Hunter pet

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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.

Obtaining pets

New hunter characters start the game with a pet at level 1. Read on to learn all about these "starter pets". Each hunter race has a specific starter pet. When you reach level 10, you can visit the hunter trainer to learn a bunch of new pet-related skills, including [Control Pet], [Tame Beast], [Dismiss Pet], [Feed Pet], and [Beast Lore].

To obtain a new 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 10 seconds and does not increase with every hit, but it can be interrupted. If the hunter loses aggro to another player, the tame will fail. With Patch 3.0.2, Beast Mastery 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.


Main article: Feed Pet

Feed Pet allows hunters to heal their pets for 50% of their health while out of combat.


Taming challenges allow hunters to tame beasts, but with more of a challenge, often requiring special tactics not required for normal pets. The following beasts offer these challenges:

Molten Front and Mount Hyjal

  • Neutral Ankha: Spectral Frostsaber Spirit Beast (white)
  • Neutral Magria: Spectral Frostsaber Spirit Beast (blue)
  • Neutral Skarr: Metallic Cat (black)
  • Combat Ban'thalos: Spectral Owl Spirit Beast (green)
  • Combat Karkin: Metallic Crab (black)
  • Combat Kirix: Green Lava Spider
  • Combat Solix: Orange Lava Spider
  • Combat Skitterflame: Red Lava Spider
  • Combat Anthriss: Yellow Lava Spider
  • Combat Deth'tilac: Purple Lava Spider


A different type of challenge was introduced in Mists of Pandaria, where the following beasts would be hidden and hard to see tracks had to be followed in order to find the invisible beasts. Only [Flare] would reveal the following:


A Hidden quest and a dropped item help you tame two challenging beasts in Warlords of Draenor including:

Fighting alongside your pet

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 who 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 mutiple 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.

Raiding alongside your pet

With all pets being almost on equal grounds, damage wise, it falls upon the special abilities of the pets, the encounter, and what other classes are present which determines which pet a hunter would use. Often times it would be wise to talk amongst the other hunters in the raid to determine which pet each one could use, since their buffs/debuffs will not stack with each others or other player's abilities. It is common for a raid consisting of several hunters to no longer have duplicate pets.

Tameable beasts

See also: Pet abilities

There are 39 families of pets for Hunters to tame, with seven of them only available through the Burning Crusade expansion, two exclusive to the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, five in Cataclysm, two in patch 5.0.4.

Although each pet family comes with a default talent specialization, you can change your pet's spec at any time so long as you are not in combat. Cunning, Ferocity, and Tenacity. Ferocity pets are good for continuous damage, tenacity pets make good tanks for soloing, and cunning pets have unique abilities which can be very useful in certain situations, such as PvP, as well as being almost as viable as Ferocity in PvE.

(exotic) means the pet can only be tamed by hunters with the passive [Exotic Beasts].
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.
Cataclysm means the pet is only available with the Cataclysm expansion.
MoP means the pet is only available with the Mists of Pandaria expansion.
WoD means the pet is introduced with the Warlords of Draenor expansion.
Legion means the pet is introduced with the Legion expansion.

Pet family Class1 Special ability Exotic/Bonus ability Diet Special ability overridden by
IconSmall Basilisk.gif Basilisk MoP Tenacity [Stone Scales] Fish, Meat
IconSmall Bat.gif Bat Cunning Fungus, Fruit, Meat
IconSmall Bear.gif Bear Tenacity [Rest] Meat, Fish, Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit
IconSmall Beetle.gif Beetle Cataclysm Tenacity [Harden Carapace] Fruit, Fungus
IconSmall Owl.gif Bird of Prey Cunning [Trick] Fish, Meat
IconSmall Boar.gif Boar Tenacity Meat, Fish, Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit
IconSmall CarrionBird.gif Carrion Bird Ferocity [Bloody Screech] Meat, Fish [Scarlet Fever], Thrash, [Hammer of the Righteous], [Earth Shock], [Curse of Enfeeblement], [Thunder Clap], [Demoralizing Roar]
IconSmall Cat.gif Cat Ferocity [Prowl] Meat, Fish
IconSmall Chimaera.gif Chimaera (exotic) WotLK Cunning [Frost Breath] [Froststorm Breath] Meat
IconSmall Clefthoof2.gif Clefthoof (exotic) WotLKWoD Tenacity [Thick Hide] Bread, Cheese, Fruit, Fungus
IconSmall CoreHound.gif Core Hound (exotic) WotLK Ferocity [Molten Hide] [Ancient Hysteria] Meat
IconSmall Crab.gif Crab Tenacity [Harden Shell] Fish, Bread, Fungus, Fruit
IconSmall Crane.gif Crane MoP Cunning [Gift of Chi-Ji] [Trick] Fish, Bread
IconSmall Crocolisk.gif Crocolisk Tenacity [Ankle Crack] Meat, Fish
IconSmall Devilsaur.gif Devilsaur (exotic) WotLK Ferocity [Feast] [Monstrous Bite] Meat
IconSmall Direhorn.gif Direhorn MoP Tenacity [Reflective Armor Plating] Fungus, Fruit
IconSmall Mastiff.gif Dog Cataclysm Ferocity Bread, Cheese, Fish, Fruit, Fungus, Meat
IconSmall Dragonhawk.gif Dragonhawk TBC Cunning Fish, Fruit, Meat
IconSmall Owlcat.gif Feathermane Legion Ferocity [Updraft] Bread, Cheese, Fish, Fruit, Fungus, Meat
IconSmall Fox.gif Fox Cataclysm Ferocity [Agile Reflexes] [Play] Fish, Fruit, Meat [Necrotic Strike], [Slow], [Mind-numbing Poison], [Curse of Enfeeblement], [Spore Cloud], [Lava Breath]
IconSmall Goat.gif Goat MoP Ferocity Meat, Fish, Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit
IconSmall Gorilla.gif Gorilla Tenacity Bread, Fungus, Fruit
IconSmall Hydra.gif Hydra WoD Ferocity Fish, Meat
IconSmall Hyena.gif Hyena Ferocity Meat
IconSmall Mechanostrider.gif Mechanical Legion Cunning
IconSmall Monkey.gif Monkey Cataclysm Cunning [Primal Agility] Fungus, Fruit
IconSmall Moth.gif Moth WotLK Ferocity [Dust of Life] Cheese, Fruit, Fungus, Bread
IconSmall Netherray.gif Nether Ray TBC Cunning [Netherwinds] Meat, Fungus
IconSmall Yak.gif Oxen Legion Tenacity Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit
IconSmall Porcupine.gif Porcupine MoP Tenacity [Rest] Fungus
IconSmall Quilen.gif Quilen (exotic) MoP Ferocity [Stone Armor] [Eternal Guardian] Meat, Fish
IconSmall Raptor.gif Raptor Ferocity Meat
IconSmall Ravager.gif Ravager TBC Cunning Meat
IconSmall Riverbeast.gif Riverbeast WoD Tenacity [Gruesome Bite] Bread, Fruit, Fungus
IconSmall Rylak.gif Rylak (exotic) WoD Cunning [Updraft] Fish, Meat
IconSmall Mushan.gif Scalehide Legion Tenacity Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit
IconSmall Scorpid.gif Scorpid Tenacity [Deadly Sting] Meat
IconSmall Serpent.gif Serpent Cunning Meat
IconSmall ShaleSpider.gif Shale Spider (exotic) Cataclysm Ferocity [Solid Shell] Fish, Meat
IconSmall SilithidWorker.gif Silithid (exotic) WotLK Cunning [Tendon Rip] Fungus, Meat
IconSmall Tarantula.gif Spider Cunning [Web Spray] Meat
IconSmall SpiritBeast.gif Spirit beast (exotic) WotLK Ferocity [Spirit Mend] / [Spirit Walk] Meat, Fish
IconSmall Sporebat.gif Sporebat TBC Cunning Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit
IconSmall Talbuk2.gif Stag WoD Ferocity Bread, Cheese, Fruit, Fungus
IconSmall Tallstrider.gif Tallstrider Ferocity Bread, Cheese, Fruit, Fungus
IconSmall Turtle.gif Turtle Tenacity [Shell Shield] Bread, Fish, Fungus, Fruit
IconSmall WarpStalker.gif Warp Stalker TBC Tenacity [Warp Time] Fish, Fruit
IconSmall Firefly.gif Wasp WotLK Ferocity Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit
IconSmall WaterStrider.gif Water strider (exotic) MoP Cunning [Surface Trot] Fruit, Fungus
IconSmall WindSerpent.gif Wind Serpent Cunning Fish, Cheese, Bread
IconSmall Wolf.gif Wolf Ferocity Meat
IconSmall Worm.gif Worm (exotic) WotLK Tenacity [Burrow Attack] Fungus, Cheese, Bread
  • 1 This is the default class when first tamed, players will be able to change their pet class afterwards.

Pet skills

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. Pet trainers can still be talked to to reset a pet's talents, though.

Newly tamed beasts will have their level increased to the hunter's level when tamed.

Training your pet

The pet's available talent points at any given time are determined by its level, with a maximum of 17 reached at level 85. A Beastmaster Hunter can add four more pet talent points with the 31 point talent [Exotic Beasts]. 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 scaling

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 0.45 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.[1]
  • 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.[2]
  • The scaling formulas for hit are not yet available, however the Patch 3.2.0 notes stat that "If a player is at their appropriate spell hit chance or hit chance maximum, their pet will be at the maximum for spell hit chance, hit chance, and expertise. If they are below the maximum, their pet will be proportionately below those maximums.".[1]


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). The  [Glyph of Lesser Proportion] can shrink the size of your pet.

Flying pets

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 pets

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 rights

Face it, this is important. 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 which will become untamable. Death Ravager is an example as well as Grimtotem Spirit Guide.

Matching pets

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

  • Takk the Leaper, a dino-lizard, can be tamed, and his offspring, Leaping Hatchling, can be obtained from Takk's Nest, in the Northern Barrens. They are just south and east of Nozzlepot's Outpost.

Non-tameable beasts

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 gazelles 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 pet

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).

Patches and hotfixes

  • Hotfix (2016-08-08): "Hunter pets now retain their selected specialization when dismissed and summoned."
  • Hotfix (2016-07-21): "Pets in the Oxen and Scalehide families now all have a basic attack."
  • Hotfix (2014-10-17): "Hunter Pets now inherit 60% of the Hunter's Attack Power (up from 33%)."
  • Hotfix (2014-10-16): "Stag pets should now correctly apply the Grace buff when summoned."
  • WoD Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14):
    • Hunter pets now have a 1-second global cooldown.
    • All full crowd-control abilities have been removed from Hunter pets and replaced those with new abilities, including spreading some that were previously restricted to exotic pets.
For an in-depth description of this patch change, see Patch 6.0.2#Hunter pet abilities
  • MoP Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Pets can now switch between being Cunning, Ferocity, and Tenacity type pets.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.1.0 (2011-04-26):
    • Pets will now level with hunters in the same way warlock pets currently do. Also, summoned pets now start with 100 focus, up from 0.
    • The Happiness/Pet Loyalty System has been removed. Hunters will no longer have to manage Happiness for their pets, and the previous damage bonus for pets being happy will now be baseline for all tamed pets.
    • Now tamed pets match the hunter's level
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Numerous changes. Many pet abilities have been replaced or altered. Hunters now start with pets at level 1. Whenever a hunter is more than 3 levels above a pet, the pet levels to within 3 levels of the hunter.
  • WotLK Patch 3.3.0 (2009-12-08): Hunter pets now have 100% of their master's resilience; increased from 40%.
  • Hotfix (2009-04-16): "Hunter pets should now have their talents refunded when a Hunter switches talent specs, even if they are dismissed at the time."
  • WotLK Patch 3.1.0 (2009-04-14): All Cunning, Ferocity, and Tenacity pets now have identical bonuses - +5% Health,+5% Armor,+5% Damage.
  • WotLK Patch 3.0.8 (2009-01-20): All Hunter pet abilities with a cooldown of 30 seconds or more are no longer on the global cooldown.
  • WotLK Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Major revisions to the pet system, see patch notes for details.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.7.0 (2005-09-22):
    • Hunter pets can now be untrained of all their skills from any beast trainer in the major cities.
    • Hunter pets can now learn a maximum of four active abilities.
    • Hunter pets now gain experience based on the level difference between them and their target rather than the difference between the Hunters and their target.
    • Hunters are now able to name their pets while mounted.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.5.0 (2005-06-07): Unstabling dead pets no longer puts players into a degenerate state where their pet only partially exists. Unstabled dead pets can now be properly revived, and players can no longer train more pets than their stable can hold.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.4.0 (2005-05-05): When a non-Hunter resurrects a pet, the pet will no longer receive resurrection sickness.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.3.0 (2005-03-07):
    • Fixed a bug where Hunter pets were sometimes unattackable by opposing faction players.
    • Fixed a bug where creatures were keeping their innate resistances after being tamed. This was unintentional and the fix will affect all existing pets.
    • Hunter pets immediately gain training points when they level up.


External links