Is it legal to play on a WOW private server?

Are Private Warcraft Servers legal? - YouTube

Playing games online has never been easier. The new machines, new internet speeds, many creators all over the world make it all a heaven for gamers. Games have been especially important in these tough times, especially for people obligated to stay at home.

Most games are rather straightforward: you buy the console, then the game, or the computer, and then any game you like, you put the disc in, install what needs to be installed, and voilà, you are playing. But of course, not everyone will play games like these, and people will sometimes want to dabble in “massively multiplayer online role-playing games” (MMORPG).

Those MMORPGs can go from games like Minecraft (yes, indeed) or more elaborate games like World of Warcraft. This game was released in North America on November 23rd, 2004, and is still very popular. You can create several characters over several game servers, that have various game dynamics (like player versus player, or PVP, or regular adventure game, or a combination of both or more).

While some games are known for their multiple free private servers that players can join at any time, World of Warcraft is another story. A question that has often been asked is if playing WoW private server is illegal. The answer is that, while it technically is, it’s still a gray area and, as long as the server does not profit from its gamers, it’s a grey enough area that it’s possible to get away with it. Some servers have been known for years, and some of them have been shut down because they had a micro-transaction system. Gamers, on the other hand, can still access any server they want.

The main reason is that, unlike Minecraft, for example, once you want to play WoW, you need the base game, and then a subscription. Private servers are free, which means you don’t need this subscription to play on them. World of Warcraft has changed so much over the years that playing on a private server might be just what one needs to get back in the game.

Like many other games, you will find plenty of listings with available servers. Because of the grey area, there will be a few more steps to join one, but it’s quite easy: install WoW, follow the steps to choose and configure your server, then launch game and play. Some servers are configured for casual fun and give you maximum level, maximum items, some of them just mimic the real game enough that you can train, the variety is quite important so the first step would actually be to get as much information as you can before joining to make sure you want to play on it.

While Blizzard may be unhappy with the existence of free private WoW servers, there is no denying that their existence probably contributed to the longevity of the game. So if you’d like to try it before you actually pay for it, why not try one?

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