Ark Crystal Guide

Ark Crystal Guide – Ark: Survival Evolved

Ark: Survival Evolved gameplay relies heavily on resources. One of these resources is Crystal. While you may not find yourself needing Crystal before building your first base, it does come in handy later on.

Sometimes, all I gather Crystal for is to put an operating mirror up at my PvE base. Other times, it’s to upgrade all of my Metal gear to Tek gear. Whatever your reason for gathering Crystal is, the fact of the matter remains that Crystal is necessary to advance in Ark. Let’s begin our Ark Crystal guide by looking at what the Crystal actually is.

  • Spoiler Timer – none
  • Weight – 1.0
  • Stackable – 100
  • Craftable Items – over 140
  • Hexagon Cost -115 for 10 Crystal

Crystal is a limitless resource in Ark: Survival Evolved. It is an ore that cannot be refined nor used as fuel. But it can be used to craft over 140 items and counting. It didn’t play a huge role in the first couple of maps, but with each new map, the importance of Crystal is expanded.

What is Crystal Used For?


Crystal is more important the further you get in the game. At first, the need for Crystal is uncommon, but once you hit mid-game and start upgrading your structures/equipment, you’ll be glad you stocked up, or wish you would have.

Tek Structures

The list for Tek structures is extensive, so let me just say that you need Crystal to build any Tek structure, from doors to gateways to catwalks. To be honest, Crystal is the easiest material to gather when building Tek structures. The other materials are Metal Ingot, Element, Polymer, and occasionally Cementing Paste.

Greenhouse Structures

All of the Greenhouse structures need Crystal. Greenhouses are used to help crop plots prosper. While you will need Metal Ingot and Cementing Paste to build a greenhouse, Crystal is the primary ingredient.

Greenhouse structures are only slightly stronger than Thatch structures and much weaker than the rest. They should not be used to live in if you play on a PvP server, and instead are reserved for growing crops indoors.

Aberration Assistance

  • Gas Collector
  • Gas Mask
  • Glow Stick
  • Hazard Suit
  • Heavy Miner’s Helmet
  • Charge Battery

Crystal is used to craft almost everything you’ll need to visit the Aberration caves, even in the maps created after Aberration. In order to build a Hazard suit, charge batteries, and collect gas, you need Crystal.

Special Saddles

Rock Drake Tek Saddle

  • Rock Drake Tek Saddle
  • Megalodon Tek Saddle
  • Mosasaur Tek Saddle
  • Astrocetus Tek Saddle
  • Rex Tek Saddle
  • Tapejara Tek Saddle
  • Astrodelphis Starwing Saddle
  • Tropeognathus Saddle

Most saddles do not require Crystal, but there are a few that do. These saddles include Tek saddles and certain saddles with weapons attached.

Tek Weapons

  • Tek Gravity Grenade
  • Tek Grenade
  • Tek Grenade Launcher
  • Tek Shield
  • Tek Shoulder Cannon
  • Tek Sword
  • Tek Bow
  • Tek Rifle
  • Tek Claws
  • Tek Phase Pistol

All Tek items require Crystal, but to make things easier, I’ve outlined the Tek weapons available, as you probably want to know what you can make in the future. The Tek Sword is a popular choice because it isn’t exceedingly costly but still packs a punch when something catches you off-guard. Personally, I find Tek Claws to be the most progressive, and downright fun Tek weapon.

Tek Equipment

  • Unassembled TEK Hover Skiff
  • Tek Teleporter
  • Tek Transmitter
  • Tek Generator
  • Tek Hoversail
  • Tek Jump Pad
  • Tek Light
  • Tek Remote Camera
  • Tek Replicator
  • Tek Sensor

Along with a full Tek suit, you can build numerous other useful Tek items with Crystal. These items aren’t for combat, but they can make life a lot easier.

The Hoversail from Genesis 2 is my favorite Tek item to date. It’s like a cross between the Flying Nimbus and a Maewing, only it runs on Element.

Misc. Combat Gear

Riot Helmet

  • Riot Helmet
  • Riot Shield
  • SCUBA Mask
  • Unassembled Enforcer
  • Unassembled Mek
  • Transponder Node
  • Transponder Tracker
  • Tripwire Narcotic Trap
  • C4 Charge
  • C4 Remote Detonator
  • Cluster Grenade
  • Cannon Shell
  • Cruise Missile
  • Electric Prod
  • Homing Underwater Mine
  • Improvised Explosive Device
  • Poison Grenade
  • Rocket Homing Missile
  • Rocket Pod
  • Rocket Propelled Grenade

As you can see, the ways you can use Crystal to improve your ability to protect yourself, and ensure that your dinos have their best chance against enemies, is alluring, to say the least.

Misc. Tools And Accessories

  • Spyglass
  • Spraypainter
  • Camera
  • Desert Goggles
  • Electronic Binoculars
  • Flashlight Attachment
  • Scope Attachment
  • Magnifying Glass
  • Mining Drill
  • Mirror
  • Night Vision Goggles
  • Radio

While tools won’t change the way you play Ark, they can speed up the process of gathering times and simply improve the quality of your life. Simple things like a Spyglass can make spotting creatures easier, while items like the Camera can help you find the small joys in life.

Misc. Crafting And Structures (Base Life)

  • Vacuum Compartment
  • Vacuum Compartment Moonpool
  • Toilet
  • Air Conditioner
  • Cryofridge
  • Cryopod
  • Oil Pump
  • Chemistry Bench
  • Cloning Chamber
  • Egg Incubator
  • Industrial Forge
  • Industrial Grill
  • Industrial Grinder
  • Fabricator
  • Lamppost
  • Refrigerator

Now, this is my favorite category. You can transform your base with Crystal and a few mid-game items like it. Air Conditioners and Egg Incubators can make hatching eggs a breeze while Refrigerators and Oil Pumps can take the rough grind out of gaming.

Best Ways To Gather Crystal

Gather Crystal

For early game needs, you can use a stone pickaxe on Crystal nodes, which will yield a very small amount of Crystal. But if you want to optimize your time and effort, then use one of these methods.

Metal Pick

This may be the most common way to harvest Crystal because you can always carry it without, even without a Cryopod. You can keep your pick with you and harvest Crystal when you find it instead of making a special trip for it.


The Anky is the single best Crystal gatherer. If you need Metal and Crystal, take an hour or two with your Ankylosaurus and you will be set for weeks.



The Mantis is a special creature because it can hold tools just like you can. Just hand the tools to your Mantis and it can gather much better than almost anything else.

The best part is that it has no weakness as far as gathering is concerned. So if you need everything, from Salt to Thatch, then the Mantis is your jack-of-all-trades.


Strangely enough, the Dunkleosteus is great at gathering Crystal. So if you find underwater Crystal that your pickaxe isn’t compatible with, a Dunkelosteus is a safe bet. They’re also a wonderful metal-harvester.

Where To Find Crystal

Crystal isn’t quite as predictably placed as Wood or Metal, which are quick finds on any map. Luckily, I know exactly where to find Crystal on each map in Ark: Survival Evolved.

The Island

On The Island, Crystal can be found throughout the map. however, it is most plentiful in the top left corner, where you can find thousands of Crystal in minutes.

The Center

Crystal has loads of Crystal. The center of the map, no pun intended, yields the greatest supply. Aside from in the Redwood Biome, Crystal is always found in great amounts.

Scorched Earth

Scorched Earth

On Scorched Earth, Crystal is a bit rare. You can find it all around the west coast, but the largest deposits are on the Southern Mountains and Northern West Mountains.


Crystal is an easy find on Ragnarok. You can find the most on the right side of the Southwest Tropics, Dragonmilte Trench, and to the west of Viking Bay.


On Aberration, Crystal is located all over the map with the exception of the element region of the map. The surface yields the most with the blue region right behind it.



You won’t have trouble finding Crystal on Extinction. There isn’t a hot spot for it, but you won’t travel far without finding a few deposits.


You may be able to find a few good deposits of Crystal in the Redwood and beyond, but if you need a substantial amount of it, then head up to the snowy mountains. That’s by the far the best place to get Crystal on Valguero.

Genesis: Part 1

Crystal is present in all of the biomes, but it is most plentiful in the top left segment and the bottom right segment. You won’t find much in the ocean or the snowy biome.

Genesis: Part 2

Rich Crystal can only be found in Space, the area between the segments, but you can find regular Crystal in every biome, with the Western biomes yielding twice as much.

Crystal Isles

Crystal Isles

It’s called Crystal Isles for a reason. The orange crystals found around the map often have Crystal in them. But if you want something familiar, check the center of the map, near Copper Peaks.

Lost Island

Zaunaloa and Corsair regions have a lot of Crystal. On Lost Island, Crystal is found in average amounts, but if you don’t want to spend an hour running around looking for it, check these two areas.

Transporting Crystal

The following creatures reduce the weight of Crystal by 50%.

  • Argentavis
  • Ravager
  • Dunkleosteus

However, a pairing of good gatherers and good pack-mules is ideal. My personal method? Grab yourself an Anky to gather the Crystal and transfer it to an Argentavis. Max weight on the Argie and put the Anky in a Cryopod. This way, you can make it home without running into trouble.

Alternatively, you can take either of the two out alone. If you use the Argentavis alone and use a pickaxe to gather Crystal, then you won’t gather as much. But if you use the Ankylosaurus alone, then you won’t be able to fly straight home.

Basic Crystal vs Gems vs Other Crystals

Blue Gems

Before Crystal Isles, Crystal was easy to spot and always looked the same. But since Crystal Isles was released, it’s easier to confuse Crystal for Gems, which are a completely different item.

Gems existed long before Crystal Isles, but the Isles have multiple colors of Crytal nodes, all giving the same white Crystal. For this reason, allow me to break down the difference between Crystal and colored Gems.

Crystal/Gem Description Maps Use
Crystal (Standard) This is the Crystal that I’ve been referring to today. Most of the time, it’s small and white, but in certain instances, such as on the Crystal Isles, it can be large and orange. All Over 140 Items
Blue Gems This gem is found in Aberration caves, in the wild, and in Roll Rat burrows Aberration and beyond 12 items, most notably, the Hazard Suit
Red Gems This gem is found in Aberration caves, in red and purple deposits,  and in Roll Rat burrows Aberration and beyond Charge Lantern,


 Gas Collector,

 Rock Drake Saddle,

 Tek Phase Pistol,

 Tek Railgun

Green Gems This gem is found in Aberration caves, in the wild, and in Roll Rat burrows Aberration and beyond Basilisk Saddle, Element,Gasoline,


Glow Stick, Roll Rat Saddle, Tek Phase Pistol 

Gacha Crystal Blue formations that Gachas drop periodically, contains a random item Extinction, Genesis: Part 2 Collect them and open to find common to very rare items
Primal Crystal Gathered from unconscious Crystal Wyverns, and eaten by Crystal Wyverns Crystal Isles Crytal Wyverns need Primal Crystals to tame and to raise to adulthood
Element Crystal Dark blue crystals on Eldritch Isle from which you can get Element Crystal Isles Nodes to harvest Element from


Question: Is Crystal On Every Map?

Answer: Yes. Crystal has been around since the first map, The Island, was released. It is canon in every vanilla map regardless of the mods added.

Question: Are There Mods With Crystal?

Answer: Yes. There are some mods that add to the utilization of Crystal. For example, Awesome Spyglass requires Crystal to create. The upgraded Spyglass lets you know the stats of creatures from further away and makes them easier to see.

Question: Do I Have To Gather Crystal?

Answer: You don’t have to gather Crystal, but if you want to move past early game and upgrade from metal to Tek gear, then it is highly recommended. Certain creatures cannot be ridden without saddles made with Crystal either.

Final Notes On Crystal In Ark

Crystal plays a crucial role in crafting in Ark: Survival Evolved, and in order to advance in the game, you need to use it. At first, you won’t need more than a few hundred, which can be gathered in one node. But soon enough, you will find yourself looking for fields of Crystal. I do hope that this Ark Crystal guide assisted you in finding that Crystal and making the most of it.

Continue reading related Ark guides:

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