You can pet cats and dogs in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and it’s really cute.
As far as I can tell, dogs have not been pettable in main series Assassin’s Creed games since Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. However, in Assassin’s Creed Origins, Bayek could pet cats. This was accomplished by kneeling next to a cat and waiting for it to deign to offer itself for pets. While this was a super accurate and adorable Easter egg, it also made the presence of unpettable dogs — dogs! — more noticeable.
Valhalla seems to go 7,000 miles out of its way to change that. It’s almost like the designers were saying, “Look, we know you want to pet the fucking dog, OK? Look. Look at how much you’re petting the dog.” But the excitement doesn’t stop there: You can pet cats in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla as well.
How to pet cats and dogs in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Similarly to interacting with an object, if Eivor is looking at a cat or dog the player will be presented with a pet option. This triggers a brief and excessively cute cutscene where Eivor will hug the dog and ruffle its ears, or pick up the world’s longest, largest cat and snuggle it.
Watch the video below for an in-depth tutorial:
I discovered the petting during my recent six-hour preview session with Valhalla. During that preview, I did a lot of things that weren’t petting dogs or cats but, frankly, I find it disrespectful to discuss that here.
Petting dogs in games has become a meme, as documented by the exploding popularity of the Twitter account Can You Pet The Dog, run by Tristan Cooper, which documents pettable animals in games. Some developers have tried to thwart the account by hiding pets behind a litany of menus. And in September 2020, a Humble Bundle launched composed solely of games where you can, indeed, pet the dog.
One final detail: After you pet a dog, it will follow you around for a little while. That’s great.