WidgetPet, as you might be able to tell from its name, is a game that puts a digital pet in a widget on your homescreen. It’s a lot of fun, but there are some things you’re going to have to get to grips with if you want to get the most out of the experience.

That’s why we’ve written this guide, to key you in on everything you need to know, from hatching times to play dates, in order to keep your pet alive for as long as you possibly can.

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Hatching times

It takes two hours for a pet to hatch. There are two stages – first an egg, then a slightly cracked egg – and each of them lasts for an hour. While your pet is hatching you’re going to want to lavish as much love on it as you can.

That’s the only one of the actions that’ll be open to you, but keeping your pet happy is important from the very start.

Play dates

You can go on play dates when your pet is fully grown. This happens after five hours. Play dates are games of tic-tac-toe with other players. They don’t seem to benefit your pet, but they are a fun distraction.

If you’re going first, always stick your icon in the middle square. If you’re going second and the other player has gone in the middle, stick yours in one of the corner spaces.

Listen to your pet

Make sure you check in regularly with your pet to see what they’re saying. They’ll let you know what they need, so you can make sure you’re giving them the best treatment.

If you’re playing the free version you’ll need to watch adverts in order to refill the actions you can take. You’ll get 17 every time you watch a video, which cover all of your actions except treats.

Treats

Treats are a special kind of gift you can give to your pet. They’re different depending on what animal you’ve got. You’ll only get one for watching a video, but they keep your pet entertained so it’s worth doing it.

The more you can give your pet, the better. So take any opportunity to help them out.

Pet escapes

From the menu you can send your pet on escapes. These give your pet new stories to tell and lets them get out of the house as well. You’ll still need to feed and water them as well.

You can send your pet on as many escapes as you want. They last 24 hours, but you’ll be able to see if they need feeding when the background image in the widget goes back to normal.

For more WidgetPet! hints, tips and cheats, click here