This is the latest revision of my Guide to Creature Handling from the third
phase of the Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided Beta Test. This is designed
to function as a Quick Start Guide and supplement to the Manual. The intent
here is not to provide a comprehensive list of statistics or recommended
If you're already familiar with the basics, feel free to skip around to the
section that interests you. One of the things that makes Creature Handler an
exciting and engaging profession are the many subtle nuances and game play
approaches possible. As someone once commented to me, "it's like an entire game
in itself." I have tried to touch upon the main points, but there will
necessarily be some areas left for future exploration.
Contents: Section 1 - Earning the
Prerequisites Section 2 - Mask Scent Section 3 - Taming Section 4 -
Finding and Approaching Babies Section 5 - Training Your New Pet Section 6
- Storing and Calling Your Pet Section 7 - Using Your Pet in
Combat Section 8 - Healing Your Pet Section 9 - Creature Handler XP and
Advancement Section 10 - Mounts
New info from the Creature Handler Designer:emote-triggered
You can: /pet, /reassure, /nuzzle or /hug a pet and it will either perform a "happy" animation,
or it will sit, or it will lie down.
Some pets have a "sit trick" or two. Telling a pet to do trick1 or trick2
while it is sitting will make it do the sit-trick instead, if it has one.
You can /bonk, /whap,
/scold, /bad or /slap a pet and it will perform an "ashamed" animation.
You can /pointat or /tap a pet to make it perform the 'alert' animation.
Using /summon or /beckon on a pet will either make it look confused, or will
make it follow you.
Section 1 - Earning the Prerequisites
In order to tame creatures and make them your pets, you'll need to earn at
least the Novice Creature Handler skill. The prerequisites for Novice Creature
Handler are Exploration IV and Hunting IV (both in the Scout profession). Both
the Hunting and Exploration disciplines require Scout XP (as does the Novice
Creature Handler skill itself), so you'll need to earn a lot of it.
The fastest way to earn Scout XP is generally to kill as many creatures as
possible, and extract resources from their corpses. You can then use the
resources for crafting (i.e. camp kits - though please note that making camps
gives you Wilderness Survival XP, not Scout XP). You could also sell them to
other players, or donate them to Medics at the Hospital (medics are always in
need of resources from animals). It's really not important what you do with the
resources, since the act of harvesting them is what gives you Scout XP. If you
can get a group together (preferably of people who don't need Scout XP) and take
down lots of more dangerous creatures, you can earn XP fairly quickly. It
doesn't really matter what planet you hunt on, though it will be easier to get a
group together in the more populous areas. You can also earn Scout XP by
successfully using the Mask Scent ability near aggressive creatures (see the
Once you have Exploration IV, Hunting IV, and enough Scout XP for the Novice
Creature Handler skill, go find a Creature Handler Trainer NPC and learn the
skill. Not every city has a Creature Handler Trainer, so you may need to ask
around to find the one nearest you. A good rule of thumb is to search for
players who are already Creature Handlers (CTRL+P, "Search"). This is
particularly valuable in the case of skills other than the Novice and Master
skills, since other players can teach them to you for free.
You may be wondering which species to choose for your character to become a
Creature Handler. The answer is "whichever species you like." Wookiees appear on
the surface to be a natural choice, since they have a +10 bonus to Taming. This
is offset somewhat by other factors that are not in their favor, such as their
inability to speak Basic or to wear armor. In addition, they don't have quite
as large a selection of wearables as some species (like Humans) in which to
place skill enhancements.
Section 2 - Mask Scent
Once you have Exploration II, you gain access to the /maskscent command. In
your long career as a Scout/Creature Handler, this ability is going to be your
best friend. If you don't already have it assigned to a toolbar slot, you
should do so now (you can drag it from the "Other" tab of the CTRL+A actions
menu to any toolbar slot).
Mask Scent gives you a chance to slip past creatures without them noticing
you. The more skillful you are, the better chance of success. If it works,
then aggressive creatures (who show up as red dots on the radar) won't attack,
and more docile creatures won't run away. If you're in potentially hostile
wilderness areas, you'll want to always have Mask Scent on when not in town. If
it wears off, hit it again. If a creature detects you, hit it again. Creatures
will attempt to detect you as they are entering radar range, and again as they
leave it. Just be cautious, because aggressive creatures will sometimes
automatically attack if they break your mask scent while you're standing
If you successfully avoid detection by an aggressive creature, then you'll be
awarded some Scout XP. This is a nice little bonus, but probably won't replace
harvesting as your primary means of XP gain. If Mask Scent fails at the wrong
time, you might end up getting mauled by what you were trying to sneak past.
Note that you cannot run back and forth to "farm" XP from a single group of
Section 3 - Taming
Once you have the Novice Creature Handler skill, you'll gain access to the
"Tame" option on the radial menu of baby animals in the wild (this option also
appears on Bio-Engineered pets that are Difficulty 10 or lower whether you're a
Creature Handler or not). Baby animals are easily identified by the "(baby)"
tag at the end of their name (for example, "a Greater Gulginaw (baby)"). The
Tame option will not appear for creatures that you have less than a 15% chance
of successfully taming with your current skills. Creatures that have high
Ferocity and/or Difficulty Level will require more Creature Handler skill to
tame. Some creatures, like Krayt Dragons, are so powerful that no character can
ever tame them.
At first, it will take trial and error to determine the relative difficulty
of taming particular species with your current skill set (there is some
randomness involved in successfully taming, as well). If you acquire the Master
Scout skill, you will be able to see each creature Difficulty Level (also called
"CL" or "Challenge Level") which is extremely useful if you plan to do a lot of
taming. Your Creature Handling skills determine the highest CL you can tame
(starting at 10 for a non-CH, and culminating at 70 at Master CH). The
challenge level of a particular creature is constant for all players, and is not
the result of any calculations based on your character or his skills.
In order to tame a baby animal, simply approach it and choose "Tame" from its
radial menu. Your character will then start talking to the creature, trying to
earn its trust ("Steady! Don't bite me!" etc). The creature's name will turn
white (or pink if you have joined a faction), indicating that it is no longer
attackable until the taming process either succeeds or fails. The baby will
stop moving while you attempt to tame it, but will usually start wandering again
if you fail. If it wanders more than a few meters away from you, it will be out
of "taming range." Thus, you may wish to /follow the baby while you make
repeated attempts to tame it. Just be careful not to follow it into range of
nearby hostiles (unless you're prepared to defend yourself).
After a moment, you'll get a system message letting you know whether you have
succeeded or failed. If you failed, you can choose "Tame" from the radial menu
to keep trying until you succeed. Note that sometimes babies will suddenly
attack you after a failed taming attempt (including usually non-aggressive
species). When this happens, you'll have to act quickly to either kill the
baby, run away and come back, or perhaps fire a /warningshot (if you have the
appropriate skill) to scare it off. If a baby that is significantly weaker than
you, your character's auto-attack may finish it before you have a chance to
react. For this reason you may wish to equip a weapon that you have no skill
with ahead of time (to minimize damage to the baby in case of aggro).
If you successfully tame the creature, you'll be awarded some Creature
Handling XP. A "Pet Control Device" for the creature will be added to your
Datapad (CTRL+D), under the "Data" tab. The pet control device will be
represented by your pet's name and image, and will give you lots of valuable
information about the pet's condition (such as its vital statistics and trained
commands). This is also the primary means of storing and calling your pet (see
Section 4 - Finding and Approaching Babies
Baby animals tend to spawn at lairs, surrounded by adults of the same species
(though it's not entirely unheard of to find non-lair babies in certain
situations). The difficulty involved in finding a particular baby depends on
the species. Some babies are extremely common, some are uncommon, some are
rare, some are impossibly rare, and a few cannot be tamed at all. Therefore,
you may have to journey far to find the type of baby you're looking for. This
is another area where your fellow Creature Handlers (as well as Rangers with
tracking ability) can be an invaluable asset and source of information.
When you spot a lair in the distance, it's usually a good idea to cycle
through the creatures standing around it (TAB) and choose to "Examine" any that
you're unfamiliar with (by using the radial menu (~) or by typing /examine).
The Examine window gives you useful information such as resistances to
particular types of damage, whether the creature is Aggressive, whether it's
Tamable, and what sorts of resources you can get from harvesting it. If you
choose to get the Master Scout or Ranger Tracking skills, you'll gain access to
even more information on the examine window (such as CL and special
Even if a particular species does sometimes produce babies, this doesn't mean
that every lair of that type will initially have a baby. If you encounter a
baby-less lair, you can try killing off (or luring away) the defenders, then
"tapping" the lair by hitting it once or twice and quickly using /peace. By
tapping and pausing instead of attacking relentlessly, you can (with some
practice) get the lair to produce more defenders without having them instantly
attack you. In this way you can both protect your life, and avoid getting
attacked by any babies that might spawn
When you find a lair with a baby (recall that baby animals have "(baby)" at
the end of their name), it's important to take note of whether you have a
non-zero chance to tame the baby itself. Pull up its radial menu from a
distance, and see if the Tame command appears. If not, you'll need more skill
before you can tame it. Creatures with high ferocity, for example, require you
to increase your "Taming Vicious Animals" skill modifier.
If you just blunder up to a lair full of aggressive animals without
preparation, chances are you're going to get hurt (and lose your chance to tame
the baby). Unless you want to be mauled by the lair guardians, make sure you
have Mask Scent on as you approach the lair. If you're detected (or it wears
off), then wait out the timer and Mask Scent yourself again. Don't
underestimate the importance of doing this, or that cute and cuddly family of
Corellian grassland slice-hounds will tear you apart like the pack of vicious
dogs they are.
As a final note while trying to tame: don't attack the baby. Some people can
kill off all the adults without causing the baby to aggro, but I have found this
to be a pretty risky strategy (particularly since babies tend to auto-follow an
adult at all times). Tell your group members not to attack the baby. Politely
ask random passersby not to attack the baby, and why. While the baby will be
invulnerable during the actually taming process, it can still be attacked before
and after each attempt. If the baby you're trying to tame gets involved in
combat with another player, you're pretty much out of luck. For this reason, I
tend to retreat to isolated areas to do my taming. This makes any potential
combat riskier, but also greatly reduces the chances of someone wandering along
and taking potshots at the creature you're trying to tame. If you try to tame
something right outside a popular town, you're practically asking for someone to
interfere. :/ Particularly if you're trying to run from a baby that attacks you
during a failed attempt, well-intentioned passing players might jump into combat
to "help" you fight the creature, not realizing you're running because you're
trying to keep it alive.
Section 5 - Training Your New Pet
So now that you've successfully tamed a baby animal, the first thing you're
going to want to do is train it some commands. As a Novice Creature Handler,
you have access to three commands: Follow, Attack, and Store. Every time you
tame something, you should immediately teach it all three of these (unless, of
course, you're about to be chewed up by its parents).
When you teach a pet a command, what you're doing is binding that action to a
particular spoken phrase. Once you bind "Attack" to the phrase "Sic'em, Fido!"
you can make your pet attack your lookat target simply by having your character
say that phrase aloud (in this case: "Sic'em, Fido!").
To do this, choose the "Attack" sub-option under "Train" on your pet's radial
menu. The radial menu will disappear, and a little question mark (?) will float
off your pet's head. This indicates that it's waiting for you to speak the
phrase you want to associate with this command. At this point, just make your
character say "Sic'em, Fido!"
If you're successful, you'll gain a little Creature Handling XP and you'll
get the message "You have trained your pet a new command." If you fail, you'll
get the message "Your pet doesn't understand you." In this case, choose
"Attack" from the "Train" menu again, and then speak whatever phrase you wish to
bind to the command again. Keep repeating the process until you're successful
(it shouldn't take more than a few tries in most cases).
Once you've bound this particular command to a spoken phrase, there's no need
to use hotkeys or radial menus to issue the order to your pet. Now and in the
future, simply speak the phrase (i.e. "Sic'em, Fido!") to command your pet. You
can see the phrase that has been bound to each of your pet's commands by looking
at its Pet Control Device in the Datapad (CTRL+D). This is the exact same
system used for Droids and Faction Perk pets (like storm troopers). Rather than
having to earn extra commands for Droids and NPC pets, however, you'll have
access to all possible commands right away.
If you start out four commands with the same word (i.e. "Bob attack," "Bob
stay," "Bob release," "Bob group") then your pet's name will change to that
first word (in this case, "Bob"). Note that, as a Novice Creature Handler you
only have access to three commands. You'll need to advance and learn more if
you want to name your creatures. Once a pet has learned its name, you can teach
it again to assign different strings to those commands without causing it to
lose its name (as long as you don't start four commands with the same word -
unless you want to change its name). Keep in mind that there is a name filter
in place, so you cannot have a pet named "Obiwan." The name filter doesn't
provide feedback to the player, so if you're not seeing a name change after four
commands, you might need to try something different.
While it's tempting to train your pet with very short phrases (even single
characters), I advise against doing so. Many players find shouts of "a," "a,"
f," "a," extremely annoying in open chat. A good alternative is to use the
/tellpet command. Not only is this invisible to other players, but it has a
greater range than just speaking aloud.
Section 6 - Storing and Calling Your Pet
Until you get the Pack Management skill, you can only have one pet out at a
time. Before you can tame or call any additional pets, you'll need to Store the
one that's out in your Datapad. You can do this by getting close to the pet and
choosing "Store" from its radial menu, by choosing the "Store" option from the
radial menu of its pet control device in your Datapad, or by using whatever
phrase you've bound to its "Store" trained command. Voila! The pet will be
safely stored. All of your pets will automatically store after a few minutes
themselves if you logout or are disconnected, so there's no need to worry about
an exploding router at your ISP causing you to lose your favorite pet. Pets will
also auto-store if they're incapacitated in battle (unless they are quickly
healed back to their feet). You cannot manually call or store pets if your
character is in combat, however, and there's a 30 second timer on pet storage
once a pet himself has left combat.
You can call a pet out simply by choose "Call" from his pet control device in
your Datapad. You must be in a public structure, a campsite, or outside in a
city to call pets.
Note that your skills determine how many pets you are allowed to have stored
at once, in addition to how many you are allowed to have out at once. As a
non-CH, you can only store two creature pets in your Datapad at a time. You'll
need to advance in the CH profession to gain access to more pet storage slots.
It is therefore important to budget your storage space efficiently.
Particularly if you wish to use the Tame and Release method to gain Creature
Handling XP (see Section 9).
Finally, pets will grow (and increase in size and strength) the longer you
have them. Pets grow whether you have them out in the world or have them stored
in your Datapad. You must log in regularly for them to continue growing, but
you don't have to feed them (or even call them) during that period. Pets grow a
little about twice a day, reaching full adulthood in the neighborhood of five to
seven days (if you're logging in regularly). So brand new pets probably won't
be viable for serious combat until you've had them for a while.
Section 7 - Using Your Pet in Combat
Sooner or later, you're probably going to want to use your pet in combat.
You can either order your pet to attack a target (by selecting the target and
speaking whatever vocal command you bound to 'Attack'), or you can order the pet
to Guard you (assuming you have earned the Guard command and given it to the
pet) and then attack the target yourself. Pets who have been ordered to guard a
player will automatically defend him if something adopts an aggressive posture
toward him, so just causing a creature to attack you at this point will be
enough for your pet to charge into the fray. Please note that pets do NOT
automatically Guard their masters, so you will have to explicitly order them to
do so (or they'll just stand there and watch you take a beating).
Just like players, pets are incapacitated when one of their Health, Action,
or Mind bars reaches zero. At this point, an enemy can execute a "coup de
grace" (a.k.a. "deathblow") to kill the pet. This is a Bad Thing, and should be
avoided. All creature pets have a statistic called "Vitality" that starts at
100/100 and decreases each time they receive a deathblow. When your pet reaches
75, 50, and 25 vitality, it will receive a corresponding decrease in its
statistics (i.e. Health/Action/Mind). While you can restore some of the lost
vitality with a Bio-Engineer's "vitality pack," doing so will decrease the
maximum vitality. Thus, if a pet is killed enough it will eventually reach a
point at which its stat loss cannot be recovered.
Section 8 - Healing your Pet
If you have at least the Novice Medic skill, you can heal your pet's damage
with stimpacks, just as you would another player. Even if you have no medical
skills, you can use Pet Stimpacks (which are made by Bio-Engineers) to keep your
pet healthy in battle. This is extraordinarily helpful in most combat
situations, and can often make the difference between an incapped/dead pet and a
victorious pet. Always keep a few stimpacks or pet stimpacks on hand while
Pets can be wounded like players, as well. If your pet takes a Health or
Action wound, you can heal it by feeding the pet after battle. Your pet will
think "(Fido) Hungry!" out loud when it has such a wound (if its name is
'Fido'). Pets will eat anything players can eat, so travel biscuits are just as
good as melons for this (beverages cannot be used... only food). If the item of
food has multiple charges, the pet will only consume one charge per feeding.
Though it's not a prerequisite skill, I like to have at least Wilderness
Survival I from the Scout tree, to gain access to the Forage ability. This
gives you a pretty good chance of finding food for your pet in almost any
outdoor area, which is great for healing pet wounds on the run. Even more
useful is purchasing a factory crate of food from a Chef, who can experiment
more charges into each treat. This way the crate itself will only take up one
slot in your inventory, and you can pull a single multi-charge piece of food out
at a time.
If your pet takes a Mind Wound or battle fatigue, you'll need to Play with
you pet. Your pet will think "Fido Play!" out loud when it has a Mind wound
(if it's name is 'Fido'). In order to play with your pet, you'll need to have
taught it one of the two pet Tricks (which you get by advancing to Creature
Empathy I and Creature Empathy II). Simply say the phrase that you bound to the
trick, and the pet will do it (and heal his Mind wounds). The second trick
heals more wounds per use than the first, but it may take several uses of either
trick to fully heal your pet (depending on how many Mind wounds it has).
Section 9 - Creature Handler XP and Advancement
There are three ways to gain Creature Handler XP: successfully taming a baby
for the first time, teaching a new command to a pet for the first time, and
having your pet contribute to the death of an NPC or creature.
The non-violent means of Creature Handling advancement is "tame and
release." Simply tame a creature, teach it every command that you have access
to, then release it and find something else to tame. Keep in mind that this is
a form of "grinding," and is both slow and mind-numbing. Still, if you have
access to a lot of commands (and only need a few thousand XP for your next
skill), you might decide to close the gap with a little tame and release.
A faster (but riskier) method of advancement is using your pet in combat,
which is by far the more normal method. You need to kill something that's
powerful enough to be a challenge to your pet (not necessarily to you) to get
decent amounts of XP this way. If the target's CL is less than half that of
your pet, you'll get 1 XP from the victory. If you find that you're
consistently earning 1 XP per kill, then you need to find something more
challenging for your pet to hunt. If you're using a particularly powerful pet
to advance, this might require finding a group to go big game hunting with.
If you earn the Pack Management skill and start using two pets at once, it's
important to note that your XP per kill will be divided by the current number of
Section 10 - Mounts
Certain types of pets can be trained as "mounts," which will allow the pet's
owner to ride around on it. Needless to say, this is incredibly cool and highly
recommended. Normal mount walking speed is faster than a player's running speed,
and the mount equivalent of burst run (called "gallop") is faster than a
player's burst run (and tends to last longer).
You can't make just any pet into a mount, however. At this time, the only
creatures that can be mounted are: Dewbacks (Tatooine), Bols (Dantooine), Kaadu
(Naboo), Carrion Spats (Corellia), Falumpasets (Naboo), Humbabas
(Corellia/Talus), and Brackasets (Dathomir).
All variants of a mountable species will work (i.e. dewbacks, lesser
dewbacks, mountain dewbacks). Entirely different species that are similar in
appearance will NOT work (i.e. NOT bagerasets, bolmas, mawgax, etc).
Anyone can own and use a mount (if they have enough skill to control it as a
pet), but only a Creature Handler with the Group Management IV skill can teach
it the "Mount" command. Non-CHs are limited to creature pets CL 10 and below,
but fortunately each currently mountable species has such a variant in the wild
(lesser dewbacks, lesser plains bols, motley kaadu, carrion spats, plodding
falumpasets, and lowland brackasets).
A pet has to reach a certain size (which varies by creature) before the Train
As Mount command becomes available in its training menu. In most cases this
will be around 50-75% of its total adult growth, though some of the larger
variants (like giant carrion spats and savage humbabas) may be mountable much
soon. Giant carrion spats in particular can be made into mounts immediately
after taming, making them a popular choice among Creature Handler salesmen.
When a giant carrion spat reaches a certain size, it can even become too large
to be used as a mount. When this happens, the owner will receive a one time
pop-up box asking if he wishes to stop its growth, or no longer have it function
as a mount. This is your only chance to decide, so make sure you choose
You can climb aboard a mount by choosing "Climb On Mount" from its radial
menu, or targeting it and typing /mount. You can dismount by choose "Dismount"
from the creature's radial menu, or typing /dismount. You can still engage in
combat while mounted, but you will be unable to use any of your special
profession moves. In addition to being limited to default attacks, your mount
will drastically slow down to prevent you from attacking while keeping out of
your target's range (a.k.a. "kiting").
While mounted, you can give your mount a momentary boost of speed by typing
/gallop. You cannot attack while galloping, but you can still be attacked.
Since you cannot attack, however, the normal speed restriction while in combat
is not in effect (making this a handy way to escape from tight situations).
After a few moments your mount will become "winded" and return to its normal
running speed while it rests (just as with a player's burst run ability). You
can end the gallop earlier by using the /gallopstop command (for example, if you
are already galloping and wish to stop to engage in combat).