Please Pet the Animals
March 7, 2017 8:00 AM   Subscribe

What video games can I buy for PS4 that will let me hold, pet, and/or feed the random wild animals that I encounter in-game?

I just bought a Playstation 4, yay! Now I have to buy games for it! When I watch friends and loved ones play video games, I'm always telling them how they should pick up and pet the adorable wild animals. WELL GUESS WHAT apparently you can't pick up and pet the animals in Dragon Age or Skyrim. In my opinion that's a DAMN SHAME.

So: tell me about games where I can hold and/or pet the animals! If I can feed the animals but I can't hold or pet them, please note that in your answer. Also if it turns out I've been CRUELLY LIED TO regarding DA:I and/or Skyrim, please let me know that as well!

For the purposes of this question, I don't care about games where I can e.g. ride a horse but not pet, hold, or feed other random animals I encounter; games where an animal can follow me around as a companion or familiar but I can't lavish affection on it; or games that are not compatible with my PS4.
posted by capricorn to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (25 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
You can pet your pets in Far Cry Primal.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:04 AM on March 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

There's a Skyrim mod that lets you feed treats to dogs.
posted by zamboni at 8:08 AM on March 7, 2017

The Last Guardian is pretty much an entire game about just that (with the caveat that the animal ends up holding you rather than vice-versa, due to the size difference between you).
posted by sourcequench at 8:21 AM on March 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

The Last Guardian is pretty much an entire game about just that (with the caveat that the animal ends up holding you rather than vice-versa, due to the size difference between you).

I'll allow it! Follow up question: without specific spoilers, can someone tell me if this game is going to make me cry buckets?
posted by capricorn at 8:33 AM on March 7, 2017

Came in to say The Last Guardian. Controls can be a bit frustrating but it is a beautiful game and the animal is freeking adorable (in a huge giant beast sort of way). Some of the puzzles in the game are simply to find him food/treats. And you literally have to pet and cuddle him him sometimes in the game in order to calm him down and make him happy.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 8:35 AM on March 7, 2017

If you'll take "possibly stray dogs in an urban environment" vs "full-on-wild-animals", you can pet dogs in Watch Dogs 2. (My partner never found a way to interact with them beyond petting, no matter how hard I tried to convince him there MUST be a way to feed them treats or rub their bellies, sadly. But at least you can pet.)
posted by Stacey at 8:35 AM on March 7, 2017

You can feed (although not hold or pet) alien animals in No Mans Sky. But the game itself is dull & repetitive. Really, play The Last Guardian instead, it's much better. No spoilers from me, because I haven't got to the end yet. I haven't cried yet, but I have gasped.

You can also have a pet turtle in Firewatch.
posted by rd45 at 8:36 AM on March 7, 2017

> ... can someone tell me if [ The Last Guardian ] is going to make me cry buckets?

That's a hard question to answer without getting spoiler-y. But, if you are me: "Yes, but not for the reason you probably think. The overall tone is bittersweet rather than tragic."
posted by sourcequench at 8:44 AM on March 7, 2017

In Metal Gear Solid V you have a tactical stealth doggie that you can pet. Also a horse but I forget if you can pet the horse.

And you can "rescue" wild animals using balloons, and then visit your "collection" in your private army's zoo. On an oil platform. Because reasons. You can't feed or pet the wild animals though. The dog gets all the pets.
posted by neckro23 at 8:50 AM on March 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

It'll take a lot of time to get to this point, but there's a dog (Umbra) in Final Fantasy XV you can pet. You can only pet Umbra (no food, no cuddling), although he's also the source? catalyst? of a weird game mechanic that I won't spoil (but has nothing to do with petting him).

I'll probably take you a solid 30-40 hours to get to the point where you can pet him, though.
posted by minsies at 9:20 AM on March 7, 2017

Seconding MGS5. D-Dog is overall my favorite companion. You can pet him, although it's not the core of your interaction with him. But the arc of finding him, through to when you finish upgrading his gear, is very rewarding.
posted by radicalawyer at 9:22 AM on March 7, 2017

Just wanted to warn you that the suggestions offered may to varying degrees scratch that itch, but none of them are precisely what you're really looking for--which is basically "Cat Cafe Simulator 2000", a game I just made up.

The closest is Last Guardian, which is a game about a relationship you develop with a wild creature.

No Man's Sky is a game I enjoy a lot, and it does have an entire galaxy of randomly generated alien creatures, but it is fair to say everything in the game gets very repetitive and unless you can sublimate your desire for cuddling into the taxonomical cataloging of a planet's wildlife, probably not for you. I do get a not insignificant amount of joy from naming all the creatures I discover, but I also think one of the top pleasures of having a pet is coming up with a name for them.

All the other examples I can think of have animals and your interaction with them as very minor parts of a larger whole. Some of them are really easter eggs, even.

There have been games that approach what you're looking for other platforms. "Dogz", "Cats" and "Petz" is a series for PC that started in 1995, with the most recent release in 2014. Although that is better described as a pet adoption simulator.
posted by danny the boy at 10:19 AM on March 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh hey! Just to clarify, pet simulator type games are cute and fun (I've wasted joyously spent tons of time on Nekoatsume), but actually I'm really interested in games where I'm exploring an immersive world and if there happens to be an animal that I encounter, I can pick it up and possibly pet it. Like how in Ocarina of Time, I can make Link pick up chickens in the village. No Man's Sky, which I'm familiar with, is pretty close actually, but IIRC you can't pet/touch/carry any of the alien creatures.
posted by capricorn at 10:46 AM on March 7, 2017

Also, marking some best answers! Y'all rock!
posted by capricorn at 10:47 AM on March 7, 2017

Here's another one for you: Okami! In the game, you are a magic wolf and have all sorts of adventures. Apart from that, you can feed various animals with the appropriate food and they will sit next to you and eat it, make cute little gestures, and afterwards they display little flying hearts whenever you approach them. It's one of my favourite games. They have it for PS2 and PS3, and as far as I know it's not been re-released for PS4 yet, but I would keep an eye out for it in the online store.
posted by CompanionCube at 11:20 AM on March 7, 2017 [6 favorites]

Okami was also released on the Wii, for what it's worth.
posted by radiosilents at 11:26 AM on March 7, 2017

Though on the simplistic side, keeping your farm animals happy is a core mechanic in Stardew Valley. It includes petting and you get a cute little heart emoji as a reward. You also get bonus points for getting your dog or cat to the point where it loves you.
posted by Wossname at 12:34 PM on March 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

You can pet your pets in Far Cry Primal.

I would be cautious of this series at the same time, since the modern entries have an elaborate system of rewards for hunting and skinning as many creatures as you can - the more rare and endangered, the better. You use the animal skins to craft ammo bags that let you kill more animals and get more animal skins to craft bigger bags, etc. Critique or celebration of unbridled capitalist imperialism? Let the player decide.
posted by naju at 12:45 PM on March 7, 2017

Sorry, as I'm probably threadsitting at this point, but just to help keep the answers flowing: hunting and meat consumption don't bother me at all, so recommendations that also include animals you have to fight, hunt, eat, etc. are fine.
posted by capricorn at 12:50 PM on March 7, 2017

Does Minecraft meet your criteria? You can't pick up the animals but you can interact with them.
posted by freethefeet at 1:01 PM on March 7, 2017

Oh, I forgot it was on PS4 too: Ark: Survival Evolved lets you tame most of the animals/dinosaurs.
posted by neckro23 at 1:17 PM on March 7, 2017

you can pet dogs, cats, and cows in AC4, and also feed birds (chickens and parrots)

also you get to hunt down colonialist wankers of many nations
posted by poffin boffin at 1:55 PM on March 7, 2017

also i can't remember if there is also dog petting in ac: unity but there is definitely not any in syndicate
posted by poffin boffin at 1:57 PM on March 7, 2017

DAI was a huge step back in the pet-interaction department. You could play/talk with your dog in both Dragon Age Origins and DA2, but in DAI you don't even get a pet! This must be rectified in DA4. Apparently in Mass Effect Andromeda, you will be able to have a pet pyjak (space monkey) on your ship. A step up from fish, maybe?

Fallout 4 lets you have a dog companion that you can interact with. You can pet him when you first meet him, but I'm not sure that's repeatable... If you give him a teddy bear, he'll play with it! Also, he can wear a bandana and goggles. Very cute. Plus he can grab your enemies and hold them while you line up your headshots. Sweet.

Your Skyrim children can adopt pets--dogs, skeevers, foxes--and they'll play with them, but the player character can't do much.
posted by lovecrafty at 3:21 PM on March 7, 2017

It's not released in English until next month, but Persona 5 will let you take your cat to the movies, among other things. Can't wait.
posted by asperity at 6:46 AM on March 9, 2017

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