This is the WoW AddOn development main reference. Use Reference for detailed information, Guides for getting started and further understanding, and Summary for overall concepts details. See AddOns for information on the general AddOn term used in WoW.


WoW AddOn files and related files and concepts

Code Files


Content Files

  • BLP file · - Main WoW art and texture format.
  • TGA file · - ALternative WoW art and texture format.
  • Edge file · - Texture file with special layout for use as a border.

WoW Files






WoW is capable of loading special files used to describe and create UI elements and code. WoW uses these files to create User Interface functionality for its own interface. These files and facilities can also be used for creating custom user UI functionality, or AddOns for WoW. Before getting started, every developer should read familiarize themselves with the Blizzard AddOn Policy.

Example file layout anatomy of a basic WoW AddOn:

  • {WoW Install} (folder) - your WoW installation folder
    • Interface (folder)
      • AddOns (folder)
        • MyAddOn (folder) - your addons own folder, must match the .toc name
          • MyAddOn.toc (TOC File) - WoW AddOn "manifest" file
          • MyAddOn.xml (FrameXML) - XML file with visible element definitions
          • MyAddOn.lua (Lua) - Code file, with instructions for AddOn behavior

This example establishes a WoW AddOn named 'MyAddOn' with one xml frame file and one lua code file.