Chao World Edit
To gain access to your Chao, you must first venture into Chao World. To go to Chao World, you must find a Chao Box in one of the levels. When you break open the Chao Box, you will find a key inside. If you collect this key, you will be warped to Chao World after completing the level.
There are three Chao Boxes in each level. The first box that you open, regardless of which one it actually is, will always contain the key to Chao World. The second box that you open will contain four random animals from that stage. In the third (and final) box will be the "special" animal from that stage.
Chao Gardens Edit
Once you have made it into Chao World, you can get started with your Chao by entering one of the Chao Gardens. When you first start, there will only be one Chao Garden available. Time only passes for the Chao while you are inside the Chao Garden. If you are in the Chao Lobby (the entrance to Chao World), playing a stage, or in a different Chao Garden to the one your Chao is in, it will not age. The other two gardens are the hero garden and the dark garden. These two are unlocked by obtaining hero chao and dark chao.
Your First Chao Edit
When you first start, you will have two Chao eggs in the Chao Garden. As you later unlock other Chao Gardens, you will find that each one of those has a single Chao egg. These eggs contain regular, normal coloured Chao, which are light blue with yellow highlights. They will change in shape and colour as they grow. All chao are born neutral. To obtain hero/dark chao, raise the chao with either a hero or a dark character.
Hatching Chao Edit
There are three ways of hatching Chao eggs, with each way having different effects on your Chao.
Shaking or rocking the egg is the most common way of hatching an egg. Pick up the egg using the B button, and while still holding the button down, move the analogue stick to shake it. After about 5-10 seconds of shaking the egg, place it back down on the ground. The egg will start to bobble, and then your Chao will hatch from it.
You can also throw the egg to break it open. To do this, pick up the egg by pressing the B button, and then throw it by pressing the B button again while moving. If you throw the egg into open space it will not break open, you will need to throw it against a wall.
Your Chao will not look very pleased at first if you use this method, but there do not seem to be any negative effects from doing this. All that will happen is that the Chao will start with an angry/upset expression above its head; however, this expression will only last a few moments, and the Chao seems perfectly happy afterwards.
Many people choose to hatch their eggs in this way because it is far quicker than the other two methods. Some guides, manuals, and magazines have said that this method produces a more active, lively Chao, but this is unconfirmed.
Your Chao egg will hatch naturally after a while, even with no interaction from you. Simply leave the egg alone and it will hatch by itself after around five minutes. Hatching a Chao this way has been said to produce a normal, perhaps timid Chao; however, as above this is unconfirmed what differences this makes to the Chao's behaviour in the garden.
Caring For Chao EditTo make your Chao like you and adore you, you should be nice to them! Pet them and hug them to show your affection. Remember to feed them regularly! To do this, go up to a tree and grab it by holding the B button; then move the analogue stick around to shake the tree. Once some fruit falls down, you can pick it up with the B button and give it to your Chao to make it start eating it.
Happiness is a hidden number which ranges from -100 to 100. It starts at 0 for a new Chao, but doesn't change through reincarnation. There are three known ways to increase a Chao's happiness: petting it, picking it up, and feeding it. Each positive action may or may not cause a heart to appear over the Chao's head. If it does appear, then its happiness has increased by 1. A simple but effective way of telling whether your chao likes you or not is whistling. If It does, an exclamation mark will appear above its head and It will come running towards you with its arms outstretched.
It is possible to abuse your Chao, which will obviously make it very upset and traumatized. If you throw your Chao, its happiness will decrease by 5. If you hit the Chao yourself (for example, by jumping on it), then its happiness will decrease by 30. It will also start shaking and crying for a long period of time. It is recommended that you do not abuse your Chao.
If you treat your Chao very well, then it will reincarnate when it dies.
Character Bonds Edit
Chao react to the different characters that you use to interact with them. For example, if you always look after the Chao with Tails, and you treat it well, then it will begin to like Tails more than the other characters. It will run up to him and look for attention, and even draw pictures of him if it owns crayons won from the Onyx race.
On the other hand, if you are very mean to a Chao (either on purpose or by accident), then it will start to despise the character that you used. It can be a good idea to choose a single Hero character and Dark character to raise your Chao with. This way, the Chao can get used to seeing those two character all the time, making them always feel happy around them. Or you may wish to raise your chao with multiple / all characters, which works too.
To show how your Chao is feeling, a symbol appears over its head. This is commonly called the emotion ball, or emotiball. The different emotiball symbols mean different things, and combine with the Chao's facial expression to show exactly how it is feeling. These different expressions are explained below.
If your Chao simply has a dot, halo or a spiked ball floating above its head, then it is in its normal state and is probably not thinking of anything in particular.
If your Chao has a large heart floating above it's head, then it is very happy. You may have done something really nice or it might just be doing something it enjoys doing.
If your Chao has a large question mark above its head, then it is thinking about what to do.
Excited / Surprised Edit
If your Chao has a large exclamation mark above its head, then it means it is excited or surprised about something. Exclamation mark can also indicate that your chao may be hungry.
Angry / Upset Edit
If your Chao has a large tornado swirl above its head, then it means it is very angry or upset about something. It could also mean that your Chao is tired, which is most commonly caused by waking it up while it is sleeping, but also appears if you abuse it.
A Chao that is laying down with its eyes closed is asleep. Try not to wake it up, as it will make your Chao upset and tired. It is important to note that Chao sometimes sleep sitting up; be careful not to mistake it for an awake Chao.