Neopets for Absolute Beginners
So, you've just signed up to this website called Neopets.com. Congratulations! You're the newest member of a site enjoyed by millions of users around the world.
You might be finding yourself a little confused at the moment, though, and that's natural. There's so much on Neopets that it can be a bit overwhelming for new players. Don't worry! You've managed to find your way to Jellyneo, the shiniest fan-made Neopets help site on the internet, and we're ready to help you every step of the way!
What's This "Neopets" Thing?
At the simplest level, Neopets is an online game where you take care of fantasy creatures called Neopets. Unlike your household pets in the real world, Neopets can talk, read, fight, learn, play cards, go on adventures, and take care of smaller pets of their own.
Like the electronic "virtual pets" that were popular in the 90s, your Neopet has a few needs: it gets hungry if not fed regularly, and has a mood that can be improved with toys and grooming. However, these needs aren't actually truly critical: your Neopet won't run away, die, or otherwise be harmed even if you aren't able to regularly provide care.
You can own up to 16 Neopets on your account at a time, 20 if you purchase a Premium subscription. You can have up to 5 accounts (subject to some extra rules), so you can potentially own as many as 84 Neopets (only one account can have Premium).
This hoard could be yours!
Neopets invites you to create your first Neopet as part of the signup process, so you've probably already met your new companion. It isn't strictly necessary to create a brand new pet when you make an account, though. Once you've verified your email address, you also have the option of adopting a pet who already exists, but doesn't currently have an owner, though you'll be able to do the exact same things with your Neopet no matter whether they are created or adopted.
A Note About the Site Layout
Neopets is the process of redeveloping its site layout to display nicely on both mobile devices and desktop devices. The newer layout is often referred to as the "Beta" or "mobile" layout, while the older layout is often referred to as the "classic" or "desktop" layout. The new layout is being rolled out just a few pages at a time, so you will surely come across both as you navigate the site. The Neopets team publicly announces these updates on their Beta release notes page.
Because of this, in some parts of this guide we provide screenshots of both layouts, while other parts may just show one layout or the other. If any screenshots in this guide seem out of date, please let us know!
A Note About Flash
Adobe Flash was an early web technology that some parts of Neopets were first built on. In January of 2021, Flash was officially discontinued by Adobe. The Neopets team has been working hard to convert many features that used it to modern formats, but you may still run into some. For more information, check out our guide on the end of Flash support.
You will find that the classic site can be quite heavy with ads. So heavy, in fact, that even some popular ad blockers have trouble dealing with them. We provide some recommendations for coping with these in our ad blocker guide.
Only one pet at a time, known as your active pet, will be displayed in the top left corner as you navigate around the site. This Neopet isn't intended to be a representation of "you"; rather, you're the human "caretaker" or "parent" of the pet(s) you own. Other players on the site will call you by the username you log into the site with, not the name of your pet.
You can check on your Neopet(s) at any time by clicking your active pet's picture on the top left panel of the site. You can also change which pet is active on the Neopets homepage.
Take good care of me!
Looking After Your Neopet
You'll probably get the most out of this game if your Neopet is happy and well-fed. How do you manage this? The simplest way is to use items. Items can be bought from other users (more on that later) or found around the site. As a new player, you should have received a few free items to start you off.
You can access your items from your Inventory. On classic pages, you can get there from the "Customise" menu or by clicking your Neopoint total. On Beta pages, you can get there by clicking your active Neopet to open the sidebar menu.
How to access your Inventory on the classic layout
How to access your Inventory on the Beta layout
Your inventory will look something like the below:
Click an item to use it. A window will appear containing a drop-down menu. Choose "Play with" for a toy, or "Feed to" for an item of food, or "Groom" for a grooming item. Then, press "Submit" to make it happen! Food will disappear when eaten (fairly logically), and makes your pet less hungry. Toys and grooming items make your pet happier, and will remain in your inventory to be used again and again.
An important thing to know about items is that more expensive or harder-to-get things are not necessarily better. In fact, in most cases, there is no difference in effect between common toys/foods and rarer ones. Your pet will be just as happy playing with a Blue Ixi Plushie (one of the commonest toys on the site) as he or she will with a Faerie Queen Doll (a luxury toy bought only by collectors).
Your pet can occasionally also become sick. There are many different illnesses, but they all have the same effect: your pet will look ill and beaten-up wherever you see their image, and they will not be able to fight in the Neopets Battledome. There are items you can use to cure sicknesses if you're in a hurry, but it's much more economical to get your pet cured for free by visiting the Healing Springs every half-hour. Ill pets can gradually become unhappy, but you can solve this by playing with toys as usual.
As an alternative to manually feeding your pet, you can send your pets to a hotel. This doesn't affect your pet's mood, but it will stop them getting hungry. This is especially useful if you will be away from the site for a period of time!
The Neopets game is set in a fictional world called Neopia. This world has a currency: the Neopoint, often abbreviated to "NP". You can see how many Neopoints you're currently carrying in the top right-hand corner of the site.
Classic (left) and Beta (right) Neopoint totals
There are many ways to earn Neopoints; we have a separate article that covers them in more detail.
Should you bother earning Neopoints? On the one hand, there are many things you won't be able to do without them. You need NP to play some of the games, to buy items from other players or NPC-run shops around the site, and to put your pets in a hotel. On the other hand, there are plenty of free activities on Neopets, including some that might give you items if you're lucky! If you really have no Neopoints at all, you can even ask the Soup Faerie to feed your pets for free!
It's always sunny in a rich man's world...
Neocash (often abbreviated "NC") is a completely separate currency from Neopoints. While Neopoints are earned from gameplay, Neocash is purchased using real world money. Neocash can be used at the Neocash Mall to buy all sorts of goodies, primarily exclusive wearables for your pets. For more information on Neocash, including how to claim your free 150 NC new account welcome gift, check out our NC Mall guide.
With just a few very minor exceptions, Neocash mainly enables merely cosmetic upgrades to your pets or your account. A player that buys/uses Neocash is not meaningfully advantaged over another player who does not.
Once you have some Neopoints, you can use them to buy items. The Shop Wizard in the "Shop" menu lets you search through items other players have put up for sale; you can also buy some items directly from NPC shops. There are all kinds of items you can buy:
- Food makes your pet less hungry. Browse all foods »
- Toys and grooming items make your pet happier. Browse all toys » Browse all grooming items »
- Weapons let your pet play in a special play-fighting arena called the Battledome. Browse all weapons »
- Wearables are for dressing up your pet and bringing out their individual style. Browse all wearables »
- Petpets are pets for your pets! Browse all Petpets »
There are other types of items too, including some that don't do anything but just make pretty gifts. You can use our Item Database to make sure you know what an item is for before you buy it.
All new accounts are able to claim a Newbie Pack. Each Newbie Pack is guaranteed to include the items in the table below, which are tradeable to other players.
In addition, the Newbie Pack will include two random starter brushes and two random starter Petpets. These items are not tradeable to other players.
Like so many things, Neopets is far more fun if you have friends to share it with. Even if you can't persuade any of your real-world friends to join you on the site, you can always talk to people and make friends on Neopets itself.
A good place to meet new people is the Neoboards, Neopets' on-site forum section. There are forums for many different topics, from games to writing (check out our overview). You'll want to read over the chatting rules before you venture over there; a very important note is that giving out email addresses, telephone numbers, or contact info for other sites is strictly against the rules!
The private messaging system on Neopets is called Neomail. It can't handle any complicated code or very long messages, but it's great when you just want to send a simple text message. You can find it in the My Account menu.
If you find people you want to formally make your friend, you can even add them as a Neofriend!
How Do You Win?
One of the most common questions from newbies used to other types of games is, "How do you win at Neopets?" It's understandable that someone trying a new game for the first time would want to know the eventual goal and how to get there. However, the real answer is either "You can't" or "Any way you want to."
Like real life, the world of Neopets isn't linear, doesn't have a single overarching story, and hasn't got a single "ending" point that everyone is working towards. Instead, there are many different activities to try, and you're free to choose whichever you want, and as many or few as you want. Jellyneo's advice is to try out as many of them as possible and see which ones suit you. Most players find a few activities that they really enjoy and focus on those things. If you manage to achieve the goals you set yourself in your favourite areas, then you can probably claim to be "winning" at Neopets, even if there's no congratulatory message and ending credits.
Here are some examples of things that Neopets players often choose as goals to work towards.
- Buying a certain Magical Paint Brush, a special (and usually expensive) item that permanently changes your pet's appearance to a different colour or pattern.
- Setting a new high-score in one of the site's games, which earns you a virtual trophy and a place in the high-score tables.
- Collecting one of each item on the site that fits a specific theme. For instance, you might choose to collect all the rainbow-coloured items, or all the items that have "snow" in their name. The site lets you set up a gallery for these items so other people can view your collection!
- Taking part in annual events, such as the Altador Cup or Festival of Neggs among several others.
- Appearing in the biweekly fanfiction and article newsletter, the Neopian Times.
- Collecting avatars—these little icons are the equivalent of video game "achievements." They can be unlocked by owning certain pets, completing certain tasks, visiting areas of the site, or getting high scores in games. (We even provide solutions!)
- Designing attractive homepages for your pets using NeoHTML.
- Training your pet to fight in the Battledome.
There's also many, many activities people do just for fun, without necessarily having a specific goal in mind. Here are some examples:
- Completing your dailies, which are quick and free activities that can award prizes
- Customising your Neopets (that means dressing them up)
- Restocking items in the NPC shops to resell to players
- 1-player or 2-player battles in the Battledome
- Playing Flash-free games
- Feeding Kadoaties at the Kadoatery
- Chatting on the Neoboards
- ...and many more! Try perusing Jellyneo's many articles to see if anything jumps out for you.
Hopefully you're a little less confused, and ready to start exploring the site for yourself. Jellyneo has tons of useful articles and game guides to help you along the way, from your first day on the site to your umpteenth year as a Neopets veteran. Here's a few suggestions for where to look next:
- Take a tour of the fictional world that Neopets is set in.
- Find out about the many weird and wonderful species of Neopet that exist.
- Learn some basic precautions to keep your account safe and private.
- Find out what you can do with your brand-new account, and what you can't do quite yet.
- Take your first lesson in Neopian economics, and find out how Neopoints and shopping work. Or jump straight to earning those points.
- And never be afraid to ask for help on the volunteer Help Board! Remember, we were all newbies once too!
What are you waiting for? Let's play!
This article was written by: Dream and Kenny