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How to get a virtual pet on your MacBook Touch Bar with Touchbar Pets

  • Touchbar Pets is an app that lets you raise virtual pets that live in your MacBook’s Touch Bar.
  • Once you download Touchbar Pets and launch it, you can adopt a dog, cat, rabbit, or hamster.
  • You can walk, feed, and play with your virtual pets using the Touch Bar.
  • You need a MacBook with a Touch Bar, an iPad set up with Sidecar, or a Touch Bar emulator to use Touchbar pets. 
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Tamagotchis, Pokémon, Furbies — if there’s one thing that people can never get enough of, it’s virtual pets.

If you’re looking for a new virtual pet to look after, and you have a MacBook with a Touch Bar, consider the free Touchbar Pets app. With just a few clicks, you can adopt an animal and walk, feed, and play with it all from your Touch Bar.

Here’s how to get Touchbar Pets set up and adopt your first pet.

How to get Touchbar Pets 

Firstly, you’ll have to download the app from the developer’s website.

1. Visit the Touchbar Pets homepage and click the blue “Download” button.

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Touchbar Pets is free to download.


Ahhzo; skitching by William Antonelli/Insider



2. Save the .zip file to your computer, and then double-click it to extract the “Touchbar Pets” app.

3. Open the app and press “Play.”

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Click “Play” to get started.

William Antonelli/Insider


4. You’ll be given two options: “Adopt Pet” and “Existing Pets.” Click adopt to make a new pet — once you’ve adopted a pet and closed the app, you can come back later and click “Existing” to see the pet again.

5. In the “Adopt Pet” menu, you can give your pet a name, pick its species (you can have a dog, cat, rabbit, or hamster), and pick its color (white, cream, black, or brown).

Once you’ve got your pet how you want it, click “Create,” and you’re ready to start.

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Design your pet and then create it.

William Antonelli/Insider


6. You’ll be brought to the main game menu, and a tutorial will appear. Click through it to learn how the game plays, or check out our guide below.

How to play Touchbar Pets

Once you’ve closed the tutorial, your new pet will appear in the Touch Bar, along with four different stats.

  • Health tracks how close your pet is to death. If you go too long without feeding it, this will go down, and eventually hit zero.
  • Hunger tracks if your pet needs food. Letting this drop makes your pet less healthy.
  • Tokens are the currency in Touchbar Pets. Earn them by taking your pet on walks, and spend them on food, toys, and other collectibles.
  • Mode tells you how you can currently interact with your pet. “Design” lets you place props in its habitat, “Eat” lets you feed it, and “Play” lets you give it toys.

The main menu and game modes, explained

In the main menu, you have an inventory with six slots, and five options below it. Each of these has its own function and importance.

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The main menu gives you five main options.

William Antonelli/Insider


Shop

This is where you’ll spend the tokens you earn. You can buy food, props for your animal’s habitat, and toys. Every animal has its own likes and dislikes, so be sure to read each item’s description.

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Every item has a description and price.

William Antonelli/Insider


Just note that food and toys are all single-use — once your pet interacts with them, they’ll disappear, and you’ll have to buy them again.

If your pet dies, you can also spend 150 tokens on a “RevivePotion,” which will bring it back to full health.

Walk

This is probably where you’ll be spending most of your time. 

Once you choose a walk duration — you can pick between “Short,” “Average,” and “Long” — you can take your pet on walks by pressing and holding your finger on either side of its habitat. You have to keep your finger on the Touch Bar for the entire walk.

By completing a walk, you’ll earn tokens — $50, $100, and $200 respectively for each duration. But you have to complete the entire walk, since you only get your reward at the very end.

Along the way, you’ll also have the chance to find treasure. Every 250m there’s a chance you’ll find a treasure box, which can be tapped for a prize. There’s also a random chance of finding litter, which might also give you treasure when you tap it.

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Walking with a cat and finding litter on the road.

William Antonelli/Insider


However, be sure to notice if your pet poops on the side of the road. You’ll have to tap their waste to clean it, and if you don’t, you’ll be issued a $20 fine.

Pen

This option puts you in “Design” mode and lets you place props in your pet’s habitat.

While in Design mode, you can click a prop in your inventory and then tap a spot in the habitat to place it. Remember that none of the props are functional — they’re just for making the habitat look cute.

Mode

Unlike the other buttons, “Mode” has two icons that you’ll switch between when you click it.

While you have the bone icon selected, you’re in “Eat” mode. This lets you click a piece of food in your inventory, and then tap a spot in the habitat to place it. Your pet will run over and gobble it up. This, as you might expect, is how you keep its hunger and health stable.

If the tennis ball icon is selected, you’re in “Play” mode. Click a toy in the inventory and tap to place it down, and your pet will come over to check it out and then play with it.

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“Insider” the cat playing with a cardboard box.

William Antonelli/Insider


Again, remember that food and toys are single-use — once you place it, it’ll be used and gone within moments.

Goals

The Goals menu gives you a list of tasks to accomplish, which you can check off with a star once they’re done. If you’ve ever played a game with achievements, this is similar.

Additionally, if you ever want to read the in-game tutorial again, enter this menu and uncheck the first “Tutorial” goal. As soon as you exit the Goals menu, you’ll be given the tutorial again.

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You won’t get any points for completing these goals, but they can be a fun challenge.

William Antonelli/Insider


You can only have one pet in a habitat at a time. But feel free to adopt multiple pets — you can switch between them by restarting the app and clicking “Existing Pets” on the intro screen.

Note that to see your pet, you’ll need to be focused on the “Touchbar Pets” app with whatever monitor has the TouchBar. If you click another app, or move the app window to another monitor, your pet will disappear.

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