While the world of Guild Wars 2 is far from empty, sometimes questing can be a bit boring alone. Not to mention some events can be a bit tough to handle all by yourself. Thankfully, one of the best features of GW2 is the pets that a Ranger can tame. As a Ranger, you can have a loyal companion to fight at your side. 50 of them in fact!

Each of the pets in Guild Wars 2 are unique in their own way. Some deal tons of DPS, others buff the party, and some can be your personal tank. All of them can be found throughout the world as you play, almost like a Pokemon side quest. There’s even a “I Choose You!” voice line when sending out a new pet. Gotta tame them all!

But which pets are the best for your Ranger and where are their locations in the vast world of GW2? Also which pet is the best for each of the unique Ranger specializations in GW2 and how do you use them to their max potential? We’ll answer all those questions and more in today’s guide!

Let’s get started.

How to Tame New Pets

When you first create a new Ranger, you’ll only have one pet available to you. Each race gets to choose from three types of pets during character creation. For instance, Sylvari can choose between a Blue Moa, a Jungle Stalker, or a Fern Hound. After that, you’ll have to find them out in the world.

How to tame pets - gw2 ranger pets
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

You’ll know when you’ve found an animal you can tame by their name. Tameable animals will be friendly and have Juvenile in their name. All you have to do then is walk up and interact with it. Congrats, you have a new addition to the family! If you want to see all of the pets and their locations the wiki is a great resource.

With all of these pets you might be wondering, which pets are the best? After all its going to take a long time to tame all 50. Well curious reader, here are the best Ranger pets in GW2

Best Pets for Base Ranger

While we recommend buying at least one of the expansions (especially when on sale), some of you may want to test the game for a bit before making the financial commitment. However, without the expansions, you will not have access to any of the Ranger Elite Specs. Plus, a decent number of pets can be found only in expansion areas.

So first, we’ll go over some good pets for the base Ranger class in GW2. That way you won’t be missing out on a core part of the game as you decide if you want to continue your journey in GW2. We’ll begin with the Brown Bear.

Brown Bear

Brown Bear - gw2 ranger pets
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

The classic Brown Bear. Whether you’re leveling or trying to solo an event, the Brown Bear is one of the best pets to have no matter what you’re doing. Why? Because this little guy has a bunch of health. Perfect for being your personal tank, while you focus on dealing damage.

If his high health and little smile didn’t win you over, the Brown Bear also has a few abilities that let him be a tank. The first one, Bite, is pretty simple. He bites the enemy and gains health back. The next, Defy Pain, lets the Brown Bear take no damage for a couple of seconds. Great for staying alive in tough fights. Lastly, the Brown Bear has Shake it Off which cures conditions on all allies.

Unfortunately, the Brown Bear has one downside. He does considerably less damage compared to other pets. Luckily, you can switch between two Ranger pets in GW2.

Where to Find

Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

The Brown Bear can be found in multiple places but the easiest is in the Gendarran Fields. This zone is fairly low level and very close to the Human starter area. The quickest way there is running east from Queensdale. Once in Gendarran Fields, run south to the Talajian Piedmont area and you’ll find some tameable bears among the forest.

Norn and Human rangers can also choose the Brown Bear as their starter pet.

Jungle Stalker

Jungle Stalker - gw2 ranger pets
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

Out of all the Ranger pets, the cats have the highest damage in vanilla GW2, and the Jungle Stalker is no exception. If you don’t have a use for a tank and just need extra damage, a Jungle Stalker is great choice. They have great damage skills and can buff their Ranger.

Most of their damage lies within their auto attacks. Each auto attacks deals some damage and applies a stack of Vulnerability to the enemy. Every stack of Vulnerability increases the amount damage a target takes. So with every attack, you and your pet are dealing increasing damage.

What separates Jungle Stalker from other cats is its activatable skill, Mighty Roar. When activated, Mighty Roar will give all allies 5 stacks of Might, drastically increasing their damage. Combine Mighty Roar with Vulnerability, and you’ll melt any enemy you come across.

With the Jungle Stalker, you’ll have an easy time killing anything you come across. We recommend using the stalker as your primary pet and having a tanky pet as your secondary.

Where to Find

Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

Finding the Jungle Stalker is pretty easy. Head to the Caledon Forest, the Sylvari starting area. Once there, head north to the Sandycove Beach. In the jungle/forest west of the beach, you’ll find some jungle stalkers hiding among the trees.

All races except Norn can choose the Jungle Stalker as their starter pet.

River Drake

River Drake - gw2 ranger pets
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

Lastly, we have the River Drake. Drakes can be found all over Tyria in all shapes and sizes. This scaly pet is a great tank option with some AOE firepower. Just like the Brown Bear, the River Drake has tons of health and a little bit of self-sustain.

But that’s where the similarities stop, because the River Drake can actually do damage. Besides its auto attacks, the drake has a tail swipe that hits multiple targets and a unique skill, Lightning Breath. Lightning Breath shoots out 5 bolts of lightning, each bouncing 3 times between enemies. Great for clearing out big groups.

Where to Find

Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

While the River Drake can be found all over the place, the easiest area to grab one is Kessex Hills. You can access Kessex Hills from either Queensdale or Gendarren Fields, but you’ll be closer if you come from Gendarren Fields. Once there, head over to the Delanian Foothills at the very east of the region. There you’ll find multiple drakes just outside of the outpost.

Humans can also choose the river drake as their starter pet.

Whichever pet you choose to use, you can’t go wrong. These pets will serve you well as you level, do endgame content, or work towards unlocking an elite specialization.

Best Pets for Druid

As you get into elite specializations and endgame, pets become more than just a tank or extra damage. For many builds, pets become another useful tool for empowering your chosen build or handling whatever threats GW2 throws at you.

For a Ranger who chooses the Druid specialization, these pets help them support and heal their allies in GW2. We’ll begin with the Fern Hound.

Fern Hound

Fern Hound - gw2 ranger pets
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

Fern Hounds are plant-like dogs, a Sylvari’s best friend.

While the Fern Hound’s main use isn’t damage, it’s still great for taking out enemies. It has two leaps that provide two sources of crowd control. The first, Crippling Leap, leaps at a target and cripples them. Cripple reduces movement speed by 50% and damages a defiance bar for 15/second. The second leap, Brutal Charge, knocks down the target which is great for interrupting enemies.

However, what the Fern Hound is really used for is its pet skill, Regenerate. Regenerate grants regeneration to all allies nearby, increasing their health regen. With the Fern Hound, the Druid has another way to heal their allies. Perfect for when your skills are on cooldown.

Where to Find

Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

The easiest way to grab a Fern Hound for yourself is to teleport to the Sylvari capital, The Grove. Here you find some on each floor. Just roam around until you find one.

Sylari can also choose to have the Fern Hound as their starter pet.

Fanged Iboga

Fanged Iboga - gw2 ranger pets
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

This walking venus fly trap has highest damage out of all the Ranger pets in GW2 and is incredibly useful for a Druid. Since the Druid lacks damage, its good to have this pet around to pick up the slack. Most Druids will keep the Iboga as their primary pet, only switching pets depending on what boss they are facing.

Most of the Iboga’s damage comes from condition damage. It can inflict multiple stacks of Confusion in an area and Torment to single targets. Additionally, its basic attack increases in damage per condition on the enemy. Considering there will almost always be at least one teammate who focuses on condition damage, the Iboga will be doing tons of damage in any group content.

Another reason why it should be your primary pet is its pet ability. Fang Grapple shoots a tendril that immobilizes and pulls in enemies. This ability is great for dealing with bosses who have defiance bars that can only be lowered by crowd control. Usually your team deals with it, but if your party is lacking some CC, you can take matters into your own hands with this pet.

Where to Find

Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

The Fanged Iboga is located in the Path of Fire expansion area, Desert Highlands. For this pet, you’ll need the Raptor Canyon Jumping Mastery to reach the area. If you do some of the story quest for Path of Fire, you’ll unlock it in no time.

Once you’ve unlocked it, you can head over to the Desert Highlands and head to the Auburn Hills area. On the west side of Auburn Hills there will be a canyon to jump over using your raptor mount. In Stampede Uplands, you’ll find the Fanged Ibogas in the middle of the area near the river. Be sure to do the Renown Heart in this area to unlock the Springer. You’ll need it for the next pet.

It’s a lot of work but definitely worth it. However, if the Iboga isn’t enough CC, look no further than the Rock Gazelle.

Rock Gazelle

Rock Gazelle - gw2 ranger pets
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

Just like the Iboga, the Rock Gazelle was introduced in the Path of Fire expansion. The Rock Gazelle is a great secondary pet to have for just about anything. Its damage somewhat sucks, but its pet skill, Head Toss, is a strong crowd control skill.

Having a strong CC skill is important because some enemies have a defiance bar. Regular damage can hurt this bar, but CC skills deal the most damage to it. For example, the Iboga’s Fang Grapple deals around 150 damage to a defiance bar. On the other hand, the Rock Gazelle’s Head Toss deals 350 damage to the defiance bar and knocks up enemies.

Due to Head Toss alone, the gazelle is a great secondary pet option for when you need some CC in a fight. All you have to do is pay attention to bosses and switch pets when needed.

Where to Find

Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

To find the Rock Gazelle, you’ll need to head to the same area as for Fanged Ibogas, Stampede Uplands. Here you’ll find the Highjump Ranch. You’ll have to complete the Renown Heart to unlock the Springer which is what we need to reach the gazelle.

Now that we have a giant bunny, we can jump up to the gazelle. Head over to The Desolation, south of the Crytal Oasis and Ebon Riverlands. You’ll have to complete some of the story quest to unlock this area. Once there, head further south to Joko’s Domain. Above the waypoint is our destination.

Using the Springer, jump on the platforms leading up to the top of the plateau. When you reach the top, you find plenty of gazelles frolicking.

Best Pets for Soulbeast

The next Ranger elite specialization in GW2 uses pets in a unique way. A Soulbeast can merge with their pets, gaining new skills and bonus stats. What stats and skills they gain are determined by the pet they merged with. What makes for a good Soulbeast pet isn’t just its skills, but what stats it can provide as well. The first pet we’ll cover is the Red Moa.

Red Moa

Red Moa - gw2 ranger pets
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

First up is the Red Moa. When merging with the Red Moa, Soulbeasts gain extra Power and Ferocity – increasing their strike damage and crit damage. This stat spread makes it the perfect pet to have for a Power-focused build.

In addition to stats, Soulbeasts gain the abilities of their pet. Merging with the Red Moa gives Harmonic Cry and Frenzied Attack. Harmonic Cry heals you and allies around you, great for when you’re in a pinch. Frenzied Attack on the other hand deals tons of damage and applies Vulnerability.

Most importantly, pets like the Red Moa give the unique skill, Worldly Impact. This is a high damage AOE attack. With Worldly Impact and other skills, the Soulbeast can achieve some of the highest burst damage in GW2.

Where to Find

Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

The Red Moa is another pet that easy to find. We want to go over to Blazeridge Steppes in Ascalon. In the very east, we will find a cave. Inside there will be a pen with a Devourer you can tame and the Red Moa we were looking for.

If you’re looking for some decent crowd control, let’s see what the warthog has to offer.

Warthog

Warthog - gw2 ranger pets
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

The Warthog is a great pet for just about any Soulbeast build in GW2. When merging with the Warthog, Soulbeasts gain condition damage and extra crit chance. However, we don’t really care about the stats. What we truly care about is the skills we get.

Merging with the Warthog gives us one important skill, Brutal Charge. With Brutal Charge in our arsenal, we’ll have one of the strongest crowd control abilities available to us. Brutal Charge will charge an enemy, knocking them down for 3 seconds, and (most importantly) deal 300 damage to defiance bars. With the Warthog at our side, we can handle any boss whose defiance bar needs deleting.

Where to Find

Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

For the Warthog, we will head back to Gendarren Fields. To the northeast in Vigilant Hills, you’ll find a bunch of hogs roaming around. They can also be found in the Charr’s starting area, Diessa Plateau.

Bristleback

Bristleback - gw2 ranger pets
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

Last, we have the Bristleback. This ball of spikes is one the best Ranger pets to have for a Soulbeast build in GW2.

Just like the Warthog, the Bristleback gives condition damage and extra crit chance. Which is great and all, but that isn’t the main reason why we picked this pet. Instead it’s about the two abilities we get when merging with it – Rain of Spikes and Primal Cry.

Primal Cry is a useful ability for keeping constant Bleed and Vulnerability on a target. Every 20 seconds, we can apply 3 stacks of Bleed and 9 stacks of Vulnerability. This alone will increase our damage by a high amount for any Conditional focused build. However, what we really want is Rain of Spikes.

Normally, Rain of Spikes fire 9 spikes at 3 targets, 3 spikes for each. Each spike also applies Bleed. However, with some bosses we can get super close, use Rain of Spikes, and get all 9 spikes to hit the boss instead of the regular three. By using this totally intentional feature, we can drastically boost our damage output.

This weird interaction is almost a must have for achieving your maximum damage output. However, if you don’t like the look of this creature, the Smokescale is another great option and coincidentally a great choice for Untamed builds as well.

Where to Find

Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

For the Bristleback, we need to head to Heart of Maguuma, the Heart of Thorns expansion area. Here we need to head to Auric Basin then head east to the Bristleback Chasm. Among the hostile Bristleback, you can find tameable Bristlebacks hiding among the bushes.

Now lets move onto the best pets for Untamed.

Best Pets for Untamed

Like the Soulbeast, the Untamed elite spec for Ranger has unique interactions with their pets in GW2. Instead of their pet automatically using their skills, the Untamed gets to control when they use their skills. The first pet we’ll cover for this specialization is the Smokescale.

Smokescale

Smokescale - gw2 ranger pets
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

This weird looking pet has a lot of utility we can utilize. One of the Smokescale’s skills is Takedown, which knocks down an enemy for a second and deals 100 damage to defiance bars.

Normally, we’d have to just hope that our Smokescale would use this ability. However, since we are an Untamed, we can command it to use Takedown. By using the Smokescale, we add another crowd control skill to our arsenal and avoid losing out on any damage.

Our other utility comes in the form of a smoke bomb. Smoke Cloud creates a field of smoke, which gives the Smokescale stealth and presents you with a combo opportunity. Within this combo field, you can use other skills such as a leaping skill to stealth or ranged skills to blind enemies. Skills that can interact with this smoke field will have a white outline.

With the Smokescale at our side, we can have on demand CC and can combo with our teammates.

Where to Find

Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

This time we will have to jump through a few hoops to get the Smokescale. First, we need to head over to the Tangled Depths in Heart of Maguuma, the Heart of Thorns expansion area. Here we need to head east to either the Teku Nuhoch or SCAR Bivouac areas.

The Smokescale spawns at both of these locations, but we need to do events for these areas to reach “max strength”. Events should be happening often, so it should only take a few events before you’re done.

Once done a message will appear saying “Success!” and a couple of Smokescales will spawn in the locations marked. If someone beat you to it, don’t worry. Multiple Smokescales will spawn for you to tame.

Fanged Iboga

Fanged Iboga - gw2 ranger pets
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

Again, we have the Fanged Iboga. Since Iboga pets hold the highest damage output in GW2, most builds love to use them. Even more so on the Untamed, since we can control when they use their high damage skills.

The reason we want an Iboga as an Untamed is simple. Not only do we have extra crowd control with Fang Grapple, but we can command our pet to use its skills with high condition damage whenever we want.

The Crippling Anguish and Narcotic Spores skills deal tons of Confusion and Torment damage. Being able to choose when those skills are used, rather than hoping they’re used, will increase our damage output.

Not to mention, who wouldn’t want a walking fly trap?

Where to Find

Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

The Fanged Iboga is located in the Path of Fire expansion area, Desert Highlands. For this pet, you’ll need the Raptor Canyon Jumping Mastery to reach the area. If you do some of the story quest for Path of Fire, you’ll unlock it in no time.

Once you’ve unlocked it, you can head over to the Desert Highlands and head to the Auburn Hills area. On the west side of Auburn Hills there will be a canyon to jump over using your raptor mount. In Stampede Uplands, you’ll find the Fanged Ibogas in the middle of the area near the river. Don’t forget to head over to HighJump Ranch to unlock your Springer as well.

A lot of work for sure especially if you haven’t done Path of Fire on your Ranger (like me!). The damage increase is definitely worth it though.

Join the High Ground

That wraps up our Best Ranger Pets in Guild Wars 2. Thanks for reading! If there’s a pet you think I missed or one you just love using, leave a comment down below and subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to see new guides.

And as always, take the High Ground!