Updated Mon, May 23, 2011 by Mem
Pets are the thing that separates hunters from almost all other classes (the one exception being the Warlock). They are a vital part of the Hunter class but can prove to be confusing. To help clear up confusion Hunters are provided with a basic pet at level 1 (4.0.1) to allow them to gain knowledge of using a pet from the very beginning. Despite this intimate relationship the Hunter will create with his pet there may be still be some unanswered questions remaining. That's where this portion of our hunter guide steps in. It should be answer all your questions and more, allowing you to make far better use of your pet.
Pets are available in many different types or families, however each family falls into one of three categories; Cunning, Ferocity, or Tenacity. Cunning pets have the most utility and offer a assortment of offensive and defensive abilities and are especially useful in PvP. Popular in groups and raids Ferocity pets are for those who wish to really pump out the damage. And finally Tenacity pets are the meat shields of pets. Useful in soloing or even small groups these pets are born to tank.
The animal types that are currently available as pets are as follows:
|Birds of Prey||Cats||Boars|
|Chimaeras (Exotic)||Core Hounds (Exotic)||Crabs|
|Silithids (Exotic)||Spirit Beasts (Exotic)||Turtles|
As of Patch 4.0 all newly made Hunter characters will start out with a pet from the very beginning. These are considered "starter pets" and each race gets its own specific starter pet type. This will be the only pet available to you until level 10 is reached then your starter pet will be considered a normal pet once the Control Pet ability is learned. Because of this starter pets do behave a little different than normal pets, for example starter pets do not need to be feed to maintain happiness.
In order for a Beast to be tamable it needs to fall under one of the families listed above in the pet type section. To make this a little easier the Beast Lore ability (available at level 10) can be used on any beast found in Azeroth. When used it will tell the Hunter if that particular beast is tamable, what abilities the beast possesses, what it eats, and other important information.
The actual taming of a pet cannot be completed until level 10 is reached. However as of Patch 4.0.1 Hunters are given a starter pet at level 1. Once level 10 is reached simply seek out your local Hunter trainer and he will teach you the Tame Pet ability as well as several other useful pet related abilities.
No, there is no real difference between Unique, Elite, or Normal beasts except Unique and Elite beasts may possess more desirable skins. Anyone telling you different is basing this off old information.
At one point in time several types of pets had natural resistances to certain types of damage. However, now they must all be trained using training points to gain the resistance abilities taught by the pet trainers.
You gain loyalty by feeding your pet and keeping it happy. Form my experience you do not need to do anything else. I have had pets gain loyalty when sitting in town making potions. I have also gained loyalty by fighting with my pet. Some pets seem to gain loyalty faster then others so the personality of the pet might effect how fast it gains loyalty.
Happiness level affects the pet's dps. Unhappy pets do 75% damage, Content pets do 100% damage, and Happy pets do 125% damage. Keep the pet feed to keep it happy. Also Happy and Content pets gain Loyalty. Unhappy pets lose loyalty and if they lose enough they will lose loyalty levels and eventually run away.
Level your pet by simply killing mobs and having the pet participate. The best way to achieve this is by going out and soloing mobs. Leveling your pet in a group setting is not suggested although not impossible.
First put your pet in to the stable. Then go find the beast with the skill you want to learn. Tame it. I feed them and get them happy, others only feed them to content and others don’t feed them at all. Then fight some mobs with the pet. It seems that if you fight close to the pet you will learn the skill faster. In other words get in there and melee next to the pet. You can have the skill on auto or manually trigger it, but make sure the pet uses the skill. You will get a message when you learn the skill, but you can also check in your beast training to see if you have learned it. Once you learn the skill you can let the pet go or keep as you see fit.
To teach your pet a new skill, have your pet active. Make sure the pet can learn the skill, that it is high enough level to learn the version you are teaching and that it has training points available. Then open the beast training icon. You can open it form the spell book or move it to your hot bar. Then select the skill you want to train and push the button. The icon should appear on the pet’s hot bar.
Ok go to the stable if the dead pet is in the stable. Make the dead pet your active pet. Now you need to force the game to recognize that you have a dead pet. There are a few methods, zoning to a new continent has worked for me, other methods are logging out and back in or zoning to an instance. Now you should be able to revive the pet.
The pet bar has 10 slots on it. The first slot is Attack, left click on this and the pet will attack your target. The next two are Follow and Stay, left click to make active, the active one will be highlighted. The next four slots are for your pets skills, growl, bite, claw and cower. Right clicking on these will set them on auto, you can tell they are on if there is a flashing ring around them. You can also manually tell a pet to use a skill by left clicking on it. The last 3 are Aggressive (attacks reds that are close), Defensive (attacks anything that attacks you) and passive (will not attack until told to), the one that is highlighted is the active one, left click to change these.
Right below your health and mana bars there is a smaller set of bars for the pet, its health and focus bars. If you right click on the picture of the pet you will get a drop down. There are several options on that drop down. Name pet (only shows up till you name the pet), Abandon pet, Show pet Stats. Clicking on Name pet will pop up a window where you can type your pets new name in. Once you name a pets it can not be renamed. Clicking on Abandon pet will release the pet never to be seen again. Do not Abandon the pet unless you are sure you don’t want that pet anymore, it can not be undone.
Base damage reduction starts out low and increases until about level 16. Then it will stay the same until about level 36 where it will start increasing again until in the low 40's when it will stabilize again. The base damage reduction for the beast family will be the same for leveled up pets or newly tamed higher level pets.
A commonly asked question from new pet owners is how do I feed my pet. To feed you pet open up your pack to see the item you are going to feed them. Then click your Feed Pet skill and then click on the item you wish to feed them. If you select your pet you should see an eating icon under their bars and their happiness level should increase if you have fed them enough. If you try to feed them food that they do not like a message will appear on the screen stating this and you will have to try again with another food item. Cooking can help provide you with pet food that requires less bag space. Clam meat for example will stack to 10 per slot. These can be cooked into stacks of 20 clam chowder, thereby freeing up 1 inventory slot.
Pets can be set to three behavior modes: Aggressive, Defensive and Passive. A pet set to aggressive can be very dangerous, expect to have a very exciting time in an instance. Defensive pets will require attention when it runs to attack ranged targets and can cause some issues if not careful. Passive pets only requires attention after you command it to attack. This requires the most attention but is the safest setting. There is no best setting, a lot depends on your preference.
You heal your pet by using Mend Pet. Since mend pet became a cast instead of a channel spell, you can put it up on your pet and go back to DPS. In difficult fights you should ensure you recast it every time it expires.
There really is no best pet. It all depends on your play style. If you solo alot, then a tank type pet may be best. If you PvP then a DPS pet is best. If you raid then you may not even use a pet. It's all personal choice.
Have comments or suggestions? Thought of something that has been missed? We would love to hear from you! Please post in our Hunter Class forum.