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For information about so-called "mini pets", see: Miniature
For information about necromancer minions, also sometimes called "pets", see: Minion

Characters can obtain an animal companion, also known as a pet, using the Charm Animal skill. These animals fight as melee attackers alongside the character whenever this skill, Comfort Animal (PvE only), Heal as One (PvE only) is equipped and are affected by skills specific to animal companions, mostly in the Beast Mastery attribute. As the Charm Animal, Comfort Animal and Heal as One skills are ranger skills, it is only possible to play with an animal companion as a primary or secondary ranger.

Pet evolution

Generally, the pet evolves at levels 11 and 15. However, in certain cases this has varied; such instances are rare and not fully understood, though leveling up while dead does seem to delay evolution to the next time the pet levels up. The pet name does not always update appropriately; in this case, name your pet, then reset the default name with /namepet or /petname. Which evolutionary path the pet takes is dependent on the play style of its master leading up to the pet's evolution and is still undergoing research.

The following factors are believed not to be involved in pet evolution:

  • Levels of monsters fought
  • Number of times the pet died
  • Number of foes killed by the pet

The following are observed to have some correlation with defensive evolutions (playful/hearty):

  • High amount of healing on the pet
  • Low ratio of damage dealt by pet versus damage by owner
  • Amount of damage taken by the pet
  • Amount of damage taken by the pet without killing the pet

The following are observed to have some correlation with offensive evolutions (aggressive/dire):

  • High ratio of damage dealt by pet versus damage by owner
  • High absolute damage dealt by pet

Getting a pet

Pets are character-specific; each character must charm their own pet, and cannot be shared with other characters. To obtain a pet you must use Charm Animal on an animal. Heroes may also charm an animal either as a primary or secondary ranger.

Be warned: when you use Charm Animal to charm a pet, it will become hostile and attack you or another party member (don't panic, as it will do minimal damage). Heroes, if not set to avoid combat, and henchmen (AI characters) will attack the pet you are attempting to charm. For this situation, it is best to flag heroes and henchmen out of aggro range to prevent the pet from being killed by the AI characters before it is charmed.

Whenever a character has Charm Animal, Comfort Animal or Heal as One equipped, their pet will tag along when they are outside of cities and outposts.

Provided you do not get rid of the pet as described below, the pet is permanently linked to your character; even changing from a ranger secondary profession does not sever this link. When you change back to a ranger secondary and equip Charm Animal, Comfort Animal or Heal as One, the pet will be unchanged.

All PvP characters start off with an elder Wolf. It is possible to replace the wolf with another pet using the Zaishen Menagerie.

A hero can also get a pet by equipping Charm Animal. First clear the area around the pet. Then order all other heroes and henchmen away from the area. Use a flag to bring the desired hero within range of the pet. The player then targets the animal to be charmed. Left-click on the hero's number in the Party Member list to bring up the hero's skill bar, and select Avoid Combat, Charm Animal, and Lock Target. The hero will then use Charm Animal and will have a new pet.

Animal subtypes

There are currently 34 unique charmable animals in the world of Guild Wars, and 34 pets to be unlocked in the Zaishen Menagerie Grounds. Some animals that might seem to be different are still considered to be the same pet in the Menagerie — these are the Tyrian and Elonian Warthog, the Wolf and Snow Wolf, and the Moa Bird and Strider .

Animal companions with their own statue in the Monument of Fellowship are marked in bold.

Core Prophecies logo sml.png
Factions logo sml.png
Nightfall logo sml.png
EotN logo sml.png
Eye of the North

Changing your pet

When Charm Animal is equipped, your animal companion travels with you, preventing you from charming another animal. The only way for you (or your hero) to charm a different animal is by first taking your current pet to a Pet Tamer, who will take it away. The most accessible pet tamer by far is Emryd in the Zaishen Menagerie Grounds, where you get the added convenience of being able to charm any pet you have previously released into the Menagerie, and can train them or even death level them before charming them anew.

Pet rules

  • Pets are not party members, only allies.
  • All pets are the same type of creature according to Edge of Extinction and other skills that affect creatures of the same species.
  • A pet will always attack the same foe as its owner (sometimes changing target with a delay) at a rate of one attack every 2.15 seconds.
  • Pets receive death penalty in PvP, but not in PvE.
  • Pets in PvE take 33% less damage and deal 33% more damage in combat.
  • When a pet dies, its location does not show as a gray dot on the compass, player and hero pets do not leave an exploitable corpse and npc pets only when their master dies.
  • Also when a pet dies, all of the owner's skills will be disabled for a short time, based on their rank in Beast Mastery. The exception is Pre-Searing, where the owner's skills are not disabled upon death of the pet.
  • Pets can only be resurrected with Comfort Animal, Revive Animal, Heal as One, or a Resurrection Shrine. Resurrection skills targeted on players cannot target pets.
  • If a pet is unnamed (see below), its name may change as it levels up and evolves (i.e. a Melandru's Stalker may become a Playful Stalker). Note that the name change still occurs if you give your pet a custom name, it is just not displayed. If you later erase your pet's custom name, the 'upgraded' name will be displayed instead of the original one.
  • Pets gain experience and level up from combat, to a maximum level of 20. They will gain experience in this way even while dead, regardless of the distance to the dying foes, but the party screen will only update the level when the pet is within radar distance of the master. Pets do not gain experience from quest rewards or mission completion, and are unaffected by experience scrolls. The entire group of allied pets are considered as another party, thus, the experience earned by your pet decreases proportionally to the number of pets in the alliance. Note that since a pet 'dies' while you are inside a Junundu Wurm, this becomes a great way to get a pet evolved from 'Aggressive' to 'Dire' without having to do a lot of tedious death leveling.
  • Some pets may not follow you until you level them a couple of times.

Pet Controls

Pets also have a "control bar", similar to that of a hero's, which you display by clicking on the number to the left of the pet's health bar in the party window. (If heroes are in your party, the number indicating your pet's control bar changes from 1 to 2, 3, or 4, depending on the amount of heroes in your party.) When opened, it contains three buttons to the right of an animated avatar displaying the following: a sword, a shield, and a dove. enchantments, conditions, and hexes affecting the pet are displayed below the control bar. The shield button sets the pet to Guard mode, which puts the pet's normal into effect. The sword button locks the pet's target on the foe currently targeted by the player. When a target is locked in this way, the pet will automatically chase after the enemy until you move too far away from your pet, or it is set to heel mode, and in some cases, guard mode. Note that when the pet successfully defeats its locked foe, it automatically returns to the mode it was previously in. The range of the lock target command is equivalent to roughly to twice the range of the aggro bubble. The dove button commands the pet to heel, which is equivalent to the hero's "avoid combat" command. When activated, a pet will automatically stop attacking, and remain idle, unless the pet is attacked (in which the pet will flee), put back into guard mode (note that if this happens, the pet may attempt to target the enemy it was previously attacking if the pet is close enough to its former target), or is given the command to target a specific enemy.

Pet attacks

A pet's damage is relative to the amount of attribute points invested in its owner's Beast Mastery attribute, with diminishing returns for rank greater than half the owner's Level +2. Pets attack roughly once every 2.15 seconds and inflict critical hits at a rate that depends on the owner's Beast Mastery attribute. Pet critical hits do not use the same damage formula as other critical hits. The most prominent difference is that pet critical hits have a damage range rather than inflicting √2*max damage.

With 12 points invested in Beast Mastery:

  • A level 20 Hearty pet does 15-35 damage per hit against an AL 60 target; with the critical hits removed, the base damage is 15-25.
  • A level 20 Elder pet does 17-41 damage per hit against an AL 60 target; with the critical hits removed, the base damage is 17-29.
  • A level 20 Dire pet does 20-46 damage per hit against an AL 60 target; with the critical hits removed, the base damage is 20-32.

In order to assess expected damage, the average damages need to be known, with 12 points invested in Beast Mastery:

  • A level 20 Hearty pet does an average of ~21.1 damage per hit for ~9.8 DPS at base attack speed.
  • A level 20 Elder pet does an average of ~24.4 damage per hit for ~11.3 DPS at base attack speed.
  • A level 20 Dire pet does an average of ~28.1 damage per hit for ~13.1 DPS at base attack speed.

Different types of pets do different types of physical damage.

Slashing damage is dealt by

Piercing damage is dealt by

* The Prima Guide has listed these types of pets as doing a different type of damage, and many other fansites copied that information. However, actual testing shows the information in the Prima Guide to be incorrect. For discussion on this matter, see here.

Health and armor

  • All pets have the same health and armor based on their current level.
  • Pets have the equivalent of 5 pieces of infused armor.
Health = Level × 20 + 80
AL = Level × 3 + 20

Pet Evolution Stats

  • Hearty: -(~12-14)% damage, +60 health
  • Playful: -(~5)% damage, +30 health
  • Elder: -0 damage, +0 health
  • Aggressive: +(~5)% damage, -30 health
  • Dire: +(~12-14)% damage, -60 health

It is commonly believed that an Elder pet has a damage bonus of +3; however, attempts to validate this have shown that this is not true (found in this Guru article).

Black Widows are always level 20, and spawn with a random evolution. Black Moas have been observed with the properties of the Elder evolution.

Have a look at the Guide to evolving a Dire Pet if you want a dire pet.

Pet naming

A primary character's pet can be given an individual name with the commands "/namepet <new name>" or "/petname <new name>". Both commands, when used without anything following it, will reset the pet's name to its default state. A pet's name can be up to 12 characters long. Note that an individual name will also carry over to a new pet. Pet name does not affect a pet's evolution, it will simply mask the prefix displayed until you reset the name to default. Multiple pets, unlike players, can have the same name. Heroes cannot rename their pets.

You cannot change the name of your pet in the middle of a PvP match. You may, however, change it while in any PvP outpost or the Isle of the Nameless.

Pet growth

As of the 10/18/2007 update, all pets now grow as they evolve. Pets do not automatically gain in size when going through levels. Some pets can be tamed with a certain evolution already maxed and therefore will never increase in size. If a pet is tamed with an evolution previously, and does not undergo another evolution, it will also not grow. This is independent of level, meaning that if you tame a level 12 aggressive lioness, and do not evolve it properly into a Dire Lioness, it will not grow in size.


  • Charmable Animal Companions removed from the game so far include the Fern Lizard from Prophecies (a browner cousin to the Dune Lizard), the panda (presumably due to international relations though it is still in the game - just not charmable), the red crowned crane (though still in the game and still called a Crane with a white neck and blue crown - the skin was changed presumably due to animal rights relations), and the Pygmy Hippopotamus (due to technical problems with the animal's model).
  • Animal companions appear to leave human footprints (haven't been able to verify this with all pets at this point).

See also