Player vs. Player

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A male undead rogue.

In World of Warcraft, Player vs. Player (commonly abbreviated PvP) denotes combat between players of any kind such as:

  • Dueling - One versus one combat in a controlled environment. This cannot be done in cities. However, small towns and the areas immediately outside the entrances to capital cities are very popular for dueling.
  • Battlegrounds - Horde versus Alliance combat in a competitive team games such as capture the flag and defend the tower.
    • Rated Battlegrounds - A more intense version of battlegrounds, using premade groups and an emphasis on team makeup and strategy.
  • Arena - Organized on-going tournament that allow for matches that take place in instanced controlled environments between players of the same faction as well as the opposing. Available in 2v2, 3v3 and 5v5 formats. Players create teams and boost their Team Rating by beating similarly rated teams.
  • War Games - Custom-made group combat between two groups of either faction. Introduced with Arena Season 9, War Games are unrated, user-initiated practice matches that can occur in any Arena or Battleground. While they do not offer experience, honor, achievement progress, or win/loss tracking, they are a popular venue for fun, practice, and recruitment purposes.
  • Random PvP - Whenever a player character comes across another player character of the opposing faction whose PvP flag is turned on (on PvP realms this flag will switch on whenever you go outside the low-level zones that your faction controls, although it can still be activated in these zones, or Sanctuary areas) that player can attack the other. This was often called "World PvP" before the introduction of zone-specific PvP combat goals, and often still is called by this name.
  • World PvP
  • PvP Zones
    • WotLK Wintergrasp is a large-scale battle to control a wintry fortress in the reaches of Northrend, aided by a variety of siege vehicles.
    • Cataclysm Tol Barad is a battle to control the resources of the island kingdom of Tol Barad, off the coast of the Eastern Kingdoms.


PvP Points

Killing players of an opposing faction that is the same level, a higher level, or up to eight levels lower will gain a player [Honor Points]. Killing players of too low-level will result in zero honor. However, whether killing any player of the opposing faction, regardless of their level, is acceptable behavior among a player's peers varies among PvP Realms and factions.

Since the start of Cataclysm, PvP uses two forms of currency: [Honor Points] and [Conquest Points].

  • Honor Points are used for buying lower tier gear, and are rewarded from doing world PvP zone battles such as Tol Barad and non-rated battlegrounds.
  • Conquest Points are used for buying higher tier gear, and are rewarded from doing ranked arena matches as well as daily and rated battlegrounds.

At the start of each new PvP season, all Conquest Points are converted to Honor Points. This is to stop players from stockpiling Conquest Points beforehand and buying the new season's gear as soon as it comes out.

PvP Tokens

Killing players in some specific locations in Outland can also give the player PvP Tokens such as  [Mark of Honor Hold],  [Mark of Thrallmar] and  [Halaa Battle Token]. These work similar to Marks of Honor but can be redeemed only at PVP vendors of the faction the token is specific to. For example, only PVP vendors associated with Honor Hold sell PVP items for Marks of Honor Hold.

Generally, PVP tokens offer items which are aimed at players who are between levels 60 and 70.

PvP Rewards

Main article: PvP Rewards

PvP Achievements

Main article: Player vs. Player achievements

PvP realms

PvP also refers to PvP realms, which are realms where World PvP happens much more often, since after around level 20 players will be pushed into adventuring in contested territories. By level 30, pretty much all your leveling will be done in contested territories. See PvP Flag for more information.

Pros and cons of PvP realms

Below are some of the pros and cons of playing on a PvP realm. For more information on each type of realm, and advice on choosing the right type for you, see Picking a Server.


  • Some players like the thrill and risk of random player vs. player combat, and would consider PvE servers to have a difficulty that is too low.
  • The danger of PvP inserts more realism into gameplay, since preventing other players from attacking you represents more a pure game mechanic than any plausible scenario.
  • Opportunities for world PvP are much more prevalent.
  • If you dislike Alliance-favored population imbalance, research has shown that the population of PvE realms are much more prone to be Alliance weighted, with population ratios often hovering around 2:1. PvP realms are more often horde dominated, with ratios of between 1.5:1 and 3:1 being most common, and 15:1 happening on occasion see WarcraftRealms for more details.


  • Some players consider being able to play with no risk of random player vs. player combat less stressful. You can level and train skills without the types of interruptions listed below.
  • Such disruptive practices like corpse camping, griefing, ganking can be exceedingly prevalent on PvP realms, many high level players may repeatedly and incessantly engage in these behaviors for no obvious reason other than that they can.
  • Blizzard has shown extreme reluctance to address PvP realm faction balance, and as a result, almost all realms are out of balance to some extent, with horde players outnumbering alliance players in most cases. The WarcraftRealms census says that overall for PvP realms, there are 1.7 horde online for every alliance online. The result of this is that the dominant faction can often so completely dominate a questing / PvP or resource gathering area that the smaller faction has no access.
  • Priests with Mind Control, shamans with [Thunderstorm], druids with [Typhoon] and mages with [Blast Wave] can knockback you off cliffs and boats. Sometimes, in rare cases, [Death Grip] can pull players to their doom.

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