World of Warcraft Addons – Quick Start Guide

AddOns GuideIf you have played World of Warcraft for any length of time then you have probably across ‘addons’. These are small modifications – or ‘mods’ – to the user interface that add functionality to the game. Addons can be extremely useful to a player and give them the edge in so many aspects of the game that many of us now would find it difficult to play without them. In this short guide I’ll describe some of the more useful addons commonly used in gold making and describe the basics of downloading, installing and maintaining these programs.

What Are Addons?

Addons are extensions to the user interface, that is, they are primarily concerned with changing the way information from the game is displayed. They’re commonly used to display additional action bars, maps or various widgets on the screen. In reality they’re just a bunch of markup files (XML), scripts and texture images added to a folder in the Warcraft game directory of your computer. These files are the same form as those supplied by Blizzard to define the default interface.

Are Addons Legal?

Many users new to the game are concerned that addons will get them banned. This is not the case with pure addons which are simply interpreted by the WoW client program and thus legal. Blizzard has been careful to document their user interface and encourage users to extend its functionality right from the introduction of the game. You can read the Blizzard Add-On Policy here.

So What Are Bots?

However, some folks often confuse addons with third-party ‘executable’ programs that attempt to change the game’s data files or interfere with the communication between the WoW client and the Blizzard’s servers. These executable programs – sometimes called bots – fall foul of the Terms of Service and are banned by Blizzard.

Finding Downloadable Addons

There are now literally thousands of addons out there that do everything from check the in-game Mail to enhance the Auction House. Over the years sites supporting addons have been concentrated to a few well known players:


Check out these sites and once you have decided on a particular addon, simply download it. But don’t go crazy! I’ll explain later how to install and maintain them. For the most part, files are packaged in ZIP format. Please note: as with any download, it’s best to scan it for viruses and rogue programs before you unzip it. This is true for both PC and MAC systems. Useful Gold Making AddonsThere are many useful gold making addons out there, but for the most part they fall into three main categories:

  • Auction House
  • Crafting
  • Mailbox

Without going into any great detail, I’ve listed the main addons that I use:

  • Auctioneer – Auction House
  • LilSparky’s Workshop – Crafting
  • Postal – Mailbox

If you are new to addons, start by installing Auctioneer. Try to keep the installation of addons to a minimum as they take time and resource to load into memory and require upgrading between patch releases In Part 2 of the guide I’ll explain how to install and maintain addons.

Part 2 – Installing World of Warcraft Addons