One of the first things many new MMO players want to know (after “Am I leet yet?” and “How do I meet Felicia Day?”) is how to get a pet. In WoW, there are two types of pet: Cute but useless, and Ugly but vicious.
Cute but useless
As well as describing the guy who stands outside the Disney Store saying hello to everyone, ‘cute but useless’ is a pretty good description of most of WoW’s Companion Pets (sometimes called ‘vanity pets’). Any character can get a companion, and there are dozens of them to aquire. They won’t be of any practical use to you – they won’t attack your enemies, or make you stronger, or heal your wounds – they simply follow you around being adorable. Hence, the term ‘vanity pets’.
Getting your first companion pet is a trivial task. Vendors in each of your faction’s major cities will sell you a variety of critters for a mere 50 silver each. Your choices are:
- Bombay Cat, Cornish Rex Cat, Orange Tabby Cat, Silver Tabby Cat – sold by Donni Anthania in Elwyn Forest
- Snowshoe Rabbit – sold by Yarlyn Amberstill in Dun Morogh
- White Moth, Yellow Moth – sold by Sixx in The Exodar
- Great Horned Owl, Hawk Owl – sold by Shylenai in Darnassus
- Golden Dragonhawk Hatchling, Silver Dragonhawk Hatchling, Red Dragonhawk Hatchling – sold by Jilanne in Eversong Woods
- Black Kingsnake, Brown Snake, Crimson Snake – sold by Xan’tish in Orgrimmar
- Cockroach - sold by Jeremiah Payson in Undercity
- Brown Prairie Dog – sold by Halpa in Thunder Bluff
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There are plenty of other companion pets which can be aquired simply by spending gold. Check your faction’s Auction House, as well as the neutral Auction House. You’ll also find other vendors during your travels in Azeroth. Other companion pets are granted as reward for completing certain achievements. Often these achievements are part of one of WoW’s many seasonal festivals. Check your Achievements tab in game to see what’s available. You can also sometimes buy in-game companion pets for real-world money, from the Blizzard Store.
You can see a full list of available companion pets, and even track your personal collection online, at Warcraft Pets.
Ugly but vicious
If fluffy vaniety pets aren’t your thing, you might want to get a combat pet – a creature who will accompany you on your travels and fight beside you. Only certain classes can have combat pets, and the pets available to you will depend on your specific class.
Death Knights can have their very own zombie minion in the form of a Ghoul. Chose the Unholy talent spec, otherwise your ghoul will only be available to you for a few minutes at a time.
Mages can summon a Water Elemental to do their bidding. Usually, that bidding is “stand in front of me and get hit”. You’ll need to be a Frost Mage to get this pet.
Warlocks have access to several types of demon, although only opne demon can be summoned at once. Depending on your level, you’ll be able to summon an Imp, a Voidwalker, a Succubus and a Felhunter. If you’ve chosen the Demonology talent tree, you’ll also gain access the Felguard and his preposterous axe.
If you want access to the maximum variety of combat pets, you need to play a Hunter. Hunters can tame creatures they encounter, and will gradually build up a stable of different pets. From Scorpions to Crocolisks, Raptors to Rhinos, hunters can tame all sorts of weird and interesting pets – and if you choose the Beastmastery talent tree, you’ll have access to even more. Unquestionably, the best resource for hunter pets is the brilliant Petopia.