How to complete an OSD in Ark Survival Evolved

Defend for some sweet loot.

Screenshot by Gamepur

In Ark Survival Evolved, there are many ways to get loot, but one of the more annoying is through Orbital Supply Drops or OSDs. The OSD is a wave-based mini-game that players must go through on the Extinction map to obtain decent Blueprints or higher-tier saddles for Extinction mounts. Unfortunately, the OSD first needs to be found and then completed to get this loot, which can be pretty daunting. This guide will detail completing an OSD on Extinction in Ark: Survival Evolved.

Where to find an OSD on Ark: Survival Evolved

Screenshot by Gamepur

The OSD, as its name suggests, is a drop that occurs from the sky. Players on the Extinction map will know when it arrives due to the sound of it falling from the sky. If you’re in the area when it lands, you’ll hear the music play to indicate it’s nearby. The OSD will land at fixed locations on the map, but which one it lands at will be limited to the type of OSD.

What kind of OSDs are there and how to complete them in Ark: Survival Evolved

The OSD is a small pod that will be smoking on the ground, and the lights on its surface indicate the type of OSD you’ll be completing. Players will encounter four main types of OSDs; each color is a corresponding difficulty. The higher the tier, the more difficulty you will have completed the OSD successfully.

  • Blue (Easy)
  • Yellow/Orange (Medium)
  • Red (Hard)
  • Purple (Legendary)

To start the OSD, you will have to approach it. When you are within the range for a long enough time, around ten seconds, music will play to indicate that the OSD has activated and corrupted creatures are on their way.

Screenshot by Gamepur

The OSD will spawn a small shield that will begin to shrink as it takes damage. You can automatically shrink it yourself, but that shield will not return, so decide wisely. It’s important to note that there are six waves, including wave 0 for the Blue, Yellow, and Red Drops. Purple OSDs have eight waves, with a bigger break between the waves for setup. If you’re doing a Purple OSD, you can choose to end the OSD before the 8th wave by interacting with the OSD drop. This will mean your loot quality will not increase, but as the loot is randomized, it doesn’t make much difference.

Related: Where to find Extinction Artifacts in Ark: Survival Evolved

If you fail to defend your OSD, and it takes too much damage from any source, it will explode, and you’ll have to start over on a new one. Also note that if you leave the area, it will go into a stasis mode and will then automatically fail again.

What you’ll need to defend your OSD in Ark: Survival Evolved

Screenshot by Gamepur

There are several ways to do this; the easiest is with a tribe. Sheer numbers will help you hunt down any creatures that may have wandered away or gotten stuck somewhere, as well as how many corrupted creatures will attack.

The best strategy is to have a group of Velonosaurs set up on turret mode and aggressive outside the shield to shoot at any and all flying creatures. Corrupted Pteranadons and Wyverns are often your main problem. 

You should also have a decently statted Giga to do most of your damage to the land-based creatures. You can and should also have a personal weapon, such as a Fabricated Sniper Rifle with plenty of ammunition or a Pump-Action Shotgun to help if your tame is unavailable. As this is the Wasteland zone, bring plenty of water, some extra armor, and food, as the environmental aspect will become tricky if you don’t.

If you are on a PvP server, note that your OSD defense can and will be targeted at any time. For that reason, keep an eye out, and have an escape method planned for after you’ve collected your OSD loot. The loot will fall to the ground, and you’ll have to collect it all before it despawns. For this, use a whip. It will gather everything you need with a single or at least two cracks.