The Chao Garden is a place where the A-Life creatures, the Chao, reside. Chao Eggs are deposited in an inaccessible garden that can only be viewed through a menu screen. Once the Chao has hatched, the player can equip it with a fighting character in order to give the bonded character special abilities.
Sonic Adventure, DX
Sonic Adventure 2, Battle
In Sonic Adventure 2, there is also a Hero Garden and a Dark Garden, in addition to a Neutral Garden. These are unlocked when the player has at least one Hero Chao and at least one Dark Chao in their possession. The Chao Garden in Sonic Adventure 2 contains a rock formation and a waterfall that leads to the Chao cave.
Main article: Tiny Chao Garden
In these games, there's a mini version of the Chao Garden named Tiny Chao Garden. This garden has the same funtion as the normal garden, only with a lot of differences. The player can bring Chao back and forth between the gardens in Sonic Adventure DX and Sonic Adventure 2 via the Tiny Chao Garden on the Game Boy Advance.
The Chao Garden reappears in Sonic Advance 3, there are seven Chao Gardens (one per zone). The garden only serves to control the Chao count and the Chaos Emeralds that you collected.
In Crisis City, there are highway signs of the Chao Garden (although the actual Garden is never seen).
In Sonic Rivals 2, the Chao Garden is mentioned at the end of Sonic and Tails' stories. After they defeated the Ifrit in Chaotic Inferno Zone, Sonic says to Tails that they go back to the Garden and take a break.
Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood also features a Chao Garden, although it is inaccessible, unlike in the Adventure games. In Sonic Chronicles, the player can collect Chao Eggs scattered throughout the game's maps.
Like Sonic '06, there are Chao Garden highway signs in Skyscraper Scamper during day.
- The Chao Gardens use an updated version of the A-Life system originally used in NiGHTS into Dreams' nightopian system.
- Highway signs in Crisis City in Sonic the Hedgehog point to a Chao Garden, although the actual garden is never seen.