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This is a guide on how to use addons to make your UI work for you, so that you can optimize your gameplay. Now, this is meant to help, not shame. You don’t have to feel bad if you don’t want to use addons, even if lots of people say they’re great. If you like these ideas, and the idea of putting in the time to learn them appeals to you, great. If not, don’t let it ruin the fun you’re having. Got it? Then let’s begin! The base UI you’re presented with when you first start the game is... sufficient. You have all the information there that you need. Your health, your target, your buffs and debuffs, members of your group or raid, your action bars, your minimap... And you can customize it to an extent. You can make it show target of target, buffs/debuffs on target or group members, extra action bars, etc. Some people get by just fine using the base UI; some even excel with it. But I am of the strong belief that customizing your UI can give you an edge, and if the huge selection of mods (a.k.a. addons) out there indicates anything, I’m far from the only one! Of course, having your UI altered takes getting used to. You have to unlearn reflexes and train yourself to take input differently. For many people, that’s a turn-off, and something they just don’t want to bother with, though there are rewards in the end. Mods also require learning how to actually implement them – how to install them, what all the terminology means, and how to configure their options. But fear not! I’m here to help! And you can start off small, and add things over time. Or, you can go for a mod pack, which are collections that overhaul the UI entirely for you, and which are designed to take the strain of learning how to configure mods off. Let’s talk about both options. Mod Packs There are several highly recommended mod packs out there. One of the most popular is ElvUI, which several very skilled players I know use (such as my husband, after grudgingly giving up the vanilla UI after some 8 years). Mods packs generally have all the addons preconfigured in a pleasing and helpful way, and some, such as ElvUI, even walk you through a couple of options you can set yourself. If you want to dive right into a fully customized UI, an option that is surprisingly easy and pleasant, I would recommend starting with ElvUI (tukui.org). Another popular option is SpartanUI (spartanui.net) if you want to check out how both look. Individual Mods Alternatively, you can tweak one thing at a time in your UI. A lot of people like to start out with one change – improved unitframes, for example. Those would be the player icon, target icon, party member icons, etc. You can make them look much cooler, such as with 3D models and nicer borders. Or maybe you want to have more action buttons, and in a more compact style. You can do that with an action bar mod. In this fashion, you can slowly add things to your UI as you get comfortable with them, and build a custom UI exactly to your liking. The rest of this guide will cover individual mods. If something piques your interest, try it out!