Items are ranked by their quality in World of Warcraft, identifiable by the color of the item's name. For non-equippable items the colors are the same. Gray named items that you can't equip generally have no use in the game, and should just be sold to vendors for cash.
The table below is summary information about item quality. For more detailed information see Quality.
|Poor||Common, low level enemies most of the time.
Best to sell to vendors or just discard.
|Common||Common, low level enemies or sold by vendors most of the time.
Best to sell to vendors, the Auction House, or just discard.
|Uncommon||Crafting, quests, and random drops from enemies.|
|Rare||Crafting, quests, harder instance bosses, and rare random drops from enemies (generally above level 20).|
|Epic||High-end crafting, quests, Heroic drops, raid bosses (10-40 man), and rare random drops from enemies
(generally above level 40 - BoE only).
|Legendary||Combining certain reagents obtainable from specific high-level raids, and two random drops from the last bosses in the Burning Crusade. There are also a few Legendary weapons available only for use during the Kael'thas encounter, within Tempest Keep's Eye.
There are only a few legendary items in the game that can be equipped: see Legendary items.
|Heirloom||With the release of Wrath of the Lich King expansion, this once designated item-type has been changed to Heirloom, from Artifact.
No artifacts are currently obtainable by player characters in-game.
A number of items can have a random enchantment associated with them. The type of enchantment the armor or weapon bestows can be determined by looking at the item's name suffix.
- Main article: Item level
In order to equip an item, characters have to be of appropriate level. The minimum character level is actually not an inherent property of the item, but instead is derived from an internal item level. Item level used to be hidden and was viewable with the use of UI addons. However, a change in Patch 3.2.0 allows you to view item level on equipment by changing the Interface settings, making add-ons for such a purpose redundant. The minimum character level required to equip an item is as follows:
- No minimum level for items of level 6 and below.
- (Item level - 5) for items of level 7 to 65.
- 60 for items above level 65 that drop in Azeroth, or are crafted from materials found in Azeroth.
- ((Item level + 90) / 3) for green items of level 81 to 120 that drop in Outland.
- 60 for blue items below level 85 that drop in Outland.
- ((Item level + 95) / 3) for blue items of level 85 to 115 that drop in Outland.
- Approximately the same as above for most crafted items and reputation rewards, although they don't seem to follow the formula as faithfully.
- Level 70 is required for most PvP rewards in The Burning Crusade expansion (Arena Seasons 1 through 4), regardless of item level.
- Level 80 is required for most PVP rewards in The Wrath of the Lich King expansion (Arena Seasons 5 and beyond), regardless of item level.
- Most items that are quest rewards have no minimum level, but you must obviously be a high enough level to obtain the quest.
The item level is derived from the stats, slot and quality of an item.