Zoo World's leveling up system is different than those of most popular social games. Instead of earning experience points, the game will task you with certain goals to meet before you reach the next level. These are akin to 'Achievements' that you'll find in other games, except that in Zoo World, they aren't just side quests to complete.
For example, to reach level 3, you'll have to buy an animal, recruit a zookeeper (more on that later), view your report card, and purchase a veterinarian. Future levels require you to purchase certain types of animals, reach a daily profit goal, attract a certain number of visitors and so on.
Leveling up unlocks additional animal species to purchase as well as map/island expansions so that you have space for more animal exhibits.
The other main metric of Zoo World is your Zoo Value. These are similar to experience points you might've found in other games -- in Zoo World, they're pretty much left on the back burner. They are not used to determine which animals are unlocked for your to purchase, for example. Heads up to competitive players -- Zoo Value determines your ranking on the game's leaderboard.
Since each species of animal must have their own zookeeper, you'll find yourself in need of helpers very quickly. Though you'll be able to hire zookeepers through the 'Staff' shop, the cheapest way to care for your animals is to recruit your friends. This is not the same as inviting a friend to play Zoo World, but rather works more like Restaurant City's friend system where you can use your friends in your game even if they're not playing the game.
Once 'recruited', each friend will automatically be assigned to one species of animal at your zoo. Right now, there's no way to manually choose which friend is responsible for which animal, but you can view the zookeeper in charge of each cage by clicking on the animal on your map.
Surprise - the biggest focal point of Zoo World is building your menagerie of animals. Luckily, there are a number of ways to do so.
The easiest way to acquire animals is to purchase them from the 'Shop' tab. The more variety of animals you buy, the more will unlock. You'll also unlock species as you complete goals and level up. Buying animals directly from the shop gets expensive, especially with Uncommon and Rare species, so smart zookeepers will utilize the game's other features to populate their parks.
First, you'll want to keep an eye on news feeds from friends who are also playing Zoo World. The game will give players the option of posting an adoptable animal to their Facebook wall every once in a while -- when you see a friend who has posted this, click 'Adopt' in the feed to claim it.
Like in most other social games, Zoo World also lets players 'gift' things to one another. An unlimited number of the more common zoo animals are available to send to friends, but you'll also be able to gift individual zoo animals currently in your possession. So if one of your friends has a rare animal that you want in your collection, offer up a trade.
If you want to simply increase the number of animals in your zoo (and not necessarily the number of species), you can turn to breeding. Only certain animals, such as the Bald Eagle, can breed, and you'll need at least two of the same species to get started.
Every 'Zoo Day' (five minutes in real-world time), you'll earn a profit based on how many people visit the zoo and your ticket price. Depending on how much your zoo is worth, visitors will be willing to pay a certain ticket price. So, if you're just starting out, setting your ticket price at $10 is not the best idea - you'll only get a small number of visitors because you probably only have a few animals and kiosks. But once you start accruing more species, staff and amenities, you'll find that you can raise your ticket price higher.
It's important to note that unlike in games such as Mafia Wars, you won't continue to generate a profit while you're away. You'll need to hit the 'Start Zoo Day' button to begin earning money again after a short period of inactivity (leaving Zoo World open without interacting with the game or closing the page entirely).
There are also a myriad of other ways to earn money in Zoo World. Every day (real day, not Zoo Day), you can earn a cash bonus simply by visiting each of your friends' zoos. In addition, you'll earn an even bigger bonus if you can find the 'daily treasure' hidden in one of their animals' cages (just click on each of the animals at their zoo and you'll eventually uncover it). You can see which friends' treasures you have yet to find by checking for a treasure chest icon above their name on the leaderboard.
You'll also receive a small bonus of cash when friends pay your zoo a visit as well.
And lastly, (this tip is probably a no-brainer to Pet Society or Restaurant City fans) click on trees! Trees in your zoo and friends' zoos occasionally spit out coins. You can even buy more trees for your zoo to increase the amount of cash you'll be able to find.
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