Top 11 things new players should know

CryptoKitties has an incredible community and a huge roster of players who know the game inside and out. But for a new player wanting to dive into the thick of things, it can be a little intimidating! That’s why we thought we would break down some of the common misconceptions and missing facts that players need to have the best possible CryptoKitties experience.

1. The website does not reflect changes instantly

The actions in CryptoKitties take place on the blockchain — not the website. The website has to read the Ethereum network to update the status of Kitties on the site. Whenever there is congestion, it falls behind and can’t read the network in real time. As a result, the website may not reflect the status of Kitties instantaneously.

  • If you buy a Kitty, and the transaction on Etherscan says “Successful”, the Kitty belongs to you. It may not appear in My Kitties for a while. It may even continue to appear for sale and under another owner’s name! But the Kitty is really, truly yours. The blockchain doesn’t lie. Your Kitty will show up in your litter soon.
  • If your Kitty’s “Bun in the Oven” or “Resting” timer runs out and then gets stuck with no countdown next to it, it will eventually resolve itself. Your Kitties will be able to breed again.
  • Because this is an issue with Geth (or Parity) and its ability to read the Ethereum network, the CrypoKitties developers can’t just “fix” the website. It’s blockchain technology, which they don’t control. However, it should hopefully get better over time as Geth improves.

2. Fancy Cats

Fancy Cats are Kitties that have special artwork. They’re created when Kitties are born with a particular combination of Cattributes. For example, the MisterPurrfect Fancy Cat appeared whenever a Kitty was born with the following cattributes: chocolate, strawberry, wuvme, and baddate.

  • Fancy Cats are limited-edition. Once they’re discovered, they can be only be bred until a certain number of them have been created. After that, any Kitties with those particular traits are just regular Kitties. Fancy Cats have a badge that displays how many Fancies of that kind will exist.

3. Generation

A Kitty’s generation is determined by the generations of its parents. The offspring’s generation will always be one higher than the highest generation parent. For example, if you breed a Gen 3 and a Gen 6, the offspring will be a Gen 7.

4. Cooldown speed

After a Kitty breeds, it will be temporarily unavailable to breed again for a period of time. That period of time is called the Kitty’s “cooldown”. The cooldown time increases each time a Kitty breeds.

  • Cooldown isn’t based on genetic inheritance. It’s determined by a Kitty’s generation and how many offspring it has.
  • Lower generation Kitties are born with faster cooldown speeds.
  • Every time a Kitty breeds, its cooldown time increases.

5. Sire or Dame? Male or female?

Kitties do not have defined genders. At the time of breeding, you may choose which Kitty you want to act as the Sire (father) and which one to act as the Dame (mother). The time until the offspring is born is based on the dame’s cooldown speed.

6. Breeding fee

There’s a breeding fee (at time of writing, 0.008 ETH). You pay this fee every time you breed.

  • If you breed two of your own Kitties, you pay the breeding fee.
  • If you Sire with a Kitty from the marketplace, you pay the siring fee + the breeding fee.
  • If you put your Kitty up to sire, you don’t pay anything.
  • The breeding fee does not go to the developers of CryptoKitties. It goes to whoever executes the birthing function in the smart contract to give birth to your new Kitty. This helps your Kitties get born on time.

7. In-breeding

  • A Kitty cannot breed with its siblings, half-siblings, or parents.
  • A Kitty can breed with its grandparents and cousins. (*shrug*)

8. Genes / Inheritance / Mewtations / Jewels

  • Each Kitty has a “DNA string” that defines its genes, which we call traits. Some traits define the visible Cattributes, and other traits are hidden but can be passed onto offspring.
  • There are some traits that, when bred together, occasionally create new “mewtated” genes that weren’t in either parents’ DNA.
  • If your Kitty unlocks a Mewtation — a Cattribute that’s new to your Kitty’s family tree — they’re awarded with a Family Jewel. Those jewels are passed down to future generations. (Read more about Family Jewels here.)

9. Gas Limit and Gas Price (Transaction Costs)

When you initiate a transaction, a Metamask window will pop up to confirm it. It will automatically set Gas Limit and Gas Price, and these make up your transaction cost. This is because every action in CryptoKitties goes to the Ethereum network, where miners execute the transaction on the blockchain. The price you pay for their services is “gas” (i.e. “Tx fee”).

  • Gas Price (GWEI) is what you offer to pay the miners for each operation they do to execute the smart contract. (1 GWEI = 0.000000001 ETH.)
  • Gas Limit is how many operations you allow them to do before they “run out of gas” and drop the transaction.
  • The total transaction fee is the gas price multiplied by the actual number of operations used.
  • If a transaction fails, you still pay a fee to the miners for the work they completed before the transaction failed.

10. Failed transactions

If your transaction fails, it might be because someone else just bought the Kitty you were trying to purchase. Because the website can’t update instantaneously, some Kitties still appear in the marketplace even after they’ve been sold. If there’s a lot of website congestion and you’re trying to buy one of the cheapest Kitties, it’s likely it was already purchased by someone else.

Your transaction can also fail if you change the Gas Limit and set it too low.

Sometimes, when you click Buy This Kitty, you’ll see a message that says, “You’re not allowed to buy this kitty right now”. It’s not personal and you haven’t been banned. It just means that the Kitty has probably been sold and the website is trying to help you avoid a failed transaction.

11. Mistakes happen

CryptoKitties is a novel game concept using emerging technology. Things are not flawless. The process will have hiccups. But the developers are genuinely trying to do right by their players, and the community is welcoming and supportive.

At the end of the day, this is a fun collectibles game with Kitties that are endlessly adorable and hilarious. We’re excited to see where the Kitties will take us, and we’re so happy you’re joining us.


Written by Jodi Henrie, founder of CryptoKitties411