Welcome to our World of Warcraft leveling guide, updated in 2018 for Battle for Azeroth patch 8.1. This WoW leveling guide will show you how to level as quickly as possible from level 1 to 120.
Leveling was nerfed back in patch 7.3.5 in terms of leveling speed. Most XP bonuses have also been removed from the game or have been nerfed.
In Patch 8.1 Leveling speed will be reduced by up to 40% for some levels, and was overall reduced by 22,3% for levels 20-120 making leveling in patch 8.1 much faster. Especially for leveling 60-80 which was very slow before this.
WoW BFA Leveling Guide Index
- General WoW BFA Leveling Tips
- Leveling in Dungeons
- Leveling with PvP
- Wow Vanilla Zones Leveling 1-60
- WoW TBC and WotLK Leveling 60-80
- WoW Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria Leveling 80-90
- WoW Warlords of Draenor Leveling 90-100
- WoW Legion Leveling 100-110
- WoW Battle for Azeroth Leveling 100-120
General WoW BFA Leveling Tips:
Before starting with our WoW Leveling Guide, it might be smart to go over these tips as they will cut down on leveling time.
- Heirlooms: Heirlooms are the best source of bonus XP for leveling. All slots can be gotten pretty easily now, except the rings. The time you need to spend to get the rings if you haven’t gotten a level 3 shipyard in WoW is way too long, so getting the rings is generally not worth it. Having all your heirloom gear will boost XP by 55%. Generally, you want heirloom gear with crit on for leveling as you want to kill mobs in a few hits as possible
- Enchants: Also remember to get enchants on your gear as it will increase the rate you kill mobs.
- Recruit a Friend: Recruiting a friend and grouping together rewards you with 50% bonus XP. You can also do this yourself if you multi-box. See all RAF bonuses here.
- Rest XP: Always log out in an Inn or in a major city to get rest XP. To see if you are getting rest, look at your characters thumbnail and see if there are a ZZZ mark where your level usually is. For more info about rest XP, see this article.
- XP Potions: The Elixir of Rapid Mind and Elixir of Ancient Knowledge no longer drop. They can be bought on the AH still but are way to expensive for it to be worth it. The Excess Potion of Accelerated learning is available from your garrison quartermaster but only works for level 91 to 99. As of Patch 8.1 you can also buy the 10% XP Potion Draught of Ten Lands.
- War Mode: War Mode can be turned on at level 30 through your talent window, and will give you 10% bonus XP. You will, however, be attackable by players of the opposing faction, but changes have been made so that all players have a fair shot in a fight and even low-level players can kill much higher level players, and at least not get ganked and one shotted. Note: As of patch 8.1, you can get an additional call to arms bonus with war mode on if your faction is underepresented.
- Darkmoon Faire: The Darkmoon Faire comes around once a month and provides two ways of bonus XP. You can ride the carousel to get the “Whee!” buff (10% bonus XP for one hour). You can also get the Darkmoon Top Hat by playing a few games, which gives you 10% bonus XP but only works during the Darkmoon Faire. Both of these are generally not worth it for the most part, as you spend more time running to get the buff than you gain in XP when leveling.
- Insightful Rubellite: At level 100 you can get an Insightful Rubellite and socket it into your gear for an extra 5% XP.
Join a Guild
There are a couple of benefits to joining a guild. You can also find leveling specific guilds that are generally more than happy to help you on your way to level 120.
- Battle Standard of Coordination: This item gives you 15% bonus XP if you stay within 100 yards, with a 10-minute cooldown. Can be useful if you are grinding in an area or when completing a dungeon. If you plant the banner at the last boss of a random dungeon you will get 15% extra from the bonus XP as well as that XP is awarded when killing the last boss. You need to be friendly with your guild to get this. The easiest way to get it on a new alt, is to buy a Renowned Guild Tabard with you main and send it to your new alt. Now you need to join a guild with the “A Daily Routine” achievement completed. So open the guild finder, if you’re not already part of a guild, and look for a guild with a lot of members since they are more likely to have the achievement, and ask to join. Then buy the Battle Standard of Coordination.
- Guild Perks: Some guild perks are quite nice when leveling like the mount speed bonus and the shorter hearthstone duration.
- Bagspace: Getting some nice big bags for your character won’t speed up leveling, but you won’t be needing to sell stuff to clear your bags as often.
- Mounts: Always be sure to have the fastest possible mount speed.
- Consumables: Stack up on food, drink and optionally healing and mana potions, to reduce your downtime.
- Hearthstone: Always remember to talk to the innkeeper to change your home when arriving at a new quest hub.
- Goblin Glider: The goblin glider can be nice to have to move around certain areas faster when a flying mount is not usable.
- Leystone Buoy:Optional item but nice when questing underwater.
- Felslate Anchor: Optional item but nice when questing underwater.
Picking up herbalism and mining is the best professions to have while leveling. Not only will you earn gold as you level, but you will also get extra XP. At level 20 you will get over 500 XP for picking up a ore or a herb while killing a mob only gives a little over 100 XP. Don’t go out of your way to pick herbs if you are trying to level quickly, but pick the ones that are on your way. Leveling from 110 to 120 can be done pretty quickly just by doing this. There are a few items that will help you if you decide to use professions while leveling:
- Sky Golem: This mount allows you to pick up and interact with items without dismounting.
- Monel-Hardened Stirrups: Does the same thing as the sky golem but only works for 2 hours.
- Coarse Leather Barding: Prevents you from being dazed while on a mount.
- Enchant Gloves Kul Tiran Herbalism / Enchant Gloves Kul Tiran Mining: Will make picking up herbs or ore much faster.
Dugi’s Leveling Guide
Dugi’s leveling guide is the leveling addon I’ve always used to level as fast as possible. It will show you where to go and what to do in-game, speeding up the leveling process. This is optional though, as the game already does a pretty good job at showing you where to go at all times. The addon does, however, come with a couple of other nice features and perks.
A free alternative for leveling in Battle for Azeroth only.
Same as Azeroth Autopilot but for Legion.
Legion Invasion Timer
Shows you the next Legion Invasion. Invasions provide a lot of XP when leveling from 100 to 110.
Handy notes are useful to see treasures on the map. Get the Draenor, MoP, Legion, and BFA handy notes additions as well.
Alerts you of rare mobs. Rare mobs award more XP than regular mobs.
Titanpanel will show you how long it is until you level up and at which rate you are gaining XP.
Leveling in Dungeons 15+
At level 15, you can start queueing for dungeons. To maximize leveling speed, you want to do each dungeon once. The first run of each dungeon will provide you with plenty of quests. Doing random dungeons gives you a big chunk of XP at the end, which can be further increased with a Battle Standard of Coordination if you plant it near the last boss.
I tend to do random dungeons until I have done all the available ones once, and then do quests in between waiting for queues. The game usually does a good job of sending you to a dungeon that you haven’t yet completed. With full heirloom gear, you should be around level 60 when you have completed all the dungeons if you quest in between queues.
Some dungeons are also much better than other. Some take a long time to finish and some are quick. Some have few quests and others have many. The ideal dungeons have a lot of quests and are quick to finish. If you are sent to a long dungeon that you have already completed, you can leave but you won’t be able to enter a new dungeon in 30 minutes. Dungeons like the Stockade are super quick, so it will still be good XP if you are sent here more than once.
Leveling with PvP
Leveling by doing PvP is also perfectly viable if you prefer it. You will earn a big chunk of XP from completing a random battleground. Quite a lot more if you win, but still a bit if you lose. You will also earn some XP throughout the battleground as you earn honor.
PvP leveling should be combined with normal leveling or by picking herbs and mining, as you will spend some time waiting in queues.
If you can get your hands on a Defending Champion Heirloom from the Gurubashi Arena, you will increase your battleground XP by 50%, which can make PvP leveling faster than normal leveling in some brackets.
WoW Vanilla Zones Leveling 1-60
First things first, let’s get started with the vanilla WoW levels. Since patch 7.3.5 all the zones scale, and all vanilla zones scale up to level 60. The map below shows the scaling of the different classic WoW zones.
WoW Leveling 1 – 20
The first 15 to 20 levels should be spent in your race starting zone. These areas are made for quick leveling and have a high number of easy and fast quests. Levels 1 to 20 should not take more than a few hours here. At level 20, remember to train your riding skill.
Check your journal to see if you have finished all the chapters in a zone, and can move on.
WoW Leveling 21-60
Most of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms will now be open to you. Most zones are perfectly viable for leveling but go for the zones below for the easiest route.
Eastern Kingdoms Leveling 21-60
- Redridge Mountains
Kalimdor Leveling 21-60
- Southern Barrens
- Dustwallow Marsh
- Thousand Needles
- Un’goro Crater
You can still stay in these zones after level 60. After level 61, XP starts to decrease.
WoW The Burning Crusade & Wrath of the Lich King Leveling 60-80
Leveling will slow down a bit around now. Remember to train flying as it will increase your leveling speed a lot. You can choose to level in either TBC or WotLK zones from 60 to 80.
WotLK zones generally seem a bit faster than TBC zones, but it’s mostly up to preference here.
Continue to do every dungeon at least once to complete the quests.
Alternative Leveling Level 60 – 80
Many people struggle with the 60 to 80 grind and try to find alternatives. Pet battles and trash farming in Karazhan used to work for quick leveling, but both methods have been nerfed.
The only alternatives to questing from 60 to 80 are professions and PvP.
A battleground win gives about half a level of XP in your early 60s, so if you can rack up the wins, this method can be quite fast. A lost battleground gives about 1/4 of a level.
You will spend some time in queues so combining PvP with either questing or herbalism/mining works best.
You can earn a decent amount of XP by doing Herbalism or mining. Any zone works but I prefer Sholazar Basin as a lot of the mobs are not aggressive and the mobs are spread out so you will find a lot of herbs and ore that you don’t have to fight for. It is possible to make about a level every hour by doing this, or a level every 30-40 minutes with rest XP.
WoW Cataclysm & Mists of Pandaria Leveling 80-90
For levels 80 to 90, you can choose between Cata or MoP zones. It’s all pretty straightforward though. Some people prefer Cata zones and some MoP or a mix of both. Hyjal is great for Cata content and Jade Forest and Valley of the Four Winds will take you quickly to 90 in MoP.
For some additional quick XP, get the Pandaria Handy Notes addon and pick up all the treasures here for extra XP.
All Cataclysm zones can be accessed through portals in your capital.
WoW Warlord of Draenor Leveling 90-100 (101/102)
Good news if you are leveling an alt and you have Draenor Pathfinder so that you can fly in WoD, the next 10 levels will only take a few hours. Personally, I didn’t have this until recently and I went back and got the achievement and I’m glad I did. Now I can level all my future alts fast by just flying and picking up treasures for a couple of hours.
Even if you don’t have flying in WoD be sure to get the WoD handy notes. If you have flying simply fly and pick up all the treasures that you can and do bonus objectives. Not every single piece of treasure will be worth it though as some are hidden in caves or are just hard to get. So if you find yourself spending more than a few minutes finding a treasure, just skip it and move on, there is plenty of treasure to go around.
You will have to pick up treasures zone by zone, as they are locked to the level when you can start questing in that zone.
It is the same with bonus objectives. Some are super quick and easy while others can be a bit harder. You don’t need to do all the bonus objectives, I did 1-2 in each zone before reaching level 100.
Also, remember Excess Potion of Accelerated Learning from your garrison quartermaster for a 20% XP boost.
If you don’t have flying in WoD you will need to stick to questing, but combine it with picking up the treasures you can and doing bonus objectives.
Leveling to level 101 or even 102 is still good XP in WoD if you have more treasures to pick up. Level 100 to 101 only took me about 20 minutes by picking up the treasures I had left in Tanaan Jungle and at 101 I was still getting a decent amount of XP from bonus objectives, almost as much as legion invasions.
WoW Legion Leveling 100-110
Leveling to 110 is also very quick after BFA since your heirlooms can be upgraded all the way to 110.
Legion Invasions are a huge boost to XP and you can usually get a level or at least almost one from one invasion. You can either get the Invasion Timer addon to see when the next Invasion is or go to https://wow.gameinfo.io/invasions.
Also, do bonus objectives in the zone you are leveling in and at the end of each zones storyline, you will get a dungeon quest that give a huge chunk of XP.
You can do any zone you want, you’ll level pretty much as fast in any of them. A level will take 30-45 minutes in Heirloom gear, so it’s all pretty much up to preference.
Personally, I like starting with Azsuna, then moving on to Val’sharah and if I’m not 110 by then, doing a few quests in Highmountain.
WoW Battle for Azeroth Leveling 110-120
You’re now on the last leg of our WoW leveling guide, congrats! The BFA leveling is one of the shortest expansion leveling brackets in the history of WoW.
If you haven’t already, get your Insightful Rubellite for a 5% XP bonus and turn on war mode.
Azeroth Autopilot will make leveling quicker if you are questing. Getting Handy Notes: Battle for Azeroth Treasures is also helpful as all static treasures reward you with a nice chunk of XP, so be sure to loot all of those as you are questing.
If this is your main, you will need to do the main storylines in each of your factions zones and the Foothold quests for the 7th Legion or the Honorbound, to get the Pathfinder Achievement so that you can get flying in patch 8.2
You can do the zones in any order you like but a general consensus seems to be that this order is slightly more efficient
- Alliance: Drustvar > Tiragarde Sound > Stormsong Valley.
- Horde: Vol’dun > Zuldazar > Nazmir.
Group quests are soloable by some classes. If you come across one that you can’t solo, either wait for someone else to come along, shouldn’t take too long, or use the group finder. Don’t spend too much time waiting though if you want to level quickly.
Dungeons should really only be done once each as you get the dungeon quests at the end of each zones storyline.
Alternative Leveling 110-120
Island Expedition Leveling
Right now, the most efficient way to level alts is to level through Island Expeditions.
You can either buy boosts that people are selling in the chat. They will then use a twink to quickly do Expeditions, and you can basically be AFK. Or you can do it yourself. Since IE’s are so fast anyway I haven’t tried getting boosts and just do them myself the regular way.
One IE will take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes depending on your group, and will reward you with about 75k XP at the end. The is also a world quest called “Set Sail” that can be done once a week for about 105k XP.
Profession Leveling 110-120
Leveling by doing herbalism and/or mining won’t be faster than normal leveling, but it is a nice change of pace and you will rack up some gold doing it. With rest XP, one level will take about 1,5 hours and I was making about 30k gold per hour when I did this on an alt.
See the Profession Leveling section of the guide further up for more info on leveling with professions.
Patch 8.1 Tides of Vengeance Leveling 110-120
Assaults will be added in patch 8.1 that will work much like Legion Invasion, which were great for leveling alts. More info will be released here as patch 8.1 is released.
Congrats on hitting level 120, now you can fully enjoy BFA. If you have any questions or suggestions about our WoW Leveling Guide, please let us know!