One of the oddest things about World of Warcraft is how almost nobody’s game ever looks the same. Blizzard’s genre-defining MMO embraced PC modding culture right from the start, and player’s quickly took it upon themselves to tweak the game’s UI to their liking. But the start (or restart) of WoW Classic means the need to unearth past versions of classic add-ons to bring core functionality back into the game.
WoW Classic is a true hardcore MMO with very little hand-holding. Anything from quest locations to even map coordinates were hidden from the player. We’ve scoured our memory and done a few searches to unearth some of the best and most iconic World of Warcraft Classic add-ons that will help guide you through your adventures around Azeroth regardless of class.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of WoW Classic add-ons, but it should provide a class-agnostic list of add-ons we consider compliment the WoW Classic experience without making things too easy. After all, the point of WoW Classic is to return to the days before over-simplifaction sucked any sense of adventure from the game.
Best WoW Classic add-Ons
Bartender4 was once considered the king of UI customization. It allows you to unlock hotbars and shift vital abilities onto areas of the screen that suits your needs. Have trouble noticing when a powerful skill procs? Make it a massive button right by your character’s butt. Have one of those old MMO gaming mice with a numpad on the side? Mold your bars into a grid shape to match. Bartender4 isn’t exactly “pretty.” It’s pretty simple. But it’s the freedom that counts. If “pretty” is what you want, pair it with SpartanUI Classic.
WeakAuruas 2 specializes in making WoW Classic’s tirade of combat information easier to manage. It converts things like buffs/debuffs, HoT/DoT effects, and consumables into “auras” on the UI. These can then be moved around to create a dynamic UI that helps keep track of these vital pieces of information. In theory, it should offer a reasonable bump to player performance by consolidating the various class effects into an easily readable portion of the screen. Good stuff!
I consider this one a bit too much like cheating, but when your whole raid team swears by it, you’re left with little choice but to conform so as to not be blamed for missing a mechanic. Deadlybossmods is like a mid-battle strategy guide. Rather than research and memorize boss attack patterns, this thing screams at you before they’re about to happen, instructing you and your team to watch for things like incoming fears, big area attacks, or tank busters. It’s more a tool for end-game raiding, but if you don’t want to be squashed by dungeon bosses, it can help there, too.
Retail WoW has had a built-in enemy drop table for a while now, but before that, AtlasLoot was the only thing stopping you from tabbing out to check where a specific piece of loot would drop. Remember; this was long before smartphones were a thing, so just grabbing your phone or tablet for a quick search wasn’t an option. AtlasLoot Classic returns to provides a quick and easy way to see what your current target is able to drop, saving you the pain of reaching for your phone only to end up back on Twitter. No, that isn’t a personal anecdote at all. Stop judging me.
There’s no denying we all used to look up quest objective locations on sites like WoWHead. It’s hard not to look for the fastest leveling routes when you’re repeating the process for the fourth time on a new character. If you’re not looking for the “vanilla” questing experience of wandering around aimlessly 70% of the time, Questie can help you out. It’s a very popular add-on that puts quest objectives on the map and can quickly show your progress. If you value your time, this is the one to get.
How to install add-ons
The process of installing WoW Classic add-ons is just the same now as it’s always been. In fact, it’s usually more difficult to tweak add-ons than install them.
To install WoW Classic add-ons, you first need to ensure you’ve launched the game at least once. This creates the folder we’re about to use. With that done, download your desired add-ons and navigate to the game’s install path.
Click into its folder, then the “_classic_” folder, “interface” and, lastly, “AddOns”. Toss the extracted add-on into there, and that’s it! You should now see any installed add-ons in the AddOns menu found on the character select screen.
Make sure they’re enabled in there. From that point on you’ll need to follow each add-ons instructions to properly set them up. Your add-on list may look daunting after all this, but most add-ons are actually just multiple in one. Just breathe.