What is a virtual pet site?

A virtual pet siteVPS for short – is a website where users can register and adopt a virtual pet to take care of, battle, and play with, and interact with other users, typically on forums, purchase items with the use of virtual currency and play mini-games.
A virtual pet site is a niche and can be classified as a browser game.

Virtual Pet Site NeoPets Screenshot: NeoPets. (Yeah, I know I’m doing a poor job caring for my NeoPets. I play Virtual Pet Sites when I have time, and there are too many to play!)

Virtual Pets

The pets that are available on a virtual pet site can typically either be adopted, created, caught or purchased (either with in-game currency or real money). Pets often come in a number of standard colors, with red, yellow, blue and green as the most common colors, and can be recolored using items purchased in in-game shops or cash shops.
Some virtual pet sites offer a wide variety of types of animals as pets, others focus on just on one species. And whereas some virtual pet sites offer realistic looking pets, others offer fantasy-like pets.

Virtual Pet Site Into The Vale Screenshot: One of my pets on Into The Vale.

GamePlay

On a typical virtual pet site, you may find the following features:

  • Adoptable Pets
  • Virtual Currency/Currencies
  • In-Game Shops & User Shops
  • User Profiles & Pet Profiles
  • Collections, Galleries, Forums
  • Virtual World
  • Human Avatars
  • (Mini-)Games
  • Battle System
  • Breeding System
  • Cash Shop

Exploring

A virtual pet site typically has a virtual world with maps with clickable areas the player can go to. Think of item shops, quests, etc.

Virtual Pet Site ChibiPets Screenshot: World Map on ChibiPaws.

Leveling Up

On a lot of virtual pet sites, users can level up their pets (and their pets’ stats). Often this comes hand-in-hand with a battle system.
The most common ways to level up a virtual pet are by doing quests/missions or training it.

Battle System

A battle system provides the user to use their pet against the pet of the computer or other people’s pets. Often, items can be equipped and/or used in battling. A pet has a health bar and will lose the battle if the health bar is completely empty, upon which the user will need to provide their pet with a potion or food item to restore their pet’s health.

(Mini-)Games

Most virtual pet sites have games with which the user can earn virtual currency or items. Common games are: higher or lower, snake, slot machine, raffles and lotteries.

Virtual Pet Site IcePets Screenshots: Games page on IcePets.

Virtual Pet Sites

A number of Virtual Pet Sites of various shapes and sizes:
NeoPets
ChibiPaws
IcePets
Somge Virtual Pets