Unlike most MMORPGs, one of the most unique features of World of Warcraft is the add-on feature. This guide will help new players (as well as some experienced players who’ve never used it) understand and implement add-ons to improve their experience and will also provide a list of the most essential as well as some Quality of Life add-ons.
What are Add-Ons?
Add-ons are basically modifications, created by people from the community of the game, that improve/optimize/simplify the quality of your gaming experience in World of Warcraft. It allows the user to bypass any shortcomings the game has and can be modified to suit your needs. Add-ons allow you to customize the interface of the game as much as you want, get special notifications/tips during boss encounters, provide locations for you to farm/level etc. There are some players who would say that World of Warcraft should be enjoyed at it’s most basic form i.e without any add-ons, but most experienced/veteran players would agree with me that some add-ons are essential to be able to play at a higher skill level.
In the old days, you would have to manually download/update/manage each add-on. But now, with the help of the Twitch app, you can update and manage all your add-ons simultaneously. I highly recommend getting the Twitch app. Steps provided below:
- Link provided here.
- Click on “Download Twitch” and install.
- After you register and login, click on the “Mods ” tab on the top left side of the window and then click on “World of Warcraft”.
- You will see two tabs, “My Addons” and “Get More Addons”.
- You can look for what add-ons you need by:
- Clicking on “Get More Addons”
- Use the “Search” bar to look for a specific add-on
- Click on the add-on you wish to download
- Click on Install
- Once your add-ons have been installed, you can update/uninstall them from the “My Add-ons” tab.
You can manage your add-ons in-game from your character screen or from the interface game menu.
Now that we’re done with how to install/manage your add-ons, here are a list of add-ons which will improve your experience of the game and are a must-have for end-game content
- Deadly Boss Mods(DBM)
This add-on makes it so much easier for you to survive end-game PVE content like Raids & Dungeons. It gives you a real-time breakdown of every spell the boss is about to cast through audio and visual effects. You can customize those effects according to your needs, you can even choose which spell to specifically watch out for. DBM makes it a lot easier to focus on your character as you don’t have to memorize every single spell or mechanic and it also helps you keep in sync with your teammates.
- Details! Damage Meter
As the name suggests, details is an add-on which provides a very in-depth and accurate representation of your boss encounter. “Details” like total damage, damage per second, total healing etc. can all be accessed with the help of this add-on. As a DPS player, it is essential for you to keep track of your Damage/DPS so you can compare your performance with others and make notes on how to improve. You can compare other people’s performance and find the weak spots in your own rotations/openers.
- Weak Auras 2
Weak Auras has to be the biggest and the most complex add-on there is. It is less of an add-on and more of a platform through which you run various scripts according to your needs. The amount of customization this add-on offers is insane. You can import a script which gives a nice, visual aid for your rotations and spells. You can import a script which provides a specific list of the most important spells to watch out for every boss encounter instead of having to memorize every single spell and what it does. Once you get used to it, you won’t even have any need for your action bars to be on display. From the smallest things to the most important, Weak Auras provides almost every feature you could think of.
Most of the times, it’s pretty obvious that you shouldn’t be standing in lava or poison or whatever the boss encounter states as bad. But, when you’re so busy topping those charts or trying to get the boss down, you tend to ignore simple mechanics. This is a small and simple add-on which provides a very obvious audio cue for you to “GTFO” when you’re standing in the wrong places or on the wrong things.
A nameplate add-on like “Plater” enables you to customize the health bars of enemies and allies in anyway you need which directly affects how you perform during encounters. With this add-on, you can see everything clearly, health bars, debuffs, DoTs, etc. You can set it up in a way that priority mobs/spells/your own targets stand out. There are various other nameplate add-ons like “KUI Nameplates”, “Tidyplates” etc. But Plater provides way more customizations than any other nameplate add-on I’ve used.
With Bartender, you can fully customize your action bars, bags bars, xp/rep bar etc in any way you want. You can even change hotkeys on the fly. It’s simple and easy to use.
Raid frame add-ons like Grid/Vuhdoo help in keeping track of your teammates health, buffs, debuffs, positioning etc. Vuhdoo makes healing so much easier, I would urge all healers especially to get this add-on. There is so much customization and automation in this add-on, you could heal with just your mouse and barely use your keyboard and still top the charts. I would urge non healer classes as well to get some sort of Raid frame add-on, it helps you keep track of your team’s progression in the encounter.
My Grid positioning for non-healing classes:
My Vuhdoo Positioning for healing class:
(My Vuhdoo Raid frames are in the middle as ally health is the most important thing for healers to watch out for. Notice how every panel except mine is greyed out in the above image. It’s because they’re out of my healing range. That’s just one of the many features Vuhdoo provides)
- LUI v3
Add-ons like LUI v3/ELVUI almost completely overhaul World of Warcraft’s default UI and replaces it with their own. With LUI, I integrated most of my important add-ons into the interface, so that aesthetically, it all matches up and nothing looks out of place. Along with being able to customize the default UI , you can customize the positions/size/visibility of all the mentioned add-ons with just this one add-on.
That’s all the major add-ons I believe are needed for an effective PVE content experience. It may look overwhelming or intimidating at a glance, but once you get into it, you will find what a world of difference these add-ons make.
Quality of Life Add-ons:
Apart from the above mentioned add-ons, these following add-ons are also pretty important:
- Azeroth Auto Pilot
Most of the time, once you level up a character to max, it may feel like a drag to level up another character. Azeroth Auto Pilot is a power-leveling add-on that speeds up the process by quite a lot, automates many things and guides you to level your character in the best and fastest way. It’s almost like leveling your character on auto-pilot.
- Move Anything
Move anything enables you to completely (and I mean COMPLETELY) customize, move, scale, hide and adjust transparency of just about any screen element in WoW.
- Raider IO
With this add-on installed, you can view the Raider IO scores and Raid Progress of all players in-game. So if you have certain requirements for your Raid or Dungeons, this add-on makes sure those requirements are met.
- Personal Loot Helper
This add-on is really useful for beginners as well as experienced players. Whenever you finish a boss encounter, this add-on will provide you with a list of your teammate’s names and the item drops they got which are useful to you. With one click of a button you can send an automated personal message requesting them to pass the item to you if they don’t need it and similarly you can announce to the raid if you get an item you don’t need and want to pass it to your teammates.
There are so many more add-ons which enhance/simplify the way you play the game. Browse around in the Twitch App and see for yourself which add-on fulfills your requirements.