How to Win Pet Battles in World of Warcraft

Updated on June 6, 2018
Dreamhowl profile image

Dreamhowl has played World of Warcraft since Burning Crusade and owns the expansions up to Legion. She loves pets and mounts.

What are Pet Battles?

Did you know that you can now battle with wild pets and other players in World of Warcraft? Pet Battles were introduced with the Mists of Pandaria expansion as a way to give long-time players something new to do. Similar to Pokémon, this turn-based mini-game allows players to level their pets to 25, capture wild pets and battle fellow players for experience. Wild battle pets are located in all zones of Azeroth, including raids and cities. With achievements and rewards for becoming the best Pet Tamer, the mini-game has kicked into full swing!

If winning a pet battle is tough for you, ask yourself a few key questions. Are my battle pets the same level as my opponents pets, or higher? Do I understand the difference between battle pet types, and their strengths and weaknesses? Do I use a variety of battle pet types when battling other players? Understanding your pet’s strengths and weaknesses plays a big role in winning a Pet Battle. Try capturing and leveling a variety of Battle Pet types before taking on the higher-ups.

Get the Mists of Pandaria Expansion!

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - PC/Mac - (Obsolete)
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - PC/Mac - (Obsolete)

In this new expansion, enjoy features like pet battles, cloud serpent riding, running a farm, scenarios and much more.

Players can learn the Pet Battle Training ability by speaking to their local Pet Trainer.
Players can learn the Pet Battle Training ability by speaking to their local Pet Trainer. | Source

How to Get a Battle Pet

Battle Pets can be found all over Azeroth; if you’ve had a companion pet or two before the Mists of Pandaria expansion, chances are you already have a combat-able pet! If not, don’t worry - your local Battle Pet Trainer has one for you. Alliance players can unlock the Battle Pet Training ability from Audrey Burnhep in Stormwind, while Horde players can speak to Varzok in Orgrimmar. The training only costs 10 gold, and unlocks the Pet Battle ability for all of the characters on your account. Furthermore, all of your pets (and mounts) are shared with your other characters, giving you the opportunity to battle with your pets not matter what character you are playing!

Character Races and Respective Starter Pets

Character Race
Starter Pet
Blood Elf
Golden Dragonhawk Hatchling
Blue Moth
Snowshoe Rabbit
Snowshoe Rabbit
Shore Crawler
Orange Tabby Cat
Night Elf
Great Horned Owl
Black Kingsnake
Jade Crane Chick
Brown Prarie Dog
Black Kingsnake
Undercity Cockroach
Gilnean Raven
Each character race has a unique starter battle pet in case players don't own any pets.

Once you’ve trained the Battle Pet ability, you can find wild pets by looking at your minimap: if there are pets in the area, they will show up as a green pawprint. You cannot capture every wild creature that you see on your travels - only animals marked with a green paw print can be tamed as companions. To battle an eligible wild pet, simply approach and right-click on it to be brought into the Pet Battle UI. You cannot battle a wild pet if you are in combat, and can be removed from the battle if attacked by another player or creature.

Only wild pets with the green paw print above their names can be battled!
Only wild pets with the green paw print above their names can be battled! | Source

While in the Pet Battle UI, you have multiple turn-based options to help you fight and capture your wild pet. You will be able to see the wild pet’s health, speed and rarity, as well as your pet’s health, speed and combat moves. If you are attempting to capture a wild pet, follow these steps:

  1. Initiate battle with a wild pet (right-click)

  2. Weaken it with your pet’s active abilities

  3. Attack until the wild pet is below 35% health

  4. Attempt to capture the wild pet with a crate

The Pet Battle UI shows your pet's skills, as well as stats and the Trap ability.
The Pet Battle UI shows your pet's skills, as well as stats and the Trap ability. | Source

You are only able to capture a wild pet when it reaches below 35% of its health or lower; once this happens, the Trap ability in your Pet Battle UI will start glowing. It may take multiple attempts to trap a wild pet based on how much you have weakened the wild pet and how strong your traps are. Completing specific achievements will give you access to stronger battle pet traps. Trapping a wild pet takes up your turn in the battle round, even if you miss. And if your target wild pet calls over other wild pets, you are still limited to capturing one. Choose wisely!

Once the wild pet is below 35%, players can "trap" it and cross their fingers!
Once the wild pet is below 35%, players can "trap" it and cross their fingers! | Source

Did You Know?

In patch 5.1, Blizzard introduced Battle-Stones as a way to upgrade your poor and common pets to uncommon and rare quality! Battle-Stones can be found in the Tamer daily reward bag, found after winning a wild pet battle or be purchased for 1000 Justice Points.

How do you choose which pets to trap? While you are out battling wild pets, you will notice that their names and the outline of their portraits are different colors. For example, one of your pets might have higher stats than another pet of the exact same kind and level. This is because wild pets spawn randomly with four different qualities:

  • Poor (gray)

  • Common (white)

  • Uncommon (green)

  • Rare (blue)

The higher the rarity, the better your battle pet’s stats will be (and the better they will scale while leveling). This means that a rare pet of one type will have better health, speed and attack stats than an uncommon, common or poor pet of the same kind. For instance, your rare Blue Moth is more likely to have better health, speed and attack stats than your common Blue Moth, even if they share the same level. Be aware of these qualities while hunting down wild pets!

Little Fawn is a rare pet and has better stats than uncommon, common or poor pets.
Little Fawn is a rare pet and has better stats than uncommon, common or poor pets. | Source

Remember that capturing a wild pet isn’t the only way to get a battle pet. Certain quests, vendors or achievements award battle pets, many of which are of rare quality. For example, earning ninety Darkmoon Faire tickets allows players to purchase a Darkmoon pet from Lhara, a Pets and Mounts vendor on Darkmoon Island. Try to discover what rare pets you can obtain from quests or other events to get companions with unbeatable stats!

This pet-collecting achievement called "Raiding with Leashes" awards a unique pet.
This pet-collecting achievement called "Raiding with Leashes" awards a unique pet. | Source

How to Win a Pet Battle

Now that you have your battle pets, it’s time to win some pet battles! Pet battles can refer to battles against wild pets, battles against Pet Tamer NPCs or battles against other players. From the moment you purchase the Battle Pet training ability, you start a chain of quests that lead to earning the title of “Tamer”. While completing the quests isn’t necessary, it’s a great way to get experience for your pets and your characters, as well as random and unique pet items. To become a Tamer, you need to defeat Master Pet Tamer’s on the following continents:

  • Eastern Kingdoms

  • Outland

  • Northrend

  • Cataclysm

  • Pandaria

If battling other players is more like your style, you can always try a PVP Pet Battle! Players with the Battle Pet Training ability can battle head-to-head with other players and their pets. This is done by using the Pet Battle queue or by challenging another player to a Pet Battle duel. Keep in mind that the only way to earn experience for your pets in a PVP Pet Battle is to use the queue; pet duels against other players award no experience. To queue for a pet battle:

  1. Open the Mounts and Pets tab (Shift+P)

  2. Click the “Find Battle” button

PVP Pet Battles are completely anonymous aside from the pets that battle.
PVP Pet Battles are completely anonymous aside from the pets that battle. | Source

The Pet Battle queue system will match you with another player based on the levels of the three pets you have equipped in your Battle Pet slots. This ensures that the match will be fair and give each player an equal chance to win the battle. The wait is usually short, but depends on the population of the server and the amount of players seeking to battle with other players. If you would prefer a friendly duel with another player, simply:

  1. Right-click the player’s name plate

  2. Select “Pet Battle Duel” in the menu

When you battle another player via the Pet battle queue, both you and the other player remain anonymous; you cannot see the other player’s name, guild name or server name - you can only see their avatar. Furthermore, there is no communication during a Pet Battle, meaning you cannot talk to the other player. With Pet Battle duels however, both you and the other player know each other’s names, guilds and servers and will be able to communicate with each other after the battle.

How do you use battle pets?

See results

Pet battles are turn-based, meaning that both you and the other player/wild pet each take a turn based on your pet’s speed stat. There is no time limit to a pet battle, but your turn may be skipped if you wait too long to select a combat ability! The amount of damage your pets deal and take is determined both by their levels and by their pet families. If you are familiar with Pokémon, you know that certain types of Pokémon are strong or weak against others: the same principle applies with pets. There are ten battle pet families in World of Warcraft.

Battle Pet Family Passive Abilities

Battle Pet Family
Passive Ability
Damage over time effects reduced by 25%
Deal 25% extra damage below half health
Break out of crowd control effects more easily
Deal 50% extra damage next round after bringing target's health below 25%
Ignore all weather effects
Gain 50% extra speed while above 50% health
Recover 4% of their health if dealt damage in round
Cannot be dealt more than 40% of their health in one attack
Come back to life once per battle at 20% of their health
Return to life immortal for one round when killed
Each battle pet family has a passive ability that can help out in the right situation!

If you are planning a pet battle, it is important to have different types of pets to have a well-balanced team. Players can see the pets that Pet Tamer NPCs will be challenging them with; use this to your advantage and choose three pets that will be strong (defensively or offensively) against their pets. For example, Julia Stevens (Alliance) has two snakes, each of them level 2. Having a Beast pet on your team will help defeat her pets quickly and with minimal injury. When you are battling other players, however, you do not know what battle pets they will use, or what types. This is why having a diverse team is so important.

Pet Tamer NPCs are always accompanied by their pet battle teams.
Pet Tamer NPCs are always accompanied by their pet battle teams. | Source

Battle Pet Family Strengths and Weaknesses

Battle Pet Family
Strong Defense
Strong Strike
Weak Defense
Weak Strike
Learning the strengths and weaknesses of pet families will help you win pet battles!

If you are still having trouble winning pet battles, try spending some more time leveling your pets and capturing rare wild pets. You may not be able to predict what types of battle pets your opponents will use, but having a team of pets at the maximum level (currently 25) and highest quality will ensure greater stats and survivability. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun! Pet battles were included as a mini-game, not to induce more stress. Is this article missing something? Let me know in the comment section below!

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Jessica Marello


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      • Dreamhowl profile imageAUTHOR

        Jessica Marello 

        5 years ago from United States

        Thank you very much!

      • Alisha Adkins profile image

        Alisha Adkins 

        5 years ago from New Orleans

        This is a fantastic introductory guide to the pet battle system in WoW. Extremely clear and thorough. Excellent resource -- voted up!


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