Private servers are game servers which are hosted by entities and organizations other than the game's producer or licensed distributor—Activision Blizzard, for World of Warcraft.
The software for a World of Warcraft private server is referred to as an emulator (WoWEmu) because it attempts to emulate the same software which Blizzard Entertainment created for the same process.
- MaNGOS / getMaNGOS - http://getmangos.eu/ http://github.com/mangos
- CMaNGOS - http://cmangos.net/
- MaNGOSVB - http://getmangos.eu/, https://github.com/mangosvb
- TrinityCore - https://github.com/TrinityCore/TrinityCore
- Skyfire - https://github.com/ProjectSkyfire
- Ascent (closed)
- Arcemu - https://github.com/arcemu/arcemu (in hibernation mode)
- AscEmu - https://github.com/AscEmu/AscEmu
The existence of World of Warcraft private servers is controversial, and it is often debated as to whether or not they are legal, given that the code and databases for them are created by people external to Blizzard.
The bnetd case is sometimes cited as a precedent for World of Warcraft private servers being illegal in the United States. Although bnetd and World of Warcraft private servers are both reverse engineered from game server software, bnetd compatible game client software, such as StarCraft and Diablo II, was sold commercially with unique CD keys. In the bnetd case, the Eighth Circuit ruled that these CD keys were a copy protection device under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. A fully functional trial version of the World of Warcraft client, in contrast, has always been available to download without charge and without any apparent copy protection device.
Mangos / getMaNGOS
Mangos / getMaNGOS was the first widely used emulator for private world of warcraft servers. Started in Summer 2005 by TheLuda (Founder of Mangos) it has grown to become one of the biggest names in the wow server emulator community.
Mangos / getMaNGOS is unique in that it is the only known project to have "test servers". These are not like traditional private servers - they are different in the fact that they are supported by the developers of getMaNGOS. They are up 24x7x365 and are designed to act as closely as possible to the original Blizzard servers. Players on the getMaNGOS test servers are able to report bugs directly to the getMaNGOS team to be fixed, allowing players to be directly involved in making the content as "Blizzlike" as possible for the test servers as well as others because of getMaNGOS's open-source nature. All fixes / corrections are released into the main source repositories as soon as testing is complete. No Fees / charges are ever requested.
There are three types of servers, which are "standard", "test servers" and "custom." Standard servers are almost strictly vanilla official content only, while custom servers are heavily modified servers which include content that was not created by Blizzard Entertainment.
Test servers are only known to be run by Covenant-Wow on behalf of getmangos. Test servers are similar to standard servers, except they are run & backed directly by the team developing the emulating software. Because of this, test servers have a large development community supporting them and also publish all fixes publicly.
There are also four classes of servers, which are Player-versus-Environment (PvE), Player-versus-Player (PvP), Role-Play (RP), and Role-Play Player-versus-Player (RPPvP). Most private servers are PVP Realms.
The following is a listing of servers, based on regions of the world. If you know of a private server, and it is not listed here, please be sure to add it. Bear in mind that only vanilla (patch 1.12.1 or similar) versions of the game should be added. Old closed down servers may still be included in the list of servers, and this is done in order to provide an archive of their existence.
Every column can be sorted at your convenience.
|Project Name||Website||Type||Experience Rates||Status||Host Location||Notes||Average daily population peak||Client Version|
|Link||PvP||x1||Online||Europe||Renamed from Elysium||8,000||1.12.1|
(The Elysium Project)
|Link||PvP||x1||Online||Europe||Fresh progression realm||5,000||
|Project Ascension||Link||PVE/PVP||x1-x3||Online||Europe||The only Classless WoW server where you pick from all 9 classes to create your own hero. Progressive to wotlk, currently in vanilla content with 10 and 25 man versions of all the classic Raids. All classic like numbers||3000||3.3.5|
|Crestfall||Link||PvE & PvP||x1||To Be Announced
|Europe||Progression Through Expansion (PTE)||PTE, i.e. Not True Vanilla|
|Link||PvE / RP||x1||PTR Test Phase Only||North America||All items kept on release|
|Classic-WoW||Link||PvE||x1||Released||Germany||German- speaking only||400||1.12.1|
|Classic Warcraft||Link||In development||N/A||N/A (0)||1.12.1|
|Covenant-WoW||Link||Mangos Official Test Server||Retail/Blizzlike||Released / Permanent Development||United Kingdom||Details in the getMaNGOS section above||20||1.12.1|
|Kronos||Link||PvP||x1||Released||Czech Republic|| Released March 2015 (Release Trailer)
Second realm Kronos II released on April 2016
|Nostalrius Begins||Link||PvP||x1||Re-released (as part of Elysium Project)||France||Was initially shut by a cease and desist by Blizzard. Re-released with the help of the Valkyrie team and renamed to Elysium. The original Nostalrius team has since left, but the source code still exists as the "Anathema" core at Light's Hope||(see Anathema)||1.12.1|
|The Rebirth||Link||PvP||x5 (optional x1)||Shut Down||France||Shut down in early 2017||N/A (0)||1.12.1|
|Vanilla Gaming||Link||PvP||x15 (optional x1)||Released; Active||Switzerland||400||1.12.1|
|Valkyrie-WoW||Link||PVP||x1 (optional donate for instant lvl 60)||Merged (with Elysium)||France||No longer exists as a server||(see Elysium)||1.12.1|
|WoW Ascension||Link||PvE||x1||Shut down||United Kingdom||Issued Cease and Desist by Blizzard||50 (0)||1.12.1|
|RetroWoW||Link||Custom||Instant 60||Active||Funserver(not Blizzlike)||?||1.12|
|Vanilla Awakened||Link||PvP||x4||Active||Patch 1.5 currently||20-50||1.12|
|Firestorm||Link||PvP||x5||Offline||Only 'Blackrock' is 1.12. It recently shut down.||0||1.12 (Blackrock only)|
|Deutscher Classic Server||Link||x1-2||Online||German-speaking only||10-50||1.12|