League of Legends jungle pets are the “emotional support” we needed

The League of Legends jungle changes that accompanied Preseason 2023 give players Pokemon inspired pets, and Riot is happy with their current status in the MOBA

League of Legends jungle pets are the "emotional support" we needed: A woman crouched on one knee on a starry backdrop with her eyes closed leaning on a spear as blue wispy hair in a ponytail fans out behind her

The new League of Legends jungle changes provide players with a choice of three different Pokemon inspired pets who each grant a series of different buffs. Now that the system has had time to fully embed itself into the MOBA‘s ecosystem, lead designer Matt ‘Phroxzon’ Leung-Harrison has referred to them as the perfect “emotional support” for veterans and newcomers alike.

One of the main reasons for the League of Legends Season 13 jungle changes was to make the game’s most intimidating role more accessible to newer players (myself included, because I can’t jungle to save my life).

This fantasy is something Leung-Harrison feels has largely been fulfilled as a result of the new system. In a January 15 tweet he states that the changes are “easy to understand for veterans, but [are] a more intuitive metaphor for why things are happening for newer players.

“[Your] pet gives an understandable metaphor for why camps are getting damaged, why you get healed, why jungle gets bonuses from clearing camps, and an understandable metaphor for why the unlocks happen when they do (evolution), catchup mechanics (pet is starving) rather than some arbitrary rules. For newer players, this is far easier to understand.”

The pet system is made even more simple by the colours of the respective critters: the cat is red, the fox is blue, and the frog is green, representing damage, utility, and durability respectively. “While the text is a lot, realistically if you didn’t read any text and I asked after the game what the pet was doing, players probably get 60% of it.”

Overall he claims that the system is a “better fantasy,” joking “yeah the emotional support doesn’t hurt.” Several comments appear to echo his sentiments, with one player writing “I have had to play 99% jungle every time I play with my casual friends since no one wants to play it. The new season has been tremendously helpful in getting them to give it a try again.”

As someone who likes Evelynn far too much but has zero jungle experience, the pets seem like a great way for me to finally test out the sultry spectre and not get absolutely obliterated. It would make that Coven skin that I bought despite the fact I don’t play her actually worthwhile (#copium).

If you too would like to see how much you’ve spent on League of Legends and depress yourself like me, we have a guide for that. We also have a rundown of League of Legends patch 13.1 so that you’re up to speed with all things jungle and pet-like.