These miniature pets are primarily a cosmetic item, except for leveling as discussed below, equipped by the survivor in the off-hand slot. When equipped, the chibi-pet appears in front and to the left of the survivor. Moving around causes the pet to follow and reposition itself where the survivor is facing. The chibi-pets are seen in the survivor's lap while riding mounts, and sit nearby while in a bed. Note that for the Tek Sleeping Pod the pets still follow the position, except facing upwards at the survivor's right, since survivors sleep on their backs in the pods instead of on their sides.
Chibi-Pets can be leveled up five times by killing certain predators while having the pet equipped. Each level up permanently increases the maximum level by 1 (up to 5 extra levels) of the survivor who's got the chibi equipped at the time of a level-up. The following creatures award Experience to the Chibi-Pets: