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Tapping[1] (or tagging[2]) a mob assigns player(s) the right to receive experience points and loot when the mob dies. Players tap a mob by engaging it, and then retain this tap as long as they remain on its threat table (i.e. not dying or fleeing). The tap remains even if other players participate in damaging the mob.

Tapping is usually exclusive to a group, faction or number of players. Once a limit is reached, crowd control effects and quest items return an error message "Target is tapped", and unit frames turn gray for other players now ineligible to tap the mob. These limits have generally become more inclusive to non-grouped players as the game has evolved:

  • In Classic, only one player may tap a mob by being first to cause damage, but they do so for their entire party.
  • In Retail, up to five non-grouped players may tap a mob with any hostile action (including non-damaging ones), and other players (beyond five) share quest credit toward killing a named mob.[3]


Certain mobs are eligible for all players. Originally introduced in the Timeless Isle, this state now exists for most world bosses and time-limited creatures like Moonfang on Darkmoon Island.[4]
Certain mobs are only eligible for all players of the same faction. Originally introduced to quest bosses on Tol Barad Peninsula, this state now exists for world bosses while War Mode is enabled.
Tapping mechanics generally apply only outdoors; all members of a party or raid share credit while fighting in an instance.


In Classic, it is considered good etiquette to invite other players to your party if you intend to tap the same mob. In Retail this custom does not apply since five ungrouped players may tap the same mob; however, other players might welcome coordinating cues shared through speech and emotes.

Conversely, it is poor etiquette -- even griefing -- for one player to use the tap system to prevent other players from completing quests or playing the game. Examples include tapping multiple mobs to keep others from doing, or rushing to tap one when another player was clearly about to engage it first.

See also[]

  • Honorable kill - Players cannot be tapped, and credit for participating in PvP functions differently than PvE.
  • Experience point - Tapping a mob is necessary to receive experience, but other rules also apply.

Patch changes[]

  • Battle for Azeroth Patch 8.0.1 (2018-07-17): World bosses become tap-to-faction by enabling War Mode.
  • Legion Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): All creatures and NPCs can now be tapped by up to 5 other characters.[3]
  • Mists of Pandaria Hotfix (2014-04-07): World bosses are no longer tap-to-faction; both factions may engage at the same time.[4]
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.1.0 (2012-11-27): World bosses (Sha of Anger, Galleon, Nalak the Storm Lord, and Oondasta) are now tap-to-faction; every eligible player of the same faction has a chance to earn loot while engaging each world boss once per week.
  • Cataclysm Hotfix (2011-01-07): Players will receive quest credit for killing any quest boss [on Tol Barad Peninsula], regardless of party status, so long as they participate in killing these bosses.
  • Wrath-Logo-Small Patch 3.0.8 (2009-01-20): All player spells which cause a creature to become aggressive to you will now also immediately cause the creature to be tapped.


  1. ^ Official name used in the WoW API, such as UnitIsTapDenied().
  2. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Batta. Re:Need GM Help Please!. Archived from the original​ “It sounds as though Onyxia's guard was tagged by your group...”
  3. ^ a b Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment 2016-08-30. World of Warcraft: Legion Patch Notes.
  4. ^ a b Olivia Grace 2014-04-02. World Bosses no longer tap to faction. engadget.