Welcome to our World of Warcraft best UI addons guide, aimed at newer players and veterans alike!
Blizzard has allowed so much freedom to players when it comes to UI customisation, it’s a testament to how much they care about the quality of life of their players, as well as a good way to see what’s popular so that they can implement it into the base game. If you compare Vanilla WoW to BFA, the amount of UI changes that has happened over the years is quite impressive. While still making the UI ‘feel’ oldschool, Blizzard have added a few tweaks which results in the average player having to download far less addons.
This guide will look at some of the best addons that can drastically improve the usability and/or aesthetics of your user interface. If you’re a new player, don’t feel pressured to download them all. It’s better to download a couple now and then, and truly familiarise yourself with how they enhance your UI and gameplay, rather than downloading so many that you become bombarded.
ElvUI vs TukUI
ElvUI and Tukui are fantastic options for people who want of lot of additions to their UI, but only want to download one addon. These addons are complete UI overhauls, making the game look completely different. There’s no surprise that ElvUI/Tukui are one of the best and most popular addons.
ElvUI adds many improvements that would normally require you to download a specific addon for each change, such as consolidated bag space, party/raid frames, spell bars, LFG panels, and many more. There’s even options to auto-sell grey items and automatically repair your gear. When you find load the addon you’ll be greeted with a few options to select, such as your role (tank, healer, DPS), your desired UI scale, and the colour of your bars.
Another nice option is that your char channels are split in a convenient way. Trade/loot is placed into its own channel to the right, but you don’t have to keep it there. The minimap also receives a revamp, adding useful information below it for easy reference. ElvUI gets updated more often than the average WoW addon, and looks to be going nowhere anytime soon.
From a quick glance, you may be wondering what the difference is between ElvUI and Tukui. ElvUI is easily customisable within the addon itself and has lots of options for making your UI look the way you want, with buttons and sliders. Tukui on the otherhand, while technically has more freedom, will need you to understand LUA to be able to make the changes you want. Therefore for the majority of people who are reading this guide, we recommend ElvUI over Tukui. There’s nothing stopping you from switching over to the other later down the line though.
DMB (Deadly Boss Mods)
If you go back a few years, WoW encounters didn’t do much to help with mechanics. These days, however, there are a few ingame prompts on abilities being cast, so if you know what you’re looking out for then an external boss helper in some cases isn’t necessary.
That being said, there’s no reason to not have a boss addon, unless it’s an ego thing. DBM is a fantastic addon that has been out for the majority of WoW’s lifespan, and gets updated as often as WoW does. For dungeons, it gives warnings for interrupts, dispels, and anything else that a dungeon can throw at you. It essentially works as a generic guide, and will allow you to overcome the majority of encounters, even if you haven’t read up on them (we don’t recommend this though!).
For raiding, DBM is very much required. Similar to how the addon helps in dungeons, DBM will give you warnings on important mechanics that need to be dealt with or avoided. What makes this addon even more important for raiding is that for some encounters, it only takes 1 or 2 people to mess up some mechanics for the whole raid get wiped. Don’t be that guy! Learn your fights and make sure this addon is installed, at all costs.
There are a few alternatives to DBM, so if you don’t gel with this addon for whatever reason, have a browse at some of the others that are available.
Details! Damage Meter
A lot of other MMOs require third party apps to be run in the background to track damage and healing done, but in WoW we can have real-time info on our damage (and other metrics) displayed right on our screen.
There are a few addons similar to Details!, but in recent years the other alternatives have fallen behind in accuracy and usability. This addon doesn’t just track damage/healing done, but has loads of options including: damage taken, friendly fire, frags, overhealing, healing taken, interupts, dispells, deaths, just to name a few.
What’s nice is you can quickly hover over your name, or a party members name, to quickly see a graph of what spells they’re using, and what percentage of damage/healing is a result of said ability.
Damage and healing meters are a very useful tool for self-improvement, as well as seeing how your party is contributing to the engagement.
GTFO is one of my personal favourite addons, and it’s incredibly simple. Essentially all the addon does is produce an obnoxious noise in your headphones when you’re stood in something you shouldn’t be, or have been hit by something you really should be avoiding.
It’s especially useful for brand new encounters where you might not be too confident on what’s safe to stand on, as well as hectic fights where there’s a lot of stuff to avoid, where an audio cue can help to ensure that you don’t mess up.
Regardless of whether you’re a casual player, or hardcore veteran, GTFO has its place in anyone’s addon list.
Weak Auras are a fantastic way to customise your UI, relative to your spec and class. It allows you to show cooldowns of important abilities right on your screen, as well as buffs, debuffs, and any other info which may be important to you. Any spell in the game is configurable, including boss abilities. If there’s a certain ability or debuff you wish to track with ease, then WA2 is your answer.
Out of the box, so to speak, Weak Auras can look a little daunting. However, many people have uploaded their own Weak Aura profiles to the internet, which are easily imported by pasting their unique code into the addon.
To browse other people’s Weak Aura templates, check out Wago.
Hopefully this World of Warcraft best UI addons guide has helped you in finding some of the best and most trustworthy addons to add to your list. We will update this article over time, if we feel other addons deserve to be universally recognised.
World of Warcraft has so many addons available to it, that for a new player, it can be difficult to know where to start. We would recommend that if you’re new to the game, run with minimal addons initially, and then gradually add more over time. DBM and Details! would be good starter addons, later transitioning into Weak Auras or ElvUI.