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WoW Guide to Pet Collecting

So you're ready to get serious about WoW pet collecting, huh?

Well, you've come to the right place! This guide introduces you to the joys of vanity pet collecting and discusses many strategies and tips for attaining an impressive collection of these adorable little companions.


Companion Basics

What is a companion pet?

Disgusting Oozeling small pet from WoW

A companion pet is more or less your own personal Warcraft critter. When your companion pet is summoned, it will follow your character throughout the game world. They can even battle with other pets and critters in a neat Pokémon-esque minigame!

Companion pets are also known as vanity pets, battle pets, and minipets. All of these terms are used interchangeably.

WarcraftPets defines a companion pet as any summoned entity that meets ALL of the following criteria:

  1. The entity is summoned via a summoning spell found in the character's Pet Journal.
  2. The entity counts toward various Vanity Pet Achievements.
  3. The entity must have the tag of <companion>.

NOTE: Entities that do not follow the above guidelines (such as the Blood Parrot and Haunted Memento) are not listed on our site.

What do companion pets actually do?

Companions will loyally and cheerfully accompany you as you journey through Azeroth and beyond. And as noted above, they are also able to battle one another in a fun-filled sub-game that's reminiscent of Pokémon.

Some will do interesting things when left idle, such as twirling around or falling asleep. For the most part, companions exist to give your character a little extra flair.

Can I name my pets?

Brown Prairie DogYes! In the Mists of Pandaria expansion, Blizzard introduced the ability to rename your companions. Note that some names are reserved and all names must be kept family-friendly — sorry, no companions referencing bodily functions.

To rename your pet, simply bring up your Pet Journal and find it in the list. Then right-click on it and select "Rename." It's especially fun to rename those pets that you level up for pet

How many companion pets are there?

There are currently 1762 companion pets available to collect. Don't let that number frighten you. Pet collecting can be as casual as you like (and it's a lot of fun). You can review every pet using our A-Z Index of All Pet or browse pets by family.

What are pet families?

All pets are grouped within one of ten different pet families: Aquatic, Beast, Critter, Dragonkin, Elemental, Flying, Humanoid, Magic, Mechanical, and Undead. In addition to providing a way to organize all 1762 companions, these categories provide passive bonuses and different modifiers (both good and bad) when a pet enters into battle. For example, Aquatic companions are stronger against Magic but weaker against Elemental.

Why Collect Small Pets?

Why collect anything?

Why collect epic armor sets? Why collect tabards? Why collect mounts? Why collect anything in World of Warcraft?

Because it's fun, challenging, and it gives you a way to set yourself apart from others. When you obtain a very rare pet, you can showcase your find to others and be the envy of all of Azeroth... or at least the envy of those who appreciate such things.wink Plus, it's neat to be asked by other players where you found your exotic little friend.

Pets especially are one of the most fascinating things to collect. Unlike epic gear or reputation rewards, they never become obsolete. For this reason more than any other, pet collecting is something you can enjoy for as long as you play World of Warcraft.

What kind of collector are you?

Siamese small pet from WoW

No doubt, you've collected many things over the years. Sports memorabilia, toys, dolls, comic books, coins, trading cards... the list of potential collectables is endless. So what kind of collector are you? Are you the obsessive type that must have one of everything to complete your collection? Or are you more patient and persistent, allowing your collection to grow in its own good time. Perhaps your approach is far more selective, choosing only to collect those items which truly interest you.

Luckily, collecting vanity pets has appeal for hardcore collectors, casual collectors, and everyone in between. Today you may consider yourself a casual collector. But in three months you could decide to go for broke. There's no right or wrong way to establish your pet collection. However, as you read this guide, it will be helpful to have some idea of your short-term pet collecting goals. For example, are you looking to collect a few of the "cooler" pets? Maybe you're a cat person and simply want to start by collecting all of the cats. Or perhaps you're ready to dive into the challenge of collecting every single pet you can get your hands on.

Challenges every pet collector must face

Pet collecting would be much less appealing if every pet was easy to get. Where's the challenge in that? Lucky for us, there are many obstacles to overcome:

  • Tedious grinds - The odds of some pets dropping are less than 1 in 1,000. And killing over a thousand mobs doesn't even guarantee you'll get the pet.
  • Difficult quests - A few pets require facing off against challenging elite mobs. To complete these quests, you'll need lots of patience, the help of a good group, or both.
  • High prices - While most pets sold by vendors are relatively inexpensive, a few will cost you a small chunk of change. And some player-based auction prices can be outright offensive.
  • Limited availability - Some pets are only available during certain events, a few of which only occur once per year.
  • Tough Pet Battles - Some pets found in the wild will put up quite a fight before they'll let you capture them for your collection.
  • Exclusivity - A few pets are exclusive to a character's faction, professions, or reputation. Additionally, there are several promotional pets that may take some effort in the real world to obtain.

Sounds like fun, right?wink Remember, anything worthwhile in World of Warcraft takes some effort. Pet collecting is no different. But the rewards are worth it (trust me!) There's simply no feeling like the one you get when your pet finally drops after killing over a thousand mobs. It's priceless.

This guide offers strategies to help you deal with the challenges that lie ahead. Plus, we've got all sorts of tools and information on the WarcraftPets site that will be invaluable as you build your collection.

Using this Site

Discover various pets

This site includes every vanity pet available. If you're new to vanity pets, there's a huge variety for you to discover and this site has all the tools you need.

  • Our Bestiary provides a comprehensive visual guide to every World of Warcraft companion, listed according to pet families and then further broken down into logical subcategories.
  • Use the pet index for a simple alphabetical listing of every pet. You may also search by keyword to quickly locate a specific pet.
  • Looking for all wild pets? Or maybe you want to see all pets sold by vendors. Our pet filters are right up your ally. You can apply multiple filters to narrow your search however you want. Very useful.
  • We offer a Pets by Zone reference tool to help you pick up pets as your character levels up and moves throughout the game world.
  • Another helpful reference tool is our Pet Events Calendar for discovering pets that are only available through in-game events. Learn what pets are coming soon and when.

Clicking on a pet reveals its pet profile. Pet profiles include a picture of the pet, its icon, and how it can be obtained. You can then delve even further using tabs that feature General Info (basic info and other notes), Battle Info (battle stats and abilities), and Comments (additional user-submitted info). It's all right there for each and every pet in the game.

Track your collection online

MurkyAnother excellent tool on the WarcraftPets site is the ability to track your collection online. You can fully customize a checklist of every pet you hope to collect, excluding any that you're unable to collect or prefer not to add. You can also print a hardcopy of this checklist. In addition to the pet and item name, your printed checklist will include the source of every pet on the list. Think of it as your own personal pet collecting cheat sheet while you play.wink

A link is available beneath your collection so that you may share your progress with friends and guildmates. Additionally, your collection will be available for others to browse by realm.

Find collectors on your server

One of WarcraftPets' most powerful features is our member search tool. This feature allows you to find other pet collectors that play on your realm, allowing you to team up for pet farming and trading. You can also more easily find your friends here at WarcraftPets when you search for them by username. To take advantage of this tool, you'll want to update your account with your character name, region, realm, and faction.

Tricks of the Trade

One or more characters?

Most players have a main character that they play more than any others. It's best to collect as many pets as you can on your main. This provides a few key benefits, such as earning pet-related achievements. A few of these achievements even unlock even more pets, such as Stinker and the Little Fawn.

There are also a few reasons you may wish to collect pets with more than one toon. A handful of pets are chosen as seasonal quest rewards from a choice of several, making it difficult to collect all of them with the same character (at least until the quest becomes available again the following year). Another reason is because there are a handful of pets that are Alliance- or Horde-only. If you have a character of both factions, you'll have the opportunity to collect all of those pets and have them count toward your pet total.

The art of farming

A few of you are probably thinking, "Farming? But I'm a {insert class}, not a farmer!" Farming in an MMORPG simply means killing hundreds of the same mobs until you "harvest" the items you're looking for. In our case, those items happen to be small pets. You can filter pets by 'dropped' to discover what items are dropped by which mobs and how often they drop.

If you're new to the art of farming, here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Empty your bags - Before you get out in the field, sell all your junk and stow any quest items in the bank. The more bag space you have, the more gold you'll make.
  • Set your hearth nearby - Don't forget to set your hearthstone so that it's nearby to wherever you're farming.
  • Bring provisions - If your up against tougher mobs, make sure you bring enough food, water, bandages, and potions so that you don't have to restock before your bags fill up.
  • Create a bank alt - If you haven't done so already, create a level 1 bank alt and run him/her up the nearest city. Park this alt near a mailbox and send him/her some gold to do your auctioning. Then whenever you empty your bags, send any auctionable items to your bank alt, saving yourself countless trips to the AH.

Unfortunately, farming can be pretty tedious. But there are some advantages:

Emerald Whelpling small pet from WoW
  • Make gobs of gold - You can make a small fortune while you're grinding for pets. Almost anything you pick up can be sold, so SAVE EVERYTHING! This is especially true of gray armor and weapons—they may be vendor trash but they sell for a lot. Once your bags are full, hearth to a vendor to sell your junk, repair, and mail any auction-worthy items to your bank alt.
  • Level quickly - Assuming you haven't hit the level cap and you're farming mobs close to your level, you can earn loads of experience. Before you know it, you'll have gained a level. Then another. And another.
  • Multitask - Because you're killing the same mobs over and over, you'll quickly become accustomed to a routine. After a while, your routine becomes almost robotic, enabling you to multitask with ease. It's not uncommon to farm while watching TV, talking on the phone, or chatting online.

After killing 5,364 mobs without your pet dropping, you'll probably feel drained and frustrated. As upset as you might get, try to remember that farming is all about patience and persistence. While you may want to give up, it's entirely possible that mob #5,365 is the one holding your pet.wink

Playing the auction house

Any pets that are tradable can be bought at auction. So if you simply can't tolerate farming for that 1 in 1,000 drop, you can play the auction house (AH) instead.

Watch for your pet - So long as your pet is tradable, there's a good chance you can find it on the AH... eventually. If possible, logon with your bank alt at least once a day and run a search for your pet (use the item name). Common pets tend to appear most often, allowing you to pick and choose what you're willing to pay. Rare pets can also be rare finds on the AH, forcing you to pay whatever the seller is asking (and the prices can be outrageous). Therefore, knowing the average auction price for your pet is a big help.

Know your pet's worth - You can use addones, like Auctioneer to learn the average auction prices on your server for most tradable pets. Reference these prices often to help you determine whether you're getting a good deal or whether you're being taken to the cleaners.

Red Dragonhawk HatchlingSell extra vendored pets at a profit - Small pets tend to sell pretty well at auction, but can be hit or miss. If you're the risk-taking type, you might consider buying and selling vendored pets on the AH. If you're visiting the vendor anyway, why not buy three or four extra pets and try to turn a profit. Depending on the current market, you can often make a healthy profit.

TIP: If you're having trouble obtaining a pet of the opposing faction, consider creating a character of that faction. Most cross-faction pets are cheap — only 50 silver. So gain a few levels and then purchase the pet. Once you add the pet to your Pet Journal, it will show for all characters on your account, even after deleting the character your created to buy it.

Assembling Your Collection

Getting Started

Ready to start collecting? Good!smile Keep up that enthusiasm and you'll have a plethora of pets before you know it!

QuestionWhere can I find pets?
AnswerA variety of sources. They can be obtained from vendors, mob drops, as quest rewards, as achievement rewards, through professions (player-made pets), via the auction houses, in the wild (captured through pet battling) and through special promotions offered by Blizzard.
Brown Rabbit small pet from WoW

Your initial approach to pet collecting is going to depend on a few key factors: your current level, your gold supply, and how much time you have. Lower level characters aren't going to have access to all of the zones and gold that higher level characters take for granted. So if you're in that boat, you may have a slower start. But don't let that discourage you—in the end, pet collecting is all about patience and perseverance. Level hardly matters in the long term. That said, one of the best starting strategies is to collect zone by zone.

Our Pets by Zone tool displays pets by continent, zone, and zone level. Built in functionality allows you to toggle event-based pets and wild pets on or off. Both new pet collectors and casual collectors alike will get a lot of use out of this guide.

New Collectors - Begin at the top of a continent and work your way down, stopping only in those zones that offer pets. And if you're lower level, you'll appreciate the level-based sorting, allowing you to easily collect pets as you level up and move from zone to zone.

Casual Collectors - Bookmark the Vanity Pets by Zone guide and use it throughout your World of Warcraft career. When you visit a zone, check the guide and you'll quickly discover whether there are any pets worth grabbing in the nearby vicinity.

Read on to learn the best strategies for collecting depending on the source of the pet.

Vendored pets

Many of the easiest pets to collect are vendored pets. Make sure to note which pets are sold by the opposing faction. Those vendors will be off limits to your character. (This is when it pays to have another character of the opposing faction. Most pets learned by that character are added to your journal and summonable by your main.) Click on the vendor's name to pull up a map and additional info about the vendor from Wowhead.

The best strategy for collecting all of the vendored pets is to work your way around all of Azeroth, systematically hitting every pet vendor as you go (see Getting Started above). Or keep a constant eye on the AH as an alternative. If you opt to work the AH, you might also search for additional tradable pets you intend to collect.

Dropped pets

The thrill of the hunt might entice you to farm for some dropped pets. Pet profiles on our site include the drop rate of every dropped pet, along with Wowhead links to maps for every mob you'll have to grind. The art of farming (above) includes all the tips you'll need to farm for nearly every dropped pet.

FYI: Some pets are dropped by items rather than mobs. The notes in the pet's profile will help you determine how to obtain these pet-dropping items.

Quested pets

In order to collect quested pets, you'll have to get your hands dirty. First you'll need to work your way up to an appropriate level to complete the quest. Pet profiles in the Bestiary provide the name of the quest(s), the reccommended level(s), links to Wowhead's quest data, and some profiles even include links to walk-through guides (found in the notes section). You might also try looking up the quest on Wowhead and reading the comments of those who've already completed the quest.

Many of the quests listed on our site are the final quest in a series, often called a chain. You can use Wowhead to discover the quest that starts the entire chain and work your way forward from there.

Player-made pets

Collecting the player-made pets can be an interesting challenge. You can only pick two main professions, so that will limit which pets you can create for yourself. But it does give you a certain self-satisfaction when you create one of your own companions, so it can be well worth it to pick pet-creating professions, like engineering, jewelcrafting and inscription.

All player-made pets can be bought and sold on the AH. You could also try rounding up the required materials and locating a crafter to create the pet for you. Many players will be happy to create your pet for you for a small fee. People in your guild will often do it for free.

Pets earned through feats

Recently it became possible to earn pets through various feats based on a character's in-game accomplishments. For example, the first of these pets, the Spirit of Competition, required players to win a random number of PvP battleground matches.

SpeedyThe 3.0 build of WoW introduced a more official type of feat: an achievement. Characters can fulfill achievements by completing specific requirements, such as those listed in the Achievements tab. Some achievements grant rewards, including an occasional special pet. Take a look at our Vanity Pet Achievements guide to learn what pet-related achievements are avaialable, as well as what pets are awarded by certain achivements.

Wild pets

Thera are a huge variety of wild pets. To collect them, you'll have to fight them with one of your collected pets. Wild Pets are found throughout the game world. Once you complete a few starter quests, you'll be able to track wild pets on your minimap (see our Guide to Pet Battles for details).

To capture a wild pet, right click on it to start the battle. Your own fighting pet(s) should be close in level to your target. Higher level targets will be joined by additional pets, making them harder to capture. So make sure your battle team is fully healed and prepped to fight. When your target drops below 35% health, your trap will light up and you'll be able to deploy it. Sometimes the trap will miss, so keep a watchful eye on your own pets' health bars. Once you've captured the pet, it will join your menagerie, keeping its current level.

Wild pets have random stats when captured, ranging in quality from poor (gray) to rare (blue). These quality levels affect a pet's battle stats, like its health and power. So sometimes you might wish to release a poor quality pet and try for a better quality companion, especially if you intend to use it in battle.

Promotional pets

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to collect many of the promotional pets. In order to obtain these pets, you would've had to have participated in the related special promotions. And since many of these promotions are no longer available, the pets they provided are also, sadly, no longer available.

However there are still a few promotional pets, such as the Netherwhelp and the Hippogryph Hatchling, that you may be able to collect if you're willing to spend some real-world cash. Each pet's profile includes the name of the promotion and other notes that explain how it's obtained. You can find the real-world item required to get the pet using an auction site like ebay.

The Fruits of Your Labor

Where'd you get that pet!?

Magical Crawdad small pet from WoW

At some point during your pet collecting career, while you're busy organizing your bags or visiting a vendor, you'll get an unexpected tell from a complete stranger asking you where you got that adorable pet standing idly by your side. And that's when it hits you—you've got something of interest, something that draws the eye, something unique that at least a few players are seeing for the very first time.

In that moment, as your face turns a smile, you can reply to the curious party with the answer of how that cute little critter came into your possession. And if you're feeling particularly talkative, you might even mention as THE place to go to learn everything about collecting WoW vanity pets!happy

Regardless of whether you're a diehard collector or a casual collector, the vanity pets you obtain will be some of your greatest World of Warcraft treasures.

Happy collecting!smile

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