Yooyus and You
Hello fellow Neopians! Yooyuball season is in full swing and I hope you are all just as excited for the upcoming Altador Cup as I am! We have so many wonderful teams returning this year, and with them the famous Yooyus that the sport is named after. The Yooyu is Altador’s most highly coveted petpet and an icon of Altadorian culture. Along with many traditions, including the annual Cup itself, much of Altador’s food and art are inspired by the Yooyu petpet.
Many Yooyus are purchased during Cup season, but a Yooyu is more than a seasonal gift. Similar to the influx in Snowbunnies on the market during the Negg Festival, it is quite common for the Altador Cup hype to influence Neopians into adopting Yooyus. In addition, they’re even awarded to outstanding competitors after the Cup has ended. As a seasoned Yooyuball player and Yooyu owner, I would like to offer my insight into the world of owning your own Yooyu!
Types of Yooyu's:
Despite being an unpaintable species, Yooyus come in a wide variety of colours, and Altadorian petpetologists are still discovering more. Among the most common are the Normal Yooyus. These come in the colors brown, red, yellow, blue, and green. Of these, only the brown are used in actual competitive play. The other color variants used in the Altador Cup are Faerie, Mutant, Darigan, Robot, and Fire. The other known colors of Yooyu are Tyrannian, Water, and Christmas. These three colors rarely see use in competitive play, however, some teams still practice using these colors. Last year, after the discovery of the Water Yooyu following Altador Cup XI, Team Maraqua spent most of their practices using Water Yooyus as opposed to the Normal color variants.
Other than the colour, there are many more traits that define individual Yooyus. With the exception of Snow, Water, and Robot variants. Most Yooyus have a thick, leathery skin, which allows them to bounce and protects them when they fly or roll. All Yooyus have 7 appendages, extending from their bodies like a star fish: two arms, two legs, two ears (above the arms), and a prehensile tail which is used more often than their hands! Most people don't realise but Yooyus are actually quite fond of hanging by their tails (see Garland of Yooyus item). In addition to their 7 flaps, Faerie and Darigan variants have wings which allow them to fly unassisted. Tyrannian Yooyus are the only Yooyu variants with fur, however, both Tyrannian and Mutant Yooyus have spikes, so consider wearing gloves when handling these two. Possibly the most visually-distinct Yooyu colour is the Robot as it is currently the only known Yooyu to have metal appendages and a large wind-up key in it’s back.
Sometimes unique care routines are required for different types of Yooyu. Normal Yooyus are notably the easiest to raise, train and play with. It is recommended that inexperienced Yooyu owners adopt one of the Normal colour variants. It is worth mentioning that even amateur Yooyuball players begin by practicing on fake Yooyuballs until they are skilled enough to practice using the real thing, so don’t be ashamed if a plushie is where you decide to start instead! Robot, Mutant, and Darigan Yooyu are usually only ever owned by Yooyu experts or experienced Yooyuball players. These three tend to be much more high maintenance in terms of lifestyle and training. It is encouraged that all owners of Robot petpets, including Robot Yooyu, understand the difference between a normal petpet and a Robot petpet as one may find themselves in a somewhat… explosive relationship.
Some special care may be required depending on your choice of colour. Tyrannian Yooyus, for instance, need to be brushed often, as their fur may become matted with mud and debris after rolling around outside. It is also very important to brush the tusks of Tyrannian Yooyus. You may want to dull the spikes of Tyrannian and Mutant Yooyus using a file or a fine-graded sand-paper. Doing so will not hurt your petpet and will prevent it from harming you or any of your furniture.
If you live underwater I advise heavily against adopting a Fire Yooyu. Otherwise, Fire Yooyu-owners may want to exercise caution when bringing a Fire Yooyu home.
Yooyu diets tend to be quite similar across the board. The average Yooyu diet consists of various fruits and nuts to keep them healthy. Being native to Altador, they typically tend to favor Altadorian fruits such as figs and pomegranates. Yooyus are also known to love cheeses, although this isn’t always the case and certainly depends on the individual. For example, a Snow Yooyu might not be fond of the Fire Faerie Breath Mints you're trying to feed it, whereas a Fire colour might fancy them! Having trouble? Yooyu Treats are a really great snack for Yooyus no matter the colour and are quite inexpensive! I also asked my colleagues at the Altadorian Yooyu Association (AYA) what they were feeding their individual Yooyus and compiled a small census on Yooyu favorites based on their colours:
Normal: Avocados and bread
Fire: Spicy and Cinnamon-flavored foods, most Moltaran dishes
Snow and Christmas: Chia pops, frozen fruits
Water: Kelp,watermelon, water foods
Faerie: Flowers and berries
Mutant: Baby food
Darigan: Most Spooky Foods and food with garlic flavors
Tyrannian: Omelettes and grains
Exercise and Basic Training
Activity levels often correlate with the colour of a Yooyu, however, they are a very active petpet compared to most. Owning a Fire or Faerie Yooyu pet might mean taking extra walks compared to a Normal Yooyu, while a Snow or Tyrannian Yooyu might simply need a single outing a day. Weather is another important factor in the activity levels of a Yooyu. Fire Yooyus might feel more sluggish on a rainy day while Water and Snow Yooyus prefer the colder temperatures. Mutant and Darigan Yooyus can be unpredictable in their needs and may develop nocturnal schedules if kept in a dark environment. Try and be patient with them and consider coaxing them into a daily routine if you’re a busier Neopian. Generally it’s best to give your Yooyus at least one or two outings a day if possible.
If you’re interested in training your Yooyu to play in actual Yooyuball matches, it’s encouraged to start it’s training from a young age. While you most certainly can teach old Yooyus new tricks, it is easier to train them when they are young. Daily training should always begin and end with stretching. Flexibility is very important for Yooyus as it prevents pulling muscles in their appendages and allows them to curl snuggly into their wrapped form. A competitive Yooyu should also spend a lot of time rolling and being thrown in preparation for an actual game. Most importantly, as is with everything, the best experience is gained from practice.
I really do hope you found all of this helpful, especially if you are looking to adopt a Yooyu of your own!
Yooyus are not the most docile pets, yet you’ll find that they’re quite loving to a good owner. If you curious to learn more about Yooyus and the sport of Yooyuball, I recommend the following books for some extra reading: ‘The Yooyu’ and ‘1,001 Yooyuball Tips’.