Habitarium is a mysterious game where rumors of massive amounts of NP are distributed widely and with little effort... But wait, you say those rumors are true?!
The short story is this: you enslave little petpetpets (commonly known as p3's), and they earn you NP.
"But that sounds like my little brother!" you may say. But can you throw your little brother into a house whenever he starts whining about being tired or hungry? Will he work at a steady pace overnight?
Habitarium is a pain in the butt at the beginning. You have very few p3's, and they don't really do much of anything. Set the workers and nesters up at the mud, stone, and wood resources. (Soldiers are lazy bastards who only build and fight pests) Save up your resources for houses and nests. You will want 3 nests and a house for every 5 (later 7) p3's.
Once you have your nests, sit your nesters on them. If your p3's are telling you that they're hungry or sleepy, throw them in the house. Don't bother buying food.
If you're actually paying attention to the game when they show up, you can just F5 and they'll go away. Or, when you have enough resources to spare, you can block off access points to the resources you use (I also block in the p3's so they don't wander off).
If one of your resources is damaged, you have a few options. Without help, it will take 3 hours until the resource is good to go again and you can set your workers at another resource. You can also go to the Habitarium boards on Neo and ask for resource repair from the kind users there.
At low levels, it's hard to get enough resources for buildings. Fortunately, a lot of level 50 players will be giving stuff away on the Habi boards. At any given time, approximately 80% of the threads on the first page are all gifting. What they will do is friend you, gift you the item through Habi, then unfriend you. It's a great way for fast experience as well as for people to get rid of resources they don't want.
Harvest it: This puts the egg in your bag. You will want to keep at least enough eggs in your bag to repopulate your habi at least once (although I hear many people have enough to repopulate twice). This is because your little slaves have the odd tendency to die after a week. I normally keep 2 soldiers and nesters of each species and spam the rest of 3 pages with workers.
Hatch it: This is most convenient when you either just got a population increase or one of your p3's just died. It means you don't have to go all the way to your bag to get out a new p3.
Discard it: In the later levels, this will be your favorite button. Discarding eggs gives you 200 exp per egg. The annoying bit? It takes a level 3 nest and level 3 nester to fully incubate an egg in 50 minutes.
You will want to keep at least one population slot open so you can see what kind of egg has been incubated.
Workers:These guys work hard and are great at collecting resources. They collect resources in half the time it takes a nester to collect them and they repair buildings.
P3's can die from two ways: Fighting pests or natural death
Pests can kill p3's by fighting them. The best way to avoid this is to ensure that your workers and nesters are blocked off from pest access. I have yet to see a soldier die from fighting pests, although I don't doubt that it is possible.
Natural death: P3's die every 7 days. I know you care very deeply about your slaves, but it's just a natural fact of life (even pixellated life). If you want to see how close a p3 is to a natural death, click on the p3 and on the little window that tells you his health and hunger meter, click the right arrow. There will be a bar with 3 gems on it, each gem larger than the one to its left. The closer the bar is to the right, the closer it is to its natural death.
Methods of playing Habi:There are two main ways people play Habi: staying logged in all the time, or periodically opening and closing Habi.
If you stay logged in all the time (and your little brother doesn't also play Neopets), you will want to have mostly workers in your Habi. Leaving it open means they can constantly work and earn you exp, either for your next level or for more purple gems. Most common ratio for these players is 39 workers/3 nesters/3 soldiers at level 50.
Opening and closing Habi: You will want a primarily nester population. The eggs will keep incubating while you're away, and you will have to discard them once you come back. I don't know the most common ratio for these players because it's honestly less efficient than the mostly worker players. You could probably get away with a completely nester population, but I would recommend a couple of workers in order to repair the nests when they degrade over time.
There are 5 different buildings available: house, nest, barracks, storage, and hospital. They can each be upgraded to level 3 (with the exception of the barracks, which can only be upgraded to level 2).
I've tried lining this up, but it's not working, so I have changed the color so it's a little easier to tell which numbers are for which category.
Houses: Wood Stone Mud Capacity Available at level:
At level 1: 1,200 950 1,200 3 P3's 2
At level 2: 950 1,300 600 5 P3's 13
At level 3: 1,150 2,200 850 7 P3's 35
At level 1: 800 650 950 N/a 2
At level 2: 800 1,050 850 N/a 17
At level 3: 900 1,300 950 N/a 40
Raiding:The only information I have about raiding is that it's mostly a waste of time. You send soldiers over to a neofriend's Habi, they fight and maybe gain a few resources. There's also a high chance that you will lose a soldier or two. Add to this the fact that your neofriend (if not warned of the attack ahead of time) will probably unfriend you, and you've got a pretty worthless player-player interaction. This is probably the primary reason gifters unfriend as soon as they have gifted.
Lag is annoying, particularly when you've got a level 50 Habi running. Before you start doing anything with your p3's, make sure the Habitarium sound and music are turned off. Run adblocker if you're in FF or Chrome (I don't know if there's an IE equivalent, but knowing you guys means I'll get laughs just for putting that). Neopets likes to refresh the ads part of the page constantly, which stresses the computer out like none other. Adblocker puts a stop to their nonsense. You can also zoom in insanely far and focus on one of the non-p3 areas, but it only works if you aren't actively taking care of your p3's (which only happens once in a while anyways).
Inside Habi, your first step is to block off all of your storages. p3's running back and forth is a waste of your valuable time, whether you're watching them or not. Supplies still go in storage, whether they can get to them or not.
Second step is to block your p3's in with their resource. Put a decoration to its left, right, and behind. The diagonals DO NOT MATTER. p3's are dumb and are incapable of moving diagonally. They do like to move around after pests get destroyed and they sometimes get distracted from their duty. Some people also place a decoration on top of the p3's once they're all working to prevent pests, but it can be bothersome to remember to remove the decoration to put the p3's back after their nap.
Bonus tips:Helping out a neofriend gives you 50 exp, but you can only help them once every 24 hours.
At level 50, move as many buildings/decorations to the bottom edges of the screen for purple gem free space. They only spawn in the original 11x11 area you started with.
You can surf Neopets and do whatever you want while it's running, but KEEP THE TAB OPEN. Once it's closed, your workers will harvest 10 more resource each, then stop.
At level 50, you can spam-click the purple gems for 3-4k each instead of the regular 500 NP each. Apparently only works for some people, so I'm sorry if it doesn't work for you Proof that it works: On 3/29/12, I had 430 NP on hand before spam-clicking 3 purple gems. After, I had 4,930 NP when I should have had 1930 NP.
This is just the very basics. If you want to know more, just ask, and I'll answer your question as well as update the guide I will probably also add more when I remember more important things.
Edited by Mishatu, 18 May 2012 - 12:00 PM.