Introduced with the release of Mists of Pandaria, the Pet Battle System is one of the most successful “mini-games” ever seen in World of Warcraft. Finally those delightful vanity pets have a purpose other than standing around looking cute. Instead players can pit one (or an entire team) of pets against other pets for glory and in some cases, the chance to gain new pets. Want to know more about the Pet Battle System? Look no further! Below you will find all the basics to getting started in the world of Pet Battles.

Pet Battles: Getting Started

Beginning your journey in the
world of Pet Battles is not a difficult process. To get started simply
visit your local Pet Battle Trainer in any major city of your choosing.
Not sure of where to go? Simply speak to a city guard to be pointed in
the right direction. Besides giving your character the ability to
participate in Pet Battles, this trainer also will offer your character
a starting pet based on race for a insubstantial fee. This is
especially helpful for new players or players who have been putting off
collecting pets over the years.

Race-Specific Starter Pets

  • Blue Moth – Draenei
  • Snowshoe Rabbit – Dwarf/Gnome
  • Orange Tabby Cat – Human
  • Great Horned Owl – Night Elf
  • Gilnean Raven – Worgen
  • Gold Dragonhawk Hatchling – Blood Elf
  • Shore Crawler – Goblin
  • Black Kingsnake – Orc/Troll
  • Brown Prairie Dog – Tauren
  • Undercity Cockroach – Undead
  • Jade Crane Chick – Pandaren

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After training the Pet Battle ability, quests will open up via the Pet Battle Trainer. This short quest chain will teach you the ability to Revive Battle Pets. This spell is essential for making your way in the Pet Battle world as it allows you to revive and heal your wounded and fallen pets. These quests will also allow to you experience your first
real (albeit simple) Pet Battles and will serve as a starting guide for

Pet Battle System Menu

Before you take on the first
quest in line,
or challenge another player it would be prudent for you to take a quick
look at the Pet Battle UI. View this menu by clicking the
“Pets and Mounts” button (or using SHIFT+P) and
then choosing the Pet Journal tab. Neatly laid out into two distinct
columns, future masters of Pet Battles can learn much from this screen.

In the left column players
will find a listing of all the pets that can be used in battle, as well
as which they personally own. can view all the pets available for
battle, as well as which they personally own. These pets can be
filtered in various ways depending on the players personal preferences.
The right side of the Pet Battle UI contains a ton of information and
may seem a bit intimidating. Divided up into two sections, this column
is truly crucial to being successful at battling. In the top section
players will find the health, power, speed, abilities, and other
important statistics of any pet they click on from the column on the
left. Less information is shown for those pets that you have not yet

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In the bottom section of the
same column you will find your Battle Pet Slots. Here you will be able
to place the pets you wish to take into battle with you and choose the
skills those pets will use once in combat. As mentioned above, more
slots become open as you complete various quests and achievements.
Allowing you to choose up to three individual pets as well as a variety
of skills. Outside of the two columns this tab also includes a summon
pet button, your total pet achievements score, and also a button to
revive all of your pets after battle.

Basic Combat and Pet Tracking

Upon training Pet Battles, you will notice that you are automatically granted the ability to tack pets on your mini-map. When this tracking ability is turned on (the same way you would turn on herb or mineral tracking), it will allow you to track the wild pets that are near you and ready for battle. Pets ready for battle will appear as a small green paw print on the mini-map. Wild pets will also display this same paw print above their heads, making them easy to find.

To challenge one of these wild
pets, simply right click on any critter with a green paw print above
its head. Occasionally when trying to battle a wild pet you will get an
error stating that there is an obstruction preventing the battle from
taking place. Don’t panic, simply move to a more open
location and try again.

Once you have engaged a wild
pet in combat your screen will be transformed. At the top you will be
able to see your pets health as well as the health of the wild pet. At
the bottom a large bar holds all your pet attacks. Hovering over any of
these attacks will provide you with which type of pet the attack is
most and least effective against. Keep in mind that while you may not see other players or creatures on your screen, you can still be attacked by both mobs and players alike.

Also found on this bar is the
“Trap” ability which will allow you to capture the
pet you are battling. Capturing a pet cannot take place until you have
a level 3 pet of your very own, and only then after the wild pet is
below 35% health. If you fail on your first attempt, try again, each
attempt grants you a better chance at actually capturing the pet.

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Pet Battle combat is turn-based with no actual time limit on rounds during a PVE style battle. Some abilities have multiple round cooldowns while others do extra damage if you meet certain requirements. Test out your abilities and learn which combinations work best.

If your pet seems to be doing poorly against an opponent or gets low on health, you can switch it out with another pet on your team. Only pets that are selected on your three Battle Pet Slots can be switched in and out of battle. Once the match is over you can change your active pet team.

Every battle you win will earn you experience for each pet that participated. Keep in mind that only pets that are alive can earn experience, so it is especially important that you try to avoid pet deaths. Experience gains are based on your pets level compared to the wild pet you are battling.

As you progress through each
zone you will find yourself faced off against more than one wild pet.
When this happens you will be unaware of the second and/or third pet on
the opposing team until you actually engage in battle. Once in the Pet
Battle screen you will be able to view the stats and family type of the
other pets. You will only be allowed to attempt to capture one of the
pets on the team.

Curious about which wild pet
spawns in each of the zones? Head back to the Pet Battle Menu where you
will find that each pet will list its source in the Pet Journal. Simply
hover over the image of the pet and you will be able to see where you
can find that particular pet.

Healing Your Pets

After a hard battle you may find that your pets are injured. While they will automatically regan 50% of the damage taken during the battle after it is over, it may not be enough. Don't panic, you have a few options to heal (and revive) your pets.

The Revive Battle Pets spell, learned while doing quests from the Pet Battle Trainer, will likely be the primary source of healing for your pets. Clicking this spell heals and resurrects all of the pets in your Pet Journal. This ability has an 8 minute cooldown and can only be used while you are out of combat.

If one of your pets has the misfortune of dying during battle it will need to be brought back to life before it can take part in another battle. If your Revive Battle Pets spell is on cooldown, this can be rather inconvenient. Thankfully, you have another option. Stable Master NPCs can heal and revive your pets...for a small fee. Unlike your Revive spell, there is no cooldown on the Stable Master's heal.

Stable Master

If your heal is on cooldown and you are no where near a Stable Master you have one final option; Battle Pet Bandages. This item is a random drop from the Sack of Pet Supplies that is obtained by defeating NPC Pet Tamers. Like the Revive spell, it will heal and resurrect all pets in your journal. The Battle Pet Bandage has no cooldown.

Player vs. Player Pet Battles

Players who wish to challenge
other player’s pets in battle can do so in two different
ways. The first of which is to take advantage of the “Find
Pet Battle” button found by opening the Pet Journal. Once
clicked this will match your pet (or combination of pets) up quickly
with an opponent. Players can also choose to enter battle with nearby
players by right clicking on their portraits and choosing the
“Pet-battle Duel” option. Player owned pets cannot
be captured, however, they may eventually be able to be traded.

Wild Pet Qualities

Pets that can be captured in
the wild are not created equal, they come in varying qualities. These
quality types are: Poor, Common, Uncommon, and Rare. At the present
time there seems to be no way to determine what quality a wild pet will
be. However, a good guess can be made by checking the wild
pet’s health and stats. The higher the numbers the more
likely that the wild pet is of a higher quality.

Upgrading Pet Quality

In Patch 5.1 Battle-Stones were
introduced to the game. These items can be used to upgrade your pets
directly to uncommon quality. There are currently two versions of
each type of stone:

  • General – Can be used to upgrade any
    pet to the quality designated by that particular stone. These stones
    are bind-on-use and may be traded to other players.

  • Family Specific – These stones may
    only be used to upgrade a pet of the family corresponding to
    stone. These stones are bind-on-pickup.

Battle-Stones can be obtained from the
Tamer daily reward bag, or they can also be randomly awarded after
defeating a wild pet. Defeating a player in a queued PvP match will
also offer you a small chance to earn one of these stones. If you
want a sure thing, Battle-Stones can be purchased for 1,000 Justice

Pet Families

Every pet in the game is categorized into a distinct and unique family.
The family that your particular pet belongs to will determine its
abilities and bonuses. Each family type is strong against one type of
damage and weak against another type. It is suggested that you have a
variety of pets from various families in your Pet Battle arsenal to be
able to combat these strengths and weaknesses with ease. During each
battle players may choose three of six pet-based abilities, these
abilities may deal a type of damage totally different than the
pet’s family type. 

Below you will find a listing
of the ten family types, examples of each, and their strengths and

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style="text-align: center; font-weight: bold;">Family style="text-align: center; font-weight: bold;">Strength/Weakness style="text-align: center; font-weight: bold;">Examples Aquatic style="color: rgb(0, 102, 0);">Undead/ style="color: rgb(153, 0, 0);">Flying Sea
Horse, Turtle Beast style="color: rgb(0, 102, 0);">Humanoid/ style="color: rgb(153, 0, 0);">Mechanical Wolves,
Bears Critter style="color: rgb(0, 102, 0);">Elemental/ style="color: rgb(153, 0, 0);">Beast Snakes,
Rats Dragonkin style="color: rgb(0, 102, 0);">Flying/ style="color: rgb(153, 0, 0);">Humanoid Whelps Elemental style="color: rgb(0, 102, 0);">Mechanical/ style="color: rgb(153, 0, 0);">Aquatic Fire,
Earth, Air Flying style="color: rgb(0, 102, 0);">Beast/ style="color: rgb(153, 0, 0);">Magic Owls,
Moths Humanoid style="color: rgb(0, 102, 0);">Critter/ style="color: rgb(153, 0, 0);">Undead Murlocs,
Rock Flayers Magic style="color: rgb(0, 102, 0);">Aquatic/ style="color: rgb(153, 0, 0);">Dragonkin Treants,
Ooze Mechanical style="color: rgb(0, 102, 0);">Magic/ style="color: rgb(153, 0, 0);">Elemental Mechanical
Chicken, Mechanical Squirrel Undead style="color: rgb(0, 102, 0);">Dragonkin/ style="color: rgb(153, 0, 0);">Critters Ghostly

Pet Abilities

Each pet, has six abilities
total. These abilities are placed in three separate tiers. Abilities
may only be changed when not engaged in a Pet Battle, and only three
abilities can actually be used once in combat. Pet abilities are not
exclusive to their family type, for example it wouldn’t be
unheard of for an Aquatic type pet to cast a Magic based ability.

Besides the six abilities they
can use in battle, pets also come equipped with a passive ability
specific to their family type. These passive abilities are listed

  • Aquatic - style="font-style: italic;">[Purity]
    -Duration of harmful damage over time effects if reduced.
  • Beast - style="font-style: italic;">[Enrage]
    - Deals 25% extra damage below half health.
  • Critter - style="font-style: italic;">[Elusive]
    - Breaks out of crowd control more quickly.
  • Dragonkin - style="font-style: italic;"> [Execute] -
    Deals 50% additional damage to targets with less than 25% health.
  • Elemental - style="font-style: italic;">[Weather Immune]
    - Ignores all weather effects.
  • Flying - style="font-style: italic;">[Swiftness]
    - Gains 50% extra speed while above 50% health.
  • Humanoid - style="font-style: italic;">[Recovery]
    - Recovers 2% of their maximum health every time they attack.
  • Magical - style="font-style: italic;">[Spellshield]
    - Cannot be dealt more than 50% of their maximum health in one hit.
  • Mechanical - style="font-style: italic;">[Failsafe]
    - Comes back to life with 25% of their health once per battle.
  • Undead - style="font-style: italic;">[Damned]
    - Returns to life for one round after being killed.


While you will find that most
pets in World of Warcraft are able to be used in the Pet Battle System,
this is not always the case. While far and few between, there are a few
pets out in the world that players will not be able to use in combat.
While these pets are classified into one of the families mentioned
above, they simply will not fight. The unusable pets in game are:

  • Argent Gruntling
  • Argent Squire
  • Guild Page
  • Guild Herald
  • Alliance Balloon
  • Horde Balloon
  • Darkmoon Balloon
  • Green Balloon
  • Yellow Balloon
  • Chi-Ji Kite
  • Dragon Kite
  • Tuskarr Kite
  • Yu-Lon Kite

Cleaning Out the Barn

Let's face it, with so many battle pets
to capture, eventually you may find yourself overwhelmed with pets.
Not to mention that your collection has a few restrictions set upon

  • You may only own a total of 650 pets
    (including duplicate pets).
  • You may only have 3 of any one pet (and
    only one of certain pets).

So in order to reign in the chaos you
may need to do a little house cleaning. There are two ways you can
rid yourself of extra pets; releasing and caging.

The first method, releasing, requires
you to right click on a pets name in your journal. Here you can
select the “Release” option. This will remove the pet from your
collection. Hard to obtain or promotional companions will not have a
release option unless you have reached the cap of three.

Pet Battle Cage

You may also choose to cage your pets
if the option is available. Right click on the pets name and select
the “Put in Cage” option. The pet will then appear in your
inventory and will retain its stats and current level. Caged versions
of pets can be traded and sold.

Pet Battle Tips and Tricks

  • The pet with higher Speed
    will use their attack first each round. Which pet will attack first is
    indicated by a golden box surrounding the pet’s portrait.
  • There is no timer between
    each turn, so take your time and contemplate your next move. There is
    no rush.
  • Some pets have buffs and
    debuffs that will continue on even if you change to another pet.
  • Switching to a different pet
    on your active pet team is possible during a fight, but it will consume
    a turn leaving you vulnerable.

Do you have any additional
tips, tricks, or other important information pertaining to the Pet
Battle System in Mists of Pandaria? Share them with us in the comment
section below!

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our World of Warcraft Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Amunet, also fondly known as Memtron, is an organic life form best known for its ongoing obsession with Blizzard Entertainment's numerous properties. To that end, Amu has authored hundreds (thousands?) of the most popular World of Warcraft guides, editorials, and Top 10 lists on the planet. When not gaming and writing, Amu is busy chasing after her three children in a perpetual loop of ongoing disaster.


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