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 level 2, 4, 10, 15 and 20.
  • Battle Pets have a maximum level of 25
  • The Pet Journal can hold 1,000 pets (or more when you unlock the relevant achievements).
  • Players can hold up to 3 versions of the same pet e.g. 3x Ruby Saplings – unless they are unique sources.
  • 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 them to sell in the AH or gift. 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 a great starting point 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 to 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 which 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.
  • A good way to level all your active pets is to have them all participate during a battle (without dying).
  • You can power-level any pet by using 2x max level pets with any lower level pet in your collection. Any XP gained from the battle will go to the levelling pet. This was not always the case, XP was split between all living pets – even max level ones.
  • If your active pet has low health, switch it out with one of your other pets using ‘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.
  • Active pets heal a portion of their health after every fight, as long as they played 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’re 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.
  • As you progress, you’ll start battling teams with one or two other critters.
  • Failing to win a battle will not reset the match if you killed at least one of the pets in an opposing team.
  • The Forfeit option (next to the trap button) may be used to reset a match if the original trappable pet has not died. Note: your pets will lose a small portion of health as a penalty.

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.
  • Traps are upgraded once you’ve hit the relevant achievement, improving your chance to catch higher level pets.
  • You can only capture one pet per battle so choose wisely once you can see the other team.
  • If you manage to capture a pet which has two or three team members, you must win the overall battle or the ‘trapped’ pet will be lost.

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.

Pet Traps

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 who can withstand any damage you may receive. Over time, your traps will improve with Strong Traps and Pristine Traps once you attain the relevant achievements. Draenic Traps require a level 2 menagerie from your Warlords of Draenor garrison.

pet battle trap Guide to Pet Battling Attempt to capture
pet battle trap success or fail Guide to Pet Battling You will know very quickly if your trap missed or not.
pet battle trap success Guide to Pet Battling Tipping forward means SUCCESS.
pet battle trap missed Guide to Pet Battling Falling backwards indicates your trap has 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 heal ability for the first 3mins. This was to prevent players from logging into another toon just to use the heal spell. Blizzard considers this an exploit so was changed accordingly.

What pet should I level first?

The Anubisath Idol, Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling, some sort of dragon or Sprite Darter Hatchling are all solid choices.

Can I just buy a level 25 battle pet?

You can only purchase a 25 level pet if you’re already levelled one pet to 25 yourself. It will time a bit to time to level your pet the old-fashioned way but you’ll get there.

How do I upgrade my journal?

There are currently 2 journal upgrades you can earn or purchase with Polished Pet Charms.

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 should 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 good luck, happy battling.