Pet Battle System
|Pet Battle System|
|Abilities · Companions · Trainers · Tamers|
The Pet Battle System, introduced in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, allows players to use their companion pets in a turn-based mini-game to capture wild pets to add to their collection, battle NPC Pet tamers, and test their skills against other players. Winning a battle rewards the participating pets with experience, which allows pets to gain levels, increasing their power and unlocking new abilities to use in battles.
To participate in pet battles, players must learn the skill from a Battle Pet Trainer, available at level 5 for 10. The skill applies to all level 5 and above characters on the player's battle.net account.
Almost all companions are battle pets, and can participate in pet battles. Battle pets gain experience, and eventually level up (up to the current level cap of 25), by battling other pets. Reaching levels 1, 2, 4, 10, 15 and 20 unlocks new abilities, though each pet may only select three abilities to use in battle.
There are ten pet types or families, each with a unique passive ability. Each pet type is strong against one type of pet damage (taking only 67% damage from that type of attacks), and weak against one other type of pet damage (taking 150% damage). For example a Beast pet takes 50% additional damage from a Mechanical attack, but takes 33% less damage from a Humanoid ability. However a pet can have abilities different from its type - for example the has which is a Flying type attack, while the Mechanical Chicken itself is a Mechanical type. Damage modifiers are therefore a combination of the type of the attacker's ability, and the type of the defender itself; the type of the attacker does not actually have any bearing on this.
Although generally reasonable, a pet's type may not always match expectations. For instance, Peanut, the baby elephant, is of the Critter type, while Maggot is considered a Beast. Similarly, the undead Blighted Squirrel is of the Critter (not Undead) type, while the undead flying Blighthawk is of the Undead (not Flying) type.
- Aquatic (strong vs , weak vs )
- Passive: Harmful damage over time effects are reduced by 50% on Aquatic pets.
- Beast (strong vs , weak vs )
- Passive: Beasts deal 25% extra damage below half health.
- Critter (strong vs , weak vs )
- Passive: Critters are immune to stun, root, and sleep effects.
- Dragonkin (strong vs , weak vs )
- Passive: Dragons deal 50% additional damage on the next round after bringing a target's health below 50%.
- Elemental (strong vs , weak vs )
- Passive: Elementals ignore all negative weather effects.
- Flying (strong vs , weak vs )
- Passive: Flying creatures gain 50% extra speed while above 50% health.
- Humanoid (strong vs , weak vs )
- Passive: Humanoids recover 5% of their maximum health every time they attack.
- Magic (strong vs , weak vs )
- Passive: Magic pets cannot be dealt more than 35% of their maximum health in one attack.
- Mechanical (strong vs , weak vs )
- Passive: Comes back to life once per battle, returning to 25% health.
- Undead (strong vs , weak vs )
- Passive: Undead pets return to life immortal for one round when killed.
Critter, Beast and Flying types have (in that order) the highest number of unique pets, while Humanoid, Undead, and Magic types have (in that order) the lowest number of unique pets.
Each pet has 3 stats: Health, Power and Speed.
- Health determines the number of health points the pet has. Damaging attacks reduce the pet's current health score, and reducing it to zero will kill the pet. Some abilities restore a portion of the pet's health, or temporarily increase its maximum.
- Power determines the amount of damage dealt by the pet's attacks. Power appears to function similarly to Attack Power, increasing the base damage of each ability.
- Speed determines which pet goes first each round. The pet with the highest Speed will always act first, including attempt's by the pet's owner to trap wild pets. If both pets have equal Speed, order is determined randomly each round. Many abilities temporarily increase the Speed of the user or reduce the Speed of its opponent, while others have additional effects if the user is faster or slower than their opponent. A strategically significant stat.
Each species of pet has its own base stat values, with a bias toward certain stats. For example, snakes and mice tend to have higher Speed, while turtles and bears tend to have higher Health. Gaining a level will increase all of a pet's stats. However, just how much each stat is increased by is determined by the pet's quality and breed. Higher quality pets enjoy larger gains overall, while different breeds of pet gain more in different stats. Each pet's stat bias is fixed and will persist through levelling and quality gains.
Collectible pets come in four types of quality: poor, common, uncommon and rare. Quality functions as a direct multiplier for each pet's stats; poor quality pets have the lowest stats, followed by common pets, then uncommon pets, with rare pets having the highest stats of all. The quality of pets can be determined through the corresponding colour of their names.
While player pets are limited to the above qualities, epic and legendary pets do exist. Most max-level pet tamers use epic pets, while legendary pets feature in the  battle pet quests. There are currently no pets of these qualities that are obtainable by players.
Breed determines the exact balance of stats that any individual pet will boast. While each species of pet has its own stat bias, each individual pet may be one of a number of breeds. Which breeds are available is determined by species, with most featuring several possibilities. Pets that have been purchased or gained through achievements or promotions (such as or ) have only one possible breed, ensuring that all such pets are created equal. Some breeds place a strong emphasis on a single stat, while others are split between two or even all three stats.
Each breed effectively grants a bonus to one or more stats, increasing the amounts of those stats gained by the pet for each level it possesses. Balanced breeds offer the lowest overall point total, while single-stat breeds offer the highest point total, but are obviously less versatile. There are 10 total breeds, although only a handful of these are usually available to any given species of pet.
The effect of breed on stats can have a significant impact on a pet's abilities. For example, a pet with abilities like or may benefit substantially from having higher Speed, while those without such abilities may have more to gain from extra Health or Power. Desired breeds therefore vary by pet, as well as by preferred strategy and team composition.
Breed represents the one factor which cannot be changed for each pet; they can be levelled-up to gain in overall power, and improved with Battle-Stones to increase their quality, but their breed is fixed and cannot be changed. Because of this, ideal breed is more important than level or quality when seeking an optimum pet for max-level play.
For detailed information on pet breeds and related calculations, see WarcraftPets.com's Guide to WoW Pet Breeds and Breed IDs.
Each battle pet has six abilities in total, placed in three tiers: level 1&10, 2&15, and 4&20, with abilities learnt at the corresponding level. Pets can only choose one of each pair of abilities to use in each battle, and these pairings cannot be rearranged. For example a learns at level 2 and at level 15, so a player who has a level 15 Core Hound Pup can choose to use either Howl or Dodge. Selected abilities can be easily changed through the Pet Journal, but not during battles. Each pet can only use a choice of three abilities in combat.
Abilities are not exclusive to the pet's type, so a Mechanical type pet may have a Flying ability. Different ability types may deal increased or decreased damage to the target depending on their type, making different abilities more desirable against different opponents.
While each species of pet possesses a different set of available abilities, the same set is usually shared by most or all species of any given kind. For example, all snakes share the same ability set as , while all bears share abilities with , and all moths share abilities with Silky Moth. However, there some exceptions; pets such as Fire Beetle, Scalded Basilisk Hatchling and defy expectations to offer some more unusual abilities for their types. While different species may feature the same ability sets, it should be noted that they often offer different stat and breed possibilities.
Abilities come in many varieties, and can be affected by various factors such as hit chance and Speed. For an explanation of abilities and their use, see below.
Like player characters, each battle pet has a level, and an experience (XP) bar. Gaining enough XP will cause your pet to gain a level. Gaining a level will generally increase your pet's stats, and instantly restore their health to its new maximum. Reaching certain levels also allows access to new abilities. The current battle pet level cap is 25.
Pets gain XP through winning battles. XP is awarded only at the end of a battle; defeating individual opponents will not reward XP until the battle as a whole is won. If the player loses the battle, no XP will be gained.
The amount of XP earnt in a battle is rewarded according to the calculated difficulty of the encounter; this appears to largely relate to the relative levels of the involved pets. Pets earn more XP for defeating pets which are of a higher level than them, and less XP for defeating pets which are of a lower level than them. Opponents 5 or more levels below the pet's level reward no XP. Trapped pets reward only a portion of the usual XP.
Pets at max level cannot gain XP, but can still earn it through battle. Any XP earnt by max-level pets will instead be divided among any participating non-max-level pets, similarly to the below rules concerning dead pets. However, battles involving only max-level pets will yield no XP.
XP distribution varies depending on the type of battle. Battles played against the computer divide XP between all surviving participants, regardless of their actual contribution to the battle. This means that lone survivors of challenging encounters can reap a substantial XP reward, and makes it possible to briefly involve weaker pets in tough battles to allow them to share in the spoils. In the event that the player wins, but all participating pets die, leaving one or more non-participating survivors, the XP reward will be divided among the surviving pets. Queued PvP pet battles simply divide XP between all participating pets on the winning team, dead or alive. Duels do not reward any XP. Battles which conclude with the death of all involved pets do not reward XP, regardless of the order of death.
XP is divided among eligible pets according to level, with lower-level pets gaining a slightly larger portion than higher-level pets. XP distribution is not affected by the amount of damage dealt by each pet, whether they started or ended the match, or the number of opponents they faced. The overall amount of XP granted is partly determined by the relative level of the pets involved; defeating pets of a lower level yields proportionately smaller rewards.
Wild pets are critter-like creatures that are found throughout the game world. Players with Battle Pet Training can choose to battle them using their own battle pets. Aside from their involvement in the battle pet system, wild pets are very similar to critters, having extremely low health and usually refusing to attack the player even if attacked. Players can enter battle with wild pets by right-clicking on them. Wild pets can be captured, and thus added to the player's collection. See below for details.
Wild pets can be distinguished from non-combat critters and mobs in a number of ways. Firstly, mousing over a wild pet will cause the cursor to transform into the wild pet icon . The icon will be green if the pet is within range for battling, or grey if it is out of range. Wild pets can also be distinguished by an icon next to their portrait representing their Type (see below), and capturable wild pets will display the text "Capturable" if moused over.
Players with can also choose to track pets. This displays nearby wild pets on the mini-map, allowing players to find them easily. It also causes the wild pet icon and the pet's name to be displayed above wild pets, making them easily distinguishable from non-combat critters.
Wild pets appear throughout Azeroth, with some being more rare than others. Weather, time of day and even time of year can play into when the creatures appear as well. For example some wild pets won't appear unless it's raining or night time, possibly even both.
Almost every zone in the game features wild pets, and almost every zone that features wild pets has at least one pet that is unique to that zone. The main exceptions are the cities, the PvP zones and a handful of other zones.
As companions, battle pets can found in the Pet Journal. The Journal lists the player's current collection, displaying name, type, level and quality, and features a search function and various filters. Detailed information on each pet and its stats and abilities can be obtained through the top-right pane. Players can choose to release a pet back into the wild by right-clicking the pet and selecting 'Release'.
The bottom-right pane consists of three Battle Pet Slots, representing the player's current battle pet team. Dragging a pet to one of these slots will make it part of your team, replacing any pet previously occupying that slot. Each Battle Pet Slot displays a review of the pet, showing the pet's name, type, abilities, level, health and experience. Pets' abilities can also be chosen in this pane. Pets will be displayed in-combat in the order of the slots that they occupy; when battling wild pets, the pet in the first slot will always open combat (if alive). By default, the pet in the first slot is also summoned as the player's companion.
At the bottom-left of the window is the 'Summon' button, allowing a pet to be summoned as the player's in-game companion. At the top-right can be found the ability, while at the bottom-right is the 'Find Battle' button, queueing the player for a PvP pet battle match against another player with a reasonably similar team of pets.
Healing and resurrection
A number of options exist for restoring your battle pets. All have the effect of resurrecting and healing all of your battle pets to 100% health.
- - 8 minute cooldown. No cost. Available anywhere through the Pet Journal. The simplest option.
- Stable masters - talk to a stable master to revive your pets. No cooldown. Costs 10. Stable masters can be located using the mini-map, if the corresponding tracking option is enabled. They are found in most towns and villages, but players may still have to travel to find them. The best option if there is one nearby.
- - no cooldown, no cost. Use anywhere, as long as you have one in your bag. These are rewarded relatively sparingly from related quests. Extremely convenient, and very useful when the other options are on cooldown or too far away. Useful, but limited in supply.
Pet battles are designed to be highly accessible, and this is reflected in the range of options for restoring pets. Note that only PvE pet battles affect the health of your actual pets; none of these options are therefore needed when dealing solely with PvP battles. This allows players to enjoy PvP without constraint, but still places some small price upon death against computer opponents. However, players still cannot participate in PvP pet battles without a full team of live pets. Note also that all the above options restore all pets to 100% health, whether or not they are part of your current team.
is sufficient for basic levelling purposes; it is generally only when facing repeated failure in PvE encounters that the other options become necessary. A is of course the most convenient option after that, but supply of them is limited. Stable masters are a great option if there is one nearby, as they can be visited as often as desired at a very low price, and there is usually one within a few minutes of most locations. Alternatively, players may prefer to simply wait until Revive Battle Pets' cooldown expires. If none of these options appeal, players are always free to play with other pets for a few minutes.
Pet battles are turn-based, rather than in real-time like other combat in World of Warcraft. Players can battle with their pets in solo matches or teams of up to three pets. Players can leave a pet battle at any time by forfeiting the match. Players cannot start a pet battle while in combat, flying or falling.
During battle, any characters (players or NPCs) which stray too close to the field of battle will disappear and not be shown to the participants. This prevents interference with pet battles through obstructing players' view of the fight. Nearby mobs will not attack players who are engaged in pet battles, although they may do so immediately after the player finishes battling.
When fighting another player, you cannot see the other player's name or communicate with them.
Pets can have a boost in one area: health, attack or speed. For example a speed pet is essential for moves that does additional damage if done first, but is more vulnerable to an attack pet, and has a harder time defeating a health pet (unless it has a bigger advantage - see types section below).
Some pets may have some different abilities or feature cosmetic differences, but no player will ever have a significant advantage based simply on the rarity of a pet.
Types of battle
Players can battle their pets against both computer opponents and other players. Pet battles can occur in four different ways:
- Right-clicking on a wild pet
- Challenging a Pet tamer NPC to a battle, as part of one of the related quests
- Queueing for a pet battle by clicking the 'Find Battle' button in the Pet Journal
- Challenging a player by right-clicking on their portrait and selecting the 'Pet-battle Duel' option
Each of these methods of finding battle results in a slightly different experience.
Wild pet battles
A wild pet battle can be started by right-clicking on any wild pet. Battle will commence immediately, with the pet that is highest on the player's team automatically starting combat. Wild pet battles take place in the player's immediate area, and any obstructions within that area may prevent battle from commencing - moving into a slightly different position will usually solve this problem.
Since wild pet battles are PvE battles, played against the computer, there is no time limit in this type of battle. Players can take as long as they want to choose which actions to take each round, and do not have to wait for their opponent(s) to make their decisions.
The most significant difference between wild pet battles and other types of battles is that pets in wild pet battles can be captured by the player. Any time a wild pet falls below 35% health, the player can attempt to trap the pet. Attempting to trap a pet counts as the player's action for that round, and will take place in the appropriate sequence, determined by the speed of the player's current pet. Attempting to trap a pet may or may not succeed. If it succeeds, the pet will be removed from combat and added to the player's collection. If it fails, the player is free to try again next round, with a 25% increase in their chance of success for each previous attempt. However, only one pet can be captured in each battle. Captured pets are only claimed upon the player winning the total battle - if the player fails, the captured pet will be lost. Captured pets appear to reward only a portion of the XP usually gained by defeating them.
Players cannot attempt to trap a pet if they already have three of that pet in their collection, or if they already have the maximum number of pets (650 pets as of patch 5.1.0). Players can choose to release pets at any time outside of battles, freeing up space for new pets to be captured, but not during battle. Players may therefore wish to leave spaces in their collection to ensure that they have room should a rare specimen pop up. Mousing over a wild pet will display the number of that kind of pet the player currently has in their collection, making this somewhat easier to anticipate, but does not of course account for any additional pets that may join the battle.
Capturing a wild pet may also reduce its level:
- Catching any pet level 15 or under will retain its current level.
- Catching a level 16-20 pet will lose 1 level.
- Catching a level 21-25 pet will lose 2 levels.
Although encountered individually, entering battle with a wild pet may lead to one or more additional pets entering combat to assist it, with the announcement "Another pet has joined the battle!" or "Two more pets have joined the battle!". These additional pets need not match the original pet's type. Additional pets are generally determined by level, with low-level wild pets battling alone and higher level pets reliably bringing two friends to the fight.
Wild pet battles and tamer battles are the only kinds of battles in which the health of the player's pets is not restored at the end of battle. However, surviving participants do benefit from Battle Restoration, a healing effect which restores a portion of the health lost by the pet during the battle. Pets that have died during battle do not benefit from Battle Restoration.
While battling wild pets, characters will still appear in the game world, and can still be attacked. To compensate for this vulnerability, characters attacked by enemy players while engaged in pet battles will gain a three-second damage absorption shield, giving them time to cancel their pet battle and attend to their attacker. In these cases, the wild pet will be respawned. This should mostly affect players on PvP realms. 
Once a player begins a pet battle with a wild pet, the pet itself will be removed from the game world, preventing other players from attempting to battle it. Wild pets will not re-spawn in the game world even if the player is defeated, or surrenders. However, if the player leaves the battle after being attacked by another player, or in order to enter a queued pet battle match, the pet will be re-spawned, provided it has not yet been killed.
Pet tamer battles
Pet tamers are special NPCs whom players can challenge to battle through corresponding quests. Pet tamer battles are very similar to wild pet battles, except that tamers' pets cannot be captured. All pet tamers also come with three pets, and these are all present in the game world before battle begins. Tamers open every battle with the same pet, and tend to offer a very similar fight experience every time. Their pets also use the same three abilities for every fight. This gives players the chance to devise specific strategies to counter tamers' pets. At higher levels pet tamers can offer quite a challenge, and this level of strategy and customisation of the player's team is often necessary to defeat them.
Most max-level tamers have epic pets. All tamer pets have individual names, and most higher level pets are somewhat unique, often featuring appearances or ability sets that do not exactly match any pets available to players.
Unlike wild pet battles, where entering battle removes the wild pet from the game world, entering battle with a pet tamer instead phases the player out of the regular game world, meaning they cannot be seen or attacked while battling a pet tamer. Because of this, pet tamers can battle multiple players simultaneously. However, players currently engage in tamer battles can sometimes be detected by the presence of their current companions, who remain visible to other players. Players on PvP realms should take care when battling tamers, since these NPCs may attract a regular flow of players from both factions, and while battling players are protected from attack, they may leave the fight to discover enemy players close at hand, or even waiting eagerly for their return.
Queued pet battles
Players can queue for PvP pet battles through the 'Find Battle' button in the Pet Journal. Queueing for a pet battle causes the player to enter a queue very similar to those used for queueing for dungeons, battlegrounds, etc. Once a match is found, the player will be given 30 seconds to decide whether to accept or decline the match.
Accepting the match will temporarily transport the player to a random battle zone on the player's current continent, where they will do battle with their opponent. Although appearing within the location (including witnessing NPCs and player characters in the area) players and their pets cannot be seen by others in the area, nor interacted with. Battle zones include many unlikely locations, such the bustling centre of Orgrimmar, and amid fighting saurok in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. At the conclusion of the battle, players are returned to their previous locations. Since the location experienced by each player always corresponds to their current continent (and not that of their opponent), it is likely that each player's location is determined separately (the battle itself not actually taking place in either location).
During queued pet battles, the player's opponent is represented by a randomly selected player character. They may be of any playable race, of either gender and faction, and may wear any of a variety of often quite impressive armor. The opponent's representation does not appear to be related to their actual character; meeting the same player twice in a row will yield an apparently entirely different opponent, albeit possessing exactly the same pets. This is provable due to the one feature of queued pet battles that allows for identification: any personalised pet names are still shown in battle.
PvP pet battles feature a reasonable time limit when choosing which action to take each round. A meter across the top of the action bar indicates the time remaining to choose this round's action. As with PvE battles, each opponent must choose their action at the start of the round. The round will commence once both players have chosen their actions, or when the timer expires. If a player does not choose an action before the timer expires, they will 'pass' that round. Round timers will also get progressively shorter for players who take more than 15 seconds to issue a command during their turn. Battles begin with an inspection period, during which no actions can be taken, but players are free to examine their opponent's pets. After this, players are given a small period in which to select one of their pets.
PvP pet battles (both queued battles and duels) do not alter the health or status of your actual pets; after battle, your pets are restored to the state in which they were beforehand. Pets therefore do not need to be healed or resurrected after these types of battle. Players cannot queue for a pet battle if any of their pets are dead. However, if one of your pets dies while you are queued, accepting the invitation will lead you to enter the battle with only your surviving pets available. Regardless of its health, as long as a pet is alive when the invitation is accepted, that pet will enter the battle at full health. Players also cannot adjust their lineup or their currently selected pets' abilities while queued for a pet battle.
Forfeiting a queued pet battle will grant the winning player full XP rewards, even if no combat has taken place. Battles which conclude with the death of all involved pets are counted as a draw.
Although claiming to match you "against a player of similar skill", with teams featuring below max level pets the battle queueing system would appear rather to select matches based on the combined level of the pets in each player's team. For example, a player with pets of levels 6, 6, and 7 (for a combined total of 19 levels), might find themselves matched against a player with pets of levels 7, 7 and 5, levels 6, 5 and 8, or even levels 10, 8 and 1. However, the match is not always exact.
While queued, players can engage in other activity with their character, including battling wild pets. If the player's queue match comes up while they are engaged in a battle with a wild pet, they can still choose to enter the new match; the battle against the wild pet will be abandoned. Leaving combat using this technique appears to re-place the wild pet in the game world, potentially allowing you to battle it again once your queued match is completed. However, players cannot queue for pet battles while currently in a battle.
Pet battle duels
Pet battle duels, initiated by challenging a nearby player through right-clicking their portrait, are broadly similar to queued pet battles, with a few differences. The most important difference is that pet battle duels do not award experience - duels therefore cannot be used for levelling pets. Similarly, they do not count towards achievements such as . These aspects were likely added to ensure that all player-vs-player pet battles that grant experience or achievements are randomly matched, and to prevent players from exploiting the system by repeatedly throwing premade battles.
Various abilities can create weather effects, or take advantage of existing ones. Creating a new weather effect will replace the current one. All weather effects last 9 rounds, except for Darkness, which lasts 5 rounds.
Various statuses can be applied to pets. Statuses may be applied by abilities or caused by weather effects. While statuses have no effect in and of themselves, other abilities can take advantage of them. All statuses expire once battle ends.
|Status||Caused by||Used by|
Order of battle
Once starting pets have been determined, the first round begins. At the start of each round, each player (or computer opponent) must decide their action for that round. There are 6 main options:
- Use one of the three abilities of your current pet
- Switch to a different pet
- Attempt to trap the enemy pet (only available during wild pet battles)
- Forfeit the match
- Pass, taking no actions this round
All of the above options, with the exception of forfeiting, take the place of the player's chosen action for that round, and only one of those options can be chosen each round. Players can choose to forfeit the match at any time, even mid-action. Forfeiting the match will declare your opponent the winner, and in the case of wild pet battles will reduce the current health of all pets on your team by 10%. Choosing to switch your pet will perform the switch before your opponent has the chance to take action, and effectively grants your opponent a free turn; any attack or ability used by them that round will be applied to your new active pet.
The order of all actions besides switching pets is determined by the speeds of the currently active pets, with the pet with the higher Speed taking action first. If the pets have equal Speed, order is determined randomly each round. This order of action also applies to players attempting to capture wild pets; their attempt will take place at the time at which their pet would normally act. Note that certain abilities such as supersede the usual order.
The order of attack is often of greater significance than simply who has the chance to kill whom first; some abilities such as incapacitate opponents, preventing them from taking action, while others such as protect the user from the next attack directed against them. Numerous abilities also grant additional effects depending on the Speed of the user or the target.
Damage over time effects and delayed effects from abilities such as always take place at the end of the round, and will take effect whether or not the victim's opponent is still alive. Personal effects from abilities such as will affect the afflicted pet whether or not they are currently the active pet, while general effects such as damage over time effects from weather and delayed effects usually only affect the currently active pet. Since these effects take place at the end of the round, if the pet dies during the round, any such effects will be wasted.
Once a pet's health reaches zero, the pet will die. If the player has another pet available, they will be allowed to choose which to use next. If not, the battle is over. Victory is decided by whichever team's pets are defeated first. If all surviving pets die within the same round, the battle will be deemed a draw, regardless of order of death.
Battle pets come with a variety of abilities at their disposal. Some are straight damage abilities, while others may heal pets, grant buffs or strategically weaken opponents. While the ultimate goal is to defeat the enemy team, this array of abilities presents a range of possible approaches to any battle.
Each ability has a hit chance. You can find this displayed in each ability's tooltip. Most direct damage abilities have a 100% hit chance, while some powerful attacks like have a substantial chance of missing. Additionally, abilities such as which apply a Blinded status effect, and the Darkness weather effect caused by , may reduce pets' chance to be hit by up to 100%. Pets also have a chance to miss when fighting higher-level opponents, equal to 2% for each level. Abilities with lower hit chances are often extremely powerful, but can be unreliable.
Direct effects are those that are applied immediately. This includes abilities that immediately deal damage, apply buffs and debuffs, and provide healing.
The majority of pet abilities incorporate some element of direct damage. Direct damage is damage that is dealt immediately, as opposed to damage over time. Direct damage is usually the main method of defeating pets, although it can be less reliable than damage over time effects when fighting pets that are capable of shielding themselves. Note that many direct abilities such as deal direct damage while also applying periodic damage over time effects.
While almost all abilities take place within a single round, some take longer. Multi-round abilities take the place of the player's actions for the duration, and once the player has committed to this course of action, they cannot cancel the ability or choose another action until the ability has completed, even if the current opponent is defeated. Multi-round abilities display their number of rounds in their tooltips.
Some multi-round abilities such as deal damage each round, while others such as are spent in preparation. Some such as also make the user unattackable for the duration, although this does not prevent them from suffering damage from non-direct sources such as already applied damage over time effects.
Some direct effects known as "ramping" abilities, while taking place within a single round, increase in power each time they are used.
Periodic effects are those that take place over time. This includes damage over time effects and healing over time effects. Most periodic effects take effect for several rounds in a row, while others such as only take place once, a set number of rounds after they are applied. Periodic effects almost always happen at the end of the round. Most periodic effects take effect for the first time at the end of the round in which they are applied. Weather effects also take the form of battle-wide periodic effects, usually affecting all active pets or even all pets in play.
Damage over time effects don't deal damage immediately, but instead tend to take the form of a debuff, dealing a regular amount of damage at the end of each round for a set number of rounds. They can be useful when planning to use a protective or multi-round ability, because the enemy pet will still receive damage even without your pet attacking them. Damage over time effects may or may not be prevented by effects that cause enemy attacks to miss (since the effect has already been applied) but may still be prevented by protective and blocking effects. As a rule, effects which involve a pre-inflicted wound, such as that from , will still deal damage even if the target cannot be hit; while effects that involve repeated strikes, such as that from , will not.
Most damage over time effects are applied to individual pets, and will continue to deal damage to them even if they are no longer the active pet. Other sources of damage over time, such as that provided by certain weather effects, are applied to whichever pets are currently active, or simply to all involved pets.
Delayed effects such as have no apparent effect until several rounds later, when they take effect at the end of the round. Strategically, these usually represent a superior effect (be it damage or crowd control) to that offered by more direct means, but at the price of delayed application. These effects are usually battle-wide effects, affecting whichever pet is active when the duration expires. However, if the active pet dies before the end of that round, the effect will be wasted.
Many abilities offer some kind of short-term protection or immunity to attack. Some multi-round abilities such as leave the user unattackable for the rest of the round, causing non-periodic effects to miss them, or grant them a 100% chance to block or dodge attacks.
Many protective abilities protect the user against the next attack. These usually refer to a single direct attack, and abilities such as which deal several small strikes will therefore be only partly mitigated.
Of special note is , which generally cannot be blocked or avoided through such abilities. However, certain protections do exist: all Cockroaches and Beetles always survive Apocalypse; as do pets using . Magic-type pets may also survive it due to their passive type ability which prevents them from taking more than 40% of their maximum health in damage in any one attack.
While most abilities focus on a single target, others affect a whole team of pets at once. This includes abilities which heal your entire team, and attacks which damage all opponents. Since non-active pets cannot fight back, multi-target attacks, while typically dealing less damage to each individual pet than a single-target attack, can often be an effective way of defeating opposing teams through dealing unavoidable damage. Whole-team heals are the natural counter to these attacks, with some pets often selected for battles solely for their ability to heal the rest of the team. All multi-target abilities are more effective when facing a full team, usually making them more desirable early in matches.
Weather, condition and object abilities
Certain abilities can create weather effects. Weather effects last 9 rounds, or until another weather effect is created, and can confer various effects and benefits to pets, essentially battle-wide buffs and debuffs. For a list of weather statuses and related abilities, see Weather.
Other abilities are able to create temporary conditions or even objects on the battlefield. Examples include , and . Some of these are extremely similar to weather effects, but are not counted as such. They may take effect each round or only trigger upon certain events. Certain abilities such as can destroy pet-created objects.
Buffs and debuffs
Buffs are found as part of many pet abilities. Some abilities simply provide buffs, while others also perform other functions such as dealing damage. Many abilities such as that generate buffs as part of an attack, do not actually need to hit the target to provide the buff. The most common kinds of buff include increasing the user's speed and damage output, or decreasing their damage taken.
The counter to buffs, debuffs are also applied by many abilities. Debuffs are usually applied to enemies, although they are sometimes acquired by pets as a tradeoff for an ability's other effects. Some debuff-applying abilities such as will not apply their debuffs if the attack misses, or the target is protected.
All ability-applied buffs and debuffs have a limited duration. This is usually a certain number of rounds, but some instead last for a set number of attacks, made by or against the pet. Buffs from some passive type abilities do not have a duration, but may have their own conditions for taking effect.
Debuffs are generally pet-specific, and their duration will continue to expire whether or not the afflicted pet is currently the active pet. Players will therefore often swap out a particularly afflicted pet until the debuff has expired (especially if it was generated by an ability with a lengthy cooldown). Certain abilities such as can directly remove buffs and debuffs.
Many buffs and debuffs, such as speed and damage effects, expire at the end of the appropriate round. These often therefore offer twice the utility to higher-speed pets. For example, using protects the user until the end of the next round. Higher-speed pets will therefore be protected from the next two attacks made against them, since they can cast this before their opponent's attack that round; while lower speed pets will only be protected against one, having already suffered their opponent's attack for the current round.
Other effects, such as stuns and other crowd control effects (see below) instead expire exactly one or more rounds after they were applied. This means that use a one-round stun on an opponent before they have time to act will prevent them from acting for that round (but they will be free to act in the next), while using it on a pet after they have acted will prevent them from taking action in the next round.
Crowd control abilities
Some debuffs directly affect the abilities of the target. Abilities which stun, put to sleep, or otherwise incapacitate the target, prevent that pet from taking any action for the duration. However, players can still choose to swap stunned pets. Some abilities root, trap or web pets, preventing them from being swapped for a number of rounds, but not restricting the actions of the pet itself.
Some abilities have additional effects which take place depending on the stats of the user and/or the target. Additional effects include dealing more damage and generating additional strikes.
The most common kind of conditional ability is probably the speed ability. Some such as have additional effects if the user is faster than the target, while others function only if the user is slower than the target. Others provide additional effects if they are used first in the round. Speed is already a strategic stat, with numerous abilities existing to increase the user's Speed or decrease the target's. Speed abilities make this difference more significant than ever, allowing the stat to easily determine the outcome of a match, and making abilities that affect it extremely useful.
Health abilities generate additional effects dependent on the pets' health levels. Some take effect when the user or target is below 25%, while others simply look at the relative health of the combatants. These can be extremely helpful for finishing opponents, or for use in even more strategic approaches.
Other types of conditional abilities include status abilities, which dependent on status effects such as Bleeding and Stunned, and weather abilities, which require certain weather effects to provide their bonuses.
Each type of pet comes with a unique passive ability. These vary widely, with some active all the time, and others taking effect once per battle at specific times. As passive abilities, these do not need to be activated by the pet; they take place automatically.
While each passive offers its own benefits, a few use more complex mechanics which it is worthwhile to clarify.
Mechanical pets' passive causes them to return to life once pet battle at 20% health. This resurrection takes place immediately after the pet's health reaches zero, and does not end the round; following the pet's resurrection any incomplete attacks or pending periodic effects will still take place, making it quite possible for a mechanical pet to be killed twice in one round. Similarly, any actions waiting to be taken by the pet will still be taken, in the usual order, following its resurrection.
The undead passive is a little different, returning the pet to life immortal for one round when killed. Like the mechanical passive, this takes place immediately after the pet's health reaches zero, and does not end the round. The description 'for one round' is a little unclear - the pet will in fact survive in its immortal form until the end of the round after the round in which it was killed, potentially granting two additional actions. Immortal pets cannot be killed by any normal means; however, once the effect expires the pet will die without any further attack. Prudent opponents may therefore wish to focus on healing, buffing or pet switching, or simply choose to hide somewhere for the duration of the undead's second life, since attacking it will do no good. Note that battles which end with the death of all involved pets are ruled as a draw, regardless of order of death, and do not reward XP.
For a full list of passive type abilities, see Types.
While the majority of battle pet abilities fall under one or more of the above categories, the system features many unique abilities which offer some outlandish effects to their users. Whether trampling enemies with , switching out with , or delaying death with , there are many unusual abilities which are not easily categorised. When encountering new pets for the first time, expect the unexpected!
Aside from pet experience, pet battles can provide the winner with a range of rewards, including:
- Player experience. Winning a pet battle versus a team within 5 levels of the player's highest-level pet will award experience to the player.
- x 1-6
- Battle-Stones, including
Once a player visits a Battle Pet Trainer and learns Pet Battle Training, they learn how to battle, level, heal and capture pets with a short questline.
Players later receive a series of quests leading them to challenge powerful pet tamers on Azeroth and beyond, and at higher levels more unusual quests such as  become available. A number of repeatable daily quests also become available as reward for defeating each region's pet tamers.
- Main article: Pet tamer
Pet tamers are NPCs that have their own pets that they use to battle with. Players will automatically get a quest to challenge the local pet tamer when one of their pets reach level 3. Quests to challenge higher level pet tamers are unlocked as they defeat previous pet tamers.
- Main article: Pet Battles achievements
A plethora of achievements exist for pet battling, divided into the sub-categories of Collect, Battle and Level. Many achievements offer rewards, including numerous battle pets, progressively stronger traps for capturing wild pets, and titles such as Zookeeper. Achievements awarded for defeating each region's tamers act to unlock that region's corresponding pet battle daily quests.
Several addons are available for the Pet Battle System, collected in a category. The most popular ones include:
- The music used in pet battles is taken from Warcraft II.
Patches and hotfixes
- Patch 5.4.0 (2013-09-10):
- A new pet battle tournament is available on the Timeless Isle.
- Round timers in PvP Pet Battles will now get progressively shorter for a player who takes more than 15 seconds to issue a command during their turn.
- Players are now able to trade in any 3 of the same family specific Flawless Battle-Stones for a single .
- Viewable pet battles will now display working health bars.
- Battle Pet levels are now only shown on the map if you are tracking Battle Pets.
- Aquatic type's passive effect now reduces damage from damage-over-time effects by 50%, up from 25%.
- Critter type's passive effect now makes critters immune to roots, stuns, and sleep effects.
- Dragonkin type's passive effect now activates after an attack brings a target's to below 50% health, up from 25%.
- Elemental type's passive effect now only affects negative direct effects of weather. (E.g. Sandstorm's accuracy reduction won't be applied, but the damage reduction will.)
- Magic type's passive effect now caps damage taken at 35% of maximum health, up from 40%.
- Battle Pet Training cost and the price of pets sold by Battle Pet Trainers have been greatly reduced.
- Battle Pet abilities with a component that increases in damage every time it hits will no longer reset when an opponent's pet gets swapped. (Arcane Blast, Frog Kiss, etc.)
- Attacks that do extra damage, if the attacking pet attacks first (such as ), now count as two separate attacks. The two attacks can crit independently of each other.
- Hotfix (2013-06-14): "PvP Pet Battles are now required to last at least a minute before the match is eligible for experience to be awarded"
- Patch 5.3.0 (2013-05-21):
- Bonus damage has been added to many basic abilities, at the cost of slightly reduced accuracy.
- Check out our blog: Pet Battle Accuracy Changes in Patch 5.3 for additional information.
- Pet Battle Duels are now available in all dungeons and raids. Enjoy!
- Pet Battles in the wild and duels are now viewable by other players in the world.
- Hit Chance is now displayed for all abilities.
- Battle Pet Abilities no longer have a base chance to miss or be dodged by opposing pets of the same level.
- Reduced the chance to miss when fighting higher-level opponents from 5% per level to 2% per level.
- A series of new achievements and rewards have been added for max-level matchmaking PvP pet battles
- Wins for max-level, matchmaking PvP pet battles can now be tracked in statistics.
- Battle pets' recent ability loadouts will now be saved when pets are swapped in and out of battle slots.
- Species specific Flawless Battle-Stones are now Bind to Battle.net account.
- A number of new battle pets have been added to the Throne of Thunder and Isle of Thunder. Happy hunting!
- Whispers from pet tamers in the north have spread word of an elusive new battle pet that can be found in the frozen tundras of Northrend. The Unborn Val'kyr awaits.
- Battle Pet drops have been added to Burning Crusade raids. These new pets can be obtained from raid bosses in Karazhan, Tempest Keep and Serpentshrine Cavern. Obtaining all of these new pets will reward players with a new battle pet, Tito!
- Protection for bad luck streaks have been added to Battle-Stones from pet supplies bags and wild battles. Each bag or battle that does not provide a stone has a progressively better chance to award a stone to the player.
- All Pet Battle daily quests on Pandaria, Beasts of Fable and Spirit Tamer quests will now award experience, , and .
- All Pet Battle quests will now award experience.
- A new weekly quest for max-level, matchmaking PvP pet battles has been added.
- Bonus damage has been added to many basic abilities, at the cost of slightly reduced accuracy.
- Hotfix (2013-03-07): "Experience gains from winning a Pet Battle have been reduced."
- Patch 5.2.0 (2013-03-05):
- Many new Battle Pets and Battle Pet abilities have been added.
- Players may now participate in pet battle duels while in the Throne of Thunder instance.
- Pets that had been affected by a crowd-control ability will now be granted Resilience, making them immune to crowd control for a short while.
- Battle Pet Bandages now stack to 25 and are Bind to Account.
- Battle-Stones now have a chance to be awarded from PvP Pet Battles.
- Pets whose color schemes change each time they are summoned have returned. Older pets with this behavior now have it back, as well as some newcomers.
- Level-capped players will now have a chance to earn Lesser Charms of Good Fortune after winning a pet battle versus a pet within 5 levels of the highest level pet on their team. Higher-level pets will offer a better chance to earn a charm.
- Winning a pet battle versus a team within 5 levels of the player's highest-level pet will now award player experience.
- Fleeing a pet battle will no longer despawn the pet that was being battled, but doing so will now inflict some damage on the fleeing pet battle team.
- Disconnecting from a pet battle will once again respawn the pets you were fighting.
- Elite Battle Pets have been added to the game world. These rare pets will spawn alone against an entire team. The Beasts of Fable taming quest will now become available from Gentle San or Sara Finkleswitch once Aki the Chosen has been defeated.
- Patch 5.1.0 (2012-11-27):
- A new item has been introduced that can be used to upgrade the quality of Battle Pets: Battle-stones.
- Battle-stones are available in two basic types, general purpose Battle-stones that can be used to upgrade the quality of any pet, and family specific Battle-stones, which can only be used to upgrade pets of a specific pet family. Pets over level 15 upgraded in this way can lose up to two levels in the process.
- Battle-stones are available in two qualities: Flawless Battle-stones can upgrade pets directly to Rare quality, while Polished Battle-stones will upgrade a pet to Uncommon quality.
- Players will have a very small chance to obtain a general purpose and family specific Flawless Battle-stone after winning a match against wild pets; defeating higher level opponents increases the chances of obtaining a stone. Family specific Flawless-Battlestones will be of the same family as the pets that were defeated. These valuable items are not soulbound, and can be sold on the Auction House.
- Family specific Flawless Battle-stones can be found in the obtained from performing Pet Trainer quests, and are Bind on Pickup.
- General purpose Polished Battle-stones can be purchased for 1000 .
- The Pet Journal has been upgraded and now boasts some useful new features.
- Pet Battle music is now more appropriate for the type of match being fought.
- Several new Pet Battle PvP areas have been added to the world.
- Several classic Raid bosses now have a chance to drop new Battle Pets. The new pets can be obtained from bosses in Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, Ahn'Qiraj, and Naxxramas.
- Abilities that have been used will now continue to cool down for pets when they are not the active pet in a battle.
- Right clicking a pet's portrait will now offer the option to look it up in the Pet Journal.
- Players can now keep up to 650 pets.
- Battle Pet tooltips will now display whether a pet is owned, and how many pets of that type are owned.
- Pet Quality is now displayed in battles, and will be visible on portraits, names and tooltips.
- The level of battle pets in a zone can now be seen on the map, and it's now possible to see the strength of wild pets relative to your team at a glance.
- Backline pets now display debuffs affecting them as well as the remaining duration of these effects.
- Macros have been added that allow for summoning random pets and random favorite pets.
- A number of pets that could previously only be found accompanying other pets into battle can now be found roaming the world.
- Player versus Player Pet Battles now award more experience.
- Large plants and bushes in the environment that interfered with visibility during Pet Battles while now fade out of view during the match.
- Stable masters no longer have a cooldown when healing battle pets.
- A new item has been introduced that can be used to upgrade the quality of Battle Pets: Battle-stones.
- Hotfix (2012-10-04): "The cost to learn Battle Pet Training has been reduced from 100 gold to 10 gold."
- Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Added.
- ^ a b Mists of Pandaria Press Tour. MMO-Champion (2012-03-19). Retrieved on 2012-03-19.
- ^ a b Pet Battles Q&A with Cory Stockton (2012-09-25). Retrieved on 2012-09-30.
- ^ perculia 2011-10-23. BlizzCon 2011: Exclusive Interview with Dave Kosak, WoW Lead Quest Designer. Retrieved on 2012-04-26.
- ^ Mumper 2012-08-03. weakened by capture feedback. Retrieved on 2012-08-20.