HOW TO: Create a dino as well as setting up your mod.

Hello all. I wanted to post a more up to date method on creating a dino, as well as making it spawn. There seems to be a lot of old information out there, and as of Oct 17, 2017 this is correct and up to date. I am the author of Primal Fear, and in this tutorial, I am going to show you how I set up Primal Fear and how I created my Alpha Raptor. If anyone sees any errors or issues, or has questions, please let me know!

Updated on October 17, 2017. Thanks **P0k3r **for the heads up on items I missed.


  1. Under Game > Mods create a new subfolder for your mod. Mine is called Primal_Fear. This can contain no spaces.

  2. Under Game > Mods you will find a folder called GenericMod. Go into this, select the below and drag them into the new folder. Once you do this, you will be prompted whether you want to copy or create a child. COPY:

  3. Rename these by replacing the word GenericMod with your mod name. IE PrimalGameData_BP_PrimalFear, TestGameMode_PrimalFear, PrimalFear (instead of GenericMd)

  4. Open PrimalGameData and search for “game mode”. Change the default game mod to your newly created TestGameMode_yourmodname (NOTE: You do NOT need a custom testgamemode unless you actually change settings in the game mode. Using a custom mode can cause stacking issues with mods that do use a custom game mode.)

  5. On the right side of your screen you should see a “World Settings” tab in the lower panel. If you do not see this, go to Window > World Settings. (NOTE: The Orange Level File needs to be open in editor to see the world settings)

  6. Scroll down to “PrimaGameDataOverride” and apply your primal game data here. This allows you to properly test various things including but not limited to engrams and custom colors.

  7. You now have a properly set up mod and you are ready to start!

===========Creating your first creature=============

  1. Inside your mod folder, build out the folder structure you would like. For example mine is:
    Primal_Fear Dinos

  2. Once you have your folder there (you really only need a fold for what you will be working on) its time to copy the files you need.

  3. Open Primal Earth > Dinos (Or if you want to do an SE dino, Scorched Earth > Dinos).

  4. Find the dino you want, for this example, we will be using a raptor as it is fairly simple.

  5. Once you find the raptor folder, you will need to copy some files as before when setting up your mod. To do this, drag the files into your folder, and it will as if you want to make a copy or child. 99/100 times you want to make a copy. Copy these files:

  6. Raptor_Character_BP (This is the blueprint were you set everything relating to the dino)

  7. Raptor (This is the skeletal mesh that gives the dino its shape. You can set the color files on this, change bone sockets…etc)

  8. RaptorMat (other dinos might say DinoName_Colorized_MIC). NOTE: This file is only necessary if you are going to edit the base color of the dino. IF you are using colorsets, this file is not needed.

  9. Once these are copied, we aren’t done. Scoll all the way up and click on Game at the very top of the folder tree

  10. In the right panel, next to filter, type “Saddle”. Click the filter drop down and hit Blueprint.*** (NOTE: Only necessary if you want a custom saddle. If you want vanilla saddles, you can skip #5 and #6)***

  11. Scroll down the list and copy EngramEntry_Saddle_Raptor, and PrimalItemArmor_Raptor to your custom folder

  12. Now type DinoEntry and copy DinoEntry_Raptor to your custom folder

  13. Now type “Status Component” and find and copy DinoCharacterStatusComponent_BP_Raptor to your custom folder

  14. You can now unclick the blueprint filter

  15. Now that you have everything copied, it is time to create the dino.

  16. You should now rename, or add something to each and every file. In my case, for an alpha raptor, I just added the world Alpha before the word Raptor in every file

  17. Now open up your newly renamed RaptorMat. For the rest of this, I will be using the word Alpha to signify the renamed files.

  18. With RaptorMat opened up, there are a couple things you could do here. Expand BaseColor. This shows you the base texture file use for this dino.

If you hit the magnifying glass, the ADK will take you to that file in the folder structure.

  1. If you want to edit this file in photoshop to add crazy custom colors, right click this file and hit export. Save it somewhere locally

  2. Open it in photoshop and do whatever it is you want to do.

  3. Save this file as a .TGA out of photoshop

  4. In the content browser window, and while inside your custom raptor folder, hit Import and import this TGA file.

  5. Open this file and hit save.

  6. Open up AlphaRaptorMIC again and expand BaseColor, and while you have the new texture selected in the content browser, hit the arrow pointing to the left. This will apply this new file over the old. Or you can click the dropdown, and the ADK will think for 100 years. Once its ready, type in its name.

  7. Expand “Colorization” and set every color that has a checkbox next to it to White. White in ark means seethrough. So when you set them to white, the color from the file you applied will show through.

  8. Save this file.

If you want to do something a bit easier, leave the file under BaseColor, and simply change the colors that have a check box next to them. You will have to uncheck “use colorization” in the dino BP or give the dino a custom colorset. More on that in step 20.

  1. With the coloring done, Open up AlphaRaptor (The skeletal Mesh). You will see a bunch of sections that have a colored circle. Select your AlphaRaptorMat in the folder tree and hit the left arrow. This will apply the new color to all sections automatically.
    (Side note. Some dinos have separate materials for head and body. While others wont auto apply the material to all sections, like the giga. So you need to make sure tis applied everywhere)

  2. Now open up the Character_BP. You will see a “Skeletal Mesh” section. Select the skeletal mesh (AlphaRaptor) you just edited and apply it here with the left arrow.

  3. In the top right corner, hit Component. Click “Add Component” and type in the name of your dino. You should see the status component file you copied and renamed earlier. Click and let it be applied.

  4. Delete the old DinoCharacterStatus_BP_ that was there previously. (Not doing steps 18 and 19 will result in dino stats increase on server reset).

  5. Now go back to “Default” in the top right.

  • Search for Tag and give the dino a unque 1 word tag. IE AlphaRaptor. Mine is PFAlphaRaptor to distinguish it from other alphas. Make sure you change the Dino Name Tag AND Custom Tag to the same thing. (NOTE: you do NOT need to change the custom tag if you do not want a custom saddle. If you want vanill saddles to work on your creature, leave the custom tag AS IS)
  • Search “Descriptive”. Here is the name that appears over the dino in game. Change it to whatever. IE Alpha Raptor
  • Search “Colorize” and uncheck “Use Colorization”. This will make it so there are no random colors of the dino and it uses the one you set on the mesh. Alternatively, you could use the magnifying glass on the colorset, and create your own colorset. Thats easy to understand if you just dig into it. But basically the colorset contains specific regions, 0-5. Each region has a place for colors to go. youll see default color names from the verison you copied over. These names are associated in Primal Game Data. You can find all colors and their names online, and then reference them here. OR you can go into primal game data and search “Color Definitions”. Here you add new colors to the game, and reference them in the colorset. This will allow for color variations on your dino.
  • Search XP and change Kill XPBase to change the amount of XP the dino gets
  • Search “Death”. Death Give Item Class is what every dino will give when it dies. Hit the + for an item and search for it. Death Inventory templates are custom lootsets you can make. I wont get into that right now.
  • If you want to change how you tame something, search “Dino Setting Class” and change this to some other dino. Search that dino BP to see what it uses.
  • Search “Tame” to change how it can be knocked out. This is self explanatory. And search “Torpor” and set can be torpid if it, by default, cannot be knocked out.
  • Search “Melee” to change the melee damage amount, and swing radius (attack radius).
  1. Save and Close the Character_BP

  2. Open the dino status component file you copied earlier and expand Max Status Value. Change all the elements in here you wish. Melee and Speed Multipliers will change the amount of points that get added per pump.

  3. Search for “decrease food multiplier” and change the first 3 to some lower number, if you jacked up the dinos food. By default, when a dino recovers stamina or health, it uses a percentage of its food. so it can drain food quickly unless you change these numbers to tell it to use a lower Percentage.

  4. Save and exit. You’ll need to save the Character_BP one more time too.

  5. Open the Dino Entry and set the tag and name to the same as in the character BP

  6. Open the saddle engram, and tell it to use the copied saddle as you have done in other parts of this tutorial with the arrow. Click allow in player inventory to allow players to craft it in their inventory

  7. Open the PrimalItemArmor and search for:

Tag” set this to the same custom tag as your dino
Armor” and look for “100” and change this to change the armor rating
Req” scroll all the way to the bottom and delete the anvil bench item. Then change the items required to craft if you want.
Descript” and change the description of the saddle. IE Alpha Raptor Saddle

  1. You are now done with your dino. Lets make it spawn! Go into your PrimalGameData and search:

Additional”. Set Additional Engram Blueprint Classes. Hit + and set your saddle engram. Scroll down for Additional Dino Entries. Hit + and set your new dinoentry.
NPC”. Under The NPCSpawn Entries Container Addition, hit +, then select a spawner from the drop down.
Then on Additional NPCSpawn Entries, hit +, add an entry name.
Under NPCs to spawn, hit + and add your new AlphaRaptor_Character_BP
Hit + on NPC spawn offsets and change X to 300
Hit + on NPCs to spawn percentage chance. Change this to a number 1.0 to 0.0. 1.0 = 100%
Change Entry Weight to the same number as the number above.

  1. You now have a new dino, with a saddle, that will spawn in whatever spawner you set it to. Congrats!

Not bad, but here are some things that caught my eye.

  1. You do NOT need a custom testgamemode unless you actually change settings in the game mode. Using a custom mode can cause stacking issues with mods that do use a custom game mode.

  2. If you are just doing an overhaul, don’t change the “CustomTag” and you won’t need to create a new saddle, vanilla saddles will work if you leave the tag as is. If making an entirely new dino change it as desired.

  3. "5. On the right side of your screen you should see a “World Settings” tab in the lower panel. If you do not see this, go to Window > World Settings"

You forgot to mention that the Orange Level File needs to be open in editor to see the world settings and that you need to set the primal game data in that section under " “PrimaGameDataOverride”.
You also need to remove “TheIsland” from the “ForceLoadMapName”

Ah yes thanks man! With a long list like this i knew i was bound to miss a few things. I have added these into here and gave you a shout out at the top. One think I haven’t added yet and Im curious about is "You also need to remove “‘TheIsland’ from the ‘ForceLoadMapName’”. This is something I haven’t done and I haven’t noticed a problem. What exactly does removing this do?

I think it has to do with forcing your mod to work only on the island im not sure if that is the case with all projects tho . Let me know if im wrong tho thanks

When you dismount, even on a non-platform saddle, you simply stand up on the Quetzal’s back. Is There a way to get this working on an argy somehow ?

I was wondering, i saw a tutorial where they use the normal maps and diffuses and said if you don’t do that light wont act normal and bumps on the dino wont appear correctly. Does that happen with option 2 of coloring a dino this way?

@Flexburo this is entirely unnecessary. In this write up, we use the ark given files for textures. I used to do it the same way as you are talking about but its totally not needed unless you are making a custom material for the dino. If you just use the colorized files that ark already has for that dino, it is already set up.

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