Never will understand all of the recommendations for the mining laser.
Testing on single player with an Ascendant +295% mining laser (which is better than anyone is going to ever find on official servers) vs my +300% melee damage character using a +700% metal pick vs my 300th level Anky with most of her levels spent on Weight (she's +488% melee damage). Results of hitting a single crystal node:
Mining Laser: 64 crystal
Metal Pick: 55 crystal
Anky: 160 crystal
And that's every time, day in day out. The mining laser is truly mediocre considering it weighs so much, takes two hands to weild, and uses up gasoline like mad.
Anky is far more effective than the mining laser, and frankly the metal pick will easily generate all of the 100 pound stacks of crystal you can carry *anyway*.
The difficulty isn't finding or mining crystal. It's in transport, same as with Obsidian, metal, even stone and wood.
Collecting thousands at once is easy. Getting even a good fraction of that to your base? Good luck.
If you are early to mid game then I suggest going up the volcano on the island
(I play ark mobile) as on top it has all the obsidian,metal and crystal you want. The volcanoe is much better than caves to get crystal I think because you dont have to think about all the possible threats as once on top off the volcano I found that there were no dangerous animals. I could suggest building a base their because off all the crystal and material but it would probably be late game
On the island, there is a little mountain near the footpaw I think that has a few small crystal nodes. It isn’t much, but in the early game it’s the easiest source of crystal for spyglasses and water jars