The newest expansion is just around the corner – World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will release on October 27th, 2020. You can properly prepare for the new adventures in the vastness of Shadowlands, starting with your user interface. We will help you improve your game to get the most fun and maximum satisfaction out of the new expansion.
Almost every player in World of Warcraft uses different game modifications – addons. They have become an integral part of the game for casual players, as well as an indispensable tool for the best players in raids, dungeons, and PvP. The default interface, despite all its improvements over the years, does not provide enough information that is so necessary for many gaming activities and does not give players the space for personalization.
Fortunately, these and other flaws of the default UI are easily corrected by the variety of addons. Some addons will help you customize the visual appearance of the interface to your liking, while others will simplify auction calculations and help you use your professions more efficiently. Addons can improve any aspect of the game.
Let’s take a look at the most useful and popular addons in different categories that will improve the quality of your game, make your life easier, and make the game much more pleasant for your perception. You will see – personalization makes a big difference!
Where to get
First things first, let’s determine where exactly you can find the addons you need. There are multiple sites where you can safely download them:
However, to install and update the majority of the addons, we recommend using the Twitch App. You’ll be able to easily track and manage all your addons for both Shadowlands and Classic versions of WoW in one place.
Elv User Interface, known as ElvUI, is a full UI replacement. It completely replaces all elements of the default interface – it is a complex structure with integrated addons and plugins. As such, many of the interface elements will never require you to install additional addons, but simply to configure particular functions using the ElvUI menu. The ElvUI menu can be accessed using the Game Menu, or with a special chat command: /ec
ElvUI combines many of the most popular interface improvements, such as raid frames, spell bar, bags configuration.
Useful informative displays are also worth mentioning – you can easily track the amount of currency or resources you are interested in, the strength of the reservation, the number of available slots in the bag, etc.
We won’t go through all the ElvUI features here – it will require a separate guide for customizing that comprehensive UI. However, let us share a useful tip: you can find ready-to-go custom builds on a special forum page and the Wago portal. Many of these builds are perfectly optimized for certain classes and roles – check them out and you’ll probably find something to your liking!
Oh, and unline most of the Addons, you won’t be able to update ElvUI using the Twitch App or Curse. You will have to update it manually using the Tukui Client. A small price to pay for this wonderful addon.
WoW Unit Frames
Shadowed Unit Frames
SUF is a combination of simplicity and flexibility. You can easily export/import layouts from your friends or other users and it’s possible to switch between profiles without reloading UI, which is very convenient. The addon includes display functions for auras and their timers, class power bars, incoming heals, player and party frames, and others.
PitBull Unit Frames 4.0
A customizable unit frame, similar to Shadowed Unit Frames. Has a lot of settings for the frame customization in the game. There is plenty of skins for changing standard unit frames, and options include displaying buffs and debuffs of the player/target, displaying the threat on the player/target, using a 3D model of the character in the window, and many more.
An indispensable tool for Arena players – adds enemy team unit frames, which allows easier targeting and focusing. Addon has many configurable features, with which you can customize the frames to suit your every need. With certain modules, you’ll be able to track PvP trinket status, Target of Target, and setup announcements for the use of trinket, cooldowns, and when enemies are on low hp and about to die.
Z-Perl Unit Frames
Updated classic X-Perl addon. I think anyone who played the game many years ago will remember it. Z-Perl is a modern version with the same clean look as before. Among its features: 3D Portraits, Range Finder, Raid Frames, Raid Tooltips, and other useful stuff.
Changes default UI for a more functional one. There are four nameplates for you to choose from:
Quatre – thick health bar, will be clearly visible;
Neon – a little smaller than the previous one, but has its own visual differences;
Grey – minimalistic bar;
And a standard Blizzard nameplate, but with the settings of the Addon.
To enter the settings panel for Tidy Plates, use the command: /tidyplates
A multifunctional tool for healers. Convenient customizable frames with health indicators for your raid, group. You can assign mouse combos to use any healing spells on players with active or non-active bars. You can customize combos and add any usable items, Target, Focus, and Assist commands. Targets can be sorted and split into different groups, based on roles, raid groups, etc. Additionally, HealBot supports the synchronization of healing spells with other healers in your group/raid.
Action bars presented in the default Blizzard interface are one of the most outdated parts of the interface – they lack much-needed information and customization options Let’s see what can be done about that.
Gives you full control over all 10 action bars and related bars, such as stance, pet, bag, and XP bars. You can customize their position, size, transparency, and easily bind Hotkeys using the KeyBound.
You can open the configuration using command /bt or /bartender. To use the KeyBound and setup your keybindings, type /kb and hover your mouse over a button, press the keyboard, and it’s done!
The name speaks for itself. It’s a great tool to adjust absolutely all of the UI elements. Unlimited power over action bars, portraits, minimap, and everything else out there. You can move, scale, hide, or adjust the transparency of any element. To access the main settings window, type /move.
Size matters not. Look at this addon. Judge it by its size, do you? Like Master Yoda, the addon is small but extremely effective. The main function is adding text to the icons on your action bar, allowing you to see cooldowns on your abilities shown in numbers. Highly customizable, you can get very precise numbers, down to milliseconds. With the OmniCC you will always know for sure when your abilities will be ready to use!
WoW DPS meters
While addons in this category may seem quite similar at first glance, as they all perform the same function, there are some little details to each one of them, that separate them from each other. Addons use different algorithms to compute the DPS, and some may be more resource-intensive for your game.
The most famous DPS measurement addon, which name has become a household, but today it is not the most accurate one compared to the alternatives. However, this is compensated by the ease of setup and use, as well as by its lightweight. More useful as a quick in-game reference of your performance rather than a meaningful instrument for analysis during a complex raid fight.
Skada Damage Meter
Modular damage meter with various viewing modes, highly customizable, and highly efficient with your computer resources. You can setup multiple windows to track different info-meters, such as DPS, HPS, Aggro, etc. Skada is almost identical to the next addon in the category – Details! The main difference between Skada is when the DPS starts recording, and when it stops. Depending on what you want to reflect in your combat log, you will make your choice between these two.
Details! Damage Meter
DDM is the most accurate and in-depth graphical meter for your party, using the same method as Warcraftlogs itself. Overall, Skada and Details are pretty much the same, the only difference is when the DPS starts recording – while Skada starts counting the DPS when you make your first hit, Details! Meter starts counting when anyone in the group lands the first hit. Another example is Details! continuing DPS tracking until the end of the fight, while Skada is stopping and remembering your DPS the moment you die during the fight. Remember, the best damage dealer is a living one. And Details! knows that too.
An indispensable tool for every player seeking to get the maximum out of the game. It’s easily the most complex addon, but the road to the stars lies through hardships. This multifunctional tool allows an incredible level of customizability for all sorts of visual hints related to buffs, debuffs, abilities, and other status effects. You can set up animations, sound effects, and other visual clues to keep track of player or boss abilities, combinations of spells, item procs, and cooldowns.
Words about the complexity of addon could have frightened you – we assure you, there is nothing to be afraid of. Addon has one more wonderful feature – if you don’t see yourself programming your custom auras, you can import templates from other players. On this website, you can find all sorts of pre-built Weak Auras for all classes, for PvE Scenarios, PvP battles, and other game aspects. Additionally, you can Import WeakAuras from the Wowhead database, right from the spell information page.
To keep track of updates to your weak auras, as you do with other addons using the Twitch client, you can use a simple program called WeakAuras Companion App. This desktop app will help you keep all your complex auras, such as raid warning or Mythic+ related tools, up to date in a few clicks.
Similar in its functionality to previously mentioned WeakAuras, yet with a more user-friendly approach. It’s a viable option to consider for beginners, but if you’re not afraid of going through a few difficulties, you can go straight for the Weak Auras. Providing visual, audio and text notifications TMW allows you to keep track of Buffs/Debuffs, cooldowns, enchantment procs, trinket effects, and many other things. You can setup the transparency of icons based on the given conditions, such as an active buff, or combat status. To lock and unlock the addon, you can use the chat commands: /tmw or /tellmewhen.
An important addon for classes that can dispel negative effects, such as poisons, diseases, charms, curses, or magic. It will help you remove these effects just in a few clicks. Easy to configure and to use – you can set up addon to filter out afflictions if you think they are not worth dispelling and prioritize the cleansing work by choosing what you can and want to dispel. Additionally, if you’re a Mage, Druid, or a Shaman, the addon will highlight mind-controlled player for you to Polymorph, Cyclone, or Hex them.
If you’d like to make your casting bar much more visible and easy to see, the Quartz is a good choice. With this addon, you’ll be able to configure the size, position, colors, and font settings of your castbar. There are many useful modules in the addon, such as an implementation of target/focus castbars, flight progress bar, display of the server latency, an indicator of range, and others.
Update from 28.08.2020
As of right now, the addon is not up to date, and for a while, you may use it if you check the «Load out of date AddOns» setting in the addon list in the game. There is also a problem when the Twitch app installs the wrong version and downloads the classic version of Quartz. In that case, you should delete your current version and manually download Quartz from CurseForge.
Easy to set up and to use, allows you to replace your standard castbar for a more appealing one, and also allows you to create an unlimited amount of castbars. You can create buff, debuff, cooldown timers with the same options as castbars, both horizontal and vertical bars with customizable bar growth direction. Slash command to access the addon menu is /gnosis. For advanced configuration options, check the addon page on CurseForge.
This wonderful tool, which you already familiar with by reading the previous section about Auras, can successfully replace your castbar and improve it both visually and functionally.
For your convenience, a few examples from the Wago of how WeakAuras can be used to replace a castbar:
Publik’s Casting Bar
Afenar Mage Collection
Many custom builds presented on Wago include already pre-configured castbars – we suggest you check class-related pages and see what other members of the WoW community have to share.
Deadly Boss Mods (DBM)
One of the most useful addons that you should not be playing without. DBM provides real-time alerts for all events during the boss fights, making them easier in a sense, by allowing you to plan your actions a few steps ahead. Addon will warn you about dangerous abilities or give you simple suggestions on what to.
The main features of the addon are the Raid Warnings and Timer Bars, each made specifically for different boss encounters to alert players about approaching mechanics and abilities. Warnings can appear as a popup text and sound effects, as well as making your character announce to the party if affected by some debuff. Timer Bars track scripted events that occur at specific times during the fight and knowing that makes a huge difference in raiding. Players will be able to prepare for the coming mechanics, efficiently utilize cooldowns and class resources.
Raid Leader can create custom timers to coordinate the group – such as pull timer before the boss fight, or a break. These timers can be created by typing /pull (duration) or /break (duration) in the chat.
And there is one more nice little feature build in this addon – an auto-reply message while you’re in a boss fight. So, whenever you get a whisper from another person, an automated message will be sent, telling that you are busy at the moment, and containing information about the fight you engaged in, boss name, and the remaining HP percent. And then it will send another message once the fight ends.
On the CurseForge page, you can download additional mods and packs, such as Event Sound Packs, Countdown Packs, Voice Packs, and the old content raid packages for previous expansions.
BigWigs Boss Mods
Similar in its functionality to DBM – provides warning messages during encounters, but with more in-depth customization options for the timer bars and warning effects. While DMB is a more of a «download and ready to go» type of addon, with BigWigs you can manually set up warnings to conform to your preferences, change the color of bars, and prioritize certain events or emphasize certain spells. In a sense, Big Wigs is less spamming when it comes to notifications and sound effects than DBM, but in the end, it’s all up to personal preference.
Exorsus Raid Tools
An indispensable instrument for a raid leader, which simplifies many aspects of the game and provides the necessary information to improve the experience in the role of RL. But it’s also a helpful addon for other raiders. Main features include Raid Check, to see buffs, elixirs, food of raid members, Combat Analysis, and Raid Inspect to see player roles, talents, gear, and other information. Among other notable modules, there is an auto-invite tool, Bossmods for certain encounters, and WeakAuras checker.
The name of the addon speaks for itself – it alerts players if they’re standing in avoidable enemy AoE attacks and suggests them, with an audio alert, to move out. Or die trying. These warnings can save many lives of those who simply did not notice certain mechanics during an encounter. Especially useful for players running the game on minimal settings with visual effects tuned down or turned off completely, for sake of performance.
Mythic plus addons
Mythic Dungeon Tools
MDT is a pocket planner of your Mythic+ dungeon run. You can plan your strategy and pull pattern in advance of going into the dungeon. Every enemy NPC in each dungeon is shown on the interactive map, so you can choose which enemies to pull, and how much percentage progress you will get for dealing with them and get detailed enemy info, including their abilities and crowd control. Make the route through the dungeon, share it with party members, and get the show on the road!
Changes the default Mythic+ timer to a custom one, with new style and additional useful information. Features include enemies percentage progress, death counter and time lost caused by players’ deaths, object completion time, and information about affixes. Timers show both the time from the start of the dungeon run and time left.
Mythic+ objective tracker that includes bonus chest timers and time left to get them, enemies forces progress bar with an exact percent, and a death tracker that shows a total number of deaths and how many times each player died individually if you mouseover the icon. Also changes the appearance of Keystone links in chat, to see the Dungeon name right away.
Raider.IO Mythic Plus
This addon works as an in-game linking element to the Mythic+ and raids rankings on the Raider.IO site. Addon gives you an easy in-game look at the Mythic Keystone scores for other players without having to manually check them on the website. A very useful tool when it comes to gathering groups for high-level keys. Tooltips show current season scores divided for different roles, and show scores from the previous season. Other useful information includes best runs for specific dungeons, number of runs completed in timer, and the main’s mythic score.
This addon is an extension for BigWigs that includes modules for encounters in 5-man dungeons. For this extension to work, you must install the BigWigs. The addon is easy to use, as it does not require any setup – once you enter the dungeon it will download the required module with tactics for this particular dungeon. Before pulling the boss you will be able to share the tactics in the group chat. During the fight, you will get visual and sound cues.
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Already mentioned earlier, it is by far one of the most important addons for PvP arena players – enemy team unit frames with many customizable features and important information, such as PvP trinket status, Target of Target, cooldown tracker and announcer.
A crucial tool to keep track of the enemy team’s cooldowns. Easy configuration, you only need to pick which cooldowns you want to track for each class. With this addon, it is going to be much easier to decide when to use offensive or defensive abilities and plan your moves against opponents.
A light alternative to Ombinbar, easily customizable to track any abilities, and it’s bound to nameplates, as the name suggests. A solution for those who do not want to look down at OmniBar and stay more focused on the enemy.
Arena Team Tracker
This addon tracks the cooldowns of your party members – such information as trinket status and available defensive cooldowns are important pieces of knowledge for team play. Features include tracking selected cooldowns, attaching icons to party or raid frames, and show dampening percentage during arena matches.
Increases the size of CC abilities on the raid frames so you could pay closer attention to your teammates, and replaces unit frame portraits with debuff durations in cases with important debuffs involved. Fully compatible with Z-Perl, Shadowed Unit Frames, and ElvUI.
The name of this addon conveys a cruel truth of World of Warcraft realities – Healers Have To Die. The sole purpose of the addon is to enforce this law in Azeroth and other dimensions – it automatically marks enemy healers nameplates with a special indicator, lets you announce healers in the raid chat, and easily target players, even when they are in a pack.
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Character management addons
With the release of Legion expansion, some of the character stats were hidden from the default interface. You can uncover that information with the advanced display of the character stats, containing all the comprehensive information you want to see. Optionally displays current and maximum available item level of gear, displays each equipped item’s level, total durability and repair costs, Enhancements, and Defense stats.
Useful mod to compare an inspected gear with the equipped one to find upgrades. This great feature is missing from the default UI. A comprehensive analysis will give you an exact percentage of the power difference between the items and even suggest which gem to use. To properly configure this addon, you will need to get the Pawnstrings for your character using the SimulationCraft. More details can be found in our SimulationCraft guide.
This small addon is making a process of generating a Simcraft profile of your character much easier with a single chat command: /simc. Copy the popped up information and paste it into the simulation window. To learn more about the simulation process you can read our SimulationCraft guide.
The solution to the messy default version of the WoW inventory. It replaces all the separate bags with one simple-to-view large inventory and brings other must-have features, such as checking the items in the bank and even checking items of your alternative characters. All the items in the inventory are colored based on their quality, making it much easier to distinguish and sort them out.
BFA ToDo (Legion ToDo)
Soon to become the Shadowlands ToDo, this addon’s purpose is to track the information about all of your characters in a handy list. Includes the most important weekly objectives, such as Raid and Dungeon lockouts, current weekly max M+ done, bonus roll seals, and relevant currencies. Convenient addon to keep track of your weekly progress and never miss important stuff.
Open World and Questing
World Quest Tracker
Shows all available world quests and their rewards on the map. Features include a custom tracker for the quests you want to complete, and showing those quests on the fly map to ease your navigation. Warns about world quests that are ending in less than 2 hours.
World Quests List
Compact list of all world quests with a looking for a group functionality – allows to create or find groups for world quests. You can filter and sort world quests by rewards, faction, zone, and by the time left. Includes a helper for various world quest mini-games.
A library-addon with a lot of additional modules, and the main function of an interactive map. Shows useful information about entrances to dungeons, valuable resources, chests, etc.
This addon is a database that is scanning the map for the rare mobs, chests, and treasures. When it finds an item from the list, you will get a sound and visual notification on your screen, and lock the target if its an NPC. When you click the button it will add a skull over the NPC, making it easier to find it.
Your guide to finding all the rare mobs around the world. This is a core addon for many separate Tours – these can be found and downloaded from the complete tour package on this page. Addon allows you to view all of the rares locations on the world map and the zone mini-map. The star mark means that you can still kill and loot the rare.
Other Useful Addons
Advanced Interface Options
Once installed, this addon restores access to some previously hidden options, such as the directional scale of the combat text, chat mouse wheel scrolling, display LUA errors, reverse cleanup bags, and many more. Many options are available through the CVar browser.
Use the /aio command to access the main menu or /cvar to open the CVar browser right away.
With this simple addon, you will be able to set up your chat the way you want it to be. The addon includes most of the features you can think of: timestamps, different colors per class and level, changing fonts, text and URL copying, chat search, and many others.
Your post office will get new functionality with this addon. It can track all of your characters and list them on the «Alts» list for your convenience. Autocompletion of names from your contacts, friends list or guild list makes the mail much more efficient and easier. Along with some other quality-of-life improvements, this addon is a nice addition to our collection.