Knowledge Is Power
Before jumping into this addicting activity, be sure to check out the official Pet Battles page to familiarize yourself with the updated Pet Journal UI and layout.
Don't forget to read through Mumper's FAQ on the beta forums. This thread answers a lot of questions about the mechanics of Pet Battles gameplay.
And check out this video preview of Pet Battles, courtesy of Wowhead News.
Training for Pet Battles is straightforward. Simply visit your local Pet Battles trainer in any major city. This NPC will also teach your character a specific pet just for your toon's race for a small fee. Each race has a "racial" pet, many of which can also be purchased from a vendor.
» Full list of each race's trainable companion
After training the ability to battle, quests will open up via the NPC trainer. This quest chain will unlock objectives to find and defeat different Pet Tamers in certain zones and ultimately the Grand Master Tamer on the continent. Doing so will unlock daily quests to go up against Pet Tamers!
» Current list of Tamers
You will want to complete at least the early quests in the questline and battle wild pets since the PVE aspect of Pet Battles will help unlock each team slot and award a significant amount of experience for your companions.
Once you've unlocked all three pet slots for a complete team, you can choose to either concentrate on finding and fighting wild pets or you can start queuing up for the Pet Battle matchmaking system. The PVP aspect will award less experience than if you opt for challenging and defeating the Pet Tamer NPCs.
After training Pet Battles on one character, all toons on your account will have the Pet Battling ability and access to your Pet Battle team. A level 5 companion will remain a level 5 pet across all of your characters. Note that although the Pet Battles ability will be available for all characters after training once, you can still complete the questline once on each toon. This might change in a future beta patch.
Tips for Beginners:
- Pick multiple pets to level up. - It's easy to stick to just three, but as you progress, you may find that you need to rotate companions in and out of your team. This will be easier if you have more than just one team of similar level.
- Choose pets of varying Family Type. - The starting areas for Pet Battles will mainly have Critter and Beast opponents, so it might seem convenient to use pets that are strong against these two types, but the Pet Tamers that you come across won't be using just Critters and Beasts. These NPCs aren't pushovers when it comes to Pet Battles either.
- There are some pets that will not fight, no matter how hard you try to bribe them with pet treats and toys!
- Remember to right click on the pets you wish to concentrate on leveling up and selecting "Favorite". This will help you find pets quickly for swapping in and out of your team.
A Wild Pet Appears!
You'll notice a new tracking ability option for your mini-map. The ability to track wild pets is trained simultaneously with Pet Battles training, and allows you to see the wild critters that you can fight and possibly capture.
- Although there are many critters in the world, you can fight and capture only those with the green paw print above their heads.
- To challenge a wild pet, simply right click on an eligible critter. Sometimes you will receive an error that there is an obstruction preventing the battle from starting. Try to move to a more open area before engaging the wild pet.
- A wild pet must be at 35% of their health or lower before the option to capture them is unlocked.
- If you fail on your first attempt to capture a pet, either try again or bring the wild pet's health down a little more before attempting to capture.
- As you progress through each zone, you will find yourself up against more than one wild pet on a team.
- The second and third wild pet on the opposing team will not be known until you engage in battle with a wild pet. Once in the Pet Battle UI, though, you will see the stats and Family Type of the other pets. It's best to determine which wild companion you want to capture before making your first move since you may only capture one wild pet out of the three.
- You must win the Pet Battle with the wild pet(s) in order to keep the one you captured. If you lose the battle, you will not receive the wild pet.
Curious about which wild pet spawns in what zone? Each pet will list its source in the Pet Journal. Just hover over your companion's image icon in the preview window in the journal, and you will see where you can find that pet.
Additionally, the WarcraftPets community has set up threads dedicated to listing all the wild pets and their spawn locations.
» Wild pet locations sorted by continent and zone
Earning Experience and Leveling
Leveling up is the name of the game; the higher the level, the better your companion's stats will be, which can give you a slightly higher chance of success in battle!
- Only pets that actively take part in an encounter will earn experience. Those that aren't switched in during the battle will not earn experience.
- Pets that die during combat will not earn experience.
- Higher level opponents will award more experience.
- A "difficulty bonus" is sometimes awarded, either for especially long fights or encounters with high(er) level opponents.
- Leveling up will unlock new abilities for your pets. You will have three ability slots per pet, but you can switch these abilities between battles.
- New abilities are unlocked at levels 1, 2, 4, 10, 15, and 20.
Pet Stats, Qualities, and Family Types
All pets have stats that can affect combat, however only wild pets can be of a unique quality. They can come in the form of Poor, Common, Uncommon, and Rare. Perhaps even Epic and Legendary wild pets exist somewhere out there too!
Currently there's no mechanic or ability to see what quality type a wild pet is before you capture it. Each wild pet is randomly assigned a quality, and the main way to guess it's possible type is to check its stats and health after engaging in combat. The higher the numbers (for its level) means a higher chance that it will be of better quality. Only after you capture it will its quality be revealed.
In addition to stats and qualities, pets will be categorized into Family Types. The certain family type abilities and passive bonuses your pets have can help (or hurt) your chances for success in a battle, and having different types on your team is often suggested but it's not mandatory.
Ready, Set, Fight!
Whether you are fighting a wild pet, a Pet Tamer's pet team, or another player, there are some things to keep in mind.
- Pet Battles combat is turn based, and the pet that has higher Speed will use their attack first each round. A golden box surrounding the pet's portrait in the Pet Battle UI will indicate which companion will get to strike first each round.
- Currently there is no timer between each turn and you may take your time to choose what ability to use next, but this could change in the future.
- You may switch to a different pet on your active pet team during the fight, but it will use up a turn.
- Some pets have buffs and debuffs that persist even if you switch to another pet. For example: The Tranquility spell that Pet A casts will also affect Pet B if you switch to Pet B during combat. Another example is a debuff on your opponent persisting even though you change to use a companion who does not have that debuffing ability.
- Pets can dodge and block and attacks can miss. This is mainly based on RNG, however there are some abilities that specifically state a high chance to miss or reduce the chance to dodge an attack.