.
- Metal Pipes are the stronger of the two, but you can't unlock them until level 40 and they're relatively expensive to craft. Only explosive weapons, tek, and very high level creatures can damage it.
Each tube type comes in a few different styles so you can create a system that works for you no matter where your base is.
- Astraight tubeit is exactly what it sounds like. It requires two metal ingots and a cement paste to craft. These are probably the most common pipelines players use to build their systems. It has two connection points, one at each end.
- Aflexible hoseit stretches and flexes as you position it. There are two connection points, but you can direct it in any direction you want. It requires the same materials as straight pipes.
- Astandpipeback and forth. It can help you move water even up cliff walls if needed.
- Andinclined tubeit looks like a straight tube with a diagonal slope. It is designed to help you create a network of pipes leading uphill. Four metal ingots and two cement pastes are required to craft.
- Andcut pipelooks like a cross. It has an entrance at each end. You plug your water source inlet pipe into one opening, and then the other three openings are activated to allow new pipes to be connected.
It helps you increase the number of faucets without creating a whole new watering system for each area you want to water. Six metal ingots and three cement pastes are required to craft.
IsbeatIt is the terminus of the irrigation system. This is where the water comes out freely once the system is working properly. It must not be blocked, otherwise it will no longer work. Faucets can be used for more than just watering plants. You can also fill water containers or drink directly from them.
How to choose a place for watering
There are several ways to set up an irrigation system and you should think about it early on when deciding on a location for your farm base.
A body of water like the ocean is the most accessible place to install it. The ground nearby is generally level and there is no appreciable slope if you are sited near the water's edge.
You can also choose a stream or other smaller water source. These can be placed closer to your base and provide the same benefits. The only thing that complicates them is that the terrain can make it difficult to install a clean run of pipes.
Some people choose to use water barrels as the main entry point for their irrigation system. These need to be refilled and may not provide the same reliable amount of water as natural water sources. However, they are a viable option in harsh or dry environments to install something to water your plants.
How to create an irrigation system in ARK
You must design, plan, place, and test your pipeline to build your system. Sometimes the pipes appear to be connected, but they are actually not in the right position to move water between them.
- Decide on your water source. If you are using a natural body of water, choose an optimal spot for placing your intake pipe. It won't always be the location closest to your base.
For example, I once had to create an irrigation system that led to a base on a hill. The point closest to the base had an odd slope and some natural barriers that would have made laying the pipe difficult.
Instead, I ran it straight across the field and up the cliffs, and then back to base from the top point. Walk the route you are considering for your whistles a few times. Watch out for high-level carnivores, which can also attack and damage pipes. this is an important consideration.
- If needed, prepare to craft your driveway, pipes, faucets, and water barrels. You need to collect cement paste and metal ingots or just stone if you use stone pipes. Also, stone whistles can be crafted directly from your personal crafting menu. Metal Pipes must be crafted at Smithy or Tek Replicator.
It can also be crafted on certain tamer mounts, including Argentavis and Castoroides. Make a driveway, a faucet, and some straight plumbing to get an idea of how much you'll need.
- Place your inlet pipe in the water. You actually have to go below the surface.
- Connect a straight hose to the other side of the inlet. You should see them connect. If the outline of the pipe is red before you put it down, you cannot place it there. Once you've hooked up a pipe and can see the length, you'll have a better idea of how many you'll need to complete your system.
- Plan a course. Determine where you need to change direction and make crossings or bend pipes to those places. Find slopes and build inclined pipes to make the water rise or fall.
- Continue to connect pipes from the water source to the space you plan to water. Pipes can be run through walls, eliminating the need to have an always-available opening for irrigation in a building like a greenhouse.
- Place the faucets on the pipes over the area you want to water. After a moment water should come out of the pipes when they are all connected.
Creating an irrigation system is that easy! However, there are a few other things to consider.
Other irrigation considerations
Many players report that they canLay pipes undergroundas long as you can successfully customize them. Personally I've never had any luck with this, but it's worth seeing if you can get it working. However, if it gets too frustrating, run them on the surface. They're not always the most attractive part of your ARK setup, but they're necessary and serve a purpose.
You can briefly connect a faucet to each pipe to ensure your irrigation system is working. When the water comes out of the tap, all the pipes up to that point are connected.
Consider running pipes along the floor or up to the ceiling. I especially like lining the roof of a greenhouse with crossing pipes because I can connect faucets in two places and water many plants at the same time. Since they match, you cancreate a gridwith you. Place crops on the ground and check if they are irrigated or not by looking at the status when you mouse over it. If not, you need to install a closer faucet.
Some players recommend just leaving the growing plots outside and letting the rain water them in safe areas. One problem with this is that it gets lost in theGreenhouse Bondif you are growing in a place without greenhouse walls and roof. They increase growth rate and can help you harvest much faster.
While using rain for irrigation early in the game isn't a bad thing, tribes that are more serious about farming will definitely want to install an irrigation system.
If you decide to build onewater supply, consider choosing metal over the standard item. It has more and can take more damage. Many people build water tanks into their irrigation systems because they fill up when it rains and are useful for bases far from the sea.
Metal water tanks can hold 500 water. The standard water tank can only hold 200. You can fill them with water tanks, but you cannot fill water tanks from any of the tanks.