With Planet Zoo now out in the wild, aspiring zookeepers finally have an outlet for all that pent-up animal management they’ve been repressing since the Zoo Tycoon days. This deep sim management game is crawling with all the animals, financial reports, staff supervision, and barrier maintenance you could hope for. Enrich that giraffe! Repair that power generator! Hire a new vet! It’s all here! What isn’t here, though, are thorough explanations for some of the more basic functions. It’s not always clear how to care for habitat animals versus exhibit animals, or how food quality contributes to your zoo’s overall animal happiness. We’ve put together this Planet Zoo tips guide to address some of the more obscure options.
Simplify Barrier Building – Planet Zoo Tips
Habitat barriers can be tricky to build, but Planet Zoo includes a few handy tools to help make the process a bit easier. The barrier selection widget in particular is the best way to control several barrier segments at once, which is great for uniformly adjusting height. Checking the “snap to adjacent heights” box in the barrier construction menu makes this even easier. To select multiple barrier segments at the same time, click and drag the diamond icon.
Animals that climb are going to require climb proof barriers so they can’t escape, but it’s not immediately apparent how to build them. At the far right of the construction menu is a gear symbol that looks an awful lot like the settings symbol at the top of the screen. Click this and you’ll find the climb proof option.
Exhibit Animals and Habitat Animals Are Different – Planet Zoo Tips
Smaller animals — namely reptiles — require specialized enclosures called exhibits. Unlike the standard barrier-based habitats of large animals, exhibits come with a sort of one-size-fits-all display solution. Down in the facilities tab at the bottom of the screen, there’s a section for small animal exhibits. Plop one down and you’ve got yourself a home for small animals.
Adopting exhibit animals works in the same way as it does for habitat animals. Down in the lower left of the screen is the exhibit trading menu. Here you can buy reptiles, insects, spiders, snails, and more. Double clicking on an exhibit brings up a menu where you can bring in purchased animals from storage. You’ll need to hire keepers to maintain your exhibits, and calling one will take care of all welfare needs for the animal.
Increase the Food Quality – Planet Zoo Tips
Popping open an animal’s welfare menu presents an enclosure-load of stats. One of them is labelled “last meal quality,” and can be found in the “Nutrition” tab. If you’re like me, the parameters of this stat are confusing as hell, and seeing it dip into the yellow or red can be very frustrating. Here’s what it means: there are three tiers of food quality available for any given enclosure. In order to see what tier you’re feeding the animals, click on the barrier or gate of an enclosure and check out the “Animals” section. Here, you can set the grade of food quality. Higher grades are more expensive, but the trade off is happier animals, which is arguably the most important part of any zoo.
Use the Item Filters – Planet Zoo Tips
Different animals require different habitat qualities. For example, ring tailed lemurs come from the African continent and the tropical biome. By plugging these parameters into the search filters of the nature menu, you’ll find a range of plants appropriate for the lemurs. In the habitat menu, you can simply filter for the specific species of animal you’re building for to see all the enrichment items, beds, and shelters that are ideal.
Mingle Species – Planet Zoo Tips
Another statistic that contributes to an animal’s overall welfare is called “interspecies bonus.” While it’s not 100% necessary to keep them happy, it does provide some a happiness boost that can pick up slack if some of your other welfare parameters are lacking. You can bump up an animal’s “interspecies bonus” by placing more than one species inside a single enclosure. Obviously, not all animals can cohabitate safely. If you want to learn what other species you might add to an enclosure, check out the animal’s Zoopedia entry by clicking on the button in the lower right hand side of its info panel. Here, there’s a section dedicated entirely to “interspecies enrichment,” which tells you what other species are compatible. Toss some in the enclosure and watch that bonus climb!
Use the Zoopedia – Planet Zoo Tips
Speaking of the Zoopedia, it is perhaps the most useful resource in the game if you’re looking for a specific bit of information on an animal. Everything you might need to know about any given species, from its habitat requirements, what food it eats, and what biomes it’s most comfortable in, has been condensed into its Zoopedia entry. I recommend spending a fair amount of time leafing through it, as it can help you quickly find what qualities an animal’s habitat needs to have to ensure it stays happy.
These are just a handful of tips for Planet Zoo. Looking for more advice? Let us know in the comments below!