Skip to main content

Instructions for Downloading "World of Warcraft"

Jessica started playing World of Warcraft in Burning Crusade and owns the expansions up to Legion. She loved collecting pets and mounts!

What is World of Warcraft?

World of Warcraft is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (abbreviated as “MMORPG”) where players take on the roles of fantasy characters in a virtual world made up of magic, adventure, and warcraft. World of Warcraft can accommodate thousands of players at one time on many game servers. World of Warcraft players can explore Azeroth alone, with friends, or other players. With quest lines, dungeons, and raids, it is easy to enjoy all aspects of the game. Are you hooked yet?

World of Warcraft features two character alliances to choose from. The Alliance includes the human, dwarf, gnome, night elf, draenei, and worgen races. The Horde consists of the orc, troll, tauren, forsaken, blood elf, and goblin races. The Pandaren race introduced in Mists of Pandaria can choose to be either Alliance or Horde. Characters have several classes available for play, such as the warrior, priest, shaman, or mage. Choosing a class determines a player’s role in gameplay and future abilities.

There are already seven established expansions for World of Warcraft outside of the original game, with Shadowlands being the eighth and newest.

The current login screen for the Battle of Azeroth expansion.

The current login screen for the Battle of Azeroth expansion.

What is is a free Blizzard account that connects all Blizzard games under one account. With, your personal information, game accounts, transaction history, and security settings are in one place. has many social features to offer for players of World of Warcraft. The Real ID and BattleTag features make it easy to stay in touch with friends across Blizzard games.

How to Download World of Warcraft

To download World of Warcraft, you will need to create a account (if you don’t already have one). Making an account is free, simple, and necessary for all Blizzard games to date. To sign up for

  1. Navigate your browser to
  2. Click “Create a free Blizzard Account”
  3. Select your country and enter your birthday
  4. Click “Continue”
  5. Fill out your name, email, and other information as requested

When Blizzard asks for your country of residence, birth date, and full name, they are asking for the truth. Blizzard requires your personal information to ensure you are a real person and to authenticate your payment methods. Blizzard respects your privacy and will not abuse your personal information. You can view their privacy policy on their website here.

Features and Settings

Once you’ve created your account, you’ll have access to many settings and features. You can buy games through the digital store, change your game subscription, and add security measures to your account. On your account, you are able to:

  • Change your email, password, and account preferences
  • Change your address and payment options
  • Add a game key or buy digital games
  • Download game clients and redeem codes
  • View your transaction history and account balance
  • Add an authenticator to secure your account

When you make your account, use a password that is long and has letters, numerals, and symbols. Hacking can be a problem in World of Warcraft if your password is too weak. To better protect your account, try installing an authenticator! You can get the authenticator by downloading it for free on your smartphone device. The Blizzard Authenticator exists in both the Google Play and Apple App stores.

The authenticator sends login requests to the app every time you log into World of Warcraft. If the code in the app matches the code presented on your computer, tap “Approve”. The authenticator can also generate a random numeric code instead. If you prefer this option, click “Use Authenticator Security Code” on your computer, and then “Enter code manually” on your smartphone. Once the code is generated, type it into your computer. Each code is unique and only works once!

Before Downloading World of Warcraft . . .

Before downloading World of Warcraft, you should check that you meet the minimum requirements to play the game. Some low-end or outdated computers may have difficulty running the game. These are the current minimum requirements to play World of Warcraft on a Windows or Mac PC:

Minimum RequirementsWindows PCMac

Operating System

Windows 7 64-bit

macOS® 10.12


Intel® Core™ i5-760 or AMD FX™-8100

Intel® Core™ i5-760


NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 560 2GB or AMD™ Radeon™ HD 7850 2GB or Intel® HD Graphics 530

NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 750M or AMD Radeon™ R9 M290 or Intel® HD 530 2 GB VRAM, Metal capable GPU





70GB available space (7200 RPM HDD)

70GB available space (7200 RPM HDD)


Broadband internet connection

Broadband internet connection


Keyboard and mouse required

Keyboard and mouse required


1024 x 768 minimum

1024 x 768 minimum

Get the Battle for Azeroth Expansion!

Once you’ve determined that your computer can run World of Warcraft, you’ll need to download the game. Players need to add new Blizzard games to their account before they can download the game. If you have a physical copy of World of Warcraft, you'll need to add the game key to your account. If so, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your account page
  2. Enter the 16-digit game code in “Redeem a Code”
  3. Click “Redeem Code” to add the game to your account
Entering your 16-digit game key into code redemption will add it to your account.

Entering your 16-digit game key into code redemption will add it to your account.

Redeeming your key code will attach World of Warcraft to your account. Be aware that game keys are unique; once a key is redeemed, it cannot be used again for any other account. If you don’t own a physical copy of the game, you can also buy a digital copy through the store. This allows immediate download of the game and is popular for new expansion releases. To get a digital copy of World of Warcraft:

  1. Go to the shop:
  2. Click on “Games” in the top menu bar
  3. Select a game option of your choice

There are four World of Warcraft options for purchase: Shadowlands, Battle for Azeroth, Complete Collection, and Classic. The Complete Collection is perfect for new players who don’t own the original game or any expansions. Battle for Azeroth was the last expansion before Shadowlands was released in October 2020. And Classic is a recreation of the original World of Warcraft, before the time of expansions!

All "World of Warcraft" game packages are for sale in the online shop!

All "World of Warcraft" game packages are for sale in the online shop!

Purchasing Blizzard games is possible via credit card, PayPal, or a balance. Only one game license can be purchased per account. You cannot buy another copy of World of Warcraft for a friend or family member with your own account. Purchasing a digital copy of the game will add it to your account and make it available for download.

Once you own World of Warcraft, you can download it via the game client! (If you have a physical copy of the game, all you need to do is install World of Warcraft onto your computer.) To download and install your digital game copy:

  1. Open the game client
  2. Click “World of Warcraft” in the side menu
  3. Select your account in the drop menu
  4. Click “Install”
The launcher makes it easy to install and update World of Warcraft.

The launcher makes it easy to install and update World of Warcraft.

Keep in mind that playing World of Warcraft requires a game subscription. Players have three recurring subscription options: 1 month for $14.99/month, 3 months for $13.99/month, or 6 months for $12.99/month. Subscriptions are available for sale in the online shop. But if you’d like to try out World of Warcraft before purchasing the game and a subscription, now you can!

How to Download World of Warcraft: Starter Edition

There is a version of World of Warcraft for unsubscribed players called Starter Edition. This edition allows you to play the game for free until level 20 without a time restriction. Players are limited to 10 gold—enough to buy a mount! Professions cap at 100 ranks, and players cannot speak in chat beyond the /say, /party, and /whisper commands. Starter Edition players cannot join guilds, trade, invite players into a party, or use Real ID features. These limitations encourage upgrading to the paid version of World of Warcraft.

Players interested in trying World of Warcraft for free need to create a Starter Edition account. This account is separate from any future paid World of Warcraft account. If players decide to upgrade to a World of Warcraft subscription, they can add game time to the Starter Edition account. This takes about 24 hours to complete. To create a Starter Edition account:

  1. Go to your account page:
  2. Click “Games & Subscriptions” in the left sidebar
  3. Scroll down to “Starter Editions & Public Test Regions”
  4. Click “Create Starter Account” on the right
Create a Starter Edition account in to play Starter Edition.

Create a Starter Edition account in to play Starter Edition.

Be Patient!

Remember to be patient! Installing World of Warcraft can take time due to game content and updates. It can take hours before the launcher updates and patches your game files. Do not expect to play World of Warcraft on the same day you download and install the game client. But don’t let this ruin your game experience! Once your game is up and running, you’ll be sure to have fun exploring the various regions.

Questions & Answers

Question: I previously had a different account that me and my brother shared, and I tried to install my disks, and it didn’t work. I’m trying the free trial to download it now. I was wondering that once the free trial is done can I go into payment methods and pay it off with a new email address or do I have to re-purchase the games for it to work?

Answer: So, as of July this year, Blizzard has included all of the previous expansions into the subscription fee (excluding the new Battle for Azeroth). So, theoretically, all you would need to do is set up payment for a subscription to get access to all of the content up through Legion. To go beyond that content, you would have to purchase the Battle for Azeroth expansion.

© 2013 Jessica Peri


Jessica Peri (author) from United States on July 23, 2013:

You're right, I should add that in! My computer isn't as awesome, so I avoid playing until everything is completely updated. Thanks for the correction!

kislany from Cyprus on July 23, 2013:

I can play the game almost from the beginning as it's downloading in the background as I play. Something to keep in mind that it's possible as long as soon as you see the big Play button enabled.

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on May 04, 2013:

Thanks! is new to older players and can be confusing, so I figured instructions couldn't hurt.

Kawika Chann from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place on May 04, 2013:

Very informative with easy to follow instructs. Well done. Peace. Kawi.

Jessica Peri (author) from United States on April 21, 2013:

Thanks for reading, and I'm happy you enjoyed it!

Susan from India on April 21, 2013:

Interesting hub and very well written. I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing.