Newbie guidee

Picking a Server
Character Creation
Intro Fly-thru and Starting Areas
Name and selection circle colors
Getting Better
Obtaining Wealth
Fighting and Dying
Instanced Dungeons
Chat and Interface
Tips for New Players


Complete combined guide


Newbie instance guide
Beginner's guide to professions

See Newbie Guide for links to section pages.

Picking a Server

There are a few things to keep in mind when you pick a server to play on.

Where are Your Friends Playing?

With each character your create, you can only interact fully with people on the same server (realm) and faction (Horde vs Alliance) as your character. You can create characters on different servers if you like, but then they cannot support each other by e.g. swapping gear, money, supplies or mailing items to each other, etc.

You are allowed limited access to other servers. There is, however, the possibility of paid transfers. For a fee, you may move one character to another server. The character will be unplayable while the transfer occurs, and a character can only be moved once every month. That is to say, if Alice was moved, she cannot be moved again for three days,[citation needed] but your second character ("alt"), Bob, can.

Other than that, the only way for people on different servers to meet is through the cross-realm PVP battlegrounds, where characters from servers in the same battlegroup can meet. However, there is no guarantee that two players who would like to interact will be put into the same battleground game. In addition, cross-realm instance grouping is possible within a battlegroup. Cross-realm, cross-faction, and cross-game chat is now live in games as of Patch 3.3.5.

What's Your Time Zone?

Playing on a server with a time zone similar to the one you live in means more people will be on around the time you're going to play — assuming you play during peak hours, which varies but is usually between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on the server during weekdays. This affects the game in several ways, some of which might not be immediately apparent or affect you until you reach higher levels.

Your realm's time zone can affect your World of Warcraft experience in following ways, among others:

  • The number of people who are available for you to group with. This is critical for instanced dungeons, and if you are interested in endgame you may find that this is your most important consideration as you will want to be active around the same time that the people in your guild are raiding.
  • The amount of buying and selling that is going on and the prices in the auction house at peak hours.
  • The amount of competition for resources that are out in the wild. The more people playing, the more might be looking for the same herb or quest mob that you're looking for.
  • The number of opposite faction players who are around to attack you (especially if you are playing on a PVP server).
  • The amount of activity going on in Battlegrounds.

People who are usually unable to play during peak hours often try to play on a realm in a different time zone than the one they live in. If you tend to be available earlier than peak hours, you might want to look for a server that is in a time zone earlier than where you live. Similarly, if you tend to be available later than peak hours, you might want to look for a realm that is in a time zone later than where you live. This will generally maximize the number of people who are around when you are also looking to play.

Which Language Do You Prefer to Speak In?

The European Realms are divided up by which language is primarily spoken on them. No rules exist that ban you from speaking other languages on the servers, but you may feel more comfortable on a server where the majority of players speak a language that you understand.

What's the Server Population?

Each realm has a population listed on the server selection screen. Each realm is characterized as having Recommended, Low, Medium, High, and Full population. Recommended servers are what Blizzard thinks will give a new player the best experience, while the rest are categorized based on how many players are currently logged into the realm. These servers change throughout the day, so you may want to decide on a server at the time you would normally play, so that you'll know how full it is normally. You cannot create a character on a Full server unless you already have characters there. Some High population servers have wait queues during peak hours. This means you cannot sign in at all to them until other people have completely logged off of that server.

Each type of realm has benefits and drawbacks for new players.

  • Realms that are usually at "Low" population are often very welcoming of new players. The lower population means that there is a great deal of demand for new players on the realm, and experienced players will often be more willing and helpful in bringing a newer player up to speed than on other realms and may have more patience with new players in general. However, the realm's Auction House will probably not have a very wide selection of items available to buy and it may be challenging to find players to group with. There will probably never be a need to wait in queue to log into these realms.
  • Realms that are usually at "Medium" populations offer a compromise between extremes. Not much, if any demand, exists on these realms for new players, although they are usually not disliked either. These realms usually have a wide variety of items on their Auction House and finding other players to group with will not usually be a problem. Even at peak hours there is seldom if ever a queue to log into these servers.
  • Realms that are usually at "High" populations can be rather discouraging of newer players (and not just those who are inexperienced with World of Warcraft). These realms sometimes have queue times to log in that can range from a few minutes to an hour or more. While the Auction House is often full of items and there are usually a lot of other players looking for people to group with, be in mind that with a larger group of people there are can often be a corresponding increase the number of players who behave badly toward others or are outright unpleasant to deal with, something that on Low and Medium population realms are at a relative minimum (though hardly non-existent). On a High-population server, a player looking to act negatively toward other players will probably be able to find other like-minded individuals, and even find entire guilds devoted to this sort of behavior.
  • Realms that are often at "Full" populations are much like realms at "High" populations, but even more so. Players on these realms may be outright hostile to new players regardless of their experience with World of Warcraft, as login queues on these realms may regularly last hours. However, if you are able to log in, the Auction House will be full of items and there will be a vast number of players who you may be able to group with.

Blizzard occasionally releases new realms so that players can experience World of Warcraft on a completely new server. New servers, instead of displaying population, display the "New" status. New status means the server has just recently been put online and characters will be lower levels on average and the population of course starts very low. This generally means less resource competition and also a small economy so trading at the auction house will be reduced and prices will usually be lower.

When these new servers are populated, everyone starts at level 1, but after a month or two there will be many hardcore players at the level cap and endgame will begin to pick up from there. Down the road, there is also the possibility of entire high level guilds transferring onto the server, giving it a kick start. However, players may not pay to transfer to servers flagged as New for six months.

What is the Horde/Alliance Breakdown?

On some servers, there may be a larger number of players on the Alliance faction than the Horde, or vice-versa, although many servers sport an evenly-matched ratio. Imbalances in factions can be an issue for PVP, grouping up, or just trying to complete quests since sometimes you have to wait for quests to respawn. Sites like show you the horde/alliance breakdown and other useful information (e.g. how many horde players are online at 9pm) connected with choosing a realm. However, because these sites don't have access to official population numbers and rely on largely on player reporting (via add-ons), they are widely regarded (including by Blizzard) as inaccurate. Blizzard does not publish official numbers, but its representatives have commented several times that the numbers on population-measurement sites like sometimes have little relationship to the actual active population.

Your choice between Alliance and Horde would obviously depend on taste. See Races for more information on each.

What Kind of Experience Are You Looking For?

This is probably the biggest choice you have to make while playing World of Warcraft. There are four types of servers.

PVE (Normal)
These servers pit player versus the environment; on a PVE server, you cannot be attacked by another player (with certain very small and specific exceptions) unless you take an action to flag yourself for PVP. This may be the least stressful gaming experience especially if you are new to the game, because of this it may be good idea for your first realm to be in a normal server so you can learn how to play as well as enjoy the story of the game. You can PVP if you want, but you are not required to. On these servers, most PVP takes place inside the Battlegrounds and Arena, but can also take place anywhere else. Attendance to the battlegrounds is completely optional, as is any other PVP experience.
It is worth noting that PVE servers are stigmatized as "easy mode" by those who believe that PVP is the only correct way to play the game. This includes use of the derisive term carebear for players who choose to play on PVE servers.
PVP (Player vs. Player)
Player vs. player realms are identical to PVE realms in the various races' starting areas (the level 1-10 zones, such as Elwynn Forest or Durotar). However, outside of those areas, players are automatically flagged for PVP combat, and can be killed by an opposite-faction player at any time. Many players believe that PVP is required in order to have a truly fulfilling experience in World of Warcraft. Factions are more tightly knit and PVP lends more of a sense of immediate conflict between the factions (as hardcore PVPers are fond of saying, "it is World of Warcraft, after all"). However, a PVP server can be much more stressful and frustrating to play on than a PVE server, due to the constant risk of being attacked even in areas that seem safe. In addition, since there are no penalties or punishments for killing player characters who are lower level than you are, PVP servers attract players who enjoy leveling characters to the level cap and then harassing much lower-level characters, who have no way of defending themselves save calling in higher-level friends or switching to their level-capped character. Since this isn't possible for players new to the game or to the server, PVP servers are not recommended as starting servers unless a player is willing to deal with that kind of harassment.
Until very recently, players on PVP servers were limited to characters from a single faction on that server. In other words, if your first character on the server was a Horde character, all the rest of your characters on that server had to be Horde, unless you deleted all of them and started over with a blank slate. However, recent changes allow players to make characters from both factions on PVP servers; also, character transfers from PVE to PVP servers were recently opened up, allowing players to level to the level cap in relative safety and then transfer to a PVP server to participate in the worldwide combat.
RP (Role Playing)
"RP" is a meta-category for servers; there are both RP-PVE and RP-PVP servers. If you are more interested in being immersed in the game world than leveling up or getting cool items, these servers are for you. In these servers, you don't have a character to power-level. You are the character. People accept you if you talk like your character (with whatever accent, whatever vocabulary), and you're also able to act like your character. In this server you also don't have to worry about PVP since you can only be killed by other faction players if you so choose (like PVE servers). You are much less likely to get griefers on this server. Also, character name rules are stricter and out of character speech on public channels or in /say or /yell can earn you a visit from a GM who will require you to behave, etc.
RP-PVP (Role Playing Player vs. Player)
The newest type of server, RP-PVP servers have the elements of all-out PVP combat, but with the constraints of the RP ruleset. This is the type of server to choose if you are interested in being able to act out a character as truly as possible, by having him/her being able to attack members of the other faction at any time.

Character Creation

There is a very slight (+/-3 points) stat difference based on race; starting stats are determined mainly by your race. Your race choice determines your faction allegiance (either Horde or Alliance), your starting area, and your Racial Traits. What you can do with your character, however, is determined mostly by your choice of class. See the Race and Class pages for discussions of the different race and class options.


As your character increases in level, these racial differences become negligible with the exception of racial traits, which can be strategically useful in some situations. Therefore, play the race that you find most interesting based upon appearance and racial traits, and don't sweat the little differences.
Playable races in World of Warcraft
Alliance Dwarf · Gnome · Human · Night elf HordeOrc · Tauren · Troll · Undead
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Draenei · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Worgen World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Blood elf · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Goblin
Both (Alliance and Horde) World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Pandaren
Character creation screen circa Wrath of the Lich King    Character creation screen circa Cataclysm
Character creation screens circa Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm
One important note: The Alliance vs. Horde distinction is a very important one, as you will only have very limited interaction with those on the opposing side, outside of combat. If you're playing on a server with friends, you all want to be on the same side so that you can chat, etc., so make sure you all either select Horde races or Alliance races.


Classese Death Knight Demon Hunter Druid Hunter Mage Monk Paladin Priest Rogue Shaman Warlock Warrior
Class races Dk Dh Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Quests Dk Dh Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Abilities Dk Dh Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Spec Dk Dh Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Talents Dk Dh Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
PvP Talents Dk Dh Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Trainers Dk Dh Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Glyphs Dk Dh Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Builds Dk Dh Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Tactics Dk Dh Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Armor sets Dk Dh Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Starting a Dk Dh Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
PvE Dk Dh Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
PvP Dk Dh Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Macros Dk Dh Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Can't decide what class to play? Make one of each that sound interesting (you can have up to 10 characters per server), play them up to level 5-15 or so, and decide then. It only takes an hour or two to get the first few levels, and then you'll have a much better idea of what it's like to play each class. You may still miss out on the more significant parts of playing a class, as some important skills are given at level 20 or 30 for the first time, but you will get the gist of the class so that you can at least understand what higher level characters are talking about. Alternatively you can read the description of each class to have a general idea of them.
An important factor to consider when choosing a class is whether there is going to be much demand for characters of your class in groups. Generally, tanks and healers are in higher demand than damage dealers for most servers. Therefore, if joining instance group/raid is you first priority, choosing classes that can spec tank or healer may improve you chance of getting invited.
For those who want to be the tank in instances, warrior (Protection), Death Knight (Blood), paladin (Protection) and druid (Guardian) are your choices. With the right gear and spec, they can have higher health and armor than the rest of the party. You can absorb large amounts of damage and prevent others from being attacked. Warriors and paladins can wear mail at lower level and plate after level 40, which provide them with very good armor and survivability. Druids can only wear leather or cloth. However, they get Bear Form and Dire Bear Form at level 10 and 40 respectively, which gives them large amounts of health and armor bonus (Bear Form is similar to a Warrior in Mail armor, Dire Bear form is similar to a Warrior in Plate armor).
If you want to heal others, priest (Holy/Discipline), druid (Restoration), paladin (Holy) or shaman (Restoration) can be considered. All of these classes, with specific talent point allocations, will make a competent main healer. In addition, all of them provide useful buffs to the other members of the party. Paladins have auras which buff all players in their group within a radius, and beyond that have blessings that they can cast on anyone that give different benefits. Shamans have totems which act similar to auras in that they buff party members near them, but they have very different benefits. Druids can increase the critical hit chance, spell critical chance, or amount of healing done to the entire party, in bear/cat form, or moonkin form, respectively. Priests' stamina buff is always useful to everyone. With certain specs they can also help party members regaining mana at a much faster rate.
The five classes mentioned above can also be damage dealers(DPS Damage Per Second) with the right gear and spec. However, there are four classes that can be considered as pure damage dealers: mage, warlock, rogue, and hunter. Mages excel at dealing massive magical damage to their enemy. Their powerful AoE damage is helpful in many encounters. Warlocks have abilities to summon a demon as a pet which will do the player's bidding, and are 100% controlable in every aspect by the summoner. They are famous for their DoT spells. Rogues have stealth abilities, can open locks, and can deal lots of damage by sneaking up behind enemies and using stealth only abilities such as Ambush. Hunter is the only ranged class in game that do mainly physical damage. They can tame pets to help them in a fight. Depending on what type of pet you decide to tame, you get different spec options for your pet. Go to the Pet talents page for more information on pet specs. Hunters also have the unique ability of putting down various traps to help the party and handicap their opponent(s). Depending on their spec, they can also boost their party members' damage output in different ways.
To see what the population for each class is on a given server (or all servers) for one faction or another, see Warcraft Realms.

shortcut iconSee also: Choosing a Class 


Picking a name can be tricky. Nearly everyone wants something unique, awe-inspiring and/or "cool". However, the name you pick does tell others something about you.
Keep in mind that your name needs to be easily typable in conversations, and that it probably shouldn't clash too much with the warcraft/medieval themed environment. Names that you probably shouldn't pick include:
  • Legolas - Wrong universe. Too unoriginal. Far too commonly used already than you may expect.
  • Mrcoolguy / Iownyousohard - More than anything, this suggests to other people that you're immature. Maybe you are, but not making it quite so obvious makes it a tad easier to earn the respect of other players.
  • Agsdjasgd - People will assume that you don't take the game seriously and/or that you're a farmer or ninja. Neither is good for you.
  • Lukeskywalker - Wrong time, wrong universe.
  • Onyxia / Illidan / Arthas - No, you are not these lore characters. Picking names like these is a sure-fire way of having a GM enforce a name change on your character.
  • Joë / Jôe / Jœ - If you use special characters in your name, expect to find that most people do not know how to type your name (which means a lot of trouble later in the game), and you may encounter error on your armory page as well as when you try to link to it. See below.
Icon-search-22x22.png This section needs to be cleaned up to a higher standard of quality. Reason: URLs need to be updated. They work, but redirect.
On RP and RP-PvP realms there are additional naming policies active. They can be found at the official Naming Policy page (Icon-blizz-22x22.pngIcon-britain-22x22.png EU, Icon-blizz-22x22.pngIcon-usa-22x22.png US) under the title "Only applied on Roleplaying Servers" and at the official Roleplaying Realms Policy page (Icon-blizz-22x22.pngIcon-britain-22x22.png EU, Icon-blizz-22x22.pngIcon-usa-22x22.png US).
Picking something unobtrusive that actually sounds like a name is usually your best bet. Your name doesn't have to be cool to make you cool. You make your name cool by who you are and what you do; WoW may be massively multi-player, but the core population of any given server is really only a couple hundred players. Rumors, names and stories of feats do travel quickly.
Can't decide on a name? Try
What if the name you want is already taken? It is commonplace to see several spelling variations on a name, but you should stay away from strange characters (like æ, ø, and œ) that are not common to the language or are in the extended character sets. The biggest reason for this is making it easier for others to type in your name. So, if you find 'Joe' is taken, don't replace it with 'Joë' or 'Jôe' or 'Jœ'. Instead, try 'Joey', 'Joseph', or other variations.

Name generators

Fantasy or Warcraft
Totally random Name Generators  Name Generators


Lastly, you can choose your gender, male or female (of course!) when creating a new character. Functionally, there is no difference between a male or female character in effect, only appearance. The only in game differences are the appearance, animation and speech. When in doubt, choose according to your real gender. Nevertheless, some people like to do otherwise for various reasons. As a rule of thumb of playing World of Warcraft as well as any other MMORPG, do not assume the gender of anyone by the look of their character!

Getting started video

Character creation guide
Circa World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Cataclysm by Nivarka.

Intro Fly-thru and Starting Areas

Intro Fly-thru

After you choose the starting details of your character, you will be given what looks like a cinematic based on your race with a voice-over giving some background history of the race. This is actually a real-time fly-thru in the game and you will see actual players moving around if you look carefully, and you may get a glimpse of some combat. The fly-thru usually starts at a capital city and flies through parts of the country-side to your starting area.

Starting Areas

Depending on your race, you will start in one of eight starting areas:

Horde Horde
Alliance Alliance

shortcut iconSee also: Category:Questing guides 

Name and selection circle colors

Finkle Einhorn, a friendly NPC

Pointer gauntlet 32x32.png pointer to select over mobs or NPCs (pointer may change depending on type of target)

Friendly NPCs will have green names, neutral creatures will have yellow names, and hostile creatures will have red names.

Most NPCs you will first encounter should be friendly.

The first mobs you see will have yellow names. They are neutral and will not attack you until you attack them. Neutral creatures become hostile when attacked, but will revert to neutral if you go out of attack range for long enough. Soon enough, you will find hostile monsters that will attack you automatically when you get within a certain range called aggro radius. Almost all your kills will come from these hostiles. Later you may find unfriendly neutrals with their name in orange. They are like neutrals, but you cannot trade or talk to them. Usually they are members of a faction and if you do quests for them or kill their enemies, you'll get reputation...

Player characters of the same faction as you and their pets will generally have blue names. You may see that other players have red, yellow, or green names. For these conditions, see PvP flag.

Getting Better

There are many ways to improve your character from merely grinding (killing monsters for what they drop and the experience they give), to questing, PvP, crafting (learning and improving professions), or just gathering.

Ultimately, you'll want to gain levels so you can improve your fighting or spellcasting, but also because you need higher levels to improve professions and access cool things such as mounts. Also, to make your character more competitive you will want to get better gear and skills. For most of that you will need money, but can also be gained through quests and PvP.

Getting Experience

Pointer quest on 32x32.png interact with quest giver Pointer quest off 32x32.png quest giver out of range
Pointer sword on 32x32.png hostile in range Pointer sword off 32x32.png hostile out of range

The combination of Questing and killing mobs is the primary way of gaining experience. You can also get smaller amounts just by exploring new areas (although this is impossible without first being at a reasonable level and shouldn't substitute combat experience considering the risk involved). You can also gain experience by just killing mobs without questing, although this may become boringly routine after some time. As for just milking experience from mobs, there are guides elsewhere explaining which mobs are best for killing at certain levels of classes (some of which are listed at the bottom of this guide). The rule of thumb is, monsters two levels lower than you allow for the fastest XP, as they die fast while still providing decent XP per kill.

Training New Skills

Pointer trainer on 32x32.png interact with trainer Pointer trainer off 32x32.png trainer out of range
Pointer maploc on 32x32.png interact with guard Pointer maploc off 32x32.png guard out of range

As you progress and gain levels in the game, you will be able to learn many new and exciting skills (abilities and professions) and spells. These are all learned at your class trainer, profession trainer or weapon master in the various cities. If you're having troubles locating a trainer, just ask a city guard. The class trainers will offer you more skills and spells at every even-numbered level. The profession trainers will allow you to advance in skill stages and offer you more recipes as you increase your skill level.

As of level 10, you can also further specialize your character by investing talent points into talents geared toward different aspects of your character.


Duke Hydraxis, a quest giver

Quests are the core of the World of Warcraft experience. From around level 10, you will almost always have a dozen active quests in your quest log. A lot of the time, if you're like many, your log will have the maximum of 25 quests in your log. It is good, however, to limit this as well as is reasonable, because others frequently have quests to share with you. The more of the group working on the same quest, the better, as you can all work to a common goal and you each know distinctly what that goal is.

Quests are obtained from NPCs, from items in the world, or shared from party members. Not all quests can be shared, and there are many quest lines that you must follow from the beginning; you cannot skip within a quest line. Along with the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm expansion, NPCs who offer quests will have their names floating above their head (green for quest givers of the same faction and yellow for quest givers who will give quests to either faction or are not yet friendly.

In your starting area, you will find some quests that are common to all, and for some classes, you will have some class-specific quests. All of these quests are good to start gaining experience. These often include killing low-level creatures in the area or speaking to one of the nearby NPCs.

Pointer quest on 32x32.png interact with quest giver Pointer quest off 32x32.png quest giver out of range

You can identify quest giving NPCs from the ! over his head. Talk to the quest giving NPC to get the quest. The giver of a quest you have yet to complete will have above his head a silver ?. When you complete the quest by meeting its requirements, the quest giver will have a ? over its head. These symbols will also appear on your mini-map to help in navigation and discovering new quests.

Note: If you have the requirements, but some items are in the bank, you must retrieve them to finish the quest. They must be in hand. Otherwise, it will appear as though the quest is bugged when it's not.

Most of your first 10 levels will come from quests and from monsters you kill as a part of doing quests. While a good group is a very good thing, if you find yourself in a party that wanders around killing non-quest monsters and doesn't seem to be working towards a quest, it may be better to go questing alone. Most frequently, groups involving different classes are much more effective than groups of only one class, or being solo. Also, in groups, players can share many quests with one another so that all of them can be doing the very same quest, and if the quest involves only killing monsters, each monster killed contributes to everyone's quest. If a quest involves picking up an item from one specific mob, all party members can pick it up at once.

You should always take the time to read the quest information. It will almost always tell you where to go in order to complete the quest objective, or occasionally tell you to check an item in your Inventory for detailed information regarding your objectives (quests that do not tell you where to go or what to do are few and far between).

Obtaining Wealth

You gain money in World of Warcraft by completing some of the quests (some of them have no monetary reward associated with them), killing mobs and looting their corpses, selling excess inventory items to the vendor NPCs or on the Auction House, or learning one or more professions. Don't forget to pick a profession and skill it up as much as you can in the early levels. Trying to max out your profession after you hit a very high level (60+) is a tedious and very undesirable process. As you go up in level, both the quest rewards and the money from mobs increase, as a general rule. Also, humanoid and undead mobs drop loot for more cash per kill than any of the beast type mobs who aren't quest-related. Upon completion of a quest at your maximum level (60 during original, unexpanded World of Warcraft WoW, or Vanilla WoW, 70 during World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade The Burning Crusade, 80 during World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Wrath of the Lich King, 85 during World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Cataclysm, 90 during Mists of Pandaria, and 100 during Warlords of Draenor) you receive a monetary reward instead of experience. The same rules apply, you get more money if the quest was more difficult.

Effective use of the auction house can be a very lucrative source of income even for low level characters. Many experienced and wealthy players wish to experiment with crafting professions on lower level characters, but they don't want to go through the trouble of gathering the materials in newbie zones. Therefore, you might be surprised by how much you can charge for non-gray items that drop off of low level mobs. Boar meat and linen cloth can net you a lot more money than normal questing. In addition, consider picking up two out of the three gathering professions (skinning, mining, and herbalism) in order to sell the material.

Learning a crafting profession is more fun for many players than gathering, but making money with crafts can be more difficult. Raw materials (herbs, gems, ore, and skins) will often sell for more money than finished products that you can create with a tradeskill (armor, weapons, glyphs, potions, and other items). You can search the auction house to discover how much is a reasonable rate to charge for your items. Remember that prices can change as a response to supply and demand, so it is possible to improve your profits by holding onto your products and timing the market. When you get more experienced in the game, don't forget to investigate useful AddOns to give you that extra edge.

Historically, service professions, like Enchanting were difficult to make money with, but with the addition of vellums to apply your enchants and new tools in the profession windows for selling in the trade channel, these professions have found some new life as money makers.

In addition, there are always the Trade Channel (only in cities) and the auction house (which appear in all racial capital cities, including Orgrimmar, Thunder Bluff, Silvermoon, and Undercity for Horde and Darnassus, Ironforge, Exodar, and Stormwind for Alliance) where you can hawk your wares. All auction houses associated with a particular faction are linked, and there are also neutral auction houses which are also linked. The neutral auction houses are more expensive to post for sale (on the order of three times), and are not linked to either of the primary factions.


Newbie Guide/Rest

Fighting and Dying


Some quests require you to kill mobs to meet their requirements, but you can also just kill mobs for XP, their drops or to skin them. (Killing other than for a quest is called grinding.) Either way, you will have to fight.

Pointer sword on 32x32.png hostile or neutral in range Pointer sword off 32x32.png hostile or neutral out of range

You can attack any hostile (name written in red when selected) or neutral mob (name written in yellow when selected) and they will fight back. Combat can also begin by entering a hostile creature's aggro radius and they will attack you automatically. A neutral mob will ignore you unless you make any kind of threatening action toward it. Sometimes two or more mobs (hostile or neutral) may be linked so that if you attack one, another comes without calling.

To kill the mob you must reduce their health to zero. If the mob reduces your character's health to zero you die.

Often we find that there are certain attacks we use a lot, and others that we never use, no matter how powerful. If you notice that you never use an attack, or stop using it, replace it with something else that you will use. ANYTHING else that you will use, even if it's not an attack.

To reduce a creature's health you can attack in a number of ways:

Once you kill the creature you may or may not be able to loot and gain some treasure.

Using combat skills will increase your weapon skill. Being attacked will increase your defense skill. The maximum amount of skill (under common circumstances) is 5 × your character level + Racial bonuses.

Player vs Player (PvP)

With the PvP system, you may fight players of opposite factions if their PvP flag is turned on. You will know since their names will be written in yellow (you can attack them but they can't attack you) or red (you can attack them and they can attack you). Players of opposite factions can only attack you if your flag is up, unless you're on a PvP server. See PvP flag for a fuller description.

You can fight players of your own faction in duels. Duels will not affect the status of your PvP flag and they do not end up in death. "Death" will cause the duel to end but the loser will be left alive with only one health remaining. You can also fight players of your own faction in Arenas  or War Games.

In The Cape of Stranglethorn, there is an arena known as Gurubashi Arena where you can fight anyone of any faction, like a free-for-all battle. Only those in your group are safe from your wrath. Every three hours, starting at noon, a treasure chest is set at the center of the arena. The last man standing gets the loot.


Health will recover over time when out of combat. (Trolls can recover health in combat as well.) If you are willing to sit down, you can eat food to recover health faster and imbibe a drink to recover mana faster. You can eat something and drink something at the same time (use one then the other) which regains health and mana in one break period. You cannot eat or drink during combat.

During combat you can use potions or spells to recover health or mana during combat. Some special items also allow recovery with effects similar to spells. Potions generally act instantaneously. You may only drink one of these potions every 2 minutes and drinking one potion type precludes drinking the other for the full time. Spells can be instant, but most have a casting time which can be delayed or interrupted by combat. [First Aid] can also be used to recover health during combat, but the recovery is incremental and can be interrupted, as it is channeled.

Rogues have some special abilities, potions or foods that can increase the recovery rate of energy, but most are only available at higher levels, so somewhat beyond the scope of this guide.

Warriors use rage which is generated by dealing, receiving, and avoiding damage. Thus, recovery is not really an issue. But since their rage decays over time following a battle, there are potions that give the warrior rage. These aren't generally necessary, however, since rage is usually generated at an acceptable rate without the potion.


Unlike other games, in World of Warcraft you lose no items or experience when you die. Instead, all of your equipped items immediately take a 10% durability reduction (this applies only to items equipped when you died, not to items in your inventory). While in spirit form, you can run back to your corpse and rejoin it for no additional penalty by selecting the "Resurrect Now" button when you come within range; you come back to life with half health and half mana. Run speed is increased while you are a spirit and you are able to walk on water.

A Spirit Healer is also present in each graveyard who can bring you back to life immediately, saving you a trip to your corpse, useful if you died in a dangerous area. However, doing this will cause all of your equippable items to take an additional 25% durability hit; this applies both to equipped items, and to items in your inventory. In addition, you will suffer from resurrection sickness, beginning at level 11. Furthermore, at the point when you die, you are usually doing something that is necessary to complete a quest. In this case, you will have to return to the same place. While sometimes it is better to go ahead and resurrect at the spirit healer, it is usually better to return to your corpse.

Note: If you are killed by another player in PvP combat, you do not take the initial 10% durability hit. This means that if you walk back to your corpse or are ressed by another player there is no adverse effect at all, except the time to make the trip to your corpse due to a PvP death. However, you will always take a 25% hit if you are resurrected by a spirit healer no matter how you died, and if you are above level 10, you will also suffer from resurrection sickness.

Traveling Around

Travel guidese
Alliance Alliance Travel Guide Horde Horde Travel Guide

Stormwind to Booty Bay
Rut'theran Village to Booty Bay
Ironforge to Gadgetzan
Menethil Harbor to Gadgetzan
Darnassus to IF/SW
Desolace to Silithus

Thunder Bluff to Orgrimmar
Crossroads to Gadgetzan
Crossroads to Booty Bay
Reaching the Badlands

Deeprun Tram and Boats Zeppelins and Boats
Outland (Alliance) Outland (Horde)
Neutral 15.png Shared Paths
Special Occasions Wintergrasp and Dalaran
By continent/region
Eastern Kingdoms zones Kalimdor zones
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Outland zones World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Northrend zones
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Maelstrom and Cataclysm zones World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Pandaria zones

This page describes the various ways to move around on the maps of World of Warcraft.

The table above guides you to instructions for specific routes. If you want or need a travel route added to this table, please put your request in the discussion page.

Help from other players

If you are a low level character and wish to travel somewhere but the way is too dangerous, a good option is to have a mage portal spell you to the capital cities of your faction, or Shattrath World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, Dalaran World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, Tol Barad World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, or Shrine of Two Moons/Shrine of Seven Stars World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. Alternatively a warlock can use Ritual of Summoning with two other players to get you almost anywhere. Either method should get you closer to where you want to go.

Alliance Alliance mages get the portal spells to: Ironforge, Stormwind, Exodar, Darnassus and Theramore Isle at level 42; Shattrath City at level 66; Dalaran at level 74; Tol Barad at level 85; and Shrine of Seven Stars (named Vale of Eternal Blossoms) at level 90.

Horde Horde mages get the portal spells to: Undercity, Orgrimmar, Silvermoon and Thunder Bluff at level 42; Stonard at level 52; Shattrath City at level 66; Dalaran at level 74; Tol Barad at level 85; and Shrine of Two Moons (named Vale of Eternal Blossoms) at level 90.

All warlocks can learn Ritual of Summoning at level 42.

It is generally considered common courtesy to include a tip for the mage's trouble. As with all player characters, mages vary in temperament and helpfulness, although 2-3 gold is usually sufficient to buy a portal from any mage. Warlocks need two party members present (in addition to the warlock), to perform a summons so they don't commonly perform one unless you are already in their party or in their guild.

Of course these methods can cost money and if you are not hiking you will not pick up flight path points. Still, the above options are the fastest ways to reach your desired destination.

Inns and the Hearthstone

Main article: Hearthstone

When each player starts a new character, they automatically receive a hearthstone in their inventory that can be used for instant travel back to whatever inn it is bound to. Binding at an inn involves speaking to the innkeeper and selecting the "Make this inn my home" option. The hearthstone can only be used once every 30 minutes,(15 minutes if you are in a guild level 8 or higher) though shaman have a spell (called Astral Recall) with the same effect. Shamans don't get it until level 34. If you accidentally delete your hearthstone, don't panic. Simply speak with an innkeeper, make that inn your new home, and you will receive a new hearthstone.

Flight masters

Pointer flight on 32x32.png interact with flight master Pointer flight off 32x32.png flight master out of range

One of the most common forms of transportation in World of Warcraft is flying. Gryphons and hippogryphs provide this for the Alliance, while wyverns, dragonhawks, and bats are aligned with the Horde. Many settlements have a flight point, with an NPC who will allow you to travel to various connected points for a fee. as long as you have traveled there before and have talked to the flight master there. (not long before Flight paths were automatically learned, but they removed that again. you will need to have visited every flight point until you reach much higher level (70-90)) you will not be able to control the beast you are riding on. so sit back and enjoy the view. While in flight, you cannot perform any skills (except for activating certain auras), but you can tinker with macro functions, set up your action bar, equip gear, chat, and adjust your game configuration settings. This is an excellent time to change your video settings, especially if your computer is slow to change them. (The color-depth settings are reset to default each time you load the game.) finally, if you log out during the flight or enter an dungeon/battleground/raid. the spot will be saved with you on the beast. and the next time you enter azeroth. you will safely sit on it. but it will only continue to the next flight point and drop you there, instead of flying on to the final destination.

Boats and zeppelins

Cataclysm Boat and Zeppelin Route Map

Travel between the two continents and to locations more remote than are accessible via flight path is done via large Zeppelins, Boats, or similar. These cost nothing to use, and operate on a fairly rapid schedule. They are also a relatively safe way to travel, for those with the correct faction alignment, as they usually have guards stationed at the stops. Anyone can use any of these travel options, but the guards will try to kill you if you are not liked by their faction, of course.

The Horde has goblin-operated zeppelin services, wich can be easily found at a Zeppelin tower.

The Alliance has boat routes for passengers which can be easily found at the Boat post.

The Neutral Neutral Steamwheedle Cartel goblins run a neutral boat service between Booty Bay (Cape of Stranglethorn,Eastern Kingdoms) and Ratchet (Northern Barrens,Kalimdor). Both Horde and Alliance can use this boat, and Ratchet in the Northern Barrens is relatively safe to Alliance, although the other towns and outpost in the zone are Horde.

If you use this boat as Alliance and it's your first time entering Kalimdor, you can run south along the coast and cross the river into Southern Barrens where you will directly stumble onto the Northwatch Hold, or you can travel west until you reach an oasis near the Wailing Caverns, just next to the lava ridge, and then travel north onto the small pass into Ashenvale shown on the map. from where you can go northeast or west into an Alliance flight point. use an ashenvale map for better reference. Still, most are advised to use a wyvern if the Ratchet flight master has any available.

The Tuskarr World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King run neutral boat services between:


World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Transport to Pandaria doesn't go by a boat. you can find a portal to Honeydew Village Horde and Paw'don Village Alliance in the Jade forest at the pandaren camps in Stormwind city and Orgrimmar (look for the big balloon).

In return, these two villages also have a portal back to Stormwind and Orgrimmar. alternatively you can use a heartstone to get to pandaria, or ask a mage for a portal. at your faction's operating base you can also buy Portal fuel back to Stormwind or Orgrimmar, wich you can activate at the same place where you buy it.

Last but not least, growing a portal shard on Sunsong Ranch in Valley of the Four Winds can give you a portal back to one of your faction's capital cities, but it must be activated on the very same farm.

Personal travel

Certain classes, such as mages, druids, hunters, and shaman, have different means of personal travel which help them get places faster. The Engineering profession also allows use of four trinkets that allow personal teleportation to either Everlook and Area 52 if you took Goblin Engineering specialization or Gadgetzan and Toshley's Station if you took up gnomish specialization.

At level 20, all classes can purchase mounts. These aren't overly expensive, costing only 4g for Apprentice training and 1g for the mount, and can be reduced in price by gaining higher reputation with your faction (up to 20% discount), and provide a faster means of transportation than traveling everywhere by foot. Paladins and Warlocks get mounts and apprentice riding training automatically at level 20. Worgen receive the training and their [Running Wild] ability at level 20.

At level 40, all classes can upgrade to epic mounts. These mounts are more expensive (50g for Journeyman training and 10g for the mount), but provide a greater speed increase than does a normal mount—which becomes quite useful when traversing the larger zones intended for level 40+ characters. Again, Paladins and Warlocks get special mounts. Prior to patch 3.0.3, these mounts all required completion of long and costly questlines. Now, the quest is a Feat of Strength and Paladins and Warlocks may now train their epic mounts at 40, provided they have already picked up the Journeyman Riding skill. For World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Death knights, a Deathcharger is automatically received for free after completing [55] Into the Realm of Shadows. You may buy the mounts of another allied race (IE a Dwarf purchasing human horse mounts) if you are of exalted rank with that race's home city. You cannot buy mounts of the opposite faction, though some generically available mounts do resemble racial mounts, such as the Swift Razzashi Raptor, which resembles Darkspear Raptors.

Also at level 40, you may purchase black-colored PVP variants of racial mounts for 2000+Honor Points, which you receive by competing in PvP combat. You must still pay for the riding training. You may purchase mounts of the same faction but different race, even if you are not exalted (i.e, a Draenei can purchase a Black War Horse even if he or she is not exalted with Stormwind.) You can never gain Black PVP variants of the other faction's mounts.

At level 60, all classes can purchase flying mounts. These are able to be used in all areas after additional training, with the exception of the draenei and blood elf starting zones. This requires Expert Riding (250g training/50g mount) for initial use only in Outland World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. Further specialized training (and leveling) opens up more areas:

Basic flying mounts are the same speed on the ground as epic (level 40) mounts, and fly at 150% speed. Epic flying mounts are also available; they're much more expensive (5000-4000 if exaltedg for Artisan training, 100g for the mount), and require level 70, but also much faster (280% speed in the air). World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Master riding is now available at level 80, giving 310% flight speed at the cost of an additional 5000g reduced by Reputation.

There are no special mounts for Paladins and Warlocks in Outland. Druids instantly get Flight Form and Expert Riding upon reaching level 58. At level 70, Swift Flight Form is available at the flying trainer once you purchase Artisan riding for 5000 gold.

The Deeprun Tram

The Deeprun Tram provides free transportation between Stormwind and Ironforge. The entrances to the tram are found in the Dwarven District in Stormwind and in Tinker Town in Ironforge. Two separate trams run the length of the two minute route.

It is also the only safe way to travel between Stormwind and Ironforge for low-level characters the first time as you cannot use flightpaths until they are discovered. The areas between the two cities are for much higher-level characters.


There are a few cities that provide free portal travel between major cities.

Special Burning Crusade portals

In the eastern room off of the courtyard in Undercity, there is a portal (technically an Orb of Translocation) that leads to World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Silvermoon City, which leads players to the Inner Sanctum. This is the only portal that can be used to go both ways (Undercity → Silvermoon City, Silvermoon City → Undercity). As the portal is Horde-aligned, it cannot be used by Alliance characters because it would trivialize raiding of Silvermoon City.

Despite the ferry between Rut'theran Village (Teldrassil) and World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Valaar's Berth (Azuremyst Isle), there is also a portal between World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade The Exodar and Darnassus. As with the Undercity/Silvermoon City portal, this cannot be used by the Horde.

Blasted Lands and Hellfire Peninsula portals

Every capital city has a portal heading to the Blasted Lands (the Dark Portal) and World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Hellfire Peninsula (the other side of the Dark Portal), typically in the section of the city where the mage trainers are located. This is useful for level 58 characters ready to head to Outland. In the faction camps just beyond the portal (so Hellfire Peninsula, not behind the hills in Blasted Lands) there are portals to Stormwind and Orgrimmar. You can use this combo to save a hearthstone's cooldown. This is a quick way to get from other Alliance capitals to Stormwind or other Horde capitals to Orgrimmar.

Expansion hub portals

Typically the expansion hubs of each expansion will have portals leading to all the major cities. These are usually removed when the next expansion is released, but not always.

See also

External links


Item Quality

Items are ranked by their quality in World of Warcraft, identifiable by the color of the item's name.

For all items, in order of increasing quality:

  • gray names indicate poor safe to sell these directly to a vendor.
  • white names indicate common quality; these items generally have a use in 1 or more professions or quests.
  • green names are uncommon. You will occasionally find these as you do battle against some monsters.
  • blue names are rare; these items are usually stronger than most uncommon items. These items also generally sell for large amounts of gold on the auction house.
  • purple names indicate epic items, generally found on high-level bosses in Endgame Instances.
  • orange names are legendary; these are extremely rare and of very high quality. There are only a handful of these items in the game.

Item Binding

Some items in World of Warcraft can become soulbound to one particular character, making it impossible to trade them or sell them to other players. There are two types: those that will bind when first equipped or used, and those that will bind when they are looted or picked up. When looting, you will get a warning dialog telling you that looting the item will permanently bind it to you when you either equip or loot such an item. Once an item is bound to you, it will indicate in the tooltip that it is soulbound just below the name of the item. You can sell soulbound items to vendor NPCs, but not to other players. Destroying these items, selling them to a vendor, or disenchanting them (if you are an enchanter) are the only ways of getting rid of these objects; you cannot mail them, trade them, or sell them in the auction house.

Acquiring Items

Items are acquired in several ways:

  1. Killing monsters
  2. Completing quests
  3. Getting them from other players
    • By trade.
    • By mail from other characters or your own characters (that are on the same server).
      • Mail with an item in it takes 1 hour to arrive.
      • Mail with just a message and/or money arrives instantly. The same applies to mail sent between your own characters, regardless of their contents.
  4. Making them yourself
    Tradeskills provide items that are one notch above equal-level quest items. However, you can send items you make to your other character (and to other players) or sell them to vendors or auction them at the auction house.
  5. Buying them from vendor NPCs
    Most vendors sell stuff appropriate for the level area they occupy. Equippable items found at most vendors are much worse than what you should be wearing if you do many quests.
  6. Buying them from an auction house

Item Attributes

Most items in World of Warcraft have one or more attributes. Depending on what class you chose to play, some attributes become more important than others.


Partying is what a MMORPG is all about. If we wanted to play a one-player game, there might be other games more suitable. Partying is the best way to get to know someone, as far as the quality of their character:

  • How well they act around others
  • How well they learn new features
  • How well they develop and learn and use tactics

In order to be the best you can be in a group, it is good to look at other classes to see what they can do for you, and to see what you can do for them that they can't do for themselves. Don't be afraid to ask someone for a benefit that they can offer you; and if you have something they might benefit from, give it to them.

First off, it is not entirely uncommon for first-time group members who had never met before to offer an enchantment (as it increases their skill, which benefits them). If you don't get such an offer, do not just expect them to respond affirmatively to a request.

All classes that can buff should buff everyone in their party. Some buffs require certain talents or reagents, so you shouldn't be surprised if someone doesn't have the buff you're looking for. Just remember to ask. Many players don't know the lengths of all your buffs, so you'll just have to remind the buffer. In the case of a paladin, where they can cast only one blessing on each character, you should ask the paladin for the particular blessing you want.

Many classes are hybrids and you can fill two different roles. Everyone should know what role they play in any given party, and also how to play that role well.

See the Instance Grouping Guide for information that is absolutely essential for going into dungeons with others. It is incredibly annoying when people do not follow the principles outlined in that article. Some people can be taught patience and such; others can't. You should do what you can to learn from experienced people (who are usually notable just from seeing how they speak and act) and teach others the same.

It is considered rude to invite somebody into a party, especially if they have not asked for a party, without first speaking with them. In many cases, however, it's obvious that you have a common goal. In these cases, you may get an invitation to join a party (but you should still not give one before speaking). Some instances of this is when you see the same character over and over in the area of a certain type of monster which is a quest monster or one that gives reputation. In this case, it is very beneficial to be in a group even if you don't help each other. The reason is that all members of the group get credit for killing each monster that the other one kills. However, if you're not immediately in the same area attacking the same clusters of monsters, it would be good to have free-for-all looting, or else a lot of loot would probably not be picked up by the others.

Another important reason to party up is that (probably) in every case, two together will be more than twice as effective at killing any given monster or set of monsters than the two separately. Synergy is very important in grouping. Two paladins can have two different auras which can be very beneficial; three is nice, too, but the rewards are greatly diminished at that point, because the group would receive a greater reward from another class. Two hunters can benefit each other in a similar manner as well, along with two warriors, and so on. But the greatest benefit of all is to have only one of each class. But it is not always easy to achieve such a grouping.


Looting and loot drops in World of Warcraft are fairly straightforward. If the corpse of a monster has gold sparkles on top of it, it means there's something on the corpse that you can loot. Once you loot a corpse, if you don't take everything off it, everyone else in your group will have the option to loot.

There are a few different looting types in parties that can be set by the party leader by right-clicking on his own portrait in the upper left. Two of these types are affected by the loot threshold, also set by the leader (the threshold can be set to uncommon, rare, or epic).

Money loot is always shared in a party regardless of loot type. However, if a party member is out of range when a monster is looted, they will not receive a share of any gold found on a corpse and will not be able to roll for any special items found.

In addition to the loot rules that can be set up to run automatically (see Looting), many groups have additional rules that they add in. Don't forget to decide them before starting!

shortcut iconSee also: Raids 

Newbie Guide/Instanced Dungeons

Chat and Interface


World of Warcraft has a chat channel system to allow players to create their own private chat channels. Use the /chat command to get a listing of chat channel commands. You will automatically join chat channels "General", "Trade", and "LocalDefense" when you create your character.

To send a message to a chat channel, type "/# (message)" where # is the number of the channel you would like to send to. 1 is always the "General" channel, and 2 is the Trade channel when in a city. (Type /chatlist to see a list of channels you are currently on.)

Item links (they will appear with quality color like: [Item name]) can be sent by shift-clicking any item. Links should work in any "numbered" chats other than the Trade channel, which only appears in large cities. Links will work in party, say, and guild chat. You can also send links through whisper.

The Mail system

Pointer mail on 32x32.png in range to check mailbox Pointer mail off 32x32.png out of range of mailbox

For a small price (30c), you can send in-game mail to other players. This can be sent when other players are offline or online. An icon will appear near your minimap indicating if you have new Unread Mail. To read your mail, visit the postbox outside any inn. You can also send items through mail to other players as "attachments". Sending mail is instantaneous, unless there is an item attached, in which case the message will take one hour to be delivered (sent items between characters on the same account is still instantaneous). Attachments are returned to the sender if the message goes unread for 30 days, or if the recipient does not remove the item from their mailbox within 30 days of reading the message.[1]

You can also use a C.O.D. to send mail with items attached. This allows you to set a price for the recipient to be able to collect the item from the mail (i.e. you can charge them for the item). When the recipient clicks the item to put it in their pack, a dialog comes up stating the price. If they say accept, then the price is deducted from their money and sent to you in a mail message. They may also select return which will return the item to you via mail. C.O.D. items expire from the recipients inbox in 30 days even if unread, so be sure they know that it is coming. You can C.O.D. items to your other characters on the same account also.

You may also send cash in mail, but all mail sent with money arrives with an hour delay.[2] For example, your character needs a bit of quick cash and you have another character on the same account with cash, switch to the other character, drop some cash in the mail, then switch back, and the cash should already be in your inbox. If your other character is on another account (say, your brother's or sister's), you will need to wait 1 hour, log out to the beginning logon screen and proceed as normal. You don't need to be on one account to send money or any such, but it is much faster and easier.

Also see Interface Customization


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.