Programs to use: Snap Links Plus, available as an add-on for Firefox and Google Chrome.

12/15/10 – Soon to be updated with another site, Zantarni, an avatar/role play site with pets. Check it out, and I’ll be updating this post with my own thoughts in a few days!

If you like adoptable/virtual pet sites this is the article for you! Adoptables sites are websites where you can create a creature and raise it through clicks from other people. You often get points for interacting with other peoples pets that you can spent on items or other virtual creatures. You’ve probably come across some of these sites before. There are so many virtual pet sites out there it can be hard to decide which one to join. If you’ve been thinking about joining an adoptables site, but don’t know which one is the best way to spend your time, here is my list of the best and worst adoptables sites. Feel free to sound off in the comments with your own opinions!

The Best

VDex Project – One of the many Pokemon adoptables sites out there, and in my opinion, the best. VDex Project is a very interactive adoptables site, which makes it one of the most fun. Unlike other Pokemon sites you have to actually “venture out” to catch Pokemon and buy Poke Balls to catch them with. You can travel, plant berries, gamble for Pokemon and items, and more. This sites currency is earned through displaying your party. Your party has an image code that you can link in forums and on websites, and every unique view earns money. When you join you are paired with a partner, a Poke human. Your partner will say things about themselves and their surroundings, and send you items if they like you. Once a partners affection is maxed out you can get an item from an NPC which is traded with another NPC for a legendary summoning item. Each partner gives a different legendary. Affection is maxed in different ways, from feeding certain Pokemon, to time spent on site. When you join you must also choose a starter Pokemon. This determines which region you start out in – Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, or Sinnoh. Some Pokemon are harder to catch than others, and some can only be found at certain times on certain days. Catching some Pokemon can take dedication. It’s taken me a couple days to catch some. But if you keep at it you can fill up your Pokedex quite easily. In my first 20 days I caught over 200, and now at 1 month, 17 days, have 331. This site has many things to do, and has a high level of interaction. If you’re looking for an adoptables site with a little more gameplay, this is the one for you. There is so much to do here you’ll never get bored.

Magistream – I’ve known about this site for a year now, but only joined last month. Magistream has some of the best pixel creatures around. Most are gorgeous, and even the ones that can’t be called beautiful are just as well made. Creatures are raised through clicks, some taking longer than others. My first creatures hatched all within a few days of getting them. But don’t expect click backs, the majority of users do not return clicks. You can get creatures from the stream on the main page, the Koi pond, breeding, quests, shops, donation, and trading with other members. Some creatures can only be obtained through breeding, questing, and donating. Donation creatures are purchased with crystal shards, and you get one shard per $1 you donate. Creatures can cost $2-5 and are only available for a limited time. After a creature has retired trading is the only way to get one. Shop creatures can be bought with gold, the sites currency. Gold is very easy to earn, and I managed to get up to 20,000 gold within my first week. You earn gold by clicking other peoples creatures, and by posting in the forum. The easiest way to earn gold is through gold mining, that is by clicking large amounts of other peoples creatures. Some members don’t like people gold mining in their keep. The best way to goldmine is through an image free goldmine site like this one. It displays just the links of creatures, not the images, so with a browser add-on like Snap Links it is easy to click thousands of creatures over a short amount of time. Also, the site only lists those who have volunteered their keeps.

GPX Plus – Another Pokemon site. On Global PokedeX Plus you get Pokemon eggs from the lab, the main page of the site, or from the shelter. In the lab you can’t see what Pokemon you are adopting, only the eggs description. You can find out what an egg is by googling the description, or from this LiveJournal. The LJ isn’t up to date, but it’s still a good for the basics. Pokemon are raised through clicks and feeds, and occasionally an evolution item. Items and upgrades can be bought in the shop. Money is earned through interacting with others parties. Items can also be found randomly around the site, and through sending a Pokemon underground. Legendaries can be bought via summoning items, and can occasionally be found in the lab through another members failed summon. Fossils can also be bought, and novelties can occasionally be found in the shelter, or in the safari zone. The site can be boring after a while as there is less to do the longer you are a member. Also, it is difficult to participate in the site if you cannot mass click. Mass clicking is interacting with large amounts of other parties. The current record for the most amount of interactions in one day is over 120,000. As money is earned through interactions, and only in small amounts, without mass clicking it is difficult to get ahead on the site.

Dragon Cave – A smaller, less interactive adoptables site, and a good site to start out on if you’re new to virtual pets. As the title suggest this site deals with dragons. You can pick eggs up from in the cave, or from the abandoned pile. Some eggs are more common, and others, like silver, are rare. Hatching the eggs is done through views, and it can take quite a lot of views to do it. Thanks to sites like Dragonnery, the processes is relatively easy. I’ve never had a dragon die on me before, and as long as you use a hatchery like this, your won’t either. Once hatched dragons can be named, but due to the amount of users, finding a name that isn’t taken can be difficult. The best way to work around this is to give the dragon a last name. I use li or vi Britannia from Code Geass (come up with your own please). New dragons are released about once a month. It is often chaos for the first few days, and it can be hard to get them for a couple weeks. Fighting up to 1000 people for 4 eggs can be a drag. This is particularly troublesome during the holidays. Halloween, Christmas, and Valentines eggs are released every year, and the previous years eggs are usually breedable. This is the sites busiest time. The best way to get holiday eggs is by using the browser add-on Snap Links, or a similar program. Keep refreshing and selecting the eggs on the main page, and eventually you will get one or two. The only other way to get eggs is by breeding. Some dragons can only be obtained through breeding (or in the Vampire dragons case, biting). There is no trading system on the site, and users trade using the abandoned page, which can be hit or miss as there is a very good chance someone else will grab the egg before you.

The Alright

Squiby – Squiby is a more generic adoptables site. They don’t have any adoptables themselves, the sprites are created by the members. The result is a wide range of adoptables in both style and quality. Those artistically inclined can create creatures for other people to adopt, and can set levels, passwords, and only allow a certain number to be adopted (a limited pet). Levels and the like are bought with points, earned through interacting with others creatures. Squiby adoptables are leveled through clicks. Because the users themselves create the adoptables and set the rules for their creatures the quality varies, and it can be very difficult to obtain some creatures. When you adopt a creature you can set its gender and name it, and adopts are allowed to share names. As a sort of game, some artists put passwords on their creatures, or have hidden creatures, where you have to figure out the answer, or find the link. I don’t find this fun at all so I don’t usually bother trying. Also, after a while you may end up amassing a large quantity of adoptables, I have almost 300, and it’s hard to keep track of them all. In the past the site has had many errors and a lot of downtime. I haven’t seen any recently, but it is still something to be aware of.

Valenth – These interesting creatures are leveled through feeds, and have different outcomes depending on what is fed to the creature. You can choose what is fed to adoptable when linking it (see an example on the image link above) if you want it to turn out a certain way. Valenth adoptables can be named, and it doesn’t seem like they have to be unique. This site is better for those who like RPG, as role playing is an essential part of the site. Like Squiby it has also had a lot of errors in the past, and is the main reason I stopped using it. The constant errors can be a hassle, and it seems like it is still a problem.

The Worst

Egg Cave – Do you like spam and being harassed? Then this is the site for you! If you don’t, then it’s best to stay away. The creatures are okay, some better than others, but the overall quality of the site is poor. I don’t know if things have changed in the past half year, but when I was a member it was nothing but spam and click begging. Most sites have strict rules about where you can and cannot ask for clicks, and rules about OT discussions. Egg Cave did (does?) not, and at the time didn’t seem particularly interested in any. Members would use the comments section of news posts to have long off topic discussions (I remember one was about Pokemon DP), and beg for clicks/feeds. They would also use the comment section of members profiles to click beg, and egg beg. Users would be repeatedly harassed to adopt their eggs out to someone. Even if you by some miracle escape the torment from other members, that won’t stop the owner from harassing you. Like many adoptions sites they have a cash shop, where for real money you can purchase limited creatures. Unlike most sites, however, the webmaster posts again and again in the news section to try and “encourage” people to buy. “20 more days to by Blooblah!!” “19 days and 50 minutes!” “Just 17 more days!” This is a spammers heaven. Creatures can be named but most names are already taken as they have to be unique. Eggs rely on clicks, views, and feeds depending on what type it is. The amount required for an egg to hatch varies, and can get quite high. If an egg or hatchling doesn’t get the amount of interactions it needs it will die. It is easy to keep an Egg Cave creature alive buy paying (with the sites currency) to have it fed. This keeps it alive, but doesn’t give it any actual feeds. It can take a while for an egg to die on its own, but can die very easily if taken off the paid feeding. Once the time paid for expires you must immediately sign your creatures up again, as they will all die in a week or less if you don’t. So, unless the rules have changed since then, as a member of this site you will be harassed constantly by others to click or feed their creatures, be constantly barraged with “requests” for your eggs, and if you don’t pay 100% attention to the site all the time, your creatures will all die. Have fun.

Virtuadopt – Yet another Pokemon site. I was member of this one before GPX and VDex. Unlike the other two, you can never tell what Pokemon egg you got, by looks or description. They all have the same generic Pokemon egg pattern. This means you can never actively search for the Pokemon you want, it’s all just luck. Eggs can take quite a long time to hatch, which makes the whole process even more frustrating. It’s very annoying to put in a lot of effort to hatch an unknown Poke only to end up with one you hate. The Pokemon are often ugly or strange looking, as the owner relies on one artists “interpretation” of the Pokemon, and cares little of what the users think. The promo and seasonal Pokemon are often quite cute, but difficult to obtain. You have a better chance of winning the more you click, but clicking on Virtuadopt is a difficult process. You have to click “View Virtuadopts” on someones profile or post in the forum, choose a box (some say don’t click), select all the Pokemon/eggs you want to click with a program like Snap Links, click the interaction link on each page, then scroll down to see if you’ve won. This takes a lot longer than most other adoptables sites. The website itself is also consistently slow for me. There is no need to think of a unique name when adopting an egg here, duplicates are allowed and it can be changed later. Most people name the eggs with a random string of letters. If you want to join a Pokemon adoptables site, I think VDex Project or GPX Plus would be more worth your time.

Avadopts – This is was is an Avatar: The Last Airbender adoptables site. The graphics for the eggs aren’t the best looking, but the majority of the sprites themselves are well made. Unfortunately the site has been having a lot of errors and other problems, including a troll hacking. Stay far away from this site and any other Avatar adoptables site. It is very unstable and you never know whether your adoptables will be there the next time you get on. This had potential to be a good site, if not in the hands of a weak-willed webmaster. On the 20th of September the owner had someone trolling the forum pretending to be Viacom employee. Despite the reassurance of members, and the owners own admittance that it was a troll, it has scared the owner (more his mother) so he decided shut it down, and might possibly create a new, “secret” one. The site does seem to still be there, however I will warn you now: if you come across this Avatar adoptables site stay away. Don’t waste your time on a site that may suddenly disappear one day because the webmaster is scared by a troll. The owner is obviously not mature enough to run a website, and will run at the first time of trouble (even if it’s only imaginary) if that’s what mommy says.

Honorable Mentions

Neopets – This is one of the classic virtual pet sites. I’ve been a member there since I was 14, and though I haven’t always been active, I am still a member to this day. I didn’t include it in my list because this is more of a corporation now. It’s not exactly an adoptables site, it’s a lot more than that, and adopting pets is only one aspect of it. In case you’re one of the few people who don’t know anything about Neopets here it is. On Neopets you create a Neopet. There are many available, some that you can only get certain times a year, and others that cost a great deal of NP, the sites currency. You earn NP from playing games, doing dailies, contests, and selling items. You can paint your pet, dress your Neopet up, train them for the Battledome, and do many other things. You have to be good at something to get ahead in Neopets. Whether you’re good at playing games, have very good reflexes, or just have good luck (and who has that?). Otherwise you’ll fall behind. Just like real life Neopets has a small group of wealthy Neopians, some middle class members, and a lot of dirt poor ones. So it’s good to find something to do on Neopets and stick with it. Without having a goal or hobby it is very easy to get bored or disillusioned with the site. Some people try to get all the avatars, training for the Battledome, get a Draik or a certain PB, customizing, etc. I am a customizer, meaning I like to dress up my pets with clothes, backgrounds, and accessories. With Neopets, just find something on the site that interests you and go with it.

Subeta – Like Neopets, Subeta has adoptable pets but that’s not the main focus. You earn sP (Subeta points) through games and other features. I really like Subeta and it gets addicting very quickly. Along with being able to change the look of your pets, you can also customize your human avatar as well. You see my generic starter avatar to the left, and a more developed one in the sidebar at the top of the page. Things cost a lot more on Subeta, and if you don’t know what you’re doing money can be harder to make. There are only 30 games, the majority of which you can only play every few hours. You don’t get much sP from them, and most are contests and other things you have to pay for. The only way to earn money on the site is through quests and restocking. I earned around 18 million sP in my first week through selling clothes, accessories, and a few potions/elixirs. However, the is one problem with this. Due to the small amount of users it is a battle to sell things. Everyone wants to have the lowest prices so their items sell. Because of this items quickly become no longer profitable. Items end up being sold for less than or equal to what they are priced in the main shops. Some members intentionally drive down the prices just to get a sale, dropping thousands price and destroying the market for both them and everyone else. In a matter of hours, one item dropped from 12000 sP down to 1501 due to the negligence of ignorant sellers. The problem is made worse by the use of autopricing. Autopricing is a feature available to Gold Account members, and it automatically sets the your shop prices to the lowest. Like everything else on the site, food and toys are very expensive. Once you use an item to play with your pet it disappears, and you can’t use it again. Food also does very little for a pets hunger, and doesn’t last very long. A pet can go from bloated to famished in less than a day. Rather than buying food and toys it’s a better to just put them in Lakeview Resort. This will keep your pet bloated and very happy for 100 sP a day per pet. Members tout the site as an older, more mature version of Neopets. The reason for this being it is not as censored, and some members say “it’s more violent”. Just because something is more adult doesn’t mean it’s not immature. While it is older, and lacks chat speak, the maturity level is about the same, especially if you are basing that opinion on the level of violence. Subeta has a long way to go, if this site wants to become more than a Neopets copycat they need to start thinking outside of the box.

Other Sites

I am not terribly acquainted with these sites, so I can’t review them, or deem them “the best” or “the worst” adoptables. However, the fact that I do not participate in them means that I generally do not like them, or have no interest in them. This is not a comprehensive list, there are many adoptables sites out there. These are just the ones I see most often, and am aware of.

UniCreatures – The quality of adoptables on this site varies. Some can be quite pretty and well made, others are not. There are several things you can do on the site, all detailed in their walk through guide. Like all other adoptable sites the main feature is the creatures. When you join you choose a starter pet and are given a guest account, and you can complete your registration later. When interacting with a creature you can feed them, play with them, or care for them. If you are a member interacting with a creature raises your chances of finding a mystery box, which can contain coins or an egg. The higher level your account is the more options are available to you, and the more you do on the site the more items and coins you get.

Dragonadopters – Dragonadopters is a dragon themed role playing site. Unlike other adoptables sites the sprites are animated. I don’t like the Dragonadopters creatures, I think they’re ugly. I’m also not a fan of RPing.

DNAdopts – A smaller adoptable site. The pets seem okay in quality, but not as HQ as others. You can adopt free pets, pets that cost virtual money (earned through interacting), and get some through random events. Some pets can breed, others cannot. You can find the sites guide in the forum under the Help and Bugs board.

Mythical Moments – A relatively new and bare bones site. There is not much here and there doesn’t appear to be much to do, and the site doesn’t seem to have a guide either, or even an about page to give you any kind of information on the site. Creatures can also die, which seems stupid considering how unknown the site is.

Flowergame – This is a good site for you if you like… gardening? You adopt seeds and the seeds grow into a plant. Um… maybe you should just get a potted plant? It would probably be less work.

Arvyre – Another newer adoptables site, and like Mythical Moments there is not much to it. All pets cost site currency to adopt, and new users are given 1000 silver to start out with. Unlike most other adoptables sites, money is only earned when your pet levels up, not by clicking other pets.

MyAdopts – MyAdopts isn’t actually an adoptables site itself, it’s a site that allows others to create other adoptable sites. If you see a site on this address, it’s probably best to stay away from it. The quality of these are usually very low, and there’s little to do.

MyWarriorCats – Some of these pets, like the Common Raccoon, Gray Wolf, and African Leopard, are very cute. Many are not. I also personally do not like the site. The virtual pets can get injured or killed, and when sent to the pound are “euthanized” after a certain amount of time. Isn’t there enough of that in real life, why do we need it online too? Many other sites delete pets that are abandoned or whose owners are inactive, but few are insensitive enough to say they “euthanize” them.

PokeFarm – Okay, I know all Pokemon adoptions sites will have some similarities, but come on. Earlier this year PokeFarm was a rip-off site of GPX Plus. And it looks like they still are, and not a very good one at that. If you want to join a Pokemon site, and you’re thinking about this one, do yourself a favor and join GPX Plus or VDex Project.

Pokeplushies – A better looking site than the above. While the site is called Pokeplushies they don’t deal exclusively in Pokemon adopts, and most Pokemon they do have are also artist interpretations, like Virtuadopt. The quality of the sprites and creatures seems good.

Mystic Grove – Another shoddy looking adoptables site with graphics right out of the 90′s. Even with NoScript turned off the site wouldn’t display correctly for me due to a Facebook application script on the site, so it was impossible for me to register to give many details on it. All I can say is I’ve seen the adoptables from this site, and they are not attractive in any way. If you are looking for an adoptables site with nice looking graphics, this is not it.