I’m deviating from my usual kdrama reviews and sharing Neko Atsume tips today. I picked up the game when some cat-loving friends told me to check out this cool app.
If you need a low-maintenance casual mobile phone game with a lot of cute, Neko Atsume is for you. Just to share, I play MMORPGs, casual games, and some phone app games. Still, I like Neko Atsume because:
- It’s from a Japanese game creator and it’s very well made.
- It’s perfect for workaholics (like me) who have too much work but want the occasional 3-minute respite.
- It’s cute! It’s nekos (cats), duh.
I mean, just look.
Because of the way the gameplay is set up, it’s very low maintenance so it’s a good match for busy workaholics.
When I first started Neko Atsume though, I couldn’t quite grasp what it was about and everything I could do with it. (I guess I wasn’t used to such a non-demanding and laidback game.) The description only said “attract cats by placing food and items in your yard!“.
For new players of Neko Atsume, here are the things you can set forth to achieve in the game:
1. Get all the cats to visit your garden including the rare nekos
2. Get at least one photo of each cat
3. Get all the cats to give you their mementos
4. Collect all the toys available in the Shop (optional)
5. Buy all the backgrounds available in the Shop (optional)
Now let’s talk about each one:
#1 NEKO ATSUME TIPS: GET ALL THE CATS TO VISIT YOUR GARDEN (INCLUDING THE RARE NEKOS)
The Japanese title Neko Atsume means Cat Collector in English. Even if you didn’t do anything else in the game, the core gameply is simply and primarily to get different cats to visit you ingame.
Game Starter Set
At the start of the game, your virtual property consists of a default yard and some giveaway currency. The currency in the game is fish (of course, because cats). The game gives you regular fish and gold fish, the two currencies ingame. With your fish, you can Shop for food and toys that you can set in your Yard.
How to Get Cats To Visit Your Yard
To get cats to visit your yard, you need two things: Food and Toys.
Neko Atsume is such a laidback game that you can just leave these two things out, lay down your phone and get back to work or studying. Later, you can just check your Cat Book to see if cats have visited. No-show cats are greyed out while cats that have already been to your yard show up and you can see their information.
Now back to food, if you’re a super poor dude, you can feed your cats the FREE Thrifty Bitz. It’s slow going when you’ve got this out though. Cats have expensive tastes (and tastebuds) and they’ll come faster with more expensive food. You can either get Frisky Bitz that you can buy with regular fish or when you get budget, you can purchase the more expensive cat food like Ritzy Bits or Sashimi.
Apart from food, you need to set toys out. When you set toys in the yard, it will attract cats to play with them. As a thank you for playing with your toys in your yard, visiting cats will gift you with more fish. Sometimes, it’s a lot of fish and sometimes it’s just a few fishes. Sometimes, they leave regular fish and sometimes, it’s gold fish.
Now remember, when the food runs out, the cats go away. So I suppose the challenge is to refill the two dishes in a timely manner as you can’t line up their food. Once it’s gone, it’s gone and you gotta refill the dish again.
Pro-tips in Feeding Cats:
- If you know you’re going to be away for quite a bit, leave Frisky Bitz out. They last longer than the expensive stuff. Ironic, huh?
- Don’t leave expensive cat food in the outside yard. A fat cat called Tubbs likes to commandeer the food dish. He’ll eat all the food and make all the outside cats go away.
Regular Fish vs Gold Fish
Similar to real-life economics, gold fish are more expensive than regular fish. If you’ve had a look-through the shop items, you’ll notice that some toys can only be purchased with gold fish. But don’t worry. The game lets you purchase gold fish with regular fish. Five hundred (500) regular fish buys you ten (10) gold fish. Alternatively, ten (10) gold fish buys you two hundred fifty (250) regular fish.
Pro-Tip: What your FIRST toy purchases should be
It’s actually difficult in the beginning to earn fish so use your smarts in making your first purchases. You don’t want to fritter away your first fishes. Veteran players noticed that some toys give more fish than others. I did extensive research and decided on starting with the yellowish ping pong ball, small cardboard box, blue cooling cushion and big red rubber ball.
Here is a more comprehensive list that fellow addicts have put together. (Full disclosure: I found this in the Internet. Credits to the owner.)
By amassing your fortune in fish, you can slowly add more toys to your backyard and get more cats to visit. I remember how excited I was when the first cat came into my yard. I took screenshots with the game’s built-in camera feature and showed my friends. Then a second, and a third cat came. And then my Yard was full with cats. Oh bliss! My phone’s photo album got crammed with yard photos of my visiting cats.
As the game progressed, I started checking my Cat Book to see if I was collecting ALL the nekos. You know how it is with collecting. It can get quite obsessive.
Looking at my Cat Book so much, I realized that the last slots weren’t getting filled. And that’s when I found out about the rare cats!
How to Get Rare Cats to Visit
In the beginning, I was just putting out toys in the beginning based off which toys made my visiting cats give more fish. However, I suddenly realized that some cats have preferences. They have food preferences and toy preferences.
To get the rare cats to visit, I had to avoid the food they hated and set out the toys they liked. It wasn’t unusual for a rare cat to visit for ONLY ONE kind of toy.
I’ll share with you the website that I referenced SO much when I started collecting rare cats. It’s Gameskinny’s Neko Atsume rare cats guide.
#2 NEKO ATSUME TIPS: GET AT LEAST ONE PHOTO OF EACH CAT
I’m a bit obsessive-compulsive so I like to get photos of each NEW cat that comes to visit. At first, I wanted to take a photo with each new toy that each cat played with but that became too much so I dialled it down to taking at least ONE photo per cat.
This is because in the Cat Book, the cat’s profile photo is grayed out until you capture a photo with the camera. Some cats come more often than others. This is because of their power level or their rarity designation. The lower the power level and the rarer the cats, the less chances of repeat visits.
As of writing, I am one cat away from completing all photos of my Cat Book. The elusive cat for me is Frosty! He’s been in my Yard two times so far but I haven’t spotted him yet. Unlike other rare cats, he doesn’t have any distinctive headdress or clothing. So it’s either I mistook him for my other cats or I just wasn’t looking!
#3 NEKO ATSUME TIPS: GET ALL THE CATS TO GIVE YOU THEIR MEMENTOS
Your cat visitors leave their mementos. If they visit often enough, they’ll give up their very special and unique items. There really isn’t much you can do with these gifts. You just collect them and fill up your mementos page.
I was very excited to get my first memento! And yes you guessed it. Camera shots galore ensued.
The first time I got my memento, I thought the game had crashed. This is because whenever you get a memento, the screen blacks out. A cat toddles in and stops dead center with strobe light effects. You’ll have to click on the cat to find out what memento it’s given you. As expected, they’re odd little items that cats would treasure like bits of colored ribbon.
#4 NEKO ATSUME TIPS: COLLECT ALL THE TOYS AVAILABLE IN THE SHOP (OPTIONAL)
If you’ve gotten all the cats in the Cat Book to visit, taken at least one photo of each, and collected all their mementoes, you’ve pretty much finished the game. All that’s left is to collect all the toys and the backgrounds (because, collector).
Each toy has a different animation and the cats react differently to each one. It can sometimes be very funny. For the glass vase for example, I was surprised to see that the cats love to get INSIDE the vase and get all squished inside. Sometimes the toys are interactive and the cats love to play with them. Sometimes the toys are for relaxing and the cats sleep on them in different poses.
If you want to see the cats interact with each toy (as I do), you can make it a goal to purchase ALL the toys in the Shop and set them in the yard for the cats to play with. In my case, as soon as I get ahold of my Frosty photo and get all the mementoes, I’m going to start buying up all the remaining toys I don’t have yet.
Because I’ve mostly hung around just waiting for the rare cats to visit, I haven’t been shopping much so now I have SO much fish to use for shopping!
#5 NEKO ATSUME TIPS: COLLECT ALL THE YARD STYLES AVAILABLE IN THE SHOP (OPTIONAL)
One last thing you can do for end game is to collect all the backgrounds. They’re pretty expensive! Full disclosure, I paid real money for my first background. I paid for gold fish with my credit card. This is because I REALLY wanted the Zen garden.
The other remaining backgrounds are Rustic, Modern, and Western style. Though not a priority, you can buy up all the backgrounds and have fun changing them out now and again just to change the look of your yard.
In my case though, I really like my Zen Garden so collecting the backgrounds is really low priority.
And that’s it for my Neko Atsume Tips for Beginners. Whenever I remember something I’ve forgotten, I’ll update this post. I’ll also add in my own section on rare cats when I am all caught up with my drama reviews.
My love to you,