Vanilla WoW Wiki

For the racial traits of each race see Racial trait.


If you're new to the game, you're faced with a lot of choices. The most important of these choices are without a doubt what class you want to be. Then, along with choosing a faction, you must choose a race.

One thing you should know before starting this process is that, unlike a class, your race and faction are not set in stone. In retail players could change their Faction for a fee of $30.00 or change their race for $25.00, most private servers also offer this option.

See the Faction Change service and the Race Change service pages for more in-depth information on the two services.

What is a race?

Well, in World of Warcaft, there are two factions: the Alliance and the Horde. Each faction currently has 4 race options to them. The races for the Alliance are the dwarves, gnomes, humans, and night elves. The races for the Horde are the orcs, tauren, trolls, and undead. Click on an individual link for in-depth information on each specific race.

Choosing a race

Each of these races has unique racial traits and certain playable classes available to them. These racial traits and class options help them to accomplish their goals in the world. Racial traits, known as racials can be either passive or active.

Characters can only talk, group, and create guilds with players from their own faction. Certain zones and cities in the world are also friendly to one faction while hostile to the other. Additionally, certain quests can only be completed by members of one faction and not the other.

The tables below outline which player class is available to a race (denoted by X).

Alliance Crest Alliance

Dwarf Gnome Human Night elf
Druid Druid - - - x
Hunter Hunter x - - x
Mage Mage - x x -
Paladin Paladin x - x -
Priest Priest x - x x
Rogue Rogue x x x x
Warlock Warlock - x x -
Warrior Warrior x x x x

Horde Crest Horde

Orc Tauren Troll Undead
Druid Druid - x - -
Hunter Hunter x x x -
Mage Mage - - x x
Priest Priest - - x x
Rogue Rogue x - x x
Shaman Shaman x x x -
Warlock Warlock x - - x
Warrior Warrior x x x x

Starting Areas

The zone you begin in depends on your race. However, any race can level in any starting zone of the same faction, you'll just have to hoof it over there. You'll probably want to reach level 5 where you start and then travel to the new zone.

Racial traits

As mentioned above, different races have different racials. Lets pretend here for a moment; lets pretend that racials did not exist. Then, what would be the difference between races? Well, the answer is this:

  1. Different looks
  2. Different starting locations
  3. Different background stories
  4. Different racial mounts

It is recommended that you choose a race based on what looks best to you. However, there are cases where having the right racials can be a life saver.