Best WoW emulator 2019

Best WoW Emulator - Goblin Engineer Artwork by Nefarei

Choosing the best World of Warcraft emulator for your private server in 2019 might not be an obvious decision and depends on what is important for you.

What game version is your target?

  • Is it more important for you having a more recent WoW expansion or the game quality?
  • Do you need to add custom content and features?
  • Are you a beginner or an experienced server administrator/developer?

We will try to provide an overview of the modern WoW server application projects that will help you to select one.

TrinityCore logo TrinityCore

Supported WoW versions: Battle for Azeroth (8.x.x), Wrath of The Lich King (3.3.5a)

If you are reading this, most likely you have already heard about TrinityCore. Simply because it has been the most successful WoW emulator of all times. A lot of servers and other emulators out there are based on it. Originally created as a fork of MaNGOS, with time it outclassed its father.

In recent times, TrinityCore no longer has the same amount of active developers of its golden age. Despite of that, it is still strong enough to target the latest version of World of Warcraft (currently BfA). However the new version is not fully playable yet.

Good:

  • experienced developers
  • the best choice for who wants the latest version of World of Warcraft
  • it also has a playable branch for 3.3.5

Bad:

  • the master branch is not fully playable yet (all the contents after WOTLK aren’t completed enough)
  • the project has less active developers than it used to have

Official website: https://www.trinitycore.org

Official source repository: https://github.com/TrinityCore/TrinityCore

 

AzerothCore logo AzerothCore

Supported WoW versions: Wrath of The Lich King (3.3.5a)

AzerothCore was created as a continuation of SunwellCore (which was based on TrinityCore and provided a high-quaity game experience). Since its creation, it got several updates also importing fixes and features from newer versions of TrinityCore and CMaNGOS. Its community has grown, today many private servers are using or considering migrating to AzerothCore.

The exclusive feature of AzerothCore is the modular system that allows to make customizations without modifying directly the core source code.  That makes easy for servers to keep their source version updated and reuse custom code. There is even a public collection of modules created by the community. The project chat is on Discord.

Good:

  • probably the best choice in terms of gameplay quality (closer to blizzlike)
  • simple to add and manage custom features using the module system
  • easy to setup
  • growing community
  • unlike other emulation projects, changes to the master branch are tested in PRs before being merged (good stability)

Bad:

  • only supports version 3.3.5a,  it looks like that there are no official plans for other versions of WoW

Official website: https://www.azerothcore.org

Official source repository: https://github.com/azerothcore/azerothcore-wotlk

 

CMaNGOS logo CMaNGOS

Supported WoW versions: Classic (1.12), The Burning Crusade (2.4.3), Wrath of The Lich King (3.3.5a)

C-MaNGOS means Continued-MaNGOS and it’s the direct continuation of the original MaNGOS project. According to the GitHub stars count of the official repositories, it is the most loved for its WoW Classic repository.

Good:

  • little but constant development
  • experienced developers
  • one of the best options for Classic and TBC versions

Bad:

  • small community
  • not all former MaNGOS developers are active

Official website: https://cmangos.net/

Official source repository: https://github.com/cmangos

 

TrinityCore logo TrinityCoreLegacy

Supported WoW versions: Cataclysm (4.3.4)

This is a spin-off of the TrinityCore project that aims to continue the development of the 4.3.4 branch. Some members of TrinityCore supports it, but it’s not officially supported by TrinityCore. The source code is hosted on GitLab.

It’s a good choice if you want to open a Cataclysm server.

Official source repository: https://gitlab.com/trinitycore/TrinityCore_434

 

ArkCore logo ArkCore

Supported WoW versions: Cataclysm (4.3.4)

Another Trinity-based project which supports Cataclysm. It has been around for a long time, but it doesn’t have a big community.

Official website: http://gpn39f.spdns.de/forum1/

Official source repository: https://github.com/Arkania/ArkCORE-NG

 

OregonCore logo OregonCore

Supported WoW versions: The Burning Crusade (2.4.3)

Old Trinity-based project with a valuable history that supports TBC, however not much active in recent times.

Official website: https://oregon-core.net

Official source repository: https://github.com/OregonCore/OregonCore

 

Project SkyFire logo SkyFireEMU

Supported WoW versions: Mists of Pandaria (5.4.8), Cataclysm (4.0.6a), The Burning Crusade (2.4.3)

It’s derived from TrinityCore and has been around for a while. It doesn’t have a big community though.

Good:

  • probably the best choice if you want a server with Pandaria

Bad:

  • only 1 developer active
  • the other 2 versions (TBC and Cataclysm) almost don’t have any active development at all

Official website: https://www.projectskyfire.org

Official source repository: https://github.com/ProjectSkyfire

 

Valoren SunstriderCore logo SunstriderCore

Supported WoW versions: The Burning Crusade  (2.4.3)

Used and developed by the Valoren private server. It was originally born as a TrinityCore fork (back in the days when TrinityCore supported TBC) and used on the private server WoWMania, and was successively known as “Windrunner”. They keep their source code close to TrinityCore, while adding new features. They have a chat on Discord.

Good:

  • actively developed
  • new features that other projects don’t have
  • good for reusing parts of it in other projects

Bad:

  • only partially open source (anticheat, instance and creature scripts are not public)
  • not big community (mainly one developer working)

Official source repository:  https://github.com/ValorenWoW/sunstrider-core

 

vMaNGOS logo vMaNGOS

Supported WoW versions: Classic (from 1.2 to 1.12 progressive patch)

Based on MaNGOS, this interesting project aims to provide a progression systems between one WoW version and another (unlike most of the other projects that just support the last patch of every expansion). They have a chat on Discord.

Official source repository: https://github.com/vmangos


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