Looking to try pet battling but not sure where to start? Here’s my pet battle guide for World of Warcraft. If you don’t have a pet, don’t worry. Keep reading for all you need to know in this cute little mini-game.

The Basics

  • Pets gain unique abilities and attacks once they reach levels 2, 4, 10, 15 and 20.
  • Battle Pets have a maximum level of 25
  • The Pet Journal can store an unlimited amount of pets
  • Players can hold up to 3 versions of the same pet e.g. 3x Ruby Saplings – unless they are marked unique
  • The source info (under the Pet Journal) can show you where to obtain a pet, including a small blurb about it
  • To cage a pet, right-click the pet to cage it so you can sell it in the AH or gift it to another player.
  • Wild pets are not tradeable

Pet Battle Training

To unlock the Battle Pet ability for all characters on your Battle.net account, head to the Battle Pet Trainer in your capital city.

Matty - Pet Battle Trainer in Org Pet Battle Guide

For Horde, look for Matty in the Goblin Slums of Orgrimmar. Just to the right of the Horde Embassy.

Audrey Burnhep Pet Battle Guide

For Alliance, head to Audrey Burnhep in Stormwind who is standing under a tree – between the Dwarven District bank and the elemental portals or fly towards the Pandaren hot air balloon.

Racial Pets

Your Battle Pet trainer above can sell you a starter pet (unless already known), so be sure to check out their other chat option before you leave. These are great starting points for non-collectors.

Draenei – Blue Moth
Dwarf – Snowshoe Rabbit
Gnome – Snowshoe Rabbit
Human – Orange Tabby Cat
Night Elf – Great Horned Owl
Worgen – Gilnean Raven

Blood Elf – Golden Dragonhawk Hatchling
Goblin – Shore Crawler
Orc – Black Kingsnake
Tauren – Brown Prairie Dog
Troll – Black Kingsnake
Undead – Undercity Cockroach

Pandaren – Jade Crane Chick

Pet Quality

  • Higher-quality pets have a larger stat allotment each time you level so be on the lookout for rares.
  • There is no way to determine the quality until you engage it in battle.
  • The health bar can be a good indicator to determine quality, especially if you’ve already tamed a wild one of the same type. Rares will have a substantial jump in health compared to the poor, common and a lesser degree, uncommon varieties so use your initial pet as a baseline for comparison.

Pet Quality in journal Pet Battle Guide

You can rename, release, cage (if applicable) or favourite a pet just by right-clicking the pet on the left side of your journal.

Pet Breeds

For a casual pet collector, BreedIDs or quality may not be that important but if you’re one of the serious pet battlers out there, it should be. BreedIDs are something you need to consider if you want your pets to have the best possible chance to win. For more info, check out my other post on Breed IDs.

Pet Family Cheat Sheet

See which families are strong or weak against other pet families, as well as passive bonuses for each family type. For example, Aquatics receive a 50% damage increase (base dmg x1.5) against Elementals while suffering a 33% damage penalty (base dmg x0.66) against Magic pets.

Some will have abilities that don’t fall under the obvious group, such as a Humanoid with Flying or Magic abilities. In some cases, a varied list of abilities may improve your chances of defeating a tougher opponent.

Pet Battle guide - strengths and weaknesses cheat sheet

How Do I Start a Pet Battle?

Before engaging your first pet in the wild, make sure you have an active pet placed in the first battle slot of your pet journal. To track wild pets, turn on the pet tracking option by clicking the search icon on your minimap. Not all critters will be combat pets but if you’re in range of one able to be captured, you’ll see little green paw prints on the minimap. Just right-click on the critter you wish to battle.

Core Hound Pup vs Gazelle Guide to Pet Battling

  • When you engage a critter, you will be phased out with other wildlife until the match is over.
  • You can power-level any pet by using 2x max level pets with any lower-level pet in your collection.
  • A good way to level all your active pets is to have them all participate during a battle (without dying).

Trapping Your First Pet

  • When your pet reaches level 3, you can start capturing critters. The Trap slot becomes active once they are below 35% health.
  • As you progress, you’ll start battling teams with one or two other critters.
  • You can only capture one pet per battle so choose wisely once you can see the other team. When you trap a pet that has one or two backline pets, you must win the overall battle or the trapped pet will be lost.
  • If your active pet has low health, Switch it out with one of your other pets (button four on the action bar). This uses a turn.
  • The harder fights give you bonus difficulty points – either from higher quality pets (rare, uncommon, etc.) or the level/length of the fight.
  • Pets heal a portion of their health as long as they are active for at least one turn. The amount healed is 50% of the damage taken.
  • Each battle requires a certain amount of room so make sure the ground is not obscured by rocks, cliffs or trees, etc.
  • You won’t be able to start a battle if you are in combat. Alternatively, if you’re forced into combat with a mob or player during the battle, you will be knocked out of phase and possibly lose the pet you were trying to capture.
  • Failing to win a battle will not reset the match if you killed at least one of the pets in an opposing team.
  • If the pet you want to capture uses an ability that causes it to suicide, you can reset the battle (Forfeit next to the trap button) as long as the primary pet is still alive. Note: your pets will lose a small portion of their health as a penalty.

Tiny Harvester vs Core Hound Guide to Pet Battling

A Good Capture Team

There are several pets you can use but there are a few must-haves if you don’t want to accidentally kill your target.

How to Trap A Battle Pet

Each attempt will use up a turn so it’s important to only use it if your active pet has enough health or has a backup pet that can withstand any damage you may receive. Over time, your traps will improve with Pristine Traps and Strong Traps once you complete the relevant achievements to improve your chance at catching higher-level pets. Draenic Traps require the level 2 menagerie upgrade from your garrison in Warlords of Draenor.

pet battle trap

Attempt to capture

pet battle trap success or fail

You will know very quickly if your trap missed or not

pet battle trap success

Tipping forward means SUCCESS

pet battle trap missed

Falling backwards indicates your trap missed. Just keep trying until you succeed.

How Do You Revive a Battle Pet?

Any Stable Master can heal/revive your pets whenever you need, for a small cost. This comes in handy when the Revive Battle Pets spell is on cooldown in your pet journal.

Note: you will not be able to use your healing ability for the first 3mins. This prevents players from logging into another toon just to use the heal spell. Blizzard considers this an exploit so was changed accordingly as they felt a player should be able to reach a Stable Master or pet vendor in that amount of time.

Which Pet Should I Level First?

The Anubisath Idol, Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling, some sort of dragon or Sprite Darter Hatchling are all solid choices. Levelling a pet from 1-25 requires 23,885 XP.

How Does Battle Pet Experience Work?

This was adjusted in Shadowlands (patch 9.1.5).

Battling wild pets with a team of comparable-level pets now provides double experience. Pets on your team are eligible for this bonus if no pet on your team is more than two levels higher than any pet in the wild team.

The experience penalty for a pet dying has been reduced to 50% (was 100%). Pets still need to be active for at least one round to be eligible to earn experience from a battle.

All pet experience earned in battles is increased by 50%.

To compensate, the Pet Battle Bonus Event buff Sign of the Critter has been reduced to 100% (was 200%). The net effect of this is that the pet experience gained during the Pet Battle Bonus Event will remain unchanged from current values.

Can’t I Just Buy a Level 25 Battle Pet?

No. You can only purchase a max-level pet if you’ve already levelled one pet to 25 yourself. It will take some time to level your pet the old-fashioned way but you’ll get there. Here’s my power-levelling circuit for Draenor that allows you to level 2 pets each day.


There are several levelling stones as well as the ability to upgrade any lower-quality pet to rare. They are often sold by pet vendors in cities and your pet menagerie in your garrison. They can also come from pet battle dailies and on rare occasions a successful pet battle.

Pet Battle Addons

I don’t use too many addons but these are the ones I’ve found most useful:

  • Rematch – If you plan on battling a lot of tamers each day, this addon makes team changing a breeze. You can even add pets to a levelling queue and sort teams into groups (see video).
  • Battle Pet BreedIDs – tell you the breed of any pet in-game, especially useful for those following my YouTube strategies.
  • Family Familiar Helper – track your Family Familiar progress and more recent Family style meta achievements (see video).

Pets are account-wide so you will notice the same active pets on each of your toons.

Pet Tamer Questline and Challenges

The initial questline and challenges can only be completed once per account. Check out my Pet Battling posts (top menu of the blog) for a list of where all these pet tamers are.

So there you go.

Good luck, and happy battling.