World of Warcraft addons have come a long way from their humble beginnings back in 2004. Back then, they were mostly minor interface modifications — a simple extra panel here or a minor display there. These days, the best addons for WoW Shadowlands can completely transform how players interact with the game.
Want to redesign the UI entirely? Display all hidden information and analyze every minute detail? Alert you to the presence of that one troglodyte who camped you five months ago so that you can rend their limbs from their body? Well, addons can do all of that and more.
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With that in mind, we’ll be going over our list of the best addons for WoW Shadowlands, breaking them down into various categories to fit what you’re looking for.
Let’s get started!
Installing and Managing the Best Addons for WoW Shadowlands
Before you can start picking and choosing your favorite addons, you’ll need to know how to install them. The simplest and sponsored (by Blizzard) way to download addons is via the new Overwolf client and CurseForge app.
You’ll need to download both for this to work, but the programs are simple to obtain and non-intrusive. Most importantly, anything you get via CurseForge is vetted and guaranteed to be safe for download — any other sources carry the risk of malware.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to downloading WoW addons:
- Click on the “Download Overwolf” button at the top right and run the program to install the client. Once it’s complete, it’ll open up Overwolf.
- From the Overwolf client, download the CurseForge app to manage your WoW addons. Click on the search magnifying glass at the top right, and type in “wow” to get it to appear.
- Install the app and launch it to reach the CurseForge manager.
- Click on “Get More Addons” at the top, and you’ll be able to search for and install any addon you want.
You’ll have to periodically update your addons whenever their creator patches them, which you can do from the “My Addons” tab at the top. Be sure to check back frequently to keep them updated! You can also delete any addons that you no longer need from this tab.
Occasionally, an addon will be abandoned by its creator and will not be updated for future WoW patches. You can continue using out-of-date addons by clicking on the “AddOns” button in the bottom-left corner of your character selection screen and clicking “Load out of date Addons” in the top-right of the pop-up menu.
You can also manage which addons you want to load for your characters through this menu. If you want to disable an addon temporarily, simply uncheck it. You can also click on the drop-down menu at the top-left and selectively choose which addons you want active per character, which is excellent for some class-specific addons.
With that out of the way, let’s get started on our list of the best WoW addons!
Best Addons for UI in WoW Shadowlands
These addons are designed to improve your game’s interface, giving you control over its layout and operation for a more customizable experience.
First on our list of best addons for WoW Shadowlands is the go-to beginning addon for rearranging your UI. It lets you configure up to ten action bars, their placement on the screen, and the layout of the bars themselves. It’s incredibly useful for players who want to have their main buttons centralized and clustered for easy access.
ElvUI is the definitive choice for players looking for complete and absolute control over their UI. You can customize every last feature, making your UI as clean or as detailed as you want.
Be warned that this addon has a lot to go through before your UI is up and running — you might want to watch a tutorial on how to set it up. You should also be prepared to spend hours getting it right, singe it’ll be hard to go back to the default UI once you’ve put your custom one together.
If you’re looking to edit the bulk of your UI but don’t want to drive yourself insane over ElvUI, I recommend Dominos. It lets you move most of your UI around in a much more simple and intuitive manner. It may not be as customizable, but it’ll more than get the job done.
As the name suggests, this addon allows you to move anything on your UI. It’s fairly simple to use and ideal if you like the default UI but want to move a single element, like the mini-map.
Let me be frank — inventory management sucks more than having a black hole spontaneously opening up next to you. The default bag UI is an affront to existence itself. This addon condenses your bag space into a single panel, both for your inventory and bank, and enables Quick Sort on your belongings. You can edit the settings to ignore certain bags and determine how your items are rearranged, so be sure to play around with the settings a bit.
Best Addons for PvE in WoW Shadowlands
Among the best addons for WoW Shadowlands, these are ideal for PvE encounters and ensuring you have the best chances of quickly taking down NPC enemies.
6. Deadly Boss Mods (DBM)
If you do any PvE content, get this addon. If you don’t have it, may every person who groups with you spit in your face. This absolute life-saver of an addon warns you when important boss mechanics occur, provides timers for enemy abilities so you can plan ahead, and marks allies when you need to work in tandem. I cannot stress enough how vital this addon is for being prepared for each enemy mechanic. Proper usage of this addon will prevent you from ever being caught off guard.
You won’t need to do any initial setup, but you’ll probably want to adjust some of the settings. The most common adjustments include moving where the boss timer bars are (namely out of the center of your screen), choosing what sound plays for your warnings, and the size of warnings. It’ll take you about fifteen minutes to have everything set up the way you like. If you absolutely do not want to deal with this, BigWigs is an alternative addon to DBM.
This is the go-to addon for keeping track of your performance metrics during a fight. You’ll have a customizable-sized window pop-up telling you how you and your group are performing based on the selected metric. The main use is keeping track of your DPS or HPS, but you can also use it for other metrics, like seeing how much damage you took by avoidable mechanics.
It’s incredibly simple to use, and you can click on a player’s name in the Details window to get a much more detailed breakdown by ability. You can also use it to compare your performance against other players and to check how you performed on specific fights or overall in general.
Out of all the best addons for WoW Shadowlands, this is quite possibly the single most powerful addon in the game. WeakAuras effectively allows you to set up alerts to any possible combination of conditions you can think of. Want a notification when your 30-second maintenance buff is about to fall off? Automatically mark locations for players to go when specific mechanics happen? This addon can take care of all of that for you.
However, setting up your own custom WeakAuras is difficult. You don’t necessarily have to worry about it — plenty of smart people have already made custom WeakAuras to share. Simply import their auras from a guide online or click a WeakAura link shared by another player in-game.
If you do plan to create your own custom WeakAura, be prepared to spend a few hours setting it up. We strongly recommend looking up tutorials on YouTube before diving into this, as it is not remotely easy for beginners.
9. Exorsus Raid Tools
This is a handy addon for those who manage (or assist in managing) raid groups. It enables many convenient features, such as checking for all buffs on players to see which ones are missing, maintaining raid attendance, setting up on-demand marking for specific players, etc. As you can see in the image below, there are many different settings you can play around with to make your raid management easier.
This addon is for classes with abilities that cleanse ailments. It displays a small, simple side panel that lets you quickly cleanse a group member. You’ll see a panel of small squares neatly arranged together — healthy members’ squares are green, while afflicted ones are purple. Simply click on a purple square to cleanse them without having to click off your current target.
You can play around with the settings if you don’t consider certain debuffs worth cleansing and want to ignore them. All in all, it’s a very nice addon to have to help out your healers.
11. Mythic Dungeon Tools
This addon allows you to plan and set up varying routes for your mythic+ key runs. You can create multiple paths depending on the weekly affixes and settings to plan out your pull order, set notes for specific pulls, and keep easy track of your enemy forces depleted bar.
If you don’t feel like setting up one yourself, you can also easily import any routes you find online from the best mythic dungeoneers.
12. Raider.IO Mythic Plus and Raid Progress
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “What’s your IO score,” when queuing for a dungeon. Well, this addon tells you what that score is. As an aggregate of your progression in the latest raid and mythic+ dungeons for the season, Raider IO is a scoring system used to gauge how competent you are without seeing you in action. You can hover over yourself or another player and see how far that player has gotten in the current raid tier, how many mythic+ keys they’ve completed, and what the highest difficulty of a key they’ve timed is.
Blizzard is planning on introducing their own version of Raider.IO in the next big patch, but we still expect it to be different from how the addon scores players, so it may be worth keeping this one around.
13. Maze Helper (Mists of Tirna Scithe)
This is a very niche addon that helps you track and solve the maze section in the Mists of Tirna Scithe dungeon. Simply click the four images that appear in the addon panel, and it’ll tell you which image is the correct one. Useful for when you don’t want to commit memory and time to solving it.
As a bonus, it also identifies which mob is a boggart in one of the Ardenweald world quests and skips the dialogue to save the Night Fae in the rampant spriggan world quest.
14. Astral Keys
A nice little addon to immediately check what mythic+ keys you, your friends, and guild members can access. Save the time and hassle of asking everyone you know what their mythic+ key is for the week.
This addon is a bit more involved and requires you to use a website called Raidbots. With this addon, you can type in the command /simc at any point to generate a string of text that reflects what your character is currently wearing and has access to in their inventory. Copy and paste this text into the raidbots website, where you can simulate the best possible gear combination for your toon (at least for DPS).
When people say to sim your best gear, they’re usually referring to this. You may find the website a bit confusing at first, so we recommend learning to use the “Top Gear” tab first. Simply paste in the simc string, choose which pieces of gear you want to compare, and run the simulation. As a heads up, you can only simulate so many pieces of gear at once unless you buy a membership to the website for premium access (which is unnecessary unless you’re one of those people running hundreds of sims a day).
16. Threat Plates
Clean up enemy and friendly nameplates alike with this addon. Besides color-coordinating nameplates based on the class they’re playing, ThreatPlates colors enemy NPC nameplates depending on the amount of threat you’re generating.
If you’re playing DPS/healer, enemy nameplates will vary from green to red depending on your threat level. Tanks will see loose mobs as red nameplates. You have access to all the standard visibility options, such as opacity, to play around with.
17. What’s Your Covenant
This small addon lets you see what covenant a player has when you hover over them. Albeit fairly simple, it’s still one of the best addons for WoW Shadowlands and comes in extremely handy when scrutinizing players.
18. Healbot Continued/VuhDo/Healium
For healers, choose from any of the above three addons to help you heal. The default UI is rather… impractical for selecting a heal target. These addons keep your group’s health panels in a nicely compact manner and enable you to set up macros for easy, one-click healing on your target.
You will most likely have to look up a tutorial on YouTube to get the full mileage out of any of these addons, but it will make your healing exponentially easier.
Best Addons for PvP in WoW Shadowlands
These best addons for WoW Shadowlands are good for optimizing your encounters with other players.
This incredibly useful addon ensures you never lose track of your priority kill target. If you have enemy nameplates on and click on a target, it will put a crosshair marker around your target. This is great for when you’re in a large brawl or your target tries to use the environment to hide from your view. It also displays nearby PvP enemies and can alert you with a custom sound byte when a new target gets within range (you’ll probably end up turning that off under settings except for kill-on-sight players).
Unlike weizPvP, Spy does not offer the luxury of a crosshair. However, it does have a much better Kill-On-Sight list. Similar to weiz, you can add players to the list, but you can also set the reason for why they’re on your list and view it at any time. I recommend this solely because I’m an incredibly petty player and my kill-on-sight list is probably near the thousand mark.
Healers have to die. This is the law of PvP, and this addon will uphold that law. Enemy healers will have a large, prominent red cross symbol above their heads, and you can let your allies know to target them. This is critical in most PvP situations. I suggest going into the settings and making sure that you exclude self-healing classes like Death Knights from being pinged as healers.
22. Gladius – Shadowlands
This addon lets you keep track of your enemies’ big cooldowns, know who they’re targeting, and time when to hit them with another CC to avoid diminishing returns. Gladius is the premier addon to have if you’re doing any form of hardcore PvP, such as arenas. Customize what relevant information you want and cut down your enemy before they can react.
23. Capping Battleground Timers
Use this addon to know exactly how long until you cap a base/point in battlegrounds, when vehicles/flags respawn, and how long until victory is achieved based on current held objectives.
24. BG Defender
This is a simple addon to quickly and instantly call out how many incoming enemies are attacking your point and whether or not the situation has been handled. No one has time to type for help, so this is huge in maintaining information in a random battleground.
Best Addons for Quality of Life in WoW Shadowlands
These next best addons for WoW Shadowlands are crucial for improving your overall gameplay. If nothing else, choose these addons to make the day-to-day experience of WoW just a little easier.
Out of all the best addons for WoW Shadowlands, this is the go-to option for enabling coordinates. We know that Blizzard has implemented an in-game pinning system, but it’s still somewhat obtuse. This addon allows for precision coordinates and sets up a Crazy Taxi-esque arrow system guiding you to the waypoint. The only downside is if you have a list of coordinates, you would have to input them one by one, which brings us to our next addon.
This addon simply allows you to enter multiple console commands at once. It’s usually used in tandem with TomTom to enter in multiple coordinate waypoints at once, such as when you copy and paste a list of coordinates from WoWHead.
If you want your covenant mission table to succeed a majority of the time with minimal thought and damage done to your units, you’ll want this addon. It allows you to optimize the placement of your units and calculate your odds of success.
This is our recommended go-to rare tracker addon. It keeps track of which rares you can still loot, what unique drops come off each rare, where you can find them, and notifies you when one is within scanning distance.
This addon keeps track of how many attempts you’ve made at obtaining a mount, pet, or toy drop off a mob. It also helps you identify which mobs can drop the item you’re after if you hover over them.
This is a small addon that helps you keep track of the time that’s passed since a world boss died in old expansions like Mists of Pandaria, since they’re all on a 15-minute spawn timer.
This is a godsend of an addon that redesigns the entire battle pet UI. Besides giving you more information on your pets, it lets you set up and save teams for any battle pet fight that you plan on doing more than once in your life.
32. Battle Pet BreedID
This addon automatically identifies what stat line a pet has without the need for annoying math or checking. It’s incredibly useful if you’re looking for a specific stat line for a pet.
This is a simple and beginner-friendly addon for tracking some statistics of auction house items. Its main use is getting an eyeball estimate of how much an item is going for on the market, though it can be used for more advanced features if you choose to put in the time.
This is the addon you want and need to learn if you plan on playing the auction house. From providing graphs and analysis of market trends to setting up automated sell prices based on expectations, this addon can do it all. You’ll have to go through multiple tutorials to get the full usage out of this addon, but it is by far the most useful auction house addon.
35. TomCat’s Tours
More so a master hub addon, this one requires you to also download specific addon modules for the task you’re interested in. Examples include farming routes for holiday events, locations of hidden away achievement crystals, farming routes for reputation-specific items, etc.
Become a High Grounder
And that’s it for our list of the best addons for WoW Shadowlands! If there’s an addon out there that you think we should mention in the future, be sure to leave it in the comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more content like this!