Healing in World of Warcraft is a very different animal than dealing damage. Healers spend most of their time watching friendly unit frames, trying to make the health bars go up rather than down. It’s a role that can be prone to tunnel vision, and healers are often the first to be blamed when something goes wrong. Thankfully, WoW players have made tons of addons to help healers with their healing!
Mouseover addons can help you cast your spells more quickly and efficiently, timer addons can help you see when spells come off of cooldown, and healing meters can help you gauge the effectiveness of your spells. I’ll go over each of these healing addon types and some of the best examples that are available. Every addon listed in this guide is available for World of Warcraft: Dragonflight as well as Wrath of the Lich King Classic and WoW Classic: Season of Discovery.
Mouseover Casting Addons
Healing is a lot more reactive than damage dealing, and one of the best things you can do to improve your healing is to improve your reaction time. Enter mouseover macros, which allow you to cast spells on unit frames without needing to target them first. That’s one click instead of two, which may not seem like a lot, but it can make a big difference in the heat of battle.
Mouseover macros can be set up using the default macro system in the game, but the system is rather clunky and basic, and you will need to type out a bunch of commands for every macro you want to make. Addons make it very easy to simulate macros with just a few clicks.
VuhDo replaces the default unit frames with ones that are highly customizable, and adds easily configurable mouseover casting to them. It also comes with an optional buff tracker.
Unit frame options include appearance options like size and color. You can sort and separate groups in a lot of different ways, and use different setups based on group size. Perhaps most useful to healers is the ability to track both debuffs and buffs on your group, so you can see what needs to be dispelled and when you need to refresh a heal-over-time. You can pick and choose what is tracked and how it appears on the frames.
VuhDo’s mouse binding options are robust, allowing you to set up mouseover macros by simply typing in the name of the spell. Modifier keys, extra mouse buttons, and the mouse wheel can all be used. There are options to automatically cleanse, buff, or resurrect targets you click on when certain conditions are met. You can also set it to automatically use trinkets, glove enchants, or any instant spell, and these will be used on cooldown when you use your other mouse binds.
HealBot was the original mouseover healing addon for WoW, and to this day you may hear people refer to these addons as “HealBot addons.” Like VuhDo, it offers both customizable unit frames and the ability to bind spells to your mouse.
VuhDo and HealBot have both been around a long time and have almost the same features, just presented in different ways. It mostly comes down to personal preference and which options menu seems less intimidating to you.
Be sure to grab HealBot Continued, as the original HealBot addon is no longer supported.
Clique makes it easy to set up mouse binds for your spells. Unlike HealBot and VuhDo, it does not come with its own unit frames. That means you can use it with any unit frame addon you like, including ElvUI or Shadowed Unit Frames, or even just the default ones in the game.
Since mouse binds are all that Clique does, it does it especially well: you can set up a binding by opening your spellbook and clicking on a spell using the keybind you want to set. It also works with macros.
This is the addon I personally use alongside my ElvUI unit frames. It also works great with the default UI.
Timers & Indicators
Tracking your cooldowns is essential in any role, but in healing it can mean the difference between a good healer and a great one, and the difference between your group surviving an encounter or having to run back. Addons are immensely helpful for keeping track of what spells you can use and when.
WeakAuras is an extremely powerful framework that can help you track all sorts of buffs, debuffs, cooldowns, resources, casts… almost anything you can think of. It can be intimidating to get started with, but luckily, there’s a dedicated website where users can share their WeakAuras, and importing them is fairly simple.
This addon is useful in just about any area of the game. For healers, it can help you see when important spells come off of cooldown, or when a boss is using a dangerous ability that you need to react to. You can even keep track of your tank’s cooldowns so you know when they might need some extra help from you.
I consider WeakAuras to be an essential addon when I play WoW. Many raid teams require their raiders to have it, and will even share WeakAuras for specific boss mechanics in the middle of a raid.
TellMeWhen does a lot of the same things as WeakAuras. It doesn’t have as many options for customization and advanced scripting, but that makes it less intimidating to get started with. It’s still a very robust framework with a lot of options.
- Download: CurseForge
- Command: /omnicc
OmniCC is a very simple addon that adds text to spell cooldowns and buff timers. Now you can see on your action bars exactly when each spell will be available again. This is especially helpful for healers as you perform triage on your group.
You can use this addon in combination with WeakAuras or TellMeWhen. Both of those addons can do the same thing, but it requires a bit of setup, whereas OmniCC works out of the box.
Healing meters, or damage meters as they’re usually called, can be very useful in figuring out how your healing output compares to that of other healers. They can also help you test out different spell rotations and compare the results. Even more useful is some of the less obvious information they can provide: who is dying to what, who is taking damage from what, who is casting dispels and crowd control, and all sorts of other minutiae.
The caveat, though, is that meters don’t always give you the full picture, and you should always look at them with a skeptical eye. Big numbers on a chart are no substitute for performing your role and reacting appropriately to mechanics.
Details! is the most, well, detailed of the available damage meters, with the broadest options for data and customization. For healers, there are options to track healing done, heals per second, overhealing, healing taken, healing absorbed, mana restored, and dispels, as well as damage taken and deaths. It also lets you track threat, damage, and more.
You can have multiple windows tracking different things, and you can customize their position and appearance to your heart’s content. Clicking on a bar will give you a detailed breakdown of that player’s casts. There are lots of other little features as well, like the ability to announce your interrupts, or view where your numbers rank within your guild. There is also integration with WeakAuras and Plater Nameplates.
Details is my personal choice for meters due to the incredible amount of data it can report and its extensive customizability.
- Download: CurseForge
- Command: /recount
Recount serves the same purpose as Details!, but is much simpler. For healers, it can track healing done, absorbs, healing taken, overhealing done, HoT uptime, mana gained, and dispels. It can also track damage done, damage taken, CC breaks, and a few other data points. There are fewer customization options than Details! has, but for the average user it’s probably plenty. Recount also lacks a threat meter, but a standalone threat meter can be installed separately.
- Download: CurseForge
- Command: /skada
Skada is another option for a meter addon, resting somewhere between customizability of Details! and the simplicity of Recount. Ultimately, any of these three meters will be able to give you the same healing data. It comes down to how deep you want to be able to dive into that data and how much you want to be able to customize your meter’s appearance.