Starfield | Not Wanting Involvement
I have spent a fair amount of my time living off a raft in Ark Survival Evolved over the years. Done right it is like having a mobile base with resources to help you along, repair, and have a respawn point when needed. You can make them have enough area on them to haul back a bunch of tamed dinosaurs s or just giant floating storage units for hauling things back and forth. Other than running into the wrong kind of sea creatures that will devour the things. They are great on a PvE or private server. They are somewhat easy to blow up in PvP so not always the best choice.
Applications For A Raft
Back in the old days, I use to spend just time trying come up with a few different designs to fit different needs. In the end, I always settled on a simple but great design one for my day to day operations. One that could hold a few dinosaurs if you are good at stacking them on the roof. While still leaving you with storage and crafting options inside the main cabin itself. I could take it deep into swamps or even caves if they had a waterway inside.
Friends could log in at base camp and use the bed system in Ark to teleport over to the raft. Where I had an extra gear set up since you drop everything using this method of transportation. This also meant when you needed to log for the day you just had to store gear on the raft and teleport back to base. Logging out on the raft was bound to result in death and your gear not being ever found. It is often best to remain on solid ground when needing to take a break.
This also meant I could deploy rafts all around the map for different farming areas. Teleport over to the raft with gear ready there to use and farm out an area. Then I just had to store everything and teleport back to base or another place with a bed. After a while, when enough supplies have been farmed to make it worth the trip back. You simply drove the raft home to unload before taking it out again. This really made things quite effective. Even a small team of players on a private server could farm quite a lot of resources at different locations.
I recall quite a few times where we farmed so much metal off this one mountain the 20 min flyer trip back with the limitations of weight was no longer worthwhile. As such we simply just drove out a raft with all the supplies we needed to be filled with 1000’s of wood to fuel the forges for smelting at the location. Then use the birds to fly off the mountain and offload onto the raft.
Since you can build them your way they are quite diverse. They simply have an item limit as far as I’m aware. Unless things have changed over time. You can even craft one better than the raft called a Motorboat. Sadly the resources to craft it like black pearls more than likely means I won’t be having one of those any time soon if ever on my current play thought of it. Instead of being powered by the sail they burn gas and move quite faster than the raft. Still one must have goals and dreams of rafting around the seas as quick as possible.
I like to furnish with 1 refining forge in case I need to smelt metal. One smithy for repairing and crafting if needed. Two beds one on the inside and one on the top of the raft house in case one of the beds gets destroyed. Three campfires so no matter where I end up I can survive the nights if it gets extremely cold and in case one gets taken out I’m not short. I also like to have two Mortar and Pestles for crafting more narcotic, spark powder, or gunpowder if needed. At least four large storage boxes since I’ve been known to bring back a lot of stuff and there nothing worse than running out of space. Finally a preserving bin for storing eggs, meat, or anything else that I loot that could spoil to increase how long it lasts. To be able to fit everything for these needs you have to think about a design that will allow it
The Design Itself
It is nothing revolutionary. in fact, if you are an Ark Survival veteran to the game or just someone that been around for a fair amount of time this might not be anything new to you. These tricks used to even build on this raft are just things you learn along the way when trying to build other things and having to get the game to understand what you want it to do. I would not be surprised even if others are have come with similar designs. At least from my own logical thinking, it just makes sense to do it this way. Even more so after quite a few trial and errors and long-term testing of things.
Once you hit level 16 you finally get to craft a raft. Most of the times just going around on a pain one to find a new and open area is great. Once you have time to build it up you can build a house like structure on it.
First, you need to build a foundation on it. I would recommend Stone as its just thicker and easier to deal with. You might notice as you try and place it down on the raft itself that there are no snapping points. It slimily just will not go down how you want it to.
The trick to getting a snapping point is to lower the sail. Go to where that sail hole is in the raft and place down a wooden rail as straight as you can. Next, you will want to put a wooden pillar on top of this. Have it on the edge of the raft. It if sticks out a little bit form the raft that is fine. If the edge of the pillar on the leading outside is however in a few inches inside the raft you need to remove the railing and try again.
Now you are able to place down the stone foundation. I like to put the first one down to the right of the pillar. Once that is done and it looks like you can fit three total stone foundations you will want remove the wooden pillar and railing. After that, you can just place down the foundations in a three by three. Don’t forget the center foundation! If you are happy with this size you can move on to building up.
If you are like me and want something a little longer it can be extended out using a trick. On the front of the raft (where the sail was) place a row of three thatched ceilings off the edge extending the structure out by one block. You will now find you can place a stone foundation under the thatch ceilings. Once you are done you can remove the thatched ceilings as they are no longer needed. While you could extend the raft out more including the sides if you wish. There is a building limitation and I’m not quite sure what the current builds count is. As such I find this big enough for my needs.
Next, it is time to make some judgment calls. I prefer to make mine be two walls in height. Some people like just having one but I don’t like the animations issues that can cause. I also like to have two doors on either end. One at the front and one at the back where you steer from so I don’t get trapped on the raft. Using wooden ramps to get up to the doors helps when you are in the water. Finally, I prefer to only have two windows in the front for accessing storage inside. Some like to have all windows, others no windows at all. Finally, you need to add a roof and close the structure in with walls.
For the next step, you need to think about how you wish to use the indoor space. I like to use catwalks on the second level to put my forge and smithy up and out of harm’s way for most dinosaurs that could get inside. I also have three campfires in case one gets taken out to keep me warm. You can see I placed one storage each in front of both the windows for easy unloading. From there I can transfer without much effort into other storage devices. I also have my first bed on the one side away from everything else. While you can put it under the catwalks you can get stuck and need to duck to move. So I left it space to not have this issue when spawning on the raft.
From a few on the other side, you can see I have a preserve bin sitting on a catwalk to keep it out of the way as well. Along with seeing how I have my other items placed that are not being blocked from view of the storage.
The final touches are adding a ramp up to the top of the roof. This allows you to bring dinosaurs up top and transport them from trips back home. Just remember things like Giganotosaurus do not fit on rafts in the first place so no need to even try! I also put a spare bed up there. In the event, I get killed back to back or the bed in lower section gets taken out. I have two spawn points. It’s also helpful if you are in a group and have some spawn options since they have cooldowns.
While it does look ugly and you might want spic things up by changing the layout. I find it meets my needs and gives me many options when facing the unknown. You can also make this out of metal as I tend to do later on. I don’t really recommend thatch or wood. It just breaks to easy. Make sure to park this near the land so it’s not taken out by anything in the water. Storing dinosaurs long term on this could cause them to glitch out and drawn or be lost in the water. Same can happen to people who log out on the raft and it moves.
Things I Bring Along
I’ve been known to go on some very long expeditions in my raft house. Sometimes days to even a week on end if not longer. As such I like to keep it fully stocked just for when I get the itch to go out and into a different area. After arriving at the location and realizing you forgot stuff after traveling for an hour is not fun.
- 2 full sets of Flak gear
- 1 set of Fur gear if I have it
- 500 wood
- 200 thatch
- 200 stone
- 300 arrows
- 300 Metal Ingot
- 200 hide
- 200 spark powder
- 100+ Tranquilizer Darts
- 50 Cooked Meat
- 2 spare canteen
- 2 spare metal picks
- 2 spare pikes
- 2 spare metal hatches
- 1 spare crossbow
- 1 spare longneck rifle
If I’m taking people with me I might bring even more up to double the amounts per person for most of the items. When a group wipes no one wants to be waiting around or find out we lack the resources to gear back up. With there being two beds on the raft chances are we get to respawn there and not all the way back at the base. Where a basic resource raft will be set up with some gear to rush back if need be.
I can always cook more food on the raft if needed. While I will have resources to craft or repair all these items on the raft with me. I prefer to have backups ready to go in case I get killed. That way I get back right away and not sit around to craft. Depending on how far inland I tend to travel after I find an area I might even take a spare of everything with me. Since I can’t repair on the go without having the right dinosaur(s) when I don’t have access to a smithy it is just best to be repaired. Nothing worse than having to run all the way back to the raft or even hour or more away back to base just to pick up needed supplies.
As far as dinosaurs I like to go light. Since the goal tends to be to go out and find things not in my local area to tame I prefer to keep the roof of the raft as clear as possible to bring back more things. With that said If I have a Direbear that is a must-have for me otherwise I would take a Raptor or even the Trike you see in the screenshot in its place.
I’ll also take a flyer with me to do scouting in an area to make sure it’s safe and to explore before going in on foot. I prefer an Argentavis since it has higher weight carrying ability and can pick up smaller dinosaurs and kill them in midair. That ability can also be great if I build myself a taming box or build a taming raft if I find an area crawling with things I want to take back with me. It then just becomes as easy as picking up something small enough and making sure you drop it in the boxed in area and hitting it with a tranquilizer from an open window or door.
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