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The big World of Warcraft: Shadowlands patch is here, and you can try out its biggest addition for free

(Image credit: Blizzard)

The World of Warcraft: Shadowlands pre-expansion patch has gone live across all regions, despite there still being no release date for the launch of the full game in sight after Blizzard announced a delay earlier this month. 

Confirming the news in a blog post, the studio gave a brief overview of what you can expect from today's update, which addresses World of Warcraft's levelling and progression system in preparation for Azeroth's afterlife to open up.

That means you can now enjoy the new character creation system, the new starter zone Exile's Reach, and even a limited time quest that paves the way for the arrival of Shadowlands later this year. 

Better yet, given that World of Warcraft is now free-to-play up to Level 20, you can enjoy much of this new content without signing up to the game's subscription service, letting you sample and see if the game's incoming expansion is something you'd be interesting in pursuing further once the full expansion arrives. 

The new World of Warcraft Companion App has also been heavily updated, and is ready to download on Apple and Android devices, allowing you to tinker with your character away from the PC screen, so check that out here if you're keen to see what it looks like. 

You can download the update from your Battlenet account now, or read the full set of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands patch notes here.

To see where World of Warcraft ranks among the MMORPG hall of fame, you can head over to our best MMORPG games guide.

Alex Avard

I'm GamesRadar's Features Writer, which makes me responsible for gracing the internet with as many of my words as possible, including reviews, previews, interviews, and more. Lucky internet!