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All About Levels

by pianoru


QUICK REF - Levels: all pets have them. Most owners want their pets to have higher levels, but sometimes an accidentally gained level will cause an owner to moan and groan on the chat boards. And yet it's not always easy to see the point of pet levels. Are they worth it? Should you try to get them for your pet? What is the best way to get them? I'm here to help!

There are lots of reasons to want levels for your pet besides just looking impressive. The higher your pet's level, the more it can learn! There are some skills that your pet will naturally gain when it reaches the proper level, like the ability to berserk in Battledome fights. Other skills can be learned once your pet reaches the proper level. If you've ever taken a level 1 pet to the training school or the academy, you'll notice that the only course it can take is level. After it takes a few courses in level, it will gain the ability to manage the other courses and you can train other skills. Another time you'll need levels is when you release bottled faeries. As a token of their gratitude, the faeries will try to bless your pet with an ability, but if your pet's level is too low it won't be able to receive the ability. It's very frustrating when that happens!

So why would anyone be upset when their pet unexpectedly gains a level? There's one main reason: training. Low level pets are quick and cheap to train, and they can train at either the academy on Krawk island or the training school on mystery island. But when your pet reaches level 11, the cost at the academy goes to 2 dubloons instead of just 1; when it reaches level 21 the academy cost goes to 5 dubloons and the training school cost goes from 1 codestone to 2 codestones. Once your pet passes level 40 it can no longer train at the academy, and pets higher than level 250 can't train at the training school, either! If your pet is close to these milestones, you might not want to let it gain levels for a while.

Now that you know what levels do, maybe you'd like to earn some more levels for your pets. But how should you do it? What if you're in a hurry, or you don't have extra NP to spend? I've rated 5 methods for affordability, speed, and reliability.

Dice-A-Roo - If you're low on NP, this is probably the best way to go. You won't get anything good until the green die, so it can be time-consuming and frustrating, but once you get to the green die or higher there are lots of things you can win. You'll get food that you can either feed to your pets or sell, and you can also win lottery tickets, faeries, and the jackpot! I used to make NP by playing Dice-A-Roo every day and then selling the food I got. (But be sure you don't have anything valuable in your inventory - the pant devil can visit as one of the events from the game!) The big drawback of this method is that it gives levels only very rarely, so I don't recommend it unless you can't afford any other method.

Affordability: Excellent

Speed: Very Poor

Reliability: Very Poor

Training School or Academy - This is the standard method of earning levels for pets. You go to the Training School on Mystery Island or the Academy on Krawk Island and select the particular course you want for the particular pet you want to earn the level for. The school tells you the cost of the course (codestones for the training school, dubloons for the academy), you bring them the payment, and your pet starts its course. The courses are short for low-level pets and longer for high-level pets, and the school will tell you how long it will be. Then you can sit back and relax until it's time to pick up your pet from training! You may even luck out and get more than one level from the course. The drawbacks to this method are that it takes time and NP and that very high-level pets are too advanced for these schools. But I still recommend this method, especially for low-level pets.

Affordability: Fair

Speed: Fair

Reliability: Excellent

Terror Trove Scratchcards - This is personally my favorite method for gaining levels! Each terror trove scratchcard has a chance to raise the level of one of your pets. If you buy enough scratchcards to fill your inventory and then scratch them all, you're very likely to get at least one level for a pet, and you'll probably win some NP as well. In my experience, my average cost per level was about 5,000 NP using this method. Once your pet reaches level 21, this is cheaper than the training school or academy. A major drawback of this strategy is that if you have multiple pets, there's no guarantee that the levels will go to the desired pet. Also, it's based on luck, so any particular scratchcard-scratching session could end up being a total loss.

Affordability: Fair

Speed: Good

Reliability: Fair

Neggs/Potions/Edible Items - There are many shrooms, neggs, potions, and other things that you can feed your pet to increase its level. These vary in reliability, but many are 100% reliable in giving at least one level. The major downside to this method is that it tends to be extremely expensive, so I don't recommend it unless you're in a huge hurry and have lots of spare NP.

Affordability: Very Poor

Speed: Excellent

Reliability - Varies with item

Quests - Light faerie quests give one level to one of your pets and usually cost less than 2,000 NP. If you're fortunate enough to get one, I recommend doing it! Unfortunately, light faerie quests are random events, so you can't control when you get one. Kitchen quests (at the kitchen on Mystery Island) also can give levels, and you can choose to do up to 10 per day, but they usually give Neopoints, items, or other stats. I suggest that you trigger the quests and then do them only if they fall comfortably into your budget. The only penalty for rejecting a quest is that you have to wait a while before you can get another quest, and you have to return once before you can get the next quest.

Affordability: Varies, but you can reject expensive quests

Speed: Good

Reliability: Poor

Lab Ray - If you collect all nine pieces of the secret laboratory map, you can take one pet to the lab ray every day to be zapped. This can give very unpredictable results! It can change your pet's stats, color, gender, or even species. Although it tends to raise some stats (for example, hit points and strength), the lab ray will lower levels in the long run. In my opinion, this is a better method for losing levels than gaining them.

Affordability: Fair (expensive, but one-time cost)

Speed: Fair (quick to use, but only one use daily)

Reliability: Horrendous!

Von Roo's Deadly Dice - Every day from midnight to 1:00 am NST, Count Von Roo emerges from his coffin to challenge Neopians to a dice game. If you win, you get a level or more for your pet, but if you lose, your pet will lose at least one level. If you're hoping to decrease your pet's level or you just like to take risks, this game may pay off, but I don't recommend it. The odds of winning should be 50%, but Von Roo may have weighted the dice!

Affordability: Excellent

Speed: Fair

Reliability: Extremely Poor

Now you know what levels do and how to get them, so it's up to you to decide what's best for your pet and pursue it. Good luck!

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