Wow Classic races: how to synergise races and classes to get the best from your character

wow classic races
(Image credit: Blizzard )

Picking between WoW Classic races is tough, and starts with choosing Horde or Alliance. Then you have to consider which is the best WoW Classic race for the class you want to play? Unlike modern World of Warcraft, these decisions have a fairly big impact in WoW Classic - once you choose a faction, you'll have to stick with your choice if you want to make more characters on the same server. Strong racial abilities that synergise well with certain classes make choosing the right WoW Classic race vital too. Luckily, we've put together a quick guide to help you choose which race to pick in WoW Classic.

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wow classic orc

(Image credit: Blizzard )

Available classes:  Hunter, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior.

Despite their appearance, Orcs are honourable and fiercely loyal. After being cut off from their homeworld of Draenor following the events of the invasion of the Burning Legion they have settled in Azeroth to build new lives for themselves, under the leadership of their Warchief, Thrall with Orgrimmar as their capital. 

Orcs synergise well with melee damage classes thanks to their Blood Fury and Axe Specialization racial abilities, though Hunters and Warlocks are also solid choices thanks to Command.

Racial abilities: 

  • Axe Specialization - Skill with Axes and Two-Handed Axes increased by 5. 
  • Blood Fury - Increases base melee attack power by 25% for 15 sec and reduces healing effects on you by 50% for 25 sec. 
  • Command - Damage dealt by Hunter and Warlock pets increased by 5%. 
  • Hardiness - Chance to resist Stun effects increased by an additional 25%.


wow classic troll

(Image credit: Blizzard )

Available classes: Hunter, Rogue, Priest, Mage, Shaman, Warrior.

The trolls of the Darkspear tribe were driven from their home in Stranglethorn Vale and wandered for a time, becoming entangled with murlocs and other sea-dwelling creatures who sought to destroy them. Thrall and his orcs rescued them and bought them back to Kalimdor but the Darkspear leader, Sen'jin was captured and killed. Now led by Vol'jin, they have made their base, Sen'jin Village, in southern Durotar.

The Bow Specialization racial ability leans towards Hunters being the better choice but their strong Berserking racial makes all classes a viable option.

Racial abilities:

  • Beast Slaying - Damage dealt versus Beasts increased by 5%.
  • Berserking - Increases your casting and attack speed by 10% to 30%. At full health the speed increase is 10% with a greater effect up to 30% if you are badly hurt when you activate Berserking. Lasts 10 sec.
  • Bow Specialization - Skill with Bow Weapons increased by 5.
  • Regeneration: Health regeneration rate increased by 10%. 10% of total Health regeneration may continue during combat.
  • Throwing Specialization: Skill with Throwing Weapons increased by 5.


wow classic undead

(Image credit: Blizzard )

Available classes: Mage, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior.

Largely misunderstood, the undead - or Forsaken, as they like to be known - were once under the control of the Lich King but, with the help of Sylvanas Windrunner, they broke away from the rest of the Scourge and began to build a new life for themselves based around their capital, Undercity, located beneath the Ruins of Lordaeron in Tirisfal Glades.

Undead are a great choice if you enjoy PvP, thanks to their Will of the Forsaken racial ability.

Racial abilities:

  • Cannibalize - When activated, regenerates 7% of total health every 2 sec for 10 sec. Only works on Humanoid or Undead corpses within 5 yds. Any movement, action, or damage taken while Cannibalizing will cancel the effect.
  • Shadow Resistance - Shadow Resistance increased by 10.
  • Underwater Breathing - Underwater breath lasts 300% longer than normal.
  • Will of the Forsaken - Provides immunity to Charm, Fear and Sleep while active. May also be used while already afflicted by Charm, Fear or Sleep. Lasts 5 sec.


wow classic Tauren

(Image credit: Blizzard )

Available classes: Druid, Hunter, Shaman, Warrior.

Tauren are a peaceful race who spent years having to contend with an increasing number of aggressive centaur invaders for land to hunt on. The Tauren leader, Cairne Bloodhoof befriended Thrall and the orcs helped to fight back the centaurs and take Mulgore as their own. Now allied with the Horde, they built their capital, Thunder Bluff and remain under the leadership of Cairne.

Druids are a solid choice for Taurens, though the Endurance racial ability could also be useful for Warrior tanks.

Racial abilities:

  • Cultivation - Herbalism skill increased by 15.
  • Endurance - Total Health increased by 5%.
  • Nature Resistance - Nature Resistance increased by 10.
  • War Stomp - Stuns up to 5 enemies within 8 yds for 2 sec.



wow classic human

(Image credit: Blizzard )

Available classes: Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior.

Humans have a turbulent history; just as the war with the orcs seemed to be dying down in the Eastern Kingdoms, the scourge was released to the north and forced the humans out of their home in Lordaeron and flee further south. Stormwind City in Elwynn Forest is now their stronghold where they are led by King Varian Wrynn.

Humans work well as Paladins, Rogues, and Warriors, thanks to their Sword and Mace Specialization racial abilities.

Racial abilities:

  • Diplomacy - Reputation gains increased by 10%.
  • Mace Specialization - Skill with Maces and Two-Handed Maces increased by 5.
  • Perception - Dramatically increases stealth detection for 20 sec.
  • Sword Specialization - Skill with Swords and Two-Handed Swords increased by 5.
  • The Human Spirit - Spirit increased by 5%.

Night elf

wow classic night elf

(Image credit: Blizzard )

Available classes: Druid, Hunter, Priest, Rogue, Warrior.

Prior to the invasion of the Burning Legion, night elves were immortal, living in and around Ashenvale. While they were able to beat back the invasion with the help of the orcs and humans, their immortality came to an end and they were forced to come to terms with their new-found vulnerability. In an attempt to regain their lost immortality, the world tree, Teldrassil was planted and with it, their capital city, Darnassus was built.

Druid is a good choice for your night elf (it's the only Alliance race that can choose that class) otherwise, the Shadowmeld racial ability can be useful for PvP.

Racial abilities:

  • Nature Resistance - Nature Resistance increased by 10.
  • Wisp Spirit - Transform into a wisp upon death, increasing movement speed by 50%.
  • Quickness - Dodge chance increased by 1%.
  • Shadowmeld - Activate to slip into the shadows, reducing the chance for enemies to detect your presence. Lasts until cancelled or upon moving. Night Elf Rogues and Druids with Shadowmeld are more difficult to detect while stealthed or prowling.


wow classic dwarf

(Image credit: Blizzard )

Available classes: Hunter, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Warrior.

The dwarves spend much of their time mining, looking for the secrets that could unlock their past. They played a large part in fighting back the orc invasion, allying themselves with the humans and joining the Alliance. Their home is the mighty Ironforge, built into the side of a mountain and they are led by their king, Magni Bronzebeard.

Dwarves make good Hunters, thanks to their Gun Specialization racial ability but they're also a viable choice for those who enjoy PvP, thanks to Stoneform.

Racial abilities:

  • Find Treasure - Allows the dwarf to sense nearby treasure, making it appear on the minimap
  • Frost Resistance - Increases Frost Resistance by 10.
  • Gun Specialization - Guns skill increased by 5.
  • Stoneform - While active, grants immunity to Bleed, Poison, and Disease effects. In addition, Armor increased by 10%. Lasts 8 sec.


wow classic gnome

(Image credit: Blizzard )

Available classes: Mage, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior

Gnomes are the smallest race in Azeroth and little is known about their history, other than they were created by the titans. They pride themselves on their quick thinking and scientific ingenuity. The dwarves helped them construct their capital city of Gnomeregan but this was overrun by invading troggs and they were forced to abandon it, losing many of their kin in the process. The survivors have taken up refuge in the dwarven city of Ironforge.

Mages and Warlocks are a good choice because of the Expansive Mind racial ability.

Racial abilities:

  • Arcane Resistance - Arcane Resistance increased.
  • Expansive Mind - Intelligence increased by 5%.
  • Engineering Specialization - Engineering skill increased by 15.
  • Escape Artist - Escape the effects of any immobilization or movement speed reduction effect.
Guides Writer, PC Gamer

Sarah has been writing about games for several years and, before joining PC Gamer, freelanced for the likes of TechRadar, GamingBible, and Rock Paper Shotgun. These days, and when not writing guides, most of her spare time goes into MMOs—though she's quite partial to JRPGs too. She has spent much of the last decade playing the likes of Star Wars: The Old Republic, TERA, Final Fantasy 14, and World of Warcraft.