STEP 1: Arm Yourself!
Actually, you'll be arming your Neopet! It's not a good idea to go into battle empty-handed, so it's best to equip a few weapons first. Which weapons should you use? Where can you purchase them? Well, that all depends.
If you're a Neopian newbie, there is some free equipment in your Starter Pack you can use to prepare your Neopet for the Battledome.
For more experienced Neopians, there are many weapon shops around Neopia that can supply you with various pieces of equipment.
More serious 'Domers may want to compare stats and find the most bang for your buck. There's always the Battlepedia, but also some very helpful Fan Sites out there to aid in your search.
However you obtained it, once you have your equipment in your inventory, you can either click on it there and select the "Equip NEOPETNAME" option in the pop-up, or you can visit the Stats page here in the Battledome (found on the navigation bar above) and equip from there.
Once equipped, you're ready to go lookin' for a fight!
STEP 2: Start a Fight
To get into a fight, find a "Battle!" button! There's one on the main Battledome page and one on (almost) every page in the Battledome navigation bar. This will allow you to set up a fight.
From there, you choose which Neopet you'd like to take into battle, and then select your opponent! You can choose to fight a challenger (a "computer-controlled" opponent) or a 2-player fight (against another Neopian).
Browse through the opponents you've unlocked and, once you've decided whom you'll be fighting, select a Toughness for that challenger.
There are two options for 2-player fights. You can choose to send a challenge directly to another Neopian, or you can wait for a Skirmish. Follow the instructions on each page to find an opponent using these methods.
NOTE: During the beta, only other players in the beta can accept challenges and Skirmish wait times may be longer than normal!
Once you've found an opponent, the game is on!
STEP 3: Battle It Out
When you see the "VS" screen, there's no turning back! Click the button at the bottom to enter the battle and prepare for Round 1.
The battle screen has a few different components to keep track of, but don't worry. You'll get the hang of things soon enough! Here's a breakdown:
As you battle various opponents, you'll get more familiar with this screen and how to use all the bits and bobs. For now, let's stick with the basics!
Then click "FIGHT!" (#16 in the diagram) to send your move and see how you fared. The fight will play out, showing your Neopet's moves and your opponent's moves and how much damage, healing, blocking, etc. was done by each. You can also look at the health bars to see how things panned out.
Evaluate what happened, plan another move, and keep fighting until someone wins! (Hopefully you.)
STEP 4: The Aftermath
After the fight ends, and you've collected your prizes for winning or cursed your fate for losing, it's time to recuperate. If your Neopet lost any Hit Points during the battle, you can visit the Healing Springs to get back into fighting shape, or you can buy some healing potions or neggs from your fellow Neopians for faster healing.
While your Neopet recovers, you can spend the time looking for weapon upgrades, asking for advice on the Battledome Neoboard, or training for your next bout.
When your Neopet is ready, you can head into battle again to prove your might!
STEP 5: Become a Battledome Master
It takes planning, strategy, and even a bit of luck to be great in the Battledome. Your Neopet will need to train hard at the training schools around Neopia to become stronger. You'll need to save your Neopoints to buy upgrades for your weapons and equipment. And you'll need to practice against the toughest of challengers to gain experience on the battlefield. However, earning Neopoints and loot, and even besting your Neofriend's high score make it all worthwhile.
Or maybe you just like punching people IN THE FACE.