Rated battlegrounds consist of pre-made battleground teams in a 10v10 bracket.
As the highest-level form of battleground play in the game, rated battlegrounds typically see fierce competition between highly organized teams, with personal and team ranking at stake. Rated battlegrounds feature tighter restrictions on items and abilities, as with Arena play. All included battlegrounds are also scaled to 10v10, changing the pace of some battles.
Rated battlegrounds offer substantial rewards in the form of , and are a decent option for earning new gear. However, the consequences for ratings are perhaps a more important motivation for success in these battles, providing not only personal glory but also a shot at rating-restricted titles, mounts and achievements. As with arena, the top rated teams in each region can be viewed on the official site.
While broadly similar to regular battlegrounds, rated battlegrounds tend to feature far more organized play, with teams customized to provide the ideal combination of classes and roles. Players are usually in voice communication, and may have prearranged tactics and plays in mind. For a general discussion of battlegrounds, see battleground.
Rated battlegrounds can be queued for in the Rated pane of the PvP interface. This can only be done by the leader of a party with a sufficient number of members.
- Capture the Flag rated battlegrounds last for 20 minutes, as opposed to their regular versions which last only 15.
- Like Arena, rated battlegrounds are not faction-limited and may see players facing off against another team of the same faction. Battleground asymmetries remain in place, however.
- Like other forms of PvP, rated battlegrounds are affected by PvP item level adjustments.
Flask of Conquest
is a special potential drop at the end of a Rated Battleground match. The flask increases Conquest Point gains from Arenas and Rated Battlegrounds by 25% for 2 hours and the effect persists through death. The flask does not affect the character's Conquest cap and the drop chance is in addition to the existing chance for Conquest Points.
All rated battlegrounds are 10v10 battles.
15 vs 15
25 vs 25
These features were canceled or removed as the Rated Battleground concept evolved on Beta & Live.
- New Alterac Valley person max group signup of 25 people at a time, down from 40. This was eventually cancelled during beta 
- Rated Battlegrounds are broken down into three brackets. 10v10, 15v15, & 25v25. These brackets rotate weekly and can be viewed in-game via the calendar by activating the battleground holiday filter. 
- When players win a battle, they are rewarded conquest points, up to their weekly cap. Weekly caps are individual for each player and are based on your highest single PvP rating from the previous week (the cap resets on Tuesdays). This rating can be derived from your 2v2, 3v3, 5v5 arena, or your rated battleground rating.
- If you lose a battleground, you will usually not suffer any rating loss.
- Rated battleground are only available to level 85 characters
- New UI showing PvP stats and the possibility to queue from anywhere with the new 'rated' option. 
Patches and hotfixes
- Patch 6.1.0 (2015-02-24): has been added as a potential drop at the end of a Rated Battleground match. The flask increases Conquest Point gains from Arenas and Rated Battlegrounds by 25% for 2 hours and the effect persists through death. The flask does not affect the character's Conquest cap and the drop chance is in addition to the existing chance for Conquest Points. Battlegrounds now reward the appropriate level of experience at lower levels.
- Hotfix (2014-12-09): Rated Battleground flag carriers in a tanking specialization should no longer be taking more damage than flag carriers in a non-tanking specialization.
- Hotfix (2014-12-05): Eye of the Storm: Characters in a Rated Battleground will now return to their team's starting position when releasing, regardless of what bases their team controls.
- Hotfix (2014-05-13): can no longer be cast during the Preparation phase in Arenas, Battlegrounds, and Rated Battlegrounds.
- Hotfix (2014-04-28): Matchmaking Ratings for Rated Battlegrounds has been increased by 100 for all players. Additional details for the change could be found in the forum thread titled: Rated Battleground MMR Hotfix
- Patch 5.3.0 (2013-05-21):
- Battlegrounds, Rated Battlegrounds, and Arenas now have an ilevel cap. All gear will be scaled down to ilevel 496.
- To facilitate a more balanced team composition, players now need to select a role when queuing up for a Battleground or Rated Battleground. Role selection should have no effect on queue times. The matchmaking system attempts to balance the number of healers on each team based on the ratio of healers and non-healers queued.
- Picking up the Alliance or Horde flag while in a Rated Battleground now increases damage taken by 50% for characters in a tanking specialization, and increases damage taken by 20% for characters in a non-tanking specialization.
- Patch 5.2.0 (2013-03-05): Rated Battlegrounds now award Conquest to the losing team based on their final score. The losing team can earn up to 200 from a very close match.
- Patch 5.1.0 (2012-11-27): Rated Battlegrounds now share the same spell restrictions as Arenas.
- Patch 4.3.0 (2011-11-29): The Eye of the Storm is now a rockier place, and is once again a part of the rated battleground rotation.