Published on July 5, 2020
Updated on August 27, 2022

Black Desert Online Pets - Buffs, Skills, Talents & P2W Uncovered

Pets have an extremely essential role in Black Desert Online, and even though the game has become more generous with providing a few free ones, it’s still the most P2W-heavy mechanic in BDO. On the good side, they provide a huge array of buffs and convenience to your whole family of characters, and provide tons more functionality than their usual cosmetic nature in other MMOs.

In order to give you a quick overview of what BDO pets can do for you:

  • Automatically pick-up loot from monsters you kill.
  • Provide special buffs to Skill / Life XP, Weight etc.
  • Provide special abilities like Extra Gathering Materials, Reduced Fishing Time etc.
  • Provide % buffs to various Lifeskills, Combat XP etc.

Therefore it’s apparent that players who swipe their credit card, are going to get a big chunk of convenience out of the pet system. I’m personally a huge pet-w***e, and I really enjoy spending my pearls in creating powerful lifeskill XP combos.

Those that don’t care about lifeskills, and would rather grind all day, will need to have at least 5 pets, ideally a couple of them at Tier 3. The good thing with BDO, is that Free Players always have great alternatives. There’s many areas where having many / fast pets won’t account for much, while others are extremely inefficient without a good team of pets.

Rest assured that whether you want to spend money or not, it won’t affect your efficiency in the game. Many argue that BDO is P2W, I argue that it’s the most ingenious and fair monetization system I’ve ever seen in a game. Let’s not dwell on this now, you can join the P2W debate on my BDO review if you want. ?

How to Get 4 Pets for Free

Fortunately BDO has become much more generous with pets than what it used to be, and every Family can get 3 of them for free (a cat, a dog and a hawk) through some starter quests.

You can easily find these quests by opening the Quest Window with O, navigating to the Suggested tab, and find the [ADV Support] Pets, Loyal Companions questline.

There are 3 different quests with no requirements at all, you simple speak with the NPCs and receive your free pets!

The 4th one, is Kuku, a strange chicken that all new players receive as an Attendance Reward.

There are a lot more pets we can receive from Attendance Rewards, so patience always pays out in BDO!

Last but not least, it’s worth mentioning that it’s not very hard to buy them from the Central Market, especially when hot pet bundles are on limited availability in the pearl store. A lot of players buy a ton of these bundles, then sell the pets on the Central Market for quick profit. I know many people that have gained more than 20 pets this way, so it’s a solid strategy if you are patient with it.

How to Use Pets

You can access your Pet List by clicking the “Paw” button on the toolbar located at the top left of your screen, below your HP & Level bar.

Any actions you want to take related to your pets, can be handled from this window, which is quite handy! Let’s see all the available functions, and you’ll be a BDO pet pro in a few minutes. ?

Activating / Deactivating Pets

Even though you can own an endless amount of Pets, you can only have 5 of them active at the same time. In order to decide your active / inactive pets, you have to use the Check In & Take Out functions:

Any pet that is active will provide you will all of its buffs, and loot monsters for you. However, it will also get hungrier. If it runs out of hunger, it will stop looting, and its special abilities won’t work anymore, but its Talents & Skills will be still active!

Managing Pet Groups

If you have a lot of pets, it makes sense to use the Groups function:

You can assign a Pet to any / all of the Pet Groups, by clicking the Group number “1, 2, 3, 4, 5” under its name. Obviously, a Group can contain up to 5 pets, and if you try to assign more you won’t be able to.

To take out a Pet Group at once, just click the relevant Group number at the bottom of the Pet List.

Using Pet Commands

There are various commands you can use for each of your pets individually, or collectively by right-clicking the command, instead of left-clicking.

The available pet commands are:

  • Behavior Mode – One of the most used pet commands, this will let you choose between Cautious (green), Average (yellow), and Agile (red). Each option will determine how fast your pet will pick up loot, but also how quickly its hunger gauge will deplete.
  • Follow / Stay – This command will make your pet follow you or stay put, mostly used for better screenshots (if you choose Stay and move too far away, the pet will show up next to you)!
  • Pet Special Ability – This command will let you activate / deactivate your pet’s special ability. Keep in mind that having it activated consumes hunger faster, so only activate the ones you really need (like the hedgehog’s gathering buff, or the reduce auto-fishing time ability).
  • Fetch – This command will let you activate / deactivate your pet’s ability to pick up loot.

The one you will use the most, is the behavior mode, since you can tweak your auto-looting pick up times, depending on the area you are grinding.

Feeding & Leveling Pets

As mentioned above, any pet that is active, will get hungrier while time passes.

Therefore, you will need to feed your pets! The easiest way is to buy some Good Feed straight from the Central Market, but if you want to learn more about creating your own Pet Food, then check out our guide!

Everytime you feed your pet, it will gain experience towards the next level. With each level, it gets even better looting time, and when reaching the max level 10, it will also learn a Skill!

So generally, you always want to level your pets as soon as possible! It’s also crucial to get a level to 10 before using it as an exchange / upgrade material, since you want it to learn its Skill first, so that you can have more options when upgrading.

Exchanging & Upgrading Pets

The only way to “Tier Up” your pets, is through Exchanging. That sadly means that you have to sacrifice pets, in order to advance the tier of other pets. Now all the P2W comments make sense right? ?

In order to upgrade your pet, simply click the “Exchange” button on the bottom left of your Pet List window. A new “Exchange Pet” window will show up, where you first have to choose the main pet which tier’s you want upgraded. To do that, the pet must be checked in, and then you can press the Exchange button on the bottom right of its box.

Now, by using the same button, you can add more Pets to be sacrificed, while you can see the exact % chance you have for each Tier upgrade. Keep in mind that you can only exchange pets of the same Type / Family (detailed below), so that makes things even harder.

Before confirming the upgrade, there’s a few choices you have to make:

  • Appearance – You can choose to keep the appearance of the original pet, or one of the ones you are sacrificing. This is not just a cosmetic choice though, as the Pet Appearance also carries the pet’s Talent & Special Ability.
  • Skill – Similarly, you have the option to keep the skillset of one of the pets involved in the Exchange, or opt for totally random ones. Usually, you will want to carefully plan your pet upgrades, and getting the best skills possible – even though the RNG is heavy. For example, it’s wise to have a “Fishing XP” Skill on a pet with “Reduce auto-fishing time” Special Ability.
  • Name – If your pet didn’t have a name that’s cool enough, now it’s your chance!

As a pet addict, there’s a few more tips I want to share:

  • You want to have your good Lifeskill XP Skills, on pets with a Life XP talent (eg. Cats). For example with 5 T4 Life XP pets, you get 20% Life XP. If you manage to have the required Lifeskill XP Skill on all 5 of them, it’s an additional 25%. The numbers are big here (and the P2W even bigger!)
  • Similarly, it’s ideal to have the Combat XP Skill, on pets with a Skill XP talent (eg. Dogs). Karma Recovery is not a bad Skill for a Skill XP pet either.
  • Another good combo, is using pets with the Durability Reduction Resistance talents, when Gathering or Fishing. You will get much more Durability out of your Life Tools this way, so it’s something worth considering.
  • Knowledge Chance pets are quite OP when grinding knowledge. But that’s all they are useful for. ?
  • If you are a Gatherer, then you definitely need to get a Hedgehog. Don’t think about it twice, just dig deep in your wallet and get it. You also want it T4 ideally, since it buffs the proc chance of its special ability by a long shot. The same applies to pets that reduce auto-fishing time, but the gains are not so important.
  • Never buy pets full price!!! Since they are one of the most popular pearl items, there are a ton of offers, sales, bundles and seasonal discounts on them. As well as a ton of Limited pets coming out now and then. So if you decide you are going to spend on them, at least do it wisely. There are sick offers on big holidays like Halloween, Christmas etc. where you can get like 6-7 pets for 2.5K pearls. It’s really worth it!
  • If you are serious about pets, then you need to keep a detailed and updated excel sheet with all your pets, their skills, talents and abilities. When it’s time to upgrade, you want to make the right choices, and be very careful! Trust me on this… Just trust me! ? This is how mine looks (using my favorite software of all time – ClickUp):

Tier Up Chances

Below you can see the exact chances you have for each Tier and Tier Up, based on the pets you use as exchange material.

I heavily suggest that you always go for guaranteed attempts, it’s not fun failing something that costs so much IRL money. The only exception, is if you have a lot of attempts either way, then it’s good to smash two Tier 1 pets together, because you have a solid 55% chance to get a Tier 3, and even if you get Tier 2 it’s still strong as further exchange material.

Guaranteed Tier 3

  • Tier 1 – Add Tier 1 + Tier 1
  • Tier 2 – Add Tier 1 + Tier 1

Guaranteed Tier 4

  • Tier 3 – Add Tier 2 + Tier 2 + Tier 2 + Tier 2
  • Tier 3 – Add Tier 3 + Tier 2 + Tier 2 + Tier 1
  • Tier 3 – Add Tier 3 + Tier 3 + Tier 2 + Tier 2

Tier 2 / Tier 3 Rates

  • Tier 1 + Tier 1 = Tier 2 (45%) / Tier 3 (55%)
  • Tier 1 + Tier 1 + Tier 1 = Tier 3 (100%)
  • Tier 2 + Tier 1 = Tier 2 (35%) / Tier 3 (65%)
  • Tier 2 + Tier 1 + Tier 1 = Tier 3 (100%)
  • Tier 2 + Tier 2 = Tier 2 (20%) / Tier 3 (80%)

Tier 3 / Tier 4 Rates

  • Tier 3 + Tier 1 = Tier 3 (85%) / Tier 4 (15%)
  • Tier 3 + Tier 1 + Tier 1 = Tier 3 (70%) / Tier 4 (30%)
  • Tier 3 + Tier 1 + Tier 1 + Tier 1 = Tier 3 (55%) / Tier 4 (45%)
  • Tier 3 + Tier 1 + Tier 1  + Tier 1 + Tier 1 = Tier 3 (40%) / Tier 4 (60%)
  • Tier 3 + Tier 2 = Tier 3 (75%) / Tier 4 (25%)
  • Tier 3 + Tier 2 + Tier 2 = Tier 3 (50%) / Tier 4 (50%)
  • Tier 3 + Tier 2 + Tier 2 + Tier 2 = Tier 3 (25%) / Tier 4 (75%)
  • Tier 3 + Tier 2 + Tier 2 + Tier 2 + Tier 1  = Tier 3 (10%) / Tier 4 (90%)
  • Tier 3 + Tier 2 + Tier 2 + Tier 2 +Tier 2 = Tier 4 (100%)
  • Tier 3 + Tier 3 = Tier 3 (35%) / Tier 4 (65%)
  • Tier 3 + Tier 3 + Tier 2 = Tier 3 (40%) /  Tier 4 (60%)
  • Tier 3 + Tier 3 + Tier 2 + Tier 2 = Tier 3 (20%) / Tier 4 (80%)
  • Tier 3 + Tier 3 + Tier 2 + Tier 2 + Tier 1 = Tier 4 (100%)
  • Tier 3 + Tier 3 + Tier 3 = Tier 3 (50%) / Tier 4 (50%)
  • Tier 3 + Tier 3 + Tier 3 + Tier 2 = Tier 3 (25%) / Tier 4 (75%)
  • Tier 3 + Tier 3 + Tier 3 + Tier 2 + Tier 2 = Tier 4 (100%)
  • Tier 3 + Tier 3 + Tier 3 + Tier 2 + Tier 1 = Tier 3 (10%) / Tier 4 (90%)

Wizard Gosphy or How to P2W Like A Pro

Wizard Gosphy is the epitome of Pet P2W, since he costs more than the others (1,650 pearls), and he can’t tier up or learn skills.

However, when used as upgrade material for other pets, he will provide a slightly bigger chance of success, so he’s definitely useful when you can’t wait to upgrade.

I wouldn’t suggest using Gosphys, unless there’s a good offer going on (like 3 Wizard Gosphy for the price of 2).

Pet Buffs, Convenience & Progression

Now you know everything about managing, feeding, upgrading and using your pets!

Below you can find all the different skills, buffs and loot times they provide, based on their tier.

Pet Types

As mentioned in the upgrading part, you can only exchange pets of the same family / type.

There are 4 different types:

  • Classic – These are the “cheapest” ones, mostly cats & dogs that cost 900 pearls.
  • Premium – This is the main pet type you will encounter. Most pets are Premium, and cost 1,100 pearls.
  • Limited – These are pets that only show up in special occasions and events, like Christmas, black Friday etc., as well as random times throughout the year. There are a lot of different Limited pets, and a ton of different bundles – usually you will get these cheaper than all other types, as long as you’re taking advantage of discounted bundles (hint, you should!)
  • Event – Last but not least, there’s the “Event” category (I know, what are they even thinking with their naming), which is pretty much the Kuku pet, which you will receive for free from various attendance & guild attendance rewards. It’s hard to upgrade these with normal means, so Wizard Gosphy is your best chance.

Pet Loot Times

One of the most important buffs your BDO pets will provide, is the ability to automatically pick up your loot.

Depending on their Tier & Level, the pickup time will vary. Below you can see how much time a pet needs to pick up loot again, based on the max level of 10 for each tier:

  • Tier 1 – Level 10 – 4.4sec (Cautious) / 4.0sec (Average) / 3.6sec (Agile)
  • Tier 2 – Level 10 – 4.4sec (Cautious) / 4.0sec (Average) / 3.6sec (Agile)
  • Tier 3 – Level 10 – 3.3sec (Cautious) / 3.0sec (Average) / 2.7sec (Agile)
  • Tier 4 – Level 10 – 2.8sec (Cautious) / 2.5sec (Average) / 2.3sec (Agile)

You will notice that Tier 2 doesn’t offer any advantage over Tier 1, and the same is true for the number of skills, as you’ll see below.

Therefore, the only thing that a Tier 2 has better than Tier 1, is how much % it provides for a Tier up of another pet (detailed chances listed above).

Pet Talents

Pet Talent Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4
Change to Gain Knowledge / Higher-Grade Knowledge 5% / 1% 10% / 2% 15% / 3% 20% / 4%
Durability Reduction Resistance 1% 2% 3% 4%
Life EXP Gain 1% 2% 3% 4%
Skill EXP Gain 1% 2% 3% 4%
Weight Limit +20LT +30LT +40LT +50LT

Pet Special Abilities

Each pet comes with its own “special”, an ability that can be activated with the “Pet Command: Special” action in your Pet List:

Keep in mind that activating the ability, will make your pet hungry faster, so toggle off the ones you don’t need.

The available special abilities are:

  • Auto-fishing time reduced
  • Finds Rare Monsters
  • Finds Resources
  • Gathering Item Quantity Increase
  • Hostility Detection

Pet Skills

Pet skills are what makes pets P2W, and there’s a whole amount of RNG on top of that. ?

A pet can have up to 3 different skills:

  • Tier 1 pets will learn their first skill at level 10.
  • Tier 2 pets can’t learn an additional skill.
  • Tier 3 pets will learn their second skill at level 10.
  • Tier 4 pets will learn their third skill at level 10.

These are all the available pet skills:

  • Alchemy EXP +5%
  • Combat EXP +5%
  • Cooking EXP +5%
  • Farming EXP +5%
  • Fishing EXP +5%
  • Fishing Level +1
  • Gathering EXP +5%
  • Hunting EXP +5%
  • Karma Recovery +5%
  • Processing EXP +5%
  • Trade EXP +5%
  • Training EXP +5%
Avatar photo
Babalon, Mother of Abominations

16-hours / day in front of the screen entrepreneur, of which 6+ are spent on gaming. MMOs, CCGs, RPGs and many more, Steam-addict & achievement-w***e. Currently wasting life on BDO & Gacha Games.


4 responses to “Black Desert Online Pets – Buffs, Skills, Talents & P2W Uncovered”

  1. Wodan says:

    Some corrections for Tier 4 calculations:

    Tier 3 + Tier 3 = Tier 3 (35%) / Tier 4 (65%) **Tier 4 chance 35%**

    Tier 3 + Tier 3 + Tier 2 + Tier 2 = Tier 3 (20%) / Tier 4 (80%) **Tier 4 chance 85%**

    Tier 3 + Tier 3 + Tier 3 = Tier 3 (50%) / Tier 4 (50%) **Tier 4 chance 70%**

    Tier 3 + Tier 3 + Tier 3 + Tier 2 = Tier 3 (25%) / Tier 4 (75%) **Tier 4 chance 95%**

    Tier 3 + Tier 3 + Tier 3 + Tier 2 + Tier 2 = Tier 4 (100%) **100% is not wrong, but this is wasteful due to the last Tier 2 adding 25% to the existing 95% chance**

    Tier 3 + Tier 3 + Tier 3 + Tier 2 + Tier 1 = Tier 3 (10%) / Tier 4 (90%) **This is a guaranteed Tier 4, but again is wasteful due to the Tier 1 adding 15% to an existing 95% chance**

    Tier 4 loot speeds on Agile are 10% faster and on Cautious 10% slower, at the time this article was made the speeds reflected ingame were rounded up on the info panel and only 1 decimal was shown.
    This has since been fixed to display properly ingame. Agile 2.25s for example.

    • Avatar photo Babalon, Mother of Abominations says:

      Thanks a lot Wodan!

      I’ve done this research before the new helpful Pet UI arrived, so I do need to upgrade these rates!

  2. Hasardure says:

    in the free-pet category there are adv log rewards you didn’t add.

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About BDO

Release Date
Jul 14, 2015
Pearl Abyss
Pearl Abyss
Country of Origin
South Korea
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