Introduced as part of Game Update 5.2 during Knights of the Eternal Throne, this series of exploration quests has you befriend Nerf calves by exploring various corners of three of SWTOR’s original planets: Alderaan, Hoth and Voss where three unique Nerf calves can be earned as Pets. Finding all three unlocks a hidden achievement with extra rewards.
Thank you to player Intisar from This Week in Aurabesh for writing this guide to help share some of the fun hidden secrets in SWTOR, and Zahk for formatting it!
How to Befriend the Nerfs
There is no formal Mission required to begin collecting the Nerf pets. Simply travel to each planet in any order like and first learn knowledge of the local Nerfs and then harvest the food they like to eat. The process is fairly straightforward, but it does involve some travel and a little bit of luck.
In general there are three steps to earning the trust of each planet’s Nerf calves:
- Locate and read a datapad with “Nerf Research”. This will give you a one hour-long buff that gives you insight into the food that each planet’s Nerfs will eat.
- Locate and pick up some of that food, Each planet has two or three spawn points where Nerf-food can be found. An alert such as “Strange plants have been rumored to grow in this area” will pop up on your screen in red text when you are very close to the food’s spawn point.
- Once you’ve collected some tasty treats, all that remains is to take the food to a Nerf herd. Feed one of the calves using the food item in your inventory and you’ll have a loyal companion for life!
There are, of course, a few complications, particularly on the planet Hoth.
On all planets, the edible plants are often out of the way, up on ledges or tucked away in nooks, so you might need to poke around to find it.
The major complication is that the plants despawn after they are picked, so if someone has been by recently there may be nothing to harvest. If there are other instances of the planet, you might have better luck switching to them from the Map interface.
It takes one hour for a harvested plant to reappear. If all other nodes are exhausted and you have no other choice but to wait, make sure to reapply the Nerf Research buff just in case it expires while you wait for the food to reappear.
The Nerf Research buff remains on you if you die, change instances or even leave the planet. If does not tick down while you are off-line.
Remember that you can only pick the food when you have the buff from each planet’s Nerf Research datapad. If the buff expires before you’ve found the food, you’ll need to read it again. Once you have the food, you do not need to have the research buff on you to successfully feed a Nerf calf.
You can make it easier to find the calf herds by turning on Show Friendly NPC Nameplates in the nameplates tab of your preferences.
Collecting the Nerfs requires a fair amount of travel across all three worlds, but does not involve any combat. There is no level restriction, but it does help to be high enough level to travel around each planet without attracting unwanted attention from nearby enemies.
Having access to each planet’s Quick Travel locations helps as well. In addition, there are daily Heroic quests, which provide instant travel to many of the locations you’ll be visiting. You can pick up these Heroics on Fleet or in the landing zone of each planet in question.
Nerf Research and Nerf Herd Locations: For Republic players the closest Quick Travel/Taxi point is House Alde, and for Imperial players, the closest is Outpost Talarn.
Alderaan Strange Plant Location 1: King’s Pass. Republic Players may travel to House Trader’s Circle and Imperials to Wardpost Lourdes. Republic players may quickly access this area using a Heroic Transport provided by the heroics “Survivors”, “Into the Killik Warrens” or “Turning the Tide”.
Alderaan Strange Plant Location 2: Kaamos Territory. Imperial players may access this location via the Thul Research Camp or by using the Heroic Transport from the heroic “Droid Repossession”. There is no convenient Republic access to this part of the map.
Alderaan Strange Plant Location 3: The Glarus Valley: Republic Players can start the trip to the area where the plant grows behind Castle Panteer from Wardpost Hurne or the Panteer Refuge Quick Travel point.. Imperial players land somewhat closer at Outpost Ghrent or the Panteer Hideout Travel Point.
Republic players have easy access to the Nerf Research on Hoth from Outpost Cresh or by using the Heroic Transport for the heroic “The Terror Brigade”. Imperial players start their trip from Outpost Thesh. The Heroic Transport for the heroic “The Brig Stompers” will bring Imperial players to the southern end of the Glacial Fissure zone as well.
The closest Frozen plant location to the Nerf Datapad is up on a cliff on the east side of the Glacial Fissure zone.
A second Frozen Plant spawns in the Clabburn Tundra, which Republic players can approach from Drift Hills Republic Depot or with the Heroic Transport for “Humanitarian Aid”. Imperial players can get there quickly from the Jagged Plains Imperial Garrison or from the heroic “A Traitor’s Punishement”.
On Hoth, the food you pick is too frozen to be eaten so it must be taken to a volcano in the rift at the bottom of the Glacial Fissure where the heat from the liquid hot magma will thaw the food allowing it to be chewed by delicate calves. When you enter the area, you will get an alert telling you that you are close. To thaw the frozen plant, head for the specific volcano marked on the map; it is inside the area called “Volcanic Trench.” If you look up, you’ll be able to see an ice bridge spanning the rift above you. Once you take a few steps up the slope of the volcano, another alert will pop up and let you know that the plant is now safe to eat.
The Nerf herd on Hoth lives up on a mountain to the west and getting up there can be tricky, The quickest access is from Highmount Ridge, the zone west of the Glacial Fissure. There is a path up the east ridge of the mountain near the area of the Imperial Heroic “Deconstruction Efforts” just south of the Republic Outpost Senth. If you have difficulty with jumping, you can also make your way up the slope of the south end of the Glacial Fissure zone from the area just north of Leth Outpost. If you see “Worthy Jagganath Targets” wandering around, you’ll know you’re headed the right way and can follow the mountain peak north to the Calf herd. It’s a bit of a longer ride, but doesn’t require any ridge hopping.
On Voss, the Nerf Research can be found in the Pelath Marches near Kri-Ta Outpost for Republic players and Outpost Overseer for Imperial players. Republic Players can use the Heroic Transport for “Cyber Mercenaries” to quickly access this part of Voss.
The Strange Root and the Nerf calves are both found in the Nightmare Lands. Republic players can travel there via Shad-Ka Outpost and Imperial players via Ghen’s Overlook. Both Republic and Imperial players may also use Heroic Transports to access this area of Voss. For Republic Players “Not Afraid” will do the trick, and for Imperials “Cleanse the Corrupted” will drop them right in the middle of the Nightmare Lands.
Two of the Strange Root spawn points are very close to two named champions, so if you see a mob with a platinum nametag, you’re close!
Meet the Nerfs
Hill Nerf Calf, Alderaan
Arctic Nerf Calf, Hoth
Nightland Nerf Calf, Voss
“…Who’s Scruffy Looking?” Achievement
Collecting all three Nerfs will complete the achievement “…Who’s Scruffy Looking?” which rewards the “Nerf Herder” Legacy title and a small stack of stronghold decorations. The pet Nerfs, however, are bound on pickup and cannot be transferred to other characters. If you want the pets on multiple characters, each one will have to collect them individually.
Hopefully Bioware will add a proper “Scruffy Looking” title to match up with the “Nerf Herder” legacy title, so that my Smuggler’s life will be complete.