How much data does world of warcraft use? Find OUT!

Determining how much data does World of Warcraft use hinges significantly on your specific in-game activities.

On average, playing WoW consumes about 35 MB of data per hour, though this figure can slightly increase during server raids with multiple players. Based on these estimates, you can expect your monthly data usage to range from 1 to 7 GB.

If you’re curious to pinpoint exactly how much data does World of Warcraft use in your gaming sessions, this article offers detailed insights tailored to your gameplay style. Continue reading to delve deeper into the nuances of WoW’s data consumption.

Why Do People Engage in Online Games Like WoW?

Nowadays, entertainment seems to be the key feature of the Internet. 

People love finding different and interesting things to do online. An essential part of entertainment is gaming. Why are games so entertaining?

They’re entertaining because we get to be part of the action and experience a whole new world.

Having an immersive experience like that makes us want to play all the time.

One of the most popular online games is World of Warcraft. You’ve probably heard about it. It’s one of the first massively multiplayer online role-playing games, or MMORPG.

It’s also one of the things that consume our bandwidth and affects our data plan. 

So, why is it so entertaining? What’s the catch? Most importantly, how much data does world of warcraft use all, how much data does it use?

What Is Online Gaming?

Group of excited people playing games in internet cafe. how much data does world of warcraft use?

This is the type of gaming that’s played through the use of the Internet.

So, a video game that you play online can play it only while connected to the Internet and thus while consuming bandwidth.

One of the factors that make online gaming so addictive is that you get to play the same game with many people all over the globe at the same time.

You can chat with them, cooperate, organize events, and do a lot of other things. This is why it’s so fun, and there are a lot of benefits to online gaming.

For example, people enjoy them because they serve as team-building activities, developing cooperation, imagination, cognition, and other abilities.

Unfortunately, the main disadvantage is that all these advantages make them addictive, especially for children who don’t have their goal-setting skills fully developed yet.

What Is WoW or World of Warcraft?

World of Warcraft is an MMORPG that is played in the Warcraft universe.

The first Warcraft game was released in 1994. It’s a strategy game for PC that is not played online.

So, you can only play it offline and over a LAN (Local Area Network).

Now, with the real-time strategy game such as Warcraft, you can build a city, amass troops, conquer other cities, and control multiple units simultaneously.

You have resources such as gold and wood that fuel the development.

There’s even a remastered edition of Warcraft III that came out in 2020. It’s worth a try if you’re a real-time strategy fan. If you’re more of an RPG (Role Playing Game) fan, then you’re probably going to like World of Warcraft.

In this game, you play as you choose. Whether you want to be a dwarf, night elf, human, orc, and so on, you choose your avatar.

The avatar is your virtual self. That’s what makes the game so fun.

You can be whatever you choose to be, and you can develop your character from the beginning till the end, however you’d like.

Suppose you want to be any WoW class, a mage, priest, paladin, warlock, warrior, hunter, and so forth. In that case, it’s your choice, and you can escape for a couple of hours into this imaginary world where you’re the strongest person or the most powerful one.

The best part is that the game seems almost endless, you can level up your player and become stronger and stronger, and expansions just keep being released.

Also, there’s a PvP (Player versus Player) aspect to the game. This means that you can challenge other players online and beat them. 

Do you understand now why it’s so addictive and awesome? Well, it’s quite logical to assume that this kind of game might consume a lot of bandwidth and ruin your data plan with a huge monthly bill.

So, let’s review the frequent data consumers before we discuss how much WoW actually uses.

Most Frequent Data Consumers

Let’s face it, you can’t determine the most frequent data consumers for the general population.

You can only assume what they are because some people use their internet access to get work done, and some use it for entertainment.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter whether it’s gaming, video streaming,, or work meetings. All these affect your data plan.

Streaming vs. Online Gaming

Usually, you think that because you’re playing a game like World of Warcraft, your bandwidth is being eaten up. This is not exactly the case.

In fact, in most cases, streaming videos will consume much more data than online gaming. Most of the files that you need to play the game are typically already downloaded when it comes to online gaming.

Therefore, the only thing that consumes the data are the parameters that tell your devices what to load from your hard drive.

Streaming, on the other hand, gets all the data to track you in real time.

Everything that you download or watch on YouTube immediately consumes data. The consumption depends on the quality of the video. It definitely consumes more data than other popular games for online gaming.

Of course, the data consumption varies from streaming service to streaming service and from game to game.

Video Calls vs. Voice Calls

It’s only logical that video calls consume more data than voice calls. However, it all depends on the volume of the call.

 If you have a conference voice calls using your data plan, it might be more data-expensive than a video call.

And, if you have a video conference using any phone or app, it’s definitely going to cost you a lot of data.

Make sure that the plan you have contains a provision for unlimited data. Although, there’s always a limit of some sort.

How Much Data Does WoW Consume?

With all of its free expansions, the World of Warcraft game uses approximately 10 KB (Kilobytes) per second. However, this average data rate depends on the type of gameplay.

So, if you play solo and go to the part of the world where there are not many users, and you keep playing like that, you’ll consume significantly less data than if you go on a raid.

The difference is that there are significantly more players that your device has to render in a raid, and there’s more data required.

So, it’s approximately 35 MB(Megabytes) an hour and a little more if you’re raiding with others.

If you calculate these rates, you can safely assume that you spend approximately anywhere from 1 to 7 GB (Gigabytes) of your data a month.

How’s this possible?

Well, if it’s 10 KB per second, then it’s 600 KB per minute, 36,000 KB, or 36 MB per hour, which translates to 1 GB a month.

If you play online game one hour per day, it’s 1 GB. If you play for more than one hour, you consume more than 1 GB.

You can always measure and monitor the specific data consumption using some software or you can check Task Manager to see approximately how much data one app is using at any moment.

So, if you want to play online games and stream videos, you’re going to have an issue.

Your internet data that will be consumed in a very short period, and you don’t want to go overboard with your data plan.

Imagine a situation where multiple people in the household are playing WoW at the same time, and all of them play for at least 4 hours every day.

If only two people are playing, it’s going to be 8 GB of data consumed.

So, you need a good plan or a good ISP (Internet Service Provider) to give you enough competent capacity, so it doesn’t affect your gameplay or your streaming in any way.

Wired or Wi-Fi Gaming

Wi-Fi connections are more unreliable when compared to wired. It’s just a fact. Wi-Fi signals can be weak.They can be interrupted by some other things sending out radio frequencies around the house, such as your microwave oven.

If you’re playing a game online or streaming TV shows, this can be a real pain in the neck. The connection needs to be stable, and you need reliability.

Imagine working with this kind of connection—the frustration, the anxiety, the anger, the stress. Just switch. Take an ethernet cable and connect via wires.

With a cable connection, you can do your job, or stream any kind of tv show or movies all day long.

You can play World of Warcraft as much as you want. It’s simply more reliable. No interruptions unless you tear the cable somehow, but that happens very rarely.

Are Unlimited Data Plans Really Unlimited?

We can see download size we wish, but unfortunately, the unlimited data plans are actually limited in terms of internet speed.

This means that if you play WoW or stream a lot of TV shows continuously during the month, at some point, you will run out of, well, data.

However, you would still be able to play World of Warcraft and stream movies, but at the cost of quality and internet speed. What happens here is the “transformation” of unlimited mobile data, into data with limited speeds.

The internet provider uses a fair usage policy. This policy actually prevents the exploitation of your internet access. You can’t use your home internet access to run a company.

This is what the fair usage policy is all about. The policy implements a data cap into your plan.

So, if you exceed your “unlimited” use, for example, by using 600 GB (Gigabytes) in one month, you’ll get capped.

Your internet provider slows your Internet down. Actually, the ISP decreases your bandwidth by letting smaller amounts of data pass through. This is a great business model.

The ISP offers unlimited data plans, but they are, in fact, limited, and they don’t have to worry about paying for all that data.

The users will anyway. Nevertheless, this works in your favor as well. If you stream and play WoW all the time, there’s no way to save data, you won’t consume the data from your plan. With unlimited, 10 people can play WoW at the same time, and there can be 4 more people streaming.

The data plan stays intact, and there’s no cap. Well, probably no data cap. It also depends on what these people do when they’re not playing or streaming.

Sum It Up

Navigating the immersive world of Azeroth in World of Warcraft (WoW) has become a hallmark of online gaming, captivating players with its expansive universe and engaging gameplay.

As WoW commands a significant portion of bandwidth usage, understanding its impact on internet data plans is crucial for avid gamers. Data usage in WoW hinges on various activities, from solo quests to engaging in large-scale raids, with an average consumption rate of about 35 MB per hour.

This translates to approximately 1 to 7 GB of data monthly, depending on the player’s in-game activities and hours spent in the world of Warcraft.

Contrary to common belief, online gaming, particularly WoW, is not the most voracious consumer of bandwidth when compared to other digital pastimes like video streaming.

The game’s design, where most essential files are pre-downloaded, ensures that only incremental data related to game state and player interactions need to be transmitted during play.

This efficient use of data keeps WoW’s consumption considerably lower than that of streaming high-definition video content, which can quickly escalate depending on the stream’s quality.

For those concerned about data caps and managing internet usage, monitoring tools and understanding the nuances of network demand can be invaluable.

Whether choosing between a wired or Wi-Fi connection for stability or contemplating the real limits of so-called unlimited data plans, players are encouraged to assess their gaming habits against their internet service offerings.

The goal is to ensure an optimal gaming experience without the dread of exceeding data limits or suffering from throttled speeds.

As WoW continues to evolve with new expansions and content, the game’s data usage will remain a key consideration for the gaming community.

Balancing the thrill of exploring Azeroth with the practicalities of data consumption and internet bandwidth presents a unique challenge. Yet, it is one that dedicated gamers navigate with strategic planning and a keen understanding of their online gaming footprint.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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