Petpet Matching for the Permanently Indecisive
Have you ever looked at a pet, paired with their petpet, and thought "They're perfect together!" only to do it yourself and find that "perfect" match to grow stale in a short time, maybe it just didn't "work" with their character, or maybe you just flat out decided you didn't like it? Ladies and Gentleman, I am here to state loud and clear you are not alone. I have struggled with this for ages (and to some extent I still am!) and have compiled an array of solutions to consider when chasing that dream of getting each and every one of your lovely pets their perfect petpet. Read on and hopefully I can lighten the load, since finding the perfect petpet should be fun not stressful!
First, I will issue some tips before getting to the full methods that have led me to finding most (if not all) of my pets perfect pairings.
1. Put aside petpetpets for now. I know how nice it would be to match across the board but there are only a few petpetpets compared to literally THOUSANDS of petpets, painted and not. At the time I was writing this, none of my pets had petpetpets so I could insure that I would not lose Neopoints on something I ultimately didn't want. Also, don't attach a petpetpet if you're planning on using the rotation method discussed later in the guide. Petpetpets disappear when you detach the petpet they were on, and that can result in a serious loss if you're not prepared.
2. Basic, not basic, or either. Decide early. This isn't so important, but if your pets are connected some way or you prefer to have some uniformity across your pets, making this decision can make achieving those easier.
3. Be familiar with how you want to match your pets and their petpets. There are a number of guides out there, /~Directory links to several good ones if you need ideas, or you can go like me and use your own criteria. And re-evaluating this criteria with every pet can ensure each of your pets are truly unique.
4. It's not a bad idea to set a budget on what you'll spend per petpet. The "test period" method in particular can get rather pricey before all is said and done, so be sure you're willing to pay for the petpet(s) you think you may want.
5. Don't be afraid to detach a petpet. Unless it's zapped, the only thing that will be different is the age of the petpet and sometimes you really do have to quickly swap petpets around to be doubly sure. And unless you're going for the PPL Award for your pet, that age is just a number. It holds no weight on anything.
6. Finally, until you find that perfect petpet DO NOT sell the petpets you have tried unless you are completely sure you do not want them. I have often found myself returning to older petpets for specific pets, and having to re-obtain a Faerie Petpet Paint Brush (as an example) is not on any (sane) persons list of desires.
Now, with that out of the way, let's get to the full blown methods! There are probably other methods that will work, but personally I am only going to list what has worked for me when deciding on a petpet: Rotation, the Petpet Lab Ray, and Issuing a Test Period.
Method 1: Rotation
This method is really good if you know that there is more than one perfect petpet for your pet. My Baby Shoyru is in this situation. How this works is every so often, I just change the petpet attached to the pet that I'm rotating petpets on. I keep a short list (I've found my perfect number is two to three) of petpets and once I've gotten them all I keep one attached to my pet and stash the others in a safe place that I'll know where they're at. You can use your gallery like I do but for others the SDB will work just as well. When I get tired of that particular petpet or just feel like a change, I swap from that list. I do change the list from time to time, and when I do I sell the extra petpet (or two) that I change to help offset the next purchases. For the truly indecisive who don't care that much about petpetpets, this is a great method and can be rather fun once you get into it. How long you wait and how many back-up petpets you keep is strictly up to you, I personally don't set a time limit beyond when I look at my pet in Quick Reference or view their lookup and feel like it's time to switch it up.
Method 2: Petpet Lab Ray
Hidden somewhere in Neopia is a crazed Kookith. If you can find him, he can fire his ray at your pets petpet in hopes of a change. If your petpet (and their owner) is brave enough to endure this for a time, you can be well rewarded. Keep in mind that petpets changed by the petpet lab ray will stop being that petpet once you detach them, so this method is better if you are definitely looking for a permanent petpet. But if that permanent petpet is very expensive or difficult to find (like Squishbubble12's Blorbis) or you're not really sure what you're after, this can save a TON of Neopoints in the long run. And much like Squishy and her beloved Blorbis, you never know what you'll find that is just perfect! The beauty of this is if you get a color and species combo you don't like, you're not at a loss for the Neopoints to buy and paint the petpet in question. You can just zap over it. Just keep in mind when you begin zapping to use a very, very inexpensive petpet just in case your petpet goes AWOL while zapping. (Oops)
Method 3: Issue a Test Period
This is my favorite method for when I have a few petpets in mind and I know that I want one to be that perfect petpet. My Maraquan Draik on my side used this method as well as several other pets of mine. The premise is simple, buy a petpet and give yourself so long to decide it if it's the one. But there can be so much more to it than that. You can buy a couple of petpets and try each, in a compare and contrast method. Or you can do it similarly to the Rotation Method laid out above. As a matter of fact, the Rotation Method can easily become this method if you gain an attachment to a certain petpet and find yourself returning to it frequently. Also, this method can insure that there isn't another petpet you'd want, which can save you Neopoints in the long run. I had thought of attaching a Maraquan Snarhook to my Maraquan Draik some time ago, but instead chose to look at a few other good (and considerably cheaper) matches to make sure that the Snarhook was what I really wanted. Although in the end I did decide on the Snarhook, I saved myself the potential headache of deciding that the Snarhook just wasn't for her. I have also had the opposite happen with Squishbubble12 before she was granted her Blorbis by the petpet lab ray. As a matter of fact, this method works well used with the other two listed above.
That is my say on attaching petpets! Here's hoping you find the perfect one (or ones!) for your pet! It takes time -- it took Squishy all three methods and all tips all strewn across several years -- but it is definitely worth the time, effort, and love involved! Good luck!