WARNING: This page contains SPOILERS for Final Fantasy VII.
At the bottom of this page, I have put a list of the most commonly asked questions about chocobos. Check that list if you have a specific problem. First, I'll put shadow's chocobo raising file on here, and then a step-by-step breeding thing I wrote a while back.
When catching chocobos, the encounter setup (ie. what enemies appear with the
chocobo) determines their rating. Gender is randomly assigned when you move them
from a pen into a stall, you can save beforehand and keep reloading to get a
The time a chocobo takes to be ready for breeding isn't measured by time at all, it's battles that count. It takes from 3 to 18 for a newborn to mature, and 3 to 10 for a parent to mate again.
The offspring's stats are based on the parent's max stats. Feeding the parents to raise their current stats or increasing their racing class will not increase their child's stats.
It's possible for the game to use the same random generator seed each time you reload the game, which means you get the same result every time you attempt to breed. In short: if you reload 10 times in a row and keep getting the same thing, you're probably going to keep getting the same result as long as you keep doing things exactly the same. Before attempting again, do something different, simpliest option is to leave and re-enter the chocobo ranch, a few times if neccessary. That should clear the random seed, giving you a fresh chance.
Good: Gold Saucer area, appears with 2 Spencers
Great: Mideel area, appears with 1 or 2 Spirals
Wonderful: Icicle area, appears with 1 or 2 Jumpings
First off: you can not tip the odds of getting either a mountain of a river
chocobo. Any given good/great combination has an even chance of getting a river
or mountain chocobo. All those guides that tell you to use a great male and good
female for one then good male and great female for the other, or those that tell
you the parents should automatically spit out the opposite colour the second
time you mate them, are wrong.
Breed a good/great with a second good/great, using a Carob Nut. Without racing, you have an approx. 27% chance of a River chocobo, 27% chance of a Mountain chocobo, 46% chance of a regular chocobo. If the parent's have a combined total of at least 4 racing wins, you have a 50% of River, 50% of Mountain, and no chance of getting a regular.
***Note that it's the first good/great you select that matters; if you really want, you can select a non-good/great as the second chocobo. However, there's only a 25% chance it will work, after which it goes to the above chances of getting a special.
Get both a Blue and Green chocobo of opposite genders. They can be from the same or different parents, it doesn't matter. You can even use the first Blue/Green you get to breed the second, as they will be considered good/great themselves. Getting both the Blue and Green is the frustrating part of chocobo breeding, and really the only frustrating part. Once you've got them, the rest is easy.
Breed the Blue and Green chocobos together with a Carob Nut. By default, you
have a 10/256 chance of getting a Black, 128/256 of getting a Blue, 118/256 of
getting a Green. If the parents have a combined total of 9 or more wins, the
result should automatically be a Black chocobo.
***It's possible to get a Black chocobo using the basic nuts too, only the Zeio Nut cannot produce a Black. However, you won't get an automatic Black from higher race wins when using other nuts, and the chance of getting a Black varies.
Breed the Black chocobo with a wonderful chocobo, using a Zeio Nut. By default, you only have a 1/32 chance of getting a Gold; have the parent's combined total wins equal 12 or more for an automatic Gold chocobo.
A step-by-step process for breeding a Gold chocobo:
1) Get two good
(Gold Saucer area, battles that have only Spencers in them), two great (Mideel
area, battles that have only Spirals in them), or one good and one great chocobo
of opposite sexes. (Sex is determined when chocobos are moved into the stables
from the fenced area. Move one, and then note its sex. Save and move the
other one in. If itís not the opposite sex of the first, reload and move it
again until it is.)
NOTE: Contrary to what you might read from other guides, you only need one set of regular chocobos to breed all the way up to a Gold one, so don't bother catching more than two. Also, I highly suggest using two Greats, since they will have higher stats than the Goods, and will therefore be easier to race.
2) Feed them Sylkis greens (bought from the Chocobo Sage near the Crater) before racing. It'll make it much easier. Somewhere around thirty greens should suffice for each chocobo.
3) Race both parents (at the Gold Saucer, Chocobo Square. Talk to Ester in the pink dress). It is NOT necessary to have either parent in the S Class. It helps, but it can still be done without S Class chocobos. (A combined total of four wins between the two parents will ensure either a green or blue chocobo when you breed the parents.)
4) Save your game. Mate these two chocobos with a Carob nut. These can be stolen from the dinosaur-like Vlakarados in the grass near Bone Village, and you can also get them for 500 GP at Wonder Square.) Make sure you note the gender of your new Green/Blue chocobo.
5) Once you get a blue/green chocobo, go outside and save. Then go fight ten battles (I usually just fight the Zolom, because you don't have to walk in circles) so that your parents will be ready to breed again. (It takes anywhere from three to ten battles.)
6) Save again. Then
go mate the same chocobos again using another Carob nut. If the offspring is the
opposite color and sex of the first colored chocobo you got, go outside and
save again. If not, reset and breed them until you get the opposite sex and
color of the first one you got.
NOTE: Once you have a colored one, you can breed it with its parent. This supposedly will help your odds of getting a new one of the opposite color.
7) Feed these two
colored guys too. Sylkis greens, like before. Then go race them in the Saucer.
You'll need a combined nine wins between the parents to ensure a Black
8) Save. Now go get a Wonderful chocobo (in the snow up by Icicle Inn, battles that have only Jumpings in them). Note its sex when you move it into the stables.
(You'll need to have fought between three and eighteen battles to have your Green and Blue chocobos ready to mate again, so if they won't mate when you go back after catching the Wonderful chocobo, fight a few more battles.)
9) Save. Now go and breed the blue and green chocobos together with a Carob nut. If you get a Black one that is the opposite sex of the newly-captured Wonderful, then save. If not, reset and try again until you do.
10) Feed and race your Black one and the Wonderful one. The parents will need a combined twelve wins to ensure a Gold offspring.
11) Fight battles
(between three and eighteen) to get your Black chocobo ready to breed.
12) Save. Now breed the Wonderful and Black ones together with a Zeio nut (stolen from Goblins on islands in the North-east of the Overworld). If you get a Gold one, save. If not, reset and breed again until you get a Gold one.
NOTE: It is not necessary to race or feed any of the chocobos. Doing so only increases the chance of a colored offspring. Since there are good items to win in the races anyway, you might as well race them. That way you might get lucky and win a few of the good items.
Here's a list of questions and answers concerning the most common chocobo-related problems:
My chocobos are "too young" or "just mated." What do I have to do to breed them again?
Real time is irrelevant. Go fight battles (three to ten for a parent, three to eighteen for a newborn), and they should be ready to breed. Battles in the Battle Arena don't count.
How soon can I start breeding chocobos?
You can start as soon as you get the Highwind, even while Tifa is leading your party. However, you won't be able to race your chocobos until Cloud rejoins your group, since the Gold Saucer is closed until then. That is why most people suggest waiting until Cloud rejoins the party before you start to breed.
What nuts should I use?
You should use a Carob nut when breeding a Green, Blue, or Black chocobo. These can be stolen from Vlakarados enemies (on the grass by Bone Village or on the grass by the Chocobo Sage's Hut), or they can be purchased for 500 GP in Wonder Square. I suggest stealing them.
You should use a Zeio nut when breeding a Gold chocobo. These can only be gotten by stealing them from Goblins on the small islands in the North-East of the overworld map (you'll need the Highwind to get there).
How do I move my chocobos? When I follow Billy's commands, nothing happens.
You're most likely using a custom controller setup. Switch your buttons back to default, and the game will work correctly. I suggest keeping them at the default setting, since a custom setup can cause other problems as well.
I keep getting Male/Female chocobos. How can I catch one of the opposite sex?
The chocobo's sex is determined when you move it in from the fenced area. So save first, and then have Choco Billy put it in a stable. If its not the sex you want, reload and try again until it is.
My yellow chocobos aren't making colored ones...
First, try choosing the opposite chocobo first when you select which ones are going to breed. For example, if you've been selecting the male one first, try selecting the female first. If that doesn't help, try entering and exiting the chocobo farm a few times, or fight some battles. Other than that, it's all luck, so just keep trying.
I keep getting a Green/Blue chocobo instead of a Blue/Green chocobo...
First, try choosing the opposite chocobo first when you select which ones are going to breed. For example, if you've been selecting the male one first, try selecting the female first. If this doesn't work, try exiting the farm a few times or fight some battles. You can also try breeding the colored one that you do have with its parent (with a Carob nut). Sometimes this can help produce the opposite colored chocobo. If not, all you can do is save before breeding, and reset if you don't get an acceptable result.
Do I have to race my chocobos?
No. It's possible to breed all the way up to Gold without racing a single race. However, you are likely to spend a great deal of time resetting after unsuccessful breeding attempts. Also, there are some good items to win in the races anyway, so you might as well just race them.
Do I have to use a Good and a Great chocobo?
No. Two Goods, one of each, and two Greats will all work. I suggest using two Greats, as they will have higher stats. According to Terence's cracked game data, Wonderful chocobos can be used to breed colored chocobos, but only if a Good or a Great chocobo is selected first. Here's an excerpt from a post he made on this topic:
"[...] the game code is telling me that if the *first* Chocobo you pick is
neither a Great nor a Good, then you have no chance of doing so. Great +
Wonderful can work. Good + Terrible can work. But Wonderful + Good? Or Wonderful
+ Wonderful? Nothing."
Is there a way to tell what type of chocobo is in my battles?
Fortunately, yes, there is:
Good Chocobos: On the tracks near the Gold Saucer. If the chocobo is accompanied only by one or more Spencers, it will be Good. If there is any other enemy in the battle, it will not.
Great Chocobos: On the tracks near Mideel. If they are accompanied by one or more Spirals, they will be Great. If there is any other enemy in the battle, they will not.
Wonderful Chocobos: On the tracks in the snow by Icicle Inn. If it is accompanied by one or more Jumpings, it will be Wonderful. If there is any other enemy in the battle, it will not.
How do I put a chocobo on the Highwind?
You can't put a chocobo into the Highwind until you have caught it, sent it to the Farm, named it, and asked Choco Billy to ride it. Once you've taken it from the Farm, simply go up to the Highwind and press the Confirm button while riding the chocobo.
The Brink Message Boards
Special thanks to Terence and shadow for their input.