For the last 17 or so years, there has been only one constant in the gaming industry. In the modern world, something that lasts so long has to be special because things change and become obsolete much sooner due to the incredible amount of content.

Since its initial launch in 2004, the ultra-popular video game titled World of Warcraft (WoW) has had millions of registered players log in every day to play. It is really difficult to grasp its success from a contemporary standpoint because we know how long certain games are popular.

They start to fall off after a few years despite updates, expansions, and DLCs. For WoW, the continuous stream of expansions over the years has allowed the in-game world to expand and change, bringing fresh content every couple of years. 

WoW Expansions


Right now, in its eight major expansion titled Shadowlands, the game is still dominant and popular worldwide. When it came out in 2024, it was promising because a whole set of new features was promised that were more similar to the older (and better) expansions like The Burning Crusade (2007) and The Wrath of the Lich King (2008).

Later entries into the series were more than a bit disappointing and WoW experienced player loss. Cataclysm (2010) and Mists of Pandaria (2012) were not bad, but Warlords of Draenor (2014) was the low point.

With Legion (2016) and Battle for Azeroth (2018), things started looking up again before the current expansion combined with WoW Classic brought in new players and made many of the old ones return. 


Across all of these titles, the players had to level up new characters if they wanted to experience all the changes. Leveling is a crucial part of the whole WoW gameplay experience.

It serves to teach you about the game in every sense imaginable as well as to prepare you for the max-level content like raiding, Mythic+ dungeons, and Player Versus Player (PVP).

In this article, we focus on the leveling bit and talk about the quickest way of reaching max level. Many players level up multiple characters (alts) so they want the leveling part to be as quick as possible. Read on to learn more and be sure to check out

What is Leveling?


At its core, like other MMORPGs, WoW has two distinct gameplay experiences. The first is the leveling bit and the second is the endgame content. Once you hit the maximum level with a character, the real game begins.

However, by then, you will have already spent hours upon hours playing the game and leveling up. From level 1 to level 60, you need to do all sorts of things to get enough experience points and fill out the bars that make up each level.

Experience needed changes the higher you go, and things gradually become harder. Luckily, there are many ways in which you can level. In the following section we talk about what you need to do with every character in order to maximize the speed.

Exile’s Reach

With the introduction of Shadowlands, the players got a new island starting zone that gets them familiar with the game. It is a mini version of everything that awaits you later, from basic to complex quests.

A dungeon caps off the story and it does not take long to do this, especially the second time around. You are able to get level 10 here before you are transported to your faction’s capital.

Even the second time around is enough for you to know exactly where to go and how to complete the quest. It is faster than choosing the regular starting zone for your race and chasing the first 10 levels there.

Choose a Good Expansion You Know


After Exile’s Reach, new players on their first characters are transported to either Zandalar or Kul Tiras, starting zones of the Battle for Azeroth expansion. There, they level from level 10 to level 50. However, experienced players looking for speed and efficiency should skip this in favor of playing another expansion.

By visiting Chromie in Stormwind or Orgrimmar, you can pick whichever expansion you want as your 10-50 leveling experience and do it faster. If you already have a favorite leveling route or know certain expansions better, pick them instead.

Work through the storylines and do the quests that award the most XP. Warlords of Draenor and Legion have a good quest density. On the other hand, The Burning Crusade and Cataclysm require a lot of running, as most quests are disjointed.

According to the research the community has done, it takes twice as long to do the 10-50 bit through Crusade than Warlords. You are looking at 12 to 16 hours without any speed running on most expansions, expect Crusade. With speed-running and taking as many shortcuts as possible, it can be done as quickly as 3.5 to 4 hours of gameplay. 

Dungeons and Quests

It has long been debated what awards more XP and how one should level up. Completing a dungeon awards 2 to 3 levels, depending on which one you do and on what level. However, you will need a good group that knows what they are doing at lower levels.

Dungeons also have their own quests to help you out even more. Not every expansion is that great for dungeon leveling either. Newer expansions like Warlords, Legion, and Battle do not have many or any quests in leveling dungeons, so stick with Crusade, Wrath, Cata, and Mists. 

Doing dungeons is more fun and less mundane, even the third or fourth time around when you already have a few characters on max level. It is not only about the speed but the enjoyment and fun.

Mixing it up will keep things fresh. It is always better therefore to combine a good dose of question with a few dungeons mixed here and there. It will be easier to complete quests with good gear from the dungeons, but you will not have good gear if you never did any of the good quests that award good gear too. 

Additional Tips and Tricks


The Party Sync feature when leveling with friends synchronizes all quests and dungeons runs. If you have friends to play with, everything will be done faster. Leveling when your character is rested also awards more experience so pay attention to that feature too.

Heirloom gear and speed items are very beneficial as well. Heirloom gear use to give bonus experience, but it now has other perks that make your life easier and leveling faster.

Having speed boosts is always net for moving around faster. Lastly, doing professions also awards experience and you can ensure there is less downtime while walking from one quest to the next!