Welcome —Basic Movement and Combat

Community Manager
Many gamers have been playing computer and video games for longer than they can remember, so it’s sometimes hard to remember what stepping into an entirely new game for the first time feels like. This ongoing series is written with brand new gamers in mind. We’ll be exploring the various aspects of World of Warcraft together—starting from the very beginning.

If you’re a new player, this is for you. If you’re an experienced player, you can use these articles as a tool to help friends get into the game for the first time.

Read more on the official blog and share your advice below!
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Oo, still has that "new sticky" smell.

Very awesome of y'all to add this, hopefully it'll be a handy resource for new folks!

One thing I'd add would be to use the mouse wheel, or the Home & End keys, to scroll the camera distance closer and further away from the character -- scrolling back helps us to see more around us, but sometimes scrolling in lets us see the finer details (and there's a plethora of details to find in Azeroth!).
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Community Manager
Oo, still has that "new sticky" smell.

Very awesome of y'all to add this, hopefully it'll be a handy resource for new folks!

One thing I'd add would be to use the mouse wheel, or the Home & End keys, to scroll the camera distance closer and further away from the character -- scrolling back helps us to see more around us, but sometimes scrolling in lets us see the finer details (and there's a plethora of details to find in Azeroth!).


Good point on the mouse wheel. Hopefully we'll be able to add on with more blogs covering what we all take for granted as "the basics" so we can get newer players up and running easier.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
12895
Best advice I can give for new players is use your mouse to turn and take auto attack off your key bar at the start :)
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100 Human Priest
10490
Great article! It definitely feels like it covers a bunch of things I would have loved to know in my first month (Read: first 19 levels....yeah, seriously, that's how newbies are!).

Anyone who says "Oh, tell them about mouseover macros!" or "Oh, tell them about the humongous pile of addons for this game!" is missing the point of this article. Give them a few weeks/months to internalize these basics before you pile even more stuff onto them.
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1 Human Rogue
0
The guide says "This is a lot faster than "keyboard turning" using the A and D keys."

Why don't you allow us to increase the turn speed using those keys?You let us adjust mouse turn speed.

This has always annoyed me and just wreaks of some developer wanting to screw over "clickers" just because.
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100 Troll Mage
12780
Ah yes... movement. This has long been a thorn in my side, but the basic movement controls in WoW are actually pretty awful. REALLY awful. I know it's not completely the fault of the current dev team, but whoever made these choices way back at launch clearly had no understanding of the benefits of standardization or training good habits from the very beginning, even for players who don't want to get too serious with the game. Change will always be controversial, but I strongly believe it will be in everyone's best interest to rip the band-aid off now and let the wound heal before more new players are infected. These controls are literally getting in players' way. So, to any new players reading this: whether you have dreams of raiding or just want to make your quality of life a little bit better, it would be prudent for all players still using default controls to do a little reconfiguring when they start the game, or even several thousand hours in. Don't give up in an hour if it's a little hard to adjust at first, think of it this way: you're going to have to go through a week of adjusting, but you'll have years of easier controls after that.

First of all, in ANY other PC game, A and D make you move laterally to the left and right respectively. Even in WoW, while holding the right mouse button, A and D "strafe," so why they turn you when not holding it is completely baffling. You should not be using your keyboard to turn in battle anyway, for many reasons that any seasoned player can tell you. Press escape, select Key Bindings, and switch A with Q and D with E. Q and E can then be used to turn, and there will be no difference in controls between holding your right mouse button (which you should use to turn in a fight) and not.

Next, for some insane reason, Blizzard deemed it wise to put a button that opens your chat input right next to your movement keys... I'm talking about R, which by default replies to the last whisper sent to you. This must be changed, or slightly offsetting your hand will be far worse than turning when you mean to run forward. You may accidentally open chat and COMPLETELY lose control of your character until you realize what's happening. They even have a perfectly useful movement function that's easy to associate with R: auto-run. Again, bizarrely, it's on Num Lock. Change Auto-run to R, and Chat Reply to , (comma). Set Re-whisper to Shift+, since they're similar functions. Re-whisper sends another whisper to the person you whispered last.

Finally, mounting is a big deal, and very movement related, but there is no dedicated mount key. Instead, mounts are treated as skills, and you must activate them like one. It makes no sense to me why such an important aspect of movement is grouped with your attacks and other spells. You would need your leftmost number keys for your most used abilities to be effective, so mounting would have to get pushed off, maybe even to - or =. That won't do. Go into the interface and activate all your skill bars, plus show empty bars. You'll probably want to have them all up eventually anyway. Find one that you wouldn't mind dedicating to your mount button for the rest of the game. I use and recommend Right Action Button 12, which is the bottom right button on the two side columns. Assign whatever button you choose to V, and place your favorite mount or a mount macro (just google "mount macro" for tons of guides) in it. If you did it right, V should mount you. If you don't yet have a mount, get the assignment out of the way now and then place your mount there once you're 20.

V was being used to show and hide name plates by default. Name plates are floating health bars above the heads of enemies or allies which can be clicked on to target them. They're EXTREMELY helpful for all roles, and I recommend DPS and tanks keep enemy name plates turned on at all times while healers keep friendly ones up, at least in instances. Since they're related to targeting and should not be easy to accidentally toggle off, I recommend assigning show enemy, show friendly, and show all nameplates to whichever combination of shift+F, control+F, and alt+F you personally associate with enemy, friendly, and all.

Z, X, C, and F are all fine as they are. F is assist, which targets the same enemy as your target if it's friendly. It's a useful targeting ability, and there's nothing that really deserves that spot more.

Personally, I wish Blizzard would just rip off the band-aid and let their wounded default key configuration heal before more players are infected by it. There will always be some controversy over change, but I could never perform at the level I do if I were still dancing between two keys to strafe, opening my chat box accidentally in battle, and reaching across the keyboard to mount. Unfortunately, it seems to be completely on the players' shoulders to help people rise up so the sky doesn't have to fall down to meet them.
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100 Tauren Druid
12480
Be cool if these were accessible in-game like the Support pages. Be crazy useful to just link this to new players asking a lot of basic questions.
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90 Human Warlock
17365
I remember first starting back in BC, back when the talent trees were huge, i didn't realize you had to scroll down to see the lower parts of the tree!

thank god they changed it so more new comers don't get stuck like i did! :p
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90 Worgen Hunter
13255
as far as clicking on things, learning about the difference between left and right clicking is enormous:

left click: select your target
right click: interact with your target. for hostile targets such as enemies this will start your auto attack, for vendors and innkeepers, will open the trade window, for questgivers will allow you to open the quest dialog. this also lets you loot corpses, harvest resources, interact with quest objects and so on.

a note about auto-attack, you will keep attacking once you start until either
a) you change to a different target (or no target) or
b) you or your target die. if you are a melee and out of range of the target, you will resume attacking once you are close enough (same applies to if the target gets behind you and you get it back in front)

Also, remember that backing up (default 'S') moves you at about half your normal speed, so its often quicker to turn and then strafe away from something bad than it is to back up from it.
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90 Worgen Hunter
13255
also good to notice is that your cursor will change depending on what type of target its over, for example:

a sword: attack-able target
magnifying glass: information/lore
a bag: a vendor that you cannot repair at
an anvil: a vendor you CAN repair at
a hearthstone: an innkeeper where you can set your hearth location, and also sometimes buy things:
a gear: something you can interact with, examples being doors you can open, buttons, levers, and so on.
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100 Human Warlock
10445
I agree with everything Dreyfuss said above.

I'll add that jumping is completely useless in this game (except Thaddius I guess).

Reassign your space bar right away.

Dont be that hunter that think bouncing helps, please, just dont.
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100 Orc Hunter
19415
Dont be that hunter that think bouncing helps, please, just dont.


The psychological effect on your opponents should not be underestimated.

But jumping also has two practical effects: 1) you can jump, spin, and fire at your target, without either strafing or (worse) backpedaling. 2) You get more distance on Disengage, from jumping first.
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90 Night Elf Rogue
5370
I'll add that jumping is completely useless in this game (except Thaddius I guess).

Reassign your space bar right away.

Dont be that hunter that think bouncing helps, please, just dont.


Um no, the spacebar is NOT useless. It's how you get over small obstacles that you can't go around. Need to get that mining node up on the little hill you can't quite run up, and you don't yet have flying? Try jumping while climbing up the shallowest slope, you'll make it.

It's vital for a few different dungeons/scenarios that have you do platform jumping. There's also at least one quest on Isle of Thunder that has a "fetch this item" where one of the possible spawn points for it is at the top of a hill that you can only get to by climbing and rock hopping. I also recently discovered that if you jump as you're running out of some types of AoE puddles you take one less "tic" of damage.

Spacebar is also how you "rise" when swimming/flying without changing your camera angle with the mouse.

So no, spacebar is NOT useless by any means. It's not necessary to hit it every 2 seconds when running around, but telling people to unbind it just so they stop annoying you with the incessant jumping is not helpful.
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90 Night Elf Rogue
7645
The guide says "This is a lot faster than "keyboard turning" using the A and D keys."

Why don't you allow us to increase the turn speed using those keys?You let us adjust mouse turn speed.

This has always annoyed me and just wreaks of some developer wanting to screw over "clickers" just because.


I don't think the developers are trying to screw us "clickers" over. It's just probably hasn't really been at their attention to increase the variety of controls they have. Hence players making macros and using addon.

But I do agree with Yachim on the keyboard turning speed should be adjustable. For players like me it becomes a pain in the neck while turning a lot and having select a target over tabbing through all the enemies. Also having including situations with mouse over macros. Hopefully this will be changed in the next expansion.
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90 Worgen Death Knight
16685
Don't take anything people say too personally, people can get a bit weird in an anonymous setting
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90 Blood Elf Priest
12895
Ah yes... movement. This has long been a thorn in my side, but the basic movement controls in WoW are actually pretty awful. REALLY awful. I know it's not completely the fault of the current dev team, but whoever made these choices way back at launch clearly had no understanding of the benefits of standardization or training good habits from the very beginning, even for players who don't want to get too serious with the game. Change will always be controversial, but I strongly believe it will be in everyone's best interest to rip the band-aid off now and let the wound heal before more new players are infected. These controls are literally getting in players' way. So, to any new players reading this: whether you have dreams of raiding or just want to make your quality of life a little bit better, it would be prudent for all players still using default controls to do a little reconfiguring when they start the game, or even several tve to fall down to meet them.


QQ L2 rebind
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90 Night Elf Druid
10465
The guide says "This is a lot faster than "keyboard turning" using the A and D keys."

Why don't you allow us to increase the turn speed using those keys?You let us adjust mouse turn speed.

This has always annoyed me and just wreaks of some developer wanting to screw over "clickers" just because.


Because it makes no sense to click, why should blizzard fix something that was not intended to use.

The only time you should be using turn keys, combined with strafe keys, is if healing a raid, on the move, and still you have to keybind everything, and click raid frames with your mouse, or macros if its a 10man.
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90 Night Elf Rogue
5370
Don't take anything people say too personally, people can get a bit weird in an anonymous setting


yes, but this IS in the New Player Help and Guides forum. Here bad advice is quickly and adamantly corrected so newbies don't walk away thinking the bad advice is worth following.

But yeah, as a general rule for interacting with others in game: Anonymous people on the internet can (and often will) be jerks. They'll say anything to get a response out of you (state wrong info, ask weird questions, use every swear they can think of while insulting someone for no reason), and then point and laugh that you responded. It's stupid and childish, but it happens.
Edited by Avanna on 7/25/2013 2:31 PM PDT
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85 Human Warlock
3915
07/25/2013 01:59 PMPosted by Mâikopl
Because it makes no sense to click, why should blizzard fix something that was not intended to use


What? You can press a key to turn, yes?

You should able to increase/adjust that turn speed just like mouse sensitivity.
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