Starting area

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Starting areas are where new characters begin their life in World of Warcraft, based on their selection of race (or of the death knight or demon hunter classes). Players are more or less free to travel wherever they want from the starting location, but it is generally recommended that one complete the character- and race-specific quests in and around the character's starting location.

All starting areas have one small village, outpost, or town with trainers for all classes and are available to the race(s) that controls the area. There are no profession trainers or inns in starting areas; however, when a starting player first uses their  [Hearthstone], they are teleported back to the main settlement in the area. Once the player changes where their hearthstone is set, they cannot change it back to the starting area.

Unlike most other classes, death knights begin at level 55, starting off in The Ebon Hold. All death knight characters start here, regardless of race. New death knights do not actually begin in the Eastern Plaguelands, instead, they begin in an instance which strongly resembles the Eastern Plaguelands. Demon hunters likewise begin life at a high level in their own special starting experience, rather than the usual racial starting areas.

Worgen, goblins and pandaren start in instanced zones similar to the death knights, and do not necessarily follow the same starting area layout patterns as the other races.

All starting areas are protected by Elite guards 5 levels above the current level cap, though quest givers in starting areas are not flagged for PvP and may not be killed by enemy players, even on PvP servers. This is in order to prevent enemy players from killing beginning quest givers and preventing new characters from playing the game. New player characters may still be killed, however, but the extremely powerful guards make sure the enemies do not stay long.

Starting areas often contain a substantial amount of lore, and involve numerous storylines during which characters may find their place in the world and among their people. Each class' early quests also tend to define a character's role and the nature of the class.

Shadowlands will introduce a new starting zone for all characters, Exile's Reach with a mini-dungeon and an ogre necromancer as the final enemy.

Starting areas
Race / Class Zone Area Settlement Second town
Alliance
Alliance HumanHuman Human Elwynn Forest Northshire Valley Northshire Abbey Goldshire
Alliance DwarfDwarf Dwarf Dun Morogh Coldridge Valley Anvilmar Kharanos
Alliance Night elfNight elf Night elf Teldrassil Shadowglen Aldrassil Dolanaar
Alliance GnomeGnome Gnome Dun Morogh Gnomeregan/Chill Breeze Valley New Tinkertown/Brewnall Village Kharanos
Alliance DraeneiDraenei Draenei The Burning Crusade Azuremyst Isle Ammen Vale Crash Site Azure Watch
Alliance WorgenWorgen Worgen Cataclysm Gilneas Gilneas City Military District Duskhaven
Neutral
Neutral PandarenPandaren Pandaren Mists of Pandaria The Wandering Isle Shang Xi Training Grounds Temple of Five Dawns Dai-Lo Farmstead
Horde
Horde OrcOrc Orc Durotar Valley of Trials The Den Razor Hill
Horde UndeadUndead Undead Tirisfal Glades Deathknell Deathknell Brill
Horde TaurenTauren Tauren Mulgore Red Cloud Mesa Camp Narache Bloodhoof Village
Horde TrollTroll Troll Durotar Echo Isles Darkspear Training Grounds Sen'jin Village
Horde Blood elfBlood elf Blood elf The Burning Crusade Eversong Woods Sunstrider Isle The Sunspire Falconwing Square/Fairbreeze Village
Horde GoblinGoblin Goblin Cataclysm Kezan/Lost Isles Bilgewater Port KTC Headquarters Shipwreck Shore/Town-In-A-Box
All
Death knight Death knight Wrath of the Lich King (core races) Scarlet Enclave Acherus: The Ebon Hold Acherus: The Ebon Hold
Demon hunter Demon hunter Legion (night and blood elves) Mardum, the Shattered Abyss Illidari Foothold The Fel Hammer
Death knight Death knight Battle for Azeroth (pandaren and allied races) Icecrown Frozen Throne
Neutral All races and classes Shadowlands Exile's Reach
Allied races
Alliance Void elfVoid elf Void elf Telogrus Rift
Alliance Lightforged draeneiLightforged draenei Lightforged draenei The Vindicaar
Alliance Dark Iron dwarfDark Iron dwarf Dark Iron dwarf Blackrock Mountain Blackrock Depths
Alliance Kul TiranKul Tiran Kul Tiran Tiragarde Sound Boralus
Alliance MechagnomeMechagnome Mechagnome Mechagon Island Mechagon City
Horde NightborneNightborne Nightborne Suramar Nighthold
Horde Highmountain taurenHighmountain tauren Highmountain tauren Highmountain Thunder Totem
Horde Mag'har orcMag'har orc Mag'har orc Orgrimmar Valley of Honor
Horde Zandalari trollZandalari troll Zandalari troll Zuldazar Dazar'alor
Horde VulperaVulpera Vulpera Orgrimmar Valley of Honor

Portals for the allied race starting areas can be found in front of the Stormwind Embassy or Orgrimmar Embassy, only visible to the specific allied race.

Patch changes

  • Legion Patch 7.3.5 (2018-01-16): Starting zones that had a level range of 1 - 10 now scale from level 1 - 20.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14): Classic starting areas (levels 1 - 10) received a number of improvements to the tutorial, quests, and mob tuning to provide a smoother starting experience.