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For related articles, see Category:Hunters.
From an early age the call of the wild draws some adventurers from the comfort of their homes into the unforgiving primal world outside. Those who endure become hunters. Masters of their environment, they are able to slip like ghosts through the trees and lay traps in the paths of their enemies.
Hunter crest.png

Hunters pull and use threat redirection, crowd control, and primarily ranged damage. Some hunters have pets that add to their DPS which also allow special spells such as Rebirth and Heroism, and help manage aggro. They can also track, tame, and train animals and beasts found in the wild. The well-trained pet, on countless occasions, has saved a hunter's life. They are the only class that can name, feed, and 'train' their pets to have one of three specializations: Ferocity for burst DPS, Cunning for utility, and Tenacity for tanking. This specialization can be switched at any time when not in combat or dead.

Hunters excel in outdoor survival skills, such as tracking and laying traps. They wear mail armor. They are unable to use shields or plate armor. Beast Master and Marksmanship hunters start with a gun, crossbow, or bow, depending on their race. They can use all other weapons except wands, maces, and two-handed maces. Survival hunters specifically use melee weapons and start with a polearm.

Hunters use many abilities that either deal damage or apply a status effect that costs focus to use. Food and drink does not replenish focus; instead, the only source is by using certain abilities or by having it replenish naturally over time. Most other abilities are free to use such as Mend Pet or their Trap (Survival-only) abilities. They can take on various Animal Aspects that grant special abilities, such as improved run speed or additional ranged attack power.


A dwarven hunter takes aim.

Hunters are stalkers in the wild, living on their knowledge of survival and skill with a bow or rifle. They are deeply in tune with nature and some of its mightiest beasts are their allies. Of Azeroth's many creatures, few can resist the hunters' call, and fewer can survive their fury. Hunters are as varied as the world's many climates, but they are universally renowned for their amazing abilities to find their prey and bring it down. They come from any race (players are restricted to playable races, see below), though certain races naturally excel at the hunter's profession. Most hunters seek to aid the balance of nature along with their druidic allies.[1]

Hunters are skilled in stealth, slipping through the woods like a ghost. Orcs of the Horde first learned the ways of the hunter from forest trolls on Lordaeron and tauren have been masters of the hunt since the dawn of the world. Like the shaman, hunters call upon the spirits of the land, wind, and fire to aid them in their hunts and tasks. Their spells focus on the elements and the land.[2]

The hunter is one of the oldest classes in history. They represent a deep connection between man and beast, and the hunters of Warcraft are not merely individuals who track animals and slay them for food, but custodians of balance. They understand the natural circle of life and death and the part they must play in maintaining it, not simply as researchers, but as active participants. The "Hunt" is venerated, and the prey they choose to stalk is given as much respect as the predators hunters choose to learn from and embody.

All hunters create lifelong friendships with animal companions, who are also often their best and only friends, if the stereotype of the reclusive huntsman is to be believed. Hunters come in all shapes, forms, sizes, and specialties. Hunters are a curious mix of mysticism and rough wilderness know-how. They can learn to mystically align themselves with the aspects of various animals to assist them, such as the swiftness of a cheetah. Hunters use magically empowered traps to maim and snare their prey. They have various shots imbued with magic or explosives to slow, poison, handicap, and disorient their targets. They can even hold their breath and slow their heartbeat to a highly infrequent, inconsequential tap to give their pursuers the impression they are dead.


A night elf hunter in art.

For Beast Mastery and Marksmanship hunters, ranged fighting requires a choice between a gun, bow, or a crossbow. When starting, this will depend on your race. Dwarves, worgen, and goblins are given guns; draenei, humans, pandaren and Forsaken start with crossbows; the other races get bows. However, all hunters can still use the ranged weapons that aren't inherent to their race. In general, crossbows are relatively slow, but hit harder and are favored for increasing burst damage, while guns are relatively fast and good for steady grinding. Bows have moderate attack speed and are favored for sustained DPS. Guns can be crafted by engineers, but there are no craftable bows or crossbows, so most ranged upgrades will come from mob drops and quest rewards.

Survival hunters forgo use of a ranged weapon, choosing instead to fight toe-to-toe in melee. All such hunters start with a polearm, regardless of race.

Combat pets

Main article: Hunter abilities/Pet specializations
Main article: Hunter abilities/Pet abilities

A troll hunter is crouching with his white wolf.

Pets are the most important tools in the hands of a hunter. They serve as aggro-management, additional DPS, and as tanks. The pet is essential to all specs, dealing anywhere from 10% of total damage for a Marksman and Survival, to 50% for a Beast Master. Formerly, pets had anemic damage potential and weak AI that often made them more of a danger to a raid than an asset. Improved AI - pets now always attack from the back of a monster - and an innate 90% damage avoidance has mitigated this concern.

Many beast-type mobs can be tamed, and each offer a set of unique active skills (there are special abilities just for wolves, just for cats, etc).

Hunters have a pet at level one. These pets are based on the user's race (night elves get a nightsaber, tauren get a plainstrider, goblins get a crab, etc.). They are able to control the pet through various commands at level 10. Hunters can have only one active pet at a time and 5 others out of the actual game accessible in the Call Pet UI. The stable can house up to 50 additional pets.


Note: This pertains to Survival Survival hunters.

Hunters have five different types of traps available for use. Some traps are a type of Crowd Control; others are a source of damage, although they do not scale well to the hunter's level. Traps exist for 30 seconds, have separate 30-second cooldown categories, and a 2-second arming timer once placed. A hunter can have one trap of each category placed at one time.

Notable hunters


Main article: Hunter races

The hunter class can be chosen by any playable race:

Race Strength Agility Stamina Intellect Spirit Armor Health
Alliance DraeneiDraenei Draenei World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade 21 20 21 20 23 40 56
Alliance Ironforge dwarfIronforge dwarf Ironforge dwarf 25 19 22 19 20 38 66
Alliance HumanHuman Human World of Warcraft: Cataclysm 20 23 21 20 21 33 56
Alliance GnomeGnome Gnome World of Warcraft: Legion 15 22 20 23 20 ?? ??
Alliance Night elfNight elf Night elf 16 27 21 20 21 54 56
Both 15.png PandarenPandaren Pandaren World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria 20 18 21 19 22 ?? ??
Alliance WorgenWorgen Worgen World of Warcraft: Cataclysm 23 25 21 16 20 61 56
Horde Blood elfBlood elf Blood elf World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade 17 25 21 23 19 50 56
Horde ForsakenForsaken Forsaken World of Warcraft: Cataclysm 19 21 21 18 26 33 66
Horde GoblinGoblin Goblin World of Warcraft: Cataclysm 17 25 21 23 19 50 56
Horde OrcOrc Orc 23 20 22 17 23 40 66
Horde TaurenTauren Tauren 25 19 22 16 23 38 67
Horde TrollTroll Troll 21 25 21 16 22 50 56

Alliance Alliance races
  • Draenei: [Gift of the Naaru] heals 20% of the caster's health over 10 seconds, giving draenei hunters a healing ability. Extremely useful for high level PvP and PvE. [Heroic Presence] can help hunters perform better.
  • Dwarves: [Stoneform] removes poison, disease, curse, magic, and bleed effects, and decreases damage taken by a short period of time. Both of these can be very useful in PvE and PvP fights.
  • Humans: Humans gain the "racial PvP trinket" – [Every Man for Himself] – effectively freeing up a trinket slot which hunters might find more useful.
  • Night elves: [Quickness] adds an extra layer of survivability to night elf hunters. [Shadowmeld] provides an interesting element to night elves, allowing them to stealth to avoid mob detection (more useful for solo play), or to get out of combat when about to die. Pairing this with a combat pet that can also stealth makes for a deadly combination. In PvP settings Shadowmeld can be devastating, for the night elf hunter can operate as a rogue, attacking from a stealthed position! An additional bonus to Shadowmeld is the ability to temporarily drop threat in combat.
Neutral races (before faction choice)
  • Pandaren: The pandaren [love of food] allows them to gain a larger benefit from well fed buffs. These versatile marksmen also take [less falling damage]. To add to their deadly hunter abilities, they also have a [natural stun] for when enemies get too close for comfort.
Horde Horde races
  • Blood elves: [Arcane Torrent] silences any spell caster within range. When enemies are not within range, it also serves as an additional way to regain focus.
  • Forsaken: The increased [shadow resistance] is always useful, as is [Cannibalize], which can rapidly increase your health, thereby saving your healer's mana. [Will of the Forsaken] is one of the best racials in game, and can be the difference between life and death in both PvP and PvE settings; it removes charm, fear, and sleep effects. Forsaken also have a passive [damaging ability] that strips health from the enemy.
  • Goblins: They use their rockets to not only [leap], but also to fire off a [barrage] into the faces of their enemies. And when they need to repair their equipment, they always get the [Best Deals Anywhere]. Their [Time is Money] ability increases attack speed, helpful for any hunter.
  • Orcs: [Hardiness] reduces stun duration, which can save a hunter in PvP settings. [Blood Fury] increases attack power.
  • Tauren: [War Stomp] is very important in providing an early stun to young hunters, especially useful against melee attackers that refuse to stay at range. [Endurance] provides tauren with extra health, meaning tauren hunters can have the highest possible HP of any hunter. The additional [nature resistance] is always a plus.
  • Trolls: [Berserking] increases attack speed by 20% for 10 seconds, useful for all hunters. [Health regeneration] in combat can help keep you alive during PvP fights or boss battles, and the increased healing can reduce down time for soloing players. [Da Voodoo Shuffle] reduces the duration of movement impairing effects by 15%. [Beast Slaying] gives a small boost against beasts.


A master of the wild who can tame a wide variety of beasts to assist him in combat.
- Official description
Stat priority
  • Agility
  • Mastery
  • Haste
  • Critical Strike
  • Versatility

Kill Command

Ability Min Level
Kill Command 10
Dire Beast 12
Multi-Shot 16
Wild Call 20
Aspect of the Wild 26
Counter Shot 32
Bestial Wrath 40
Ability Min Level
Misdirection 42
Kindred Spirits 44
Beast Cleave 50
Bestial Wrath (2) 54
Disengage (2) 65*
Mastery: Master of Beasts 78

*Only if the Disengage talent is chosen at level 45.

A master archer or sharpshooter who excels in bringing down enemies from afar.
- Official description
Stat priority
  • Agility
  • Mastery
  • Haste
  • Critical Strike
  • Versatility

Aimed Shot

Ability Min Level
Arcane Shot 10
Aimed Shot 12
Multi-Shot 16
Marked Shot 20
Hunter's Mark 20
Bursting Shot 26
Counter Shot 32
Ability Min Level
Trueshot 40
Misdirection 42
Marksman's Focus 44
Bombardment 50
Hunting Party 58
Disengage (2) 65*
Mastery: Sniper Training 78

*Only if the Disengage talent is chosen at 45.

A rugged tracker who favors using animal venom, explosives, and traps as deadly weapons.
- Official description
Stat priority
  • Agility
  • Haste[3]
  • Critical Strike / Versatility
  • Mastery
Ability Min Level
Raptor Strike 10
Wing Clip 10
Harpoon 10
Explosive Trap 10
Flanking Strike 12
Hatchet Toss 14
Survivalist 16
Mongoose Bite 20
Lacerate 26
Ability Min Level
Muzzle 32
Aspect of the Eagle 40
Carve 42
Waylay 44
Aspect of the Eagle (2) 54
Harpoon (2) 65
Mastery: Hunting Companion 78
Flanking Strike (2) 78


Note: Players technically start in Beast Mastery spec; if a player chooses another specialization at level 10, the following are removed: Cobra Shot and Concussive Shot (removed for Survival only).
Ability Min Level
Call Pet Starts with
Cobra Shot Starts with
Mend Pet Starts with
Revive Pet Starts with
Concussive Shot 4
Dismiss Pet 10
Call Pet 13
Tame Beast 13
Feed Pet 13
Beast Lore 13
Eagle Eye 18
Ability Min Level
Freezing Trap 18
Aspect of the Cheetah 22
Exhilaration 24
Feign Death 28
Call Pet 34
Tar Trap 36
Flare 38
Exhilaration (2) 48
Aspect of the Turtle 70
Call Pet 57
Call Pet 80

Level Abilities (choose one)
15 Beast Mastery Big Game Hunter
Marksmanship Lone Wolf
Survival Animal Instincts
Beast Mastery Way of the Cobra
Marksmanship Steady Focus
Survival Throwing Axes
Beast Mastery Dire Stable
Marksmanship Careful Aim
Survival Way of the Mok'Nathal
30 Beast Mastery Stomp
Marksmanship Lock and Load
Survival A Murder of Crows
Beast Mastery Dire Frenzy
Marksmanship Black Arrow
Survival Mortal Wounds
Beast Mastery Chimaera Shot
Marksmanship True Aim
Survival Snake Hunter
45 Posthaste Farstrider Dash
60 Beast Mastery One with the Pack
Marksmanship Explosive Shot
Survival Caltrops
Beast Mastery Bestial Fury
Marksmanship Sentinel Hunter
Survival Improved Traps
Beast Mastery Blink Strikes
Marksmanship Patient Sniper
Survival Steel Trap
75 Beast MasteryMarksmanship Binding Shot
Survival Sticky Bomb
Beast MasteryMarksmanship Wyvern Sting
Survival Ranger's Net
Beast Mastery Intimidation
MarksmanshipSurvival Camouflage
90 Beast MasteryMarksmanship A Murder of Crows
Survival Butchery
Beast MasteryMarksmanship Barrage
Survival Dragonsfire Grenade
Beast MasteryMarksmanship Volley
Survival Serpent Sting
100 Beast Mastery Stampede
Marksmanship Sidewinders
Survival Spitting Cobra
Beast Mastery Killer Cobra
Marksmanship Piercing Shot
Survival Expert Trapper
Beast MasteryMarksmanship Aspect of the Beast
Marksmanship Trick Shot

Name Specialization
Glyph of Arachnophobia Beast Mastery Beast Mastery
Glyph of Lesser Proportion All
Glyph of Nesingwary's Nemeses Beast Mastery Beast Mastery
Glyph of Stellar Flare All
Glyph of the Bullseye Marksmanship Marksmanship
Glyph of the Dire Stable Beast Mastery Beast Mastery
Glyph of the Goblin Anti-Grav Flare All
Glyph of the Headhunter Survival Survival
Glyph of the Hook Survival Survival
Glyph of the Skullseye Marksmanship Marksmanship
Glyph of the Trident Survival Survival

Honor Level Talent
1 Gladiator's Medallion
2 Quickshots
4 Dragonscale Armor
6 Viper Sting
8 Beast Mastery The Beast Within, Marksmanship T.N.T., Survival Hunting Pack
10 Beast Mastery Go for the Throat, Marksmanship Trueshot Mastery, Survival Sticky Tar
13 Adaptation
16 Initiation
19 Catlike Reflexes
22 Scorpid Sting
25 Beast Mastery Separation Anxiety, Marksmanship Scatter Shot, Survival Mending Bandage
28 Beast Mastery Dire Beast: Hawk, Marksmanship Spray and Pray, Survival Diamond Ice
31 Relentless
34 Focused Fire
37 Survival Tactics
40 Spider Sting
43 Beast Mastery Wild Protector, Marksmanship Freezing Arrow, Survival Master's Call
46 Beast Mastery Dire Beast: Basilisk, Marksmanship Sniper Shot, Survival Tracker's Net

Suggested professions

Note: This is a generic section stub. You can help expand it by clicking Sprite-monaco-pencil.png Edit to the right of the section title.
  • Leatherworking [Leatherworking] and Skinning [Skinning] are logical choices for any mail armor wearing class (or leather armor wearing as well). This allows crafting decent armor as one levels and various augments.
  • Alchemy [Alchemy] and Herbalism [Herbalism] can be useful for hunters who need quick potion heals and various buffs from elixirs and flasks. These professions are also good all around for making money and supplying guild runs.
  • Cooking [Cooking] is good for non-combat health regeneration and provides good buff foods.
  • First Aid [First Aid] is good for for in-combat health regeneration and low downtime regeneration.
  • Fishing [Fishing] is good for leveling cooking and for feeding pets that eat fish or can generally eat meat that includes fish.
  • Unknown professionEngineering is good for kiting with parachutes, engineering can be useful for hunters who want to master the art of kiting.


Warcraft RPG - may not be canon This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG, and thus unlikely to be canon.

The hunter (prestige class) was replaced with the hunter (core class) in the World of Warcraft RPG. [4]

End-game expectations

A hunter's primary responsibility in nearly all raid encounters is to sustainably generate high DPS. They should know when to use Feign Death to get rid of aggro before they gain more aggro than the raid's primary tank and then continue dealing damage.

Hunters will almost never be asked to trap during raids, but might be asked during 5-man groups and heroics. Trapping is a form of Crowd Control. This is typically done by laying down a Freezing Trap before the pull, then using Distracting Shot to steal aggro after the tank pulls, thus making the mob run at and into the Freezing Trap. Hitting the mob with a Concussive Shot as it comes to the trap is a good way to buy cooldown time, making it easier to re-trap. The generally accepted raid symbol for this is a blue square, although it is very important to confirm this beforehand. The tank or off-tank will usually be responsible for taking aggro off of the hunter when the group is ready to deal with the mob. A skilled hunter of any spec should be able to keep at least one target controlled indefinitely.

It is possible to lay a trap before the pull, wait 30 seconds for the cooldown, trap a mob, and then move away a small distance and lay another trap. Whenever the first trap's effect wears off, the mob will usually run to the hunter and right into the other trap. This is called chain-trapping a mob.

In some cases a hunter will be asked to kite one or more creatures that either cannot or should not be killed during a specific encounter, allowing the rest of the raid to focus on other needs in order defeat the objective. Kiting is a skill that is best accomplished by hunters because of their Aspect of the Cheetah, pets, and armor rating; it requires a lot of practice. While kiting, the target is shot with instant and slowing abilities while the hunter uses speed boosts to stay ahead of it. Kiting for most hunters is the hardest skill to learn, yet is considered by many to be the most important.

In Legion

World of Warcraft: Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

Survival specialization returned to using melee-only weapons and also has a Harpoon ability akin to [Death Grip].[5] Survival are also the only hunters able to utilize traps, but an announcement at BlizzCon 2016 indicated this speciality would again be returned to the entire class.

Gnomes finally are able to play Hunter in Legion. Not only that, there is a new Pet family called Mechanical. Mechanical pet can be "fed" Engineering supplies such as Handful of Copper Bolts. Gnomes and Goblins can naturally tame Mechanical pets but other races must learn how to tame Mechanical pets through an Engineering-made item. [6]


  • The "OMG HUNTER LOOT" / "That's a hunter weapon!" jokes exist for a reason. Don't forget you share your gear class with many other classes. It's very unlikely you're the only person who needs any given drop.
  • While the hunter is an easy class to play at a superficial level, it can be a highly challenging class to play well. People will consistently tell you that damage is the only reason for a hunter's existence; in raids, and possibly in soloing, that might be true, but in five-man instances and battleground pvp in particular it isn't. You can use traps as a form of crowd control, and you need to monitor your pet to ensure that it does not cause problems.
  • In most MMORPGs, the hunter or ranger class variant is usually recognized as the ideal ranged puller in a group, and this was indeed the case in the early years of World of Warcraft. With the inclusion of additional abilities for tanking classes, ranged pulling is generally not considered a hunter's responsibility anymore, to the point where hunters in groups will actually be expressly forbidden from doing so. This is true despite the fact that, as with other games, in WoW Blizzard has equipped the hunter with numerous unique abilities (Disengage, Feign Death, Tracking) to assist them in the accomplishment of that task. The advent of Misdirection has changed this a bit, with tanks often requesting that a hunter "MD that mob to me."
  • In combat, hunters have the ability to quickly remove all threat they have generated on a target via Feign Death.
  • Pets in instances should be controlled carefully and watched closely; one wrong click can very well get you, the party, or even raid killed. You should set your pet on passive or defensive mode, and disable autocast for Growl and any other AoE abilities to be sure.
  • As for pure PvP play the hunter is a great class to roll. The hunter pet should be on passive most of the time, if not all, in order to track and control its cooldowns. The hunter's role no matter what it does is damage and when fully PvP geared the hunter does a lot of it. With high damage and numerous crowd control moves the hunter excels when played correctly. Some of the things that beginner level PvP players should work on are strafing (running sideways) and stray from backstepping, Macroing some of the hunter abilities, and also staying out of the main fight at a decent range for escape. 


Patch changes

Main article: Changes by Patch
  • World of Warcraft: Legion Patch 7.0.3 (19-Jul-2016): Hunters and Shaman can now equip Mail armor from level 1 (down from level 40).; Survival use melee weapons instead of ranged weapons and are the only Hunters that make use of traps.
  • World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King/ World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (12-Oct-2010): Hunters now have a Focus bar instead of the Mana bar.
  • World of Warcraft Patch 1.6.0 (12-Jul-2005): Fixed race condition allowing hunters to control a charmed unit and a pet at the same time.


External Links


World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria β News