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Ilvl over time

A chart showing item levels over time at the tier breakpoints, overlayed on the expansions

Item level (often abbreviated as ilevel or simply ilvl) is a rather important property of every item. It has two main functions — to reflect the item's usefulness and at the same time determine the minimum level a character must have in order to use it.

Item level serves as a rough indicator of the power and usefulness of an item, designed to reflect the overall benefit of using the item. Two items of equal ilvl should in theory therefore be of equal potential use. However, each item spends its ilvl 'budget' differently, in various primary and secondary stats, as well as in procs and effects. Since each of these values provide different benefits to different classes and specs, the true value of an item varies depending on the user, and cannot be determined solely by ilvl. Additionally, PvP Power is not counted towards an item's ilvl budget, allowing PvP gear of a given ilvl to provide an advantage in PvP compared to non-PvP gear of the same ilvl.

Item level is widely used as a means of assessing a character's power. Ilvl is used as a gating requirement when queueing for dungeons, raids and scenarios, and is often used in a similar way by players organising raids.

Individual items' item levels can be found in their tooltips. Each character's average ilvl can be found in the character sheet.


  • Item level in battlegrounds, arena and rated battlegrounds is limited by the PvP item level cap.
  • Item level on item tooltips can be enabled or disabled via an option found in the Display section of the Interface Options menu. Up until patch 3.2, the true item level was hidden in the game, and only UI mods could read it via the function GetItemInfo.
  • Blizzard's use of a formula to calculate item level from an item's stats was first theorised by Hyzenthlei (Tauren Shaman 60 on Zul'Jin), and later confirmed by a presentation at Blizzcon.

See also[]