ARK: Survival Evolved – How to Get Fertilizer


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Ark: Survival Evolved brought a new perspective to the survival genre. With a variety of both peaceful and aggressive dinosaurs, you will need to survive and thrive in the ark. One surprising item that can be of help is fertilizer.

Related: The Best Items In Ark: Survival Evolved

Fertilizer is used to make crops grow quickly. This is not necessary, but it will certainly make your farm a little more efficient. In this guide we will go over how to get fertilizer. There are different varieties of fertilizers, so let’s take a look at these available types first.

Types of fertilizers

creatures lined up, pooping

via Glitter34 / Steam

In total there are eight types of fertilizers. They will fertilize for different amounts of time.

Type Efficiency time
Human faeces 10 minutes
Small animal faeces 25 minutes
Medium animal feces 1 hour 15 minutes
Large animal faeces 2 hours 30 minutes
Massive animal feces 5 hours 50 minutes
Snow Owl Pellet 8 hours 20 minutes
Fertilizer 9 hours
Bone meal fertilizer 15 hours

Snow owl balls and bone meal fertilizer are part of the expansions and are not included in the base game. For this reason, we’ll be referring to the base game items in this guide, with some fertilizer on top.

Where to find fertilizer

inside the compost bin inventory

via Waifu 27 / YouTube simulator

To make fertilizer you will need combine any type of feces with thatch in a compost bin. This can be done by placing at least 50 thatch and three feces in the tray. After about 50 minutes you will be given a fertilizer.

The composter is a level 15 craftable item; to unlock this engram you will also need the storage box. Below you can check out the materials needed to make the compost bin.

  • 50 Wood
  • 15 Thatch
  • 12 Fiber

Once your composter is built, all you have to do is throw in some droppings and thatch, then wait 50 min.

Above, we talked about each type of feces in relation to fertilizers. The total holdover time for three faeces is less than that of a fertilizer. For example, if you decide to use only three human droppings, they will only last about 30 minutes, compared to the actual time of nine hours for a fertilizer. All feces except massive animal feces are more effective when converted to fertilizer. If you were to use three massive animal droppings on a crop plot, it would last over 15 hours.

Globally, you need to place all faeces other than massive faeces in a compost bin. With massive animal droppings, you can put three of them in a crop plot and get better results than just one fertilizer.

How to get feces

Feces, or poo, can be collected from any non-aquatic creature; even yourself. How often a creature poops depends on how much food it eats. In addition, certain foods will speed up this process.

You can find droppings anywhere that land creatures are found. While wandering in an area, they will poop; this can be picked up. If you’ve tamed creatures, you can give them Stimberries to increase the number of droppings produced.

To make a fertilizer, you will only need three feces. It’s not a lot, so you should be able to find some fairly easily.

Remember, the size of the faeces has no impact on the quality of the fertilizer made in the compost bin. For this reason, you can use human or small animal droppings and get the same results if you used larger types of droppings.

Dung beetles

close-up of dung beetle

Finally, you can get fertilizer from dung beetles. This giant beetle goes convert all excrement placed in his inventory into fertilizer and oil. While a compost bin takes 50 minutes to process feces and thatch, it will only take about 15 minutes for a dung beetle to create fertilizer.

Dung beetles will produce more fertilizer if they receive larger droppings. For example, a human excrement will convert to a fertilizer and an oil, while a massive animal excrement will convert to 16 fertilizers and seven to oil.

You can find dung beetles in deep caves. It is a passive creature that can be tamed by non-violent methods.

How to use the fertilizer

crop plots and irrigation system

via The Last Lord of Ember / Steam

Now that you have your fertilizer, let’s see how to use it. One fertilizer will provide 54,000 units of fertilization to your crops. For this reason, it is the most efficient method of fertilizing crops. Once a plant is fully developed, the fertilizer will continue to fertilize for almost seven days.

To use fertilizer, stand next to a crop plot and press the “Use” button. This will open the plot inventory, allowing you to place the fertilizer inside.

With seeds and a water source present, your crops will begin to grow. Fertilizer lasts a long time, so after setting up your growing plot, you won’t have to worry about fertilizer for a while.

That’s all there is to know about fertilizers! While you can survive by eating meat, you should definitely invest in a few growing plots and composting bins. Berries and crops are important for taming, creating dyes, and eating.

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