Super Auto Pets is a fantastic auto battler that has gained an enormous following due its extremely fun setup, cute graphics, and surprisingly in-depth strategies in a game that appears extremely simple on the surface. Understanding the game is incredibly easy as you use limited funds to buy a team of animals, improve them, upgrade the team, or buff them and go against teams other people have built.
Of course videos from huge streamers and YouTubers like Ludwig, DF, and Northernlion have helped give Super Auto Pets the attention it deserved, as well.
This is a free game, although there is a pay to play system to unlock more animals and thus more options. Unlike most games where the free version is kind of crap, and the paid version is the only good one, Super Auto Pets is fantastic, period. I’ve only played the free version so far, and sunk over 150 hours into it.
It’s good. I’d even say that Super Auto Pets is the best free auto battler game out there right now. There are several game modes, constant updates to improve balancing, and the game has so many animals that while there are strong and weak strategies, even the strongest teams can run into a buzz saw of the perfect counter.
Since this is a beginner’s guide, this post mainly focuses on the “Free to Play” animals and options. While the Super Auto Pets video game has a free to play mode and pay to play mode, and more animal groups with those modes, it’s an amazing game even starting with the free version.
Note: Because Super Auto Pets has done a great job of continuing to balance and rebalance the game, specific strategies can change over time as some animals become stronger and others are nerfed. The concepts remain solid, but check up on the game for the up-to-date meta after any major update.
Super Auto Pets Strategy: Know Your Animals
Animals are given a rank and as you fly up the ranks you can get better and better animals. However, replacing old animals with new better ones needs to be balanced with the fact that weaker animals that have been in your lineup longer likely build up more life and attack, making them important not only short-term but also in seeing it through to the end.
Most winning teams that hit a full 10 wins will have one animal from a very early lineup.
As you play you’ll know what earlier animals tend to scale late game better, which win early but you normally need to pivot from (looking at you, Ant!), and when to make that crucial pivot to scale up and get into the deep game for a chance at 10 wins.
You can see the full pictures and unaltered starting stats of animals by tier here. We’re going to break down the types.
Super Auto Pets Animal Types
Animals generally fall into certain types. While there are levels (1-6) based on their overall starting strength and abilities, in addition to that many animals play a particular roll that has a meta tag put to it.
Keep in mind many animals are a mix, or just have special abilities that are insane enough they stand on their own. Another nice thing this game does: balancing.
Those level six animals are much stronger, but if you lost a lot of early games you might not have time to scale them up to where your current upgraded low level animals are.
The fact that “The Pivot” is a crucial part of the game, and knowing when and how to pull it off, is part of what makes this game so re-playable for hours and hours on end, days after days.
So without any further wait, here are the super auto pet animal types.
Early buffers include the otter, which adds attack and health to a random animal on your team when bought, and the beaver which gives health to two random friends when they are sold. These are units that buff other units.
The trigger can vary quite a bit with some buffing units being clearly made for that purpose, and others giving off a bonus only when certain things happen.
These are units giving bonuses to other units. They are often referred to as the same group though that’s not always the case as a sold beaver gives an HP boost, but it’s primary purpose isn’t to scale your team.
Examples of buffing/scaling units through the game:
- Ant (when killed)
- Beaver (when sold)
- Black Cat
- Camel (when hurt buffs others)
- Otter (when bought)
The buffs take many different forms and get better the higher the level. Common buffs for tier 1 or tier 2 pets are +1ATK/+1Health or +1 Health to two units, to more given out the higher up you continue to scale.
Then you have cats that double the effects of food (and more at higher levels), camels who give buffs to units behind them when damaged.
The common buffers who are considered scalers are those who give permanent stat boosts to other members of your party including giraffes, monkeys, rabbits, and penguins.
Generally speaking, you want at least one of these up on your team as quickly as possible. The longer it takes to get one of these units, the worse shape you’re likely to be in the long run.
Ah, sniper units. A sniper build was always a fun one to play around with, and although it’s still kind of rare to see a decked out sniper build run the table to 10 wins, it’s a really solid choice. Sniper units are units that get to attack prior to the round beginning.
The earliest such unit in the game is the Mosquito, which hits a random enemy for 1 damage. At level three it can hit three random enemies for one damage, which is fantastic when facing an opponent with a lot of melon armor.
Also there are few things sweeter than watching your crocodile and dolphin sniper combo take out the f’ing turkey your opponent had with a strong scaling team.
Pure sniper teams rarely make it all the way to 10 wins, but they are much more viable since the last update because of the strong shift towards summoner teams. Having Dolphins, Skunks, Cheetahs, and Crocodiles there to snipe Turkeys, Horses, and Scorpions is huge, and a level 3 mosquito leveled up early can be a melon armor killer.
Having one or two sniping units is usually a winning idea, and many sniper teams play strong until the mid-game before pivoting towards the end, with the Skunk and Gator being the most popular ones to make it through to the final team.
Sniper Units in Super Auto Pets Include:
Hello Bison and hello Worm, and hello Shark!
Self-buffing animals are just that. They boost themselves during combat and tend to be higher level, strong units that can anchor the back end of a team pivoting to shoot for those rare 10-win runs.
Self-Buffers don’t buff other units but they buff themselves up to be terrifyingly strong in the right circumstances and often fit in with a variety of other builds making them a great fit that appears with a variety of different teams.
- Bison buff themselves with life and attack as long as another team member is level 3, with the self-buffing increasing by level
- Oxen buff themselves with melon armor and life + attack when a unit ahead of them dies
- Kangaroos buff themselves every time the animal ahead of them attacks
- Worms buff themselves with additional attack and health every single time they are fed any type of food
- Sharks buff themselves every time another animal on your team dies, making them a devastating anchor to a summon team
Summoning teams have always been powerful as a strategy but as many updates tend to buff other units, the end result is that it is getting harder and harder to counter summoner builds. Especially without strong snipers or a mega-hippo towards the front.
Still, facing a top tier summoning time can be infuriating, and anyone paying attention to the weekly updates knows to look for sniper units vs summon units to determine their auto pets strategy for the week.
Summon builds early on involve horses and crickets, moves through sheep and spiders, and tend to adjust to turkeys and flies, though a level 3 horse with a level 2 fly does plenty of damage on its own. Add in a tiger or parrot and you’re just a special type of evil that deserves to die at the hands of a 50/50 hippo.
But there’s no denying the builds are very effective when done correctly as they add enemy after enemy after enemy that take up your opponent’s melon armor, wear them down, and damage their way all the way back to the end an opponent’s team.
If it’s anchored with a shark, that’s just devastating to even the strongest of non-hippo teams.
Common Units Used with Summon Builds in Super Auto Pets:
- Deer (with Whales)
How Animal Levels Work – An Auto Pets Guide
As you unlock more levels of animals by surviving more and more rounds, or upgrading animals quickly, you get access to some super powerful animals that could have single-handedly smashed your entire team from the first few levels.
This list is current with all free to play animals, there are additional animals in the paid packs that have their own abilities, builds, and synergies around them.
Since this is a beginner’s guide to Super Auto Pets I’ll only be covering the standard set of pets.
Tier 1 Animals Super Auto Pets
- Sloth (EXTREMELY rare – I’ve only had two in nearly 100 hours of play)
Tier 2 Animals Super Auto Pets
- Elephant – Despite being a strong early level unit, the back kick means you are really looking for an elephant and blowfish combo to make the most of it
Tier 3 Animals Super Auto Pets
- Turtle – Turtles can still be effective. Give them some meat or a croissant to they have some bite and enough life to survive a sniper and they are better than melon armor!
Tier 4 Animals Super Auto Pets
Tier 5 Animals Super Auto Pets
- Monkey – No matter the update, the monkey is consistently one of the strongest animals in the shop so don’t underestimate what it can do in a very short time.
Tier 6 Animals Super Auto Pets
Super Auto Pets Tips for True Beginners
Giving general advice can be a bit difficult because there are many different builds and strategies that can work – and each game is different. However, if you find yourself struggling to gain footing or want a little bit of advice to kick things off, here are some tips that can really help even the greenest of beginners up their SAP game!
- Early game go for fish and otters when available, they can be a powerful combo for the first few rounds.
- Ants are good very early game, but terrible to scale. Get them up to level 2, pill them, then move on.
- Grab a scaling unit (Giraffe, rabbit, monkey, penguin) ASAP. An unusually early rabbit or monkey can almost single-handedly move you to seven to ten wins.
- Most winning teams in Super Auto Pets have at least one level one unit scaled up, one specialized later unit, and at leas one if not two scaling units. Keep this in mind when building.
- Every update has certain animals that are very weak except in extreme circumstances. Learn these and then avoid them.
- Multiple mosquitoes can make a strong early team but they don’t last long going into the mid-game so make sure to know when to pivot to another animal or team strategy
- Pay attention to how certain animals can work together. Animals with a hurt trigger (blowfish, camels, peacocks) work great with a hedgehog up front. Whales and deer are a combo made in heaven/hell depending on what side of that equation you’re on. Learn what each animal does, then learn the combinations as that’s how you hit the next level in this game.
- Play the combination that’s fun. Personally I find summon setups annoying even though that’s the meta right now because they’re super effective. So I don’t play them very often. At the end of the day it’s about enjoying the game and I’ve managed 7-8 wins with some crazy creative teams that might not have gotten all the way to 10 wins, but they were a blast to play on the way there!
Know Your Builds in Super Auto Pets (the Meta)
Some animals work amazingly well in combination. This leads to common phrases being talked about for the game and understanding the best way the flow works. Things like “Summon Build,” “Sniper Build,” or the “Anti-Summon Build.” The game has its own language like “Pivot” and “Scalers.”
Then there are the changes to keep track of because there are animals that are underrated, overrated, or used to be strong but are now normally junk after a nerfing update (dodo & dog, anyone?). There are also builds that work amazingly well at one point but then you need to pivot away from them, with sniper-heavy teams being a prime example of that, or the undeniably fun hedgehog-blowfish combos.
They’re fun, but they don’t get you to 10 wins.
Enjoy the game, but as you play pay attention to the styles of teams, which ones tend to beat you, and notice how the teams are constructed. There’s a lot you can learn about ways to play and tweaking your strategies based on what’s working.
And ALWAYS pay attention to the meta changes after a big update. There was a time where the Dog was one of the best units in the game, not one of the worst. Ditto with the Goose.
There are often unintended consequences – like the Worm becoming weaker with the Goose nerf because players no longer had the extra gold to buy extra food.
Guide To Best Animals Per Level
Opinions on this will vary based on what common types of builds (if any) are being used by you when building a team. Also keep in mind to play what is delivered. I once had three pigs followed by three otters. So a 6 life 8 attack pig was my anchor heading into the early rounds and I kept growing from there.
But some animals are generally considered a good value most of the time when you gain access to them. These are some of them that really stick out.
- Fish – Best balance of good life and good attack early on, minimal boosts make them a strong unit for 2-3 rounds easy
- Otters – Not good by themselves, but the boost they give is huge in early game
- Ants – Solid initial attack, big boost to animals behind them when they die. I love sprinting to a level 2 ant and then pilling it.
- Crab – Super powerful early game, they do drop off fast (Update: Only okay unless you can rush them to Level 2)
- Hedgehog – Get one powerful unit and maybe some blowfish and for a few rounds you’ll wreck your opponents
- Badger – Strong attack, strong life, good to bust some front units or the famous backline position is hard to beat
- Ox – The melon armor is game-changing early one
- Rabbit/Giraffe – An early scaling unit is always strong
- Turtle – Best to pill for melon armor, great in front of a high life/high attack unit
- Dolphin – Snipes scorpions and weak life scaling units like turkeys and horses
- Skunk – Super powerful late game
- Parrott – Versatility can make it a killer
- Rooster – One of the strongest units in the game if you can level it up
- Monkey – An early monkey can single-handedly win the game
- Turkey – The devil incarnate
- Seal – High-life underrated scaler
- Scorpion – Trouble Maker through and through
- Fly – Ultimate summoner alone or with support
- Leopard – Giant killer
- Snake – Insanely effective behind a high HP character
Honestly all level six units are devastating in the right setups, but those three really can do some work without much help. Just missing hte list: Mammoth, especially if you can drop a mushroom on it.
Because that’s some serious boosting to the rest of your already (at least should be at that point) buffed team.
Honey Badger: The Best Unit in Super Auto Pets
In my mind, there is no unit that can compete with overall value like the Honey Badger. This is a unit that starts with very good attack and life right from the get-go, and does considerable damage to all surrounding pets when damaged. Especially at level 2 and up. Put that at the back with a bee and you will steal so many wins by killing everything still standing and then having that bee pop up.
You can salvage a loss to a tie, or steal a win from a tie. The leveled up honey badger in the back is as close to cheating as you can get and it is stunningly effective.
How do you defend against this devastating back line cheat code to several easy wins?
Well to quote one streamer: “In the land of the Honey Badger, the Crocodile is King.”
One thing about the Honey Badger meta: it’s made sniper teams much more viable as a build.
Update: The honey badger has been slightly nerfed to be less, well cheaty, but even after the update because of how it functions, it still is pretty dang clutch as a back anchor.
The Mighty Hippo
The key is to get the hippo early enough in a build to be able to boost them up. But if you can do that and get some level ups, the hippo is right up there as one of the strongest units in the game and when leveled up high enough it can single handedly break a summon build. Nothing like watching the heart of a soulless turkey-parrot-fly summon combo die to your increasingly strong hippo.
Especially since every summon just makes your high-level hippo all the stronger.
There aren’t many good responses to deal with a strong summon build – especially once fly and turkey are involved, but a heavy hitting hippo is one of the responses that works.
Not only that, but a highly leveled up hippo is terrifying. Give it melon armor to avoid a Scorpion and you can kiss most of your lineup good-bye (if not the whole team).
This is one of the few units that has the potential to single-handedly take you to 10 wins if you can scale it quickly enough, and it not only beats the summon build but LITERALLY feeds off of it.
Which is just so gratifying 🙂
Will The Super Auto Pets Game Be the Victim of Its Own Success?
Super Auto Pets caught on heavily in late 2021 and exploded in winter.
There will likely always be an audience for this game because it is addictive and it is a lot of fun. But as the popularity grew, so did a lot of Min-Maxers and Meta Gamers, and that means to run the table you need to get very lucky, and you need to stick to one of the most efficient builds or get very, VERY lucky.
Why? Because when so many players are “Slaves to the Meta” as some streamers have noted, if you try anything other than what the statisticians have worked out then you need to be lucky, face weak teams, or both. Often both.
You can only see turkey-fly-parrot-tiger so often before you just hate every player who uses it. When you run into the same player name 5-6 times and that’s all they run, it’s hard not to feel angry contempt.
And while you don’t expect to win when trying out a meme run for fun…when there’s a 0% chance of doing well from the get-go because every team you run into is optimized to power scale, that gets old pretty fast.
Or to echo a complaint many new Vegas-goers hear from those of us who visited the city frequently 20 years ago: it’s just not as good as it used to be.
This could eventually be a problem, as could that many more animals are getting de-buffed in updates rather than buffing others (RIP Goose meta) but even with these issues, it’s still an amazing auto battler game that has held its own and then some over multiple months and millions of playthroughs.
Super Auto Pets Strategy: Now You’re Ready To Win!
Super Auto Pets is an awesome free battle simulator game that brings an addictive level of fun to a very simple format. Yet the cute animal art, surprising depth in tactics, and the sheer feeling of accomplishment to hit that rare 10 wins just keeps players coming back.
Try it for free. I put in nearly 200 hours of gameplay on free mode and really never even felt the need to see the other animals that come in “Pay to Win.” I also love the fact that when you pay for the extra animal packs you can choose whether to play the base game or the expanded game, and those with expanded animals don’t get to pray on those without access to them.
This really is an outstanding game, and there’s a reason streamers and YouTubers like Northern Lion, DF, and Ludwig have spent so many hours producing videos for this great game.
With the Super auto pets tips for beginners from this helpful guide I have little doubt that you now only know how to play Super Auto Pets now, but you know how to play the game well!
Do yourself a favor and give it a go!
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Proud to embrace the locally created moniker of “Corrupt Overlord” from one of the all time great Lords of Waterdeep runs, Shane is one member of the Assorted Meeples crew and will be hard at work creating awesome content for the website. He is a long-time player of board games, one time semi-professional poker player, and tends to run to the quirky or RPG side of things when it comes to playing video games. He loves tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Werewolf, Fate, and others, and not only has been a player but has run games as DM for years. You can find his other work in publications like Level Skip or Hobby Lark.