Wow races shadowlands

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How to unlock Allied Races so you can enjoy all of their new customizations in patch 9.1.5

Unlocking Allied Races can be a lot of effort — particularly if you didn’t actively play during the expansion in which they were released. But maybe you really want to be a much taller Troll or an even shinier Draenei or So, or a Kul Tiran because frankly you dig the aesthetic of a chonky Human. We’ve all been there and I can’t blame you, because they’re awesome. And some Allied Races have gotten even more appealing because they’re getting new cosmetic options in patch 9.1.5.

Though unlocking these Allied Races still takes some work, it isn’t as hard as it used to be — and it’s getting even easier in patch 9.1.5.

So if you want to know how much effort you need to put in to play a Gnome with metal replacement limbs and a never say die attitude, we’re here to help. Here’s what you need to know about unlocking Allied Races in Shadowlands.

How to unlock Allied Races

Unlocking an Allied Race tends to follow the same format. Three current Allied Races — the Kul Tirans, Mechagnomes, and Dark Iron Dwarves — will be easier to unlock in patch 9.1.5 as you won’t need to run the dungeons that are currently part of the process of unlocking them. But in every case, you will need to complete an lengthy meta-achievement to unlock each specific Allied Race, which we’ll cover below. You’ll also need to meet the level requirement — level 45 for the four Legion Allied Races, and level 50 for the six Battle for Azeroth races.

Some of these achievements are faction neutral, but you still need to have a character of the appropriate level and the appropriate faction to fully unlock them. For example, you can unlock Mechagnomes if you’ve completed The Mechagonian threat on a Horde character, but you still need a level 50+ Alliance character to complete the final unlock quest. Faction neutral unlocks include:

  • Void Elves
  • Lightforged Draenei
  • Mechagnomes
  • Nightborne
  • Highmountain Tauren
  • Vulpera

But some achievements are faction specific, requiring you to do quests and achievements specific to your faction. These unlocks include:

  • Dark Iron Dwarves (Alliance)
  • Kul Tirans (Alliance)
  • Zandalari Trolls (Horde)
  • Mag’har Orcs (Horde)

Alliance Allied Races

Both the Horde and the Alliance have five Allied Races for a total of ten. Four of these Allied Races were introduced at the end of Legion, while the remaining six came with Battle for Azeroth. Let’s start by running down the Alliance races:

  • Void Elves are the survivors of an accident that changed them from Blood Elves to a new kind of Elf that can tap into the mysterious powers of the Void. Rejected by the Sin’Dorei, they have accepted the offer of Alleria Windrunner and joined the Alliance. You will need to complete the Argus campaign achievement You Are Now Prepared to unlock them.
  • Lightforged Draenei are the cousins of the Draenei. They traveled aboard the Genedar with Xe’ra, fighting the Burning Legion. Changed by the Light, they now serve the Alliance as strangers on the strange world of Azeroth. You will need to complete the Argus campaign achievement You Are Now Prepared to unlock them. Like the Void Elves, you must be level 45.
  • Dark Iron Dwarves are the clan that tried once to take over Ironforge and lost, fleeing to what is now Blackrock Depths after they were enslaved by Ragnaros. Free from the Firelord’s grip and ruled by Moira Thaurissan, widow of Emperor Dagran I and mother of his son and successor, they became part of the Alliance when Moria joined the Council of Three Hammers. You will need to complete the BFA Alliance War Campaign achievement Ready For War to unlock them.
  • Kul Tirans are the people of the island kingdom of Kul Tiras, who have come to rejoin the Alliance with the reign of Lord Admiral Jaina Proudmore. You will need to complete the BFApatch 8.1 War Campaign and earn the achievement A Nation United to gain their favor. If you don’t already have it, you’ll have to earn Ready for War achievement just to start working on unlocking Kul Tirans, so you’ll unlock Dark Iron Dwarves as you progress.
  • Mechagnomes are, well, pretty much what the name implies: a splinter group of Gnomes who, under the mad King Mechagon, replaced much of their bodies with metal parts. Now that Mechagon has been defeated, Gelbin Mekkatorque has become the king of a united Gnomish people, something that hasn’t been the case for over 400 years. You will need to complete the expansive The Mechagonian Threat achievement to unlock them, which means basically spending time doing their storyline.

Horde Allied Races

Now let’s look at the Horde Allied Race options:

  • Nightborne are the inhabitants of Suramar, a city sealed off for ten thousand years since the original invasion of the Burning Legion and the Sundering of the Well of Eternity. Due to the hostility shown them by the Night Elves, their former people, and the acceptance of the Blood Elves who descended from the Highborne as well, they have joined the Horde. You must complete the Insurrection achievement by completing the Suramar storyline to gain their aid.
  • The Highmountain Tauren are an offshoot of the Shu’halo who bear the Antlers of Eche’ro, a blessing granted them by the Demigod Cenarius during the War of the Ancients. They joined the Horde due to their relationship with their Tauren relatives. You will need to do the entire Highmountain storyline if you want them to join you, completing Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.
  • Once, the Zandalari Trolls ruled an empire that spanned much of Azeroth. Today, they still hold one of Azeroth’s most powerful navies, and have made common cause with the Horde in no small part due to Horde agents freeing the current monarch from an Alliance prison. Like the Kul Tirans, you’ll need the patch BFA patch 8.1 Horde War Campaign to unlock them, as well as the Zandalar Forever achievement.
  • The Mag’har Orcs are refugees from the destroyed Draenor we visited during Warlords of Draenor, who escaped from that alternate world just before it ended. Now, they serve the Horde that rescued them. You’ll need to get Ready for War to unlock them.
  • Vulpera are ridiculously cute fox people who joined the Horde because the Alliance are freaking idiots sometimes. You’ll need a level 50 Horde character and the achievement Secrets in the Sands to get the Vulpera to join you.

And that’s all you need to know. There’s no real way to shortcut these unlocks, you just have to do them — but all of the achievements will go more quickly at level 60. And if you wait for patch 9.1.5 to wrap up your Allied Race collection, the three Alliance Allied Races from Battle for Azeroth won’t require a dungeon run to complete their achievements, making them easier to get.

So if you’re on a Shadowlands max level (level 60) character, all you need to do is go back to Legion or Battle for Azeroth and do some achievements to unlock the Allied Race you haven’t gotten around to yet, just in time to enjoy the new cosmetic options available to these Allied Races.

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Filed Under: Allied Race, Allied Races, Dark Iron Dwarves, Highmountain Tauren, Kul Tiran Human, Lightforged Draenei, Maghar Orc, Mechagnomes, Nightborne, Void Elves, Vulpera, Zandalar Troll


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

The race you choose for your character determines their looks, voice, starting location, classes available, some racial traits, and the faction he or she will belong to. All these subjects are covered in more detail in this article.

One thing you should know before starting this process is that, unlike a class, your race and faction are not set in stone. For a reasonable fee, players can change the race of a character, using the Race Change service if the new race is of the same faction, or the Faction Change service if it is not. Although players are free to make use of this service repeatedly, the operation may take a while to complete, and the price alone should deter most players from choosing their character's race too lightly. See the Faction Change and the Race Change pages for more in-depth information on the two services.

What playable races are there?

In World of Warcraft, there are two factions: the Alliance and the Horde. Each faction currently has 11 race options to them.

The races for the Alliance are the dwarves, gnomes, humans, night elves, draenei, worgen, lightforged draenei, void elf, Dark Iron Dwarf, Kul Tiran and pandaren.

The other races for the Horde are the orcs, tauren, trolls, undead, blood elves, goblins, Highmountain tauren, nightborne, Mag'har Orc, Zandalari Troll and pandaren.

The pandaren are currently the only neutral race in the game, playable by both factions. Pandaren characters start the game without faction, and must choose between the Horde and the Alliance when they complete their starting storyline on the Wandering Isle (around level 10-12). Once made, this choice cannot be changed (except through the paid Faction Change service). All other races are tied to their respective factions from the time of creation.

Click on an individual link for in-depth information on each specific race.

Choosing a race

There are many reasons to choose one race over another. While some dedicated players may select their race purely in order to gain a slight advantage in high-end play, others may choose their race based on looks, lore or personality.

From tiny gnomes to towering tauren, each race looks and feels very different. Each race and gender has its own model, with a range of styling options; its own animations and movements; and its own emotes (such as the silly slash commands). Each race (and gender) also has its own voice, which the player will generally hear quite frequently in error message, emotes and other noises (such as when taking damage, or wielding a weapon). The way each race looks, feels, moves and sounds is quite unique, and it's worth taking the time to find one you really enjoy.

Lore and background can also be a substantial factor in race selection. From the shadowy undead to the Light-worshipping draenei, the racial background of each race is quite distinct, many including a several thousand year-old backstory involving ancient civilizations, wars and distant realms. There is however a great amount of room for players to decide for themselves their character's place among their kind, and a range of possible interpretations of such lore.

One of the most critical factors in race selection is the range of classes available to each race. While most races can play as most classes, there are numerous combinations that are not available in-game. Some classes are available to all races, while others may be restricted only to a few. Choosing a class is a very big decision which cannot be changed later - see choosing a class for details.

Another important feature of race selection is each race's faction. Only the pandaren are able to choose their faction after creation; all other races are specifically aligned with one faction or the other, and this cannot be changed. 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. The majority of the levelling experience will be determined by the character's faction, with different quests, NPCs and areas for each faction. Faction also determines a substantial amount of play: characters will fight the opposite faction in battlegrounds and world PvP; work to raise their reputation and earn the praise of the heroes of their faction; complete quests to aid their faction's efforts, and frequently fight against the other faction's NPCs; and generally spend the majority of their time in their faction's cities and surrounded by other members of their faction. Although many choose to play characters of each faction, some players develop a strong sense of faction pride, often leading to varying degrees of sparring and rivalry between players who identify with each faction.

Each race also has a selection of unique racial traits or 'racials'. These may be active or passive, and may grant small bonuses or powerful new abilities. While usually not game-changing in their importance, these can at times be fun, helpful or even life-saving. Power-players will want to choose the optimum race for their chosen class in order to gain every possible advantage. Additionally, each race starts with slightly varying stats, but these are generally considered to be unimportant beyond the early levels.

There are some other minor consequences of choosing your race: each race has its own starting area, which will determine your playing experience for the first few levels; some races have their own languages which only they are capable of comprehending (such as gutterspeak or draenei (although this is usually limited to occasional NPCs); and each race has its own racial mount. Racial mounts are ultimately available to all members of that faction, but only after a lengthy reputation grind.

In general, it is usually most important to find a race that you enjoy playing. Whether for its looks, voice or personality, creating a character that you like makes a huge difference to the fun of playing. If you're really stuck trying to decide, simply starting a character and playing it for a few levels is a great way to get a feel for that race, and whether you'll want to play that race all the way to the end-game. You can always delete the character afterwards, and make it again with a different race.

Class and race

Choice of class is limited by race. The table below indicates which classes are available to play for each race, as well as displaying the base starting stats for each race. Icons indicate the expansion in which that race/class combo was introduced.

For further details on how different races influence different classes, see the article of each race or class.

  • X : This class was available for this race since its introduction.
  • X with a color : The class was added to the race in a later expansion.

As of patch 7.3.5, new allied races have been added to each faction, adding new race options to several classes. More allied races have been confirmed to be added during Battle for Azeroth.

Starting areas

Main article: Starting area

The zone you begin in depends on your race (unless you are a death knight or a demon hunter). Except for worgen, goblins and pandaren, 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.

Allied races don't have their own starting zone, but start at level 20, which means they don't need to level through a particular starting zone, and are free to choose between a variety of zones and dungeons appropriate for their level.

Racial traits

Main article: Racial traits

As mentioned above, different races have different racials. These include passive bonuses and powerful abilities. While racial bonuses should not be game-changing, they can at times prove invaluable, and many dedicated players will choose their character's race solely for the purpose of finding the optimum build for high-end play. For most players, the enjoyment of a character is far more important than their racials, but they can still be useful and fun. For a full list, see Racial traits.

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Allied races are a type of playable race introduced with Battle for Azeroth that can only be unlocked and used after fulfilling certain in-game requirements.


Allied races are, from a design point of view, alternate versions of the main races. They mostly use the skeleton of an existing race but altered and with a different model. They also have their own racial abilities. Allied races get a full character kit including their own emotes, flirts, funnies, exertions, and so on.[1] All current allied races are variants of a previously playable race, with the exception of vulpera, which are only goblins in build.


For recruitment questlines, see Allied race recruitment quests.

Each race is associated with an achievement in order to unlock. These requirements are account-wide, not character-bound, so players can earn each requirement on different characters on different realms and still unlock the allied race. After a player meets the requirements for a given race, they must head to their faction's embassy - Alliance players can recruit them from the Stormwind Embassy, and Horde players from the Orgrimmar Embassy. They will be given a quest chain that, upon completion, will grant them the ability to create a new character for that allied race, which will start at level 10. Upon reaching level 50 without using a level boost or Recruit-A-Friend boost, they are rewarded with a heritage armor set.

Allied race recruitment quests can't currently be repeated, but there could be an option to repeat them in the future.[2]


The first four allied races were recruited as a direct result of the events of Legion, originating from the Broken Isles and Argus. Another four are part of the story in Battle for Azeroth. Allied races are not a Battle for Azeroth-exclusive feature, however.[3]

Draenor orcs were first announced by Ion Hazzikostas on January 30, 2018.[4] On March 15, they were confirmed to be named "Mag'har orcs".

The Kul Tiran humans were first announced by Ion Hazzikostas on March 15, 2018.[5]

Mag'har orcs and Dark Iron dwarves are available after completing the Battle for AzerothWar Campaign. The Kul Tiran humans and Zandalari trolls were recruited later in the expansion after they respectively join the Alliance and the Horde.[6]

Vulpera and Mechagnomes were announced as new Horde and Alliance allied races respectively in patch 8.3.[7]

List of allied races

Alliance Alliance
Horde Horde


Class balance on factions is more linked to lore than equality.[8] It was also stated that there are no plans to give hero classes to allied races in Battle for Azeroth, but in the future the door is open to it.[9] All the allied races will receive access to death knights starting in Shadowlands, with those who pre-purchased the expansion able to create them in patch 8.3.0.


World of Warcraft features 10 Allied Races with Void Elf, Lightforged Draenei, Dark Iron Dwarf, Kul Tiran Human, and Mechangnome for the Alliance and Nightborne, Highmountain Tauren, Zandalari Troll, Mag’har Orc, and Vulpera for the Horde. 

Each Allied Race has its own emote, mount, heritage armor set, and racial ability, along with a unique look.

But unlike the other 14 playable races in the game, unlocking Allied Races requires completing a questline and obtaining various achievements.

The achievements involve traveling back to the Battle for Azeroth expansion for the Mag’Har Orc, Kul Tiran Human, Zandalari Troll, Mechagnome, and Vulpera, and the Legion expansion for the Nightborne, Void Elf, Lightforged Draenei, Highmountain Tauren, and Dark Iron Dwarf.

The questlines are tailored specifically to each race and follow the journey of how they came to join the Alliance or Horde.

Allied Race requirements

More races are expected to be joining the Shadowlands expansion in the near future.


Shadowlands wow races

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World of WarCraft: Shadowlands Full Character Creation (All Races \u0026 Customization Options!)

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