Ark Caves Guide: All Island Cave Locations And Rewards

Developed by Studio Wildcard, Ark: Survival Evolved is an action-adventure video game that encompasses prehistoric dinosaurs and beautiful vistas with survival at its core. A major part of the game consists of roaming and discovering the large landscape of islands, collecting loot, and beating foul creatures to death by whatever tools you could get hands-on. You can do it all conveniently while roaming the surface, but when it comes to diving underwater or exploring caves, the game gets a whole lot more challenging and exciting at the same time. Ark caves are home to some rare items such as artifacts and contain rewarding loot items.

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In the current state of Ark: Survival Evolved game, there are ten official maps. Some of the maps have caves on the surface, underwater, and a few have on both. For the guide’s sake, we have covered the location of all caves in ‘The Island’ map only. This is the only map that features a total of eleven caves; the highest number of caves in a single map. So, in our guide we have mentioned all the dangers players will encounter while roaming inside them and different types of loot rarities and artifacts to find.   

Central Cave

In order to reach the  Central Cave, you need to go to 41.5° Lat, 46.9° Lon coordinates. Finding the cave is not even hard as it is located at the very center of ‘The Island’ map. You can enter the cave on foot or bring along your tamable small-sized creature, such as a bear. However, since the cave has narrow corridors and a short height entrance, bringing dinosaurs and other giant creatures is out of the question.

Ark Caves
Central Cave Entrance Location

Things You Should Know

The Central Cave contains loot items ranging from Green to Blue rarity. The cave does not inhabit high-threatening creatures. So, going in alone to collect the loot items and more will not be a challenging task. You can go in with a shotgun and a bow, along with a bug repellent or medical brew.

This cave does not have any unusual hazards. However, it does inhabit the Megalosaurus creature, one of the most dangerous creatures found in Ark caves. So, avoid getting in conflict with it. It does have tight corridors and ledges that can make players easily slip off if not cautious. The water pools inside the cave are home to piranhas, so avoid slipping inside water or going into it voluntarily.

Why You Should Explore This Cave

As mentioned above, the Central cave has blue and green loot rarity, which is not bad because this cave is not that hard at all. Moreover, most players visit the cave just to obtain the Artifact of the Clever, which is used to summon Brood Mother Lysrix.

North West Cave

As the name suggests, players can find North West Cave most at the far Northern side of the Island. Alternatively, you can also visit these 19.3° Lat, 19.0° Lon coordinates to discover the cave as well. The entrance to the cave is too small for your tamable creature to pass through. In fact, the cave’s corridors sometimes require you to crouch and move. So, you get the idea of how tight the entrance and exploration of the North West Cave can be. This is why bringing in your mount creatures with you is not an option here. 

Ark Caves
North West Cave Entrance

Things You Should Know

This cave is unforgiving and punishes you for going in unprepared. The overall temperature inside the cave is usually freezing, and there are extremely tight passageways, corridors, and deep pits. Moreover, these pits can instantly break a player’s armor if they fall into it. Of course, the only way to avoid it is to be mindful of your step and trade carefully while running. If the player does fall into one of these pits, they must grapple back up immediately or lose whatever armor they are wearing.

There is a reason why this cave is so unwelcoming and hard to explore. It is because the North West Cave consists of yellow and red loot quality. In the earlier version of ARK: Survival Evolved, this cave had an abundance of loot items. However, the developers patched it an update, and now North West cave has a pretty small loot pool. Onyc and Araneo will usually be seen taking a nap inside the cave. So you need to bring in crossbow, spear, or other silent weapon types to control the creatures’ aggression by taking them out enemies one at a time.

Why You Should Explore This Cave

This cave has one of the best loot available in Ark Caves. North West cave contains the Artifact of Skylord, which is a powerful artifact used to summon the Dragon.

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Lower South Cave

To find more Ark caves, visit 80.3° Lat, 53.5° Lon coordinates, and you will come across Lower South cave. This cave is relatively easy to explore. Based on how good you understand ARK: Survival Evolved game mechanics, this should be your first one if you never visited a cave in the game before. It is because not only the cave has fewer surprises and challenges, it has a wide and pretty big entrance to fit in medium-sized dinosaurs. So, all the more reasons not to venture inside Lower South cave all alone.

Ark Caves
Lower South Cave Entrance

Things You Should Know

This cave has a loot tier of green rarity. This is one of the many reasons why it is the easiest cave in all of the ARK: Survival Evolved caves. On the contrary, players should not let their guard down. This cave has tons of dangers players need to avoid at all costs. The cave inhabits Megalania that deals Mega Rabies status effect, draining the health below 350hp and causing a slow death. Some creatures in this cave, like the Arthropleura, induce a status effect called Torpidity, causing the player to fall unconscious. Once unconscious, other players can force-feed the player whatever they want, and creatures can also kill the player. So, it would be best if you avoided this from happening at all costs.

Reward

Finding Artifact of Hunter is one the top reason you should go and explore Lower South cave. The artifact is also used to summon Broodmother Lysrix.

North East Cave

In order to reach the North East Cave, visit the 14.7° Lat, 85.4° Lon coordinates. You can go inside solo, or the entrance is big enough for a bear to squeeze in.

Ark Caves
North East Cave Entrance

Things You Should Know

North East Cave’s loot type ranges from blue to red rarity. A good approach will be to bring a crossbow and shotgun along with a medical brew and lesser antidote items. It is because the cave has an abundance of bats, so you will get the Mega Rabies status effect quite frequently.

Unlike the North West cave’s extremely dangerous environment, this cave’s dangers may feel a little toned down. However, the cave does have frigid temperatures, deep pits, and narrow pathways, but its greatest danger is its abundance of Onycs. These creatures are very similar to bats but are furious and make closed combat fights nightmarish. So, we highly recommend you use a crossbow to lure them close and then use a shotgun to finish them off in a shot or two quickly.

Reward

This cave’s creature accessibility is excellent due to its straightforward topography. So you could bring in a variety of tamable creatures to fight beside you, making the cave exploration experience easier and even more worthwhile. Due to its loot and its overall un-challenging difficulty, this cave is a must-visit for players while embarking on the task of exploring Ark Caves. This cave contains the Artifact of Devourer, which is required to summon the boss Megapithecus.

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Upper South Cave

The Upper South Cave’s location is to the North of the Swamp on the Island. Its coordinates are 68.2° Lat, 56.2° Lon. The cave has a decent opening so that medium-sized creatures can fit through the gate quite easily. In any case, it is up to you if you want to explore solo or with a creature mount.

Ark Caves
Upper South Cave entrance

Things You Should Know

Blue rarity is the overall loot quality a survivor should expect while roaming inside the cave. In the early version of the game, this cave was considered as one of the hardest caves. However, after the addition of the Snow and Swamp cave to the game, the Upper South cave does not seem that much of a threat while exploring it.

Additionally, players should be aware of the dangers this cave presents. The temperature gets extremely cold as soon as you step inside it, and it reaches 23 Fahrenheit. You can also catch a Mega Rabies disease or status effect, which drains your survivor’s health and stamina. Damage from Megalania or getting bitten by Onycs will give you this disease, and to cure it, you will need the Lesser Antidote. Players can also use Wyvern milk as a cure. Other than that, a colony of Arthropluera’s can also be seen inside the cave. Players can tame this creature if they give it rotten meat to eat. But be cautious; if they get outrageous, they will attack players with an acid spit, destroying the armor quite easily.

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Why You Should Explore This Cave

This cave contains the Artifact of the Pack, which is also used to summon the Megapithecus.

Lava Cave

The lava cave, also known as the South East cave, is located in the South East part of the Island. To pinpoint the exact location, visit 70.6° Lat, 86.1° Lon coordinates and reach its entrance. This cave has above-average creature accessibility, so you can always bring in bears, direwolf, sabertooth and more with you.

Things You Should Know

This cave consists of a loot pool ranging from blue to yellow rarity. As clear as the cave’s name goes, players will experience a hot environment once they step inside the Lava cave. In fact, it is one of the hottest Ark Caves you will come across. Just like Upper South Cave, this cave also has dangers that cause Mega Rabies. Therefore, it is recommended for players to take the medical brew so that they could replenish their health slowly if infected by Mega rabies.

Additionally, players should use White Crystals to beat the deadly heat to counter the spewing heat from the lava. Finally, a grappling hook should be the go-to equipment before coming into the cave. It is because it will help you to reach certain platforms or get out from hot zones quickly. Moreover, the artifact is also placed in a way that using a grappling hook makes reaching it an effortless task.

Why You Should Explore This Cave

The lava cave gives players the Artifact of the Massive that is used to summon the boss Broodmother.

Swamp Cave

The Swamp cave is located in a little South-Western direction of the Center of the Island. Its coordinates are 62.7° Lat, 37.3° Lon. The entrance to the cave is decent enough to fit small to medium-sized creatures.

Ark Caves
Swamp Cave Entrance

Things You Should Know

The loot type that you will encounter in the Swamp cave is blue, yellow, and red rarity. Upon entering the cave, players will instantly observe what a nightmare of a cave this is. Swamp cave’s atmosphere is filled with toxicity and very cold temperature. Players need to make plenty of preparations in order to get through this cave and explore every nook and cranny.

A gas mask and Scuba set are a must, especially if you are early in the game and are on low to medium level. Or else, surviving in this highly hostile environment is impossible. A complete set of scuba gear, including leggings, flippers, and a gas tank, is the go-to for Swamp cave. Other than that, be aware of the Arthropluera in this cave. It can easily destroy the integrity of your Scuba gear and armor.

The Pike and the Crossbow are some of the recommended equipment to go with, as players would have to take both ranged and melee fight approaches. Moreover, a flamethrower will be an excellent addition to the arsenal and will be a good fit to eliminate Meganeura and Leech.

Reward

This cave contains the Artifact of the Immune, and the item is used to summon the Dragon boss. Besides its tremendous difficulty, the cave is a great choice to explore just for the sake of tons of great loot it offers. So, if you have the required equipment (scuba gear and gas masks), we suggest you go for it. If not, gather the necessary gear and equipment and then proceed with the Swamp cave. All in all, this cave may look scary at first but bring the proper equipment and watch yourself consistently while making your way to the artifact.

Snow Cave

The Snow Cave is in the Snow Biome on the Island. Its coordinates are 29.1° Lat, 31.8° Lon, and its entrance, even though it looks wide enough, the hallways inside the cave are too tight for medium to large-sized creatures. So, like other Ark caves, direwolf, otter, and Yutyrannus are few creatures that can accompany you while exploring the snow cave.

Ark Caves
Snow Cave Entrance

Things You Should Know

Just like the Swamp cave’s loot quality, the Snow cave’s loot quality also ranges from blue, yellow, and red rarity. Other than that, the Fur armor, riot armor, or the Classic Flak armor are mandatory ones that you need to have in your inventory before you decide to explore Snow cave. It is because the freezing temperatures and harsh environment inside the cave will show you no mercy. Furthermore, the wild creatures inside the cave are not tamable, and you cannot pet them. They spawn at levels between 120 to 340.

The creature Purlovia, camps within the ground and waits for its prey. What makes them dangerous is their single surprise attack that stuns your character for a pretty long time and may also give you a serious jump scare. The best possible approach to avoid the danger altogether in the Snow cave is to stay on medium to large carnivores, as they will not harm you at all, and you can quickly disperse them if you do get attacked.

Reward

Besides the blue, yellow, and red rarity loot items, the Snow cave contains the Artifact of the Strong item.

The Caverns of Lost Hope

The caverns are underwater caves, and the Cavern of Lost Hope is located in the eastern part of the Island. You need to visit 45.9° Lat, 88.9° Lon coordinates to reach the cave entrance.

Ark Caves
Caverns of Lost Hope Cave Entrance

Things You Should Know

The Caverns of Lost Hope have a loot quality of blue, yellow, and red rarity. Besides this, the cave is extremely cold. It is also underwater, as mentioned above, so it may be hard to find it. Creatures spawn at very high levels, so players should take caution while navigating around walls as few creatures lurk behind the walls. This Cavern contains Hordes of Mosasaurus, Plesiosaurus and Tusoteuthis, and various other Harmful aquatic creatures.

Since you need to explore the Cavern of Lost Hope cave entirely underwater, complete scuba gear is mandatory. Other than that, hypothermia and lack of oxygen will be the biggest challenge. For tamed creatures, players should definitely bring in an aquatic dinosaur, so they could attack while submerged in the water. A Basilosaurus would also do the job of exploration and fighting creatures.

Why You Should Explore This Cave

This cave contains the Artifact of the Cunning.

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The Caverns of Lost Faith

Like other cavern Ark caves, the Caverns of Lost Faith are also located underwater in the east. Its coordinates are 53.7° Lat, 10.4° Lon.

Warnings

The expected loot quality of the cave varies from blue, yellow, and red. It is recommended to bring the whole Scuba gear so that players can breathe underwater. Food and Grappling hook are, of course, a big help. We highly suggest you bring Basilosaurus, because it can fight enemies underwater and has decent health. The other recommended tamed creature is, of course, none other than the Megalodon.

Players should be aware of Electrophorus, a creature just like an eel but much bigger and pack more electricity than an eel. If you survive its initial shock, then you would have an open window to attack; Basilosaurus doesn’t get shocked by it, so players should use that as this is its perfect counter. This cave, as expected, is very cold since it is underwater. However, unlike the Caverns of Lost Hope, this cave does not require a scuba mask because the cave inside is well lit.

Reward

This cave contains the Artifact of the Brute that is used to summon the Megapithecus boss.

Tek Cave

The Tek is a cave located at the summit of the Volcano. Its coordinates are 42.8° Lat, 39.2° Lon. The entrance has a wide big door that is opened after interacting with a panel. The entrance narrows down a bit when you go further. As a result, you can only bring a few large-sized creatures inside the cave.

Ark Caves
Tek Cave Entrance

Reward

If you want to enter the cave at gamma difficulty, you will first need to collect Alpha Broodmother,  Megapithecus, and Dragon trophies. The cave has many lava pits, so if you have creatures following you, particularly un-ridden ones, chances are they may fall into pits. So, the best strategy would be to bring more players with you instead of un-mounted creatures.

You must always bring a grappling hook whenever you come and explore the cave. Otherwise, if you fall into the lava, you will keep on losing nearly 200 health until you do not get out of it. Other than that, players will encounter large crowd of high-level dinosaurs. So, another reason to bring more people while exploring the Tek cave. There is a lot to do and be cautious about while you are in Tek cave. We will cover a separate guide on that. Till then, this limited information will have to do.

That is pretty much everything you need to learn about Ark caves. Let us know if you think we missed something important that deserves to be mentioned in the caves. Let your thoughts flow in the comments section below. 

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Irfan Ansari


With four years of Video Game Journalism and Tremendous love for Gaming, Irfan loves chatting and writing everything about video games.
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