The Best Addons in WoW Shadowlands
Addons in World of Warcraft are programs that modify the game’s user interface (UI). They are an officially recognized part of WoW and very widely used. The reason for their popularity is that the default WoW UI, while functional, is outdated and often fails to match the preferences and needs of individual players. The best WoW addons can make your WoW experience much more comfortable and increase your efficiency in PvE or PvP. Read on to learn about some of the best addons for WoW in 2021.
How to Get WoW Addons
There are two ways to get addons for WoW Shadowlands: manually or with an addon manager. The former method means downloading the addons yourself and extracting them in your World of Warcraft/_retail_/Interface/Addons folder. While straightforward, this process can be tiresome if you plan to install many addons or switch them frequently. Still, even if you intend to use a manager, you should know the main repositories: Curseforge, WoWInterface, and GitHub. Some mods have their own sites as well.
Managers allow you to install addons from all those sources with a minimum of effort. Perhaps even more valuable is their ability to update them automatically. Some addons must access up-to-date information (for example, stats from the latest raid) to be useful. Game updates can sometimes interfere with them as well until a new version is made. The end of Twitch’s built-in manager in late 2020 has inconvenienced many players, but now they can use one of several popular manager options, such as:
- Overwolf’s CurseForge app, which is versatile and easy to install, but controversial due to the copious ads in the free version and the need to create an account;
- WowUp, an especially popular open-source alternative that takes up few resources and is even simpler to set up. It detects your installation and current addons instantly;
- Instawow, which is more difficult to set up but very streamlined and easy to use afterwards. Notably, it makes it especially easy to switch between different versions of the same addon;
- CurseBreaker, a minimalistic manager using a command line interface. It runs very quickly and also straightforward to use once you adjust to its design.
The Best WoW Addons to Use in 2021
Choosing addons can be rather daunting if you do not already know exactly what you are looking for. After all, there are literally thousands of them out there, covering practically every side of the game. Still, some of those options clearly offer unique value, whether by improving your entire experience or by doing one thing, like augmenting your RBG performance, very well. Without further ado, here are the best WoW addons to use in 2021 according to our research:
ElvUi is a total interface replacement addon that has withstood the test of time. If the standard UI bothers you, then this replaces it with something more modern and easy to customize. One particular advantage is the ability to select a layout that best suits your class. The main disadvantage of ElvUi is that many other addons will clash with it unless you install everything just right. On the other hand, it allows you to use just one addon instead of many, simplifying management.
Of course, ElvUi is not for everyone. TukUi is another total replacement addon that is simpler on the surface, but can be customized more extensively outside the game. Confident users might prefer it. Alternatively, you can use more narrowly-tailored UI tweaks like Bartender4 for bars or Threat Plates for nameplates. In addition to reducing the likelihood of conflicts, such addons often have unique advantages. The aforementioned Threat Plates shine when tanking in raids, for example.
MoveAnything is the most powerful tool for rearranging your screen in WoW. If you prefer the original UI aesthetic over that of the total replacement addons, but want more control over the fine details, then you will not find a better solution. (That said, it can work with the replacements as well, albeit with occasional conflicts.) The transparency, size, location, and visibility of any UI element, including maps, bars, and portraits, can be tweaked in-game to match your exact preferences.
WeakAuras remains a mainstay of WoW best addons lists for a reason. It allows you to introduce all kinds of new graphical and audio elements to your screen, including text, animations, timers, and sounds. That can be used to convey information about buffs, cooldowns, and much more in a clear and actionable way. What makes it especially useful is the community support. New auras appear on Wago.io all the time. There are also templates you can use to create your own notifications.
TellMeWhen is a somewhat similar, but much simpler addon with limited functionality. That makes it suitable for beginners or others who do not wish to be overwhelmed by choice. It has a reasonable selection of preset notification options, which help make it easier to set up. However, WeakAuras offers much more choice and is regarded as a must-have among many groups of players, including high-end raid guilds.
SimulationCraft is a website that allows you to test your character’s build in various hypothetical combat scenarios. Its main purpose is to assist in the gearing process by showing you the effect of different item choices on your performance and making informed recommendations about gear upgrades. The addon of the same name lets you seamlessly export your character’s stats from the game, making it quicker and easier to use.
For greater convenience, you may wish to use the RaidBots website, which simply provides a more intuitive interface for SimulationCraft. AskMrRobot is a similar alternative service with a different algorithm that is also used to make gear recommendations in the Pawn addon. SimulationCraft is often seen as being more accurate due to being crowdsourced. It looks for an ideal outcome, while AskMrRobot tries to account for a wider range of possibilities.
Before the implementation of the Mythic+ Rating system, the Raider.IO website was the commonly accepted source of Mythic+ and Raid progression rankings. Although it is no longer necessary to know the Mythic+ score, the site provides a wealth of other information about players and their performance in high-end content. That makes it invaluable for guild recruitment or assembling more casual parties. The addon makes this information readily available in the game.
Method Raid Tools
Formerly known as Exorsus Raid Tools, this addon helps raid leaders manage all aspects of a raid. It provides information on active (or missing) buffs, available resources, and more. There are also advanced options for coordinating players, ensuring attendance, and keeping track of those in specially assigned roles. All of those features can be customized in great detail, making it ideal for challenge runs to claim the latest raid glory and similar endeavors.
Deadly Boss Mods
Another crucial raid tool, Deadly Boss Mods provides cues during boss fights. Its combination of text, video, and audio alerts means that you will never miss the moment when a new phase begins or a boss ability is about to be used. That can make a major difference, especially when fighting bosses from the latest raid. As a result, it is considered a must-have by many raid guilds. There are versions of this mod for every expansion, and it is also one of the best WoW Classic addons.
BigWigs Boss Mods is a viable alternative for those who find the intrusive alerts more distracting than useful. LittleWigs provides a similar service for other content, like regular dungeons.
This too is quite simple, but also invaluable in many situations. All it does is warn the player that their character is standing in a dangerous place through loud audio notifications. The dangerous zones include both active negative effects, such as an open fire, and incoming effect - as if an ability is about to start the fire.
There have been numerous addons for healers in WoW’s history. However, VuhDo has proven to be the most viable thanks to its flexibility and customization potential. It has two main features. Firstly, it allows you to keep track of your party members’ health and effects. Secondly, it lets you map various actions such as specific healing spells to clicks or keys. The result is a massive increase in healing efficiency and responsiveness.
Details! Damage Meter
Damage meters are a simple way of tracking all damage and healing inflicted or received by you and your allies. Other combat data such as Threat may be mentioned as well. Skada, Recount, and Details! are all popular and solid options. However, Details! might be the most accurate and definitely provides the most information about the entire team’s performance. That makes it especially useful for continuous group efforts like trying to score Arena wins with one team.
There are quite a few PvP-focused addons out there. Gladius is the single most useful one, though. Its main function is to make enemy team members more visible and easier to target. Yet it also comes with a variety of additional functions, including special notifications, following the target of your target, and PvP trinket status tracking. The resulting increase in battlefield awareness and coordination can give a critical edge for seeking the Gladiator title.
The acronym is deciphered as “Healers Have To Die” - a harsh truth on the arena and in other PvP encounters. It marks all the healers involved in a skirmish, with different markings for friends and foes, and helps follow their status. In other words, in addition to helping you hunt down enemy healers, it can also help you protect your own.
HandyNotes augments the map by letting you write notes wherever you want. That way, you can remind yourself of any unfinished business, rendezvous points, or prime farming spots. You can also download plugins with premade note packages, sorted by expansion. That will let you find various secrets like hidden chests or rare monsters without needing to search the Internet and consult walkthroughs in a browser.
RareScanner scans the nearby area for rare mobs, treasures, and events. When any such “vignette” is found, you are notified through text and sound. It is also possible to use it to track the NPCs connected to those “vignettes”. All rares are marked on the map. The addon saves a lot of farming time and is invaluable for both consummate collectors and those who are after a specific but tricky to get item like the Time Lost Proto Drake mount.
Rarity is another must-have for collectors. It helps you keep track of available mounts, toys, or pets, as well as your attempts to farm them and the known odds. If you are trying to collect WoW Best Battle Pets, then that is covered too. Other items may be included too due to extensive customization options. The addon is necessary for making truly informed decisions about farming.
Bagnon presents a solution for WoW’s inventory problem. It consolidates the contents of all bags in one screen. That screen can then be managed with the help of its other features, such as the search function and the quality-based coloring. Bagnon can also be used to seamlessly examine your alts’ inventories. On top of its usefulness in Shadowlands, it is also another one of the best Classic WoW addons. Adibags may be used as an alternative, with automatic sorting into several inventory spaces.
Trading for fun and Gold is an old and much-loved aspect of the game, so it is unsurprising that they would be numerous addons for it. For most players, Auctionator will beat out the competition. It presents a beginner-friendly option for finding and tracking deals in the Auction House. That said, TradeSkillMaster is preferred by the serious, experienced market players. It takes a hint from real-world trading and introduces graphs, trend analysis, and automated selling.
GatherMate2 is a very helpful instrument for characters with gathering professions, such as Herbalism or Mining. It records the location of every gathering node you use, denoting it with a special icon on the mini-map and the map. That way, having found a resource node, you will not have to fear losing it agian, and will be able to revisit it easily.
TomTom is one of the simpler addons, but it can save you a lot of time and trouble in many situations. It simply adds an arrow that shows you the optimal route to follow. The final destination for this route will usually be set by yourself using a set of map coordinates. That said, you can also get automatic coordinates after dying to make coming back to life easier.
Azeroth Auto Pilot
Azeroth Auto Pilot is there to help you powerlevel quickly and painlessly. While it does not quite put your character on auto-pilot, it automates much of the leveling process. For instance, it assembles a recommended list of in-game activities for you to follow. It also provides directions and hints for quests. This hand-holding guidance can be helpful for both less confident beginners and for old players wishing to level their alt up as fast as possible.
How We Can Help
As you can see, there are many WoW addons out there. Some compete over the same niche, while others occupy completely distinct ones. Even after discarding the obsolete items, there are many, many more addons worth considering depending on your playstyle and requirements. Deciding which ones to get can be a difficult question. However, it is an important one, as the right addon can mean the difference between life or death for your party.
That is where we come in. At CakeBoost, we offer a variety of WoW Boost and TBC WoW Classic Boost services. Those offerings include paid coaching that is tailored to your interests and needs. Simply buy one of our PvE Coaching or PvP Coaching services. Given their importance, it is likely that topic of addons will come up anyway. However, you can also always request that they help you find the ones that fit your specific interests. One way or another, you will soon be able to learn what are the best addons for WoW from the perspective of your needs and as assessed by a professional…