Console is a function of World of Warcraft game engine that allows access to an in-game console. Once the console feature is activated, the gamer can access it by pressing the ` (grave accent or "backtick", not apostrophe) key while in game. The console allow players to change game client settings by hand, such as those related to graphics and sound. However, most of those functions are readily available via the game menus.

In addition, the console also allows access to Game Master commands as demonstrated in videos from E3 and Blizzcon. However, those functions would report permission denied when invoked by gamers.

The default key to toggle the console ("`") can be remapped using the SetConsoleKey API function. For a list of console commands/variables see Console variables.

Running the client with the -console flag enabled

There are a few ways to run the client with the -console flag enabled:

Using the Desktop App

This is probably the easiest method to enable console access.

  1. Click on the Blizzard logo in the top-left-hand corner and select "Settings".
  2. Select "Game Settings" in the config window that appears.
  3. Tick the box that says "Additional command line arguments".
  4. Type -console into the text box that appears.
  5. Click on the blue "Done" button to close the config window.

Use the "Run..." dialog (Windows)

  1. Press ⌘ Win+R. This will open the "Run..." dialog.
  2. Click "Browse..."
  3. Browse for the Wow.exe file in the WoW folder (wherever that might be). After picking the Wow.exe file, the contents of the box will be something like this, "C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft\Wow.exe" or "C:\Users\Public\Games\World of Warcraft\Wow.exe".
  4. Leave the quotation marks there if they are there and add -console after the trailing quotation mark (if there are no quotation marks, just add it at the end). The contents of the box will now look like this, "C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft\Wow.exe" -console or "C:\Users\Public\Games\World of Warcraft\Wow.exe" -console.
  5. Click "OK".

Use the command window (Windows)

  1. Navigate to the WoW folder. The fastest way to get there is to right-click the WoW shortcut and click "Open file location" (Windows Vista or 7) or click "Properties" then "Find target."
  2. With the mouse pointer pointing at an empty spot in the folder, press and hold ⇧ Shift then right-click to open the context menu, and click "Open command window here".
  3. When the window opens, type wow -console and press ⌅ Enter.

Edit the existing shortcut (Windows)

  1. Right-click the WoW shortcut and click "Properties".
  2. In the "Target" box, add -console while preserving any quotation marks that may be there. This must be placed after the quotation mark.
  3. Click "OK".

Using the Terminal application (Mac)

  1. Open the Terminal application (usually found in /Applications/Utilities/
  2. Type "open" followed by a space (do not press return)
  3. Drag the "World of Warcraft Launcher" application onto the flashing cursor in the Terminal window
  4. Type "--args -console" Your command line should now look something like this: open /Applications/World\ of\ Warcraft/World\ of\ Warcraft\ --args -console
  5. Press return
  6. The WoW launcher will open; press Play
  7. Once the login screen appears, press the "`" key (or whichever key you have bound to the console)

Accessing the console with non-English keyboard layouts

Some keyboard layouts may not include the ` character, or require a modifier to be held down to input it, which will fail to open the WoW console. If you're affected by this issue, you could temporarily switch your keyboard layout to a US English one, or remap the console key:

  1. Start WoW with the -console flag.
  2. Log into the game, then enter the following slash command: /run SetConsoleKey("z")
  3. You can now open the console using the z key. The change will only persist for as long as WoW is running. If you need to access console commands that are inaccessible while logged in, you should log out rather than restarting WoW.