Help with Challenge mode

I have completed all the campaign mode of the game and the DLC for Dr. Wu, and enjoyed that game very much. But when I tried the Challenge mode to unlock the skins they have, I can't seem to get any headway with the Jurassic difficulty. I have tried at least 5 times to get anywhere and followed the advice I have found online (sell fossils you don't need, get x dinosaur cloned x times, build this building as needed) And every time I find that I can't last more than 20 minutes before the Hammond foundation mixed with lack of guests gets to a point that I run out of funds or have insufficient funds to even send out another expedition to try and get something to sell. I have tried using ceratosaurs, triceratops, struthiomimus, and edmontosaurs of various number and every time about 20 minutes into the project I can go no further. I had hoped to just run through these to get back to real paleontology but I find that nothing I can do makes a profit of any sort.


To start with, if you are struggling with Jurassic go back to easy and work from there. The baseline for the dinosaurs is Struthi, Edmon, Trike, Huang, researched dinos, Cerato. Start with a Power station, expedition station and fossil station. When you are getting fossils add a Hammond Creation Lab and incubate struthi as soon as it becomes available. From what I have learned is that the first dinosaur you incubate it will never fail. When you get 1 star research dig yield and you should be getting good money. One last thing, get rid of contracts that aren't worth your time. Anything to do with photos and combat remove.
Thank you for the reply, and yes I have followed this exact method before and only wound up with three dinosaurs cloned (two edmon and one struthio I think) before I hit the same wall where I couldn't progress further. I will try once more following your suggestion as you were kind enough to comment, and will let you know how it goes.
I almost forgot. if you are going to do the AFK thing close down all buildings that guests can't enter. Ranger station. ACU station. Expedition center. Fossil and Research centers can be closed if they are not researching/extracting anything. this can add around $750 to $1000 extra to your income while you're AFK.
I gave it another shot, followed your suggestions, and an hour into the process my income went from positive to terminally negative and my funds dropped to negative double digits with me unable to do anything about it. I am giving up on the entire mode as I find it more painful to me than my periodontal surgery and all the fun I was having with the campaign mode sucked out of it. I thank you very much for trying to help me with this issue, but I am walking away from this mess as it is just not worth the headache to get one that one skin for the T-Rex I wanted. Again thank you very much for the help but I am going back to real paleontology research rather than this headache.
Sell EVERY fossil you uncover until your not allowed to sell them anymore.

When you send out dig teams, never send them to the same site back to back, always choose a site you didn't go to last time, I feel like it gives you a higher chance of getting non-fossils to sell.

Make Struthi's first

Deactivate buildings you aren't currently using.

Make a Ranger Station before an ACU. Sometimes you will have to medicate your dino's early in the game, not to mention refilling feeders so the Ranger Station is a must have. But the ACU Center can wait until you have a lot of extra cash and are ready to make your first carnivore which will require its' own exhibit.

Research Dig Yield and Inventory Space as soon as you can and apply them at the expedition center and fossil center

Create the fast food and gift shop immediately after you create your first dinosaurs to help bring revenue into the park. Raise the prices as high as you can before your profit starts to drop from raising the price. Also make sure you put the focus of the shop in (food, shopping, drink, etc)

When you have the resources Research new fossil sites so you can keep bringing in extra cash, the stress inhibitor gene that you will need for your carnivores as you progress, and new shops to increase revenue.

SAVE A LOT!!!! If you find yourself with a surplus of money and your not sure if you should build something or create a new dino......Save your game. You never know when a tornado is going to come and destroy everything.

Also save right before you try to create a dino. If it fails reload your game and try again until you arent wasting your money on a failed attempt.

Adjust Feeders to 12 minutes or so if you dont have many large dinosaurs in an enclosure, that way it lasts longer and your arent paying to restock it all the time.

Research Reduce Upkeep and apply that to your power stations to increase your profit a little bit

Your dinosaur rating is only based on 2 main things that matter: How many different species and what their total ratings are added all up. So once you can safely make them, create every dinosaur species you can when your starting out. Each new species adds to your dinosaur variety. The faster your dinosaur rating goes up the quicker your park's rating will go up. The goal is to keep increasing a star, that way you get new dig sties unlocked to create more extra cash. You will also get new Research items which means you can research new fossil sites to unlock as well.

Facility Ratings are pretty easy, just put a variety of different shops near your viewing platforms and hotels to satisfy guest needs

Put storm defense towers up when you can afford it to help prevent damage.
I think the two most important things for challenge mode are to save a lot (as Flint2025 already said) and be patient. Don't try to do too much too quickly.
I owe everyone a great debt of gratitude and will follow the additional suggestions I have been given. Pardon me if I was being a tad hyperbolic (emphasis on tad), but I as all of you were kind enough to be of help I will give it a shot as I owe you all a load of thanks.
If you are tackling Isla Pena STOP! Go for Matanceros or Nublar. Heck if you want to complete a challenge in 3 hours go for Muerta East. The fact that you might only be going for Pena worries me in a way. Try to get a good rhythm going with the other islands before tackling Pena.
They say Pena is the hardest because of the build space and all. It will take a long time, it did for me anyway. But it was my first island on jurassic, i failed the first 7 or 8 times until i got tips like you did. Then i beat it. Do what you want man. The slow money is a struggle on Pena. Im doing Sorna now, money is super easy in the begining. I just have to get a high enough dino rating right now. Im around 9,000 out of 11,000.

Be patient and stick to the tips, get struthis out quick and save up. You can do it.
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Community Manager
Great tips here, thanks to all of you who got involved!

We'll be taking on some Jurassic challenges on stream soon, so I'm taking notes as well ;)
Started off by building a power plant, expedition and fossil center. Sent a team to work on struthis. Built one hatchery and made a small holding pen area. Next I built an enclosure to the right with a viewing vent and with a gate coming from the holding pen. This is where I figured I would House my first dinos, except for triceratops. For him I saved until I had struthis genes maxed and about 7 or so with about 3 Edmontosaurus. The triceratops I put in a small pen coming from the bottom of the holding area. If you do it right the viewing vent can pick up the triceratops in the pen below the holding area. Left if the holding area I made a Carnotaurus and dilo pen. Also luck with digs and contracts are huge.
I have played again for 16 hours and have not succeeded. I five stared the facilities but only got about 2 star on the dinosaurs. This challenge mode is a massive headache inducing pain where I have cloned I don't know how many dinosaurs, gotten 100% on several gene sequences trying to get the funds to complete this and have cussed way too much at this mess. I again thank you for all the help but this entire challenge for just one alternative skin for the T-Rex is giving me a massive migraine but I am calling it quits for now. I am tired of the storms, the penalties, my best dinosaurs dying of old age before I can actually get the ratings up leading to a massive drop in funds, I have had enough of all of it.
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You have to have many species. Look at the species stat it will tell you how many species out of how many you need. I think Pena is small like 16 species to satisfy variety.

COMBINE ALL OF YOUR HERBIVORES!!!! Put as many together as you can! Lots of iguanadons and sauropods increase your rating. Then get a rex and maybe a Spino. Use the stress inhibitor gene to cause your rex and other carns comfort to stay into the blue all the way down to 55% comfort. You can do it man.
Then get a rex and maybe a Spino.
A Spino is better because it can have two instead of 1. Also I think one spino is already better than a rex. Make a rex and then when you unlock spino have them fight the rex so the get combat infamy. just up their attack and defense a little.
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