World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth - how to unlock every Allied Race guide

World of Warcraft expansion Battle for Azeroth injects a lot of new content into the 14-years-and-running MMORPG, but few additions are as exciting as the new Allied Races feature. If you've already hit level cap and are looking for things to do, unlocking these new player options is a worthwhile use of your time. So it is that we present to you this guide on how to unlock every Allied Race. Of course, some of you may be wondering just what an Allied Race even is. Here's a quick primer before we dive into the nitty gritty:

Whenever Blizzard announces a new World of Warcraft expansion, one question always seems to pop up: "Will it introduce new playable races?" So it was with BfA. But this time, instead of giving Horde and Alliance wholly new races, complete with starting areas and introductory questlines, Blizzard introduced the concept of Allied Races - species and tribes which takes an already-existing framework and tweaks it ever so slightly. Highmountain Tauren, for example, are pretty much just regular Tauren but with antlers instead of cattle horns.

How do I unlock Allied Races?

There are three major steps to unlocking an Allied Race: Story, Reputation, and Recruitment.

Story simply refers to how far you've gotten in the faction's storyline. These groups have problems of their own, and you'll need to take care of them before they'll join your team. WoW tracks story via in-game Achievements, which you can check at any time by pressing the 'Y' key (assuming default controls). To quickly find the Achievement you're looking for, you can type it in the search bar in the upper-right, or navigate using the tabs on the left. You'll find the Achievements tied to Allied Races under the Quests tab.

If you're not familiar with Reputation (often shortened to "rep" by players), think of it kind of like a second XP bar - only instead of watching your level get higher, you get access to more and more stuff. Some of the game's best and rarest rewards and even some quests and content are gated behind your Reputation ratings, so boosting them is always a good idea. For Allied Races specifically, you'll want to focus on the faction, tribe, or organization that represents the race you want to play as. To check your Reputation at any time, simply pull up the Reputation tab for your character with the 'U' key (assuming default keybindings).

Lastly, once you've met all other requirements, you'll need to undertake a Recruitment Quest to formally bring the Allied Race into the fold. Regardless of which Allied Race you're hoping to unlock, you'll need to head to either the Stormwind Embassy or Orgrimmar Embassy once you've met all other criteria. There you'll be able to start a new quest chain that shows exactly why and how the Allied Race has joined up with your faction.

What are the Horde Allied Races?

Currently, the list of Horde Allied Races includes Highmountain Tauren, Nightborne, Mag'har Orcs, and Zandalari Trolls.

How to unlock Highmountain Tauren: Reach Exalted with the Highmountain Tribe and complete Ain't No Mountain High Enough.

Although you'll need to own Battle for Azeroth to unlock them, the Highmountain Tauren are tied to content from the previous expansion, Legion. Head to Highmountain and start the quest Keepers of the Hammer - this will get you started on the path to completing Ain't No Mountain High Enough.

To earn Reputation with Highmountain Tribe, take up any quests you can in the Highmountain zone. World Quests are a huge help here, and you should keep an eye out for when the Highmountain emissary is active. When that happens (emissaries change every day, so check in frequently), completing four quests for the Highmountain Tribe will earn you an extra-large bonus of Reputation. You should also do World Quests for the Kirin Tor when that group's emissary is active, as it will likewise net you a big rep boost (and you get to pick which faction it goes toward).

You can also send followers, which you'll unlock over the course of your Class Hall storyline, on missions to earn rep. You can do this in-game, but you can also download the WoW companion app to your phone and manage your followers and missions from there, which is super helpful and time efficient.

How to unlock Nightborne: Reach Exalted with The Nightfallen and complete Insurrection.

As with Highmountain Tauren, you'll need to own BfA in order to play as the Nightborne, though their unlock requirements are tied to Legion. You'll need to head to Suramar and grab the quest Ancient Mana, which becomes available at level 110. This is the first step toward completing Insurrection.

You'll earn lots of Reputation with The Nightfallen by following their story, but feel free to grab a few World Quests and emissary rewards if you need a little help getting over the hump toward Exalted. Nightfallen also have a quest you can get from First Arcanist Thalyssra every three days called Withered Army Training, and it is a fantastic way to earn rep. And don't forget about those follower missions, which will sometimes have Nightfallen rep as a reward.

How to unlock Mag'har Orc: Reach Exalted with The Honorbound and complete Ready for War.

The Honorbound faction and Ready for War Achievement are both tied to Battle for Azeroth's War Campaign. You'll unlock this quest chain early on (and you can always tell which missions are part of the War Campaign because they'll have a small insignia matching your faction next to them), but need to reach max level and earn Honorbound rep in order to see it through to completion.

Do as many World Quests in Kul Tiras and Zandalar (note: you'll need to unlock them first) and earn as many Honorbound emissary rewards as you can while sending followers out on missions just like you would in Legion. But also make sure to complete the quest Azerite for the Horde, which is available once per week. This quest challenges you to collect 40k Azerite via one of BfA's new features, Island Expeditions. Succeed and you'll earn a huge boost to Honorbound rep.

Another feature new to Battle for Azeroth is Warfronts. Each resource contribution you make to a Warfront will earn you a moderate amount of rep, though Warfronts won't be live until September 4.

How to unlock Zandalari Troll: As of this writing, Zandalari Trolls are not playable. It's suspected that players will need to be Exalted with the Zandalari Empire and earn the The Final Seal Achievement, but this has yet to be confirmed.

What are the Alliance Allied Races?

Right now, the Alliance Allied Races include Lightforged Draenei, Void Elves, Dark Iron Dwarves, and Kul Tiras Humans.

How to unlock Lightforged Draenei: Reach Exalted with the Army of the Light and complete You Are Now Prepared!.

Lightforged Draenei are another case where you'll need to own BfA, but their unlock requirements are tied to Legion. Once you reach level 110 (either by boosting or working your way up), head to Dalaran in the Broken Isles. You should automatically get a quest that will take you to Argus - this is the first step toward completing the Achievement "You Are Now Prepared!".

World Quests with Army of the Light rep rewards will only spawn in Krokuun or Antoran Wastes, but rare elite quests (the ones marked in blue with a gold dragon border) from any Argus zone will also grant Army of the Light rep. You can also complete the quests Fuel of a Doomed World and Invasion Onslaught once per week. And again, there's always the follower missions.

How to unlock Void Elf: Reach Exalted with the Argussian Reach and complete You Are Now Prepared!.

You've got the jist by now; in order to play as a Void Elf, you'll need to own Battle for Azeroth, but complete Legion content. Thankfully, you'll kill two birds with one stone in this case, as the story requirement for Void Elves is the same as Lightforged Draenei. Reach level 110, head to Argus, and follow through on the main quests to complete You Are Now Prepared!.

Reputation for Argussian Reach is also pretty much the same as for the Army of the Light. World Quests with Argussian Reach rep rewards spawn in Mac'Aree and Krokuun, but you can also complete the quests Fuel of a Doomed World and Invasion Onslaught once per week for a major boost, or take on any rare elite quest on Argus. And yep, follower missions are again a big help here.

How to unlock Dark Iron Dwarf: Reach Exalted with the 7th Legion and complete Ready for War.

Both the 7th Legion rep and Ready for War Achievement are tied to Battle for Azeroth's War Campaign. You'll unlock these quests fairly early on, but progress is gated behind level and reputation. Complete the appropriate World Quests in Zandalar and Kul Tiras and earn emissary rewards whenever possible, and send followers out on missions as you would with any of the Legion Allied Races.

You can also take on the quest Azerite for the Alliance once per week. Complete this by collecting 40k Azerite during Island Expeditions and you'll net yourself a big rep bonus. Island Expeditions also have a chance to reward the Rusted Alliance Insignia item, which can be turned in for a decent amount of 7th Legion rep.

Once Warfronts go live on September 4, you'll also be able to contribute to them for 150 Reputation per resource contribution.

How to unlock Kul Tiras Human: As of this writing, Kul Tiras Humans are not playable. It is suspected that players will need to be Exalted with the Proudmoore Admiralty and complete The Pride of Kul Tiras Achievement, but this has yet to be confirmed.

Looking for more tips? Then be sure to check out our World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth - how to unlock World Quests and World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth - how to get secret battle pet Baa'l guides.

Sam Prell

Sam is a former News Editor here at GamesRadar. His expert words have appeared on many of the web's well-known gaming sites, including Joystiq, Penny Arcade, Destructoid, and G4 Media, among others. Sam has a serious soft spot for MOBAs, MMOs, and emo music. Forever a farm boy, forever a '90s kid.