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How to play World of Warcraft for free

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Get the most out of WOW

This is a quick guide on how to play World of Warcraft (WoW) for free. For those of you who are unfamiliar with WoW, it is a popular massive multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) It offers an easy to use gaming interface, friendly community, as well as fun and rewarding content. For those of you who are already familiar with WoW, you probably already know that along with the initial game price, there is a $13 monthly fee to play.

One of the problems players have with the regular World of Warcraft is the monthly fee. Another problem is the amount of time it takes to reach the maximum level as well as reach high-end game content. It often takes players weeks, even months to max out there character and only a few can even dream of being the best.

In this guide I will not only show you how to play World of Warcraft for free, but also how to have any level 70 class with epic gear, and get to experience end game content.

Level 70 Rogue, full t6/Sunwell

Level 70 Rogue, full t6/Sunwell

Private servers

The way this works is through private servers. A private server is a server separate from Blizzard and is hosted by another indivudal . Private servers require have no sign up fee, mothly payment, or requirements. It's free to join and play.

There are several kinds of private servers.

  • Blizzlike: This type of private server offers experience and item drop rates similar to Blizzard servers. Blizzlike servers include working instances, raids, pvp, quests, tradeskills, and often battlegrounds. They also have up to date content or are only a patch behind Blizzard servers. If you enjoy Blizzard Servers, but want to play for free, this may be the server for you.
  • High-Rate: This kind of private server offers increased experience and item drop rates. High-rates also include working instance, raids, pvp, quests, tradeskills, and often battlegrounds. Some High-rates also offer PvP everywhere and teleporter NPCs. If you enjoy Blizzard servers but would like to level faster and get more drops, this may be the server for you.
  • Fun: Fun servers offer the most freedom to players, leveling to 70 is instant and Teleporter NPCs making traveling easy. They often contain custom content, such as items, quests, zones, and instances as well as events hosted by GMs. In addition they often have item malls with a wide variety of weapons, armor, mounts, and tradeskills items. If would like to experience everything World of Warcraft has to offer without spending months of time, this may be the server for you.
  • Multiple servers: Some private servers even offer multiple types of servers all under the same provider. These can be the best because you can log onto different types of servers while still using the same user name/password.

Because private servers are hosted separately from Blizzard, you can't get banned on your Blizzard account for anything you do on a private server.

Aside from being free, private servers can offer players experience and knowledge that can be applied in the real game.

  • Private servers can allow players to experiement with gear and talents builds that can be applied on Blizzard Servers.
  • Priavte servers can also be a great experience for early raiders before they get involved in a serious raiding guild on live servers.

Joining a private server is quick and easy. In the next few steps I will show you how to find and join a private server so you can get in on the fun.

Before you get started

Install World of Warcraft and Burning Crusade. If you already have these installed, then you are good to go.If you don't make sure you have both World of Warcraft and the Burning Crusade installed before patching and connecting to a private server.

1st step: Finding a server

To find a server to play on either visit Xtremetop100 or WowStatus. Each of the sites have links to tons of private servers to play on as well as information on each of the private servers, such as site stats, and patch requirements.

Currently number one server on Xtremetop100

Currently number one server on Xtremetop100

2nd step: Patching

Make sure your Word of Warcraft is updated to the supported patch for your desired private server. Some servers are up to date with regular Blizzard servers, however most are not, so it is important to check what patch the server supports before trying to join.

To find out what patch you have, open World of Warcraft and at the login screen look to the bottom left of your screen. It will show what patch you currently have.

Scroll to Continue

3rd step: Connecting

Once you've found a server you like, it's time to connect. Some servers will offer a step by step guide on how to connect on their websites, however some do not, so I will show you what you need to do.

  • Sign up for an account on the private server. Account set-up requires basic information and can be done from the specific private server website. In the links below, you can register for a free account from some of the provide servers I have suggested. Make sure to write down your information so you don't forget!
  • Change your realmlist. This is the only step that requires any work. Each private server has a specific address that works like a url, this is their realmlist address. To play on a specific private server, you need to change your realm list to match theirs. Realmlists are usually found on the homepage of the private server site or in a connection guide. In the links below, I will provide some realm lists for some of the better private servers.
Open up your World of Warcraft folder, locate your realmlist and  Open with notepad

Open up your World of Warcraft folder, locate your realmlist and Open with notepad

This is the original realmlist used to log on to Blizzard servers. Highlight and delete everything in the file. (Don't worry if you ever want to play on Blizzard server's again, just follow the same steps and add the Blizzard realmlist)

This is the original realmlist used to log on to Blizzard servers. Highlight and delete everything in the file. (Don't worry if you ever want to play on Blizzard server's again, just follow the same steps and add the Blizzard realmlist)

Insert your desired realmlist for the Private Server you want to play on.  Don't forget to save the file!

Insert your desired realmlist for the Private Server you want to play on. Don't forget to save the file!

Now that your realmlist is done, open World of Warcraft using the WOW.exe. Also add a shortcut to the WoW.exe to your desktop

Now that your realmlist is done, open World of Warcraft using the WOW.exe. Also add a shortcut to the WoW.exe to your desktop

Here is a quick step-by-step on how to change your realmlist.

Here are a few of the top servers

Click the link to register and use the realmlist for the appropriate server to log in and play.

Wowscape This server offers 5 different realms, Funserver, Blizzlike, Blizz-Highrate, Instant 60, BG-PvP.

Supports 2.4.3

Wowscape's realmlist: set realmlist

Wowfusion This server has a lot of custom content as well as a Blizzlike and High-rate/funserver with item mall.


Wowfusion's realmlist:

ToxicWow Offers high-rate, mid-rate, and low-rate servers along with up to date content


ToxicWow's realmlist: set realmlist

WowBeez Fun server, Instant 70 server, and high-rate server. Also includes item mall, season 4 arena, custom starter gear, and taxi teleporter system.


WowBeez's realmlist: set realmlist

ChaosCrusade The coolest and most unique private servers out there. Chaos Crusade offers two types of servers, a high-rate fun realm with custom content, item mall, and teleporter. The other is an instant 70 Battleground realm, which is unlike any other realm offered. It allows players to engage in huge Alterac Valley battles, earning gold for killing enemies or completing tasks. The gold can then be spent on items in the item mall. The best part is all the items are up to date with Season 4 arena and Sunwell items.

Supports 2.4.3

ChaosCrusade's realmlist: set realmlist


The Most Common reasons for not being able to connect...

  1. The patch you are currently using is outdated or not supported by the servers.
  2. Your "" does not have the correct IP
  3. Can't login after creating account
  4. The server is down.
  5. An error has occurred which corrupted your game files (run the repair.exe found in the Warcraft directory).

To solve these problems...

  1. Make sure your game client has the required patch for the server you want to play on. For example, WowScape -> 2.4.3. (To see your current patch, open WoW and look in the bottom left) If you have patched to far, you will have to downpatch in order to play on some of the private servers.
  2. Double check your realm list and make sure it matches the required text file for the server. Also anytime you update to a new patch or repair, the realm list is reset. It is impoprtant to check after updating a patch. Also make sure to save your realmlist after you edit.
  3. You need to wait for your account to be activated on the server, this can take up to 10 minutes.
  4. If the server is down, there isn't much you can do. However, you can always try another server while it's down.
  5. Using the repair.exe can remedy this, only use this as a last resort

What do you think?

I'd love to hear your thoughts. If you have any questions or would like to voice your opinion, please do. If you enjoyed this hub or found it informative, be sure to give it a thumgs up. Happy Hubbing!


Rs-List on September 14, 2014:

John Smitherzon on September 02, 2014:

Just saw it on here:

Free one month of WoW game time! :)

Nerd on December 18, 2013:

Wowscape's been killed for a long time now.

bez on December 17, 2013:

Ive bought starter box with the two discs and i think starter and wlk and cataclysm maybe and the free thirty day start but what i want to know is how do i access the cataclysm and lich king parts of the game???or do these open up automaticaly when i reach a certain level or sumthing???

dfgd on November 09, 2013:

Help me to get free 1 month World Of Warcraft time cards by visiting this link :)

Jerry glocker on August 02, 2013:

Looking for a new server?

Something interesting that will keep your attention?

Hate cataclysm and MoP ?

Look no further Worldxgaming is here!

-Based 3.3.5a

-Professional staff

-instant 80

-free starter gear

-Cheapest donor gear on any server

-lots of content added from Cata and MoP

Join us today at Worldxgaming(dot)com

Some Random Guy on July 08, 2013:

Yeah... Um... WoWscape got sued for 89 billion... soo... yeah..

iwanttoplaywow on April 08, 2013:

Is this still Working ?? answer asap plss :D :D tnx in advance

shinoAntict on March 08, 2013:

My partner and i employed to get high on lifetime yet these days I've truly accumulated an amount of resistance.

farengayts on October 21, 2012:

Магаз ровный - 100%... Подтверждаю, все пришло как надо! Серега..

join my wow :D on July 12, 2012:

huanitoswd on June 22, 2012:

????? ?? ??????? ???????, ??????? ???? ????????, ?? ? ?????????? ?????? ????? ???????????, ??????? ???????? ?? ??? 100%! ????? ??? ???????? ??????? ? ???????? ??????.

Bruni on May 04, 2012:

Not sure if this still works.

Certainly my account taken at works.

It's a level 82.

bshar on April 06, 2012:

i love a woow

alexern on March 31, 2012:

how to patch.. though?

javad on March 23, 2012:



000 on March 21, 2012:

WoW private servers are illegal I am reporting this site for even talking about it and for you telling people how to play on one and saying that it is ok for them to play on one you are getting reported.

SearedWoW on March 19, 2012:

3.3.5a Private server 15x rates, great GM's, stable server with no crashes. -

set realmlist

bahdon on March 13, 2012:

help me pls how and where can i downnload world of warcraft light king 3.3.5a private server whit eternal-remorse- ptr realm test - redemption-....

David on March 07, 2012:

In private server i can follow the WoW storyline like real?

Emil on March 01, 2012:

So, why does it stuck at autenticating? what is wrong?

Mahiraga from Gradacac on February 27, 2012:

Just AK Can you please tell me where did you get the files for WoW i don't have any lol

Monopol on February 16, 2012:

Dobra igrica

karol on February 16, 2012:


There are several reasons why playing and/or running Private Servers are "illegal" on February 14, 2012:


In order to play on a private server, you must modify a text file. Which will break the EULA, "Additional License Limitations: E. modify or cause to be modified any files that are a part of the Game Client in any way not expressly authorized by Blizzard;"

For those who host or run a private server:

"F. host, provide or develop matchmaking services for the Game or intercept, emulate or redirect the communication protocols used by Blizzard in any way, for any purpose, including without limitation unauthorized play over the internet, network play, or as part of content aggregation networks;"

For those who play on a private server:

"G. facilitate, create or maintain any unauthorized connection to the Game or the Service, including without limitation (a) any connection to any unauthorized server that emulates, or attempts to emulate, the Service; and (b) any connection using programs or tools not expressly approved by Blizzard;"

I'm sure there are more statements but I didn't read the whole thing... but with that being said, you could be banned, and the client does record information such as RAM:


The connection or server location will be stored in the RAM so the client knows where to request a connection.

So yes, you are breaking the rules, Blizzard can terminate your account and the availability of their service to you, or even worse can legally charge you if they wanted.

Why is it illegal? Well it does protect their product, but it also protects the users. You never know what the host(s) intentions are.

Lastly how likely you will be banned or charged? Not likely being a consumer. If you are running a private server and making a profit however, the word will get out. See

Just make sure you do a clean install before contacting Blizzard's Technical Support

nako on February 12, 2012:


WorldxGaming :: Instant Level 80.

:: PvP and Arena Ranks.

:: Vote and be Rewarded.

:: Gold for Free.

:: 3x Honor , 4x reputation , 2x Arena.

:: +71 Talents

:: Scripted Instances

:: Custom armor and unique weapon

:: Active PvP System

:: Random Battleground

:: No Lag , No Disconnect

:: Custom Quests

:: Full Scripted Instances

:: Friendly Gms

indexhub on February 06, 2012:

For those still having problems with the realmlist. Here is a simple and easy way to install the molten wow realmlist. Even includes a download link, if that's not overkill XD

Works for all versions and realms, including the new Greymane and Deepholm Cataclysm servers!

farshad on February 06, 2012:


Roy on January 23, 2012:

I would recommend anyone who is looking to do this still to visit

Usually between 15-20k players at any given day, each realm is generally populated with over 2k players at any time, and they're coming out with the "least bugged" cataclysm in a couple weeks.

kakablack on January 19, 2012:

Is there still wowbeez server ...can play in it .. cant log in

trula on January 10, 2012:

i just begin to play on a private serv is someone played there?

trula on January 10, 2012:

i just begin to play on a private serv is someone played there?

Zeiny on January 02, 2012:

all i want is 2 continue leveling up but starter edition can only level up until level 20 can any one help me

Jules on December 05, 2011:

I bought my game long time ago.... but cant seem to sign in.... can I still download it and use it on private servers or do I need to go back and buy the game and the extensions all over again.

Ginsanity on December 02, 2011:

Hey if I patch world of warcraft all the way to current (cataclysm) can i still play on a 2.4.3 private server or do i need to download only up til 2.4.3???

dj on November 24, 2011:

i try to log in and it says handshaking om wowbeez y is that what do i do to log on

Ethan on November 20, 2011:

Will this work on macs?

mickdano from NC on November 08, 2011:

Just wanted you to know, great hub. Very helpful. I haven't done any of this yet but I'm glad you offered the advice. Best of luck with showing folks how to do it, looks like you'll be busy! I'm upping and interesting it! Thx on October 12, 2011:


mew. on September 24, 2011:

??????????????????????????????? ?????? ??????????????????????????????? ?????? ??????????????????????????????? ????? ??????????????????????????????? ???? ??????????????????????????????? ??? ??????????????????????????????? ?? ??????????????????????????????? ? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????

jimmy on September 06, 2011:

it says i don't have wow.exe is this cuz i only downloaded the trial?

CONFUSED on September 04, 2011:

Do you have to go to and get the client from there? And also if im running this from a mac computer but im using boot camp windows will it work? HELp ^_^

Tiffer on August 20, 2011:

What if your only a trial account? Can i still play on a private server?

Hahaha on August 20, 2011:

you definitely aren't telling anyone how to get wow for free,I agree with lolololollo man.In reality your better off paying the 15 dollars a month.

lolololollo man on August 13, 2011:

listen buddy u didn't tell us how to get it for free? if u did comment me back by putting the how to get free stuff and ill look in a week cya :D


zzz on August 12, 2011:

NO private server offers the same game experience as retail realms. Playing on a private server is like masturbating. Game is cheap enough so anyone can afford to spend 10 bucks on something a lot better than smoking, drugs or alcohol.

Playing on a private World of Warcraft is not actually World of Warcraft. Just a bare copy of one amazing game.

dylragon on August 12, 2011:

I can't find the realmlist in the world of warcraft folder!

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Win a Free WoW Game Card on July 16, 2011:

Private servers do sadly ruin the fun out of the game. You can try your luck at to win a 60 Day WoW Game Card for free.

At least, that's what I have been doing for the past 2 months. Definitely worth it.

Free Warcraft Game Cards on June 03, 2011:

This is also another way you can get chances everyday for a 30 Day Code.

Angel on April 27, 2011:

All of this info is old. Best wow private server now is

RAMADAN on April 24, 2011:


Maxlanger56 on April 14, 2011:

Very informative hubpage, so thanks a ton. For anyone who needs help with leveling up, check out my free zygor leveling guide below:

oliver on February 21, 2011:

can i get free.

my email

tinks on February 08, 2011:

any ideas where to get the games from??

xot on February 05, 2011:

stilling peoples accounts that suks play retail for real cheep azzez

sybren on February 05, 2011:

hi, i have a question for a guy who posted here under teh name of sinktrane. Hi sinktane i typed the site but i found something of or somethiung can u plz send a link in here so i know i have the good site plz? thank you!

oussama on February 03, 2011:

cool for noobs

Nexusx2 on January 27, 2011: play online on real servers. $24.00 60 day game cards free.

chrunkskunk on January 22, 2011:

this is our sever :P feel free to check it out

DemonoidInvites on January 22, 2011:

Thanks Histeria, I got my WoW account there.

I got a lvl 70 warrior.

Anyone wants to trade with something else?

Histerya on January 20, 2011:

I have also got my free account at

But still this guide is great!

Does it still work?

flow on January 08, 2011:


sybren on January 05, 2011:

hi srry im putting ur page full wih questions but here is another one XD. When i try to log into the game byb wowwal im gettig a message thas says:this application has encountered a critical error: There has been tried to put a filepoointer (my pc is dutch so i might translate it very bad) for the file press ok to terminate the application

Rosebud on January 03, 2011:

I got my free WoW account at

Hope it'll work for you too guys!

sybren(again) on January 03, 2011:

Hi again how can i patch down to 3.3.5?

sybren on January 03, 2011:

By the way he also says this when i try to download the wrath of the wich king. And i looked i do have the file but there is nothing in it.

sybren on January 03, 2011:

when i try to download the burning crusade it says it cant read the locale-enUS file what cani do abou that?

Insomnià on January 02, 2011:

This method definitely no longer works, and it's quite hard to find a private server with any people on it now as well.

G62-Hydralisk on December 30, 2010:

Hi, I just finished making an account on the Molten server. I am pretty sure that I downloaded Burning Crusade like the Molten site told me to, but when I click the play button, It shows Cataclysm. Should this still work?

also, the supported patch on Molten is 3.0.1. now that it is done downloading, I have patch 4.0.3 can I downgrade the game?

Raptorbob on December 24, 2010:

On WOW server I connect and it says connected but it takes ages to connect. I left it open for 1 hour and it still doesn't work.

delver heffley on December 22, 2010:

pleaze reply asap, do i have to download both wow and wow-burning crusade can i just download wow free trial then do the steps. thanks.

Asda on December 22, 2010:

Do I need to buy real Wow in real life to play pservers?

helboy on December 21, 2010:

quero entra

ALEX PLEASE HELP!!!! on December 20, 2010:

PLEASE help is this aviable to trial accounts

Sinktrane on December 19, 2010:

This was the old way to play WoW for free.

Now, go to It allows you to legally play the real WoW(no private servers) for free.. all information is on the site. No scams. No Gimmicks.

We're real gamers who are trying to help other gamers save some money through a legal system we designed.

Tip** - This works for all online games, not just World of warcraft.

Check it out!

Switch on December 18, 2010:

Yeah if you want to play on a pitiful non blizzard server... The best way to play wow for free is by checking this youtube video out and following it exactly.

FreeWorldofWarcraft on December 18, 2010:

Nice Post!!Thanks for info.But you need to use another website!

FreeWoW on December 14, 2010:

Thanks for Information.But i Prefere to use Freebie

John on December 14, 2010:

How to Get Free World of Warcraft Time Cards,Cd Keys and another Free Stuff.

Mike on December 13, 2010:

click here to get free codes

Mike on December 13, 2010:

click here to get free codes

Udden on December 05, 2010:

Use this to get free wow codes

carole001 on November 28, 2010:

i have done all this setup and everything is good to go but i still get wow.exe can't be found what is up with this ?

Ahmad on November 23, 2010:

this is great idea and i am who try it i like it but i hate it too y cuz u shuld pay for the privet serves as donate to get great item and be strong if u want to try this just as practice and coose the cloose realmlist to ur state for avoiding lags any way some say that this idea the corp ideas to let out the hackers from its serves that cost a lot of money cuz they make the glop like sq^2 each sq has manny of serves that it changed every 2-3 years to follow the tech .

Wowfan on November 22, 2010:

This is an alternative way to play WOW for free.

Thank you for this information.

awd on November 22, 2010:

yes ofcurse you can play with your friends and other players online

Andy on November 21, 2010:

Hey i have a private servers are there others players around? Like are there other people that join that server that you can interact with. For example if i want me and my friend to play on the P server then can we both be able to interact with each other in it?

leon dunlop on November 16, 2010:

well you need to bye the game who ever needs help because when you get the gsme you need to doanload it OK!

Brian Salvatore on October 29, 2010:

Great Guide. I have found the best private server is ITRWoW. It is Blizzlike with thousands of players and a number of extra features that add a little more fucntionality to your account. Additionally, they have made it a priority to make it VERY EASY TO INSTALL. Just go to and download the torrent. It is a pretty big dowload, but well worth it.

Give it a try. If you put


as your referrer, I will be happy to help you out with some gold and leveling.

hmmm.. on October 18, 2010:

ok do i need to download them like can i download the free trial or do i need to buy the games? im confused will some1 please help?

alx10Pilks on October 17, 2010:

D&G on October 05, 2010:

that's how i play

christy on September 28, 2010:

absolutely awesome! such easy and helpful instructions to follow.

fffffff on September 22, 2010:


Rafael on September 12, 2010:

If you really hate paying for the monthly subscription, it's pretty easy to play freely/legally without cheating, hacking, or using private servers. If you're willing to click a few advertisements, you can have your entire WoW subscription paid for. Check out

Me on September 11, 2010:

Go to

Burning on September 05, 2010:

Try out this new High-rate server! Its on patch 3.3.5.

ICC works.

Also looking for more GM's and Eventmaster.

zxcman on August 12, 2010:

umm so why do i need Burning Crusade anyway ?

Chance on August 12, 2010:

Could i ask if this works for the expansions?

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