Best Servers on Vanilla WoW (Classic Era) for a New/Returning Player

what vanilla server to play on

Many players, new and old, are returning to Vanilla WoW, now called Classic Era. This is the permanent level-60 version of the game, initially released in 2019. And yes, people are still playing it and having fun doing all of the things that classic WoW has to offer. Every day new players are leveling up, and old players are returning on their level 60s.

There is a selection of populated servers that you will want to start a new character on. If you have a level 60 on a different server that is no longer active, there are free transfers to the servers that will be covered below: the free transfers are accessed from the in-game shop!

Which Server Should I Pick?

You will find four server clusters covered below — two from NA, and two from EU. Independent server census puts the population for each of the four main clusters at around 2,000-4,000 players.

Note: other servers exist, are in some cases clustered, and have various levels of population; they will be covered at the very end of this guide.

The following realms are the MOST populated for normal types of play:

North America

  • (PVP) Whitemane is clustered/connected with: Anathema, Arcanite Reaper, Bigglesworth, Blaumeux, Fairbanks, Kurinnaxx, Rattlegore, Smolderweb, and Thunderfury
  • (PVE) Mankrik is clustered/connected with: Ashkandi, Pagle, Westfall, and Windseeker


  • (PVP) Firemaw is clustered/connected with: Ashbringer, Bloodfang, Dragonfang, Earthshaker, Gandling, Golemagg, Mograine, Noggenfogger, and Skullflame
  • (PVE) Pyrewood Village is clustered/connected with: Mirage Raceway and Nethergarde Keep

Notable Guilds

Whitemane (North America) – High Population

I play on Whitemane and it has two established Alliance raiding guilds that I play with. I am a tank and officer for <Phase Seven>, where we are currently working on clearing Naxxramas at a sub-60 minute time, and I also play more casually in the guild <Pasta Sauce>, who accepts new players and shows them the ropes. Both guilds have Naxx on farm, and there is also a GDKP pug who clears Naxx twice per week. In addition to Naxx, all other raids are cleared each week, multiple times. There is a new guild called <Paradigm> that transferred from SOM and is now 15/15 Naxx as well. In addition to these established guilds and raid teams, there are countless PUGs that form to clear the 20 man raids and MC/BWL/AQ40.

Let’s not forget the Horde raid guilds! There is <Forever Classic>, who are home to the sweatier members of the Horde. <Okay Booner> is middle of the pack, and <Not Prepared> is welcoming for new players. All Horde guilds, in spite of their lack of paladins, have cleared all raids! There is a new guild on Horde called <Rock Apes> they are from SOM and frequently engage in world PVP so you will find many skeletons around popular areas such as Blackrock Mountain.

Oceanic Guilds: recently an Oceanic guild on each faction has been made. <Dragon Snacks> is the Alliance guild and they are progressing MC/BWL, and <Nightmare> is the Horde guild who is working through AQ40. I know many Oceanic players wanted to play classic era however could not make raid times.

The leveling community is great on Whitemane as well: lots of players are making their way to 60 and grouping for dungeons along the way. There are several leveling guilds that have just sprung up on the server. So, whether you want to level on Alliance or Horde, you will meet many friends!
Remember: Whitemane is the PVP server and you CAN expect some danger out in the world, and even in your capital city!

Mankrik (North America) – Medium Population

Mankrik has a slightly larger population, though the players tend to be a bit more casual. Nonetheless, they kill bosses! I personally do not play on the server, but these are the guilds.

For Alliance they have a whopping nine guilds. <Encore> is 15/15 Naxx on two teams, <Renegades and Heretics> is also 15/15 and progressing Naxx is <The Unyielding> at 11/15. <Phoenix Rising> is working on C’thun in AQ40, and <Go with the Flow> and <Altimate Warriors> have cleared BWL. Finally, guilds at the Molten Core level include <The Company>, <Uchiha>, and <Alone>.

Mankrik has a monumental Alliance presence. The only Horde guild raiding on Mankrik is an ode to the crys of those with the skinning profession in Molten core! <Loot The Dog> is 15/15 in Naxx.

Battlegrounds happen on era! I did not forget PVP! I can queue for a BG on Whitemane, and have Alliance players from Mankrik on my team, while we join forces and loot the Horde insignias from members of <Loot The Dog>. They are especially popular on the weekends, but happen every night.

Firemaw (Europe) – Full Population

Europe, I did not forget you!

On the Firemaw PVP cluster, the Alliance <Active> is 15/15 Naxx and now holds the fastest Naxx clear time! <Sulfuras> is also 15/15 Naxx and these two guilds have a community PUG guild called <Classic PuG>. There is also a guild called <The Dungeon Delvers> who is 11/15 Naxx.

The Horde have four guilds who are farming all bosses in Naxx. They are <FUN POLICE> who I am sure actually do have fun – in additon to some fast clear times. And there is also <Classic GmbH> and <The Gutter> as well as the guild <PUG> who have their 15/15 team in addition to a 13/15 team. Finally, boasting an 11/15 clear is <Rendez-Vous>.

Pyrewood Village (Europe) – Medium Population

On the PVE cluster of Pyrewood Village the Alliance have two 15/15 guilds <Heritage> and <Panache>. There is also a coalition of several smaller guilds who are working together to progress the game at their own pace and now have BWL on farm!

Representing the Horde is the guild <Trinity> who is 15/15 and progressing 10/15 is <Warriors of Sunlight>.

Do not let my shorter descriptions of the mysterious happenings on EU give you any false indication that not much is going on. They are populated with passionate Classic WoW players! I expect that the EU Battleground/PvP scene is similar to on NA.

Other Noteable Communities

A final reminder: Other small raiding communities, single guilds, etc., DO EXIST on some of the other realms.

I do want to at least mention that on the Grobbulus, NA RPPVP realm, the Alliance guild <Legacy> is currently working on twin emps! This dedicated group of role players might be exactly what you are after. Through sheer determination they downed the firelord Ragnaros with about 20 people and have clearly grown since then.

On the NA server, on the Benediction cluster, there is a small community on both factions, mostly leveling and doing some group content.

The hardcore community is a passionate group of players who delete their characters if they die! They play on the Bloodsail Buccanners on NA and Hydraxian Waterlords on EU. They have multiple guilds FULL of players, though if you want to play with them you must play by their ruleset.

On the German PVP cluster (Venoxis, Heartstriker, and Dragon’s Call) the Alliance guild <Blutmond> is 15/15 Naxx. On the PVE German server Everlook, the Alliance guild <Evershire> is 10/15 Naxx.

I hope this guide was helpful in your decision on what Vanilla/Classic Era server to play on! See you in game!

About the Author


I have played mostly warrior since vanilla in World of Warcraft. A huge fan of classic, I always play dwarf and have earned the title of Dwarflord. I also am a huge fan of the Diablo series! Feel free to get in contact with me on Discord (malekk#4465) or on Youtube!

Notify of

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

thanks for trying to spam those era vids and keeping the hype going dwarflord!

1 year ago

The gutter is 15/15 for a long time now 😌 

1 year ago

“They are <FUN POLICE> who I am sure actually do have fun” lie!!!! We have no fun allowed! Its strictly hard reserved!

11 months ago

This Article made sure I ended up on the Pyrewood Village Server, and I just wanna give a small thanks for this fine post. Keep up the hype 🙂

1 year ago

how can i find classic era servers on my bnet ? i play wow from the start also classic and had charrs there but i cannot find any options from servers outside from wotlk classic and dragonsflight so i have no classic era or tbc option no more , any help ?

Reply to  dorvax
1 year ago

At the top of the launcher you have your choice of games, World of Warcraft, WoW Classic, Diablo, etc.

Select “World of Warcraft Classic”, which has a Blue WoW icon

Just above the big blue Play button you have two boxes, one should say something like “Wrath of the Lich King Classic” and the other should have your account name.

Select the Wrath of the Lich King Classic box and pick “World of Warcraft Classic”. This will set your game to the Classic Era servers.

comment image

Here is a screenshot for reference

1 year ago

Encore also have several GDKPs clearing all content including Naxx

Reply to  Eblis
1 year ago

No one gives a fuck about gdkp.

Reply to  Wonder
1 year ago

“Several GDKPs” would mean that there are at least 40 people that give a fuck about GDKPs.

10 months ago

What is the best way to join an era guild? The discord posts I see are all WOTLK related?

9 months ago

How do i get into one of these good guilds? I’m a new player consistently playing looking to do raid at end game and wpvp along with bg’s.

Scroll to Top