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CAUTION!
Guide-sign This article is a personal guide. Information expressed in this guide is one player's opinion and may be more opinion than fact. Strategies and information contained herein may not work for everyone.

No non-minor changes should be made without consulting the author. Changes or questions should be discussed on the talk page.

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Last updated February 2020


Arael's Chocobo Raising Guide


Chocobo raising is a fun, exciting, and challenging part of the game. I've been breeding and racing birds for over a decade now. I found myself wishing that I'd known more of what I was doing earlier on, saving me time and money (and salvaging my first poor birds); I hope that this guide will help others to be more informed.

I began compiling this guide when I realized that it was inconsiderate and next to impossible to modify the vast amount of information that I've found to be untrue on the Chocobo Raising page, the Chocobo Raising Guide, and various related articles.

This guide pulls upon my personal experiences with raising over 20 chocobos (and counting), as well as the research done by other chocobo breeders. I have not included anything that has been disproven by my experience or that of others, and have tried my hardest to not entertain unfounded theories.

Please, please, please post your experiences on the Talk page, especially if you've disproven any of the information on this page.

I wrote this guide for people who desire more than just an Emergency Chocobo. If you simply desire a whistle to get you out of a pinch and don't care how fast the bird is or how long you can ride it, skip down to Emergency Chocobo.


YellowChocoboFeather

What You Will Need

  • At least 29 days (and more if you want a good chocobo!)
    • Not a lot of time is required – you can fully care for a chocobo in as little as 6 minutes (choosing brief reports and walks).
    • I do recommend, however, checking your chocobo every day. The positive effects of your affection cannot be replaced by any care plan.
  • Research
    • Use common sense – don’t believe everything you read.
  • Feed
  • Chocobucks (if you've raised a chocobo previously) are extremely helpful but not strictly necessary. Unfortunately they're quite expensive to acquire.
    • With these you can purchase hard-to-obtain food, ingredients for chocobo feed, and tokens or training sessions to raise your bird's stats.
    • Note that without Chocobucks you will be unable to fully max your chocobo's stats!
  • A lot of patience!!!


You do not need a Chocobo License to raise a chocobo, but if you don't have it, you cannot ride your bird even with your personal Chocobo Whistle. A level 1 character can raise a chocobo.


Breeding

Color

There have been numerous arguments about how to obtain colored chocobos. My experience has pointed unerringly toward genetics, but I wanted to bypass the theories and go straight to the source.

According to SquareEnix:

  • "The resulting offspring may exhibit the attributes or coloring of its parents." [1]
  • "Each egg is encoded with its own specific genetic information, and some players may come across an extremely rare variety." [2]

SquareEnix definitively links breeds (genetic lines) and colors. [3]

  • Note that in practice color is merely cosmetic; it does not reflect a certain "breed" of chocobo.

Therefore, looking at color from a purely genetic standpoint (and trying not to delve too far into Biology 101)...

  • Each animal inherits two pieces (alleles) of a gene (in this case, color), one from each parent. The overwhelming number of yellow chocobos and the relative difficulty of getting a colored chocobo suggests that the yellow allele is dominant and that other colors are recessive.
  • Colors other than yellow could potentially be dominant over other non-yellow colors, but I don't have enough data compiled to make that claim. It's an ongoing project of mine, and I will update this if I ever manage to get enough dependable information to be able to state definitively what color (if any) are dominant to others. Thus far I haven't noticed any such pattern.
  • Genetically, two yellow parents with heterozygous (mixed) parentage have a 25% chance of birthing a colored chick.
    • This means that we bred two yellow birds (yellow phenotype - the external appearance) with recessive color alleles (Cc genotype, with C indicating yellow - dominant - color, and c denoting any other color), both results of mating a color (cc) and a yellow (CC or Cc) bird...
    • We would have a 25% chance of a colored chick (cc) - (All right!)
    • A 50% chance of a yellow chick with recessive color again (Cc genotype) - (Sorry, try again!)
    • And a 25% chance of a homozygous yellow chick (CC) - (Start over!)
    • Granted, all you see is the phenotype (yellow) so you can't tell if the chick is heterozygous or homozygous.
  • Two homozygous same-colored parents will always birth a chick of the same color.
    • This means that if we bred two red birds who both had purebred red parents (homozygous, rr) then we should have no chance of getting a different color - we're guaranteed a red chocobo.
  • The trick is knowing the color of the parents' parents!


Curiosity hasn't killed the mithra... yet.

If we got adventurous (or curious) and bred two different colored birds (homozygous - with parents and grandparents of the same color), say a red (rr) and a blue (bb)...

  • Well... I'm still working on that. This comes back to the possibility of colors besides yellow being dominant among the other four colors.
  • I can guarantee we won't get a yellow, black, or green chocobo though.

I've been experimenting with colors aside from yellow to see if any seem to be dominant over others.

  • I've got a line of mixed black and blues for which I've created a nice, long, detailed genealogy spreadsheet (yep, I'm an obsessed dork, in case it hasn't become clear thus far). From this I have yet to find evidence that any color besides yellow is dominant.
    • I've had black chicks whose parentage was 3/4 blue and vice-versa.
    • I had yellow chicks that were definitely 3/4 red (from a pureblood red bird of mine and a red bird of unknown but now-suspicious parentage)
  • I'm currently breeding some of my 1/2 black and 1/2 blue birds with one of the yellow chocobos with red parents to see if I can discern a dependable pattern. I'm expecting to get mostly yellow chicks, but here's hoping I get a few surprises!

If you've bred any mixed-color chocobos, please leave your results on my Talk Page.

Ok... now that I've bored the heck out of you, I'll be stepping back off my genetic color pedestal now.


It is possible to get a colored chocobo from a bought or quested egg, but the most reliable way is to breed two birds of the same color.


Gender

Gender seems to be random unless you choose a VCS Honeymoon plan that increases the chance of a male or female chick being born (Gourmet and Hiking plans, respectively). That, however, is nowhere near guaranteed.

The claim on the Chocobo Raising Guide that it is difficult to receive a chick of a different gender once you've already had one is unfounded. My chocobos have disproven that easily; male and female seem to be a 50/50 chance regardless of the gender of your previous chocobos. See the discussion on that talk page for others' opinions.


Eggs

Chocobo eggs come in a variety of types as far as the "temperature" of the egg.

I have seen no pattern of different egg temperatures affecting a chocobo in any way. You might hear people say that certain warmth of egg will give you a certain gender, color, attributes, or what have you, but my research has not supported these theories.

Per SE: [4]

  • “There aren’t any chocobo eggs that produce a specific color, so you’ll need to try out different combinations.”


Chocobo eggs can be obtained in a number of ways:


Chococards

These are the items that carry the information about the chocobos you wish to breed. You can present two of these and a VCS Honeymoon Ticket to Finbarr to receive an egg to raise.

Note that a Chococard is not the same thing as a VCS Registration Card, which you receive when your chocobo is retired. Chococards can be traded or sold by bazaar; registration cards are EX and cannot be replaced. If you lose a registration card, your chocobo's information is gone forever.

  • After years of requesting (ok, fine, begging) SE to allow chococards to be sent via characters on the same account, my wish was finally granted. (Yay!)


Honeymoon plans

A little boy in Jeuno, Finbarr, seems to be as enthusiastic about breeding chocobos as I am! Go to him and pick a plan to have the birds you'd like to breed get to know each other. Don't worry, the entire cutscene is rated G.
VCS Honeymoon

A Chocobo Honeymoon!

With these plans your chick can potentially inherit one of its parents' attributes!

  • Stat bonuses from plans are largely unreliable.
  • Inheritable abilities and gender are somewhat more reliable but still nowhere near guaranteed.
    • Your chocobo can be born with no abilities at all.
    • Should your chocobo inherit (or learn) an ability that you did not desire, that can be remedied. (More information on that under Specialized Feed.)


Chocobos

Chocobo stages and colors

Timeline

Egg: Days 1-3

So you have an egg... now what?

"Plant" the egg at a convenient time.

  • The chocobo's day does not turn over at JP midnight, but every 24 hours from the time it was started (not last checked on).
  • I like "planting" mine in the middle of the night, so I can check on it at any time during the day.
    • It's annoying to have to wait til, say, 12:45 and 1:15 in the afternoon to check your chocobos, especially if you're on a tight schedule.

Location (location, location!)

  • Chocobos can be raised in any of the stables in the three starter nations. Once you trade your chocobo egg to a trainer you cannot care for it in another city.
  • Location is honestly not critical. I recommend choosing the city that is easiest for you to access on a regular basis, since you're going to be there often (hopefully every day).
  • You do not have to raise your chocobo in the city that you plan to race it in.
  • Raising your chocobo in a certain city can give you early access to some stories that you can tell your chocobo to teach it an ability, but you have to have a certain amount of discernment to learn those abilities, and there's not a huge rush to do so.
    • Any ability can be learned from any city; the only difference is how long it takes to get the story.
    • Racers:
    • Diggers:
    • Remember, though, that these abilities cannot be learned before adolescence or before reaching at least A bit deficient discernment, so I don't recommend basing your choice of where to raise your bird on this factor.
  • Weather also varies between the three cities. A common theory is that your chocobo can develop a weather preference when taking regular and long walks in a zone with that weather.
    • Weather preferences affect both racers and diggers, but you cannot choose what conditions your chocobo winds up liking or disliking, and developing such a preference seems to be quite random (within the parameters of the available weather in the particular zones). Many chocobos never develop a preference. For more information, please see the related section below.
    • I don't base my choice of location on this phenomenon, but to each their own.


Watch the Egg

This is the only care option while the chocobo is in the egg stage, and unlike other life stages, the egg will have no limit on the amount of active care you can do.
Previously for chocobos to be born with high affection you had to watch the egg a ridiculous number of times; for your chick to be born at the highest level of affection ("regards you as its parent") you had to watch over it 100 times (yes, 100!) in the three days before it hatched.
Now, thankfully, an egg that is not checked on after being dropped off will still hatch at max affection.

Watching the egg will give you three different messages on the three days of the egg stage:

  • Day 1: "Your egg feels the tender warmth of your gaze."
  • Day 2: "The chick inside the egg seems to want out."
  • Day 3: "The chick inside the egg seems anxious to meet you!"
YellowChocoboFeather
ChocoboChick WatchOver

Your newborn chick

Chick: Days 4-18

"Your chocobo is… (fe)male!"

  • You will discover the gender of your chocobo as soon as it hatches on day 4.

You will find out if your chick inherited any of its parents' abilities!

All chicks are yellow. Chocobos do not display color until adolescence.

You may now name your chocobo.

  • Choose carefully, as you cannot change a chocobo's name after it is chosen.
  • You do not have to name it immediately.
    • I generally wait for adolescence to verify my chick's color before giving it a name (though I hate seeing it being referred to as "Chocobo" the entire 15 days of …er… chickhood).
    • I like to name the chick something related to its color and parentage to aid me in keeping track of who is who (without having to whip out my genealogy spreadsheet every single time), and to make it easier to later sell their Chococards to other breeders.
  • Name your chocobo before day 65 or your VCS Chocobo Trainer will name your bird themselves!
    • Upon returning after a break from the game I checked on a poor chick that had been abandoned:
      • "But, Lastarael… You still haven’t named it.
      • "I guess it’s up to me to give the poor animal a name, then. From now on, your chocobo will be known as…"
    • A VCS-appointed name will be one word (ex. Baron, Friend) and seems to be chosen at random, regardless of gender.

Progress:

  • With good care, your chick may have its highest stat reach E, Substandard, between days 8-15.
  • Your chocobo's highest stat may reach D, A bit deficient, between days 14-21.
YellowChocoboFeather

Adolescent: Days 19-28

BlueAdolescentChocobo

Adolescent blue chocobo

Day 19 is monumental in chocobo raising for anyone hoping for a colored chocobo!
  • If you're wanting a colored bird, then you'll be hoping to see that the tips of the feathers on your adolescent chocobo are a color other than white.
    • On some screens it's difficult to tell the difference between blue and black tips. Enlarge the picture at the top of this section for comparison.
  • If your adolescent has white-tipped feathers, and you're really concerned about having a colorful ride, then you'll have to start over with a new egg.
  • However, color is not everything. It will not affect stats, personality, abilities, or anything besides how you and others see your chocobo. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?
  • Also, it is possible to dye your adult chocobo's feathers using Chocobucks, but this will only change your bird's color when you are riding it; in cutscenes, including races, it will appear as its true color.
    • Dyed chocobos do not take on the same hues as naturally colored chocobos.

Your chocobo's personality is frozen at day 19.

In this stage your chocobo becomes susceptible to illnesses and injuries, and can now run away from home if it is neglected.

You can start telling stories of the abilities you want your chocobo to have.

  • Generally, the chocobo must have discernment of A Bit Deficient or higher to learn a story.


Progress:

  • With good care, your adolescent may reach Average between days 24-27.
  • Your chocobo may reach Better than average between days 27-33.
YellowChocoboFeather


Adult: Days 29-128

On Day 29 you will receive the message:

"Chocobo has finally grown large enough to ride!
"Chocobo is becoming one fine bird, if you ask me!"

You may notice that your chocobo looks different than stable chocobos.

They will take on the characteristics of their dominant (highest) stat.
ChocoFeet Strength
large feet and talons:
ChocoSTR
ChocoTail Endurance
more tail feathers:
ChocoEND
ChocoHead Discernment
elongated beak:
ChocoDISC
ChocoRegular Receptivity
no change:
ChocoSad
Adult Chocobo STR END

Black adult with both STR and END characteristics.

A chocobo with strength and endurance tied as its highest stats will have both larger feet and more tail feathers:


These physical changes may not reflect the previously frozen personality, as both are dependent on the current highest stat at the time (on Days 19 and 29, specifically).

The option to "Give up chocobo raising" is now replaced by "Retire your chocobo."

  • There is no need to retire your bird unless you want to immediately start raising another chocobo.

Upon reaching adulthood you can:

  • Get your Chocobo Whistle.
  • Purchase a Chococard for your bird for a fee of 300 gil.
  • Register your bird with a CRA team of your choice, which allows you to:
    • Begin increasing stats via intense training and R Chocotrains (covered later in this guide).
    • Participate in races (though I don't recommend jumping right into racing at day 29, as it will be a waste of gil until your bird's stats improve).
    • Play the Chocobo Hot and Cold game.
  • Re-register your chocobo to take advantage of stat changes. This can be done through the main chocobo menu.


Progress:

  • As an adult your chocobo's stat(s) may be leveling up once every 5 days.
  • Between days 40-50, with optimal care, your bird should have two First class (SS) stats -- either STR and END or DSC and RCP -- assuming you have only focused on either physical or mental stats up to this point..
  • If your bird is not progressing as quickly as you hoped, remember that stats are easily improved before Day 64!

On Day 43 you will be told:

"You've done a great job raising this chocobo. Now is the best time to improve its attributes.
"And I must say, Chocobo is beginning to develop quite a distinguished air. You're a natural at this!"
Don't let this go to your head though - I bet even Dietmund heard this line before.

On the dreaded Day 64 you will get the message:

"Chocobo's growth seems to have stabilized. The animal has developed quite a distinguished air.
"And I must say, Chocobo seems quite satisfied. You have raised one fine animal."
Now you can no longer rely on care plans to increase stats.
  • Set your care plan to Basic Care from this point on. While care plans won't increase stats, they will continue to decrease them!
    • This seems to have been adjusted. My most recent birds' stats have stayed the same despite being left on tier 3 care plans for weeks after day 64.
    • However, care plans will decrease the energy available for active care, and higher tier care plans will decrease affection daily. The minuscule amount of gil you receive from care plans isn't worth the money you'll have to spend on greens in order to keep affection high. There's no reason to continue any care plans besides Basic Care after day 64.
  • Food can still be used to increase (and decrease) stats.
    • This also seems to have been changed during my last break from the game. After pouring money and chocobucks into a ridiculous number of celerity and tornado salads, which should have increased DSC by two levels by that point, I observed no change. I've had a similar experience with carrots on other birds since returning to the game as well.
    • Food will (thankfully) still impact affection.
  • The most reliable (though painfully slow) method of leveling stats is to use Chocotrains and Intense Training. More information on how to do this can be found below in the Chocobucks section of this guide.
  • If you're going to use Chocobucks to improve your bird, keep it active in the stables until forced retirement on Day 129. The improvement tokens (R Chocotrains, or Race Chocobo Training Tokens) and "intense training" for birds still residing in the stables are slightly cheaper than the Chocotrains used to raise the stats of retired birds.
  • It is absolutely possible to learn an ability after day 64, despite rumors to the contrary, though it seems to be more difficult with certain stories.
    • I've done some testing on this, and the only stories that I had more difficulty with were those that were already difficult to learn, such as the Worrisome story. Other stories were successfully learned or inspired the bird with as few as one telling.


YellowChocoboFeather


Retirement: Day 129

On Day 129 your chocobo will be dragged away... er, forcibly retired... to the VCS's retirement farms.

Of course, you also have the option to retire your chocobo after adulthood.

  • Do this only if you want to start raising a new chocobo immediately!

Upon retirement...

  • You will see a long cutscene memorializing your chocobo's life with you.
  • You will be given your chocobo's VCS Registration Card and a plaque of your chocobo's color to decorate your Mog House:
VCSPlaques

After retirement...

  • You can still call your chocobo with its whistle.
  • You may continue to buy Chococards with your bird's information for breeding purposes.

To recharge your whistle or buy Chococards, trade your Registration Card to your VCS trainer.

  • NEVER throw your VCS Registration Card away! If you lose it, all traces of your chocobo are gone forever!

You can still race your chocobo after retirement.

  • However, now you can only make changes to your bird's stats through Chocotrains (not the slightly cheaper R Chocotrains).


Statuses

Positive Statuses

ChocoboHighSpirits

Chick in High Spirits

"High spirits" is a desirable status, as opposed to all others. It can come in a variety of forms:

  • "Chocobo is in high spirits."
  • "Chocobo seems quite (or 'pretty') perky lately. It should be responsive to anything you give it now."
  • "Chocobo has been receiving plenty of affection, and seems extremely happy. It is in excellent condition now!"
  • "Chocobo is so full of energy today!"
  • "Chocobo is so full of energy today! Now’s your chance to get in some rigorous physical training!"
    • When the physical high spirits status wears you will be told: "Chocobo has burned through that excess energy and calmed down a little."
  • "Chocobo seems unusually bright and focused today! Now's your chance to get in some rigorous mental training!"
    • When the mental high spirits status wears you will be told: "Chocobo seems to have had its fill and has calmed down."

It's possible to get "high spirits" status when not at top affection level, or while your bird is also suffering from a negative status ailment.

It's possible to retain this positive status for days on end.

It's possible to get multiple types of high spirits at one time. From my experience it seems that these effects stack.

Coming down from high spirits does not indicate that something is wrong.

High spirits may increase affection gained during active care.

High spirits will decrease the amount of energy expended during care.

  • Physical high spirits decreases the amount of energy used on walks and possibly races (the active care option "Compete against others").
  • Mental high spirits decreases the amount of energy used on stories.
  • Note that you will not be allowed to use an active care option that would normally require more energy than your chocobo has left.
    • For example, even if your chocobo used about 30% energy on two long walks while in "physical" high spirits, you can’t undertake another long walk with the remaining 40% energy because the normally required energy is approximately 50%.

Per Square Enix:

"Two new beneficial statuses "bursting with vitality" and "sparkling with intelligence" have been added. When a chocobo is affected by these, not only will training programs yield better results, but the chocobo will also be more receptive to physical and mental stimulation." [5]
This seems to have been replaced by:
  • "Now's your chance to get in some rigorous physical training!" and
  • "Now's your chance to get in some rigorous mental training!"


Negative Statuses

Negative statuses…

  • Do not affect energy.
  • Can go away on their own, even after 1 day.

With negative statuses…

  • You can care for chocobo as usual (including walks and races) without exacerbating the condition.
  • Your chocobo can still learn abilities.

So what do negative statuses do?

  • Some seem to decrease affection faster than usual (such as with boredom or lovesickness).
  • May or may not influence the outcome/potency of chocobo’s care plan.
    • I've seen claims that sick chocobos “level up” more slowly, but have not seen evidence of this firsthand.

Remedying negative statuses

  • Chocobos cannot die, so if you can’t afford the food to treat illness it will eventually go away on its own
    • Note that illness may get worse before it gets better.
  • Negative status conditions cannot be remedied on the same day. You must wait for the chocobo’s day to turn over to see a result.
  • Feeding the suggested remedy will most likely result in chocobo being healed the next day.
  • You only need to feed one.
    • It is very, very rare to see a chocobo fail to recover after receiving the recommended treatment. I've only ever observed it two or three times with illness. After feeding another tokopekko wildgrass the next day the illness cleared up. It caused no problems at all, so I recommend only using one item unless you run into this situation.
  • Note: on the Chocobo Raising Guide someone wrote:
    • "I have discovered that if I feed the chocobo the medicinal grass/paste until the VCS trainer says something to the effect of “I hope it gets well soon,” then it will get well by the next update. If I only feed it one piece and the trainer does not comment, it always needs more medicinal feed the next update and has often become even more sick."
    • "I hope it gets well soon" is not an indicator of a negative status being healed.
      • This message can be received when feeding any type of food (such as carrots) to a sick chocobo.
  • A Celerity Salad (or its HQ equivalent, the Tornado Salad) can be used to cure any negative status. These are my favorite chocobo feed in the game. In addition to remedying any status - and multiple statuses at once! - they give a slight bonus to affection and a hefty DSC increase (thought to be approximately +4 DSC).
    • Unfortunately, they can be very expensive on the AH or when purchased with chocobucks, and are rarely (read: never) crafted.
    • Therefore, if you have low DSC and are focusing on physical stats (i.e. if you are not concerned about decreasing what DSC your bird already has), or if you do not need DSC for your bird (as when raising a mount), I recommend just feeding the suggested remedy, as they are typically significantly less expensive.

Chocobo’s random illnesses are just that - completely random.

Exceptions:
  • Your first chick crying beginning Day 7 as part of the Chocobo Whistle Quest
  • Upset stomach as a result of being overfed the day before.

I’ve heard that chocobos with higher discernment or receptivity have a lower chance of negative statuses but I have seen no evidence of this whatsoever, myself. All of my chocobos suffer regularly from negative statuses regardless of their stats.


Negative Status Effects

AdultChocoboIll

Ill Chocobo

Ill

"Chocobo seems to be a bit under the weather. A clump of Tokopekko wildgrass should fix it right up, though."

To remedy: Tokopekko Wildgrass or Celerity Salad.

May go away on its own, or deteriorate into "very ill."


Very Ill

"Chocobo is very ill. We need a clump of Tokopekko wildgrass in order to help it."

Occurs sometimes when ordinary sickness is left untreated.

This negative status effect is cured when you are told: "Chocobo's fever has gone down."

To remedy: Tokopekko Wildgrass or Celerity Salad.


ChocoboStomachache

Chick with a Stomachache

Stomachache

"Chocobo seems to have a stomachache. You should probably feed it better."

  • This is rather misleading. Later the NPC will tell you:

"Your chocobo seems to have a stomachache. A clump of Garidav wildgrass might help it feel better."

This is a fairly rare ailment, supposedly caused by overfeeding. Despite extensive testing (which involved stuffing more and more feed down the throats of my poor experiment chocos) I rarely have this status occur the next day. I have, however, had chicks hatch with a stomachache.

To remedy: Garidav Wildgrass or Celerity Salad.


Injured

AdolescentChocoInjured

Injured Chocobo

"Your chocobo's leg seems to be slightly wounded. A clump of Gausebit wildgrass might help it heal."

Your chocobo has the possibility to be injured on tier 2 and 3 care plans, available in adolescence and adulthood, respectively.

  • Don't ask me how Exhibiting to the Public can injure your chocobo. I seriously question what these trainers are doing to the poor birds while I'm off adventuring.

To remedy: Gausebit Grass or Celerity Salad.


Spoiled

"Chocobo has been behaving quite spoiled as of late. You should discipline it more often."

You'll know when your bird has recovered from this status when you see the message:

"Chocobo has become more responsive to commands lately."

To remedy:

  • Scold your bird (ONCE) and return affection to max with greens and/or walks.
    • Scolding is an option in active care ("Care for your chocobo"). It decreases affection!
    • When scolded, "Chocobo hangs its head in shame."
  • OR feed a Celerity or Tornado Salad. Bonus to DSC and affection; no greens necessary to negate the side effect of the remedy.


Bored and Restless

BoredAdolescentChoco

Bored & Restless Chocobo

"Chocobo seems bored and restless. You should have it compete against other chocobos sometime."

Your bird is no longer bored when the trainer tells you:

"Chocobo seems to have more zest for life nowadays."

To remedy:

  • Choose to Compete against others once in active care.
    • I've heard that you have to do this multiple times, but I've never had this behavioral treatment fail after implementing it only once.

Boredom can occur at any time after your chocobo hits adolescence.

My research shows that the likelihood of boredom is not affected by care plan or active care. Adolescent and adult chocobos will get bored, no matter what.  And it will happen a lot, especially after adulthood. (I don’t know what they’re doing in those stables, but their entertainment activities apparently leave a lot to be desired.)

Be aware that boredom will eat into your affection levels rapidly.


Lovesick

"Chocobo has been acting strange lately. Its head is in the clouds and it will hardly eat anything..."

When asking about your bird's condition the trainer will tell you:

"Chocobo seems to have its head in the clouds lately... It must be in love with another chocobo."

When your chocobo has recovered from this condition you'll be told:

"It seems that Chocobo was in love, but it is feeling better now and its appetite has returned. Everything should be alright."

To remedy:

  • This status requires a Celerity Salad (or the HQ version, a Tornado Salad). This is the only known cure.
  • Previously it was thought that the chocobos "wanted" to be bred (i.e. have their card traded to Finbarr with a honeymoon plan). I and many others have disproven this theory. This will not fix your problem... sorry.

This status can clear up on its own or last for weeks and absolutely devastate your affection level. It only occurs after adulthood, thankfully. No teenage romances here.

Per SE: [6]

"Previously, a chocobo being in love would only negatively affect the success rate of its training. However, now this status will sometimes benefit the chocobo."
...Yeah, I haven't discovered any benefit from this status whatsoever. If you've noticed anything, please note it on the talk page.


Lonely / Run Away

ChocoboLonely

Lonely Chocobo

A severely neglected adult chocobo may choose to run away from the stables.

"I'm really sorry, but Chocobo has run away. Someone was supposed to be taking care of it...

"I think it just wants attention, though…
"It should come back if we wait a while."

Don't worry - it comes back. Free food and shelter is hard to pass up, right?

But, while your chocobo is gone, you cannot feed or care for it. It will get no benefit from care plans.

This status can last for days on end.

You can still "Ask about Chocobo's condition" while it's gone:

"Chocobo ran away from the stables the moment I turned my back… It must have been upset about something. All we can do is wait for it to come back now."

This is a status effect that you can prevent!

If you receive the message:
  • "Chocobo seems lonely. You should go out with it sometime.
  • "Your chocobo is not receiving enough affection, and seems very depressed.
  • "You should pay more attention to your animal."
…then you need to take immediate action before your bird runs away!

To remedy:

  • Wait for your chocobo to return.
  • Then, greens combined with lots of walks and watches are a good start to repairing your relationship with your chocobo.
  • If you have your chocobo on a care plan that greatly decreases affection it might be a good idea to downgrade to Basic Care for a couple of days.

Note that loneliness can go away on its own ("Chocobo doesn't seem lonely anymore") but often returns soon after.


Attributes and Abilities

Affection

According to SE:

"Affection [is] the most important part of chocobo raising. Greatly affects the success of care plans." [7]

Tier 2 & 3 care plans - the plans available after adolescence and adulthood, respectively - can fail, and this outcome is directly impacted by your level of affection.

  • If your bird doesn't care about you at all, it will rarely, if ever, complete the task successfully, and continuing to order it to make you money is not going to endear you to it any more.
  • If your affection levels are low, you may need to temporarily revert to Basic Care until you can feed enough greens to get you back into your bird's good graces.
  • I can't say for a fact that failing care plans does anything besides net you slightly less gil per day. It seems likely to me that it would impact the stat increases and/or decreases targeted by the plan, but I don't currently have the numbers to prove or disprove this theory.

The keys to keeping affection high are:

  • Feeding your chocobo
  • Remedying negative status effects
  • Engaging in any active care besides scolding your bird.
    • Long walks increase affection the most out of any care option, and watches increase the least.
    • My theory is that the more energy consumed by the act, the more affection you receive.
    • Even racing ("Compete against Others") increases affection. (Not the racing done through the CRA in the Chocobo Circuit.)

Low levels of affection can occur even if you check your chocobo every day.

  • If you don't feed and spend time with your chocobo (via active care), it's not going to love you. Plain and simple.
  • Many negative statuses can also eat into your affection levels.

Affection can be measured in eight ratings, similar to stats, but seems to function on an unknown point scale.

  1. Does not seem to care about you.
  2. Seems to be able to endure your company.
  3. Seems to slightly enjoy your company.
  4. Seems to like being around you.
  5. Seems to like you pretty well.
  6. Seems to like you a lot.
  7. Seems to want to be with you all the time.
  8. Seems to regard you as its parent.
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Personality

A chocobo's personality is determined during chick phase and set permanently at day 19. Before day 19 its personality will shift to reflect whatever its highest stat is at the time.

Easygoing - Default personality; no dominant stat.

  • "It has a very easygoing personality, making it easy to care for."
  • Was previously "It does not have much of a personality, making it easy to care for."
    • If your chocobo's STR and END or DSC and RCP (depending on your chosen care plans) are about equal, it will have an easygoing personality.

Ill-tempered – STR is highest stat

  • "It is rather ill-tempered, making it ideal for military use."

Very patent – END is highest stat

  • "It is a very patient chocobo, making it ideal for carrying goods."

Quite Sensitive – DSC is highest stat

  • "It is quite sensitive, making it good with people."

Enigmatic – RCP is highest stat

  • "It has a rather enigmatic personality, making it difficult to know what the animal is thinking."

From what I've seen, personality does not affect the process of raising your chocobo at all. It seems to be purely for effect.


YellowChocoboFeather


Weather Preferences

The default weather preference is "likes clear days." Your chocobo may grow to like and dislike certain weather conditions.

  • When I've observed a bird develop an aversion to a certain type of weather, it has always been accompanied by a preference for another type, such as "likes rainy days and dislikes thunder."
  • An inclination toward a certain type of weather is not necessarily accompanied by an aversion to another.

Your chocobo has the possibility to develop a weather preference during regular and long walks.

  • When raising in Sandy:
    • Rain and wind occur in La Theine Plateau, where you go for regular walks.
    • Thunder and rain occur in Jugner Forest, which you reach in long walks.
  • When raising in Bastok:
    • Regular walks take you to Konschtat Highlands, which has occasional dust storms and thunder.
    • For long walks you and your bird will trek to Pashhow Marshlands, where you may see thunder and rain.
  • When raising in Windy:
    • Tahrongi Canyon is your destination on regular walks, where you could encounter dust and wind.
    • You will take your chocobo on long walks in Meriphataud Mountains, which occasionally has dust storms and hot spells.
  • Your chocobo can also like cloudy days. I'm not sure if this is limited to a certain location or possible from wherever you're raising your bird. The latter seems more likely to me.

Weather preferences aren't incredibly common. In my experience I've only observed a handful of birds develop a preference.

  • They typically did so on the day following multiple walks in that weather (made possible by things like Green Racing Silks and extra energy granted after learning an ability).
  • I've never seen a weather preference change after it was established, but, again, I'm going off a very small sample size.

Weather will not be reported in any way, shape, or form on your screen.

  • There are no weather icons and no mentions of weather while caring for your bird.
  • The only way to determine if weather is occurring is to pay attention to the environment during leisurely walks.
  • You will not be told if your chocobo develops a preference, unlike learning or being inspired by stories, for example. It will simply be listed the next time you ask about your bird's condition, the day following the walks which trigger the preference.


The effects of weather:

Weather likes and dislikes can help or hinder a bird when racing.

  • For example, chocobos can get stuck in the mud during a race:
    • "Oh no! It looks like we have an accident on the field! One of the birds has its feet caught in some mud! Can it get back on track in time!?"
  • If your bird is partial to rainy weather, this is much less likely to occur, and can give you a leg up on the competition.

Diggers get much better digging results when digging in weather that their chocobo prefers, and may dig up very little in comparison when in their chocobo's disliked weather. This can influence where and when you want to dig.

Additionally, during chocobo raising, taking walks (long and regular) in the preferred weather will take up less energy than usual.


YellowChocoboFeather


Stats

Chocobos have four named attributes, two of which affect their physical statuses and two that govern their mental statuses.

Strength and Endurance are referred to as Physical stats.

Discernment and Receptivity are known as Mental stats.


Strength (STR)

  • Determines a chocobo's running speed.
  • In Chocobo Racing the level of STR sets the chocobo's maximum speed.
    • Your chocobo can run at max speed until it runs out of endurance, at which time it drops to the lowest running speed.
  • The following care plans increase STR:
    • Take a Walk
    • Exercise Alone
    • Carry Packages
    • Deliver Messages
  • Active care options Take a Walk or Compete against Others may increase STR.
    • Other chocobo raisers have said that they saw an increase in STR following these activities; I haven't, so I can't state this as a fact.


Endurance (END)

  • Determines how long you can ride your chocobo.
  • In Chocobo Racing:
    • The level of END sets the amount of time your chocobo can run at max speed.
  • This is the most difficult stat to increase, as it is the only one that does not have its own specific high-level care plan.
  • The following care plans increase END:
    • Take a Walk
    • Exercise in a Group
    • Carry Packages
  • Active care option Take a Walk may increase END.
    • Others claim to have seen an increase in END following a walk; I haven't, so I can't state this as a fact.


Discernment (DSC)

  • Aids your chocobo in learning abilities.
  • In Chocobo Racing:
    • Affects how well your chocobo paces itself (i.e. uses its END).
    • Affects the timing of item use during the race.
    • Increases the chance that your chocobo will leave the gate on time.
  • The following care plans increase DSC:
    • Listen to Music
    • Interact with Children
    • Exhibit to the Public
    • Dig for Treasure
  • Active care option Tell a Story increases DSC by approximately 1 point by my calculations.
  • Carrot Paste and Zegham Carrots increase DSC slightly.
  • Celerity Salads and Tornado Salads give a relatively large boost to DSC in addition to healing status ailments.
    • Celerity Salads are thought to give approximately 4 points of DSC per salad.
    • The bonus from the HQ version, Tornado Salads, are unknown, but I'd imagine they're at least equal to, if not greater than, the bonus from the NQ salads.
    • If you can get your hands on these salads (via chocobucks, on the AH, or through crafting), they can be more cost-effective in increasing DSC than R Chocotrains and Intense Training.
      • I'm currently trying to work out the exact formula to determine cost effectiveness, but from my preliminary testing it seems that one Celerity Salad increases DSC almost as much as one R Chocotrain or Intense Training session.


Receptivity (RCP)

  • Determines how well your chocobo communicates with other chocobos.
  • In Chocobo Racing:
    • Affects your chocobo's ability to avoid accidents and attacks from other jockeys.
  • In Chocobo Breeding:
    • Widely thought to influence the likelihood of passing abilities on to chicks.
    • I've honestly noticed no correlation between receptivity and abilities of offspring.
    • My chicks almost always inherit an ability regardless of the parents' stats. Which ability is often influenced by the honeymoon plan chosen, but that is pretty unreliable.
    • I'm still compiling data on this theory.
  • The following care plans increase RCP:
    • Listen to Music
    • Playing with Chocobos
    • Exhibiting to the Public
    • Acting in a Play
  • Active care option Tell a Story may increase RCP by approximately 1 point or less by my calculations. I've only observed this happening once, when my adult chocobo had mental High Spirits status and was inspired by a story.
  • Carrot Paste and Zegham Carrots increase RCP slightly.


Scale

You may have noticed the attribute scale listed on the Chocobo Raising page. This is a hypothetical, player-created point system. Square Enix did not release any sort of point scale.
For the curious: datamined information indicates that all stats are on a scale from 0 to 255, and the fact that there are 8 levels led the players who originally developed the system to assign each level a range of 32 points each.  A good deal of the numbers and stats that were later further detailed, such as the number of attribute points thought to be gained and lost via care plans, food, etc, were based off this.
For the past decade-plus this scale has worked for me, though my records lead me to believe that the point-based stat increases and decreases attained through care plans, as listed in that oft-referenced chart and used widely across this wiki, are oversimplified.
  • I believe that other factors, such as affection, may also influence the number of points gained and lost during care.
  • My chocobos just don't all progress as would be expected if they were gaining and losing a set number of points each day (which, trust me, has led to countless headaches and perhaps some head-to-desk banging, which were absolutely not connected in any way, I swear).
  • Thus the reason I can't tell you, "Keep your racer on this plan for x number of days, then switch to this for another x days," etc. It's dynamic. Every chocobo is a slightly different journey.
F Poor 0-31
E Substandard 32-63
D A bit deficient 64-95
C Average 96-127
B Better than average 128-159
A Impressive 160-191
S Outstanding 192-223
SS First-class 224-255
  • SSS is the denotation for a First-class stat capped at 255.
  • There is a theoretical cap of 637, which the two mental and two physical stats all share.
  • The highest you can get each stat (assuming you want one stat at First-Class, and the rest at the highest possible level) is SS/A/B/C.
  • If you were aiming for a balanced chocobo, the best you could do is A (or more likely, B)/B/B/B. This, however, is not feasible (or desirable); in fact, the "Balanced Chocobo" has its own little section in my guide.


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Abilities

Your chocobo can learn two abilities, through telling stories and/or through matchmaking.

  • Chicks bred via matchmaking will most likely inherit one ability from one of its parents, but unless you breed two parents with only one ability, you might not get the one you're hoping for. VCS Honeymoon Plans are really undependable.
  • Lethe Consomme and Lethe Potage can be fed to erase an undesired ability. You may need to feed more than one to get rid of the ability. Which ability, if you have two, seems random.
    • When feeding these, you will receive no notification saying that your chocobo has 'forgotten' the ability. You'll have to repeatedly ask about its condition after each feeding to see if the ability is still listed.


Learning Abilities

  • Stories are key items that can be received on walks (after meeting an NPC three times) or via mini-quests or challenges encountered within active care. Once your chocobo learns an ability, that key item will be lost, and you will not receive it again until you meet the same requirements while raising another chocobo.
  • If you erase an ability (by feeding Lethe Consomme or Lethe Potage) that was learned through storytelling, you cannot get that key item back. You will have to start over with another bird to obtain that ability.
  • When telling stories, some level of discernment is required to learn the desired ability. All stories can reportedly be learned at A bit deficient DSC, but some, such as Curious and Worrisome, can take dozens of tellings to learn even at Average.
  • High spirits, especially mental high spirits, increases the likelihood of your chocobo learning an ability when telling a story.
  • Negative statuses do not seem to hinder the success rate of storytelling.
  • Abilities can be learned at any age. I've noticed a decrease in success rate for the more difficult stories following day 64, but it is absolutely possible to learn an ability after that time.
  • On my next batch of chicks I plan to test the claim that affection levels determine the ease with which an ability is learned.


Auto-Regen

  • Increases the rate at which your chocobo restores energy.
  • This is the least understood and possibly the most pointless of the six available abilities. It's thought to have an effect on Chocobo Racing, possibly regenerating endurance during the race. Personally, I prefer Canter. From my analysis of winning racer stats, the most successful racers have Canter and Gallop.
  • Reports of other chocobo raisers suggest that it does not affect energy involved in active care or care plans.
  • This ability is learned by telling the Story of a Happy Chocobo, which you receive from participating in the Compete Against Others active care option and winning three races.


Bore

  • Adds the following types of items to digging results:
    • Common: ores; logs; plants/fungi; bonecraft-type materials (shells, scales, horns, and skulls)
    • Less common: seeds; clothcraft-type materials
  • This ability is learned by telling the Story of a Youthful Chocobo, which you receive after meeting Pulonono for the third time on a walk.
    • Windy - Short walks
    • Sandy and Bastok - Long walks


Burrow

  • Adds the following types of items to digging results:
    • Beastcoins
    • Common: seeds; logs; plants/fungi; clothcraft-type materials
    • Less common: ores
  • This ability is learned by telling the Story of a Worrisome Chocobo, which you receive after meeting Zopago for the third time on a walk.
    • Bastok - Short walks
    • Sandy - Regular walks
    • Windy - Long walks
  • Can supposedly be learned when telling the story with DSC at A bit deficient or higher. In my experience this is one of the more difficult abilities to learn (or be inspired by), and it's easier to learn once your chocobo has reached Better than average.


Canter

  • Increases your chocobo's endurance; adds one level of END during racing, and increases the time you can ride your chocobo with your Chocobo Whistle by five minutes.
  • Highly recommended for mounts and racers. Can theoretically be replaced by Auto-Regen for racers, but the more successful racers typically have this ability.
  • This ability is learned by telling the Story of a Curious Chocobo, which you receive after meeting Brutus for the third time on a walk. You can only meet Brutus on long walks.
  • This seems to be one of the most difficult abilities to learn.
  • If you're planning to raise a chocobo for a mount, your best hope is for your bird to be born with this ability, as it's easier to learn Gallop at a lower level of DSC, at which time you can then switch your focus solely to physical stats. However, I don't recommend giving up a chocobo that is not born with Canter. It will take a bit longer to cap the stats of your mount, but you'd also be wasting an unknown amount of time if you gave up chicks until you got one born with this ability.
  • It doesn't matter if your racer is not born with this ability. You're going to want a decent amount of DSC on your bird regardless and will have plenty of time to learn it.


Gallop

  • Increases your chocobo's strength; adds one level of STR during racing, and increases the speed of your chocobo in the field as well.
  • Most successful racers have this ability. Highly recommended for racers and mounts.
  • This ability is learned by telling the Story of an Impatient Chocobo, which you receive after meeting Hantileon for the third time on a walk.
    • Sandy - Short walks
    • Bastok - Regular walks
    • Windy - Long walks


Treasure Finder

  • Increases your chocobo's chance of finding something in The Chocobo Hot and Cold Game by adding another hint level ("Kweh!?") designating how close you are to the chest.
  • This is thought by some to increase the chance of finding items on walks during chocobo raising. I haven't experimented with the ability yet, as I've only raised racers and breeders thus far, but I suspect this theory is similar to the one saying that birds with higher DSC/RCP also find more items on walks (which I've found to be untrue).
  • This ability is learned by telling the Story of a Diligent Chocobo, which you receive by completing the Lost Chick quest.


Plans and Care

Active Care

Energy

A chocobo's energy limits the active care you can provide each day.

  • Energy resets to full each day, minus the amount of energy consumed by the care plan.
  • There is no difference between amount of energy restored when some energy is left from the previous day versus if the energy bar completely drained the day before.
  • Randomly and rarely your chocobo may begin a day with less than the energy expected.
  • I recommend exhausting your desired active care options (walks, stories, competitions, and watches) until the energy bar is completely depleted to keep affection level high.

Care plans and active care drain a chocobo's energy an approximate amount per day.

  • I say "approximate" because the amount of energy expended – or perhaps the amount available – may vary slightly from day to day.
  • Basic Care will leave your chocobo with almost 100% energy the following day.

Energy is affected by:

  • The chocobo's life stage
  • High spirits
  • Green Racing Silks, a level 1 body piece purchasable with Chocobucks. This piece decreases the amount of energy expended in active care.
    • It is Rare/Ex, but can be sent between characters under the same account.
    • Like high spirits, this does not allow you to undertake a care action that you would not have had the energy to do without them; it simply cuts down on the energy expended. I highly recommend these for any serious chocobo raisers.

Energy does not seem to be affected by:

  • Stats
  • Any negative status effect
  • The previous day's energy
  • Hunger level or the amount fed the day before.


The Basics

When caring for your chocobo, you can choose "Brief report," "Detailed report," and "Skip the report." Every 7 days of sequential reports it will prompt you to make the choice again. This way you don't have to, say, sit for hours watching the same long cutscenes and pressing the same button repeatedly when catching up on 80 days of missed care from your first chocobo.

You cannot change a scheduled plan for the current day. The "next program" will be what was set on the (chocobo's) previous day.

  • Remember that the clock your chocobo is on does not correspond with JP midnight, as so many other "wait 1 earth day"s do.

In my experience, anything done with your chocobo's chococard, whistle, racing form, etc. - basically, anything not done with your chocobo while it's in the stables or in Kamp Kweh, where you can interact with it – does not affect your chocobo's statuses, stats, care, etc., with the exception of purchasing Chocotrains and Special Training.

  • For example, calling your bird with your chocobo whistle doesn't affect its active care energy or statuses. Your chocobo will not get stronger from carrying you, smarter from digging for you (though your digging skill could go up), and won't learn weather preferences from being called with its whistle.

Watch

The active care option to "Watch over" increases affection a very small amount, especially after adolescence.

  • Walks are much better for increasing affection – the longer the better.
  • Use watches when there is no energy left for any other desired active care option.
ChocoboTakeWalk

Take a Walk

Walks

The longer the walk, the more affection you receive.

Brisk vs. Leisurely walks:

SE: A "leisurely" walk will show the usual event scene, while a "brisk" walk will display only text.
  • This choice will not affect the benefits received from the walk itself. [8]


Walks may increase STR and/or END.

  • Stat increases are reportedly less than 1 point per walk.
  • Note: I have never, in my years of chocobo raising, observed a walk increase any stat other than affection. Others have apparently observed walks increasing STR and/or END. I can't state this as fact, however, until I see it with my own eyes.


ChocoMakingFriends

Chocobo makes a friend!

Making friends!

You'll meet the VCS trainers Hantileon, Zopago, and Pulonono on walks in the areas surrounding San d'Oria, Bastok, and Windurst, respectively. They are all raising chocobos the same age as yours.
  • On your first chocobo Hantileon will introduce you to Air. On your next birds he will be raising Ice, Sea, Sky, and Sun.
  • On your first chocobo Zopago will be raising Blood. His following chocobos will be Chaos, Devil, Ghost, and Night.
  • On your first chocobo Pulonono will have Spring. Her second chocobo will be Melody, followed by Poetic, Pretty, and... a bird whose name I can't find recorded in my notes (oops)... or anywhere on the internet. (If you've raised five chocos in Windy and know the name of Pulonono's last bird, please post it on the talk page!)
  • On long walks you'll meet Brutus and Fantastic. His next birds will be Lightning, Sparkling, Brilliant, and Wonderful.
It is possible to meet NPCs multiple times on multiple walks in one day, but you will only meet one NPC per walk.
Once you meet a trainer three times, (s)he will tell you a story that you can use to teach your chocobo abilities.
On your sixth and subsequent chocobos the trainers begin repeating names in the same order in which you first encountered them.


DietmundChocoWalk

Meeting Dietmund on a Long Walk

On long walks you may meet Dietmund, the previously-abusive owner from the quest Chocobo's Wounds, who will offer some hard-learned advice on raising chocobos.
  • This seems to only happen once per character, and may require the completion of the quest Save My Son, which unlocks BST.
  • I have no records indicating that any of my mules have encountered him, and most players report never having seen him.
  • If you have information on this, please post it on the Talk page!


You will also have the dubious pleasure of meeting three very rude trainers (three NPCs involved in the quest Three Men and a Closet) on one of your first several regular walks.  They are all raising the same chocobo. Wahboud focuses on the chocobo's physical stats, Foudeel addresses its intelligence, and Bashraf works on the poor thing's psychological training.
  • After meeting them and getting introductions you can compete against their bird in active care.
  • Bashraf gives you the Story of a Happy Chocobo when you win your third race in the active care option Compete against others.
  • Their chocobo's name will be Best, Fast, King, and other things along those lines.


ChocoboFoundItem

Chocobo finds an item on a walk!

Finding items!

If your chocobo finds an item on a walk you will see a sparkle and watch your chocobo turn toward that spot.

Once your chocobo has found an item, you must watch it to receive the item. Your bird won't find anything else until you do.

Your bird can only either find an item or meet an NPC on a single walk.

In my experience I have not observed that stats or personality affect the likelihood of either meeting a trainer or finding items, which makes sense; it wouldn't be fair to people working on physical stats, for example, if meeting NPCs to receive stories was more difficult with low DSC or RCP.


Though the energy requirements for even the same type of walks varies slightly from day to day, here are some general guidelines (with the assumption that your energy bar starts out at full):

  • Chicks can generally take 3 walks per day and have enough energy for 1-8 watches.
  • Adolescents can take 2 regular walks with energy left for watches, and occasionally may fit in a short walk as well.
  • Adults can take 2 long walks and can then range between having no energy remaining for even one watch, or still being able to fit in a story and several watches – regardless of either positive or negative status effect(s)!

So,

  • Short walks at chick...hood... may take up approximately 30% energy.
  • Regular walks at adolescence consume under 50% energy.
  • Long walks in adulthood take up to 50% energy, but often a bit less.


Tell a Story

Chocobo TellAStory

RoseRed learns an ability through storytelling!

  • Unlocked at adolescence.
  • Even if you have not received a story (or have learned all received stories) you can select this care option and choose "Random chitchat." (Apparently you have something interesting to say.)
  • Can slightly increase DSC and affection.
    • By my calculations DSC increases around 1 point per story - but I'm a psychology major, not a math major. I would welcome anyone else's input on these numbers.
    • It takes 10 or more stories to increase affection a full level.
  • Learning a story (or, after having learned two abilities, being "inspired" by a story) increases energy a variable amount, ranging from 10% to full.


Compete Against Others

  • This care option becomes available at adolescence after you meet the three trainers Wahboud, Foudeel, and Bashraf during a regular walk.
  • This is used to treat boredom.
  • CompeteAgainstOthers
    The outcome (win or loss) is not based on stats, energy, affection, hunger, or anything else that I've been able to think up. It seems to be completely random. Even a chocobo with all poor (F) stats can win these races on a regular basis.
  • Like all other active care aside from scolding, this increases affection slightly.
  • Reportedly increases STR. I've not seen this, myself, so I can't state this as fact.
  • You must win three races (not consecutively) to receive the Story of a Happy Chocobo from Bashraf.


Scolding Your Chocobo

  • This active care option is available from hatching. It is one that I rarely ever use. Why?
    • It lowers affection! You'll later have to make that up with further care or food.
    • It drains a small amount of energy.
    • It makes me feel like a horrible person.
  • This is a remedy for a spoiled chocobo.
    • You will be told "Chocobo has been behaving quite spoiled as of late. You should discipline it more often."
    • "Chocobo hangs its head in shame" and looks absolutely pitiful when scolded.
    • If you are working on increasing mental attributes or if you desire to prevent your DSC from dropping while focusing on physical stats, I'd highly recommend feeding a Celerity Salad (or Tornado Salad) instead of using this care option!
  • Only use this active care option ONCE in one day. It will take effect the next day. Repeated use will send your affection levels plummeting.
  • This can also be used to wake a sleeping chocobo. Since the "Rest" care plan and "chococoma bug" have been removed, I've only ever seen very depressed birds sleep (in which case I generally tend to leave them to it rather than further lowering their affection).


Care Plans at a Glance

Basic Care

This is the default care plan.

Contrary to popular belief, this plan does not increase stats!

  • An experiment chocobo of mine kept on Basic Care from birth to well past day 64 retired with all stats still at Poor.


Everything else...

At the current time I'm not going to detail all of the other possible care plans here – they can be found at the Chocobo Raising page and also have their own individual pages. I'm planning to get back to this eventually, if only for completion's sake.

I will be listing the best care plans to use for your own chocobo goals in the Uses section when I get that put together to my satisfaction.


Note on higher tier Care Plans

Tier 2 & 3 care plans (available upon reaching adolescence and adulthood, respectively) can fail!

ChocoCarryPlanFail

Failure in Carry Packages plan

  • Ex. Dropping packages during Carry Packages.
  • Ex. Scaring children during Exhibit to the Public.
  • Ex. Getting lost during Deliver Messages.
  • Ex. Failing to find items during Dig for Treasure.

This results in less gil in your pocket, but also may have more far-reaching consequences on your chocobo's progress.

Unfortunately, I've been unable to nail down any other definite consequences of care plan failure on stats, affection, energy, etc. to the point I'd feel comfortable stating anything as fact. It would make sense that a failed care plan would, at the very least, give less of an increase to the target stat(s), but mathematically I have not been able to definitively prove or disprove this from my (embarrassingly extensive) records.

When SE makes statements such as "Affection [is] the most important part of chocobo raising. Greatly affects the success of care plans" [9] it makes me think there's something important about the success of said care plans. I just wish I could say for sure what it is....

In addition to being caused by low affection levels, failure also seems to occur more often when the stat being raised by this care plan is low. Expect care plans to fail more often when you first begin to level the chosen stat(s).

  • ChocoDigPlanFail

    Failure in Dig for Treasure plan

    For example, when first starting to train for discernment, your chocobo will find few items when digging for treasure. As your bird's DSC increases, it will find more and more treasure for the slave drivers - er, trainers - and you will receive full payment for all of your chocobo's hard work.


Chocobo Raising Changes and Additions (12-07-2006)-1

Kamp Kweh

Kamp Kweh

If you can find a partner, go to Kamp Kweh as often as possible until late adulthood! This can grant you a surprising number of stat increases. Even as an adult, you can get stat bonuses from a chick. However, don't continue to go after your highest two stats have met your goals. This can cause stats to decrease.


More information on this form of care is available at Kamp Kweh.


Feed

You can feed a chocobo a number of different items (by trading the item to the trainer) which will have varying effects on your chocobo's development, stats, and statuses.

.

Notes about Feed:

Slight Effects of Feed

  • Be aware that chocobo feed is not some sort of magical power-leveling tool. You won't give your bird a few carrots and have a stat increase a full level. Care plans are the most important part of raising a chocobo's stats.
    • Food is a nice method of chipping away at the point scale of your chocobo's attributes. A carrot or two may push your chocobo's stat from one level to the next, but know that it didn't really make a huge difference; the stat was at most a couple points from the next level to begin with.

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Affection

  • Not feeding your chocobo seems to result in lowered affection. Your bird will not starve to death, but it's not going to be your biggest fan, either.
  • Any type of greens raise affection a certain amount, as well as certain other foods.
    • I always feed my birds gysahl greens, which are available from Derfland regional merchants and chocobo stables' merchants.
    • Azouph greens increase affection more than gysahl, but fill the chocobo up more - only two can be fed each day.
    • Sharug greens increase affection less than gysahl greens and fill the chocobo up less as well - up to six must be fed to completely fill a chocobo.
    • There's absolutely nothing wrong with azouph or sharug greens, but they're more expensive and less common than gysahl greens when gardening, and can't be bought at an NPC. If you harvested them while gardening, that's great! - but I wouldn't bother buying these on the Auction House.

. Hunger

  • There are seven levels of hunger:
    1. Starving
    2. Quite hungry
    3. A little hungry
    4. Neither hungry nor full
    5. Almost full
    6. Quite full
    7. Completely full
  • Some feed (such as Tokopekko Wildgrass) won't even satisfy a full level of hunger. Others (such as Gregarious Worms) will take a chocobo from Starving to Completely full.
  • Do not feed your chocobo past Completely full!
    • Until you know exactly how much of the given food your chocobo can eat at its growth stage, feed one piece at a time.
    • Try to remember to always feed any medicine your chocobo requires first!
  • That said, I always take my chocobos all the way to Completely full. This gives them the most benefit they can receive from food each day.

. Overfeeding

  • Overfeeding is almost always detrimental.
  • Signs of overfeeding are:
    • The message that "Chocobo seems to be forcing itself to eat the food."
    • The absence of the glow that typically occurs when a chocobo eats.
  • Your chocobo does not have to be Completely full before overfeeding can occur. If you feed an item that fulfills more levels of hunger than your bird has remaining, it will result in the "forcing itself to eat the food" message. I'm sure Square Enix didn't want people shoving five pieces of food down their birds' throats to get in that extra "boost" before they got full.
  • I did overfeed my birds a couple of times (ok, maybe more than "a couple," but who's counting?  Besides my army of malcontent experiment chocobos...) to see what happened.
    • Stomachaches were actually more rare than I expected.
    • One time I got quite the surprise:
      • My bird, who was depressed from lack of attention, went from Starving to Completely full, and, though it was "forcing itself to eat the food," still gained a level of affection from the greens I'd stuffed down its throat, going from level 2 affection ("Seems to be able to endure your company") to level 3 ("Seems to slightly enjoy your company").
      • Click here for the screenshot
    • Despite this one-time positive outcome, based on everything else I've observed I still do not recommend overfeeding your chocobo in hopes of replicating this result.

. Next-day Hunger

  • There does not seem to be any varying effect regarding amount of energy depletion on next-day hunger.
  • My chocobos almost always start off at Starving.
    • Rarely, your chocobo may not be starving at the beginning of its day (I've seen it range between Quite hungry to Completely full).
    • This seems to happen regardless of the chocobos' statuses – sick, normal, and perky chicks can all experience it – and isn't an indication that something is wrong.
  • Some feed, such as worm paste, will consistently affect next-day hunger.

.

Types of Feed

  • This guide will cover my findings and recommendations, rather than listing every food released for chocobos.
  • I've discovered that the Chocobo Raising page's feed section, the dedicated Feed page, and a number of individual item pages have some inaccuracies and misconceptions. Rather than editing all of them myself I'm reporting my experience with those items here.

. Specialized Feed

  • Celeritysalad
    Celerity Salad (and the HQ version, Tornado Salad)
    • Yep. My favorites! I may have mentioned these once or twice already...
    • This food is the best choice to cure any of the following statuses:
      • Ill
      • Injured
      • Lovesick
      • Bored
      • Spoiled
    • Use these only if you have the resources to invest.
      • Not only does it cure those statuses (100% success in all of my experience), but it gives a (bonus!) increase in affection and (+4?) DSC.
      • However, remember that if you are focusing on physical stats (STR and END) at the time, the DSC bonus will be quickly canceled out.
    • If your chocobo has multiple status ailments this is the perfect feed. You can substitute the multiple remedies that you'd otherwise have to administer with one Celerity Salad.
    • You can also use these simply to power level DSC. They are almost equal to an Intense Training session or an R Chocotrain: DSC. Depending on the availability and prices on your server, these could very well be a more cost-effective method of increasing DSC. You can feed up to two per day.
  • Lethe Consomme and Lethe Potage
    • Somewhere between 1 and 7 will erase an ability.
      • Which ability, if you have two, is random.
      • Note that you will not receive a message or anything when your ability is erased.  It is simply removed from your chocobo's ability list when asking about its condition.
    • If you're very lucky you might find one up on the AH. Otherwise, find someone with Chocobucks and cooking.
      • You can buy Eastern Ginger with 3 chocobucks.
      • Cooking 52 is required for Lethe consume and level 63 is required for Lethe potage.
    • I have no clue if there's a difference between the two. I suspect that one was meant for chicks and the other for adult chocobos, but they can be used interchangeably.
  • Chocolixirs
    • These are expensive potions that will restore some or all of your chocobo's energy. To use these, trade them to the trainer (as you would any other food) after you've exhausted the energy bar in active care.
    • You can use these for learning stories if you have the money to blow, but unless you’re passing the 100-day mark without having a desired ability I wouldn’t stress over it too much.
      • For example, if you're trying to get the Story of a Curious Chocobo for Canter, one Chocolixir can restore your energy to full, allowing you to get in up to two long walks per Chocolixir. Two Chocolixirs in one day give you four chances to receive the story for Canter.
      • They can also give you more time to drill a story into your chocobo but, as I said, there's not usually a huge rush justifying the price of these items.
      • Remember that stories can only be learned when your DSC reaches a certain level. Don't waste your gil or chocobucks until your DSC reaches the level required for the story you're trying to teach!
    • I've seen these reported to "completely heal all status ailments." This is untrue.
  • Chocotonics
    • These are obsolete – Square Enix fixed the "chococoma" bug, in which chocobos set to Rest for one day would not wake up for days on end.
    • They will decrease affection. [10]

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Worms

  • The general consensus is that these will lower one or more stats.
    • In my experiments I've only had a single stat decrease once, after day 64 – and it wasn't the highest stat.
    • By my calculations a worm may decrease a stat by a few points.
    • If you are at all concerned by the idea of decreasing your stats, I suggest avoiding worms completely. None of them are that helpful and most have other food alternatives.
    • Note that high spirits condition does not cancel out the negative effects of a worm!
  • Cupid Worms
    • These raise affection 3 levels per worm.
    • Two of these will take a starving chocobo to Neither Hungry nor Full.
    • If you don't care about damaging your stats (or have no stats to damage), then these can replace greens for a big affection boost. (Say, if you want to quest your chocobo whistle for an emergency chocobo, but your chocobo doesn't know you from Adam.) Otherwise, stick to greens.
  • Gregarious Worms
    • One feeding will restore about 20-25% of a chocobo's energy, completely filling a starving chocobo.
    • I have not observed any stat decreases, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone else reported them.
    • In the adult stage, one of these worms won't add enough energy to even take a walk. Don't bother.
  • Parasite Worms
    • These are said to let your chocobo eat more.
      • One of these worms will increase a chocobo's satisfaction level by about one hunger level (ex. from Starving to Quite Hungry, or A little hungry to Neither hungry nor full).
      • I noticed no effect on next-day hunger.
    • According to Ninian's Guide, "It is used to change one of your chocobo's color genes. Really only useful if you're raising a bird that came from a NPC egg and you're hoping for color."
      • I have no clue how to substantiate or disprove this claim, since it's impossible to tell if your egg will result in a colored chocobo until day 19, anyways.
      • Once your chocobo is an adolescent you cannot change its color.
    • After some experimentation with these, I've seen no change in stats, affection, or energy, though I do believe the people who've stated that they've observed stat decreases.
    • Despite quite a bit of testing, I still have no earthly idea what this worm does.

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Pastes vs. Regular Food for Chicks

  • Pastes are for chick stage only.  Adolescents and adults can eat them, but it lowers affection.
    • I imagine it would be the equivalent of giving a teenager baby food.  They're not going to be very appreciative.
  • Carrot Paste
    • I highly recommend Carrot Paste, and personally feed it to any chick I'm raising for racing or digging.
    • It increases STR, END, DSC, RCP, and affection.
      • It's widely thought to increase physical stats and decrease mental stats, but I've solidly disproven this after feeding it exclusively to a number of chicks.
      • Here's my proof for RCP!
      • I don't have a screenshot of a subsequent increase in DSC immediately following feeding, but trust me when I say it levels up right along with the other stats.
      • Know that you're only going to see either mental OR physical stats increase when feeding this paste, depending on your care plan.
    • I've observed no negative effects with this paste. Like carrots, it increases affection, but not as much as Vegetable Paste.
    • If you can get these, use them.
  • Vegetable Paste
    • This is the equivalent of greens for chicks.
    • One paste will raise affection one level, and three will completely fill a starving chick.
    • Honestly, this paste should not be necessary, as it is incredibly easy to keep affection maxed in the chick stage. You're better off using carrot paste to increase stats.
      • (Listening to music or taking walks can't be too unpleasant for a chick, right?)
    • Additionally, greens can be used at the chick stage, and it's much cheaper to buy a few gysahl greens from the NPC by the stables than investing in this paste.
  • Herb Paste
    • This paste is great at the chick stage!
    • It heals any status ailment that a chick can encounter, and can heal more than one at a time, leaving more room for you to feed carrot paste.
    • If you're not using Celerity Salads to increase DSC, I'd recommend investing in a few of these.
  • Worm Paste
    • This is rumored to increase affection and energy, "heal it slightly" (whatever that means), but decrease stats.
    • In my experiments, chicks fed primarily worm pastes (with the occasional herb paste to heal status ailments) reached adolescence with no stat increase, regardless of the care plan they were on.
    • They typically started out as the day as Quite Hungry rather than Starving.
      • So, essentially, it decreased stats in return for satisfying next-day hunger. Which is pretty much the exact opposite of what you'd want out of a food.
    • It does, however, increase affection. The chicks I experimented on never dropped below "Regards you as its parent."
      • Okay, so you can have really useless chicks that really love you?
    • I have absolutely no clue how or why this paste could be useful.
      • My conclusion:  avoid like the plague.

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Satisfaction and Glow Colors

Glow Colors

Something I’ve always been fascinated by, and have done extensive research on, is the significance of the glow that surrounds a chocobo when it is fed.

  • I've seen a number of varying theories of what the different colors of light indicate, but none were based on more than a few noted incidences.
  • I know that this small detail is pretty obscure and doesn't make much of an impact on chocobo raising, or even feed in specific, but I thought I'd offer the results of my research in my guide.

It turns out that the glow color doesn't indicate the bird's satisfaction with the food in question, the healing of an ailment, or an increase in stats. It just indicates the type of food given.

(Doh! I imagine that if a Square Enix employee read this they'd /facepalm.)
ChocoChickYellowGlow

Yellow Glow

  • Red:
    • Greens
    • Pastes
    • Vomp and San d'Orian Carrots
  • Blue:
    • Zegham Carrots
    • Cupid and Parasite Worms
  • Yellow:
    • Medicinal feed given to sick or well chocobo.
    • Gregarious worms
  • Green:
    • One or more pieces of food being fed at once, regardless of the type of food.
    • Some medicinal feed for sick chocobos.
  • None:
    • Indicates overfeeding; your chocobo will receive no benefit from the food, and may have a stomachache the following day.


Satisfaction

You chocobo may eat its food in several different manners.

  • It has been thought that the varying descriptions reflect how much hunger is satisfied, whether affection or stats increase or decrease, etc.
  • The Feed page even states that, for example, "Your chocobo eats the (Feed)" "indicates the lowest decrease/change in your chocobo's hunger: Starving -> Quite Hungry" and that "Feeding your chocobo any food that gives this message may also reduce affection by nearly one level per feeding, stat boosts may be much lower also."
  • I can prove this wrong in a single feeding, but (as I've mentioned previously) I don't feel comfortable with editing huge parts of Wiki's chocobo-related documentation to fix every piece of misinformation in it.

Following are the observations I've made regarding the feeding descriptions:

  • Weakly indicates that the chocobo is ill or injured.
  • Discontentedly indicates that the chocobo is bored, spoiled, or lovesick.
  • Quietly is used when multiple pieces of food are given.
  • Forcing itself to eat happens when the chocobo is either fed when already Completely full or is given too many pieces of food, resulting in overfeeding (and possibly a stomach ache the following day).
  • Eats, munches contentedly, and gobbles are, as far as I can tell, not particularly indicative of anything, but just depict how well your individual chocobo may like a specific food on an aesthetic level.
    • While it would make sense that a food which a chocobo gobbles would have greater effect, would increase affection, or would indicate a greater hunger satisfaction level, my research indicates otherwise.

The amount of hunger that is satisfied is not solidly indicated by the manner in which feed is consumed. That seems to depend solely on the type and amount of food given.

  • Until you get the hang of how much of which food you can feed in one day without overfeeding your chocobo it's best to feed your bird one piece of food at a time.


Cheap Feed and Gardening

Chocobo feed can be expensive, but if you know a few tricks you can minimize the gil you pour into your bird(s).

Basic chocobo feed is found at the following vendors:

  • San d'Orian Carrots can be purchased at Ronfaure regional merchants, cooking guild merchants in Windy Waters, and Aveline in South Sandy.
    • (I've done some testing with these carrots and still can't say for sure what they do - just that they don't do what anyone else on this wiki has claimed....)
  • Gysahl Greens are available from Derfland regional merchants and chocobo stables' merchants.

You can buy hard-to-obtain food and ingredients for chocobo feed with chocobucks.

Another option...

WildgrassInBloom

Gardening with Wildgrass seeds.

Garden!

You can grow almost all of the feed your chocobo requires!
To garden for your chocobo feed you're going to need lots and lots of Wildgrass Seeds.
  • Don't ask me why carrots come from wildgrass seeds, either.
Gysahl, sharug, and azouph greens are possible results using several different types of crystals.
Zegham Carrots can be harvested when a plant is fed using Ice Crystals.
Vomp Carrots can be harvested using Earth Crystals.
Note:
  • Know that these are not reliable results; you will probably end up having to buy feed at some point.
  • Carrots are the worst for this, especially vomp carrots. I've had harvests of stacks upon stacks of little worms or gysahl greens when aiming for vomp carrots or zegham carrots. Trust me, it hurts to sell the results of your time, effort, and money for 1 gil each to an NPC.


Chocobucks

Chocobucks are a currency that can be used to purchase items involved in chocobo raising.

  • They can be collected via chocobo racing and the Hot and Cold game.
    • Free runs are your best option for raising chocobucks. You can also receive them when winning Circuit Races, but those cost chocobucks to enter, and if your chocobo does not finish in first, second, or third place, you will be losing your chocobucks.
  • You must be registered with a CRA (Chocobo Racing Association) branch to earn and spend chocobucks.
    • Availability of some purchase options, such as chocotrains and intense training, depends on the rank of your CRA branch!
      • If your nation is in second or last place, some of these options will not be available to you.
      • Therefore, if you plan to spend a lot of chocobucks on training, it is best to be registered with the nation that is most often in first place on your server. On my server that is always, without fail, Windy; Sandy, where I typically raise my birds, is always in last place.
  • To purchase items or raise attributes with chocobucks, speak to the Racing Associates located outside of the door to the Chocobo Circuit of the nation whose team you are registered with.

Chocotrains and Intense Training

  • These can be used to raise the stats of adult birds.
    • You cannot max your chocobo's stats without these! They are important for both racers and diggers.
  • There are three purchase options:
    • Intense training is the least expensive option available for birds still active in the stables. You can find it under "Raise Attributes" when speaking to the NPCs outside of the Chocobo Circuit you are registered with.
    • Chocotrains and R Chocotrains are tokens that you can purchase and trade to the Racing Associate of your CRA branch.
      • Only R Chocotrains can be used for birds still active in the stables.
      • Plain Chocotrains cannot be used for birds that you are currently raising. You must have a VCS Registration Card, obtained upon retirement, to trade along with the Chocotrain.
  • Both Chocotrains and R Chocotrains can also be bought and sold via bazaars or on the Auction House but due to the low supply typically available it usually takes time to acquire the large number required to increase your chosen stat even a single level.
    • Even if you purchase Chocotrains via the AH, you must be registered with a CRA branch to turn in the Chocotrains to your affiliated Racing Associate.
    • If you are using R Chocotrains, simply trade them to the NPC.
    • If you are using Chocotrains for a retired bird, trade them with the VCS Registration Card of the chocobo you wish to upgrade.
  • If you're going to use chocobucks to improve your bird, I recommend keeping it active in the stables until forced retirement on Day 129. The improvement tokens (R Chocotrains, or Race Chocobo Training Tokens) and "intense training" for birds still residing in the stables are slightly cheaper than the Chocotrains used to raise the stats of retired birds.


Riding Your Chocobo

You will receive your Chocobo Whistle by completing the White Handkerchief Quest on your first bird. In order to ride a different chocobo that you have raised, trade that chocobo's VCS Registration Card to your VCS trainer.

You cannot call your personal chocobo under any of the following conditions:

  • You do not meet the requirements for riding a chocobo:
  • You have hate from a mob.
  • You are in a zone where chocobos cannot be ridden.

Note:

  • You are no longer required to equip your chocobo whistle to call your personal chocobo.
  • You will now be calling your chocobo via the "Abilities" menu, once completing the quest for your Chocobo companion. However, your whistle is required for this quest.
  • If you're really attached to your whistle (or have not yet completed the quest to unlock the new(ish?) mount system):
    • You can use a charge on your whistle (call your chocobo) every 5 minutes.
    • Each whistle recharge (now) costs 400 gil, totaling 10k for a full recharge of your Chocobo Whistle.
      • Before the June 2008 update [11], it cost 1000 gil, and if you do any research on Chocobo Whistles, you will see many complaints on that price.

If you drop your whistle, you will have to trade your VCS Registration Card and pay 20,000 gil to get a new one.


Speed and Ride Time

Your chocobo's stats will affect how fast your chocobo will run and how long you can ride it.

  • Strength and the ability Gallop control your bird's running speed.
  • Endurance and the ability Canter control how long you can ride your chocobo.


Certain equipment can increase your chocobo's running speed (to a certain extent) and ride time (with some restrictions).

  • The following equipment will increase your chocobo's ride time:
    • Chocobo Jack Coat Set and Rider's Jack Coat Set will extend your ride time by a set time depending on the piece; an entire set will grant an extra 15 minutes of ride time.
    • The Orange Racing Silks, purchasable with Chocobucks and R/EX, will extend any chocobo's ride time by 10 minutes.
    • The R/EX body piece Red Racing Silks, purchasable with Chocobucks, will extend the ride time of your personal chocobo only. The effect is reportedly equal to that of the Orange Racing Silks which can be used on any chocobo. I recommend saving your Chocobucks and not bothering with this piece.
    • The Chocobo Wand, received by some lucky players, will extend your ride time by 30 minutes!
Note:
  • These items will only affect ride time if you are over level 20, regardless of your ability to equip them, according to the Chocobo Riding Time page.
  • If you are renting a chocobo at levels 15-19, you're stuck at 15 minutes no matter what pretty equipment you're wearing.


Know that your chocobo will not be faster than a rental.

Ever.
It would've been nice, but SquareEnix said "No."
  • I've seen people claim that their chocobos are faster than rentals because they have SS STR, SS END, Gallop, Canter, high DSC, or what have you. While the only thing that matters in the matter of running speed is strength, even SS STR and Gallop won't have you beating rental chocobos.
  • Rental chocobos move at a (proven) 200% rate of speed, where 100% is a character's normal running speed.
    • As a point of reference, the job ability Flee gives +100% running speed; essentially, it is as fast as a chocobo for 30 seconds.
  • According to the article on Movement Speed:
    • Movement speed is capped at 200%.
    • Movement speed modifying equipment will stack with all forms of movement speed effects, other than Chocobo.


Your chocobo's endurance level can, however, break the 30 minute ride time limit without requiring any Chocobo Riding Time gear!

  • Ride time seems to be based on the point scale rather than having a set time per letter score.
  • By my calculations, approximately 30 stat points is equal to about 4 minutes.
  • Average (C) END seems to be at around 30 minutes.
  • A chocobo which, at the time of testing, had Poor (F) END and no abilities had a ride time of 17 minutes.
  • The longest you can ride a bird, at First-Class (SS) END with Canter, is 45 minutes.


Quest

On Day 7 (during the chick stage), you will receive the message from your VCS trainer:

  • "Your chocobo has been making a real fuss at night lately. Such behavior is common for chicks, but you should deal with it as soon as possible."
  • You will be given the key item White Handkerchief, which you automatically return in a cutscene when talking to your trainer on Day 8.
  • If you miss Day 7 and don’t receive the white handkerchief until Day 8 or later, you just have to wait for the next game day to turn it back in.
  • You don't have to run around town, ride a chocobo, or any such thing as others have suggested. On a couple of my mules all I did was log out and log back in 24 hours later in the same spot. I'm guessing you have to log out or zone to trigger the next cutscene.


On Day 9 (or the day after you return the handkerchief) you will be told:

  • "Thanks to the white handkerchief, Chocobo has been sleeping soundly at night."


The next step doesn't come until Day 29.

  • If you're in a nation other than Sandy, you will be told that your chocobo is now old enough to ride, and to see Hantileon in the Southern San d'Oria Chocobo Stables. You'll have to journey to Sandy twice for this quest, which is annoying if you're raising in Windy or Bastok.
  • If you want your whistle ASAP, wait to care for your chocobo until after speaking with Hantileon.
  • Upon your arrival in Sandy, Hantileon will say,
    • "Your chocobo has finally grown large enough to ride? Magnificent news! As you say, a chocobo whistle is required to call the animal in the field, and as president of the Vana'diel Chocobo Society, it is my duty to distribute them. However...
    • "First, we must test the level of trust between you and Chocobo. Chocobos have a habit of hiding things that they consider valuable. I'm sure even Chocobo hides things while you are not around... Find an item it has hidden and bring it to me. If you and Chocobo really have a trusting relationship, I'm sure you will be able to find something."
  • Now you must go back to the stables that your chocobo resides in and take it for a walk to search for the handkerchief you gave it when it was a baby.
  • While you're on the walk, you will be given prompts:
    • When you receive the message "Chocobo appears to be very happy," choose to watch over the chocobo. If you search at this time your chocobo will detect your search and be angry.
    • When you receive the message "Chocobo seems to completely absorbed in its current activities," choose to search for the item.
  • If you search unsuccessfully (but without being caught) in one "zone," go to another. Don't go on the same walk again - it's not there.
    • I recommend starting with a short walk and, if you do not find the handkerchief, move to a regular walk, then a long walk (which may require a Chocolixir) if necessary.
    • If you're not in a hurry, it won't hurt anything to wait to try again another day.
  • Upon finding the dirty handkerchief, return to Hantileon.
    • Under main menu there will be a new option: "Register to call your chocobo."
    • As of the June 2008 update [12], it costs 250 gil.


ObtainedChocoboWhistle

Obtained Chocobo Whistle!

Congratulations! You have your chocobo whistle!

Which is... now obsolete.
Kind of.
Here's more info on that:

Your Chocobo Companion

As of 2016, SE has incorporated a new mount system that allows you to call your chocobo from the Abilities menu.

After questing your Chocobo Whistle and completing the quest Full Speed Ahead! you may call your personal chocobo without having to equip your whistle.


Uses

...What did I want this chocobo for again?

Decide what you want to do with your chocobo before you start raising!

This section (with the exception of the Emergency Chocobo guide) is still in progress and is simply a rough sketch of the finished project or a place holder for my reference.


Emergency Chocobo

If you're just looking for a ride in and out of problem locations, don't care how fast it is, and don't want to invest time in Chocobo Raising, then you want an Emergency Chocobo.


You can feasibly spend little more time and effort than just dropping off the egg and paying for a whistle.

  • Okay, actually, the total time for care and the quest may total roughly 30 minutes throughout 29 (real-life) days with minimum effort.
  • It shouldn't cost your more than 11,000 gil to raise an Emergency Chocobo.
  • It may cost as little as 1k if you aren't required to pay to fully charge your Chocobo Whistle, now that you don't have to rely on it to call your bird. (I don't have a character available to test this on. Sorry!)

To raise an Emergency Chocobo follow these steps:

  • Drop your egg off at whichever starter city's stable is most convenient to you.
    • You will have to go to Sandy twice for your whistle quest, so you may want to consider choosing that as your chocobo's home.
  • Once your chick has hatched on day 4, set the care plan to "Take a Walk."
    • This will make your bird very slightly faster and allow you to ride it a tiny bit longer.
      • (Not a lot, but you're going to be there anyways. Might as well.)
    • You can set all four plans to 7 days each, though you may wind up changing the plan once it hits adolescence.
    • You can change the plan whenever you want. The change will take effect the day after next.
    • Your chocobo's day turns over every 24 hours from the time you first drop it off at the stables, not Japanese midnight.
  • Visit the stables twice on or soon after Day 7 and 8 and speak to the trainer.
    • You need to get an important cutscene involving a crying chick and a white handkerchief.
  • Optionally, you can come by again on or after Day 19 to set your chocobo's care plan to "Carry Packages."
    • It will increase your bird's stats a little bit faster than "Take a Walk," but is not necessary if you don't want to bother.
    • Once again, it's fine to set all four plans to 7 days each.
  • You can also find out if you have a colored chocobo on Day 19!
  • On Day 29 your chocobo will turn into an adult. You must complete a quest before you can get your whistle. (This is Final Fantasy... you shouldn't be surprised.)
    • To do this your chocobo must have some (i.e. over level 1) affection for you.
    • If you've only visited it a few times, it probably won't. That can be fixed.
    • If your trainer says "Regarding affection, it does not seem to care about you," then you have a little work to do:
      • Apparently you can successfully complete the quest with affection as low as level 2 ("it seems to be able to endure your company"). I've never tested that claim, however.
    • Raise affection by feeding either greens or a Cupid Worm.
      • Gysahl Greens can be gardened or bought for cheap from the stable vendors.
        • You may need several gysahl greens to raise affection to level 2 or higher. Feed them one at a time to your chocobo until it is completely full.
        • You can feed up to three a day
        • It may take a couple of days to raise affection.
      • Azouph greens and sharug greens are also available and will work just fine, but are less convenient than gysahl greens. Unless you've gardened them, save yourself the gil and just grab some gysahl greens from the NPC.
      • Cupid Worms can be gardened or bought from the Auction House.
        • These will increase your chocobo's affection much more dramatically than greens, but may negatively impact your bird's stats.
        • The only reason I'm recommending these here is that your chocobo will have very low stats to begin with, and stats are not particularly a concern for an emergency chocobo. (If you find yourself thinking "but I don't want a ride that moves at a snail's pace!" then consider quality chocobo raising!)
        • One Cupid Worm will do the trick for affection, if you choose to go that path.
  • After questing the whistle and registering to call your chocobo (which will be a new option under the chocobo main menu), you may safely retire your Emergency Chocobo.
    • Alternatively, you can leave it on "Carry Packages" and wait to retire it until day 64. It will be a little bit faster and you should be able to ride it almost as long as a stable chocobo, if it was on a plan for most of its life.

Make sure you have finished the quest and registered to call your chocobo before retiring it.

  • If you miss a step, you will have to start over with another egg, and you won't get your whistle for another real-life month.
  • Remember that...
    • You must be level 20 to equip the Chocobo Whistle and must have your Chocobo License.
    • You cannot call your chocobo if...
      • You have hate from a mob,
      • Or you are in a zone where chocobos cannot normally be ridden.

After you receive your whistle, you can quest the key item that will allow you to call your chocobo from the "Mounts" section in your "Abilities" menu. This way you can ride your bird for free.


Balanced Chocobo

The Balanced Chocobo is a lie!

Ok, sorry, had to add the reference to Portal in there somewhere.

But in all seriousness, there is no such thing as a good Balanced Chocobo.

As mentioned above,

  • With the two mental and two physical stats all sharing the same point cap of 637…
  • The highest you can get each stat (assuming you want one stat at First-Class, and the others as high as possible) is SS/A/B/C.
  • If you were aiming for a balanced chocobo, the best you could do is A (or more likely, B)/B/B/B.

This is a nice theory, and sounds great if you've never looked at how the care plans work. But...

  • Care plans are designed to give you points toward one or two stats while subtracting points from the opposite stat(s).
  • If you switch up physical and mental plans, most likely the best you're going to get is a bird with all 'E's or all 'F's.

Ok, so technically a bird with all 'F's is balanced, but it's not very useful.


My approach

To beginning chocobo raising...

Start with discernment and receptivity regardless of what you want your bird to do in the end.

Why?

  • DSC is good for racing, digging, and learning abilities!
  • RCP is also helpful in racing, but not as much as the other three stats. However, it comes bundled with DSC in the first tier plan.
  • It is said to be easier to learn abilities before day 64.
    • Most abilities can be learned with DSC a bit deficient, but the higher the DSC, the less time you have to spend on each story.

Plans

Chick: Listen to Music to increase DSC and RCP first.

Adolescent: Exhibit to the Public until day 29ish, when your choco reaches Average DSC or above.

Adult: Move on to the plans that meet your needs the most. Tips are located below in the appropriate sections.

  • Remember to switch to Basic Care after day 64, or you will just be decreasing stats with no benefits at all!


Feed

I recommend feeding Carrot Paste as a chick, if you can get your hands on it. At adolescence switch to Zegham Carrots until your desired abilities are learned. Afterward, continue to feed the appropriate type of carrots, as noted below, and greens as needed to keep affection high.


Mount

ChocoboRaisingHeadline

Goals:

  • SS STR (224-255 points)
  • SS END (224-255 points)
  • F DSC/RCP (These really don't matter for mounts.)
  • Canter & Gallop


Plans

Work on STR/END only after Canter and Gallop are learned. You want to get places quickly, and have enough ride time to make it to said places!

There is no adult (tier 3) level plan that focuses on END. I recommend keeping your chocobo mainly on Carry Packages after you learn your abilities all the way until day 64. You may need to integrate Deliver Messages occasionally to ensure that your STR (speed) reaches its full potential. Endurance is of lesser importance than speed in this case, as you will have a longer ride time than stable chocobos as long as it reaches over Average (C). To match a stable chocobo's speed, however, you must have max STR and Gallop. Switch to Basic Care after day 64.


Active Care

Go on long walks after abilities are learned. Telling stories is only really useful after that point in that it may (or may not) increase the amount of energy you have remaining by a seemingly random amount (often not enough to take another walk). Two long walks per day will be sufficient, and a short walk or watches if you have energy remaining.


Feed

Feed Vomp Carrots after learning abilities, and keep feeding greens as needed to keep affection maxed. Frequent long walks and quickly addressing status ailments should make greens largely unnecessary, allowing you to feed more carrots. Recall that carrots, however, only raise stats by a small amount each, so don't expect miracles.


Racer

Chocobo Racing (03-27-2007)

Coming soon!


Another Approach


Digger

ChocoboHeadline

In Progress


Breeder

Chocobo Raising Changes and Additions (12-07-2006)

In Progress


Helpful Tips

Never, ever, ever give up your chocobo!

A chocobo before day 64 can always be improved with dedication and basic know-how.
A chocobo that is given up cannot be registered on a VCS registration card, and cannot be called.
After day 29 you may retire the chocobo (and keep the whistle) and start another bird.


You can only have one bird on any one character at a single point in time....

But you have mules, don't you?


Remember that Chocobo Raising is part of a game. Don't get too stressed out, and don't take it too seriously. It's something that's meant to be enjoyed!

StuffedChoco


Links

I hunted down SquareEnix's official chocobo-related articles in my research for this guide.
They can be found here:

Chocobo Raising Details
Chocobo Racing Details
Chocobo Circuit Details
VCS Report
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