WolfQuest is a 3D wildlife simulation video game that challenges players to learn about wolf ecology in Yellowstone National Park. The game's main purpose is to help players understand wolves and the roles they play in nature by being virtually incarnated as a gray wolf themselves. It is a family-friendly, fun game for people of all ages.
Frequently Asked Questions
In single-player games, players play alone, learning how to hunt elk, communicate with other wolves, find a mate, establish a den and territory, raise pups, and embark on a perilous journey to a summering site. Players configure their wolf avatar at the start of the game (choosing its gender, coat pattern and color, and name) before venturing into the wild. As a wolf, they hunt and eat prey such as elk, moose, hares, mule deer. They compete with other predators such as bears, coyotes, and stranger wolves.
In multiplayer games, players join up to eight players online to explore the Yellowstone wilderness and hunt elk, and raise pups together. The game is not a massive multiplayer online game.
There are two types of multiplayer games:
- Private games: Invite-only, featuring voice, text, and phrase chat.
- Public games: Anyone can join, featuring voice, text, and phrase chat. Players under 13 only have Phrase Chat as an option in public games (that mode provides a list of canned words and phrases for communication). But they can use Text Chat in private games with friends.
In 2015, we released WolfQuest 2.7 -- an update of the original game (WolfQuest 2.5) with significant improvements. WolfQuest 2.7 (Classic) is still available and is currently the version of the game available to mobile players, lower end PCs, as well as the place for multiplayer games.
Since then we have been developing WolfQuest: Anniversary Edition, which takes the game to the next level! WolfQuest: Anniversary Edition is a complete remake of the current game. The basic mission arc is the same. However, WolfQuest: Anniversary Edition has a new codebase and much of the core gameplay has been reimagined. We’re rethinking and redesigning each system of the game, from the wolf-controller to stranger wolves (both hostile and potentially friendly) to hunting mechanics to elk herding behaviors. We’re making vastly larger and more realistic maps. There are new and improved 3D animal models and animations living in a world of more realistic terrain and flora. In every way, it is a bigger and better version of the game.
WolfQuest: Anniversary Edition is now available in Early Access for PC/Mac on Steam, WolfQuest.org, and itch.io. While in Early Access, we will be updating the game frequently with more features, multiplayer, and ultimately the Slough Creek episode with pups. The mobile version will come after the game is completed on PC/Mac platforms. Follow game develeopment at WolfQuest.org/blog
WolfQuest: Anniversary Edition is free update to players who own WolfQuest 2.7. If you are purchasing WolfQuest for PC/Mac the first time, you will get both versions of the game.
WolfQuest takes place in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA, in the actual areas where wolves were reintroduced in 1996. The game recreates real places in the park and includes some of the animals found there.
There are currently two Yellowstone game maps, one fictional map, and a third Yellowstone map in development:
Amethyst Mountain is the setting for the first episode. You are a two-year old wolf out on your own, seeking a mate. To gain experience, you hunt elk and hares, chase off predators, such as coyotes and bears, or fight or flee from stranger wolves encountered on your journey. Find a dispersal wolf who will become your wolf's mate.
Slough Creek is the setting of the next episode: Survival of the Pack. There, you and your mate establish a territory and raise a litter of pups: training them, feeding them, defending them against predators, and finally taking them on a cross-country journey to a summer home. Ultimately, success depends on your ability to ensure the survival of your pack.
Lost River is a purely fictional location set in an unknown valley somewhere in western America. This map features a mysterious, dilapidated city that was abandoned some years ago by humans. Roam and hunt, alone or find a mate. At present you cannot have pups there.
Tower Fall COMING SOON!
The upcoming episode Tower Fall will continue your life with pups. In the first weeks of June, the pups frolic at the rendezvous site in Slough Creek while their parents bring them their first meals of fresh elk meat. When the elk herds move down into the Lamar Valley, the pack follows — only to find other packs have already established territories in the valley. So they journey further south, up and over Specimen Ridge, then down into the valley of the Yellowstone River. There, on the banks of the Yellowstone, with Tower Fall thundering nearby, the pack makes a new home amidst fellow predators and plentiful prey. Here the pack will stake out a new territory, protect their family from danger, and and raise a new generation of skilled hunters.
The Tower Fall expansion will be an in-game purchase (DLC).
Follow development of Tower Fall at WolfQuest.org/blog
The single-player mission in Amethyst Mountain can take anywhere between 30 minutes to 6 hours to complete.
The missions in Slough Creek can take as little as 45 minutes to complete, but players can play some missions indefinitely.
The Lost River map is designed for open exploration. It includes the "find a mate" mission but does not continue on to pup-raising and players choose the amount of time they spend in Lost River.
Players can spend as much time as they like playing multiplayer missions on the different maps, and can continue playing the game in single player even after you have completed most of the missions.
A new episode/map called Tower Fall is currently in development and will be available as an in-game purchase. Follow WolfQuest development at WolfQuest.org/blog
WolfQuest is an engaging and interactive window into the lives of wolves, drawing on the latest scientific research in wolf biology to ensure the accuracy of the gameplay. To achieve this goal, we worked closely with top experts in the field, including Dr. David L. Mech, Senior Scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey and renowned wolf biologist, along with Wolf Keepers from the Minnesota Zoo and other zoos around the country.
Currently, as we develop new episodes, we are consulting with our science advisors:
- Dr. Daniel R. MacNulty, Utah State University
- Dr. Daniel Stahler, Yellowstone National Park
- Lori Schmidt, International Wolf Center
- Dr. L. David Mech, U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Minnesota
- Thomas Gable, University of Minnesota
With their guidance, we try to craft exciting gameplay that accurately represents the life of a real wolf. Of course, it is impossible to simulate all aspects of a wolf's life with complete accuracy (even if we knew everything there is to know about wolves). Furthermore, wolves spend large portions of their days doing things that are not particularly exciting for players, like resting and sleeping. In the end, our goal is to create a game that melds real wolf behavior and biology with exciting and meaningful gameplay.
WolfQuest was originally developed by Eduweb, a developer of learning games, and the Minnesota Zoo, a leader in wolf conservation, with major funding from the National Science Foundation. Since 2013, Eduweb is responsible for all ongoing development of the game.
Eduweb develops award-winning digital learning games and interactives about art, history, science and technology. Working with museums and educational organizations around the country, we produce digital games and apps for the Web, exhibits, and mobile devices. Learn more and see Eduweb's portfolio of other learning games at Eduweb.com
Learn more about the WolfQuest team.
Tower Fall, Episode Three! A future episode is in the works!
Tower Fall, the 3rd episode (and 4th game map), will continue pack life in summer and autumn. When the elk herds move down into Yellowstone's Lamar Valley, the pack follows — only to find other packs have already established territories in the valley. So they journey further south, up and over Specimen Ridge, then down into the valley of the Yellowstone River. There, on the banks of the Yellowstone, with Tower Fall thundering nearby, the pack makes a new home amidst fellow predators and plentiful prey. Here the pack will stake out a new territory, protect their family from danger, and and raise a new generation of skilled hunters.
The Tower Fall expansion will be available as in-game purchase.
Follow WolfQuest development at WolfQuest.org/blog
We are required by United States law (COPPA: Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) to obtain verified parental consent for all children under the age of 13 who want to create a user account and/or play multiplayer games. (Both involve collecting personal information about the child, which is restricted by law.) Learn more about COPPA and AgeCheq
The original game (WolfQuest versions 1 through 2.7) was designed to be fun and playable by 9-13 year olds, since that was the target audience for our National Science Foundation grant funding over ten years ago. The new game, WolfQuest: Anniversary Edition, has evolved to become a much more sophisticated and realistic wildlife simulation with a broad appeal. Because you play as a wild wolf, you will hunt and consume prey (gore), you or your mate or pups may perish (heartbreaking), and you will fight with your competition (violence). The life of a wolf can be hard! These are things to consider when deciding if WolfQuest is right for your child.
The game offers three difficulty levels to create a challenging and enjoyable experience for players of all levels. If players are younger, or you are worried about internet safety, we recommend sticking to single player and phrase-chat multiplayer games. Players affected by COPPA (players under 13) will automatically have their game accounts restricted to phrase-chat in public games.
WolfQuest depicts the lives of wild wolves who hunt, eat other animals and fight to survive in the wild. Consequently, the game contains mild violence and gore. For example:
- Prey animals struggle and may die when wolves catch them.
- Prey babies are adorable and mostly helpless. Their mothers try to protect them.
- Prey and predator animals attack/fight back and can cause injury or death to the player’s wolf.
- Prey carcasses are an important food source for many animals and are mildly gory.
- Predators and other dangers (e.g. drowning, starvation) are ever-present threats to player’s wolf and pups.
- Pups do not all survive and this can be hard for sensitive players.
- Player wolves can visit a ranch and may be shot.
- In multiplayer, other players may choose to be combative in the roleplay.
Other things to consider:
- Public multiplayer games for 13 and up include text chat with players from all over the world. (Public multiplayer games for children under 13 have phrase chat only.)
- Players in multiplayer games must be tolerant and open-minded about other cultures and perspectives. WolfQuest community members are expected to be friendly, respectful, and helpful players. Public multiplayer games are not a place to criticize or condemn people on the basis of their race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, ancestry, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, or political views.
- Multiplayer games are not moderated live so players need to be comfortable navigating online community interactions which may not always be positive or friendly.
We encourage parents to play and be familiar with games that their children love! Parents of younger children and teens should check in regularly to be sure that they understand how to behave and be safe online.
WolfQuest multiplayer games are not monitored or moderated live. If players see rule-breaking behavior while playing, they are encouraged to send WolfQuest administrators an in-game report that contains a portion of the chat log. Players can also report inappropriate game-names in the multiplayer game lobby. All reports are reviewed by administrators who decide if players need reminders, restrictions, or need to be banned.
Learn more about WolfQuest in-game reporting system and behavior guidelines
The WolfQuest online community is a remarkably supportive and pleasant group of players. However, people of all kinds can join public multiplayer games so players should know how to navigate online interactions safely. There are many parent resources about online safety for kids including information at Common Sense Media.
WolfQuest Multiplayer Game Rules
Players must agree to these rules each time they enter multiplayer games.
What is allowed:
- Being a friendly, respectful, and helpful player
- Appropriate roleplay and chatting
- Inviting specific people to private games
What is not allowed:
- Swearing, vulgarness, and excessive violence
- Sexually-oriented/mating/dating games or roleplay
- Harassing/bullying/threatening other players
- Discussing illegal or inappropriate topics
- Giving your wolf a name that is invisible in the chat box
- Excessive kicking, or saving spaces for friends in public games
- Video-recording games without permission from other players
- Giving/asking for personal information
- Pretending to be a moderator or another player
- Editing game files to alter functionality
Breaking any of these rules may result in a warning or permanent ban, as deemed necessary by a WolfQuest administrator. You may be banned without receiving any warnings beforehand. If you notice anyone breaking these rules, please follow the directions for reporting inappropriate players.