When I started playing ARK as a solo PVP player I always manage to survive by living hidden in the swamps and having tames and just the natural danger of the swamp for defense rather than relying on turrets. I'll take a swarm of well bred dimorphidons over turrets any day.
Barrys were always by far the most dangerous thing I would encounter in the swamps. A lower level wild tame is reliable. A high level wild tame is nasty but once you can get a well-bred imprinted one they can handle anything. After owning Barrys for years I finally tamed my first Rex to see what the hype was about. I was never really a fan of them due to their size but this was a Max level Tek rex. I couldn't resist. It was cool looking but I was honestly extremely disappointed in its performance. I was talking about this on the server and someone was convinced it was because it wasn't bred and imprinted. They gave me an egg from their rexes that had multiple generations of attack mutations. I fully imprinted it. Was still disappointed. Yes it has higher natural Health than a Barry but thats it. Barry kills way faster. I think it has something to do with the attack speed. Rexs are also big clunky and slow. Barry is an amphibious ATV that's stronger than large tames yet as fast and maneuverable as small tames. Small enough for caves. Can do both dry and aquatic caves. They also heal unbelievably fast while killing fish. You don't need to sit there and force feed them meat forever after they lose a few thousand health.
I've killed both alpha rexs and alpha squid with them. No other creature in the game can do that. People think I'm lying when I tell them this saying that I probably couldn't even kill an alpha carno with one.
I think many players are too obsessed with what streamers or YouTube have told them are the best creatures in the game. Or maybe just too obsessed with stats. Think outside the box. You'll be amazed at how powerful and versatile these are.
Excellent tame for living on a boat due to it's ability to breathe underwater. Will harvest hundreds of raw fish meat whilst defending you from other underwater nasties. My Bary lvl 64, named Ratchet, killed in excess of 35 Megs before meeting his match with a lvl 40 Alpha Meg whilst defending our house boat. A salute to all your hard work old friend, you shall be avenged.
The baryonyx is a very useful tame to have. They are fast on foot and in water, and have decent damage and health. A unique ability the baryonyx has is tail spin attack. It can only be done in water and it stuns any creature that is in its range, letting the baryonyx do a decent amount of damage without taking any. This makes them a viable as a creature for the underwater caves. Their speed on land, medium size and their long jumping makes them an amazing creature for caves on land as well.
WARNING: wild baryonyx can also do the spin attack in the water and can also dismount you from your tame and stun you even if you have a baryonyx yourself, so be careful.
These guys are the absolute best! I tamed a max lvl 150 baryonyx and bred it with my lvl 152 baryonyx and got an OP, 78% imprinted baryonyx. Her name is Moon. As of right now she is lvl 234, with 8,500 hp, 700% melee damage, and 135 movement speed. She can obliterate almost any Dino on land and sea, including rexes and spinos. Also, if you get a high level, you get of added stats per level up, and they level up insanely fast. They are the absolute BEST cave mount IMO (except for the Northwest cave, otherwise known as the cave of the sky lord, because it can not fit in the entrance, like all other cave mounts), because their long neck allows you to reach the flying dangers of the cave and it protects you from the arthroplura’s spit balls. That combined with their attack speed and amazing damage output makes it my favorite cave mount. Just watch out in the lava cave, because you can easily get pushed off into the lava or fall in the lava due to a bad jump. I am about to try out the cave of the strong, but I have no doubt in my mind that I will demolish it. It has one attack on land, which is his bite attack, along with an option to make it roar, but like the spino’s roar this does nothing. On water they have their bite attack and a tail spin that stuns nearby dinos(use button that you use to jump on land to use tail spin). On top of that, they can jump, which makes it a good travel mount, and once again, an amazing cave mount. This and the spino are my two favorite dinos as of right now, and if you are debating about getting one of these, GET ONE RIGHT NOW.
I would argue that this dinosaur is the strongest mount that can fight on both land and in the water. I had one that was bred multiple generations, full imprint, purple saddle. I named him Fury to represent all of the anguish I experienced leading up to his creation. He was able to handle anything I threw at him with ease. People were surprised to hear that I was easily able to kill both squids and alpha carnos with him. Never got to attempt an alpha Rex. He met his match when I attempted an alpha squid. RIP Fury.