Breeding and Splicing in Let's Build A Zoo
Breeding and splicing are major gameplay mechanics in Let's Build A Zoo, and you can't do any splicing without breeding. But overall, each process is simple. Every species has several variants, meaning a change in its color or pattern. Breeding two animals in the Nursery allows for the possibility of a new variant being discovered. Splicing, however, is the process of splicing two species together, such as a pig's body and a duck's head to make a piguck.
In order to splice using the CRISPR, however, you must have every single variant of two different species. In this way, you'll spend a lot more time breeding animals than splicing them early on. However, the CRISPR can also clone any variant of any animal you've had in your zoo, which can be quite useful.
Breeding Animals and Obtaining New Variants in Let's Build A Zoo
Once you unlock the Nursery via the Research Hub, you can breed two pairs of animals at a time, and you'll of course need a male and a female of each species that are fertile, meaning they can't be too young or too old.
Start by selecting the species of animal you wish to breed, and a list of all possible pairs and their outcomes will show up. You'll notice that, if you only have two of the same variants in your zoo, you can still breed them to discover a new variant. However, it's only a possibility that you'll discover a new variant, sometimes as much as 50%, and other times the chances will be slim.
Additionally, breeding the same animal or animals using the Nursery will increase their breeding experience, which can help increase the chances that a new variant will be discovered.
Later on, you can also unlock reduced pregnancy time and ultrasounds in the Research Hub, which allows you to see which variant the animal is pregnant with. If you see that it's a variant you already have, you can also end the pregnancy (without morality consequences) and retry until you get the variant you're looking for.
Tip: Animals breed on their own in the enclosures.
So long as there are at least a fertile male and a fertile female of the same species, they have a chance to breed on their own, which can be quite helpful in discovering new variants, but it cannot be controlled the way it can using the Nursery. Filling an enclosure (of a large enough size) with at least 10 of the same species will result in frequent natural breeding.
Tip: Check the Animal Shelter in Florida for new variants.
This is a great way of discovering new variants in Let's Build A Zoo, or quickly purchasing variants that you'd like more of. In the World Map, click on the Animal Shelter located in Florida to view what animals can be rescued (for a low price). You'll know if a variant is brand new to you if it says "NEW" on its icon.
Using the CRISPR and Splicing in Let's Build A Zoo
Spliced animals can increase the popularity of your zoo and therefore justify higher ticket prices. You'll first get access to splicing early on when a corporation will ask you to build a CRISPR at your zoo.
To splice on your own, however, you'll need to discover every variant of an animal first, also referred to as mapping genomes, which won't happen for a while. This is where breeding comes in. In the meantime, the corporation will occasionally offer to splice some animals using your CRISPR, though it'll be the simpler animals like geese, pigs, and capybaras. But this way, you'll be able to get a few spliced species early on.
You can also clone variants with the CRISPR, which can be very helpful with breeding. If you discover that an animal is no longer fertile but you need that variant to keep discovering new variants, you can clone it with the CRISPR.
Additionally, The CRISPR keeps the DNA of every discovered variant, meaning you don't need to have that specific variant currently at your zoo to splice with it or clone it. You simply need to have had it in your zoo in the past.
Using Cloning and Natural Breeding to Your Advantage
Cloning variants is a helpful way of keeping a diverse range of variants in your zoo. Because breeding naturally can also lead to the discovery of new variants, keeping more types in a single enclosure means higher chances of discovering new variants without using the Nursery.
When You're Ready to Splice
Once you've finally discovered every variant of at least two species in Let's Build A Zoo, you can freely splice them together, though the outcome cannot be controlled. You can only choose which two species to splice together. For example, after selecting the giraffe as the first species and the elephant as the second, which coloration they take is randomized.
There are over 300,000 possible outcomes through splicing, and with over 50 different species to cross-breed, there are certainly some wacky creations that can be discovered in Let's Build A Zoo. Hopefully this Let's Build a Zoo splicing and breeding guide helped!