Neopets Battledome Explained
If you've taken a proud look at your Neopets lately, you might have noticed that there are several stats on display underneath their height and weight measurements. Level, Strength, Defence, Agility, Hit Points. These stats show up all over the site-- on default pet homepages, on pets' lookups, and even in the panel on the left of every page that shows your Neopet. But what do they actually mean, and what is your Neopet supposed to do with them? The answer to that is one very old, but still popular game that's been at the heart of the site since Year Two... the Neopets Battledome.
It's well-known that Neopets have an affinity for magic and technology, and are often very competitive. The Battledome is an arena where your pets can show off their physical strength, magical ability, and stamina by taking part in play-fights with friends from all over the world. While many people train very seriously to improve their pets' skills, these fights are all in good fun and no pet will ever be permanently injured by taking part.
Every pet is capable of fighting in the Battledome, even species such as the Lenny which are traditionally better known for intellectual achievements. For many players, Battledome fights are a fun and important part of the Neopets experience; there are "Battledomers" all over Neopia, from the casual attackers just in it for the free secret avatars, to the skilled and dedicated strategists who make Battledoming the focus of their time on Neopets. However, as with any activity on the site, there's no obligation to take part if you don't want to. Training for the BD can take a lot of time and Neopoints if you're planning on being serious about it, so don't feel like you have to rush into it as a relative novice. The BD has been around for more than a decade and isn't likely to go away any time soon!
Let's Hit The Shops!
To fight in the Battledome, the main thing you'll need (aside from a Neopet for each player, of course) is a weapon. There are thousands of different weapons out there, but only a few are actually worth their asking price. Some are used for attacking the opponent, some for defending your pet, and some for special effects such as healing; many do more than one of these. Which of them you should focus on depends on the individual battle you're getting into, but you'll need to have at least one weapon that can do some damage, or your pet will just sit there!
One of the most popular weapons on a new Battledomer's budget is the Scarab Ring. This shiny little gizmo is frequently given out as a scratchcard prize, so it's pretty cheap to buy, and attacks and defends at the same time when used. If you're worried about defence, though, you could also bring a Leaf Shield, which blocks three different types of damage and isn't expensive at all. Since your pet can use two weapons per turn, you can always attack with one hand/paw/fin and defend with the other. Another popular combination for newcomers is one Scarab Ring and one Rainbow Scroll.
If you don't think you can take out your opponent in a couple of rounds (and mostly this won't be possible), you may also want to think about healing. You can't use the Healing Springs, or items such as the numbered Healing Potions, while battling, so you'll need to think about other ways of recovering health. There are lots of healing items, but many of them only work on one species of Neopet. (As a rule, if a weapon has the name of a species in its title, it's likely to be exclusive to that species. The same applies to clothing.) If none of the species-specific items match your Neopet, you might have some luck with a Lesser Healing Scroll (there's also a Greater Healing Scroll, but it's considerably more expensive).
Sometimes, you'll see items in the Battledome that have more unusual effects. One well-known trick is stealing one of your opponent's weapons so it can't be used (and might even give you some help). Since all items are returned to their rightful owners at the end of the battle, this should really be called "borrowing" an item, but it might be helpful if one of your opponent's weapons is driving you up the wall. A fairly inexpensive item you can use for this purpose is the Purple Sticky Hand.
Many players are also attracted to the idea of freezing the opponent, leaving him or her unable to attack for a turn. Unfortunately, when it comes to weapons with a freezing effect, you tend to get what you pay for. The Snowglobe Staff is among the cheaper options, but only has a one in five chance of working! The slightly more expensive Scroll of Freezing is more accurate, but has a chance of disappearing permanently, leaving you out of pocket. For a freezing item with a high hit rate and no chance of getting broken, you'll need to start saving your Neopoints.
Most weapons will stay with your pet through however many battles you choose to fight. Some, though, are breakable (like the Scroll of Freezing mentioned above) and have a chance of being permanently used up. Still others are deliberately designed to be explosive, and can only be used once before they disappear. Be sure to check an item's description to see if a weapon is one-use! That's not to say that you should avoid one-use items altogether; for obvious reasons, they tend to be cheaper than longer-lasting weapons that have the same effects. If you're facing a more powerful opponent than usual, you could stock up on Battle Muffins to give him or her a short, sharp shock. Some of the more useful ones are shown below-- click to view each one!
Once you've bought your weapons of choice, go to your inventory and click each one. Select "Equip (Pet's Name)" from the dropdown menu. You can give your pet up to eight weapons to hold at a time-- that includes potions and shields as well as attack items. Be sure to do this before you enter a fight, as owners aren't allowed on the field in mid-battle to hand weapons to their pets!
You can challenge another player's Neopet to a fight by clicking the "Challenge (Pet's Name) in the Battledome!" button on his or her lookup. Note that some owners, particularly those whose pets get a lot of attention, block people from challenging their pets-- challenges are less fun when you're getting fifty per day. If you see the message that a pet's owner is not accepting challenges, just find another opponent (asking in advance whether he or she would like to fight is good etiquette).
If the pet's owner accepts your challenge, you can go straight to the Battledome Status page to review the details and then head into battle. (If you get any strange messages about nonexistent pets, keep refreshing the page.) The fight is officially on!
If you can't find any friends who want to fight, or you'd rather get some practice in first, you also have the option of fighting with a range of famous characters from around Neopia. These 1-Player Challengers are controlled by the computer, and are available 24 hours a day here. Be warned, some of them are very strong and won't go easy on newbie Battledomers!
Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough!
Let Battle Commence!
When you enter the Battledome, you will see your pet on the left of the screen and your opponent's pet on the right. Each pet's Hit Points will be displayed beneath him or her. As the fight progresses, you may see special effects and animations moving between the two pets. Your weapons are displayed at the bottom of the screen; under most circumstances, you cannot see your opponent's weapons (except, of course, when they are being used on you).
Battledome fights are counted in rounds. Before each round, you have as much time as you need to choose up to two weapons for your pet to use, and how cautiously or recklessly s/he will attack the opponent. As a rule, more careful and defensive attacks will do less damage to your opponent's pet, but also leave you better protected from taking damage yourself. The opposite is true of more reckless and powerful attacks.
Your attack and your opponent's attack will take place at exactly the same time. Weapons can do "normal" damage, represented by a little icon of a sword, or any of six different types of elemental damage (based on Neopia's six magical elements), and some will also block your opponent's damage to some extent. If your pet is hit by any of the damage types, he or she will lose Hit Points.
When one or both of the fighters reach zero HP, the battle is over. If one pet still has some HP remaining, he or she is declared the winner; if both pets run out of HP at the same time, the battle is a draw. The winner will immediately be restored to full health, while the loser will need to be healed manually.
Remind your pet not to be TOO smug about all this...
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
So is it all a matter of good weapons and luck which pet wins the battle? Not necessarily. This is where those stats we mentioned come into play.
- If your pet has a higher Strength stat, he or she will tend to do more damage. Of course, having an effective weapon is still important to winning a fight, but this stat can't be neglected if you want to hit your opponent hard.
- If your pet has a higher Defence stat, he or she will tend to take less damage from opponents' weapons.
- Endurance measures your pet's stamina; this is what is represented by your pet's Hit Points in battle. Working on Endurance will increase your pet's maximum hit points.
- Level doesn't have any effect of its own in the Battledome, though a higher Level does allow you to teach your pet certain spells and abilities. Instead, raising your pet's Level is a requirement for raising any of the other stats. You won't be allowed to train a pet in, say, Defence if his or her Defence stat is already more than twice his or her Level.
The other two stats, Agility and Intelligence, do not make a difference when fighting, though they are sometimes used to determine whether your pet can use a few rare weapons.
How do you raise your pet's stats if he or she is looking a bit weedy? There are two places in Neopia where your pet can be trained in the martial arts. The Mystery Island Training School is themed around finesse, inner balance and self-control, while its Krawk Island equivalent is more familiar with boisterous brawling and ruthless attack, but both do an equally good job of improving whichever stat you choose. You will need special items to pay for the courses there-- codestones in the case of Mystery Island, and dubloons for Krawk Island.
Stats can also be raised by the Secret Lab. While the lab is very expensive to acquire, in the (very) long term this can work out cheaper than conventional training. However, there's no way of choosing which stats you get, and they can be lowered just as easily-- and even if you're lucky and get nothing but boosts, you'll most likely end up with a dramatically unbalanced set of stats, and need to put money into training anyway to bring your Level and Defence back into line with your pet's massive amount of Hit Points. Caveat emptor (let the buyer beware)!
You can also visit Coltzan's Shrine every day. The departed desert ruler sometimes helps Neopets become a little stronger. However, it's completely random, so be prepared to be presented with a nicely toasted bug on a stick instead...
I'll Put A Spell On You
Weapons and training aren't the only things you can purchase to give your pet a boost in the Battledome. How about teaching your pet a few magical skills as well?
Bottled Faeries are smaller, less powerful versions of the Faeries that rule over the magical elements of Neopia. Unfortunately, they're stuck inside glass bottles, with corks too heavy for them to push out. How uncomfortable!
If your pet releases a Faerie from her bottle, she will be very grateful, and may reward you with a spell relating to her element. Many of these spells (called Faerie Abilities) are just for show and do nothing, but some can be very useful in the Battledome.
Before you release a Faerie, be sure to check whether your pet is at a high enough level to learn an ability from her. Jellyneo has its own handy guide where you can see all the possible abilities for each elemental type of Faerie. Bear in mind that you can have abilities from more than one element; there's no need to stick to releasing, say, Air Faeries if what you really want is a Fire ability.
Unfortunately, there's no way to skip past the useless spells and go straight to the more effective ones. If you want, say, the third ability on the list of Light Faerie powers, you'll have to have a pet of the right level and release three Light Faeries.
There are two very useful abilities that a beginner can pick up without breaking the bank. By releasing a single Water Faerie, your pet will gain the ability Heal, which restores Hit Points in the Battledome. If he or she is Level 10 or above, you can release four Earth Faeries for the Burrow ability, which protects you from a lot of damage, but can only be used once per battle. (The Dark Faerie ability Sink is an upgraded version of Burrow, blocking a large range of significant types of damage, but more expensive to get your hands on.)
There's no limit to the number of abilities your pet can learn (assuming your bank account stretches to that many Bottled Faeries!), but he or she can only have seven available to use in the Battledome at any one time. Select the Abilities option from your pet's dropdown menu in Quick Ref to turn abilities on or off.
Sadly, only Faeries have unlimited magical power. Inside the Battledome, you'll see a power meter under your pet's picture, which decreases every time you use a Faerie ability. When it hits zero, you'll be stuck without Faerie spells for the rest of the battle. (You can still use your weapons and attack styles as normal.) So don't rely on being able to heal every turn!
Although the Battledome is a very popular game, it differs from most games on the Neopets site in that it doesn't actually give you any Neopoints or items, even if you're lucky enough to win every fight you enter. This is why Battledoming is generally seen as something of a luxury hobby; you'll find yourself spending NP on training and weapons without getting any back.
This doesn't mean Battledoming is a completely pointless pastime, however. You may not be able to win Neopoints, but you can certainly gain bragging rights with a whole range of shiny avatars and trophies...
|This charming stuffed doll trophy is a reward for beating Punchbag Bob. He can't hurt your Neopet, but he takes a LONG time to defeat!|
|This avatar, featuring the faerie Aethia, is randomly awarded after a one-player Battledome win.|
||These avatars can all be obtained by beating 1-Player Challengers. Be warned, some of them are very difficult to defeat!|
||These avatars can be gained by taking specific species and colours of Neopets into battle.|
|You can get a range of snazzy trophies for your lookup (and a couple of avatars, too) by helping out the Defenders of Neopia, who will send you to battle certain 1-Player Challengers. Enjoy the experience of helping out Neopia's vulnerable citizens in need (as well as the amusingly outdated comic artwork in places).|
Of course, there's one other benefit to Battledome training that doesn't come up as often, but which nobody would say isn't important. From time to time, Neopia's safety will be threatened by some character or creature we've never seen before, as part of the big worldwide events known as plots. When this happens, the normal 1-Player Characters flee in terror and can't be fought (although you can still battle with your friends if you want to). The monsters and evildoers from the plot infest the Battledome, and the only thing standing between them and Neopian domination is... YOU. Yes, you. Ordinary Neopians with Battledome-trained pets can step up and put all that training to good use knocking out these special opponents. If enough of them are defeated, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you played a part in protecting Neopia. Oh, and there might be some prizes up for grabs when it's all over...
And I would've got away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling Neopians!
Hopefully this article has cleared up some of the mysteries behind the Battledome for you. Unfortunately, confusion about stats, weapons and their purpose is fairly common, and over time a few myths and rumours have popped up around the site that are simply not true. If you see anyone repeating one of these myths as fact, please set them straight (if you aren't on Neopets, you could even link them here for the real story!)
What Battledome Stats Don't Affect
- Your pet's level is not some kind of measure of your overall success on the site. Like any stat, it rises with training, not Neopoints or experience. Remember, your pet is not you, and your four pets could each have a completely different Level stat according to how much or little you've trained them.
- Your pet's strength has no bearing on how well you do at games like Test Your Strength. (We all know that game is rigged, anyway...)
- Running out of hit points does not mean your pet will faint, unlike the characters in video games such as Pokémon. 99% of the site is still accessible with a pet at zero HP, and if you're not intending to battle, there's no need to worry about healing up at all.
We hope to see you again!
What Won't Happen In The Battledome
- No matter how tough an opponent your pet is up against, the battle ends immediately if one fighter runs out of hit points. Even fighting against Neopia's most villainous characters, your pet will never get any kind of permanent injury like a fracture from fighting in the Battledome (some older artwork of defeated pets shows them with bandages and slings, but these are really just for show). There are a couple of weapons that have a chance of making a pet sick, but the point is that anything that happens to your pet in the Battledome can be fixed at the Healing Springs. No need to worry about hospital stays!
- Training your pet's stats happens outside the Battledome. Contrary to what many people think, stats won't rise simply by fighting opponents-- you may get some practice at using weapons and abilities, but the actual physical strength of your pet won't be affected.
See you in the Battledome!
This article was written by: Dream