Planet Zoo: Wetlands is the coziest Animal Pack yet

Planet Zoo Wetlands Animal Pack with capybaras

Exhibit A: This capybara family relaxing under a hot water tap is too pure for our world

Planet Zoo has grown far beyond its initial roster of animals, and while everyone surely has their favorite picked out, I don’t see any other DLC topping the Wetlands Animal Pack.

What’s so great about it? Well, it’s adding the most wholesome of trios. DLC players can make room in their zoos for species like the capybara, platypus, and Asian small-clawed otter — as well as the Nile lechwe, red-crowned crane, spectacled caiman, wild water buffalo, and Danube crested newt; that last one that looks like a real-life Pokémon.

I died when the baby otter rolled around at 1:18 in the Wetlands trailer. I mean it. This isn’t a bit — there’s now a Goosebumps-lookin’ skeleton typing out the rest of this blog.

A big part of Planet Zoo‘s appeal is carefully constructing an ideal environment for the zoo’s critters and guests (from a practical and aesthetic standpoint), and when that work is done, there’s some passive joy to be had in just watching everyone go about their business. These videos usually do a good job of conveying that vibe, but this one nails it.

Aside from the eight new species, the Wetlands DLC also has scenery pieces like the submarine buoy enrichment item and a hot water tap (wonderfully depicted above with some chilled-out capybaras), as well as a timed scenario set in Brazil. I’ve seen some Planet Zoo fans pine for less stressful missions that are still challenging to figure out, and I feel that. I don’t personally like to rush, as I ultimately end up cutting corners.

We got an otter species before with the Aquatic Pack, but this one’s cuter.

They’re both cute in their own way but still from PlanetZoo

There’s a free update, too

Separate from the Planet Zoo Wetlands Animal Pack (which costs $9.99 out of the gate), there’s also update 1.9 today. Here are the patch notes from Frontier Developments:

  • NEW – Roaming Educators
    • Educators now have access to a new task, enabled by default: Roaming Talks
    • Educators who are assigned to hold Roaming Talks will wander the zoo, occasionally stopping to hold a short informative talk about nearby species, or a random conservation topic, as long as they have enough energy and aren’t due to hold an Animal Talk
    • Guests who don’t have higher priority destinations will stop and listen to nearby Roaming Talks, gaining small boosts to happiness and education, based on the educator’s level
  • NEW – Small Burrows
    • A small version of the burrows is available for the following species:
      • Meerkat
      • Prairie dog
      • Platypus
    • Small burrows share the large burrows’ functionalities – suitable animals will attempt to seek shelter, sleep and give birth in them
    • Small burrows are equipped with an integrated habitat webcam, which can be linked up to billboard screens
  • NEW – Audio And Billboard Management Screen
    • A new management UI has been added for an easier overview of all customisable audio-visual items
      • Audio: lists all speakers with their currently set track or educational content
      • Billboards: lists all screens with their size, type of content and currently set image
      • Cameras: lists all camera items, with an option to enter their view, and info on any potentially linked habitats
  • NEW – Explore Camera
    • The new Explore camera mode is available via the Camera Modes widget in the main HUD, allowing you to place the camera on any surface in the park
    • The Explore camera is controlled with the WASD keys and follows the terrain at a fixed height, allowing you to enjoy the views in your zoo the same way your guests would
    • The tegidcam cheat has been retired
Danube crested newt in the Planet Zoo: Wetlands Animal Pack
The Danube crested newt is a new Exhibit animal.
  • NEW – Customisable Exhibit Water
    • Exhibits containing water can now be customised for colour and transparency values
    • The ‘Windows’ tab in the exhibit info panel has been renamed to ‘Customise’, and contains the water settings for the exhibit
  • NEW – Expanded Water Customisation
    • Water in the zoo can now be customised with mist and bubble vfx, to add more detail to larger bodies or surfaces of water
    • The ‘Colour’ tab of a body of water has been rebranded to ‘Customise’, and contains new sliders for mist and bubble density
  • NEW – Flatten to Terrace Terrain Brush
    • The new Flatten to Terrace terrain sculpting mode creates distinctively levelled areas when applied over an area of raised terrain
    • The height of these terraces can be defined via a slider in the sculpting settings
    • If checked, the ‘Shallow Pool Offset’ setting indents the terrain slightly below the next level of the voxel terrain, which can then be filled to create wading-height water features for animals (we recommend using this mode to create areas for Japanese Macaques and Capybaras to bathe in!)
  • NEW – Foliage
    • Water Tupelo Trees x3
    • Bald Cypress Trees x3
    • Bald Cypress Knees x2
  • NEW – Scenery
    • Small underwater feeder enrichment
    • Natural water jet enrichment

You might not even notice these additions naturally, but knowing that the developers are putting in this kind of work for free content updates is still reassuring, all the same.

One last parting note: as of Planet Zoo update 1.9, Japanese macaque can also soak.

About The Author
Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.
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