For other uses, see Captain.

The term captain (shortened as Cap'n) is a rank and title obtainable by both players and NPCs of both factions, and in many different organizations within the Warcraft universe. The exact definition of the rank varies from organization to organization, but generally can be said that captains are commanders of an organized group with a single purpose. Often ships, zeppelins and other transport vessels are commanded by a captain. The captain-rank are also used within many militaristic organizations serving as the commander of some sort of troop unit, especially in navies. In rare cases the captain is even the leader of an entire organization.

In Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, it is a rank that can be achieved by the player. Likewise, "Captain" and "Alliance  [Knight-Captain]" are titles that players can achieve in World of Warcraft.

Captain title variations

List of captains, by organization

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The following list includes all organizations who are known to have employed captains of any kind, with descriptions of their distinct roles in each organization. Note that the named captains listed here are added to the organization in which they served as captain, not necesarily their current affiliation.

Alliance The Grand Alliance

Alliance of Lordaeron

In the Third War the footmen, militia, and other land soldiers of the human kingdoms (most notably the Kingdom of Lordaeron) were commanded by captains, many of whom accompanied crown prince Arthas Menethil to Northrend as part of the 1st Legion forces.

Alliance navy

The Alliance navy consists of both aerial and naval forces - every vessel is under the command of a specific captain, holding authority over lieutenants, ensigns, sailors, deckhands, and marines. Air ships are controlled by sky captains, while the captains of the aquatic fleet are simply called captains. The captains are sometimes, but not always, under the command of an admiral.

Valiance Expedition

The captains of ground forces in the Valiance Expedition seem to be among the top secondary leaders in the expedition. The sub-organization Westfall Brigade is even led by a captain. The High Captain is a Sky Captain presumably granted expanded authority, responsibilities, and resources for their disposal.

7th Legion

Kingdom of Stormwind

Captains of Stormwind include members of the Stormwind City Guard, as well as captains working outside the city, but within the borders of the kingdom. The title of Watch Captain is a unique promotion for Guard Parker.

Kingdom of Gilneas

The Kingdom of Gilneas employ Knight-Captains and ordinary Captains in the Gilnean military.

Kingdom of Stromgarde

The captain of Stromgarde propably leads the Stromgarde Militia, and presumably answers to the King of Stromgarde.

Admiralty of Kul Tiras

Kul Tiras associate the title with both ship-commanders of the Kul Tiran fleet and commanding figures in the Proudmoore Admiralty and the now defunct Theramore Guard. When a Kul Tiran becomes captain of their own vessel, they are gifted a spyglass worked with precious gems.[13]


Ironforge Captains are commanding land units.



Gnomeregan Captains are commanding land units.

Exodar and the Council of Exarchs in alternate Draenor

Telmor's guards are commanded by a Captain of the Guard.

Sons of Lothar

The Captains of the Sons command land units

Knights of the Silver Hand

Army of the Light

Tushui Pandaren

Horde The Horde


The Orgrimmar captains of both land forces, aerial and aquatic vessels share the same title, simply "Captain". Raider Captains presumably command raiders.

Warsong clan
Dragonmaw clan

The fel orcs of the Dragonmaw Clan seem to call netherwing-riders "Captains".

Frostwolf clan
Shattered Hand clan
Shadowmoon clan

Bilgewater Cartel

Bilgewater Cartel captains command zeppelin transport vessels for the Horde, while Labor Captains are in charge of gathering ground ressources.


The Farstriders seem to have both Captains and Ranger Captains in their ranks.


The Forsaken use the title for both Deathguard and commanders of vessels in the Windrunner Fleet. Dread-Captains and War-Captains presumably hold higher authority.

Duskwatch and ancient night elf organizations

Ancient laws forbid anyone but a Captain of the Moon Guard to receive power of their order. Aspirants must undergo the "rite of the captain", traditionally patrolling the labyrinths for 3 weeks without rest.[15]

Zandalari Empire and troll tribes

The Zandalari trolls of the Golden Fleet, answering to the God King, are organized in ship crews commanded by captains.


Fogsail Freebooters


Huojin Pandaren

Neutral Other factions

Steamwheedle Cartel and Blackwater Raiders

Most Steamwheedle Cartel captains are part of the Booty Bay-based Blackwater Raiders, and are in charge of ships used for either transportation or warfare.

Defias Brotherhood and Bloodsail Buccaneers

These two organizations have entered into a partnership, and one captain of the Buccaneers are aiding the Brotherhood.

Scarlet Crusade and Scarlet Onslaught

Iron Horde

Tideskorn clan

Irontide Raiders

Wyrmrest Accord and the dragonflights

Burning Legion

Gorian Empire, Gordunni and other ogre organizations

Old Gods' forces

Southsea Freebooters

The Scourge


Zem'lan's pirates

Schnottz's crew

Ethereum, Consortium and the Protectorate

Guardians of Hyjal and the Cenarion Circle

Kirin Tor


Dread Crew

The pirate Dread Crew is led by their Dread Captain.



Northsea Freebooters

Lesser and unknown factions