Rarities are one of the central aspects of trading pets on Chicken Smoothie. This guide will give you an overview of the meaning and mechanics behind them.
What is rarity?
Every pet on Chicken Smoothie exists in limited numbers. The pets that are available for adoption change regularly, with previous sets becoming retired, and as a result there is only a finite amount of each outcome in the game.
To obtain pets that were retired from adoption, users need to trade for them from people who already own them. But not all pets are available in equal numbers: Through a variety of factors, such as the age of the pet, the probability of receiving a certain outcome, or its popularity, some pets are rarer than others. As a result, they can be more difficult to find, and therefore more valuable.
To help users determine the fairness of their trade offers, each CS pet receives a rarity tag that indicates how many of it currently exist in the game. This way, a common pet can be easily distinguished from a pet that is very rare.
A pet's rarity is determined by how many of it exist in the game, compared to how many user accounts exist on the site. The idea behind this is to see how many users are potentially trying to get a pet for their collection, and how many copies of said pet are available.
To make sure these numbers reflect the actual availability of the pets as closely as possible, only active accounts and their pets are counted in the process.
An account is considered active as long as it has been logged into within the past few months. Accounts that are inactive are not permanently marked as such - if a user logs back in, their account and pets will once more be counted towards rarity calculations in coming updates.
Pets will only be assigned a rarity once they are no longer available for adoption.
To make sure that pet's rarities stay accurate long after they received their first tag, CS conducts rarity updates every 1-3 months. During these updates, pets from recent releases will be assigned their rarities, while all older pets and the number of active accounts get counted again.
Generally, those fluctuations in numbers result in pets receiving higher rarity tags as time goes on. However, under the right circumstances (for example in the wake of the re-release event) it is also possible for a pet's rarity to drop!
Records of past changes in rarities can be found on the following forum threads:
Rarities of CS pets are not displayed in absolute numbers. Instead, they are represented by so-called 'rarity tags' or 'rarity bars'. Currently there are ten different rarity tags in the game, which -depending on user choice- may be displayed as plain text or colourful image bars.
A pet's rarity will be displayed on its profile page, in the archives, in trades, and -by user choice- when viewing a pet group.
To change between display methods, scroll to the bottom of any pet group, and click the link that reads "Change pet display settings". These settings are applied to the account, and therefore in effect when viewing both your own and other users' pets.
Regular site pets are all assigned one of seven rarity types. Pets that exist in abundance receive tags on the "common" spectrum, whereas pets that exist in smaller numbers than site users will fall into the "rare" categories.
The rarities are, in ascending order:
Note that a rarity tag only shows how many of a specific pet exist on the site. They do not indicate how many different outcomes have been assigned this tag. Any given 'omg so common' pet is overall more abundant than a pet that is 'common', but there may be more pets that are tagged as 'common' than there are outcomes with an 'omg so common' tag.
Pets that have not yet been assigned a rarity will show up with a 'rarity unknown' tag. This tag comes in two versions, depending on whether a pet is still growing, or fully grown.
In text-only display, they show up as 'unknown' and 'unknown until adult'.
If rarities are set to be displayed as image bars, the colour of the bar's question mark will differentiate between the two, with a blue question mark indicating a fully grown pet, and a purple question mark informing that the pet has not finished growing yet.
There is a chance for a still growing pet to already have a known rarity. If the pet was adopted very late, or has been adopted through a re-release event, its possible outcomes may already be known, and thus the eventual rarity can be inferred from its growth pattern. To do this, check out the archive's page of the litter, and take note of which growth days and stages correspond with the unknown pet.
So-called 'customs' are pets with unique designs that have been created specifically for their owners. They have never been released for the public, and are not official site pets. In the early years of the site, custom pets have sometimes been given out to regular users, such as friends of Tess, as gifts. Nowadays they are almost exclusively given out to site staff as a thank you for their work.
To make them distinguishable from official site pets, they are assigned a 'custom' tag that shows as a rainbow coloured image bar.
An incomplete list of custom pets can be found here on the forums.
What influences rarity?
A pet's rarity is determined by its total numbers, which in turn are affected by multiple different factors coming together.
The majority of pets are adopted as parts of so-called 'litters'. This means that the adopted pet will turn into one of several possible outcomes. But it's not necessarily the case that the chance to get each outcome is equally high. Some outcomes are intentionally set to be more rare (or more common) than others, by lowering or increasing the probability of that outcome being adopted / a newborn growing into this outcome.
How rare exactly this outcome will turn out compared to all other site pets cannot be determined solely through this, but it gives the outcome a push in the desired direction.
Most pets on CS can only be adopted a certain amount of times per account. This mechanic means that only a limited amount of pets from this litter will be created, and missed outcomes can only be obtained through trading, rather than by continually adopting pets until one turns into the desired pet.
Adoption limits first and foremost serve to avoid a drop in pet values. If users could keep adopting pets until they got what they wanted, rare outcomes wouldn't be as rare as intended any more, and all outcomes would lose value as too many of them are created.
However, limits can also be used to further influence rarity: Smaller adoption limits mean less chances to receive a given outcome. In extreme cases, litters have even been known to have more outcomes than users were allowed to adopt.
Adoption limits are not imposed on store pets and token-bought event pets.
Users can pick and choose which pet litters they would like to adopt. While many users will adopt as many pets as possible in order to obtain tradeable extras, not everyone is interested in picking up pets that they don't plan on keeping. This means that more popular litters will have more pets adopted from them, making them overall more common.
This has a particularly strong effect on pets that do not have adoption limits. Store pets and token-bought event pets can be adopted as many times as a user can afford to buy them. As a result, very popular pets often end up with lower rarity tags than other pets that were available at the same time and for the same price.
The older a pet is, the rarer it will become as time passes. This is because over the years, users will quit playing the game, causing their collections to be left behind on inactive accounts. As these pets are no longer available for trading, they are removed from rarity calculations, and the outcome's rarity increases. Additionally, new users will join who do not own these outcomes, further increasing the gap between the number of existing pets and the number of users looking to obtain them.
The annual re-release event during the Advent Calendar functions as a means to re-introduce limited numbers of old pets back into circulation, so as to keep them obtainable. However, measures are taken to ensure the rarities of these pets do not drop too far.
The longer a pet or litter is available, the higher is the number of times it gets adopted. As such, pets that have been available for a longer time may turn out more common than pets from very limited release windows. If the timeframe of the release is short, chances are higher that users miss out on the chance to grab the pets, increasing their rarity.
In some cases, pets have been available for as shortly as a single day, or as long as a whole year.
- → November 9: Adoption limits for pet litters are introduced 
- → October 8: Pets receive visible rarity tags 
- → January 28: The thresholds between rarities have been shifted to fix the uneven spread of rarities present beforehand