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WoWAug 3, 2018 1:00 pm CT

How to level a character using pet battles

We’re coming very closely to the release of a new WoW expansion, which means a new level cap — and new ways to try to avoid that grind. One way that comes in and out of vogue at times is pet battling. It has varied wildly in the past, and usually once it gets on another popularity uptick, it’s only a matter of time before the XP yield is nerfed. All the same, it’s a way to level, and I’m here to help you do that as efficiently as possible. What specifics are required for pet-battle leveling? What are some of my favorite spots for it? Read on and find out!

To level a character using pet battles, the pets you use need to be very close in level to your opponents’ pets. Facing lower-level pets, you can have a level 25 in the back row unused with no ill effect, but if they enter the fray, your character won’t get XP. Also, the XP your character gains depends on the number of opposing pets you face. Unless your pet levels are also very low, don’t try to level by going against wild pets below level 15 — that’s the level where you start facing three pets every time. Once you hit three opponent pets, your player XP gained per battle doesn’t change against even level pets, whether they’re 15 or 25.

Which pets you should use may vary depending on your location. If you’re just starting out with pet battling, this is a great opportunity to build up your stable, too. Moths are a great starting point for most wild battling. I also like crabs and frogs, but they have a tough time against flying pets — family interactions are always a consideration.

My all-time favorite spot to grind pet battles is the garrison. Lower levels need both a warlock friend and a group to visit someone else’s garrison, though on Squirt Day both are relatively easy to find on the Group Finder. The garrison has the best stable master in the game to heal your pets anytime you want, and it’s completely aggro-free. The real-time efficiency can’t be beat. If it isn’t Squirt Day, you’ll need a buddy who has their garrison decorated for Hallow’s End. I’ve found that the area just outside Lunarfall down the hill to the north, or the open area north of Colossal’s Fall are great places to grind it out too.

Unsurprisingly, much of Pandaria is still great for the leveling grind, even for the lowest level characters. One of the most popular spots is in Jade Forest, right around the Beast of Fable Nitun. It also requires a summon for lowbies, but the area is relatively safe — and it’s teeming with easy to defeat Critters.

The major downside of this area is everyone knows about it, so every time I check on it there are at least a couple battlers leveling. Many of the Beasts of Fable are surrounded by pets of a similar type. The issue is, many of them are also surrounded by tigers or bloodthirsty virmen. The area around Lucky Yi in Valley of the Four Winds is a great bet for leveling via pet battles, as is much of the shore around the Yan-Zhe River around the Brewery.

One final tactic to consider: PVP pet battling. It leaves something to be desired in the real-time efficacy category, but it may make up for it with change of pace. PVP pet battling nets the same XP per win as defeating a wild team. It’s definitely not as quick per battle, and it adds in another wrinkle — if you lose a battle, you don’t gain player XP. It may sound punishing but hey, at least you don’t have to even consider Vashj’ir this alt!

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