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Yes, you can pet the ‘dog’ in Avatar Frontiers of Pandora

While not quite a furry friend, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora lets you show your flying friend some affection as you explore the wilds.

Taming an ikran in Avatar Frontiers of Pandora

Launching to middling reviews this week, Ubisoft’s Far-Cry-like open world take on James Cameron’s Avatar film franchise, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is the latest game to answer one of the most important questions faced by all of games media: Can You Pet the Dog? Okay, so it’s actually your ikran – a flying dragon-like lizard – not actually a dog that you can pet, but in the far-off world of pandora, populated by blue-skinned cat people, carnivorous plant life and megafauna the size of a house, it’s as close as you’re going to get.

Gaming Fight Club posted a video of them petting their flying mount on YouTube. It’s a feature that’s easily missed, with many players seemingly unaware that they can give their scaly flying friend some head scritches when they have some downtime in the open-world game

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More than just a button prompt, Frontiers of Pandora uses a system similar to that used when harvesting materials for upgrades out in the world. After activating ‘petting mode’, you stroke your ikran’s snout by gently moving your mouse or controller joystick. Your pterodactyl-like pal will close their eyes to let you know when you’ve hit the sweet spot.

For those unfamiliar with Frontiers of Pandora, you won’t be able to obtain your flying mount straight away when you jump into the game, but compared to other sandbox games you will unlock flight surprisingly early on, in a sequence that fully takes advantage of the game’s breathtaking scenery. Once you’ve reached the 11th quest in the main story chain, aptly named ‘Take Flight’, you’ll set off on a quest to bond with your mountain banshee pal after scaling to Pandora’s iconic floating islands.

The ‘Can You Pet the Dog?’ movement was sparked by an X (formerly Twitter) account set up by The Verge social media manager and CollegeHumor alum Tristan Cooper, but has expanded to have its own website, TikTok, merch, and Steam curator page.

To hear more about how we felt that the game didn’t quite hit the mark, you can take a look at our Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora review. We felt that while the game had potential, it didn’t quite manage to capture the majesty and spirit of Cameron’s cinematic phenomenon. Alternatively, if you’re looking to explore the world of pandora alongside a blue-skinned pal, you can read our guide to Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora co-op.

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