WoWUI vs ElvUI

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Throughout recent years its been a tough decision for many WoW players. Move to a custom UI or stay with the World of Warcraft UI. With this blog we’re going to answer all of the popular questions. What is a UI? What can ELVUI do for me? Is WoW UI better than ElvUI? the battle is on. WoWUI vs ElvUI.

What is a UI?

UI or User Interface, is the screen in front of the player. Between all of the awesome artwork and the controls you have, you can see the spell bars, player frames etc. This is the User Interface. These days most games have unchangeable UI. But with League of Legends for example there is no need to make changes to a simple layout.

World of Warcraft has been praised for having a customizable UI. With the use of Add-ons this has become a programmers dream. Add-ons can range from basic new features to just re-designing the existing ones. They are all created with the player in mind.

WoW UI Features

World of Warcraft UI just received its first major overhaul since the games release in 2004. Dragonflight brought to the game the ability to move and position almost EVERYTHING.

WOW UI Edit Mode

You can now select the frames they want to move in an Edit screen. Being able to move spell bars or even the minimap. Customizing the amount of action buttons you require and wherever you want the.

Before Dragonflight the WoW UI could only be adjusted slightly. Adding four more side spell bars and adjusting the nameplates. There was many features that players would look to ElvUI to do instead.

ElvUI Features

ElvUI is a complete package for UI changes. Firstly it changes the background of all of the frames transparent black removing laggy image reserves. With chat panel changes, unit frames and even minimap differences.

Chat panels in ElvUI are split into two. One on the left one on the right. All of the Loot/Trade exp and honor will be on the right hand side. Regular text chat on the left. Noticeable difference would be that character names will format into their class colour when typed in chat.

All unit frames can be adjusted to show the information you want. HP, Mana, Buff’s & lots more.

For the full list of ElvUI features and to download visit

Is ElvUI easy to install?

ElvUI is not difficult to install but it isn’t easy to setup. There is a standard setup installer. But it doesn’t give you a tour of how to change any of the fine details. It takes a while to learn what most of the things do. Even then you have to find the right settings to adjust as well. Whilst there are plenty of videos on youtube, it is not easy to setup.

WoWUI vs ElvUI Settings Panel
ElvUI Settings Panel

ElvUI is bloated, you will notice during the setup there are a lot of potentially unnecessary features.

You will not find it on Curse Forge. ElvUI has a direct installer available from their own website. This software will keep the addon up to date for you. Or you can download and install directly through the game files.

ElvUI does notify you in game when it has become out of date. This is handy as it does need to be fixed when World of Warcraft receives a Patch.

WoWUI vs ElvUI

Making the decision to customize and personalize your UI is a good thing. Many people ask is ElvUI better than WoW UI? Well the answer isn’t as simple as saying Yes or No.

With the standard installation the entire game receives a complete overhaul. It will take a lot of adjustment and time to get ElvUI to look and feel how you want it. Personally I am always tweaking the installation to make it more unique and have the features available that I want.

With the World of Warcraft UI, you never have to worry about “My Frames are Broken” or “why isn’t this working?”. The most irritating setting up ElvUI for every new character. The WoW UI may not have the finer features you crave but it will always be there working as intended. It was built for all of the players retrospectively and it is way less clumpy than it used to be.

The answer is unfortunately neither. Its the players decision to choose that is the right one. Whilst many struggle with ElvUI there are just as many that dislike the natural UI.

Issues with ElvUI

With three years of experience with ElvUI I have found only rare issues with ElvUI. Annoying however not 100% disruptive. If you are careful enough.

During updates some settings may change. This can cause frames to change their settings. Stay calm and work out exactly which panel has changed. You can look through the settings of each individual area to correct it.

Recently an update upset the raid frames for me. If a raid went over 20 players the frames disappeared. Looking at the settings I realised the default had been applied to 4 frames instead of 6. Adjusting and testing mid raid I managed to fix.

WoWUI vs ElvUI. Move via Toggle
ElvUI Toggle – Move all frames

During or after a customization with ElvUI you could that if the game crashes the changes didn’t save. Whenever you change the settings, I highly recommend to exit game properly to save the config.

Always keep a copy of your Profile Code. Your code can be copied in the Profiles section in the settings. In case anything ever happens to the Installation of the addon you can revert the changes back.

What could WoW UI do better?

WoW UI at the time of writing is undergoing its first major revamp since the games original release in 2004. There are still flaws and bugs being worked out. Whether it’s the group finder eye being in the wrong place. Or the still very broken Guild Panel. Blizzard are aware and the more suggestions they receive then they will start to take action to repair.

WoW would benefit from more customization to the frames with details. Adding more features like these would prevent more users from looking to addons to replace the games natural look.

Mega evolved ElvUI

With any player getting addons is not always enough. Players seem to crave more than just a few. Trust me I have issues like this too. ElvUI is an addon that allows addons for itself.

Having the base variant of ElvUI is enough to get you started but you can add further.

  • Shadow & Light
  • Benik UI
  • Wind Tools

These are some of the addon packs for ElvUI. Adding even more customization and detail to your game.

Adding these to the game can be fun to experiment with. There are so many features added with each pack. However you could find a few unnecessary additions too.

Final Thoughts

WoWUI vs ElvUI. It was never a contest against each other but what could blizzard eventually implement from ElvUI. Blizzard add more features each expansion. They added RaiderIO scoring and item level based off addons that were made before them. But its fun to put the two together in the ring.

It was always going to come down to player choice rather than an official answer. There isnt a specific to put them against each other for. They both work as intended. They both do the job that is required of them. Whilst one has 1000 more features than the other, do we really need them? Or are we reliant on having them.

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2 responses to “WoWUI vs ElvUI”

  1. Gregory smythe Avatar

    Elvui is way more efficient than the basic wow stuff!!

  2. Zap Admin Avatar

    I absolutely agree! But it does have a bit of a learning curve. Thanks so much for the feedback!