Welcome

Hello, and welcome to my Habitarium guide. (By way of formal introductions that I hate. *shakes hand*) I found that everyone on the Habitarium boards seemed to be asking the same questions over- and I also thought that all the currently available guides didn't answer all the questions they should have. So, I decided to write my own guide, covering every topic in Habitarium I knew of, in hope to save everyone a lot of typing, asking and answering the same questions. Now you can simply have a good look through this guide, and I guarantee that by the end of it you will know everything you need to know about Habitarium- or almost everything, anyway. Use the links down the side to navigate more quickly, since this guide is really rather long. :) Enjoy!

This guide has been around for a while now (established on 04/01/11), but I'm still determined to keep it up-to-date, so if there's anything you think should be included please NM me, tintytiny909. :)

What's new

21/07/13: Broken images are the bane of a guidewriter's life. I replaced all those that have been broken up until today, and will continue doing it if any more break.

12/07/13: Yes, there really isn't much new in Habitarium any more, is there? I have still visited the guide every so often, but I've refrained from updating because none of the minor revisions I made seemed out of more than my perfectionism, or out of small but helpful tips from great Habi players. Just writing this to let you know I'm still alive, and still happy to listen; unless there actually is a major amendment I decide to do, I probably won't bother to write anything here.

03/02/12: Another long no-updates time. In actual fact, I /have/ been silently going through the guide every now and then, but none of the changes I made really seemed update-worthy. xD If there's still something I could improve, NM me, as always.

29/10/12: Sorry, I haven't updated for a little while- exams and violin have kept me busy. I have actually been going through the content here every now and then, but silently. x) I can see quite a few images have broken, so I've fixed all of those now.

21/08/12: Almost exactly one month, again. It's like I have this clock inside me telling me when I should update again. xD Fixed broken images and some minor errors.

22/07/12: Slight layout update, again, and a bit of correction. Not a full edit like usual, but I should get round to doing another one of those sometime.

Basics

Ever since Petpet Park was developed, Neopians have been itching for the release of a game involving Neopets' smallest critters- Petpetpets. With time, TNT responded to create this great game. The first version was P3 Habitats, a downloadable game open to beta testing for Premium members only. But now, the online version of this game has been put out there- P3 Habitarium.

Starting the game

So, what is Habitarium really, and how do you play it? Well, P3 Habitarium -no, really?- revolves around your Petpetpets, or P3s. You are presented with your very own tiny chunk of land, where your P3s can flourish.

Once you click 'Play', you will be taken to a page where a Kougra, Professor Milton Clodbottle, shows up. He will invite you to choose from three different layouts of land, and also give you a step-by-step tutorial for the most basic things of the game before he disappears.


Screenshots of the different Habs you choose from in order; Seedling Grove, Blossom Meadow and Puddle Lake. They all have the same area, but a preview's still nice- drag them into your browser to view full-size. :) These screenies are all taken at level 2- remember that your Hab gets bigger and more resources are added occasionally as you level.

You can see some advice on choosing your layout under Arranging your Hab, Strategies, but if you really want to get the best one for you, I recommend also reading through some more of this guide as well before choosing.

Types and species

Each P3 has a species, and a type. There are three different species of P3- there are Mootix (greeny-blue insects), Larnikins (sort of like very short red centipedes) and Pinchits (uh... orange and yellow fur with big green claws). There are also three different types- workers, nesters and soldiers, each of which is able to different tasks in the game. The species doesn't have anything to do with the type, and vice versa- the species is their appearance, the type is their job. Simple enough. ;)

P3s, in total, can do four different things- gathering resources, nesting, fighting, and repairing/building buildings. You can make them harvest so you can buy things to help your Habitarium function, nest so you can produce eggs and make your population grow, fight off invaders (blue bugs) or friends that raid you, and sometimes when a building gets damaged you'll want to repair it otherwise it doesn't do its job as well- and if you've just bought a building, you need your P3s to construct it.

Each type of P3 can do two to three of the above four tasks- but some types can do some activities better than others, and some types can't do what others can at all. Workers can harvest resources and repair best out of all your P3s, though they can also fight; soliders are your little army, and they can also repair; and nesters can nest, though they can also harvest a little, and fight (really badly, so don't get them to unless you have to).

To get a P3 to do a specific task you want completed (yes, you'll need to do this to heighten productivity), drag the P3 next to what you want worked on. If you want them inside or on a building such as a house or a nest, drag them on the building.


Here you can see a Pinchit repairing a shabby house.

Checking on your P3s and buildings

You can see your P3s' stats by clicking them. For example, if the P3 you clicked is a Soldier Pinchit then it will show up with 'Soldier Pinchit' in the little green information bubble on the toolbar. The first screen will also show you whether they're injured and how well fed and rested they are, and what they're doing at the moment. Of course, they work better if all three bars are full- yes, we'll find out how to do all that later.

If you click the little right-arrow, it will take you to a page that shows you how long they've lived indicated by the gem bar, and what level they are.

If you click the left arrow, it'll take you to a screen showing how good they are at each job that they can do.

You can do likewise with your buildings. When you click on a building, the green bubble will display the building's stats: the type of building, obviously, and also its level and its condition.

When you've got more P3s, it gets harder and harder to find the P3 type you want, especially if you accidentally drop it somewhere. So, TNT's added the profession toggle function- on the toolbar, right next to your all-useful green bubble at the bottom of the screen, there's a yellow circle split into three with three icons in each. The little hammer is workers, the sword soldiers and the egg nesters; just click the part of the circle you need, and all of that type existent in your population will be highlighted. That way, you can find them easily. :)


The colour of the circle when you click that third is the colour your P3s that are highlighted will appear.

Earning XP

You will notice there's a little green bar at the top of the page, with a number in a yellow star at one end. The number inside the star is your current level, and the green bar indicates how much progress you've made towards the next level. Pretty, hey? :) The first number inside the bar is your current total experience points, or XP, and the second number is the total XP needed to gain the next level.

You earn XP when your P3s do things. (Yes, really.) Everything your P3s do contribute to your XP, and the XP in turn makes you level-up which earns you rewards, expands your Habitarium and population size, unlocks buildings and gives you NP for your site account. The busier your Habitarium, the more XP you're earning, so get 'em working hard. :P For your convenience, I've organized a whole table on the rewards and XP needed for each level, all the way up to 50, in Game Data. :)

The current game goes up to level 50. Here's what your XP bar looks like at level 50:


Purple is the colour of awesomeness, duh.

When you're level 50, you can continue to earn NP by collecting the purple gems. These gems appear every time you gain 1000 XP, and you can collect them for 500 NP.

Woot for epic purple gems! ^_^ These gems are great moneyspinners- twenty-four hours' solid work from the P3s can yield you up to 150K. Pretty rewarding, eh?

Buying items

The Habitarium has its own shop! ;D The shop icon is a blue shopping bag on your toolbar- you can buy food, buildings, decorations and ink here. I daresay the Prof showed it to you before, but now it's time to inspect it a little more closely.

The currency in this game is resources. When you make your P3s harvest, you're collecting resources, and you can spend them here. Resources are stored in storages; your total resource balance is the sum of all the resources inside every storage that is currently on the field. You can use resources to buy things, and the resources needed for the purchase are deducted from your storages' balance. :)


This screenie points out how resources work to let you purchase. Note: Don't worry about getting the resources out of your storages when you need to buy something, they're deducted automatically from the storages. ;)

The first tab of the shop is buildings. The storage stores resources, and the nest produces eggs; the rest take care of your P3s. Here you will see all the buildings available, but you have to unlock some buildings at certain levels before you can actually buy them. For a more detailed explanation of what buildings do, see the buildings section under Game Data.

The second tab is supplies, which basically is food and tools. Food takes care of your P3s too- again, there's a table of information on food in Game Data. There are also two hammers you can buy in this section that can fix building decay; Twig removes one level of decay and Seed removes two.

The third and fourth tabs are ink and decorations. Ink paints your buildings and P3s different colours, to make them look all pretty; there's three basic ink colours, and then all the fancy NC ones. Decorations are just items for beautification that you can garnish your Hab with to liven it up a little. ;) Note that some deco is bigger than others; there are one-square decorations, but there are also two-square and four-square ones. There's a plentiful selection to choose from, if you're a decor lover.

Using items

Now that you know where to buy items, you also need to know how to use them. You will notice there is a brown carry bag next to the shop icon- that's your item bag, like an inventory. (Imagine how small they must be for everything to fit in a brown carry bag. o.o) Click that, and you'll be shown a popup where all your items are listed. There are all the same tabs as in the Shop- except that you have an extra one for eggs.

To put an item like a decoration, a food or a building on your game board, just find the item you want under the tabs, and drag it out into an available space. Then you can move it wherever you like by dragging it on the green circles with arrows in it. Once you've decided a good place, exit your item bag and your item will stay there. (Well, what else did you expect?) If it's a building, you'll also have to get a worker or a soldier to construct it before it can function. You can tell when a building hasn't yet been constructed, it will have a gold border in your bag whereas constructed buildings will have a dark green one. ;)

If you need to move your item after you place it, you have to open the item bag again before it becomes draggable. Keep in mind that you can't move resource tiles though, they stay stuck. (Just as well, you might accidentally kill them if you tried to uproot them.)

Note: Just so you know, items can't be rotated- there's only one angle of view. But since an item will always take up the same area and work the same way no matter which way it faces, it doesn't really matter except for the aesthetics.

Using things which affect a certain item or P3, like inks or hammers, is different to using buildings and the like because they don't go on the board itself. To use an ink/hammer, you have to drag it onto the object you want to use it on, so the square that building or P3 is on is highlighted, and let go. The effects might take until the next game update to show themselves. Hammers can only be used once each; each ordinary ink bottle can be used 5 times, and each NC ink can be used 10.

Note: If you want to get rid of an ink after you've painted, just click the painted thing and click 'Reset Ink' in the bottom of the all-useful green bubble on your toolbar. You won't get your ink back, but you'll get rid of the colour.

If you want to get rid of your items, you can only do so through the item bag- there's no discard option on the ground. Drag the item back into the bag, and click on it; you'll notice that in the right-hand corner there's a small red cross. If you click that, a confirmation dialogue will come up; once you click 'confirm', your item will be discarded and disappear into an alternate universe forever. Boohoo...

Upgrading

At the beginning of the game, all your buildings and P3s are Level 1. However, you can upgrade your P3s/buildings to make them better. Upgrades are unlocked by achieving certain levels in the game. (To see when you can unlock the upgrades, and also to see what building upgrades do, see Game Data.)

Upgrading a P3 only costs a few resources, and it improves their ability to do their jobs; each upgrade seems have a special focus attribute which is upgraded more than the other three. (I think the nesting attribute was first to have special emphasis, then came fighting, then harvesting.) Upgrading buildings is much, much more expensive but also makes them do their jobs better, and upon being upgraded they give you quite a bit of XP too.

When you upgrade P3s, you only have to upgrade P3 of that type for all P3s of that type to be upgraded from then on. (So say you upgrade one soldier to L3; every soldier P3 you have in your Hab after that will also be L3.) However, you have to upgrade each individual building to get them all upgraded. :P

To upgrade, simply click the building/P3 you want to upgrade, and in that all-useful green bubble on the toolbar you'll see the stats like I showed you earlier. At the bottom of the bubble there is a green up-arrow in a circle; click that and it'll take you to a screen showing you how many resources needed to upgrade. Press confirm; the upgrade might take a while to complete, but refreshing the page will speed it up. Once it's done, your P3 or building will go up one level. :)


So, have you got a little idea of how things work now? :) If so, feel free to continue to the next section, Working with P3s!

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Working with P3s

This, essentially, is what you'll be doing the majority of the time you're playing Habitarium. To earn XP and resources, grow your population and fight off attacks, your P3s are essential- so let's learn how to handle them.

Harvesting

There are six different resources in total- wood, mud, stone, pollen, water and grass. You can see how much you have of each currently on hand by hovering your mouse over each of the icons on the toolbar at the bottom right of the screen. You can hold 350 of each resource without a storage building; after that you must buy storages to hold your resources. These resources are what you buy items with at the shop- the first three buy buildings, decorations, and tools, and the other three food and ink.

To harvest, simply drag a P3 next to the resource tile. So say you want a P3 to harvest water- drag it to a square next to your water tap, and it will begin work. It'll deposit each unit it harvests into your storage, then come back and then keep harvesting until it gets another unit... and another... and so on. The resources will slowly add up and fill your storages, and eventually you'll fill a storage completely and have to upgrade or buy another. For more info on storages, see Game Data.


Screenshots of a worker harvesting water and carrying the resource to the storage.


Resources in green have maxed out in that storage.

Breeding

You want your P3 population to get bigger? Well, you have your very own nesters to produce P3 eggs. ^_^

To breed, you first have to buy a nest in the buildings section of the shop. After you've bought the nest and constructed it, find a nester to go on it. It will sit there like it's sleeping for a little while- except that the thought bubble shows an egg- but after a few minutes a blue bar will show up. That means she's laid an egg! :D This egg will be of a certain type and species, like a P3. The species depends on the species of the nester which laid it; the type is random to a degree, although the normal ratio for workers : soldiers : nesters is roughly 1 : 1 : 2- as in, for every two nesters you get, you should have gotten one worker and soldier, give or take a few. It might seem a bit odd sometimes, but it'll even out in the end. :)

She will sit and incubate it for an hour or so, and the blue bar will slowly fill up. If you pick her off the nest at regular intervals you can see the egg slowly getting bigger. Eventually, when the blue bar is full, which will usually take one to two hours, you can take her off and see the egg bouncing and shaking- it means the egg is ready.


Screenshots of a nester nesting, lifted off the nest and the ready egg bouncing.

Put her down somewhere, and click the egg- you can now see the type and species of the egg, as well as three options as to what to do with it, in the green bubble. The first one, the box icon, is to harvest the egg so it goes in your item bag. (Yes, that's what the egg tab is for.) The second option, the egg icon, is to hatch the egg, if you still have population room in your Habitarium. Hatching, it, of course, will give you a new P3 of the type and species the egg is. If you don't have room, however, you only have one other option- to discard the egg, which is a brown cross. Discarding it will get rid of it; however, you can get 200 XP for it. (If you discard it in your item bag after you harvest it, it will also give you 200 XP, though you have to wait until the next game update for those points to show up.)

Note: If you have an egg in your bag you want to hatch, drag it onto the ground- it won't go onto the nest from your bag. If you click it on the ground, you should see the same three options you get in the green bubble from the nest.

The egg has a certain expiry time, as indicated by the green bar. If you waited too long to hatch your egg and the green bar reaches empty, you'll get a message from the Prof saying, 'Hmmm... looks like one of your P3s snuck out of its egg. Clever thing! Try hatching it sooner next time.' Sadly it won't add to your population, it'll just disappear, leaving behind an empty shell. You can discard the shell for 10 XP, but it's not really worth your hard-earned egg, is it, so make sure you do something with the egg before it has to take matters into its own hands.

Note: Upon harvesting into your bag, all progress of the expiry bar will be frozen, so rest assured a horde of unhatched little darlings won't escape from your bag overnight. :)

Attacking

Every now and then, you might be attacked by pests- little bugs with bright blue fur, a little tail and multiple legs. When this happens, it's up to your soldiers to fight them off, mostly. (Workers and nesters can fight too, but they take damage from fighting much more easily than soldiers and you don't want that. Trust me.)

If there is an attack, your soldiers will normally automatically go and fight it since they're usually just wandering around. However, if you want a soldier to attack a different pest- for example, if two soldiers are attacking one pest and leaving another unharmed- move your soldier next to the pest and they'll stomp it flat.


DON'T YOU DARE TOUCH THE BOG!

If your soldiers fought them off quickly enough, the pest will die and leave behind a red gem for you to collect, worth 30 XP.


Ooh, shiny...

But if they didn't, the pests may damage your buildings and your natural resources. Decayed or damaged buildings and resources aren't as good as normal, of course. If it's a building they destroyed, just punish the soldier for not fighting off the pest and make it fix the building. :P However, if it's a resource, you'll have to wait for it to regenerate naturally, which takes roughly three hours, or get an NF to repair it (see The Multiplayer Side).


Well, too bad, I did anyway! :P

Note: Sometimes, if the situation is really desperate, a P3 in a building will come off or out, to defend itself. If this happens, just heal it if it's wounded and put it back. ;)

Caring for your P3s

Okay, here comes the important bit. Your P3s will get injured or sick, tired and hungry gradually. The only way you can repay them for all the hard work they do is to take care of them properly, right? And it'll enhance your productivity as well, if you want an efficient Habitarium.

There are two ways to take care of your P3s, and both of them are bought in the shop. The first is buildings, and the second is food.

My first recommendation would be to buy buildings, like hospitals, houses and barracks; at first, you might have to rest them in turns, but after a while you'll have built up enough to rest them all at once. To get a P3 to use a building, you have to construct it first (see Using Items) and then once it's done, just drag the P3 into the building. To check on its progress, click on the building- a popup window will show up, showing you all the P3s inside and their health bars. If you want the P3 to come out again, click the P3 you want and drag it out. (No, they won't come out by themselves, even once they're fully healed. You have to take them out manually.)


A screenie of a house and the P3s inside. Those bars are the same as the green ones we saw in the all-useful green bubble earlier- red for health, grey for hunger and yellow for rest.

The second way to restore your P3s' health is food. I usually only use them for emergencies, or as supplements to my buildings- foods work much more quickly than buildings do, but you'll have to keep continually buying food and setting it out. To feed a P3 with food after you've bought it, put it in your Habitarium and drag the P3 you want to feed next to it. You should see it start munching on the food after it walks around a bit- and if you leave the food there and you have P3s that need to be nurtured, they will automatically come to you. However, if you have set them manually to a different task, they will stay doing that task and you have to drag them to the food to make them feed.

Note: The P3s can be very finicky with food, and sometimes they might not eat it properly, spoiled little brats. :P I can suggest putting items around the food so that they have to stay next to the food, like fences.


A picture of a Pinchit eating a piece of cornmeal.

Your P3s' lifespan

Yes, everything has to die eventually, sadly. *sniff sniff* P3s normally last a week or so- you can see how long they've lived (roughly) by the gem bar in that green bubble when you click on them. However, if their health bar becomes empty, from fighting pests or raiders, they will die, too. (Only health can make them die early; don't worry, they won't die if they're just hungry or tired.)

When they die, they will leave behind a shiny blue gem (sort of like the pests only much cooler) and you can redeem it for 50-150 XP, depending on what stage they reached along their gem bar. If they died earlier, you get less XP- to get max XP they have to have died from reaching the end of their natural life.


The new gems look awesome. :D

Note: There also seems to be a correlation between the age of a P3 and their maximum work rate; I noticed that whenever I hatched new P3s, my earnings would spike. So, the mystery of odd slow harvests is finally answered with a simple answer- they may be getting old. xD

Once you've got your P3s working and are an even match for your friends, you'll perhaps appreciate the multiplayer side of this game.

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The Multiplayer Side

Yes, this is a multiplayer game, though you may not believe it. And though you can work perfectly fine on your own, it's always nice to have some company, right? You can have so much fun with friends. This section will guide you to doing just that.

Your friends a.k.a. enemies

In this game, having friends can be both good and bad news. Friends can help you out and gift you, but they can also raid you, which is just like a large-scale pest attack when you're fighting against actual P3s rather than weakling blue buggies. But hey, you're not too hard against having some evil fun, right? *shifty eyes*

This is what your friend's own little box looks like. :) The buttons are in this order: gift, raid, help and view. Thank you, Haley, for letting me use her username.

So, anyway, unless you're an absolute loner (no offence to fellow loners) you'll probably have noticed some usernames along the bottom with a selection of little buttons and are wondering why those names are somewhat familiar. Those are your Neofriends who also have a Habitarium obsession- yeah, you're most likely not alone. You can scroll through the list by clicking the little arrows at either side- isn't that sweet! Now that you've figured that out you're probably wondering what the buttons are for, so let's get down to that.

The view button

You'll see that one of the buttons along the four is a little magnifying glass. Hold onto that now, you'll probably need it seeing as P3s are so small. (It doesn't help if you're longsighted, like me.) If you click that, it will load for a minute, and then a view of your friend's Habitarium will pop up. Isn't that amazing!

This button is useful so see when you should use the other three buttons. You can see what sort of state their Habitarium is in, and you can also see how well fed and efficient their P3s are. That helps you decide whether to click the other three- ohemgee, so brave- so why don't we find out what they're for?

Note: This magnifying glass seems to be a rare opportunity to see back through time. It only shows your friend's Hab from the last time they visited it, like a (well, animated) freeze-frame. So, yeah, if they've been off for a while, you might not see the devastation, only the beauty of what once was. *cue nostalgic music*

The gift button

This is the little orange gift box icon, wrapped neatly with red ribbon. Isn't it pretty! If you click that, it'll take you to a screen where you can decide what to gift your NF. So if you're feeling nice and rich and want your NF to have a share of it, this button is excellent.

To gift, just drag the item you want, and it gets sent away all neatly wrapped up just like the icon. You're probably mourning it now, so let's get on from here quickly. You can gift buildings and decorations bought with resources, but note that you cannot gift eggs or NC items. Good thing anyway, they're way too precious to give away. *cradles* You also can't gift buildings or food that have been constructed or used already (if you try to give second-hand items you'd just be fobbing your friends off, right?).

Your gift will arrive like an item gift- it'll show up where your NMs and trade offers do, and all you do is accept it like a normal item. After you've done so, it should be in your Habitarium item bag.

Occasionally, you can get a few extra resources as a random event within the game. This isn't a gift from your NF, but a random occurence generated by the computer, so don't go round thanking your NFs for it. xD They really don't make much difference anyway (5-20 units usually) and are quite rare so don't count on them.


*bleep* I - am - not - your - friend - I - am - one - of - TNT's - computers - giving - out - random - kindness - if - that - exists - in - your - world. *bleep*

The help out button

If you're not feeling quite as generous but still want to so something to help your NF, here's your ideal choice. The help out button looks like a little hammer, and once you click it you'll be taken to a screen where you have three options.

The first option is the option to take care of a P3. This will fill a random P3's health, hunger and rest bars. The second is to repair a building, which restores a random building back to perfect condition. And the third option is to repair all of their resources, so if they decayed or were damaged by pests all their resources will return to perfect condition.

Note: Sometimes, after you try to help them, it'll come up with a message saying 'helping out failed'. This is because they don't have anything that can be fixed; for example, if you tried to fix a building for them but they don't have any broken buildings, it'll say 'helping out failed'. However, since it's nearly impossible to have all the P3s at full health all the time, that one will probably succeed the most. :)

The raid button

You're probably thinking having NFs is all fine and dandy now. Well... not quite. The last button, the raid button, is a little sword with a golden handle, and it does exactly what it looks like- it wages a war against your Neofriend.

Now don't sit there thinking that raiding is the worst thing ever, which is the common opinion. It's really a bit of harmless fun, and the best thing is you can fight it off and you can only be raided when you're offline so you can't be attacked by pests at the same time as a raid. When you raid, you'll get a screen where you can choose how many soldiers you send- you can send from one to nine, the maximum number depends on your level. The raid takes eight minutes to begin with (though during leveling you get bonuses on the time- see Game Data).

When the soldiers return you can see the results of the raid in a green box. You can loot resources (only a few normally, so don't worry about that), damage their buildings and resource tiles, and kill their soldiers. Keep in mind that you can sometimes lose soldiers yourself, even if it was you who raided them! If they lose soldiers during a raid, the soldier's gem will appear on your land, not theirs, and vice versa. And your NF can raid you back, too, which really adds a nice little spark to the game. If they raid you, you'll see a similar box telling you what they did to your Habitarium.


Mastered the basics now? Let's get on to some strategies that will let your Habitarium be more efficient!

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Strategies

Of course, anything requires a bit of strategy to succeed- including Habitarium. These little tips will really get you going!

Warning: I had so many tips this section expanded amazingly. It's rather long, but it's worth the time. 0:-) If you like, you can just read the sections you think you'll need. Use the links in the sidebar if you get lost.

Harvesting

Make sure the P3s harvesting are workers. They work at about twice the speed of nesters (which is a lot) so your nesters' primary job should be nesting. Refreshing often can also help a lot with your resource output; see Leveling up/Earning XP a bit further down for an explanation.

Normally, you'll be harvesting wood, mud and stone, though you might want to keep a few of the food resources on hand. Having your P3s work on one resource at a time makes it faster, though it's better to divide them up if you're not going to watch them constantly for when the storage gets full of that resource.

Try to keep the window open for as long as possible- they harvest at a constant rate if the window is open, whereas if you're logged out, your computer is shut or hibernating or the window is closed, they can only harvest a small fixed amount of resources- it's like they stop and have a coffee the minute your back is turned. xD

Note: There is a way to make your machine not automatically sleep so your Hab can keep running, but it differs how depending on whether you own a laptop or a computer, and which system you're using. Generally, you go to your Control Panel or System Preferences, and find something called 'Power Options' or 'Energy Saver'. Then you have to find the tab where you can set your computer to never sleep or hibernate (should be in a dropdown list), and if it's a laptop you also have to set it to do nothing when you close the lid.

This is the power-options toggle for my operating system and device- a Windows XP laptop- accessed through Control Panel. Still, it shouldn't be that different for other operating systems. Drag it into your browser to view at full size. :)

Keep an eye out for when your storages get full. Try to buy new ones or upgrade before you run out of space, so you don't hold up productivity on any resource because once your storages are full your P3s will stop working. If you're trying to keep all your storages on the Hab, then you have to upgrade whenever you can. However, if you store them in your item bag, the resources will remain inside, so you can just buy new ones, which is more cost-efficient. ;)

If your resources are arranged the right way (I like Puddle Lake best) you can block little pathways around your resources so that when your P3s fill on one resource, they can only move to one other, and you don't get random chaos with different numbers of workers harvesting different things, which is especially annoying for the perfectionists like me. xD Refer to Arranging your Hab for a bit more detail.

Unless you're really desperate, get your soldiers to fix or construct any buildings so your workers can keep harvesting. Soldiers are slower, but they don't usually do much so if they do it it's not interrupting anything. ^^ If you leave them close to broken stuff they'll eventually catch on and repair it by themselves, though they're a bit slow to use their initiative so you might have to wait a bit.

Breeding

Try to keep at least one nester of every species in your bag, if nothing else- that means that if the species dies out, even if you don't like it, you have a way to get it back again. Refresh after you put your nesters on the nest- you can find out if your nester is glitching and didn't go on the nest properly because the game didn't assess and save your actions, rather than wasting time.

You should have three to nine nesters per Hab, depending on your personal choices, unless you're hoarding eggs. (I like going in multiples of three, it means you have a roughly even amount of every species.) I normally have six- it's enough to sustain a population with a little extra just in case- but you can just about scrape through with three, and nine gives you a bigger safety net. Try having a house or two next to your nesters; that way, you can put them in to regain sleep while you harvest the eggs, so you don't have to wait.

Make sure you keep some backup eggs, in case you have to leave for a while and your P3s die off while you aren't collecting any new eggs. Keep as many worker eggs as possible, because in most cases you'll have a lot more workers than anything else and you might run dry if you're not consistently replenishing your supply. Also keep as many nesters and soldiers as you think you might need, if they all die. I usually keep twice as many eggs as I need to rehabilitate my population completely. :)

Every time you upgrade, you might want to take a bit of time to find out exactly how long the nester takes to lay and incubate. Then you'll know how long the intervals at which you need to check the nests are, especially if you hoard eggs. :) L1 nesters and L1 nests take roughly 2 hours for the egg to finish; L2 nesters and L2 nests take around 1 hour 10 minutes, and L3 nesters and L3 nests take fifty minutes.

If you like, you can leave one population spot open so you can find out what type the eggs are and discard if you don't like that type- saves you the work of having to clear out the item bag all the time. Of course, that's one less P3 you have, though, so it's your choice.

Some people like to maintain a 'hatching day' after they reach max level. This is when they let all their remaining P3s die and hatch all their eggs at once; that day then becomes their hatching day, because P3s will typically live for one week, so all their P3s will die and have to be rehatched the same time next week. Most consider it easier to maintain, because if you have them all dying at once, you don't have to hunt down the P3s that died if you have them dying at intervals. Another advantage of this is that when all your P3s die, the Prof will give you three new P3s, so that's three less eggs you have to hatch every week. :) See the last paragraph of Restarting for how to get rid of your P3s if you want to have a hatching day.

Note: If you're going to have a hatching day, to be certain you get all three new P3s from the Prof, either make sure the last egg you hatch each time is always a nester, or wait until you're sure all of your population died before opening the game. :) If you open the game after or when your last nester dies but you still have other P3s, then you'll only receive a nester, or only a nester and a worker or soldier but not both, depending on which types are left alive.

Attacking

If you have your sound turned on the pests make a noise when they come so you get a warning. You can choose to rest your soldiers in shifts, or just have a few and rest them all at once- I prefer just having a few, since it only takes a few minutes to rest them and you can always close the screen while all your P3s are in houses. Remember, the more soldiers you have, the more space it's taking from your worker/nester population, which is ultimately more important to making NP and levelling than soldiers. Three soldiers should suffice to protect your Habi- more than that out at a time isn't necessary.

Don't leave food out unless you want to attract pests- they love the stuff, and they'll come swarming if you leave it there. They can damage and eat your food, so be careful if you do want them to come, and pull your food out of the way, or keep them in enclosed areas like your storages.

If you have eggs incubating, keeping the pests away from nests may be of extra importance; not only will they damage the nests if your soldiers don't reach it soon enough, they can also cause the progress bar to reset, or even break the egg. Try fencing around your nests, or just being on the alert when pests come.

If you have bits enclosed for your workers or your storages, then remember that pests can also appear in there. Make sure there aren't any other little nooks and crannies either that you've accidentally blocked off, so that your soldiers will be able to get to the pests.

Beware that pests can appear in your unusable tile too. :P See Glitch FAQ to fix it.

If you're in a really bad situation with your soldiers when pests come, refresh the page. (It's the all-useful cure for many minor glitches, as well as this.) The pests will disappear, which means you won't get the 30 XP for fighting them off but they won't be able to damage anything. Even if the pests have already damaged your resources/buildings, if you refresh before the next XP update they'll stay undamaged.

Note: If you get the glitch where your soldiers get confused and stop fighting before all the pests are eradicated, see Glitch FAQ to fix it; that way, you don't have to refresh every time after a pest attack, which can get annoying.

Leveling up/earning XP

Harvesting should be your main source of XP. ;) It's better than nesting, unless you don't miss even one egg harvest, all 28 times throughout the day, which is basically impossible. However, if you're unable to leave the computer on for any extended amount of time and are only able to check in for a few minutes at a time, then having a fully-nesters Hab and discarding eggs would be a better way to go because egg progress continues even if the window is closed whereas harvests stop.

Refresh often. This can help in quite a few ways; first, if the game didn't register your actions, you can find out early and put your P3 where you wanted it rather than wasting time. And secondly, sometimes there'll be times when the Neo server disconnects, or your internet connection breaks out. Even if it was only for a second, the Hab game will have stopped its XP updates like if you went offline; if you refresh often, you can reactivate the updates sooner. I always find that, when I'm actually there at the computer refreshing every so often, I tend to earn more XP and NP than if I left it alone for long stretches. (Of course, if you're L50 then make sure to clear every purple gem before refreshing so you don't get locked out.)

If you have any extra eggs, discard them for the XP. Only discard if you're sure you don't need the egg, though- remember that if you hatch a P3, you actually get far more XP through its lifetime, especially for workers. You can hoard eggs after you reach max, since you don't need to do any leveling up then; then, when new levels are released you can discard them all at once and zip through the levels, or get rid of your nesters and use your egg supply instead in order to have more worker XP.

Leave out food to attract pests- yes, I mentioned this in the attacking section but you can use it to your advantage to level up faster. The more pests, the more XP because you collect 30 XP from the red gem each time your soldiers fight them off. Only do this if your soldiers are in good shape, though- believe me, near constant pest attacks can mount quite a bit of pressure on your soldiers.

It works just like a mousetrap.

Upgrading and constructing buildings is even better for earning XP than eggs, and besides you don't have to give any potential XP for it. That's another reason having workers as your main XP grinders has a bit of an extra benefit- it gets you more XP every time you buy and construct new storages. Fixing a damaged building also earns 5 XP, and though it's not much it does add up, so I suggest using soldiers to repair instead of hammers, and if you have a load of storages like me, getting them to repair each time can gain quite a bit. :D

If you're really hard-core, rich and just want speed in levelling, you can buy heaps of buildings whenever your P3s fill up on storages- nests are cheapest- and construct, upgrade, and discard them over and over, thus gaining yourself 200 to 800 XP for every one. :o (The amount you can get per nest depends on your level, as if you're L40 or above you can upgrade twice for each structure, at L22 and above you can upgrade once, and lower than that you can only get the building XP.) It's one way to keep your storages empty too, so if you don't mind having next to no resources, it's the way to go.

Note: Buying tons of items at once can get you the duplicate item glitch though, so just be wary; see Glitch FAQ for a further explanation.

Help your friends every day. As well as being extra nice and earning your friends' appreciation, for each friend you help you can get 50 XP, and the current limit that you can view in your friends bar is 100- so if you help all 100 friends every day, that'll be an added 5000 XP per day. ;D

Yay! And to think it's just an easy click of a few buttons!

Note: Having heaps of friends does induce lag though. You get to choose whether to benefit more people, or spare yourself some lag. ^^

Caring for your P3s

As I'm sure you've figured out by now, Hab's one of those games that doesn't require a lot of skill or effort- just patience and regular checkups. I'd recommend you check the Hab every six to eight hours- your soldiers will collapse after around 400 minutes, or six and a half hours, and your workers will do the same a little later, at roughly 450 minutes or seven and a half hours. You'd think the workers would tire first, eh? x_x Do they get so bored they fall asleep or what?

Houses and hospitals are basically your two best choices for resting your P3s- you can choose what type of building you use. Don't forget that the hopsital is much more expensive than the house, so the latter might be better to begin with. (For more info concerning buildings, see Game Data.) Aim to have enough buildings to house your whole population at once, and obviously, upgrade them whenever you can.

Keep some food for emergencies, however. You never know when you might desperately need a P3 to be healed, say a soldier, and foods are very satisfying for that sort of urgent action- remember foods are hard to use, but they only take a few seconds to heal. You'll be given food as you level up, so keep a few in there for crises; keep up some food resources (pollen, water and grass) stocked up as well, in case you run short.

Your regular check-ups should soon form a routine, and it shouldn't take longer than ten to fifteen minutes each time. It's up to you when you check- you could check as regularly as every six to seven hours, since that's roughly the amount of time P3s can work for (for example, checking first thing in the morning, then at lunch, then at dinner, then before going to bed), or you could just check once or twice every twenty-four hours if your schedule is busy. Prepare your houses in a place where the pop-up bubble won't block your view of the P3s- it can be really annoying. Basically, once you've got enough houses, all you're doing is dragging them all in, having a cup of coffee while you wait for them to heal, and as soon as they're back to full dragging them out straight back to work. (If you like, you can close the window while you're waiting for them to heal- that means there won't be any pest attacks while your soldiers are resting.)

Note: It's a good habit to refresh both after you drag them in and after you drag them out, just to make sure there aren't any stragglers wandering around still not in the houses. Naughty things. :P But, remember, if you're L50 (though you should've heard this enough times, what with all the fuss about it recently) DON'T refresh until you've cleared your gems away.

HEY! What are you doing still up? It's way past your bedtime!

Preparing for a restart

You will probably find you need to leave your Habitarium for a while at some point. So, for your convenience, this section gives help on one thing- what to do to prepare before leaving, and the next section covers what to do if you've already left without reading this first and now are in a bit of trouble. After all, most of us have a real life to live, and we can't be glued to the computer all the time. *cough* *cough* Or at least I hope so...

First off, try to estimate what time you'll be back. If you're going to be away for more than a week, it's probably best to expect your P3s to die in that time anyway, but if you're just going to be going for a short time there are different measures to take.

If you're only going for a few days or at very most a week, put your whole population in houses so that they can, hopefully, survive your little day trip and be perfectly healthy when you come back, and you can set them working straight away- it doesn't matter if the houses decay, once they have healed the P3s they should keep them fully healed and you can fix them in a tick.

If you're going for a long time, remember that P3s only live so long no matter how good you take care of them. You should pack up all your buildings into your item bag to prevent them decaying- your item bag is your own private Noah's Ark. As the P3s will die off during your absence no matter what you do with them, it will be much more helpful to you to store every building to preserve their condition rather than leave them out to take care of the P3s.

Erm, yeah... this is really going to... withstand the storms and seas for forty days?

In both cases, however, it's good to have a store of eggs to help you rebuild more quickly if you need it. If you know you're going to go away and you can plan in advance, then make sure you harvest as many eggs as possible. I usually only start discarding eggs after I have enough to start my population completely from scratch, twice, just from hatching eggs. ;) Try to make sure you have a fully constructed nest too; that should've been one of the first things you did, but I'm just reminding you that rebuilding can be a lot slower if you don't have one.

If you want, you can also find a few helping friends to keep your Hab as well maintained as possible. If you have friends who are willing to help you every day through their Hab, you can ask them to do a different thing for you each day. If your NFs manage to keep all the buildings that are out repaired and your resource tiles intact, you'll find restarting no problem when you come back. ^^

Note: Just as a warning: if you're level 50, you must make sure you've cleared all your gems away and disposed of everything that might cause you to have a lockout before you exit Hab. It'd be a nasty surprise all right if you came back to find that you'd been locked out. :/

Restarting

The condition with most people that they really need this help is that all or nearly all their P3s are dead, and all they've got is what the Prof gave them, correct? :P Well, don't worry, though it may be tough going at first you'll soon get your old Habitarium back. Because you cannot just reset unless you have a valid reason (like the lockout glitch), you have to try and rebuild best as you can.

Bit of a mess, eh... time to start rebuilding.

The first thing to do is to check the egg tab in your item bag for unhatched eggs. If you have any, they can be supremely important: hatch all the ones you need (which might well be all of them if you don't have many) and the process will suddenly be much easier. If you have none, then, well... read on.

If all your P3s are dead, you should be grateful that TNT has made this much easier for you. If all your P3s died, you used to just get one nester; but now, if all of them die, you get three- a nester, and a worker and a soldier as well, even though the message still only says a nester. All will be in perfect condition. Therefore, no matter what kind of a postion you're in, you can restart!

Get the worker and soldier to fix all your buildings. If necessary, buy a few hammers to speed up the process of repair. After that, if you have a nest, get the nester to sit on the newly repaired nest, to produce more P3s; the soldier can prowl around in case pests come by and the worker should start harvesting. If you don't have any nests, get the nester to join your worker and harvest until you have enough resources for one.

Your first priority is getting your population back; therefore, hatch any nesters that come your way, and workers too, to get resources to buy more nests if you don't have more already. Since nesters are the most come-upon egg, this shouldn't be hard. Don't worry about keeping to a limited number of nesters like you would usually; at the end of this section is a short guide to killing off P3s, so you can kill off the excess nesters later. Before long, the nesters will have produced enough eggs for your whole Hab to have been re-established. :) Easy-peasy, eh?

Note: You need at least one nester and one 'builder' for you to be able to re-establish, if you have no nests. If you are in this rare predicament where you are stuck with just builders or just nesters but not both, and no nests, you have two options. A, let the remaining P3s die and follow the procedure above; or B, which only applies if you have only workers or only nesters but not both. Get them to harvest and level you up, and hope you get the eggs you need on level-up. (See Game Data for a table of the levels, to find exactly when you recieve eggs.)

If you restart effectively after you come back, but find yourself lacking a particular species in your Hab, and really want it back, there are two things you can do. If you're still not max level, level up as much as possible. You might just get a nester of the species you need. ;) Alternatively, you can let all your nesters die, on which the Prof will give you another, and keep doing this until you get one of the species you want. (See below if you want to kill them off to make it quicker.)

How-to on killing P3s, if you're that mean. :P If you want to kill your soldiers, just find some people to raid back and forth with until they all die. (You can lose soldiers both from raiding and being raided.) The Habi board is, obviously, a good place to find such people; if you make a board asking for raiding partners, you should eventually get a few willing players. Be patient, the Hab board is not the most active board in the world, but the people there are quite friendly and happy to help. :)

If it's workers or nesters you need to kill, you'll have to rely on pest attacks to deplete their health. Make sure your soldiers are in a house or out of the way, so they can't fight the pest. Then, choose one attackable object to leave on the field (or you could just use a resource tile) and make sure nothing else attackable is accessible to pests- and that includes your other resource tiles- either by putting it all into your item bag or by fencing around everything. Then take your chosen attackable tile and fence around it so that only one access point to it is left open to the field. See below screenie for an explanation.


Only one tile adjacent to the flower is unobstructed. It doesn't really matter what you use, you could use food too, although I would recommend a resource.

Once you've done that, place all the workers/nesters you want killed on that one unobstructed tile, and make them harvest, or eat (that's why it's best not to use a building, because they'll only stay on the tile to build for a limited time). You can drag out some food as well and fence around it, if you're not using food in the first place, to tempt the pests. Then just wait for pest attacks; the pests, having nothing else to attack, will all move to the tile where your P3s are, and that should be sufficient to overwhelm them.

Reducing lag

I added this section because everyone seemed to be complaining about the larger Habs and populations causing lag problems. ^_^ From my own experience there's things that can help, so hope they work for you.

There's two main reasons you're going to want to reduce lag. The first is for a smoother UI and more seamless flash animation; the other is to lighten the burden on your CPU so you can play Hab without destroying your videos, music, other flash games etc. They're slightly different, and caused by different aspects of Hab, but they often get confused. However, they are similar, and share some common fixes, so hopefully I can help you a bit with both.

Note: Hab is not unlike KQ, and if you've got any tips for reducing lag from KQ experience, feel free to use them. :) Obviously there's no low-quality flash option here, but there are other ways of doing it. I'll get to that soon.

Fence in your storages and block your P3s' access to them, or block off the P3s themselves. That way, the resources will still make it into the storages but the P3s won't have to make the trip. It reduces the animation lag in the brief but frequent moments when the game updates- it can help if your work in the Hab is consistently interrupted by the updates. For more tips on blocking stuff up, have a look at Arranging your Habi a little later in this section. :)

Although there isn't a custom low-quality flash setting, you can set forced flash quality if you use FF or Chrome. They both have extensions/add-ons that can automatically set your flash quality lower, for all flash that's playing. It doesn't look as nice, but I think it's worth it. ;)

Another common suggestion is to clear your flash cache. Be warned: it'll reset any games with saved data, like Kass Basher, but if you only play Hab then it might help. To do this, right-click on your Hab screen after it's loaded, or any other flash material on Neo, and select 'Settings' in the dropdown. A dialogue will come up; click into the Local Storage tab, the folder with the green arrow, and drag the indicator down to 0 KB. Click OK, and close the box. Then repeat the process, and drag the indicator back where it was, or just to 'Unlimited' if you can't remember; close the box again and refresh the page. Because of the brief time when you blocked all access to your local storage by Neo flash, your cache will now be reset. :)


This is what your box should look like.

I've seen suggestions of zooming out too- and believe me, I tried that back in the day when you had to drag all your eggs to the ground before you could discard them, causing the most unbelievable lag. It didn't seem to make a lot of difference for me, but if it does for you, then go for it.

If possible, switch browsers. Google Chrome, I found, has the best performance in flash and optimizing CPU usage. Chrome's designed to be smooth and lightweight for flash playing, and it's not weighed down by all the stuff and clutter Firefox and IE have, which are built more for browsing and loading pages. Believe me, it will make things a LOT faster.

Sometimes, opening a blank tab on the browser over the Hab tab will help too when you're trying to play other offline games or play music; it never worked for me, but apparently it does work for some people, so again, if you test it and it works, fire away. :)

I seemed to mention this a lot of times during this guide, but I'll do it again. Lots of NFs does seem to bring a significant number of processes in, so if you want, you can try trimming down your NF list. I prefer having to put up with a bit more lag though- as I said before, your choice. :) I'd suggest keeping decor to a minimum too, as they add more processes with each one.

I'm not sure how much exactly it helps, but I always turn my music off. I do it mostly just so I can play my own weird music, but it might help reduce lag as well, to a noticeable or unnoticeable extent. Perhaps turning sound off helps too, but I sometimes like my sound on so I know when pests come- see Attacking/Raiding.

If you're experiencing sudden weird lag that you've never had before, try restarting your computer, or refreshing your internet connection. Sometimes, if the computer's been running for too long, a shut down can really help by clearing processes and starting clean; restarting the connection, or connecting your internet to another network and then connecting back, can also help clear things.

You should also regularly check and clean your computer to make sure it isn't clogged up with unnecessary stuff. I can suggest using the built-in programs like compressing old files, disk cleanup, defragmenting etc., and there's also special programs that can help you clean up unnecessary files. CCleaner is a good downloadable program to use; it can get rid of extra stuff the default programs didn't pick up on.

Start by using these basic programs. Just search 'cleanup' in the search function, it should come up. :)

I did find a quite helpful video online that told me some stuff to do to help my computer speed (although if you're wanting to find it and similar ones you'll have to sift through many definitely unhelpful ones first). It tells you how to clear up memory space and things, so you can save RAM.

This is what that video looks like. Searching 'how to make your computer much faster mystring' in the site search and clicking the first video will get you there. :)

Another helpful thing I found from a real-life computer-geek friend (sorry Matt xD) is that you can set priorities, on Windows. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del and click 'Task Manager'; this will bring up a window called 'Task Manager'. (Well, duh. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl + Shift + Esc.) On the Applications tab, you can see the stuff you've got open; go to the one which is your internet browser on which you're running Hab, and right-click. Select 'Go to Process', and it'll take you to the process linked to it. Then, right-click the process, and select 'Set Priority'. A list of priority levels will come up, and you can choose how much you want to prioritize Hab. :) I'm not sure how much this works, but according to Matt it should.

This is what it should look like. :)

If that's not computer-geek-ish enough for you, I can also recommend adding to your paging file. Windows will use RAM for processing, but when there's not enough RAM, it starts to use hard disk like RAM. Because hard disk is much slower than RAM, when that happens the computer runs way slower. You can do two things to help- add paging files, and tweak your paging file in order to optimize performance.

What I might warn you about, however, is that doing this, especially editing the registry, can seriously affect your computer if you do it wrong. Therefore, I'd recommend you read these tutorials below, since I myself am no tech expert and I might accidentally explain it wrong and cause some kind of disaster. xD I also can't provide any screenies, on account of the fact that I'm not an administrator on my laptop and can't actually change these settings.

This site explains quite well about paging file and how to change the paging file size. I searched 'paging file size' in my search engine to find it- it's the first link.

While I was trying to tinker with my paging file, I also found something in the same options menu. I didn't actually notice that this helps, myself, but you're welcome to try it out.

Go to your desktop, right-click My Computer, and click Properties. Then, click the Advanced tab and click Settings under Performance (the same one that you go to to add paging file). But this time, instead of the Advanced tab, go to the tab labeled Visual Effects. You'll probably see that the circle with 'Let Windows choose what is best for my computer' is checked. However, you can click 'Adjust for best performance' instead, which removes all visual effects; or, if you like to keep some, you can click 'Custom' instead and choose which ones you want.

Note: The two computer tinkers- prioritizing tasks and adding paging file- will improve the speed of your computer or Hab, but if you're here because you have an overheating problem, then I suggest not doing them as they might take up more CPU. If you're just having overheating problems, you can still perform all the things up to those two. You can also try dimming the screen as far as possible, turning off keyboard lights and things like that, and turning off the monitors when you leave it on. Try to place your device on a hard surface, and in open air; if you're worried about the fan being too weak, get another fan installed or just get a household fan and put it next to the computer while it's running.

However, at the end of all that: some computers, older ones in particular, simply don't have the processing ability required to play Hab, no matter what you do. In that case, there's not really much that will help, except maybe upgrading your old machine for one with larger processing space or getting a new disk. :) Sometimes it pays off to do malicious-program scans and get some professional help, especially if you've tried everything and nothing seems to work.

Arranging your Hab

I've noticed quite a few people asking whether there's an ideal way to arrange your Hab. Before that, I'd told them there's not really and they just have to figure out a good way for yourself, but then I realized I had subconsciously included just that in this guide, except the tips are scattered all over the place. So I decided to make this section just for convenience and easy reference. ^_^

If you were directed here from the very beginning of this guide and you really care about the difference the layout can make, I suggest reading this section, and maybe some of the rest of the guide, to help you choose. Personally, I like Puddle Lake the best out of all the layouts, simply because my habits make it ideal for me. But that's just me- choose which one you think will serve you best. Look at your resources, where they're placed, how many there are of each. If possible, find some L50 friends with different layouts to see what they'll end up like. Imagine where you'll put your buildings, how you'll fence things, and see which one you'll be most satisfied with. :)

Your houses/hospitals/nests should be where they can be reached and fixed easily by soldiers, but the popup bubbles from the houses/hospitals won't block your view of the workers when they harvest, which can be really annoying when you're trying to rest them. Have them as close to the P3s as possible, or at least reachable when you're dragging, so it's quicker when you're trying to get a large amount in at once. The nests have to be somewhere where you can see the blue incubation bar. Once you've placed that lot, you can put your storages wherever you have room.

Soldiers seem to like to hang out in the bottom-left corner of the Hab, unless you've blocked off large areas so they can't make it there. So if you have a barracks, put it around there, you should be able to round them up easily. :) Also, make sure there aren't any stray small areas your soldiers can't access in the case of a pest attack- don't forget that your buildings might accidentally block one-span roads and edges. Sometimes, you might also want to block off your nests to help your soldiers as well- see Glitch FAQ for more detail. ;)

After that, do any fencing and fiddling you need. As I said in Reducing Lag, most people like to do either one of two things- fencing in the P3s, or fencing the storages. Fencing the storages is a lot neater, but then I prefer fencing the P3s. 0:-) Of course, fencing off P3s or storages from the main area means pests might get in with them where the soldiers can't reach, but it doesn't really matter; you can fix your storages, and as for the workers, well, I think ten-odd workers are more than a match for a few pests.

I like to fence in groups of resources instead of just one. That way, when they've filled up my storages on one resource, they automatically move to the one I want them to, saving me having to check every so often, as well as having to drag them all to the next one. Basically, all you need to do to achieve this is to enclose an area around two resources.

Here's an example: the mud and the tree are fenced in the same area, so once P3s fill up on wood they have no choice except to move to mud, which means that a. I don't have to drag them there, and b. they can't move off by themselves and start harvesting random resources, they will always move to mud.

If you're going to fence, I suggest not fencing the entire area in a square, but rather using your fences sparingly. Remember that P3s can't travel diagonally, so you can fence diagonally and they still won't be able to break through. Additionally, P3s can harvest from a resource even if they're not facing it- as long as they're on a square next to it, which includes the squares diagonally neighbouring it, they'll be able to harvest.

In the first screenie, although there looks like there's lots of holes in the fence, actually won't let any P3s through. The second contains lots of unnecessary fencing.

If you're L50, you may want to try and place as little inside the 11 by 11 'gem square' that extends from the top-left corner, eleven squares down each side. (Puddle Lake has the smallest lake within that little area, too, which means more space for the gems to be in, if it affects anything.) No, this is not your original square you were given at L1, that square was 10 by 10. If you notice a lower income from the purple gems, it might be to do with the fact that gems can't appear where buildings or decorations are. It seems they can't appear on the edges, so try putting stuff there instead. Jeez, why do those gems cause so many problems? Seriously, TNT should just make it send 500NP to our accounts each time the bar fills. -_-

Once you're L50, it's also good to place your buildings, particularly tall ones like storages, in places where they won't block your view of the purple gems, or at least block as few as possible- otherwise, you might keep missing them. Alternatively, if you don't mind the aesthetically bad, you can let the storages decay to make them shorter- I'm pretty sure it doesn't actually affect harvests.

The bigger decorations, four-square or two-square, are probably better for blocking than one-square ones. The type of decor that only takes up one tile won't let any purple gems appear on the one tile it's on, but the bigger decorations which take up two or four squares still only prevent one gem from appearing, according to my observations. So you could manipulate this in order to block more squares but only prevent one gem from appearing.

Here, you can see how I've taken advantage of the seashells in order to minimize the number of spaces my decor takes up. Again, this is only an example, and it's not the most efficient way; you can decide for yourself where you want to block and how to do it.

All this is another reason not to overuse decorations for visual purposes, especially not on tiles that can be used for buildings and other stuff instead. Don't use 1-square decorations unless you really have to- if you need 1-square blockers, houses, nests or anything else can do the job just fine and they're more useful too. However, as you can see in this next screenie, my Hab is not exactly pretty, so if you favour aesthetics over efficiency, then decorations can definitely help.

This is how my Hab is arranged. It might be a little difficult to figure out, especially as the seashells make trying to see where exactly I blocked really hard. Still, you can see where I spent ages moving stuff around, if you look carefully. x) All the buildings and all the spaces where pests might appear can be reached freely by my soldiers. Houses are within easy dragging distance from their intended occupants. I've used big decorations abundantly (including a large mossy twig that's behind my flower) and moved as much as I can out of the way of the original square, so even this arrangement, despite looking cluttered, only blocks 6 gems. I shouldn't have too much trouble seeing the purple gems, because I've left a space between my storages and the gem line. Each worker section will move automatically to the right resource when they need to. So although it looks horribly messy, it's more carefully done than you might've thought. :P

Note: I've just said all this stuff about not wasting space, but I have to say, once you're L50, always have at least one building, preferably a house, within the original 10 by 10 area that you start with at L2, and make sure you remember where this building is (you can put it in an easy to remember place like the top-left corner or a certain number of squares from a resource) or take a screenie and save it. No, not the 11 by 11 gem area- the 10 by 10 you get when you begin. Why? It might be crucial to fixing lockouts- you'll see how in Glitch FAQ. You'll probably be able to use it as a blocker somewhere anyway, so it won't really be taking anything from your gem count.

So I think that's about all the tips I have for you. Sadly, though, TNT just can't keep up with the alarming alacrity at which some people advance through the levels each time they release more. So, you're going to be wondering to do when you get all too close for comfort to max level...

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After max level

The current game goes to level 50, and sadly it gets a bit boring after a while. I decided to add this section on helping people to decide what to do after they hit max; you have a couple of options, as I will list here.

Option 1: hoard resources

Normally, you are continuously buying new buildings and foods to support all your P3s as your population expands and your P3s' needs increase. However, once the progress has come to a standstill, you will no longer need the extra resources you harvest; so, in short, you can do two things with them- hoard or gift.

If you hoard resources, after a while you will find you have quite a lot, and you'll keep kidding yourself you might need them one day but seriously, you probably won't. xD The little guys are surprisingly efficient when they're actually glad to be given something to do. If you're seriously bent on levelling fast, though, you could use all those resources in order to upgrade and discard structures in the way I described in Levelling up/Earning XP. If you really don't care about resources and you want tons of NP and are willing to work for it, you could even use that buy-upgrade-discard method to get purple gems while you're still max.

So, basically, to hoard, you have to work out a system on which you buy and replace storages. The best way to all those storages is to stock them in your item bag. Everybody has different systems for filling storages- if you just want the NP, upgrade the storages so you can get more XP and keep your workers harvesting with the same storages for longer, but if you want a good stock of resources more, don't upgrade, just buy new ones- it's more cost-efficient. You can fill one storage at a time, or stuff as many as you can on your Hab, or have a cycle- like I used to have seven storages, then when they were filled, I'd deposit four and buy four more with the resources in the other three. Choose one that works best for you. :)

Note: Just be careful you don't have too many storages. See the lockout glitch in Glitch FAQ.

Option 2: gift

There are some nice people that will offer gifts to others in order to lighten their resource burden- are you one of those people? Gifting has no complex system and is a simple and warmly received act of kindness, so remember it's for more good in the world. ;)

If you choose to gift, you can set up a site, or just advertise your gifting on the boards. Every time you fill your storages, or whenever you reach a certain level of resources, you can make a gifting board on the Habitarium board or open your gifting site, and provide people with whatever they need. Your work will be appreciated, I assure you.

Note: Begging foods and buildings from others and then gifting them isn't helping. Yes, I know it's a stupid idea to most people, but there are people who have done it, so just beware of how you go about your gifting.

Another note: I remember in an old editorial when TNT said gifting publicly, such as on boards or on a site, was against the rules. However, I also remember that as far as the Hab board goes, they've either forgotten or haven't noticed. I've sent Editorial entries in asking, but they never replied. So, yeah, I think you're quite safe to gift on the Hab boards- this passage merely serves as a 'don't say I didn't warn you' reminder.

Option 3: hoard eggs

With the same motives as hoarding resources, unless you're a really competitive level conqueror. You can tell yourself you'll zip through levels by discarding your eggs when new levels are released. After all, will you really need to have thousands of P3s anytime soon? Really? You sure? *shifty eyes*

When people start hoarding eggs, they mostly let their worker population die off and replace them with nesters, so they have almost all nesters apart from a few soldiers. (So you can get more eggs, silly. If you can't bear letting your workers die then maybe egg hoarding isn't for you...) Make sure you work your workers long enough to buy all the nests though!

After that, it's a simple process of nesting, staying up late to harvest the eggs routinely, getting exhausted from checking your eggs hour after hour and eventually giving up. 0:-) Even hoarding resources seems sane by this time.

Option 4: quit

Apparently having to restore everything when new levels come out presents a nice challenge for some users. This option is pretty much self-explanatory- basically, if you want to preserve your Hab for when new levels are released, do what's said in Preparing for a restart in the Strategies section, and if you don't just close that window and take a break from the little guys.

Note: Some people have asked me whether it's possible to actually reset their game back to L1, rather than just leave their Hab. Yes, it is, see the lockout section under Glitch FAQ- but you can't just randomly restart, you must be locked out or have some other glitch that makes it necessary to restart. I don't know if this is twisting the rules, but some have deliberately locked themselves out and then used the restart fix- you can do that at your own risk.

Got a good idea of how the Habitarium works now? Excellent. Some specfic information about things that have been touched on previously have been neatly laid out in tables in the next section so you can take closer observation, and I've also compiled a FAQ of common glitches- but really, this is where I leave you, you can fend for yourself now! Thanks for reading this extremely helpful guide by the super-intelligent, witty, and talented (not) Tina, and good luck with your endeavours among your little critters in the future.

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Game Data

Here are some carefully drawn up tables of data just so you can get a slightly better look at the details mentioned in the guide. :)

Foods

There are also three magical foods- the magical meatball, the magical marshmallow and the magical honeycomb, to take extensive care of hunger, tiredness and injury. They are bought with NC- 50 NC for each; they'll gradually revive your P3s of whatever attribute they take care of if they're fed to your P3s. Plus they make your P3s sparkle! :D

Buildings

Levels and rewards

Note that there seems to be a glitch involving the egg/item rewards, and they sometimes switch around in the green box under your level bar, although whether this actually affects it is unknown. There's stuff about that in Glitch FAQ. :)

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Glitch FAQ

Even though the game is officially out of beta, it's still reasonable to expect a few glitches, right? Or quite a lot of glitches. Or a huge, mind-boggling selection of glitches. Of course, glitches are constantly being fixed and new ones might pop up here and there, so if I've missed a common glitch, or you know how to fix I glitch I don't, or if a glitch gets fixed and I didn't take it out, etc., etc., please NM me and I'll update this list. ;)

I put my P3 in/on a building, and it stayed there, but it seemed to make no progress. How to fix this?

I moved my item and it wouldn't go there. What's going on?


This is a glitch where the game doesn't assess your actions properly, and if you put a whole horde of P3s into or on buildings at once you're bound to get a few naughty ones who wander off on their own. You may also get a couple of buildings with odd habits of moving back, or even two buildings on one square. You can either refresh and put it back (which is the only solution in the case of buildings) but now that the glitch of P3s turning tiny when they're taken out of a building they weren't actually in has been fixed, you can simply take the offender out and put it back in.

I have an unusable tile in the upper-left corner of my Hab. When I open my bag there's a green cross as if a building were there. Why can't I use the tile?

Actually, everyone has this 'glitch' when they have eggs in their field. To fix it, just make sure you have no eggs in your Hab- there can be nesters on the nest, but as long as they haven't yet laid an egg the tile should immediately become usable. Once the tile's usable, if you need it move whatever you need there quickly, otherwise once the nesters have laid the tile will become unusable again. :)

My friends list isn't showing all my friends, so I can't help/raid certain people, and sometimes it doesn't show my friends at all. Can I do anything to show them all?
There is a limit to the number of NFs you can see in your Hab list, so you may find the people at the end of your list are blocked off- there are 100 spaces in total. However, if you have NFs who don't play Habitarium, they will still take up space- so if you have, say, 150 NFs, and 40 of the first 100 don't play Hab, then it will only show 60 NFs, max. Try deleting some of the old NFs that you don't talk to anymore. :)

There is also a glitch that's often confused with the previously stated condition: the Hab just refuses to show your NFs. I'm not sure what might fix that one for sure, but some people have got their NF bar back after refreshing extensively or just playing until it comes back.

A P3 of mine changed species/type! :o And refreshing doesn't make it change back. Is there any way I can make it go back?
Currently not. People with one-species Habs or one-species/type sections have noticed a P3 changing to a different species or type- and to date, there isn't any way to fix the glitch. It seems to happen most often with the new P3s the Prof gave you when all your other ones died, so if you're going to be picky, wait and refresh a few times after you get the new P3s to see whether they change or not, before you hatch any others. It can still happen with older ones though.

My egg disappeared! The blue bar was full and then suddenly it restarted. What happened to my egg?
Yet another unfixable glitch. This sometimes happens when a nester is never finished nesting even though the blue bar is full, and then suddenly the blue bar resets itself- it can happen a lot during pest attacks, so maybe fencing the nests could work. A lot of people have lost eggs to this, so at least you're not alone...

I took my P3s out of my house/hospital/barracks, and once I put them on the ground they get question marks over their heads and then start sleeping again. How do I wake them up?

Lazy little tykes. :P They seem to decide to nap just a little longer, and until the next game update they stay sleeping. You can either refresh, or wait for the next update- either way, they will suddenly realize they have work to do and scurry to your command.

There's been a pest attack, and my soldiers killed off a few pests- but then they stopped fighting and just sat in the same place with question marks over their heads, not moving to fight even when I drag them to the pests. Is this a soldier rebellion?

Not to worry, they're just confused. xD This glitch occurs often, when there are several pests attacking, especially near nests. Just refresh to get rid of the pest, or, if it was nests that causes the problem, blocking up that unusable tile in the upper-left corner and surrounding your nests with fencing so the pests can't get in those areas should fix it.

I had a level 1 building, and I clicked 'Upgrade', and my resources were deducted from my balance. But the building never turned into level 2, and still had the same functions as a level 1 building. When I tried to upgrade it again it said that I had to reach the minimum level to upgrade to level 3, as if I was already level 2. Can I get my level 2 building, please?

How many more of these hugely annoying glitches will spring up? Your resources are deducted, but your building is never upgraded. If it's in a building that really matters, the best you can do is discard it and build another; if it's not of great importance, just leave it. Either Meepits have invaded Habitarium or TNT really need to get cracking on this...

I was hoarding eggs/resources, and I was locked out of my Hab by the loading glitch- I get nothing except a blank background with a green loading circle spinning round and round but never letting me in. I thought the locking glitch was fixed now..?

The lockout glitch was probably there throughout the entire progress of the game, to be honest. They've never found a real fix, only managed to extend the number of things you need to have before you can get locked out. You can be locked for a number of reasons: the first type of lockout is the bag-lockout, which is caused by having too many items. The second, the gem-lockout, is because you have too many gems on-board your Hab; and the third, the watch-it-die, is mainly caused by MPETs (see the mini egg glitch for an explanation), although some people think NC also contributes to it. The last lockout parameters (which are now safe, we don't know the new ones yet) were 17 pages of buildings or 1200 eggs, and while it's still unsafe to have a full board of gems about half to two-thirds seems okay now, though I'd still clear them before refreshing just to make sure.

However, by now there seems to be a few reasonably secure self-fixes that work for most cases of lockout. The crux of these fixes is that you log into two Habis at once; one your locked one, and the other one created on a side or borrowed from someone else (if you're using someone else's, it won't affect their Hab but try to choose someone with the same layout as you have). Yes, it's technically against the rules to have a Habi on your side, but TNT have allowed us to do it for this purpose as long as you donate any NP earned in the process of creating one to the Money Tree.

First, you open two tabs. In the first tab, go to Neo, log out of your main account and log into a side account. (If you don't have one just create a random one and freeze it later.) Create a Hab on that side account, and you MUST follow through with all the steps on the new-Hab tutorial- for the best effects, choose the same layout that you had on your locked main's Hab. Don't refresh this tab after you finish the tutorial.

Then, in the second tab, log out of your side ON THIS TAB ONLY and log in once more to your main. Open your locked Hab on your main, then go back to the tab with your side's Hab on it. If you wait for a bit then open your item bag, you should see your main's items in it; this is the two Habs merging. When you click on the shop, you should also see your main's resources. If it isn't happening, try buying something to speed up the process; once you buy you should see the level in your side's Hab become 50.

Now it's time to start unlocking. Nobody knows why it works, but hey, it works, most of the time. ;D I mentioned in Arranging your Hab to place at least one building inside the original land and to remember where it was, right? This is why. Now, you have to get the same type of building- so if you remember where one of your houses are, you get a house from your item bag or buy one- and put it where it was on your main. (If you can't remember where anything was, try getting an NF to look at your Hab from theirs, or NF yourself from your side and look.) Don't move it after you put it there, let it sit for, say, five minutes or so. Check your main's Hab; it might've unlocked already, but if it hasn't, try to get a P3 from your side's Hab to build/repair it. If that still doesn't work, move it one square from where you put it in any direction, let it sit for another few minutes, move it back, wait again, then drag it back into your bag. Check your main once more; most people find that it's unlocked by now. ^_^

If it's still locked, or you had nothing on the 10 by 10 square, and you're willing to do anything to get back in, try the reset fix to set you back to L1. (You'll still have all your eggs, and all your buildings albeit empty and all L1, so getting back to L50 shouldn't take too long.) Follow the same steps, but this time when you create a new Hab (yes, you must create a new one, using an existing one won't work) DON'T start the tutorial before you're in your main's Hab also. After you're in your locked main Hab, go back to the side tab and follow the tutorial, but stop when the Prof gets you to move a P3. The side Hab should've loaded your main's board, so you might see gems and things, but the buildings will be invisible. Try to move a P3 into an invisible house, or a nester on a nest, then take it back out. Once you've done that, go back to your main- if it worked, you should see that it's unlocked and been reset to L1.

A tiny incubating egg suddenly appeared out of nowhere. I'm not missing an egg and it won't go on my nests. Refreshing doesn't fix it. What do I do to get it to go away?

Quite a few people are getting newly-laid eggs appearing in their Hab, mostly in the very upper-left corner; this glitch is often termed 'MPET' or 'Meepit' (short for Mysterious Phantom Egg Thing). It's important to remove them, they can cause lockout- typically of the watch-it-die type- if they're not dealt with. (I've heard that fiddling with them WHILE you're locked out can fix them- but actually, that's just like merging except using the egg instead of a building, and that's a lot more complicated, so just use the standard merge-method.) It's got a bit better recently, and most people are able to put the egg in their bag and discard it if they have no eggs on their nests.

First, make sure you have empty nests. Then, open your bag and count each egg type. Make a note of how many there are of each, then drag the tiny egg in (it looks like a normal egg in your bag). Recount all the egg types and see which one had one extra egg (this is the tiny egg). Then drag out all the eggs of that type and refresh, to find the tiny egg when it becomes tiny again on your board. Once you have it, drag it in your bag so it's the only egg inside of that type, and discard it from there. (If you can fit your entire store of eggs in your Hab, you can simply drag them all out and put them in your Hab, before putting the tiny egg inside by itself and discarding it.) I know, it's a heap of work, but that tiny egg will really bug you and that's a surefire way to get rid of it.

Note: If you do this process once and it doesn't go away, consider that you might have more than one on that tile. I once helped someone with this who actually had 27. 0.o Just repeat the process until they're all gone.

Two of my nesters are nesting in the same nest! What do I do?

You can't move either of the nesters, but you can still harvest eggs. You can try moving the nest around and see if one of them gets off, but even if they don't, don't worry, your nesters won't be stuck there forever. When one or both of them die you should have a normal nest again; until then, you can't really do anything.

There's a tiny, broken egg in my nest, and the incubating bar is gone. There's no options to discard it. How can I get rid of it?

Why, oh why, TNT, do eggs cause so many problems. Anyway, even though the incubating bar is gone, you can put a nester on the egg and let it incubate the egg until it, eventually, becomes a full-sized egg, and then you can discard it for 10XP like any normal broken shell. (Yes, it will take a long time for it to become normal-sized, much longer than it usually does, but it'll get there.)

I had an egg in my next-level-reward box, but then it changed to a gift! What exactly happened?

This seems to be another glitch, though not many people notice it. I'm pretty sure if TNT meant it to happen, they would have told us, so just be careful because if you try to use this to your advantage it might count as exploiting a glitch. Anyway, some people have reported that when they refresh a couple of times, the egg in their box becomes a gift or vice versa. I don't know yet whether what the box says actually affects what you get or not, but I would assume it does.

The health, hunger and sleep of my P3s suddenly zeroed out or became negative in houses/hospitals/barracks- going backwards, or extending towards the left rather than the right. How can I fix it?

Crazy, huh. *facepalm* Move them out of the buildings, and wait for a bit. Check on them regularly until their stats have gone positive, then put them in separate buildings- it should get fixed after that.

My nester won't lay an egg, even though she's been on the nest for ages. It seems like she's infertile. What can I do?

A pest attack should wake them up. :P Try this: attract pests by leaving out food, or just wait for an attack. Once it happens (leave your sound on so you know when) drag the infertile nesters off the nests and leave them there until the attack is over. Once it's done, drag them back on the nest and they should lay eggs. ;)

I bought an item, but when I attempted use it, it gave me an error notice or just stayed and nothing happened. Trying to discard it in the item bag doesn't work, it just comes back into my bag when I refresh. I want my money back...

Oh dear, a duplicating item. Your item isn't really there, it's like a ghost replicate of a real item; it looks exactly the same in your bag, but when you drag it into your Hab, you can't do anything with it, like build it, hatch it (yes, it happens with eggs too, though that's not as bad since you usually have heaps), upgrade it, dye it or even make P3s eat it. (Well, stands to sense. Rather difficult to eat ghosts. 0.o) Another difficult glitch... oh, what's Habi coming to? xD There's no real fix- even TNT can't fix it for you, and we always thought TNT was all-powerful.

Since we can't fix it, the important thing is to avoid as much as possible more of them appearing. If it's a shop item, when you need to buy more items of that type (like if you had a duplicating nest, you need to be careful when buying more nests), find the duplicate item and drag it out into your Hab somewhere you won't confuse it with others, and don't refresh. Once you're in the store, make sure to buy items one at a time, closing the store entirely and placing the item before clicking in again and buying the next item. If you need to upgrade, you must also finish upgrading it before you go and buy the next one. All the items have to be placed and upgraded before you can build them. :) (Yes, it's a hassle. Bear with me.)

If it was a duplicating egg that never hatches and the thought of more duplicate eggs spawning bothers you, just put the faulty egg you located in your Habi somewhere away from the others, and don't close your bag or refresh until you're done hatching all your non-duplicate, honest eggs.

Some P3s in my houses disappeared after I put a house in my bag, even though my population count is still the same. Where did my P3s go?

It's donned the name 'invisible P3', because it seems like your P3s became invisible. It's still related back to that glitch where the game sometimes doesn't record your actions properly; the P3s didn't really disappear, they just went into your bag with the house. Obviously, you usually can't put P3s into your bag, but if the game didn't assess it when you pulled P3s out of a house before putting the house in your bag, then the P3s can go in too. Just pull the house back out and refresh, then click the house again; your P3s should be in there.

I checked my houses/hospitals/barracks and found that all the P3s inside had died. What just happened?

It's a mini death camp. ;-; Poor things. No apparent solution for this either, but the best thing to do is probably to leave food out for the P3s until we get wind that it's fixed. Maybe TNT will be able to remove the pesticide on the walls, eh? x)

So, I went and checked my nests, and on them were GIANT upside-down eggs. I mean GIANT... and they were actually still growing?! What can I do?

The giant brother of the tiny egg glitch... It looks like they can be fixed the same way though- look to the tiny egg glitch solution, and try moving your giant eggs the same way. No matter how huge they are, they're still draggable and deletable, it seems. (Some people got rid of them just by waiting until they disappeared, but it doesn't happen to all.)

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