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For the playable races, see core race and allied race.

Races or species are terms used in World of Warcraft to split various unique creatures into separate groups. Numerous races populate Azeroth including elves, trolls, human, orcs, gnomes, and murlocs, among many others. Many species can interbreed including humans, high elves, night elves, ogres, orcs, and draenei — producing offspring often called half-breeds.

The Warcraft universe is inhabited by many sentient and sapient beings. These races speak many different languages, have different homelands and racial traits, and can pursue different classes.

Though most races are native to the world of Azeroth, some have arrived from other worlds, such as Draenor. The armies of the Burning Legion are culled from many worlds throughout the Twisting Nether.


In World of Warcraft, Blizzard interchanges the terms species and race, giving them roughly the same meaning.[1]

Unfortunately, Blizzard has been inconsistent on how they use the terms. Sometimes they use the term "race" when they mean the biological definition of "species". This has led to conflicts between sources, where one source says blood elves and high elves are the same "biological race" ("biological species" would have been a more proper use of words in that instance), while most sources say they are separate races (culturally and biologically).

In the Warcraft universe, races like elves, dwarves, humans, orcs, draenei, ogres, goblins, tauren, etc are considered separate species[2][3] and separate races.

Known lore sapient "species"

This is a list of sapient "species" established in lore. Additionally, each grouping within the same group, such as various types of dwarves, elves, or trolls, are considered separate species/race or subspecies/subrace depending on the source.

In the RPG

Icon-RPG.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

In Warcraft lore, race often has the same definition as species.[7] Occasionally, within a race/species are groups called subspecies/subraces[8][9][10] Note that use of race may not always denote seperate species however (and may refer to ethnicities/subraces/subspecies within species)[citation needed] .


Icon-search-48x48.png This section contains information that needs to be cleaned up.

Subraces (aka subspecies)[9] are generally considered lesser groups within a main race/species. However, even these subgroups can be considered separate races or species themselves in some cases.

  • Dwarf sub-races can include Wildhammer, Ironforge, or Dark Iron dwarves.[11]
  • The various types of trolls are usually considered separate subraces, though occasionally separate races.[11][12][13][14] The terms appear to be interchangeable to Blizzard.
  • Aesir and vanir are considered two of the Giant's various subraces.[15]

See also