How do Blueprint work in ARK Survival Evolved?


I was asked by someone from the community on how to get improved items. So how do you get better shotguns than the shotgun you can craft in the crafting menu. This is a topic that is so obvious to me because I’ve been playing for so long that I never thought about doing an article on it, so thanks for the question!

As you level up in the game, you will gradually unlock access to new blueprints. You can then craft these at the appropriate crafting stations. However, these are the standard variants of the items. While these are good and helpful for starters, once you get further into the game you’ll want to use improved versions of these items. To do this, you can either find better items or blueprints. These let you craft improved versions for a higher material price.

However, these blueprints can be even further improved so that you can get even better items. I’ll show you how that works.

This is a blueprint of the level “Journeyman”. There are different quality levels, Primitive (white), Ramshackle (green), Apprentice (blue), Journeyman (pink), Mastercraft (yellow) and Ascendant (turquoise). All of these qualities range in both weapon damage and durability. However, they overlap at the ends. For example, a blueprint in mastercraft yellow may be better than an ascendant blueprint in turquoise. Therefore, it is always worth looking at the stats first, because if a blueprint has the lower level, it will cost significantly less resources, even if they are higher in stats. This is the first rule you have to keep in mind about the blueprints. The values are more important than the colours.

For example, if we compare these two blue blueprints, we can see that the blue apprentice blueprint, which is actually lower tier, has almost twice the durability, almost the same weapon damage, but only costs about 50% less. This would make the blue blueprint a lot more attractive than the pink one.

Now you could just put this apprentice blueprint in your workbench and start crafting and be happy. But since we want to get more out of this, let’s talk about crafting skill and how it affects the quality of the items you make.

Crafting skill is a stat that you can level on your player. This increases the crafting speed in your inventory, but it also allows you to get higher quality items out of blueprints. But how does this work?

For every point you put into crafting skill, you get 10% on top of the stat. For every 10%, the maximum crafting bonus increases by 0.5%. The maximum value is not guaranteed. So it’s a bit of gambling to get a good roll. But let’s look at this in an example. My example character is level 105, has all 104 level points in crafting skill and is therefore at 1140% – 100% that we started with, so 1040%. Since there is 0.5% extra per 10%, we have to divide our crafting skill by 20 and then we get 52. 52% is the highest maximum we can get with a craft. It is important to note that the added value does not refer to the complete value of the blueprint, but to everything that is higher than the base value.

Let’s show this with an example.

For this shotgun, 155.2% – 100% weapon damage would be calculated, since 100% is the base value. This makes 55.2% and from this the game would then calculate the bonus. In our case this makes 52% of 55.2%. 28.7, so if we wanted to get a weapon with the maximum possible weapon damage, this would be 155.2+28.7 = 183.9%.

The calculation works the same way for other values on the Blueprint. This also means that the higher the value of the Blueprint is, the more likely you should craft with a “crafter character” – that is a player character who has all points in crafting skill only, because if you already use a large amount of materials to craft an item, then this should also get the largest possible bonus.

It is important to note, however, that there is no lower limit on the scale of possible bonuses. So you can get 0% on an item despite a highly leveled crafter. However, it is always worth it since every bonus is better than the pure blueprint.

In this picture you can see two blueprints, each crafted twenty times with 1140% crafting skill. The superior blueprint is 328.2% weapon damage – the highest shotgun here is

442.2% weapon damage and that is bonus of 50%, so close to the maximum.

The Journeyman build plan for the shotgun has a weapon damage of 222% and gets a weapon value of 285.3% out of it here. That is a bonus of 51.9%

Crafting skill can be used for more than just blueprints. In case you want to create your own recipes, crafting skill will positively influence your recipe quality and thus also the food or liquid value of your recipe. There will be a separate video on the subject of recipes, but just in case you already know how they work, here’s a hint.

What about Focal Chili?

Contrary to popular belief, Focal Chili also boosts the quality of the blueprints—it does not. However, it does help with one thing and that is your own recipes. Here Focal Chili boosts the quality once again. So make sure you have the buff active if you want to create a recipe.

Things to know and restrictions

We just talked about the calculations that are made for weapon damage. But we also have armour blueprints and here, of course, there is no weapon damage, but armour values. And therefore: -The same is true for armour and other items with qualities as you can see here with the flak chest.

However, there is some limitation to this system and that is that weapons, armour and saddles have a cap on what stats they can get. These are lower on official servers than in the vanilla game. For example, weapons can only have a weapon damage to 249% and saddles an armour value of 124%. On unofficial servers there are similar limits, but they are much higher. Weapons can get a maximum of 755.3% weapon damage here, for example.

Another restriction mainly affects TEK blueprints and fishing rods:

These often come with a limit of 3 crafts, then the blueprint disappears. So here you should definitely use a crafter character to get the best out of it.

How do you get a crafter?

You can either create a secondary character that you only level in Crafting Skill or use the Mindwipe Tonic to reset and reassign your points. This will also allow you to temporarily make a crafter out of your existing character. After crafting, use the tonic again to restore your normal level distribution. Since this also involves relearning engrams, it’s worth crafting multiple items after levelling a crafter, rather than just one.


Tiia is a bilingual Content Creator for the game ARK: Survival Evolved. She has over 12k hours experience in the game and her main interest is the complex breeding mechanic in ARK.

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