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How Animal Traits Work

The speed section is mostly quoted from a 2019 WO forum post from a WU developer concerning speed traits, but some modifications have been made here for readability and clarity.

Traits do not affect characteristics such as Body Strength. Some traits affect their carry weight limits, but that's it. Otherwise, you could have a traited sheep pulling a wagon, and it probably would affect hitched speed.

Speed Traits

Horse speeds are commonly referred to as 1S through 5S which is a short way of saying a horse has x number of positive speed traits.

Here's what the traits do in terms of movement speed and carrying capacity.


Description Effect
It has fleeter movement than normal +10% speed
It has a strong body +10kg carry weight (see carry weight note)
It has lightning movement +20% speed
It can carry more than average +20kg carry weight (see carry weight note)
It has very strong leg muscles +10% speed, +10kg carry weight (see carry weight note)


Description Effect
Ebony +2.5% speed
Black/Silver +2.25% speed
Molten (hell horse) +2.5% speed


Description Effect
It looks very unmotivated -30kg carry weight
It has malformed hindlegs -10% speed
The legs are of different length -30% speed

Carry Weight Note

Animals absolutely do not care about the weight of a hitched vehicle on WU, so traits that only affect carry capacity (carry more, strong body) won't matter in that case. This coupled with the saddle is why a mount that is ridden is capable of much faster speeds. It can handle the weight the player is carrying better, and the saddle quality and Wind of Ages enchant add that much more to its speed. If you are playing on WO the vehicles do take cart/wagon cargo into account.

Why isn't speed kicking in?

Speed-related traits kick in when the horse passes a Soul Strength skill check, and turn off if they fail it. The opposite is true for negative traits; it can pass a Soul Strength check to not be affected by something like “malformed hindlegs”. Hell horses have much higher Soul Strength than normal horses, so they pass these checks much more consistently. Unicorns, bisons, and other animals that aren't horses, don't do these checks; the traits are always in effect for them. It can take some distance before the skill check passes and speed kicks in. Be patient.


Ways to speed up horses on a cart/wagon.

  • Get horses with as many speed traits as you can (as per above).
  • Add horseshoes of good quality with Wind of Ages enchant. Horseshoe quality and enchant level add to speed.

NOTE: Saddles do not affect cart/wagon speed, but add speed to a mount if it is ridden.

All Traits

Another forum post from 2015:

Description Effect
It will fight fiercely +1 combat rating
It has fleeter movement than normal +10% movement speed
It is a tough bugger 10% less damage taken
It has a strong body +10kg carry weight bonus
It has lightning movement +20% movement speed
It can carry more than average = +20kg carry weight bonus
It has very strong leg muscles +10% movement speed, +10kg carry weight bonus
It has keen senses when tamed and over a spring tile, 1/6 chance of giving an event message “You sense a sudden calm in NAME” whenever the animal seeks food
It has malformed hindlegs -10% movement speed
The legs are of different length -30% movement speed, animal will not wander
It seems overly aggressive 1 in 6 chance of biting the player if emoted at, but is currently bugged and generates no wound
It looks very unmotivated -30kg carry weight, loses loyalty faster, fails movement boost checks more often
It is unusually strong willed 1 in 10 chance of animal unleading itself with “NAME refuses to move on” whenever polled by the server
It has some illness animal regularly loses body strength, max age is halved, “cared for” and “certain spark” nullified
It looks constantly hungry always gains hunger as if pregnant, which is 10x faster than normal
It looks feeble and unhealthy massive disease vulnerability
It looks unusually strong and healthy massive disease resistance, 50% or so
It has a certain spark in its eyes animal lives 50% longer than normal

Wurmpedia (WO-Specific)

NOTE: This is included here for information only. Some of this applies WO and not WU.

Bred animals have a chance of gaining traits, some positive, some negative, some neutral. Animals may have multiple traits as seen in the table below. All traits are put into the gene pool when breeding and those of the parents will increase the chance of the offspring having the same. Should both parents have the same trait the likelihood of the offspring gaining that trait is even higher.

The dominant category is picked from either the mother or the father randomly.

If neither parent has traits, all categories of traits receive a bonus to seed the initial traits.

The breeder's animal husbandry skill level affects the number of traits that will appear in a horse. Bred animals can also have no traits.

Traits have point values which influence their chance to pass on and how many traits a bred animal recieves.

Players are capped at their animal husbandry level's worth of points for creatures they have bred (80AH= 80 points of traits, for example).

Inbreeding will now cause the max point value to be divided by 1.5.

There is still a cap of 10 traits per creature (this does not include 0 point traits like bred in captivity).

Animal husbandry is only partially on the Epic curve. The curved value (effective skill) allows you see traits at that level (not true for bred in captivity trait which requires 60 numerical to see even on epic). The actual value (numerical) is used for computing the number of traits you can breed.

Traits fall into several categories:

  • Speed: These traits will increase the speed of a creature when riding on them. These traits do not affect the speed of hitched animals.
  • Draft: These traits will increase a creature’s carry weight. They will also now act as speed traits when hitched and give a speed bonus similar to having the speed traits. Combat: These traits increase how tough a creature can be and how well it can fight.
  • Negative: These traits all have negative effects that are generally unwanted.
  • Output: These traits increase results from butchering output, shearing, and milking.
  • Miscellaneous: These traits don’t fit any other category. They may be positive or neutral traits.

Inspect Animal

  • The ‘Inspect animal’ ability is gained at 10 Animal Husbandry skill.
  • Players can see information about if an animal is hungry, breedable, and/or groomable.
  • Use ‘Inspect animal’ on bred creatures to see traits.

This displays all traits of a creature that you can see with your Animal Husbandry skill level. It also displays the categories of the traits you can’t normally see. With higher skill, you’ll be able to see other details in the Inspect animal window, such as time until a creature can be bred again, time until a creature can be groomed again, or whether a creature is hungry, or age of the creature.

Players seem to be able to see when the animal is hungry, breedable, and groomable at an AH level below 50.

At AH level 50, players can see if an animal is ready to shear wool and/or ready to milk and a more accurate pregnancy timer.

Category Trait name Effect Base Skill Value
Combat, Rare It seems extremely tame Aggressive animals become passive < 43 (24.50) 0
Combat It seems more friendly Easier to tame 34 (18.76) 5
Combat It will fight fiercely. Higher fighting skill [1] 20 (10.56) 10
Combat It looks more friendly than normal Less likely to be attacked by aggressive creatures when tame 48 (27.89) 15
Combat It is a tough bugger. Withstands more damage 22 (11.68) 15
Combat It seems especially loyal keeps loyalty to its tamer longer, loses less when taking damage 49 (28.59) 20
Draft, Rare It seems stronger than normal Carry weight bonus 32 (17.54) 0
Draft, Rare It seems more nimble than normal Increased maximum rideable slope 32 (17.54) 0
Draft It is easy on its gear Equipped gear takes less damage 40 (22.54) 10
Draft It has a strong body. Bonus to hauling weight limit 23 (12.25) 15
Draft It can carry more than average. Major bonus to hauling weight limit 25 (13.40) 20
Draft It has strong legs Carry weight bonus 38 (21.26) 20
Miscellaneous Bred in captivity. Informational, will not count toward the max number of traits 53 (31.44) 0
Miscellaneous, RareIt has a chance to produce twins Chance to birth twins (only present on female creatures) 44 (25.17) 0
Miscellaneous, RareIt seems immortal Will never die as if cared for 29 (15.74) 0
Miscellaneous Horse's color is considered a trait. Does not count against the trait limit 0 0
Miscellaneous It has been corrupted. Grazes on mycelium instead of grass 43 (24.50) 0
Miscellaneous It looks unusually strong and healthy. Has a higher resistance to disease 40 (22.54) 10
Miscellaneous It has a certain spark in its eyes. Lives 50% longer than normal 41 (23.19)g 10
Miscellaneous It has a slow metabolism Eats half as much as a normal animal 45 (25.84) 10
Miscellaneous It seems stationary It will stay put as if saddled 50 (29.29) 10
Miscellaneous It seems to be a graceful eater Less chance to reduce the growth stage of a tile when eating 39 (21.90) 10
Negative It looks extremely sick Has a very slim chance to pass away when it receives a hunger tick < 50 5
Negative It seems shabby and frail Reduces output of resources such as milk and wool 42 (23.84) 5
Negative It seems to dislike steep terrain Decreases ridable slope 43 (24.50) 5
Negative It has malformed hindlegs. Minor speed penalty </sup> 28 (15.15) 5
Negative The legs are of different length. Major speed penalty </sup> 29 (15.74) 5
Negative It seems overly aggressive. Random chance to bite </sup> 30 (16.33) 5
Negative It looks very unmotivated. Major penalty to mounted weight limit 31 (16.93) 5
Negative It is unusually strong-willed. Will stop being led at random 32 (17.54) 5
Negative It has some illness. Body strength will slowly reduce over time eventually making the animal unrideable 33 (18.15) 5
Negative It looks constantly hungry. Becomes hungry twice as fast as normal 34 (18.76) 5
Negative It looks feeble and unhealthy. Prone to catching a disease 39 (21.90) 5
Output, Rare It has very good genes Increased amount and quality of resources like milk and wool ? 0
Output It seems to pick stuff up Chance to dig something up when eating, drops items on the ground 37 (20.63) 5
Output It seems vibrant Increases the output of resources 46 (26.52) 5
Output It seems prize winning Gives better products when butchered 35 (19.38) 10
Output It gives more resources Increases output of resources such as wool and milk 33 (18.15) 10
Output It looks plump and ready to butcher Gives more products when butchered 36 (20.00) 20
Speed It has fleeter movement than normal. Minor speed boost 21 (11.12) 10
Speed It has lightning movement. Major speed boost 24 (12.82) 20
Speed It has very strong leg muscles. Movement speed bonus 26 (13.98) 15
Speed It seems accustomed to water Moves faster in shallow waters 27 (14.56) 10
Speed, Rare It is unbelievably fast Always on speed bonus similar to hell horses 51 (30.00) 0

Horse Speed Calculator

The following is from the Author's Forum Post

I butchered together some decompiled WU code into a horse speed calculator to see how much of an effect the various factors (traits, weight, gear QL) can have.

To use it, go to the link below:

Copy the code presented there, then go to this link:

Erase anything in the box, and paste the code you copied.

Click Execute at the bottom to make sure it gives some output. That'll be for an untraited, ungeared horse, being ridden by somebody carrying 50 Kg of gear. Even if it's not being factored in for the speed boost, the horse's weight value still has saddle/shoes added in since I assumed that would be the most likely thing tested. Set mountCarriedWeight to 0 for a true reading of an ungeared horse.

(My comments say that unicorns are exempt from soul strength checks, but don't take that as a hard truth.)

Set the values in the first little bit to whatever you'd like to see, then Execute. Make sure to set isSaddled, isShoed to true to see those values have an effect.

Based on the creature's soul strength the traits will flip on and off at random, so in-game you can expect the actual speed to fluctuate anywhere between the min and max values.

Feedback and reports of any inaccuracies are appreciated.

Disclaimer: This comes from WU code, who the hell knows what WO code really says, but they're usually pretty similar.

sptr.txt · Last modified: 2023/10/26 20:11 by freth

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