The Biggest Mistakes That Slow Down Your Mutation Breeding

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When breeding for mutations and practising mutation stacking, you can run into the problem of progressing way too slow. Sometimes this is just bad luck, other times you have influence over the speed of the mutation happening. I will tell you the 5 most common reasons why your mutation stacking is progressing way too slow.

You are not using enough females

This is a very delicate topic especially when you are talking about server owners who are worried about the performance of their servers being threatened by many dinos out in the open. It’s not a secret that more tries on breeding for a mutation will give you a higher possibility of getting the mutation on the stat you are looking for. When people come to me, asking me why they won’t get a mutation even tho they were breeding for weeks, they often only used 10-20 females and no mutator or other mod that positively influenced their chances. That is way too little. We have made a tool that can help to calculate your chances depending on how many females you are using.

If you are using 20 females on normal settings without a mod, you have a very little chance to succeed as you can see here.

Not enough females for mutation stacking in ARK

It’s not impossible, but you really need a lot of luck.

Check out the link above and play a little with the slider to see what might be the perfect number for you depending on your settings or on your dinosaur cap on the server you play on.

You breed mutated with mutated

This is for sure the second-biggest reason why mutating slows down and even comes to a halt altogether.  You have maybe combined stats on one dino and didn’t realize one of them or two were already mutated and now the mutations have been adding up and one of the parents is already level capped without getting a real mutation or just after a short time in.

The number 1 rule that you have to follow is, to never breed mutated with mutated but to keep one parent always unmutated. Even if you don’t agree with the normal mutation stacking approach of many females and one male, this rule will still apply to you.

The reason is that the mutation counter adds up when you breed two mutated dinos. So if the mother has 5 mutations and the father has 7 then the mutation counter of the offspring will show 12, regardless even tho it didn’t get any new mutations. And the game will handle those 12 also as if it was 12 mutations. So if you then breed this 12 mutation animal to another 8 mutation animal, you will end up with offspring that has 20 mutations and therefore is capped and cannot get a new mutation. This can’t happen when one parent stays unmutated.

I know this is probably the most confusing concept in mutation breeding but even if you don’t understand why this happens, if you keep in mind to always have one parent unmutated, you will avoid these problems.

You don’t use your time efficiently

Using your time efficiently especially when on official servers can be the key to faster mutations. Be aware that when you decide to breed on official servers, it can feel like a job. Long cooldown timers, long timers between imprints can make it hard to proper plan your breeding. One thing that always helped me was to breed several different animals at the same time and not waiting for being finished with one before starting the other. That way I could use the waiting time in-between mating cooldowns. How much time you want to invest, is up to you. But especially if you don’t have that much time, you want to make the best out of it.

If you have your own server, you should consider using mods like Structures Plus to save some time. There is no shame in using mods making game mechanics easier that are meant to be a bottleneck to assure year long activities in a game. Especially when you don’t want to commit to playing the same game for years.

Another way to play more efficiently when having your own server is by boosting the breeding multipliers enough, so you always have something to do in the game. This is especially helpful when you can only play a short amount of time per day or week.

You breed all stats on one male

One thing I see people asking me is why I split up all stats between different males and don’t breed everything on one male. This is quite easy. If you have all important stats on one male, you always need to make sure, that this male also inherits all the other mutated stats every single time you get a new mutation. That is almost impossible since there is only a 55% chance per stat that you would get the better stat.

Trying it over and over again until you get the right and fitting combination can take so much longer, and you don’t really want to trust your luck into this. Look at the difference of what has to happen in order to get the “right offspring”.



All on one male

One male per stat

  • inherit the fathers stat (1) (55%)
  • inherit the fathers stat (2) (55%)
  • inherit the fathers stat (3) (55%)
  • inherit the fathers stat (4) (55%)
  • inherit the fathers stat (5) (55%)
  • inherit the fathers stat (6) (55%)
  • get a mutation
    (67 x 7.3%)
  • inherit the one fathers stat you care about (55%)
  • get a mutation on it (7.3%/7)

As you can see on the left side are a lot more switches that need to be true in order for you to get the perfect offspring. Hoping that you hit the jackpot there every single time is very optimistic.

Fun fact: Breeding 2 mutations on one male can be more efficient, when you are lucky.  (0.63% vs. 0.57% chance) It’s not by a lot, and it might also be dreading to get a mutation on the right stat but not getting the better second stat which is why I wouldn’t recommand it for frustration-reasons.

Chance to get the right mutation and all better stats when you care only about…

  • 1 stat: 0.57%
  • 2 stats: 0.63%
  • 3 stats: 0.52%
  • 4 stats: 0.38%
  • 5 stats: 0.26%
  • 6 stats: 0.17%

You care about colours before you care about stats

I see people combining colours on their breeder animals and then do mutation stacking after and reintroduce the wanted colours back into the breeders because every mutation also changes a random colour. This is super inefficient. Rather combine the colours on one animal that you keep for the end of mutation stacking, and then you combine your finished stats on the coloured animal. That way you can also save every colour during breeding, that you are interested in. That way you can probably reach your goal in just half the matings. I often have what I call my “blueprint-animals” who already carry the colours like I plan to combine them later. Here it doesn’t even matter how many mutations these animals have because they only get reintroduced into your breeding line when you are already done mutating.

If you are further interested in mutations and mutation stacking, check out these articles: