How to defeat the Dragon

Dragon Arena

The Dragon fight is one of the more challenging encounters you will experience in ARK. A lot of people who had a really easy time, fighting the Broodmother and the Megapithecus will experience big losses during the Dragon fight. The Dragon is the third boss on The Island and has been reused several times during community map boss encounters. It’s challenging nature intrigues and scares players at the same time.

On which maps do the Dragon spawn?

  • The Island – As the third boss
  • Ragnarok – Together with the Manticore
  • Valguero – As part of the triple boss encounter
  • Fjordur – As part of the normal bosses

Group size recommendation: 

Solo Player Boss: ⭐⭐⭐
Group Player Boss: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Dangers of the Dragon:

The dangers of the Dragon lay in his attacks, his environment, and his minions—So basically everything is dangerous. It is in direct contrast to the other bosses where some slacking preparation would not mean you wipe at the fight. The Dragon fight will punish any form of bad preparation.

The Dragon has various attacks that can be very painful to the player and his tames: 

Fire breath: sets the player and his tame on fire

Spitting fireballs: Explosion on the player and his tames – sets both on fire

Bites: Massive bite

The arena offers some dangers as well: 

The temperature in the Dragon arena is pretty high and that requires you to put points into fortitude, bring soups and maybe even iced water, especially because you need to wear heavy armour during the fight.

In the middle of the arena is a lava river that can get animals stuck when you are not on point with your whistles. There are also many ruin structures that will get tames stuck when they spread too much over the area.


While the Pteranodon minions are kind of adorable – the Dimorphodons will hit you by surprise. Dimorphodons are one for the few dinos who will directly attack the rider instead of the dino they sit on. They will easily get through high level armour when you ignore them for too long. I usually bring one set of fresh armour per minion phase with me—which is 2-3 sets of high level flak or riot armour. It is terrible for temperatures but keeps you alive.


The best tames against the Dragon:


  • 1 Yutyrannusaurus
  • 19 Megalosaurus

There are several strategies people will insist that they are the only one viable strategy to defeat the Dragon, but there are countless which all work one way or the other. I chose Yuty and Megalosaurus because both dinosaurs are available on The Island.

When using the Megalosaurus, it’s important to do the fight at night, otherwise they will only do half the damage. You also need to make sure to position the Megalosaurus in front of the Dragon and between you and the Dragon. The Dragon will not attack them but try to get to you while the Megalosaurus will block him.


Alternative tames that would also work:

  • One Deinonychus per person attending
  • Shadowmanes
  • Woolly Rhino with Yuty
  • Therizinosaurus with Yuty


Stat recommendations for the Megapithecus:


  • Megalosaurus – Does not need to be mutated decent saddles and imprint will do.
  • Yuty – Imprinted and good saddle, max 20k into life not more (fire is %-damage)


  • Megalosaurus – Health is not important since we don’t plan getting attacked, around 480% Melee (60 points) birth stats
    • Level into Melee, good saddle, imprint
  • Yuty – Imprinted and good saddle, max 20k into life not more (fire is %-damage)


  • Megalosaurus – Health is not important since we don’t plan getting attacked, around 713% Melee (100 points) birth stats
    • Level into Melee, provide GOOD saddles, imprint
  • Yuty – Imprinted and good saddle, max 20k into life not more (fire is %-damage)

People have seemed to be successful against Alpha dragon even with non-mutated Megalosaurus, but I prefer a fast fight over a close fight. You can try it with lower stats but expect losses. If you just want to unlock the Tek Engrams, go for it! 


Alternative strategy for the Dragon with herbivores

Rhino in green and blue

When you are in a group, you can also use herbivores to defeat the Dragon. Herbivores take less fire damage and also can heal themselves with cave. Popular choices are Woolly Rhino and Therizinosaurus. Provide these with 5-10 veggie cakes each. Make sure enough animals are actually ridden by players.


Alternative strategy for the Dragon with Deinonychus

deino dragon screenshot

Defeating the Dragon with the Deinonychus is probably the easiest solution, but I don’t suggest it as the first solution because Deinonychus are not available on every server but only on Valguero and Fjordur. The bleeding attack of the Deinonychus will melt the high health Dragon within a short amount of time. This can be done alone or with a group but make sure you have only ridden Deinos.

Apply the buff with the highest level Deino to the group for a damage buff.

Important: Don’t use the gliding jump with the Deinonychus in the Dragon arena because you will fly through the forcefield wall since it ignores the Deinonychus glide and will let you fly right into the void.

Further information: