World of Warcraft Races Ranked – The 12 Best WoW Races

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World of Warcraft Races Ranked – The 12 Best WoW Races

When it comes to World of Warcraft Races, there's a lot to choose from, but what's the best?


Ranking the World of Warcraft Races is purely subjective, but having played this humble little video game since late Vanilla, I feel I'm in a decent spot to judge the races. This is a weird thing to type out, but everyone loves a tier list.

World of Warcraft Races now number an impressive 24 in the game's retail version, which is the subject of this list. The races have undergone some changes over the years, and their unique bonuses are much more sterile and streamlined than they were in the past. That said, there are some standout unique aspects, outside of the obvious cosmetic differences. With 24 current races, let's rank the half that is left. So, let's take a look at the 12 best wow races in my opinion, feel free to have your own opinion, of course, I'm not your Dad.

Editor Note: The “best” here is looking at mostly a PvE perspective, with DPS a main focus, though as you can see from our first pick it's not just about that. 

World of Warcraft Races Ranked

12 – Pandaren

World of Warcraft Races Ranked
Image – Samwise Didier

Let's start with the game's only neutral faction (for now) and include them here. Their Racial Epicurean increases the stat benefits of food by 100%, which is a really solid buff. Outside of that, it's all a bit rubbish, but they, a neutral faction so that's fun. Pandaren were a joke faction, that, we still think Blizzard regrets adding, so we'll include them here all the same.

11 – Goblin

Goblin has always been a popular Horde race. Especially those who raid at the top end, their Rocket Jump racial has been seen many times over the years to “cheese” boss mechanics. Rocket Barrage gives you an effective third trinket on a 1.5-minute CD, Time is Money increases your Haste by 1% plus you get the best shot discounts at all stores. They are not the best-looking race, being the Horde version of a Gnome, but we're sure those that do love them, really love them.

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10 – Blood Elf

The iconic Blood Elf race finally made the Horde playable for people looking to not play an ugly race. Blood Elf was one of the best races in WoW for a long time, but they've been left behind a little since their major racial in Arcane Torrent lost a lot of its use with the changes to resources. Now, however, You do get a 1% increased critical strike chance, which is nice. But, you don't get much else. That said, they do look lovely, so that's nice.

9 – Dark Iron Dwarf

Not as good as the normal Dwarfs (spoilers), but Dark Iron are a great pick. Fireblood is the same as the Dwarf Stoneform, which I guess makes sense… It's a cool race, with a lot gimmick racials that don't help much in a combat situation. But hey, if you like your Dwarf a little more… Dark Iron(er) then this is your option. Plus, their fire beards are a great way to recreate a Warhammer Fyreslayer.

8 -Orc

World of Warcraft Races Ranked
Image – Samwise Didier

If you like big shoulders, then this is the race for you. Orc is an iconic Horde race, though it doesn't bring quite as much to the table as it maybe once did. Blood Fury increases Attack and Spell Power by a scaling amount for 15 seconds, giving Orc players a third Trinket. Command increases pet damage by 1%, nice for Hunter and Demo Warlock, but 1% is a very small amount in the grand scheme of things. It's a great option for Horde players,

7 – Night Elf

warcraft druid of the talon by samwisedidier d7g4yca 414w 2x
Image – Samwise Didier

Always one of the most popular races for Alliance players, the Night Elf is still a fantastic option. Touch of Elune is the main DPS bonus, giving them 1% Haste of Critical Strike depending on if it's day or night. Shadowmeld is an iconic ability, that has use in PvP and M+, while Quickness gives them an increased Dodge chance and a small movement speed increase. Regardless, it's one of the best-looking Races when fully geared out.

6 – Mecha Gnomes

Mechagnomes heritage armor

What's better than a Gnome? Well, a Mechanical Gnome of course. Combat Analysis is your key ability here, increasing your primary stats during combat, stacking 10 times. Emergency Failsafe is also a great, mini “cheat death” ability, healing you for 15% when you drop below 20% health. Sadly, it's one of the… weirdest-looking Races in the game, though I'm sure someone loves them.

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5 – Void Elf

A controversial pick, putting the Alliance Blood Elf over the Horde one, but, that's life. Deal with it. Void Elf is a solid option, Entropic Embrace is a nice passive DPS racial, while Spatial Rift adds movement to Classes that might otherwise lack it. It's a solid pick, and they look pretty cool as well.

4 – Troll

Troll has always been seen as the best Horde race, thanks to their racial Berserking, which increases their Haste by 15% of 10 seconds. The rest of it is fairly standard stuff, that isn't going to be game-changing enough to make a difference.

3 – Tauren

warcraft kulun earthguard by samwisedidier d7g4hru 375w 2x
Image – Samwise Didier

Our highest ranking Horde race and it has to be those friendly cow-folk. Tauren has basically the same racial as our number 2 pick in Brawn, a 2% increase to Critical Strike Bonus. They also get a scaling Stamina increase with level, handy if you want to play a tank. In fairness, Tauren and Dwarf are fairly similar, apart from the obvious size difference between the two.

2 – Dwarf

warcraft magni bronzebeard by samwisedidier d7g4s20 400t
Image – Samwise Didier

These lovely little Scottish lads and lasses have stood the test of time in WoW, and they're still rocking it. Not only do they have great facial hair, but their racial are pretty great, too. Might of the Mountain offers you 2% Critical Strike Damage and Healing, and Stoneform is great for those who enjoy tanking or PvP, removing basically all negative effects while reducing 10% of all physical damage taken for a short period.

We love Dwarfs/Dwarves/Dwarven so we put them second on our list.

1 – Gnome

WoW Anduin Art WALLPAPER 3840x2160 png jpgcopy

Not really, it's Human, don't you feel silly for getting angry about it being Gnome. Looks, being a Human is a boring option, but it is objectively the best (if you play Alliance). From Human Spirit giving you 2% of all Secondary Stats from all sources, to a free stun removal in Will to Survive to the always lovely 10% reputation boost from Diplomacy, Human is a standout among the races of WoW.

What's your favourite race in WoW? Be sure to let us know by me a message on Twitter (X…) below.

World of Warcraft Races Ranked – The 12 Best WoW Races
David Hollingsworth
David has written for games media outlets for the last ten years. With his first major esports role being with Esports News UK covering mostly UK League of Legends. David is also a member of the British Esports Association and is an advisor to them on World of Warcraft Esports. More recently David has worked for Esports Insider and Red Bull as an esports journalist. David later became Editor at ESTNN and now leads the current team.