There are multitudes of magnificent beasts in the Exiled Lands. There are massive thundering elephants and dark jungle panthers that pounce out of nowhere. While it’s nice just to have the variety in enemies, did you know that many of these animals could be adventuring alongside you?
If you’ve spent any amount of time battling a particular species, you may have noticed the very small and harmless versions running away from you. If you manage to catch one of these without the parents tearing you to shreds, you can turn it into your very own killing machine!
If you’ve dreamt of a crocodile-filled moat around your base, charging into battle alongside a lion, or setting a hostile rhinoceros free in your enemy’s camp, I’m pleased to tell you that all these things are very achievable in Conan Exiles.
TL:DR: Cubs Fan
The player can raise most animals in Conan Exiles into animal followers, but you must find a baby version of that animal to do so. You’ll recognize them by their small size and passive nature. They wander close to their hostile parents and flee when you get too close. Pick up as many as you can carry and take them back to your animal pen to grow them into loyal companions.
To start the “training” process in the animal pen, you’ll need to feed your baby animal. They only require one item of food, but that item is very important. Different species have unique favorite foods, and those food give them a higher chance of growing into a greater variant of their species. These animals have much higher stats than their standard peers and are worth the effort to raise.
Once you have the perfect animal follower, you’ll need to take it out into the world and level it. What you feed your follower while it levels up also matters. Different food helps increase specific stats for your follower while it levels.
Horses work the same as animal followers, except they need a stable to “craft” into a ridable mount. They also do not have a greater variant. When you’re ready to ride, you’ll also need to craft a saddle for your adult mount. They do not attack in battle but instead run away by default.
My Experience With Taming Animal Followers
It doesn’t matter the game you find me in; I’m going to be heavily involved in its pet system. It is no different for Conan Exiles. I’ve raised almost every animal in the game, and usually until I have their greater variant. I was around when properly raised animal followers were the overpowered choice. I’ve ridden the patch release waves, watching them get nerfed down to something more manageable.
I’ve been deep in the official forums learning now obsolete information and I’ve been using animal followers for PvP when maybe I should not. They make me happier than human followers, and as with anything in such a brutal game, you should do what makes you happy.
Build An Animal Pen
The first step in world domination via a fuzzy death machine is to build it a house. You need an animal pen to turn a baby animal into an animal follower, so it’s best to go ahead and build one before you head out into the world searching for a cub.
Once you are level 13, open the feats tab and learn the apprentice tamer feat. Once this feat is discovered, you’ll have two animal pens available to build in your crafting inventory. The small animal pen can only tame one baby animal at a time but requires fewer resources and takes up less space compared to the standard animal pen. The classic animal pen can tame four baby animals at a time.
While there are some instances where a small animal pen is appropriate, they are pretty rare. At this level, I would only bother with one if you have a tiny base footprint due to natural features. If not, make your base a little bigger to accommodate the full-sized pen. You may think you only want one animal follower so the small pen would be appropriate, but when we get into greater variants, you’ll understand why you need as many taming slots as possible.
It’s also not that expensive to build the standard animal pen relative to its benefits. You’ll only need 300 stones, 400 wood, and 20 twines to craft one in your inventory. This can be a game of encumbrance management at this level, but the good news is that the pen weighs far less than its materials. I would suggest you go ahead and clear a large area. The pen will not place if there are trees or rocks in the way, and removing them after you’ve made the pen will likely cause encumbrance issues.
Where to Find Tameable Animals: Baby Animals
That’s a big animal pen, huh? Well, now that you made room for the monstrous station, it’s time to go out and find your new, mostly four-legged friend.
The simplest way to find an animal follower that you’re looking for is to use a map like this one. Uncheck all (except area and location names) in the right-hand menu, and then re-check baby animals under the discovery tab. Even if the territory is unknown to you, you will discover locations as you travel and can use them to correct your course and zero in on the exact location.
This map does not show all of the baby animal locations in Conan Exiles, but it does offer one or two locations of each species. It’s also not live to your map, and events in your game may affect its accuracy. For instance, if you’ve traveled the area before, it is possible you chased a cub away from its spawn without knowing it.
Personally, I don’t care to use maps outside of the one I have in-game and prefer discovering the world and baby animal locations on my own. If this sounds like you, the good news is that finding most baby animals on your own shouldn’t be too difficult.
You’ll find baby animals wandering around large concentrations of their parents. If you see only a few adult animals roaming around, try circling out until you find a more significant concentration of them, and you are likely to find baby animals there. If you do not, it’s because they are in a higher-level area.
Baby animals are a bit of a commodity in Conan Exiles, and the map treats them as such. If you are in a lower-level zone and get in a fight with a cool new animal, it is expected that you won’t find the babies until you are in a higher-level area. It’s clear Funcom doesn’t want you to find a baby until the adult animals have become easy for you to fight.
There are some animals that cannot be found as babies but must be purchased as eggs. If you are interested in raising a sand reaper, scorpion, spider, or any other animal (besides a shaleback) that lays eggs, you’ll need to purchase their eggs from a merchant in Flotsam. The eggs near the adult will not hatch and are only good for eating.
The merchant is not easy to get to; in fact, all the NPCs around him are high-level and hostile. Raising eggs is for a high-level player with decent gear with plenty of silver and gold coins to spare. Once you manage to purchase an egg, keep it in your inventory until it hatches into a baby animal, then add it to your animal pen and raise it like any other animal follower.
If you want it to hatch more quickly, try putting the egg in your compost bin. Be very careful with this method; the hatched baby animal will soon expire in your compost bin as well.
How to Capture, Transport, and Store Baby Animals
Before you charge off into the sunset after your new cub, you should be aware that they are cumbersome. You may be able to handle one cub in your inventory, but at a lower level, two or three just won’t be possible. It is best to tame an animal follower or capture a thrall solely for carrying heavy things when you first start out in Conan Exiles.
These easy animals may not be what you’re looking for permanently, but even the very low-level NPCs in your area will not become encumbered with heavy items in their inventory. You could even grab an easy-to-find baby animal and raise it in your pen before you go looking for the one you really want.
Doing it this way will allow you to gather several baby animals without becoming encumbered, which is essential for your odds in the animal pen. Don’t waste your time only grabbing one baby animal. You don’t want to become encumbered because you’ll have adult animals to contend with.
I like to clear the entire area of adults and then capture whatever babies are left after the tussle. Unfortunately, many of the babies may have scattered during the fighting, but if you’re patient, they will slowly respawn. Of course, the parents will also respawn, but in much more manageable numbers. If you charge in and grab several cubs, you risk becoming overwhelmed and encumbered.
Use your thrall or animal follower to transport the cubs back to your animal pen and load them in. If you have more baby animals than slots, you can store them in a chest until you’re ready for them in the animal pen or while you build an additional pen. They do have a decay timer, and you’ll want to pay close attention to it. Depending on your server settings, the baby animals could die in your chests before you get a chance to load them in.
Placing them in a preservation box will extend their decay time, just as it does food. This item may not be available to you for many more levels, but it’s an important strategy to take note of now if you are an animal follower enthusiast.
See also: Best Pets in Conan Exiles
How to Raise a Cub in the Animal Pen
Once you’ve loaded your baby animals into your animal pen, you must feed them to start their “crafting” process. You may have already gotten used to how fuel works in crafting stations, and appropriate food works the same way in the animal pen. However, the baby animal will only need to consume one food item to start and complete its entire crafting bar.
This one item of food is incredibly important. There are many foods that your baby animal could eat to begin growing in the animal pen, but only one that will give it the best chance of growing as strong as possible. There are also several related food items that will give it a decent chance of growing as strong as possible. Here is a nice master list of what food you should aim to feed your new baby animals.
You captured several baby animals and are being very particular about what they eat all in an effort to raise a “greater variant.”
The Greater Variant
Greater variants are the best of their species. They have much better stats and health pools. You may need to raise several baby animals before you get a greater variant (which is why I recommended capturing as many as you could), and you’ll undoubtedly need to feed them the right food when they’re added to the animal pen.
For all intents and purposes, except maybe aesthetic preference, there is no reason to waste time leveling the standard version of most animal followers. They can be placed around your base for added protection until you have too many to deal with. Then you will sadly start murdering them for parts. It’s a brutal world Funcom has created.
When you pull up the comprehensive food list to feed baby animals in the animal pen, you may notice that all of the food with the highest chance of creating a greater variant start with the word “shade spiced.” Shade spicing is a process that takes an everyday food item, shadebloom, and a stove and creates its shadespiced version. You may notice that the next most effective food on the list is the un-shadespiced version of that food item.
Unless you are at the highest level with nice gear or are playing in a nice-sized group, there’s no need to worry about shadespicing and shadebloom. Just pick the next item on the list that doesn’t require the process. Even if these qualifiers do apply to you, it may not be worth the effort to shadespice. If the animal cubs are relatively easy to capture, you’re better off just throwing more in the animal pen and using regular food until you raise a greater variant.
If you have a rare animal baby, or one with a low chance of crafting into a greater variant, or a combination of these two things, then shadespicing might be the right choice. You’ll need to run the Midnight Grove Dungeon (or the Groves of Jhebbal Sag) and collect shadebloom from the downed bosses with a cleaver. You can access this difficult dungeon in the Den by speaking to a werehyena named The Child of Jhebbal Sag.
How to Level Animal Followers
Once you’ve raised a greater variant, you’ll need to take them out in the world with you to level. This is a pretty easy process but does add a little bit of challenge and time buffer before you’ll have an OP killing machine.
Animal followers will get experience even if they barely contribute so that high-level players can farm XP at a high-level spot and power level their followers. Low-level players will find even level one animal followers useful in fights, so there’s no need to interrupt your playstyle; just try not to bite off more than you can chew. If you die, you may run back also to find your animal follower dead.
There is no way to revive dead animal followers, so you’ll have to start all over if you lose one. If you realize quickly enough that you are in over your head, run in the straightest line you can away from the danger. In single-player, the follow tether on your animal will teleport them to you when you’ve sprinted far enough away. They’ll only need to survive for as long as it takes for you to outrun the tether distance.
What to Feed Animal Followers While They Level
It’s important to note that what you feed animals while they level is also important, though a little bit subjective. What you feed your animal companion while it levels will have an effect on which stat it is most likely to level. To explain this concept, I will need to touch on how stats work for followers.
What the stats do should be easy to figure out; they correlate with your character sheet. How they level is a little more complicated. When choosing a new greater variant to level, pay close attention to their base stats and the percentage next to them.
It is convenient to have base stats that already align with your plan, but what you really want is a high percentage number next to the stats you want to increase while they level. This percentage number is the likelihood that your follower will level this stat at each level. For instance, if you want to end up with an animal companion with high strength, choose the greater variant with the highest chance to level strength each level and high base strength.
What you feed your follower while it levels will add to this percentage number. Each creature has a preferred food list, and those foods add a small chance to level different stats. This will be your decision based on the follower’s purpose, their base stats, and their base percentages. An easy route is just choosing the food that gives the highest chance to level strength.
What to Feed Animal Followers When They Are Max Level
You’ll use the same chart to determine what to feed your animal follower once it hits maximum level. Now that your follower’s stats are set, the highest healing bonus will be the only thing necessary to you. The foods are typically more difficult to source when they are +10pts/second.
Of course, it is rare that your animal follower will need +10pts/second of healing power, and by now, you’ve probably noticed how much food they go through in a fight. I usually leave food that’s easy to get my hands on in their inventory for most adventures and then put the expensive stuff in for dungeons or world bosses. Usually, the +6pts/sec or so are much easier to stock in bulk.
The Downside: Thrall Superiority
I can’t write a guide about taming and raising animal followers without giving you all the facts. As of right now, a T4 named thrall (especially from the purge) will outperform a greater variant animal follower of any species once it is well geared. This is not terribly important for PVE or single-player games but should be noted for official servers and PVP worlds.
You’ll probably want the highest DPS option when fighting other players, and for now, that’s going to be a purge T4 thrall with good stats and equipment. There are some compelling arguments for the sabretooth and the sandreaper queen, but until we can equip them with gear, it’s hard to imagine them out-lasting or out-dpsing a top-tier thrall.
What to Use Animal Followers For
Use them for everything! If you’re ok taking a hit on damage, animal followers can be used for anything a thrall can be used for (even some ranged activities). Of course, you may want different animals for different activities.
The best beginner animal companion, in my opinion, is either the crocodile or the hyena. The crocodile is nice because it is the only pet that will not physically block you in tight spaces. This may not sound like much, but it is a life-saving feature for new exiles. The hyena is lovely because of its cripple and fast attack pattern. You’ll always be able to run away with a hyena pet.
If you like to play a ranged character, consider a tank. Bears make excellent tanks, especially if they have nice vitality stats. Their crippling effect will allow you to stay out of range until your bear can pull aggro again. Most animals will work just fine as tanks, but bears are best, in my opinion.
If you’d like a well-rounded and high-damage follower, try the sabretooth tiger. Their high armor means they have lasting power in a fight, but they also can put out the most significant damage of any animal follower. Their bleed ability just adds to their overall skull crunching skills.
Animal followers are crucial in base defense, especially midgame. It is much easier to churn out a sea of animal defenders than it would be to have that amount of the same quality thralls. Not only will you have an army of standard versions that didn’t make the follower cut, but you’ll likely have some greater variants as well. Keep your animal pen full, even if you no longer need your main follower.
Taming a Horse: Mounts Are Here!
There is a new type of taming in town, and it has been a real game-changer. Mounts were recently introduced to Conan Exiles, and while I understand Funcom’s initial hesitation, those of us that have been sprinting around the Exiled Lands since the very beginning are jumping for joy.
How to Build a Stable
You’ll only need to be level 15 to build your first stable, but it’s important to note that you’ll need to be level 20 to build a Saddler’s Worktable. A saddle is necessary to ride mounts in Conan Exiles, so try not to put the cart before the horse on this one.
You’ll need 15 bricks, ten shaped wood, and ten twines to build one stable. The twine is easy to craft from fiber in your inventory crafting menu, but the brick will require a furnace to make from stone, and the shaped wood need’s a carpenter’s bench to make from regular wood.
You’ll notice once you place your stable that it only holds one foal, so you may want to build several if you are going for a particular color mount.
How to Raise a Foal in the Stables
Once you’ve located an area to collect foals, I suggest grabbing at least two. They do not have greater variants, but you’ll always want a backup horse in case tragedy strikes. Every foal is a dun color but can grow into other adult colors, so if you have your heart set on a certain mount color, then that would be the only reason to grab extra foals.
Place your foal with a cheap food item in the stables to start the “crafting” process. Currently, there are no stat variations for horses, so there is no reason to feed them anything more expensive than fiber while they’re in the stables. There are four different colors of horse you could wind up with, but there’s no evidence that what you feed them will have any effect on which color horse your adult horse will be.
Let’s Ride: Saddles
Your adult horse won’t be much help until you’ve made it a saddle. Mounts require saddles to ride in the Exiled Lands, so unless you’ve found one out in the world, you’ll need to learn to make your own. Look for the novice saddle-maker feat once you’ve reached level 20. This feat will teach you how to build a saddler’s worktable, which will allow you to craft your very own saddles. It will also teach you some basic saddle recipes.
It may be a bit of a shock that a saddler’s worktable is much more expensive to make than a stable, and I like to think it’s just another one of Funcom’s fun little jokes. To craft the saddler’s worktable, you’ll need 50 shaped wood, 50 twines, and 50 leather.
If your chests have not already been bled dry, your first saddle will also be a hefty investment. The light warhorse saddle requires 68 iron, 20 twines, and 75 leather. When mounts were first introduced to the game, it took me several resources runs just to get my horse in operation. Add this to the initial foal run, and you’ve got a time-consuming process, but you can ask anyone; mounts are worth the effort.
Saddles are the best way to increase mount speed in Conan Exiles. Pay attention to new saddle feats and recipes you may find in the wild.
How to Level Your Mount
If saddles increase speed, what can you do to max out your horse’s health pool? Increase your mount’s survivability by leveling it!
Your horse will level just like your animal followers do: by charging into battle with you. Unfortunately, they no longer participate in combat, so make sure you can handle the fight on your own. They will naturally run away, and the mechanic works really well. I’ve died and run back to find my horse still outrunning a mob of frustrated NPCs.
You may also have an additional combat follower while your horse is on follow. This means your combat ability won’t be impeded by the addition of your mount, and now you’ll even have twice the inventory to store treasures in. Don’t worry about leaving your other follower behind when you mount up; they will teleport behind you. This mode of transportation is even safer than running with them; you’ll be moving so quickly that just as they pick a fight, they’ll be jerked by their tether to safety.
Each level will naturally increase your mount’s health pool, but there is one boost you can give your horse in this arena. Feed them vines. Vines are the only important food item when it comes to horses because they increase their vitality stat. Currently, the other stats aren’t worth raising. They do have a minimal effect on your combat while mounted, but as of now, they can’t beat the boost your mount will get from a significant vitality stat.
Conan Exiles or Zoo Tycoon?
Whether you’re just looking for a hand in tough situations or you’re interested in taming every beast, it’s important to know how the animal follower system works in Conan Exiles. They are the most “inexpensive” base defense option out there and make valuable primary followers for less effort and time commitment than a thrall. A good combat thrall may be more powerful in the long run, but if you want to have a cool-looking follower very quickly, there’s nothing wrong with an animal companion.
There are also those of us that permanently play with an animal follower in tow, even for end-game and PVP. In a game like Conan Exiles, it’s hard to remember that there is a difference. It’s just too easy to find the cub you like, raise a greater variant and then head out into the world without worrying about gear. If you see yourself as more of an animal follower type of Exile too, just make sure your base is big enough. You may end up collecting them all!
FAQ – Conan Exiles Taming
Question: How do you tame in Conan Exiles?
Answer: First, you’ll need to build an animal pen and place it somewhere in your base. After that, venture out into the world until you find a baby animal, bring it back to the pen, and look up what kind of food it likes. When you’ve found a food that will work, add it to the pen, and the crafting process will begin. After you’ve removed your adult animal from the pen, take it out into the world to start leveling it. Make sure to feed it appropriate food while it levels to customize its stat increases.
Question: How do you tame a horse in Conan Exiles?
Answer: A horse requires stables to tame, so you’ll need to build some if all you have is an animal pen. Once your stables are built, head out and find a foal. Currently, there is no difference between the foals, so it doesn’t matter which one you grab. There are also no adult horses, so locating a group of foals can be difficult. Once you have your foal, put it in the stable with some fiber to start the “crafting” process. It does not matter what you feed it while it’s growing in the stables, but you should feed it vines as an adult to increase its vitality stat while it levels. You will need to make a saddle at the saddler’s workbench to ride your new horse.
Question: How do you get eggs in Conan Exiles?
Answer: Unlike other baby animals that are found out in the world, the player must purchase eggs. Anything that hatches from an egg in the game, besides baby shalebacks, can be purchased from a merchant in Flotsam. You will not find them near their adult counterparts. Any eggs you do find are just for eating. The eggs you buy from this merchant will hatch into baby animals in your inventory that can then be added to the animal pen.
Question: Can you tame anything in Conan Exiles?
Answer: No, but the player can tame most animals. If it is firmly in the monster or dragon category, you won’t be able to tame it. Horses were recently added to be tamed as mounts, but they do not have any combat capabilities unless you count the player fighting from their back.
Question: Are there flying mounts in Conan Exiles?
Answer: No, there are not and probably never will be unless they combine several different maps. Land mounts weren’t even initially available because the maps are handcrafted for running players and are relatively small. Players begged for many years before Funcom introduced horses, and they do significantly change the gameplay.