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When trying to knock out a creature before you tame it, is it a good idea or bad idea to aim for a headshot? This seems to increase the damage done to the creature, which is bad, but does it enhance the tranquilization effect (e.g. raise torpor faster)?

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Based on my personal experience yes, headshots increase torpor effects. This is supported by the wiki crossbow article.

Most creatures will take about 2.5 times as much damage if you shoot them in the head. Torpor gain from Tranquilizer Arrows does scale with this boost

Rapidly increasing a creature's torpor has a few benefits. First, this will reduce the time dinos have to attack you. Second, conservation of ammo. 2 headshots are the equivalent of 5 body shots. With torpor this effect is magnified as one body shot worth of torpor could wear out by the time you can hit with 4 more shots.

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