World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is the game’s eighth expansion, released on November 23, 2020. It includes significant changes to the character level caps and features five new territories: Ardenweald, Bastion, Maldraxxus, the Maw, and Revendreth. As always, there are lots of new mechanics, reworked abilities, and a new system known as Covenants. Whether you are new to retail, a returning play, or continuing your journey, you are probably wondering what the best addons are for WoW Shadowlands.

We’ll go over a few of the essential WoW Shadowlands addons down below. There are also a few addons that you may like depending on your characters’ class and your playstyle. Of course, addons are not a requirement and are merely intended to enhance your game. The addon development community for WoW is massive, so there’s probably something for everyone.

The best addons for WoW Shadowlands

The best addons for WoW Shadowlands are:

  • WeakAura
  • Deadly Boss Mods
  • ElvUI
  • Details
  • Bartender
  • HandyNotes
  • Leatrix Plus
  • Bagnon / Adibags

As we mentioned, the word “best” is subjective. These addons serve a core purpose for a well-rounded experience. They offer flexibility to action bars, in-game information about dungeons and raids, and performance data to let you know how well you’re playing. Some players may enjoy a more vanilla experience and opt not to use any outside addons. 

WeakAuras

WeakAuras is the most customizable framework for displaying buffs, debuff, and other information. The most attractive feature is the ability to share your WeakAuras scripts with other players quickly and import them, as well. There’s an entire website, Wago, that consists of thousands of user-created WeakAura scripts that can be useful for any situation imaginable.

The learning curve can be steep, but WeakAura is a powerful addon capable of almost anything. Despite its capabilities, WeakAuras is lightweight and does not lag the game in any form. Give it a shot, and try browsing for some class-specific WeakAura scripts by class-type. You won’t be disappointed.

The best addons for WoW Shadowlands - WeakAuras

Deadly Boss Mods

Dungeons and raid encounters have a lot of mechanics you need to memorize. Deadly Boss Mods takes some of the pressure off you by basically telling you what to do in each boss fight. Need to move away from a mechanic? DBM will let you know. Deadly Boss Mods includes fight mechanics for every dungeon and raid in the game and is updated regularly.

While the addon might be pretty beefy, it doesn’t have any negative performance impact. Specific portions of the addon automatically load when you’re in a particular instance. Rather than memorize everything, you may want to give DBM a shot, especially if you’re new to PvE content. Other similar addons include Big Wigs and Little Wigs.

The best addons for WoW Shadowlands - DBM

ElvUI

ElvUI is the most popular interface addon available in all of World of Warcraft. It offers the most user-interface customization options but can be tedious to setup. Luckily, they do have a way to import templates, allowing you to mimic someone else’s setup relatively easy. If you plan to use this addon, I’d recommend going through all the settings and tailoring it for your character. 

ElvUI includes some default templates depending on your class roles, like healer, DPS, or tank. You can unlock nearly any UI element and move it around, resize it, and position it however you’d like, making it a must-have for many players. Best of all, it has the most active development teams out there, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking on major patches.

The best addons for WoW Shadowlands - ElvUI
Image via Tukui

Details

It’s always useful to see how much damage or healing you’re doing in a dungeon or raid. You want to contribute to your group’s success, right? Details is the gold standard when it comes to damage meters. Numbers are shown in an easily digestible format right out of the box. You can break down damage by each fight, spell type, and get granular with the analysis. It’s an excellent tool for improving your damage and healing output and allows you to pinpoint the slackers in your raid.

Details also supports plugins such as TinyThreat, which can be crucial in high-level dungeons. Pulling threat is less of an issue in Shadowlands than, say, vanilla WoW, but it’s still important to know. The addon also provides useful information like damage taken and allows you to share these metrics in the various chats in a single click.

The best addons for WoW Shadowlands - Details!
Image via CurseForge

Bartender4

If there’s one thing that’s never changed over the 15 years of World of Warcraft, it’s the action bars. To be fair, there’s a saying that goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It seems Blizzard stuck with that motto and remained true to their barebone action bars throughout the years. For players who want some more customization, there’s an addon for that. Bartender is the most customizable addon for action bars on the market.

Between all your spells, consumables, covenant abilities, and other random use items, you’re going to need a lot of hotkeys. Bartender allows you to customize ten action bars, and other bars like pet, bag, reputation, and more in great detail. Change the number of slots per bar, add custom macros, and setup conditional behavior for a more advanced and useful UI.

The best addons for WoW Shadowlands - Bartender4
Image via CurseForge

HandyNotes

Not to say the default World of Warcraft map is terrible, but it certainly lacks some options. You can easily keep track of things, add notes, and track various things on the map with HandyNotes. It’s the ultimate “tracking” addon, which helps you stay organized in a game where a lot is going on all over the place. There are various plugins available for Shadowlands in HandyNotes.

One useful addon to HandyNotes is called Oribos. It displays all vendor locations and icons on the map, so you won’t need to minimize to look up everything.

Leatrix Plus

Leatrix Plus is the final addon on our list, and it offers lots of quality of life improvements that the base game is missing. There are tons of settings to customize that automate various tedious things like repairing, skipping quest text, and auto-accepting turn-ins. There are honestly too many options to list here, so you should check out their official page on CurseForge.

Perhaps the best feature about Leatrix Plus is disabling screen glows and annoying screen effects that can affect your vision. You can also force the camera to enable max zoom, which is something a lot of players manually do every time they log in.

Bagnon / Adibags

Finally, if you’re not into the default separated bag space, you have two good options. First off, Bagnon combines all your bags into one giant bag. It keeps track of items on your alt characters, too. It also has some presort options allowing you to identify trash and other nonessential items more quickly.

If you’re not a fan of one giant bag, Adibags is a nice middle of the road option. Adibags automatically sorts your items by category, so you won’t spend five minutes looking for that one item you could have sworn you won. The default bags in World of Warcraft aren’t the best, and these addons make up for it.