Planet Zoo is a fun and addictive game that lets players explore their creative side. But with so many animals, and buildings it can be an extremely challenging game too.
If you’re not playing sandbox mode, one of the biggest challenges can be to build up enough funds to keep your zoo running, and expanding, so focusing on making money quicker is often one of the first challenges to overcome.
Here’s a quick overview of our complete Planet Zoo guide, tips & tricks to help you build the perfect zoo, keep cash flowing, and make sure that both your guests and animals are happy.
Planet Zoo Tips & Tricks
- 1. Play the Career Mode first
- 2. Begin With Some Basic Animals
- 3. Start by Spending Cash (Rather Than Conservation Credits)
- 4. Breed Animals for Conservation Credits
- 5. Place Donation Boxes Strategically
- 6. Sell Plenty of Merchandise
- 7. Hire Enough of the Right Staff
- 8. Keep an Eye on the Animal Ratio
- 9. Use Contraception if Needed
- 10. Make Use of Guest Entrances
- 11. Use the Steam Workshop
- 12. Maintain Your Zoo Efficiently
- 13. Double Up on Walk-In Enclosures
- 14. Create Set Routes
- 15. Create Enough Coverage
- 16. Download Other People’s Zoos
- 17. Increase the Food Quality
- 18. Use Interspecies Enclosures
- 19. Train Your Security Guards
- 20. Use Work Zones
- Bonus Tip: Exhibit trading:
Starting your zoo may seem daunting, that’s why we’ve created this Planet Zoo guide for you! We’ve played Planet Zoo since the Beta and have spent a lot of time wading through the muck so you don’t have to. We’ve put together the best Planet Zoo tips and tricks to make your life easier.
1. Play the Career Mode first
Naturally, I dove straight in when I played the beta. However, this is definitely not the best way to play in my opinion. Planet Zoo may be an AWESOME game, but the tutorials certainly lack somewhat.
Now that we have the Planet Zoo release, it’s time to go back to basics. The Planet Zoo Career Mode takes you through the most important parts of the game, it’s also a great way to familiarize yourself with Planet Zoo DLC content, each time a new DLC comes out with a new career scenario.
This includes features such as how to keep your animals happy, create lush habitats for them, and how your guests can interact with the animals in the zoo.
Although we have many more Planet Zoo tips and tricks, I would urge you to take on the Career Mode beforehand. It might just save you from yourself!
2. Begin With Some Basic Animals
Whilst it may be tempting to dive straight in and deliver some lions to your zoo, I’d like to steer you away from that prospect. What I would consider more advanced animals are going to pose problems due to their high maintenance.
Starting with smaller animals like the tortoise and springbok, you’re going to have a much easier ride. These animals are much easier to maintain and you’ll find you’re able to meet their enrichment needs much quicker.
You’ll soon discover that these animals can be just as profitable in earning Conservation Credits. This will get you well on your way to creating the best zoo ever.
3. Start by Spending Cash (Rather Than Conservation Credits)
When you start your first zoo, you might want to hold back on spending conservation credits, using cash to buy animals that you can then breed is much easier than trying to make conservation credits in the first place.
As mentioned below, you can start using animals that you have bred to make some conservation credits, but until you have a zoo with a wide variety of animals and plenty of new ones being born, stick to spending cash.
4. Breed Animals for Conservation Credits
Whilst it may seem like a bit of a cash cow thing to do, breeding your animals can be very profitable. When you buy animals for cash money, you can’t release them to the wild for Planet Zoo Conservation Credits.
If you want to earn Planet Zoo Conservation Credits, I suggest turning your best animals into breeding pairs. Once they produce offspring, you can let them lose to the wild in return for Credits.
5. Place Donation Boxes Strategically
A lot of Planet Zoo is about making money. The more money you make, the better the zoo you can build. It’s all about the money, money, money!
One of my Planet Zoo tips is to place donation boxes around your zoo so that your guests can throw in their hard-earned cash. Don’t cover your zoo in them, rather place them tactically where crowds are gathering for a boost to your profits.
6. Sell Plenty of Merchandise
Guests LOVE merchandise! Who doesn’t like a balloon to walk around with all day, inevitably getting palmed off to Mum or Dad?
Place merchandise shops around your zoo so guests can indulge in what they want. Merchandise shops will bring in a steady revenue to your zoo so that you can spend money on things your guests (and keepers) need.
7. Hire Enough of the Right Staff
Hiring the right number of the correct staff members is essential in running your zoo. Whilst vets and caretakers are needed, mechanics and keepers will keep your zoo ticking over nicely.
Planet Zoo keepers will ensure your animals are kept alive. They will feed them, fill their water bowls, and clean up their mess (they make a lot of it). Planet Zoo mechanics maintain your animal habitats; they’ll check for damage to their enclosures as well as water treatments and power.
When you first start your zoo, you’ll need to build the following staff facilities. Soon after, you will need ALL of the facilities, but these Planet Zoo tips will get you by with the basics. Start with the following:
- Trade Centre
- Staff Room
- Keeper Hut
8. Keep an Eye on the Animal Ratio
When animal’s needs are met, they are naturally going to be happier and will probably show that in the way of making babies.
Baby animals are great; they’ll earn you money (by selling them), increase your zoo’s reputation, and they are pretty awesome to look at.
However, you’ll need to keep an eye on the ratio of your animals. Too many males in one enclosure can cause fighting. The fight for Alpha male status is rife and can end up with high vet costs and guest dissatisfaction.
9. Use Contraception if Needed
Following on from the above, you can use contraception if animal mating is getting out of control. You don’t want to get into an unmanageable situation.
There’s a simple toggle you can use when viewing an animal in its enclosure. Simply click on it to toggle contraception on/off. It’s easy enough to switch if things get too much, or you want more cute babies to look at.
10. Make Use of Guest Entrances
How to use Planet Zoo guest entrances is a question I get asked a lot. If you click on the link, you’ll be able to view a step-by-step guide that we’ve kindly created for your viewing pleasure!
You will have to use a little common sense though. Unless you want to see your guests being added to a lion’s delicious meal, think carefully about where you place them.
Guest entrances make guests HAPPY! And we all want happy guests, right? When Planet Zoo guests can’t see animals well enough in their habitats, they’re going to start to moan. Follow our handy guide to make sure this doesn’t happen.
11. Use the Steam Workshop
If like me you have an off day in terms of creativity, you can make use of the Steam Workshop. There’s a wealth of beautifully designed buildings and habitats for you to sink your teeth into.
The Planet Zoo Steam Workshop has plenty of blueprints that you can use in your own zoo. Make sure to leave a comment and appreciate the creators, as it takes a lot of time and effort to create such awesome content.
12. Maintain Your Zoo Efficiently
Maintaining your zoo can be difficult to start with, but as you start making some more money in Planet Zoo, it does become easier.
Simple things you can do include hiring extra staff to make sure that enclosures are repaired, more janitors to keep the park tidy, and ensuring there are enough bins around the park can help keep guests happier, and happy guests have healthy wallets.
13. Double Up on Walk-In Enclosures
As mentioned above, guest gates and airlocks are a great way to increase happiness and make more money. Personally, I found this to be one of the best Planet Zoo tips for making big bucks quickly.
But you can actually further increase the revenue by adding small animal exhibits inside the walk-through enclosures, with well-placed donation bins, I’ve watched the money fly in with this method.
The most important tip for this is to make sure that the paths are wide enough and the enclosure is big enough to handle large crowds. Having multiple types of animals in small proximity in my experience has drawn very big crowds, leading me to have to redesign enclosures.
14. Create Set Routes
Have a walk-through enclosure? that’s great. But what is better than a walk-through enclosure? Two or three walk-through enclosures.
Make set routes that lead through multiple enclosures, by doing this you are making guests pass through exhibits they may possibly have missed and increased the chances of them making donations.
15. Create Enough Coverage
Make sure that you have a good balance between visibility and coverage. If animals do not have enough hiding spots, they will tend to get stressed out, this will increase the chances of protesters and even health issues with animals.
But at the same time, too much coverage means that your guests will not be able to see the animals in which they will not be happy and will be less likely to donate to that particular animal.
16. Download Other People’s Zoos
As well as cool enclosures, shops, and other items, you can download entire zoos from the Steam workshop.
Similar to writer’s block, I have often found myself stuck in parts of my zoo, not knowing how to continue with it and improve it.
By downloading other people’s zoos, I have been able to get the inspiration I need to continue where I left off and get my zoo completed.
There are some pretty cool designs out there too, if you haven’t already, I highly recommend taking a look at the zoo’s selection available on the Steam workshop.
You can take a look at the entire list of Zoo’s that can be downloaded here. Once you have subscribed and downloaded the zoo, you will find them under your own zoo in-game.
You can even continue working on someone else’s zoo too, should you feel like you can expand on their creativity.
17. Increase the Food Quality
This isn’t actually obvious that you can change the food quality straight away, but doing so can have a massive impact on animal health and behavior, as well as upkeep costs.
In my opinion, the most important thing in your zoo is having happy animals, so even though the tier 3 food will cost you a lot more money, it’s definitely worth upgrading and having happier animals and therefore happier gusts.
Another great benefit to upgrading the quality of the food is you will have less chance of seeing protestors in your park, due to happier animals.
18. Use Interspecies Enclosures
Take a look at the Zoopedia from time to time, you will notice many of the animals can be in enclosures together, even if they are from a completely different species.
Of course, don’t go sticking a Lion in with a Zebra, stick to the handy dandy guide which offers you a full list of what species can live together in harmony.
Not only does this help save space, but it will also increase the happiness of guests, as they love seeing multiple animals at once, this is how I figured out the exhibition in an enclosure tip mentioned above.
19. Train Your Security Guards
Vandals are a big problem as your zoo becomes bigger. Make sure that you have enough security and cameras around the zoo to stop them in their tracks.
Once you start reaching around the 2,000 visitors mark, you will notice that security issues can start to become an even bigger thorn in your side.
This is where you will want to start making sure that you have trained them up too, having enough cameras and guards at this point in the game, just isn’t going to cut it, they need to be good at their job too.
Once you have well-placed cameras, well-trained staff, and good work routes you will notice a sizable decrease in security issues.
20. Use Work Zones
You might not need to worry too much about this when you are starting out in the game, but later down the line, once your zoo is bigger, things may become much less productive without correct zoning.
In my opinion, there is no set guide for work zones, I couldn’t tell you have a zone X sized and hire X amount of staff to cover that area, you will need to keep tweaking it to hit that sweet spot that keeps enclosures feed and cleaned as well as the rest of the park running.
If you are starting to see messages saying enclosures are dirty or animals are hungry, there is a strong chance that you need to get better work zones in place, that is of course assuming you do in fact have enough staff to handle the park’s current capacity.
If you are not sure if you have enough staff, hire more, if you find out that zoning was the issue, it’s not a problem, fire them, they’re digital they won’t hold a grudge!
Bonus Tip: Exhibit trading:
Selling an exhibit animal doesn’t make you a huge amount of cash, but sell 20 and you have a different story.
When you start the zoo create a couple of exhibits and put a breeding pair of animals in, but when choosing, pick a spider or something that produces a larger amount of babies.
Also make sure they have a high rating, once they start breeding they will quickly start filling up the exhibit, selling these and also others from a few exhibits will get you in the money pretty quickly.
One of the hardest things I found was meeting my guest’s needs for education. Placing down educational speakers is a great way to achieve this and it’s really simple to do!