To place (wear or wield) an item (equipment) in a slot on the player character's paper doll. Typically this is done by either dragging the item from the inventory to the paper doll window or (assuming no vendor or bank window is open) right-clicking on the item in the inventory.
Available Equip Slots
The following slots are available on the Player character's paper doll:
- 2x Finger
- 2x Trinket
- Main Hand
- Off Hand
Equip Slot Limitations
The equip slots have various limitations:
Items intended for the Head, Shoulder, Chest, Hands, Wrists, Legs, Waist and Feet slots are considered Armor. You can equip items from your inventory in these slots if your class is allowed to wear that kind of armor:
- Mages, priests, and warlocks can only ever wear cloth armor.
- In addition to cloth, druids and rogues can only ever wear Cloth and leather armor.
- In addition to cloth, hunters and shamans start out able to wear cloth and leather armor, but can learn to wear mail armor at level 40.
- In addition to cloth and leather, warriors and paladins start out able to wear mail armor, but can learn to wear plate armor at level 40.
See the Armor entry for more information.
The Neck, Back, Finger and Trinket slots are not considered armor and aren't limited to certain classes because of their material. However, Back items are always considered to be made of Cloth by the Auction House, which considers Neck, Finger and Trinket items to be Miscellaneous.
The Main Hand, Off Hand, Ranged Weapon and Ammunition slots are collectively considered the weapon slots, although the Off Hand slot may be used for weapons, shields, or other miscellaneous items.
There are several types of weapons in World of Warcraft, and each one has a weapon skill associated with it. You can only equip a weapon if you have the weapon skill for its weapon type. Some weapon skills your class will start with; others can be learned from class trainers or weapon trainers (possibly requiring you to reach a minimum level before you can learn them); some classes may not be able to learn some weapon skills at all. See Per Class Proficiencies for more information.
Some one-handed weapons' tooltips will say "Main Hand," meaning that you won't be able to equip them in your Off Hand slot, only the Main Hand one. Some weapons (and other miscellaneous items) will actually say "Off Hand," meaning they can't be equipped in the Main Hand slot (although this is rare). Most often, one-handed weapons will allow you to equip them in either the Main Hand or Off Hand slot as you wish, although you must have the Dual Wield skill (available only to hunters, rogues, enhancement shamans, and warriors) to equip two weapons at once.
Two-handed weapons such as staves, polearms, two-handed maces and two-handed swords can be equipped (given the appropriate weapon skill) in the Main Hand slot. If you do this, any items you had in either your Main Hand or Off Hand slot will be moved to your bags, because you cannot equip a two-handed weapon and an off-hand item.
You may equip a ranged weapon in the Ranged slot if you have the necessary weapon skill -- hunters, rogues, and warriors can learn to use bows and guns, while mages, priests and warlocks start out with the ability to use wands. If you equip a bow or gun, you must also equip a type of ammunition in the Ammunition slot next to the Ranged Weapon slot, or you will be unable to shoot. Wands do not require ammunition. Note that druids, paladins and shamans can never learn to use ranged weapons; in Patch 1.10 these classes will have a Relic slot instead.
If you have the shield proficiency, you can equip a shield in the Off Hand slot. Equipping a shield is just like equipping any other Off Hand item -- if you equip one, you cannot have a two-handed weapon equipped at the same time, and you will be reminded of this if you attempt to equip a shield when you have a two-handed weapon already equipped.
Over and above any other limitations, some items are explicitly limited to certain classes. For example, items of each class's Tier 0.5 armor set and higher cannot be equipped by anyone not of the class for which the item is intended. There are a few other class-limited items as well.
Some items require one of your trade skills to be greater than or equal to a certain level in order to equip an item. The most common examples of this are the various trinkets produced by Engineering, which almost always require some level of Engineering to equip.
The PvP Honor System has a number of items that can be purchased if you reach a certain Rank. Once purchased, you may equip these items if your maximum rank matches or exceeds the rank requirement on the item, even if your rank decays and your current rank is lower than the requirement.
Some equippable items with active effects, especially trinkets, cannot be used immediately after you equip them -- instead, there will be a cooldown (typically 30 seconds) before they can be activated.