This page will explain Giga Taming in ARK: Survival Evolved
Note: Credit for this guide goes to /u/c6balla from the Ark Subreddit
I see people talking about taming gigas all the time and it seems that the vast majority of the time, people are spreading flat wrong/outdated information. It's infuriating to see, so I'm going to try to clear some things up.
First off, no offense intended to those of you who this post is directed at. I read the wiki article on gigas before taming my first one, too. I know how misleading that bunch of over-hyped bs was. I've since gone in and rewritten that section of the giga wiki entry and removed the part I'm referring to, but the gist of it was that it's a job for a half dozen people and that you have to have someone in the giga's inventory for the entirety of the tame to continually feed it narcotic as well as some other hyperbolic nonsense.
Clearing Up Misconceptions
I'm just going to go over some stuff that I see people get confused about or spew a bunch of just flat wrong nonsense about all the time.
Quotes from the Misinformed
Just going to go over the most common ones I see almost constantly. I'm more than happy to add to this section if anyone has any other myths they'd like me to debunk here.
1."You have to be in its inventory for the whole tame, constantly feeding it narcotic or it will wake up" -Thatch-hut Joe
This is absolutely false. Sure, they have a short torpor depletion time, but that doesn't mean that you have to babysit it. I'll get into this more later.
2."If it gets below half torpor it can randomly wake up"-Bob from the Beach
Also false. This was the case back when gigas were first implemented, but was changed fairly soon after they were released. They will not wake up unless the torpor hits zero.
I'm more than happy to address any further misconceptions anyone wants to bring to my attention.
Giga Rage Mechanic
A lot of people seem to not know how this works so I'll just touch on the basics here to help clear things up.
-a giga will not randomly enrage
-if the giga you are riding becomes enraged, it will force dismount you and will most likely kill you
-in PvP a tamed raged giga will attack anything around it as if it were wild except for allied tamed gigas
-in PvE a tamed raged giga will attack its own tribe's dinos but not other tribe's dinos. You can't wipe your neighbors by rocketing your giga in your neighbor's base.
-a tamed giga with a primitive saddle will only take a couple rockets in quick succession to enrage
-a fairly short fall is enough to enrage a giga (Per Patch v278 Gigas no longer enrage from fall damage)
-if one giga becomes enraged, any allied gigas nearby will also enrage
How Torpor/Narcotic Work
Understanding how the torpor system and how narcotic function is huge to making taming a giga as simple of a process as possible.
This is really simple. Every dino has a certain rate at which their torpor drops. Some dinos have super slow torpor drop rates and some are super fast. A good example for each would be the bronto and the giga. A 150 bronto has 18886 torpor and will take 5h 4m 5s to wake up. That's a drop rate of -1.04/second. A 150 giga has 99400 torpor and will shed that colossal amount in 3m 50s. That's a drop rate of an astounding -431.3/second. Those are the two absolute ends of the spectrum as far as I'm aware.
One of the most basic things about how torpor works is that dropping pauses while torpor is being applied. That means that if a dino's torpor is at exactly 100 when you begin feed it 200 torpor worth of narcotic, it'll rise until it hits 300 and then begin falling again rather than continuing to fall through the increase. This means that if you're taming say, a giga, that you'll be able to spam feed a bunch of narcotic at once then not have to worry about it waking up while the narcotic works into its system.
This also means that if you manage to shoot something with a couple of tranq arrows in quick succession, you will have some time to re-position/line up your next shot before the target's torpor begins decreasing. By the way, the torpor-over-time effect from tranq arrows/darts stacks. If you're knocking out a high level giga it's pretty easy to have 5+ minutes of torpor-over-time built up on it. (This is why crossbows/tranq arrows are better than a longneck/darts for taming anything that has enough health. Faster RoF is invaluable.)
How Narcotic Works
Super, super simple. Each narcotic applies 40 torpor over the course of 8 seconds. That means that a full stack of 100 narcotic will apply 4000 torpor over the course of 13m 20s. Remember that huge amount of torpor the 150 giga from a previous example had? Now you see why I say you don't need to keep someone in its inventory the whole time. No? I'll break it down with some simple math for you.
150 giga torpor- 99400
Time to kibble tame 150 giga on 2x (current standard) rates- 2h 13m 11s
Amount of narcotic to take giga from 0 to full torpor - 99400/40=2485
Amount of time 2485 narcotic would take to apply - 2485*8=19880s = 5h 31m 20s
Well I'll be damned, you can just spam enough narcotic into the beast in one go to starve it down TWICE. Obviously you'd never want to let it get that low, but you get the point. Seems to me that it'd be silly to sit and stare at its inventory for a few hours while it starves/munches on kibble (if you're the daring type to not starve tame everything possible)
This information is great to have for all tames, too. Not just gigas. Between this info and using dododex/crumplecorn to find out the dino's torpor drain time, you'll be able to figure out exactly how long you can be gone from a tame-in-progress before needing to come back and re-apply narcotic.
May as well touch on narcoberries, too, since they're useful for taming stuff like gallis, beavers, pachyrhinos, any of the stuff with super short torpor drain times.
Each berry applies 7.5 torpor over the course of 5 seconds. That means that they are slightly less efficient than narcotic, which effectively gives you 8 torpor per berry, but berries take much, much longer to apply torpor. A full stack of berries will take 8m 20s to apply 750 torpor. This means that they can make taming the stuff that has low torpor and fast torpor drain much less painful to tame (Wildcard, why do you do this to us?!) since you'll be able to step away and jump around for a minute or two before having to get back into the tame's inventory.
One of the biggest things to a successful giga tame is having the proper equipment. I'll just do a quick list of the gear I recommend with a quick explanation for each.
-Platform Quetz: Makes a safe shooting platform, is a good storage unit for all of the gear you need. Trying to have a tribemate carry you with a ptera/argy doesn't work well since you'll likely end up shooting the bird more than the giga due to latency/wonky hitboxes.
-Burner Ptera: Not required, but definitely recommended. Some decent speed is a good idea. Use this to kite the giga into the trap described in the next section. Will get eaten if you screw up.
-Crossbow w/ tranq arrows: Self explanatory. Highest damage you have is best. Be aware of the durability, though. Each shot consumes 1 durability on a crossbow. If the giga will take more arrows than your crossbow has durability then make another or bring a smithy and the stuff to fix the crossbow on the fly. Now I'll touch on why this is a better option than the rifle. The higher RoF than the rifle is absolutely invaluable in that you can easily stack up tons of torpor-over-time. Gigas have more than enough health that the higher damage done by the tranq arrows over darts doesn't matter at all. Crossbows are also much cheaper to make/repair and tranq arrows and way, way cheaper than the darts. It's a no-brainer to use the crossbow for this, really.
-Metal Dinosaur Gateways: Use 4-6 of these to trap the giga. I'll explain more in the next section.
-Large Bear Trap: To be used with the Gateways. See the next section for the explanation.
-Lots of Narcotic: Self explanatory
-A Feeding Plan: If you have kibble, great. A couple of sheep? Just as good. If not, have a plan in place as to how you intend to gather enough prime. Be aware of the current server traffic. If its during a time where spawns are scarce, maybe consider holding off on trying to prime tame. If you plan to meat tame it then kudos to you, you crazy bastard.
How to K.O. a Giga
In my mind, there is only one way to do this. Get your gates place them into a square/hexagon shape with one side open. A square of just 4 gates works but I am usually more comfortable with a hexagon since metal is easy to get and having a little bit of leeway is always nice. Slap down the large bear trap into the middle, but kind of towards the side away from the opening to keep the giga as far away from you as possible when you trap it. Now hop on your burner ptera (or whatever you're comfortable using for this, just no it may die if you make a mistake or dc) and go get the beast's attention. Lure it into your trap and as soon as it gets stuck in the bear trap you zip around behind it, land, and place the last gate behind it to trap it in your gates. Now get the hell away from it or it'll flip around, reach out and eat you. Now you can hop onto your platform quetz and hover over it to shoot it however many times dododex says it'll take plus about 10-20 extra just to be safe. If you don't get hit markers or it doesn't flinch, you missed. Don't count that shot. Easiest way I've found is to just put however many arrows you need into you inventory and then shoot til you're out. Be prepared to wait a few minutes after you've shot all of your arrows. It's going to have a lot of torpor-over-time built up. Don't worry, it'll go down so long as you aren't a shitty shot. Oh, and just spam the shots. None of that count to 5 bs. It's a giga. The time for dicking around is over.
Anyways, if you did it right, it'll go down and then we can move onto the next bit.
I suppose I can touch of the way I used to do it before Wildcard made any dino that's being tranqed immediately run to the nearest deep body of water to drown itself rather than being enslaved by "The Man" (you). This way still works, it's just way harder. Hop on your platform quetz and hover over the giga and start shooting. Unload as fast as possible to get as much torpor-over-time built up before it turns tail and runs off. Then the chase is on and you'll have to just follow it and shoot it when you can. Originally, this worked well because it'd just keep coming back or it'd eventually stop but anymore they tend to just pick a direction and sprint away from you as fast as possible until they've shed the torpor you built up on them. Don't do it this way. This way is needlessly difficult and infuriating.
Typical Giga Tame
Now that it's down, you want to get down and grab however much narcotic you'll need off of your quetz. Do a bit of math and then spam feed all of the narcotic into it at once when the torpor is low enough. To know how low it needs to get, use:
(Giga Total Torpor) - (# of Narcotic x 40)
So if it has 60,000 torpor and you need to feed it 700 narcotic to tame it (random numbers I picked) then you'd do 70040=28000 to find the amount of torpor your naroctic will apply and then minus that from the giga's total torpor so 60,000-28,000=32,000. So you'll let it's torpor drop to 32,000 and then spam feed all 700 narcotic into it. Next bit of math is to know how long that narcotic will last. 700 is 7 stacks and each stack takes 13m 20s to apply (remember the section above) so you'll do 713.333~=93.333~ which is 1h 33m 20s. Be aware of this time if you're prime taming since if you fail to get the required amount of prime by then then you'll need to give it more narcotic. Anyways, now it's down and has enough narcotic into it to not have to worry about it waking up for the rest of the tame, what now? Depends on if you play PvE or PvP.
PvE- Go do whatever for the duration of the tame. It's a giga. Nothing is going to mess with it. The only things that'll attack a wild giga are aggressive water dinos like sharks and maybe mantas, though I haven't seen mantas attack them before so I'm not sure. Return to the giga when it's time to feed it all of the prime/mutton/put the kibble on it, BREAK DOWN YOUR FUCKING TAMING PEN, and then take your new giga home.
PvP- Get some defense set up since nobody is going to want you to finish this tame. Be prepared for a scuffle. Dinos won't attack it, but the guys who happened upon the unconscious war machine probably will.
When you knock down your giga and check it's stats, don't start jumping for joy when you see that it's got 200 melee pre-tame and get wild ideas of a 280 base melee giga. It might happen, but probably not. Why? Because when a giga tames, it drops 80% off of its melee and loses 63,000 health as well. This isn't the end of the world, though, since your giga will also get an increase in its melee (unless you're super unlucky) that will help counteract that big drop.
A quick outline of tamed vs wild giga base health and melee-
Wild: 80,000 health and 100% melee (480 damage per bite)
Tamed: 17,000 health and 20% melee (96 damage per bite)
Now I'll break down what happens to your giga's melee when it tames. Say you knock a giga down and it has 150% melee. You kibble tame it and it gets 40 bonus levels, 12 of which go into melee. This means that it will tame with 130% melee.
150-80=70 (initial reduction) 12x5=60 (bonus levels, each level into melee is 5%) 70+60=130. Simple, right?
Now I'll tell you the secret to having a true, borderline unstoppable monster of a giga.
A 100% imprinted giga can have 35k+ health. It literally doubles from where it starts. Couple that with the 30% extra damage resistance when the imprinter rides it and you have a hell of a tank. Their melee also gets a huge jump from imprinting, just not as extreme. (personal example- hatched a giga with 200% melee, 94% imprint finished it at just over 250% melee) Also take into account that 100% imprint means that the beast gets and additional 30% jump in melee (a static 30%, doesn't scale. If the giga has 200% melee, it'll hit like it has 230% melee when the imprinter rides it) and you've really got yourself a killing machine on your hands. In my opinion, it is well worth it to put forth the time and effort to raise one.
That's about it. Taming a giga is a very dangerous task, but it's much easier than most of you seem to think. If you have to get it across water then set it to follow you and fly across the water with it swimming ever-so-slowly behind you. Beware that asshole sharks will try to eat your newly tamed giga if you have to do this. You can also just upload it at a drop/obelisk and download it at a drop/obelisk near your base. All info as far as how much torpor the dinos used in examples have was taken from dododex. If you don't have this app, download it immediately. It's amazing. Anyways, I hope that this guide is helpful and that I was able to weaken the foothold of some these ridiculous myths have taken in the com