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Level distribution mod with ini configurable options! Sick of spending hours on end searching for that elusive high level dino? Do you love the Island map, but hate how heavily skewed the dino levels are toward the low end? This mod fixes those issues by altering dino level distributions and gives you the ability to choose from having Ragnarok-like levels, equalizing all dino levels, or skewing the dino levels toward the high end instead of the low end. Via .ini settings, you can even tailor the specific level ranges you wish to have spawn. Best of all, this mod should work on all maps and for BOTH vanilla AND modded dinos!

Questions & Answers

What is the Mod ID number?

Mod ID number is 928708.

Does this mod work for modded dinos?

Yes, it does!** Both vanilla and modded dinos should be affected by this mod. I have personally tested the mod with Gaia, Primal Fear, and Kraken’s Better Dinos to verify this.

**Caveat: Any dinos that simply spawn into the map in the normal fashion will be affected by the mod. However, any mod that has a special spawn mechanism (ex. item summoning) will be dictated purely by that specific dino mod. An example of this is the Dreadful Rock Drake from the Gaia mod. This creature is spawned by killing another creature instead of it just spawning on the map like regular creatures. As a result, the Gaia mod has full control over its spawn levels due to this mod not being able to tap into that mod-specific spawning mechanism.

What is the default setup for the mod?

The default settings have the equalized dino levels option set to true and the full range of dino levels capable of spawning.

What do the various options do?

The mod has three main options for altering dino level distributions:

  1. Ragnarök-like levels - This will activate the same settings that maps like the Center, Ragnarök, and Crystal Isles uses. Higher levels have a boosted chance to spawn, though level weights overall are still skewed toward the lower range. Some levels outright never spawn with this setting active. On max difficulty, levels 5, 10, 30, 35, 40, 65, 70, 75, 80, 105, 110, 115, 120 and 125 will never spawn.

  2. Equalized levels – This option allows the full range of levels to spawn (using default mod settings) and gives every level and equal chance to spawn. You are just as likely to come across a level 5 dino as a level 150 dino with this option active. This is the default option for the mod. This is also the option that must be active in order to customize the minimum and maximum dino level, should you wish to do so. Further info on that is in the “How to: Using the .ini configs” discussion.

  3. High levels – This option inverts the level distribution of the vanilla game. Instead of being heavily skewed towards lower level dinos, this option heavily skews the levels toward the higher end!

Finally, the MinLevel and MaxLevel ini options allows players to customize the dino level range allowed to spawn. If you wish, you can have only a certain range of levels spawn or even just all dinos spawning in at max level!

I'm not seeing 150 max dinos. Why not?

The mod itself does not automatically set the max difficulty setting option to true. That is part of the base game. In singleplayer, you should put OverrideOfficialDifficulty=5.00 in your GameUserSettings ini under the [ServerSettings] section.

How do I make only certain dino levels spawn?

Check out the “How to: Using the .ini configs” section for the details on that and several examples.

Do wyverns and rock drakes still spawn at their higher than normal levels? What about the tek dinos?

Wyverns, rock drake, and tek dinos (once they become a thing in the game again) should still all spawn at their higher than normal values.

What about the little level 1 creatures, like jerboas?

Jerboas, glowbugs, leeds, and the boss creatures should all be unaffected by this mod. Titanosaurs and bees ARE affected by this mod, though I have added additional ini settings so players can chose whether that occurs. The mod defaults to prevent this from happening.

Does this mod work for any difficulty setting, even if it is overridden via the ini?

Yep, it respects the difficulty setting being used.

Does this mod work on modded maps?

Yes, this mod works on any map, regardless of whether they use vanilla spawners or have custom ones.

If a new dino is introduced to the game, will this mod work on it?

Yes! As soon as the new dino is introduced to the game, this mod should instantly alter its level distributions.

What happens to my tames if I remove the mod?

You keep them! The mod can be cleanly removed at any time, since it does not directly modify the dinos themselves.

Does the mod order matter?

Nope, you can put it first, last, and anywhere in between.

Do I need to do a dino wipe if I add this mod to a in-progress game/server?

A dino wipe is recommended if you want to immediately see the benefits of the mod. It will work without a wipe, but only dinos spawning AFTER the mod is installed will be affected. Dinos already spawned on the map will be unchanged.

How to: Using the .ini configs

The .ini configurations for this mod boil down to two main types: true/false booleans for what kind of level distribution you want to use and decimal values for the minimum and maximum level you want. Note that the min and max level .inis are used ONLY if you have equalized levels activated.

The three true/false options serve as switches for the mod. !!!CRITICAL!!! In order for the mod to work properly, ONLY ONE BOOLEAN OPTION SHOULD BE TRUE AT ALL TIMES. You can freely switch options at any time, just make sure to switch the old option you were using to false when you switch another one to true. I have added safety precautions to the mod so that in the event more than one Boolean option is accidentally turned on, the mod will simply go dormant (i.e. it won’t do anything) instead of crashing or doing screwy, buggy things.

Don’t worry if any of the above is confusing, as further down will show examples of how the .ini settings should look for all the main options. You can simply scroll down to the one you are interested in and copy/paste the example in if you so desire! 😊

What are the .ini configs?

These are the .ini configurations used in this mod and starting values for them. You can copy and paste these into your own ini file to have the mod start working:

[CustomLevelDistrib] MinLevel=1.0 MaxLevel=30.0 MaxDrakeLevel=38.0 MinDrakeLevel=1.0 MinDeinonLevel=1.0 MaxDeinonLevel=30.0 MinMagmaLevel=1.0 MaxMagmaLevel=30.0 WantsEqualLevels=True PreventBee=True PreventTitan=True WantsCustom=False WantsRagLevels=False WantsHighLevels=False TinyWeight=1.0 LowWeight=0.5 MediumWeight=0.25 HighWeight=0.1

Where do they go?

They go in the GameUserSettings.ini file. Navigate to where your ARK files are located and go to ARK > ShooterGame > Saved > Config > Windows to find that file. When you open that file, locate the section called [CustomLevelDistrib]. The ini options (which you should already see three of them by default) go under this section.

Example 1: INI setup for using Ragnarök-like level distributions.

If you want to activate Rag-like levels, then this is what the [CustomLevelDistrib] section of the GameUserSettings.ini file should look like:

[CustomLevelDistrib] MinLevel=1.000000 MaxLevel=30.000000 WantsEqualLevels=False WantsRagLevels=True WantsHighLevels=False

Example 2: INI setup for using equalized levels.

Good news! If you want equalized levels to be active and you also want the full range of dino levels, then you don’t need to do anything! This is the default setup of the mod. However, if you’ve changed it up and want to go back to this setup, then the below .ini config will do that:

[CustomLevelDistrib] MinLevel=1.000000 MaxLevel=30.000000 WantsEqualLevels=True WantsRagLevels=False WantsHighLevels=False

Messing with the level ranges will be discussed under “Example 4: Using the MinLevel and MaxLevel INI configs.”

Example 3: INI setup for using high levels

Here is how the .ini settings should look for this option:

[CustomLevelDistrib] MinLevel=1.000000 MaxLevel=30.000000 WantsEqualLevels=False WantsRagLevels=False WantsHighLevels=True

Example 4: Using the MinLevel and MaxLevel INI configs.

--->The first critical thing to know if you want to use these min and max level options is that you must have the WantsEqualLevels option set to true.<---

With that out of the way, a bit of background to how levels work in ARK is necessary to understand how to use MinLevel and MaxLevel. In ARK, the base dino levels range from 1 to 30 in increments of one (ex. 1, 2, 3, 4….,27, 28, 29, 30). The difficulty setting being used alters the dino levels by multiplying each of the base levels by that difficulty setting value. This is why you see dinos ranging from 5 to 150 on the max difficulty of 5.

The second critical thing to know is that this mod uses the base level range, so to figure out what value to put in the min or max level .ini option, simply divide the desired level you want by your difficulty value.

MinLevel = desired minimum level / difficulty value MaxLevel = desired maximum level / difficulty value

Here are a few examples. Say you are using the max official difficulty (5) and you only want dinos to spawn in the range of 50-150. The MinLevel should be set to 10, since 50/5 = 10. The MaxLevel should be 30, as 150/5 = 30. Your .ini will look like this:

[CustomLevelDistrib] MinLevel=10.000000 MaxLevel=30.000000 WantsEqualLevels=True WantsRagLevels=False WantsHighLevels=False

Here’s another example. You have overridden the official difficulty to 6 and you only want level 78 dinos to spawn for….reasons known only to you and your unique desires! Welp, some handy-dandy division shows that 78/6 = 13. Therefore….

[CustomLevelDistrib] MinLevel=13.000000 MaxLevel=13.000000 WantsEqualLevels=True WantsRagLevels=False WantsHighLevels=False

….will fulfill your wishes! Similarly, setting both MinLevel and MaxLevel to 30.0 will make nothing but the max level dinos spawn!

Example 5: Using other ini settings.

Here are the default settings for the mod:

PreventBee=True PreventTitan=True MaxDrakeLevel=38.0 MinDrakeLevel= 1.0 MaxDeinonLevel=30.0

Details on what these new setting can be found in the change notes. In brief, PreventBee and PreventTitan determine whether or not the titanosaur and queen bee levels are affected when either WantsEqualLevels or WantsHighLevels is set to True.

If you want to ensure the bees and titanosaur act like vanilla and only spawn in at the lowest level, keep these options set to True. If you want to have them spawn in at varying levels, like most creatures in ARK, then switch them to False:

PreventBee=False PreventTitan=False

MaxDrakeLevel sets the maximum level BOTH wyverns AND rock drakes can spawn in game. The default setting (no change from what the vanilla game has), is set to 38.0. Multiply the value here by the difficulty setting to find the max level. For example, 38 x 5 = 190, the max level for wyverns and rock drakes on difficulty 5. As another example, if you want wyverns and drakes to have a max level of 225 on difficulty 5, then this is what your ini setting should be:


Multiplying 45 x 5 = 225. MaxDeinonLevel works the exact same way.

In the same fashion, MinDrakeLevel sets the minimum level for BOTH wyverns and rock drakes. This option is useful to narrow down the level range you want specifically for the these creatures.