Getting Started in Pet Battles

Let’s get ready to rumble!

I never thought I’d be so into Pet Battling as I never played Pokemon or had any desire to. However, that all changed when I decided to try it on the beta.

The Basics:

Unlock the Battle Pet training ability for all characters on your account.

Matty - Battle Trainer in Org For Horde, head to the Goblin Slums in Org and talk to Matty. For your convenience, there are pet trainers in each of the capital cities. Just ask a guard if you need help locating them.
Audrey Burnhep For Alliance, head to Audrey Burnhep in Stormwind who can be located under a tree – between the bank in the Dwarven District and the Cataclysm portals.

Things to note:

  • As each pet levels, they will gain unique abilities and attacks once they reach level 2, 4, 10, 15 and 20.
  • Battle-Pets have a maximum level of 25
  • Players can hold up to 1000 pets and up to 3 versions of the same pet e.g. 3x Ruby Saplings – unless otherwise noted.
  • The source info (under the Pet Journal) can show you where to obtain a pet, including a small blurb about it.

Any of the Stable Masters can heal/revive your pets whenever you need, for a small cost. Good to know when your own ‘Revive Battle Pets‘ spell is on an 8min CD. Note that you cannot use your heal in the first 3mins of logging in. 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.

Starter Pets

Your Battle Pet Trainers can also offer you a racial pet for purchase (if you don’t already know it), so be sure to check before you leave. Great to use as a starting pet if you’re not a collector.

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

Before you attempt to battle, make sure you have an active pet inserted into the first battle slot of your Pet Journal. You can track eligible critters on the mini map which will come up as a green paw icon. Just right-click on the critter you wish to battle. You’ll eventually be able to allocate up to three active pets for your team.


  • When you tag 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 powerlevel a 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 used to be split btwn all pets left standing at the end of the battle – even max level ones).
  • If you think your pet might die, switch it out with one of your other active pets using ‘button four’ on the action bar. This uses a turn.
  • Winning harder fights will allow you to gain bonus Difficulty Points – either from higher quality pets (rare, uncommon, etc.) or level/length of the fight.
  • Live pets heal a portion of their health after every fight, provided they took part. The amount healed is 50% of the damage taken.
  • Each battle requires a certain amount of room (on a flat surface) 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 get in combat with a mob or player during the battle, you will be knocked out of phase.
  • As you progress, you’ll start battling teams with one or two other critters. This can be good or bad as you don’t want all of your active pets to be killed if the enemy pets are too strong.
  • 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. However your pets will lose a small portion of their health as a penalty.


  • When your pet reaches level 3 you can start capturing critters. The ‘Trap’ slot becomes active once they are below 35% health.
  • Traps upgrade via specific achievements, 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 in a team, you must win the overall battle, otherwise the ‘trapped’ pet will be lost.


As a horde player, I was really excited when to see this little guy in Durotar, although he looked just like a scarab when I targeted him.


Attempting to capture a pet (whether it’s successful or not) will use up a turn.

throw trap Attempt to capture
50-50 trap You will know very quickly if your trap missed or not.
Trap success Tipping forward means your trap has succeeded.
trap-missed Falling backward will indicate that your trap has missed. Either try again or weaken the pet a bit more before making another attempt.  Over time, your traps will improve with Strong Traps and Pristine Traps once you attain the relevant achievements.

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 of a rare before you engage it in battle since it’s predetermined as it spawns.
  • You can tell the quality of the pet somewhat after you start battling. The health bar is a good indicator, 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.

My list of favourites showing the quality of each pet

You can rename, release, cage (if applicable) or set a pet to a favourite list just by right-clicking the pet in your Pet Journal.


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. See my post for more info.


A few addons I’ve found really useful:

  • PetJournal Enhanced – Sort pets by level, alphabetical, pet type, rarity, pet specialisation and more.
  • PetBattle Teams – If you plan on battling a lot of tamers each day, this addon makes team changing a breeze.
  • BattlePetCount – Shows the quality of battle pets you already own during the battle, cage or tooltip.
  • Battle Pet BreedIDs – Download this addon to see all the BreedIDs in-game. Good to know for any serious pet battler.

Since pets are account-wide, you’ll notice the same active pets when you log between toons. However, you’ll only be able to do the Pet Tamer challenges once per account. If you have several of the same pet or ones you simply don’t want, you can right-click the pet to cage them to sell in the AH or gift. Note that wild pets are not tradeable.

So good luck, happy battling.