How Does Arena Work in WoW
Arena is one of WoW’s main PvP modes. It features two teams of heroes fighting each other to the death in a compact environment. The combatants who are left standing in the end win. There are both rated and unrated variants of this mode, with the former providing various rewards for winning. Arena’s simple premise and strong focus, reinforced by a few special rules, creates a unique gameplay experience that requires players to adjust their strategies. Read this quick guide to get started!
WoW Arena Rules and Starting Level
The rules of Arena are quite simple:
- All characters who have reached the current expansion’s maximum level can take part in Rated Arena. Unrated Arena (called Skirmishes or War Games) is available from level 20;
- Players can queue up for matches in 2v2 or 3v3 matches. Rated Arenas used to require queuing up as full teams, but a solo queue option for 3v3 was recently introduced. Arena Skirmishes have both solo and group queueing;
- Several types of items and abilities are forbidden, but PvP Talents are enabled;
- Combatants are restored to full health and mana upon entering the Arena. Their buffs are removed and pets are unsummoned. Over the next minute, players can examine their opponents, alter talents, and cast spells at no cost. When this preparation is over, the match begins;
- The match continues for 25 minutes before ending in a draw. Until then, one team can lose the match by dying or quitting. In Rated Arena, this results in changes to both teams’ Ratings;
- After 5 minutes, all participants start to receive a stacking debuff that reduces the healing and damage absorption they receive;
- Participants can pick up Shadow Sight orbs during the match, helping them detect stealthed opponents.
Best WoW PvP Players
The official Arena Leaderboard WoW page displays the leading players in each bracket. There is a section for Rated Battlegrounds as well. More detailed information about the current best PvPers can be found on this site.
Getting Better in Arena
Interested in reaching high WoW Arena rankings yourself? Learning to play at a high level will take a lot of training and experience, but there are some tips that should help:
- Use Arena Skirmishes to practice in a low-stakes format, possibly with other potential teammates;
- Focus on playing one class. All have their own strengths, weaknesses, and other nuances that will take some time to master;
- Study the latest meta. Abilities, items, and PvP Talents are rebalanced in every major patch, which can take Arena participants by surprise if they are not prepared;
- Look into add-ons and macros that can reduce your workload and free up attention during the match;
- Make sure you bring the best equipment available to each match;
- Communication is key, so make sure you can coordinate effectively with your teammates.
Alternatively, check out our WoW Arena boost catalog for services that can help you achieve your Arena goals quickly and easily. We offer WoW 3v3 boost and 2v2 boost services in piloted and selfplay formats, as well as professional coaching and help with farming specific rewards.
FAQ About WoW Arena
The change in a character’s Arena Rating depends on the difference between their personal rating for that bracket before the match and the matchmaking rating (MMR) of the opposing team. Defeating enemies with a higher MMR gives more rating, while opponents with a lower MMR give less rating. If the enemy team is particularly weak, a player might not make any gains at all. MMR is not directly visible (except for team MMR after each match). However, it changes more drastically with each match than the personal rating, closer to a traditional Elo system.
Yes, losing matches to a team with a comparable or lower MMR will result in personal rating loss.
There is no upper limit for Arena Rating. The highest personal rating ever achieved was over 3800, but usually the best players reach around 3200-3300 in each season. Most rewards become available at 2400.
Rated Arena matches yield Honor and Conquest currencies, with more given to winners. Honor from Rated PvP activities can unlock additional prize options in the Great Vault. Rating progress also unlocks specialized PvP gear that can be purchased and upgraded using Honor or Conquest. Finally, advancing in the Arena during each season is necessary to claim exclusive titles, achievements, mounts, and cosmetics. Winning 50 matches at 2400 rating in the 3v3 bracket is required for the prestigious Gladiator Title.
Banned abilities include spells with lenghty cooldowns and ones that would affect an entire party. Most consumables are likewise banned, with the exception of bandages, conjured items, and certain types of water sold at inns.