A Beginner's Guide to Planet Zoo – Managing Your Zoo

A Beginner's Guide to Planet Zoo – Managing Your Zoo

Learn how to lead your zoo to success

Hayo Zookeepers!

Welcome to the final part of our Beginner’s Guide to Planet Zoo series!

At its core Planet Zoo is a management game with deep simulation features, so its only fit that we end this series with a closer look at some of the management systems and considerations that beginner’s will need to learn.

Reputation & Points

A zoo's reputation is calculated by looking at the following factors:

  • Animal Rating - the number, variety and welfare of animals in the zoo.
  • Conservation Rating - how active in conservation the zoo is.
  • Education Rating - how well educated the guests are when they leave and the number of vets actively engaged in advanced research plus the overall unlock level of the zoopedia.
  • Marketing - active marketing campaigns.
  • Guest Happiness Rating - the average % happiness of the guests in your zoo.

The % required to get 5 stars differs per difficulty. It is used to help calculate zoo points and can be used as a guide to how well a zoo is performing.

Zoo points are a measure of the combined appeal of all animals (with diminishing returns for animals of the same species), their associated education level and the zoo's reputation. The zoo point total is used to drive the number of guests that will enter your zoo. The more points, the more guests!


Successfully managing your finances is key in Planet Zoo. You’ll need to have a steady influx of both cash and conservation credits if you want to grow your zoo and keep it afloat.

Successfully managing your finances is key in Planet Zoo. You’ll need to have a steady influx of both cash and conservation credits if you want to grow your zoo and keep it afloat.


Cash is used to build your zoo infrastructure and pay your staff.

You earn cash from:

  • Shops and guest facilities.
  • Donation boxes.
  • Zoo entrances.

While playing Planet Zoo it’s not uncommon for you to enter periods of negative cash flow, where you are spending more than you’re making. Don’t worry if this happens temporarily while you set up new habitats and expand your zoo.

Cash flow should only become a concern if you’re losing money for an extended period of time – if that’s the case, you’ll need to make some savings if you want to keep your zoo afloat!

Conservation Credits

Conservation Credits allow you to adopt higher tier animals into your zoo.

In both online and offline modes you can earn them by:

  • Releasing animals to the wild. Animals with a higher interest rating, ones in their prime and with high rated genes will earn more credits.

To earn more Conservation Credits in Franchise Mode (online) you can:

  • Trade animals on the animal market.
  • Contribute to Community Challenges.
  • Greet other players’ avatars when they enter your zoo.

To earn more Conservation Credits offline you can:

  • Improve your Zoo Reputation
  • Ensure guests leave your zoo with a high level of education.

Conservation credits are not shared between franchise mode and offline modes.

Ticket Pricing

Planet Zoo - Ticket Pricing

Ticket pricing should be set in accordance with the size and quality of the zoo and relates to its zoo points total. Guests that believe they are overpaying will enter the zoo in a less happy state than those that believe they are getting value for money.

Beware, if the ticket price is set too high guests will not enter the zoo at all!

Item Pricing

Most items that can be sold to guests have a bill of materials value. This is what it costs the zoo to make this item. If it is sold for more than this value, the zoo makes a profit.

As a rule of thumb, guests are happy to pay twice as much as the material cost for food and drink and four times for souvenirs – they may pay more if they're already happy.

Adoption packs, which have a high sales value, do not cost the zoo anything to make and are therefore sold at 100% profit. They can be very lucrative.


A zoo's appeal can be given a boost using a marketing campaign. There are three levels of marketing, each giving a progressively higher benefit in return for increased expenditure.

In total, 15% of a zoo's reputation is based on their marketing campaign so investing in advertising can make a big difference to the number of guests a zoo attracts.


The number and type of loans available are set per scenario. Taking out a loan gives an immediate cash injection to the zoo. This can be useful to get a zoo off the ground or to help with resolving a cash flow issue. Each year, the outstanding amount on the loan increases by a fixed percentage as the interest on the debt builds. The loan can be paid off yearly with a set amount, or as a total sum at any given point without penalty.


Vet Research

Vets can conduct research into any species currently inhabiting the zoo. To undertake this research, the vet requires a functioning research centre and access to the habitat containing the species to be researched. Vets are assigned to research in the Vet Research page by selecting a vet, then selecting a research topic.

Vets must be available for research and only one vet can be assigned to a given topic at any given time.

Vets will visit the species of their research and return to the research centre to study their findings. This process takes time and a vet may need to visit a staff room to take a break. They can also be called to a higher priority task unless research has been set as their only available task type. Vets that have been called away from their research will return to it when they can.

Vet research can unlock the following items for the researched animal:

  • Enhanced food options.
  • New enrichment toys.
  • New enrichment feeders.
  • Improved breeding programmes.
  • Increased education levels for animal talks, education boards, education speakers and audio guides.
  • Fun facts in the Zoopedia.

Each animal has its own research chain and as the vet researches more levels, new items will be unlocked. The length of the chain is defined by the species being researched with more complex animals having longer chains.

Once a research chain has been complete, the vet can be left to complete advanced research on the animal. This will provide a boost to a zoo's education rating.

Disease Research

In addition to researching species, vets are also able to perform research into animal diseases. This is handled in a similar way to species research except that diseases can be researched at any time, even if they are not present in the zoo. Researching a disease will help to reduce its impact and to improve treatment time.

Mechanic Research

Planet Zoo Console - African Savannah Elephant

Mechanics can conduct research into new facilities and zoo utilities. To undertake this research, the mechanic requires a functioning Workshop. Mechanics are assigned to research in the Mechanic Research page by selecting the mechanic, then selecting the research topic.

Mechanics must be available for research and only one mechanic can be assigned to a given topic at any given time.

Mechanics will visit the Workshop to undertake their research. Only one mechanic can use a Workshop at a given time. This process takes time and a Mechanic may need to visit a staff room to take a break.

They can also be called to a higher priority task unless research has been set as their only available task type. Mechanics that have been called away from their research will return to it when they can.

Mechanics can research the following topics:

  • Improved facilities.
  • New shop types and brands.
  • Scenery themes.
  • Scenery blueprints (once theme has been researched).
  • New transport rides.
  • Shelters and climbing frames.
  • New barrier types.


Not all of the guests in a zoo are well behaved!


Some guests turn to vandalism when they are unhappy or unsatisfied with the zoo. Vandalism can affect the following items:

  • Bathrooms
  • Bins
  • Benches
  • ATMs
  • Power systems
  • Water treatment facilities
  • Signs
  • Speakers

Damaged items can be replaced or repaired by a mechanic. Beyond stopping the item from working, vandalised items will make nearby guests unhappy.


Pickpockets enter the zoo with the intention of robbing guests. If they feel like they can get away with it, they will pick a guest's pocket before attempting to leave the scene of the crime.

Preventing crime

Crime can be prevented by employing a security guard or deploying security cameras. Pickpockets will be ejected from the zoo if caught by a security.

Analysis View Modes

Planet Zoo provides a selection of view modes to help with the management of the zoo. They can be accessed by selecting the Analysis View Mode.

For convenience some are also triggered when performing in game actions such as placing power facilities.  

Animal Welfare View

This mode colour codes every animal in the zoo based on its overall welfare value as shown on the Animal Info Panel. Red indicates low welfare while green indicates high welfare.

Habitat View

To function, this mode first requires the selection of a habitat animal. Selecting different animals will change the output.

Traversable Area

By highlighting them in blue, the Traversable Area option indicates the regions an animal can reach based on its locomotion type and its physical size.

Areas that can be climbed are marked in green and locations where an animal can escape are marked with a red icon.

The Traversable Area view is a powerful diagnostic tool for working out why animals cannot reach habitat items and how they may be escaping a habitat.


Shelter view highlights the areas of the habitat that are providing the animal with hard shelter.

Temperature View

Planet Zoo - Temperature View

The Temperature view displays a temperature gradient across the zoo, highlighting areas that are hot and cold. Powered heaters and coolers and their area of effect will be highlighted in this mode (providing they are set to a temperature that is different to the ambient temperature).

Water View

Planet Zoo - Water View

The Water view mode highlights the cleanliness of the zoo's water bodies and highlights the location and functional ranges of all water treatment facilities. Treatment facilities that are unpowered or broken will also be highlighted.

Water Temperature Regulator View

The Water Temperature Regulator view mode highlights the temperature of the zoo's water bodies as well as the location and functional ranges of all Water Temperature Regulator facilities. The facilities will highlight at the colour of the target temperature, while facilities that are unpowered or broken will display an icon.

If two or more facilities are affecting the same water body with different target temperatures, that water body will display an icon.

Power View

Planet Zoo - Power View

The Power view mode displays all of the power sources in the zoo in yellow and shows their effective area in blue. Unpowered facilities are marked in red and power centres that have failed are marked black.

Building Status View

The Building Status view mode highlights buildings that are functional in blue and those that are not in red. Nonfunctioning buildings may be in that state because they are unpowered, have broken down or, in the case of shops, are currently without a vendor.

There are three filters for this view:

Negative Impact View

The Negative Impact view mode highlights the areas of the zoo that guests do not want to be near, specifically zoo utilities and staff facilities.

The size of the Negative Impact radius can be reduced by increasing the Scenery Rating of the staff facility.

The negative radius can be reduced up to a maximum of 50% when a facility's scenery rating is at 100%.

Security and Crime View

The Security and Crime view mode shows the locations of cameras, guards, warning signs, and guest vandalism around the zoo.

Areas of the zoo without security coverage are at risk of vandalism by unhappy guests, and vandalised objects make nearby guests unhappy.

The Security and Crime view will also highlight any food thrown into habitats by the guests, which can pose a threat to the health of any animals within.

Education View

The Education view highlights the locations of a zoo's education facilities.

Boards and speakers marked in blue are both well positioned and powered. Those marked black are unpowered, those marked orange are powered but either do not have an education topic assigned, or the topic assigned is inappropriate, due to being positioned too far away from the associated animal’s habitat.

In the case of education speakers, the audible range of the speaker is shown, indicating where the guests can be educated. Blue indicates that the speaker is working correctly, red indicates that the speaker is incorrectly setup. If the area is highlighted pink the speaker radius is overlapping and guests in this region will not receive the education boost. Overlaps can be avoided by adjusting the speaker’s volume or repositioning it.

Guests Needs View

The Guest Needs view has six nested options:

  • Happiness
  • Energy
  • Hunger
  • Thirst
  • Toilet
  • Education

Each view highlights the guest as either green, orange or red, in accordance with the need that has been selected.

This view can be particularly useful in looking for problematic trends that might be adversely affecting the guests.

Staff Happiness View

The Staff Happiness view mode shows the happiness levels of all Staff in the zoo. Unhappy staff may be underpaid or overworked, and will work more slowly and consider quitting their job.

With that you’ve completed our Beginner’s Guide to Planet Zoo series – well done!

While we’ve covered a lot of information across this series, we’re really just scratching the surface of what is possible in Planet Zoo. We can only encourage you to dive in, experiment and build the zoo of your dreams!

Planet Zoo: Console Edition is available to buy now on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.

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