The Hunter pet is a Hunter's constant companion as they travel through Azeroth and Outland. When fighting solo or in small groups, a Hunter's pet acts as a tank allowing the Hunter to maintain the range that he/she requires in order to do their best in combat. When not tanking, pets can be used to deal damage in addition to the Hunter's shots and stings.

Patch 3.0.2 introduced many changes to how Hunter pets work.


To obtain a pet, the Hunter must use his/her [Tame Beast] skill on a valid beast, from a select family, who is exactly their level or lower. Upon starting the taming process, the Hunter's armor is decreased by 100% and they cannot perform any other actions, else the attempt at taming should fail. The taming process takes 20 seconds and does not increase with every hit, but it can be interrupted. With Patch 3.0.2, Beastmaster Hunters gained the ability to tame additional rare pet types.

Taming tips:

  • Hunter abilities such as [Concussive Shot], [Wyvern Sting], and [Freezing Trap] can slow or stop a beast, reducing hits to the hunter which allows for easier taming.
    • Try this: Lay a trap, and wait for your cooldown. Pull your target across the trap and once it is iced, lay another freezer nearby and back away further before you begin taming. Thanks to the new combat traps, your target will not come close to hurting you!
    • Some beasts have a knockback ability. Using the [Freezing Trap] on them is essential, as the knockback will interrupt the taming process, forcing you to start over.
  • A good way to tame a pet is to ask a mage for help. It's possible to tame a pet that is sheeped. This also works with the druid spell [Hibernate].
  • The [Scare Beast] ability can also be helpful in conjunction with traps and shots.
  • Draenei can cast [Gift of the Naaru] on themselves just before beginning a tame. Don't wait until you need it though as you can't cast it after the tame begins.
  • Another strategy is to find a priest to use Power Word: Shield on you so you take no damage while taming. But be aware that the shield won't be up so long because the -100% armor mitigation allows for more damage to get in.


In order to maintain your pet's happiness (a good mood), you must feed it.

Pets eat up to six different types of food: meat, bread, fish, fruit, fungus, and cheese. Some pets, like wolves, will only eat meat, but bears and boars can eat any of the six food types. It is easiest to feed pets that eat meat, bread, and fish because mobs often drop meat, fish can be caught, and bread can be conjured by a Mage.

Feeding pets is very important. The happier a pet is, the more damage it deals:

  • Happy: 125% damage
  • Content: 100% damage
  • Unhappy: 75% damage

With Patch 3.0.2, it became much easier to make a pet happy. From taming the pet to full happiness, it takes only two feedings of appropriate level food and it will not run away due to hunger.

With Patch 4.1.0, happiness has been removed from the game. Feeding your pet now restores up to half of your pet's health, but can only be used out of combat. The pet's food preferences remain unchanged.

See Pet Feeding for more info.

See also below on Abilities that generate happiness.

Fighting alongside your pet Edit

Generally, a Hunter will send the pet in from a distance and allow it to get aggro on a mob before opening fire. Try to keep the mob on the pet so you can use the full power of your ranged weapon to take it down.

A nice trick is to use your pet to pull mobs that are out of range towards you. Use Attack Attack to send your pet in and as soon as it attracts the attention of the mob, use Follow Follow to call the pet back. The pet will start running towards you and the mob will follow. Once the mob is within range, use Attack again. The pet will turn around and attack the mob, and you can use your ranged weapon on it. This pull works over quite a long distance and even around corners, as long as you can get a mob targeted. It also ensures that any additional mobs will have aggro on the pet, rather than you. It does not work as well with mobs that have a ranged attack. Also, be careful that the pet does not pull any extra mobs on the way to the mob and back again.

It is possible to have the pet fight one mob while the Hunter attacks another. Note: the Hunter will not gain loot or experience from a mob that the pet kills solo. This is a deliberate decision by Blizzard, not a bug. If you intend on pulling multiple mobs and having your pet kill one or more of them while you focus on others, it would be best to try to get at least one shot or hit on each of the mobs and then allow your pet to do its work on them.

You can set your pet to Aggressive and have it auto-attack but this is generally not a good idea unless you would like to gain a few levels faster than you normally would in another mode. An aggressive pet will typically draw in additional mobs that you and your party would be unprepared to handle. Failing to control your pet is a sure route to causing a wipe in an instance. The Aggressive setting has somewhat more useful results in a battleground, but optimal use of a pet would be a coordinated attack alongside the Hunter, not off on its own.

Pet stat lag Edit

Prior to Patch 4.2, if a hunter was dismounted, their pet's stats would not update from initial starting stats until a few seconds after they spawned.[1] This delay often caused the death of the pet when the hunter engaged in combat soon after dismounting.

In Cataclysm Edit

Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

As of Patch 4.2, pets do not despawn when hunters use a ground mount, thus avoiding the problem above when dismounting from a ground mount, but this is still a problem with flying mounts.[1] Additionally, if the hunter aggros a mob while on a ground mount, their pet slows to %100 (run speed) and can fall behind and despawn.[1]

In Mists of Pandaria Edit

Mists of Pandaria This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.

Cory Stockton said in a Mists of Pandaria developer Q&A that Blizzard plans to fix the stat lag issue, but did not address the other mount related issues.[1]

Tameable beasts Edit

22px This section concerns content that is out-of-date. Reason: Needs Cataclysm Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria Mists of Pandari updates.

There are 23 families of pets for Hunters to tame, with seven of them only available through the Burning Crusade expansion, and two exclusive to the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Each family has its own skills, diet, and statistics.

With Patch 3.0.2, Hunter pets have been completely reworked. Pet families now are divided into the three classes: Cunning, Ferocity, and Tenacity. Ferocity pets are good for continuous damage, tenacity pets make good tanks, and cunning pets have unique abilities which can be very useful in certain situations. All pets of a class share the same stats and the same skill tree. Each pet family has one special skill. It seems special characteristics that some rare pets used to have were removed.

With Patch 3.1.0, all Cunning, Ferocity and Tenacity pets now have identical bonuses.

  • +5% Health
  • +5% Armor
  • +5% Damage

(exotic) means the pet can only be tamed by Hunters with the 51-point talent Beast Mastery.
TBC means the pet is only available with the Burning Crusade expansion.
WotLK means the pet is only available with the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.

Pet family Class Special ability Diet
Pilt:IconSmall Bat.gif Bat Cunning Sonic Blast Fungus, Fruit
Pilt:IconSmall Bear.gif Bear Tenacity Swipe Meat, Fish, Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit
Pilt:IconSmall Owl.gif Bird of Prey Cunning Snatch Meat
Pilt:IconSmall Boar.gif Boar Tenacity Gore Meat, Fish, Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit
Pilt:IconSmall CarrionBird.gif Carrion Bird Ferocity Demoralizing Screech Meat, Fish
Pilt:IconSmall Lion.gif Cat Ferocity Prowl, Rake Meat, Fish
Pilt:IconSmall Chimaera.gif Chimaera Cunning (exotic) Froststorm Breath Meat
Pilt:IconSmall CoreHound.gif Core Hound Ferocity (exotic) Lava Breath Meat, Fish
Pilt:IconSmall Crab.gif Crab Tenacity Pin Fish, Bread, Fungus, Fruit
Pilt:IconSmall Crocolisk.gif Crocolisk Tenacity Bad Attitude Meat, Fish
Pilt:IconSmall Devilsaur.gif Devilsaur Ferocity (exotic) Monstrous Bite Meat, Fish
Pilt:IconSmall Dragonhawk.gif Dragonhawk Cunning TBC Fire Breath Meat, Fish, Fruit, Raw Meat, Raw Fish
Pilt:IconSmall Gorilla.gif Gorilla Tenacity Pummel Bread, Fungus, Fruit
Pilt:IconSmall Hyena.gif Hyena Ferocity Tendon Rip Meat, Fruit
Pilt:IconSmall Netherray.gif Nether Ray Cunning TBC Nether Shock Meat, Raw Meat
Pilt:IconSmall Moth.gif Moth Ferocity TBC Serenity Dust Cheese, Fungus, Bread
Pilt:IconSmall Raptor.gif Raptor Ferocity Savage Rend Meat
Pilt:IconSmall Ravager.gif Ravager Cunning TBC Ravage Meat, Raw Meat
Pilt:IconSmall Rhino.gif Rhino Tenacity WotLK (exotic) Stampede Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit
Pilt:IconSmall Scorpid.gif Scorpid Tenacity Scorpid Poison Meat
Pilt:IconSmall SpiritBeast.gif Spirit Beast Ferocity WotLK (exotic) Spirit Strike Meat, Fish
Pilt:IconSmall Serpent.gif Serpent Cunning Poison Spit Meat, Fish, Raw Meat, Raw Fish
Pilt:IconSmall Silithid.gif Silithid Cunning (exotic) Web Meat
Pilt:IconSmall Spider.gif Spider Cunning Web Meat
Pilt:IconSmall Sporebat.gif Sporebat Cunning TBC Spore Cloud Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit
Pilt:IconSmall Tallstrider.gif Tallstrider Ferocity Dust Cloud Cheese, Fungus, Fruit
Pilt:IconSmall Turtle.gif Turtle Tenacity Shell Shield Fish, Fungus, Fruit, Raw Fish
Pilt:IconSmall WarpStalker.gif Warp Stalker Tenacity TBC Warp Fish, Fruit, Raw Fish
Pilt:IconSmall Wasp.gif Wasp Ferocity TBC Sting Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit
Pilt:IconSmall WindSerpent.gif Wind Serpent Cunning Lightning Breath Fish, Cheese, Bread
Pilt:IconSmall Wolf.gif Wolf Ferocity Furious Howl Meat
Pilt:IconSmall Worm.gif Worm Tenacity (exotic) Acid Spit Meat

Pet dietsEdit

Meat is the easiest food type to obtain, so pets that will only eat meat are not difficult to feed. Obtaining fish is not too much trouble either, as long as you are willing to catch them or you could hunt coastal humanoids, like murlocs, as well. Pets that will eat neither of these take a little more effort and planning. Dumpster pets, boars and bears, which eat just about anything, are really nice from an inventory management standpoint. You can toss the odd food drops at them. Besides food, however there are now abilities that generate happiness such as Guard Dog and Carrion Feeder.

Pet skillsEdit

Main article: Pet abilities

Pet skills come in two types — passive enhancement skills, and active skills.

Passive skills change the pet's stats and do not require resources.

Each pet family has one special skill (usually active) and further skills can be learned from the pet's skill tree depending on its class.

Most active skills require Focus — a constantly-recharging point pool that works much like a Rogue's Energy bar. Some active skills are free. Every pet has 100 Focus, and Focus regenerates at a base rate of 5 points per second.

Active skills can be activated in several ways:

  • Automatically, through setting them on autocast by right-clicking the skill icon in either the spellbook or pet action bar.
  • By clicking the skill icon in either the spellbook or the pet action bar.
  • By macros like /cast.

An active skill does not have to be in the pet action bar to be used, even on autocast. It is perfectly okay to leave Growl in the spellbook and have it on autocast. If using a /cast macro, the skill can be addressed as if it were a Hunter skill, so if the pet has the skill "Taunt", /cast Taunt will taunt the current target.

From Patch 1.7 onward, Blizzard started introducing special active pet skills. Each skill can only be used by a specific type of pet and the benefit is quite useful, usually in PvE. This increases the diversity among Hunter's pets and often promotes Hunters possessing several pets at the same time. It is expected that, with time, Blizzard will continue to add special skills to other beasts' types as well.

With Patch 3.0.2, the following aspects of Hunter pet training became obsolete: pet trainers, learning skills from wild beasts and loyalty.

Newly tamed beasts that are four or more levels below the Hunter´s level will have their level increased to three levels below the Hunter´s level. Pets also level much faster, and gain happiness faster from feeding.

As of Patch 4.1.0, any pet you tame will immediately be the same level as the hunter. Also, the pet's separate experience has been removed from the game and your pet now levels immediately when the hunter levels.

Training your petEdit

Pets below your level gain experience by fighting alongside you (as long as the mob killed is green or higher). When the pet reaches the Hunter's level, it stops gaining experience until the Hunter levels up. Pets gain approximately the same experience from kills as an unrested character of the same level, and require a much lower amount of experience to level as a character of the same level.

With Patch 3.0.2, the experience required to level was drastically reduced, to 10% of the amount needed by player characters to reach the same level. In the current PTR version of Patch 3.3.0, the experience requirement has been lowered to 5%. Pets do not benefit from rest, and do not receive any experience from any sources other than kills. If a pet is more than 5 levels below the Hunter, it will immediately gain enough levels to be 5 levels below the Hunter the next time it is active.

The pet's available talent points at any given time are determined by its level, with a maximum of 16 reached at level 80. A Beastmaster Hunter can add four more pet talent points with the 51 point talent Beast Mastery. You can assign the pet talent points in the pet tab of the talent window. Hunter pets can unlearn their talents at Hunter pet trainers without cost. A visual pet calculator is available at Wowhead Petcalc.

Pet scalingEdit

Pets receive attribute bonuses at 15% of their master's/mistress' stats:

  • 1 ranged attack power gives the pet 0.22 AP and 0.1287 spell damage (0.338 AP and 0.18 spell damage with 2/2 Wild Hunt).
  • 1 stamina gives 0.4 stamina untalented (erroneously reported as 0.3 stamina in the Hunter's stamina tooltip), or 0.63 stamina with 2/2 Wild Hunt). Hunter pets do not gain any health from their base stamina, and gain 10.5 health for each additional point of stamina (10 health per additional stamina before the inherent pet health bonus, which was standardized to 5% in Patch 3.1.0).
  • 1 resistance gives 0.4 resistance.
  • 1 armor gives 0.35 armor.
  • 1 point of spell penetration gives 1 point of spell penetration to your pet.[2]
  • 1 point of resilience gives 1 point of resilience rating to your pet as of Patch 3.3.0. Previously, it was 0.4 points of resilience per 1 point.[3]


As WoW is an MMORPG, you may find that you want a pet that looks visually appealing to you, be that it "looks good" or "looks menacing." Be aware that there are a couple of other appearance factors.


The pet's size is directly related to the level of the pet. Many beasts will dramatically shrink right before your eyes the moment they are tamed, though they will enlarge as they level. Pets such as rhinos are large enough to be a sight obstruction in certain areas, which can be to the player's advantage (PVP) or disadvantage (instances and raids).

Flying petsEdit

Flying pets maintain a more or less fixed distance above the ground, essentially hovering rather than flying. Flying pets' models, particularly the wings, interfere with mouse clicking, blocking access to select what is beyond them. This can work both for you and against you, but you will probably find it at least a little annoying. Note: As the pet levels, it gets bigger, and the wingspan gets larger, making the effect greater.

Low-slung petsEdit

Low slung pets, like crabs and scorpids, can fit into places taller pets cannot go. This is not a highly significant feature, but it does occasionally come up.

Bragging rightsEdit

If you want a prestige pet, the obvious choices are:

  • Anything that can no longer be tamed - Blizzard grandfathers current owners. You have to either luck out and fall into this, or have an eye for a problematic pet that will become untamable. Death Ravager is an example as well as Grimtotem Spirit Guide.

Matching petsEdit

You can match some Hunter pets and small pets, or even mounts, if theme is your thing.

Non-tameable beasts Edit

Many types of beasts in the wild cannot be tamed as a Hunter pet. These are:

Not all beasts within the tameable families are tameable. Normal rank and file beasts usually are, individually named beasts may or may not be, and any beast that is notably odd is probably not tameable.

Beast size critters, like cows and deer, are never tameable.


To abandon a pet, you should target the pet on its portrait at the top of your screen, right click and select "Abandon Pet." Keep in mind this is permanent, so be careful not to abandon the wrong pet.

Renaming a petEdit

Initially after you tame a pet, you have the ability to right click on the pet icon after selecting them, and select "Rename". But after the first time you do this, if you want to rename the same pet, you'll need a [Certificate of Ownership] (created with Inscription).

Patch changes Edit


  1. 1,0 1,1 1,2 1,3 Blizzard Entertainment Zarhym 2011-10-28. Mists of Pandaria Developer Q&A Transcript. Official World of Warcraft Community site (US). Archived from the original on 2011-10-27.
       Blizzard Entertainment Zarhym 2011-10-27. Mists of Pandaria Live Developer Q&A Transcript. Official World of Warcraft Community site (EU).
  2. Patch 3.2.0
  3. Patch 3.3.0

External links Edit

Mists of Pandaria β News