World of Warcraft Racial Abilities Guide

World of Warcraft contains many different races that reside on the world of Azeroth that players may choose from. Choosing a race can be a daunting task since the choices that a new player makes will impact them significantly in the long run since racial abilities are quite important. This is why we have created a World of Warcraft racial abilities guide to help you!

It isn’t just choosing a race either, but also a faction or side that you must choose as well. You can either choose the Horde, which has many tribalistic races or the Alliance, which is more akin to standard fantasy genres with castles, humans, dwarves, and all that.

Both factions are represented as being both good and evil in their actions but don’t necessarily fall down one path. Which is something that is hotly debated within the WoW community since the faction war is what appears to keep the game thriving.

Players typically cannot talk to or group with the opposing faction. With that in mind, when a player chooses their race they have multiple things to consider from who they will be playing with, what they look like, and even what abilities they will inherently have.

Although daunting, our World of Warcraft racial abilities guide will assist you in learning about the races of the game and hopefully help you to determine which is right for you!

Horde Races

Orc

Orcs are larger and stronger than humans. They are hulking creatures who came through the Dark Portal from the world of Draenor. The orcs were once corrupted by fel magic from drinking the blood of a great demon named Mannoroth, and therefore have racial abilities that can access their demonic fury.

    • Blood Fury – Instant – 2-minute cooldown – Bloodfury increases attack power and spell power by (based on level) for 15 seconds.
    • Hardiness – Passive – Reduces the duration of stun effects by an additional 15%.
    • Command – Passive – Damage that is dealt by Death Knight, Hunter, and Warlock pets is increased by 1%.
    • Axe Specialization – Passive – Expertise with Axes, Two-Handed Axes, and Fist Weapons increased by 1%.

Tauren

Taurens are very large, tribal, and ancestral people with hulking frames that resemble a large walking bovine. They are very close with nature and have an affinity with being able to communicate with the spirits in times of need.

    • War Stomp – instant – 2 min cooldown – War Stomp can stun up to 5 enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds.
    • Endurance – Passive – Base Health increased by 5%.
    • Cultivation – Herbalism skill increased by 15 and you gather herbs faster than normal herbalists.
    • Nature Resistance – Reduces Nature damage taken by 1%.

Troll

There are many troll tribes out there, however the Darkspear troll tribe are the only ones to become members of the Horde currently. When the orc chief Thrall saved the Darkspear tribe from certain doom, they swore their allegiance. They are naturally agile and vicious when cornered in combat.

    • Berserking – instant – 3-minute cooldown – Increases your haste by 15% for 10 secs.
    • Regeneration – Passive – Increase health regeneration bonus by 10%. Also allows 10% of normal health regenerate during combat.
    • Beast Slaying – Passive – 20% experience bonus from killing Beasts.
    • Da Voodoo Shuffle – Passive – Reduces the duration of all movement impairing effects by 20%. Trolls be flippin’ out mon!

Blood Elves

Blood elves are a proud and arrogant race who joined with the Horde during the Burning Crusade. They were survivors of the assault by Arthas on Silvermoon and were dependent on magic to the point they suffered from mana addiction and are in constant recovery.

    • Arcane Torrent – Instant – 1.5-minute cooldown– Removes 1 beneficial effect from all enemies within 8 yards and restore 3% of your mana. Pre-BFA – Instant – 1.5-minute cooldown – Silence all enemies within 8 yards for 2 sec and restore 3% of your mana. Non-player victim spellcasting is also interrupted for 3 seconds.
    • Arcane Acuity – Passive – Increases critical strike chance by 1%.
    • Arcane Affinity Passive – Enchanting skill increased by 10.
    • Arcane Resistance Passive – Reduces Arcane damage taken by 1%.

Goblin

Goblins are an ingenious race of small green humanoids who emphasize on making profits over everything else. The Bilgewater Cartel of goblins ran by Trade Prince Gallywix, is allied with the Horde forces.

    • Time is Money – Passive – Cash in on a 1% increase to haste.
    • Best Deals Anywhere – Passive – Always receive the best possible gold discount, regardless of faction.
    • Better Living Through Chemistry – Passive – Alchemy skill increased by 15.
    • Pack Hobgoblin – Instant – 30-minute cooldown – Calls in your friend, Gobber, allowing you bank access for 1 min.
    • Rocket Barrage – Instant – 1.5-minute cooldown – Launches your belt rockets at an enemy (1 + Level * 2) fire damage.
    • Rocket Jump– Activate your rocket belt to jump forward. Other effects which slow the rate of falling cannot be used within 10 seconds after using this ability.

Undead

The undead or otherwise known as the Forsaken are those members of the scourge that have broken away from the control of the Lich King. Now, they seek their own place within this world under the leadership of Sylvanas Windrunner, The Banshee Queen.

  • Cannibalize – Instant – 2 min cooldown – When activated, regenerates 7% of total health and mana every 2 seconds for 10 seconds. Only works on Humanoid or Undead corpses within 5 yards. Any movement, action, or damage taken while Cannibalizing will cancel the effect.
  • Shadow Resistance – Reduces Shadow damage taken by 1%.
  • Touch of the Grave – Your attacks and damaging spells have a chance to drain the target, dealing 1932 to 2244 shadow damage and healing you for the same amount.
  • Will of the Forsaken – Instant – 2-minute cooldown – Removes any Charm, Fear, and Sleep effect. This effect shares a 30 sec cooldown with other similar effects.

Alliance Races

Humans

Humans are the de facto leaders of the alliance and are the most youthful of all the races, which makes them far more ambitious. Humans are not the strongest or most agile, however, what they lack in physical attributes they make up for in guile and tenacity.

    • Diplomacy – Passive – Reputation gains increased by 10%.
    • Every Man for Himself – Instant – 2-minute cooldown – Removes all stun effects. This effect shares a 30-second cooldown with other similar effects.
    • The Human Spirit – Passive – You gain 2% more of all secondary stats (Haste, Critical Strike, Mastery, Versatility) from all sources.

Gnome

Gnomes are a race of small-statured little people who are obsessed with gadgets and technology. They were forced from their home of Gnomergan and were taken in by the Dwarves of Ironforge. They are not as physically strong as other races, but they make up for it with intelligence.

    • Arcane Resistance – Passive – Reduces Arcane damage taken by 1%.
    • Engineering Specialization – Passive – Engineering skill increased by 15.
    • Escape Artist – Instant – 1-minute cooldown – Escape the effects of any immobilizations or movement speed reduction effect.
    • Expansive Mind – Passive – Maximum resources increased by 5%.
    • Nimble Fingers – Passive – Haste increased by 1%.

Dwarf

Dwarves are hardy folks who live within the mountains of Khaz Modan and mine the resources of the earth. They are small but very strong and resilient. They have three primary clans, the Bronzebeard, Wildhammers, and Dark Irons.

    • Explorer – Passive – You find additional fragments when looting archaeological finds and you can survey faster than normal archaeologists.
    • Frost Resistance – Passive – Reduces Frost damage taken by 1%.
    • Might of the Mountain – Passive – Critical strike bonus damage and healing increased by 2%.
    • Stoneform – Instant – 2-minute cooldown – Removes all poison, disease, cruse, magic, and bleed effects and reduces all physical damage taken by 10% for 8 seconds.

Worgen

Worgen are the humans of Gilneas who were cursed with an affliction that transforms them into a half-worg and half-man type creature. The people of Gilneas have attempted to find a cure for quite some time and have managed to keep their mind about them, not giving into their inner beast.

    • Aberration – Passive – Reduces Shadow and Nature damage taken by 1%.
    • Altered Form– Instant – No Cooldown – Transforms Worgen into their Human form.
    • Darkflight– Instant – 2-minute cooldown – Activates your true form, increasing current movement speed by an additional 40% for 10 seconds.
    • Flayer – Passive – Skinning skill increased by 15 and allows you to skin faster.
    • Running Wild – 1.5-second cast – Requires level 20 – Drop to all fours to run as fast as a wild animal.
    • Two Forms – Turn into your currently inactive form.
    • Viciousness – Passive – Increases critical strike chance by 1%.

Draenei

The Draenei people were once known as the Eredar who lived on the distant world of Argus. When Sargeras tried to corrupt the Eredar people, Prophet Velen escaped with many of his companions with aid from the Naaru. The Draenei are worshippers of the Holy Light and followers of the Naaru.

    • Gift of the Naaru – instant – 3-minute cooldown -Heals the target for 20% of the caster’s total health over 5 seconds.
    • Gemcutting – Passive – Jewelcrafting skill increased by 10.
    • Heroic Presence – Passive – Increases your Strength, Agility, and Intellect by 425 (scales with level).
    • Shadow Resistance – Passive – Reduces Shadow damage by 1%.

Neutral and Allied Races

Pandaren

The Pandaren people are a neutral faction in World of Warcraft that can select either Alliance or Horde after they level a certain amount since their “leadership” does not necessarily follow one faction directly.

    • Bouncy – Passive – You Take half falling damage.
    • Epicurean – Passive – Your love of food allows you to receive 100% more of the stats from Well Fed effects.
    • Gourmand – Passive – Your Cooking skill is increased by 15.
    • Inner Peace – Passive – You earn twice as much rested experience.
    • Quaking Palm – Instant – 2-min cooldown – Strikes the target with lightning speed, incapacitaqting them for 4 seconds, and turns off your attack.

Horde Allied Races

Nightborne

Formerly isolated from the world, the Nightborne kept themselves shielded off from the world within their city of Suramar. When the Legion came, they had access to the world again. The Nightborne suffer from a magic addiction and were shunned by the Night Elves. The Horde welcomed them with open arms and the Blood Elves were quite sympathetic to their addiction unlike their Night Elven counterparts.

    • Cantrips – 3 sec cast – 10-minute cooldown – Conjure up an Eldritch Grimoire, allowing you mail access for 1.5-minutes.
    • Arcane Pulse – Instant – 3-minute cooldown – Deals (Attack power * 2) Arcane damage to nearby enemies and reduces their movement speed by 50%. Lasts 12 seconds.
    • Ancient History – Passive – Inscription skill increased by 15.
    • Magical Affinity – Passive – Increases magical damage by 1%.
    • Arcane Resistance – Passive – Reduces magical damage taken by 1%.

Zandalari Trolls

The Zandalari Trolls are an allied race to the Horde and are of the great Zandalari Empire. These trolls have managed to tame dinosaurs to act as not only their mounts, but additionally as weapons. Their society is one of the longest in Azeroth’s history and the Zandalari are seen as the spiritual leaders in troll cultures.

    • City of Gold To be anounced.
    • Embrace the Loa To be anounced.
    • Pterrodax Swoop To be anounced.
    • Regeneratin To be anounced.
    • Ward of the Loa To be anounced.

High Mountain Tauren

The High Mountain Tauren have Moose like horns as opposed to the bovine likeness of other Tauren. They are similarly devoted to the spirits of earth, river, and sky and reside within the Highmountain region of the Broken Shore. They are protectors of the land and they will lend their strength to the Horde to do battle against their foes.

    • Bull Rush – Instant – 2-minute cooldown – Charge forward for 1 sec, knocking enemies down for 1.5 seconds.
    • Mountaineer – Passive – Increases your Versatility by 1%.
    • Pride of Ironhorn – Passive – Mining skill increased by 15 and allows you to mine faster.
    • Rugged Tenacity – Passive – Reduces damage taken by (Stamina * 0.0003 * 60).
    • Waste Not, Want Not – Passive – You have a chance to loot additional meat and fish.

Alliance Allied Races

Dark Iron Dwarves

Dark Iron Dwarves are one of the three clans of the Dwarven clans. They have been at war with their fellow dwarves in the past, however desperate times call for desperate circumstances. King Magni’s own Bronzebeard daughter is the leader of the Dark Iron Dwarves and hopes to see her son as the rightful heir one day.

    • Dungeon Delver – Passive – While indoors, move %4 faster.
    • FIreblood – Instant – Lasts 8 seconds – 2-minute cooldown – Removes all poison, disease, curse, magic, and bleed effects and increase your primary stat by 100 for each effect removed.
    • Forged in Flames – Passive – Reduces damage taken from Physical attacks by 1%.
    • Mole Machine – Instant – 30-minute cooldown – While outdoors, summon a Mole Machine that tunnels through the earth.
    • Mass Production – Items crafted by Blacksmithing are created twice as quickly.

Void Elves

Void Elves are former Blood Elves who follow the path of Alleria Windrunner by attempting to control the powers of the void for the good of Azeroth. Unfortunately, the magic of the void makes the Blood Elve’s Sunwell unstable, and therefore the Void Elves were exiled from Silvermoon. Here, Alleria found them and vowed to train these elves in the way of the void and control their power.

    • Spatial Rift – Instant – 30 yd range – 3-min cooldown – Tear a rift in space. Reactivate this ability to teleport through the rift.
    • Chill of Night – Passive – Reduces Shadow Damage taken by 1%.
    • Entropic Embrace – Passive – Your abilities have a chance to empoower you with the essence of the Void.
    • Ethereal Connection – Passive – Reduces the cost of Void Storage and Transmogrification by 50%.
    • Preternatural Calm – Passive – Your spell casts are not delayed by taking damage.

Lightforged Dranei

Lightforged Dranei are members of the Army of the Light who fought against the Burning Legion throughout the Twisting Nether for untold millennia. Those Draenei who were the most committed to this crusade underwent a ritaul to become Lightforged by infusing their bodies with the very essence of the Holy Light. Since the defeat of the Legion, the Lightforged Draenei have a new task to protect Azeroth from all threats.

    • Light’s Judgement Instant – 40 yd range – 2.5-min cooldown – Call down a strike of Holy energy, dealing Holy damage to enemies within 5 yards after 3 sec. 40 yd. 2.5 min CD. Instant.
    • Forge of Light 2 sec Summon a Forge of Light, enabling Blacksmithing. Blacksmithing skill increased by 10.
    • Demonbane Experience gained from killing Demons increased by 20%.
    • Light’s Reckoning When you die the Light avenges you, dealing Holy damage to enemies within 8 yards and healing allies.
    • Holy Resistance Reduces Holy damage taken by 1%.

Cities

Alliance

    • Stormwind– Stormwind is the Alliance capital and the primary home of the humans of the Alliance. It is located on the Eastern Kingdoms next to Elwynn Forest.
    • Ironforge – Ironforge is the Dwarven capital and is located within the Eastern Kingdoms within the mountainous areas of Dun Morogh.
    • Gnomergan – Gnomergan is located near Ironforge on the Eastern kingdoms and is also within the mountainous areas was the home of the gnomes until there was an outbreak which resulted in contamination and many others dangerous endeavors. The gnomes reside within Ironforge and also have a base camp at Gnomergan where they are working to flush their home free of the creatures within.
    • Gilneas Gilneas is the human kingdom that isolated itself off from their neighbors during the wars and their gate was destroyed during the Cataclysm with Deathwing – revealing a nation that had been infected with the Worgen curse. With the curse under control – Gilneans fight loyally for the Alliance.
    • Darnassus Darnassus is the home of the night elven people upon the great tree Teldrassil. The city/tree is burned down in BfA’s pre-patch and when player’s reach the right level they will undergo
    • Exodar – Exodar is the crash-landed dimensional ship satelite structure from the spaceship fortress of Tempest Keep the Draenei people used to escape from Draenor.
    • Stormshield Stormshield is the Alliance hub in the alternate timeline of Draenor. This is where Horde forces prepare their attacks against the Alliance during the battle of Ashran. Both factions attempt to control the area of Draenor known as Ashran
    • Shrine of Seven Stars – The Alliance hub in Vale of Eternal Blossoms on Pandaria. There are portals leading to all the cities, vaults, bank access, an inn, and a number of tradesmen and noble Pandaren people.
    • Horde

    • Orgrimmar – Orgrimmar is the capital city of the Horde and named after the legendary Orgrim Doomhammer.
    • Silvermoon – Silvermoon is the capital city of the Blood Elves on the northern end of the Eastern Kingdoms. It is the Horde’s primary point of power within the north and is where the Sunwell is housed.
    • Ruins of Lordaeron aka The Undercity (Legion) – The Undercity is the lower portion of the Ruins of Lordaeron that are built on top of the once great human kingdom. It became a place of death after Arthas Menethil murdered his father and became the Lich King. The Forsaken now call it their home under the leadership of Sylvanas Windrunner.
    • Thunder Bluff – Thunder Bluff is the city of the Tauren and is located within Mulgore on the continent of Kalimdor. It is a spiritual place and is surrounded by large open grassy fields and many types of different wildlife. It is run by Baine Bloodhoof and the Tauren people are fiercely loyal to their leader.
    • Bilgewater Harbor – Bilgewater Harbor is the headquarters of the Bilgewater Cartel faction of goblins, who are loyal to the Horde. The city is located within Azshara on the continent of Kalimdor and is ran by Trade Prince Gallywix.
    • The Echo Isles – The Echo Isles are the home of the Darkspear Trolls and there has been a back and forth fighting over it for years. On the coast of Durotar there sits Sen’jin Village which is the branch out point that was used to reclaim the Isles.
    • Warspear – Warspear is the Horde hub in the alternate timeline of Draenor. This is where Horde forces prepare their attacks against the Alliance during the battle of Ashran. Both factions attempt to control the area of Draenor known as Ashran.
    • Shrine of Two Moons – The Horde hub in Vale of Eternal Blossoms on Pandaria. There are portals leading to all the cities, vaults, bank access, an inn, and a number of tradesmen and noble Pandaren people.
    • Neutral

    • Dalaran – Northrend – Dalaran is the hub of the Kirin Tor, is neutral, and is utilized as a floating city and staging point when going against truly difficult foes. Example, the Lich King in Northrend.
    • Dalaran – Legion – Dalaran acts as the command center where the Horde and Alliance are able to wage war against the Burning Legion on the Broken Shore.
    • Shattrah – Shattrah is a neutral city on the broken world of Draenor where the Alliance and Horde set up in their task of fighting against Illidan as well as the Burning Legion at the Sunwell. This remains the primary neutral hub for the broken world of Outlands.
    • Neutral Goblin Towns

    • Booty Bay – Booty Bay is a goblin town on the southern tip of the Eastern Kingdoms within Southern Stranglethorn Vale. Booty Bay is run by Trade Baron Revilgaz. Booty Bay has a boat connection with Ratchet.
    • Gadgetzan – Gadgetzan is a neutral goblin city based in the northern desert of Tanaris and is the sole place of civilization within the region. It is known as the primary headquarters of the Steamwheedle Cartel, which is the largest of the Goblin Cartels.
    • Ratchet – Ratchet is a neutral goblin city within the Barrens on Kalimdor’s central east coast and is the first neutral town that most Horde players will encounter. It is run by Gazlowe and he is given free reign pretty much by the goblin trade princes. Boat connection to Booty Bay.
    • Everlook – Everlook is a neutral goblin town located within Winterspring on the continent of Kalimdor and is the last bastion of civilization before coming upon Mount Hyjal. It is one of the best places for goblins to mine up thorium and arcanite.
    • K3 – K3 is the neutral goblin base camp located within Stormpeaks on the continent of Northrend. It is from here that the goblins were trying to recover lost titan components from the machines, but there are issues dealing with the local wildlife.
    • Area 52 – Area 52 is the Goblin-town that is set up within the floating chunks of land of Netherstorm. In the middle of the town sits a rather large rocket called the Nether Rocket X 52, which was being designed to launch into the Void.
    • Mudsprocket– Mudsprocket is a neutral goblin town located within Dustwallow Marsh on the continent of Kalimdor.
    • Bogpaddle– Bogpaddle is a neutral goblin town located within the Swamp of Sorrows on the Eastern Kingdoms. It considers itself a resort amongst all the constant battles within the area. Peace is kept by the bouncers who act as guards.
    • Fuselight– Fuselight is a neutral goblin city within the Badlands. It is one of two goblin towns within the Badlands and has a race track.
    • Fuselight-by-the-Sea– A secondary goblin town within Badlands that is on the North Eastern side of the zone directly next to the water. It is similar to Fuselight, except, its by the sea.