An Estimated 1.3 Million People Playing on WoW Private Servers

wow private servers

nostalrius 1 year infographicNot long before Nostalrius was shut down by Blizzard they released a 1 year infographic (shown on the right) with active player numbers, character counts, etc. Now in this data they don’t list average players online, but by all accounts from what we’ve read 8,000 seems to be a really solid number to go off of, using that in conjunction with the numbers in their infographic we can make some really reasonable assumptions about the current state of WoW private servers.

80,010 Average Players Online Across All Servers

After a lot of time researching current WoW private servers and gathering population data there is an average population of 80,010 players online across them. A few notes on how we collected our data: we only listed servers that have been online for a certain period of time, we did low estimates around populations, and we monitored reported population over a period of time and checked in game for evidence of fake player counts.

While it should be noted that some numbers may be incorrect, we can postulate that it’s more than made up for with all the servers we don’t have included, such as alternate language servers, RP servers, and just some we plain missed and haven’t added yet. That being said later on we’ll be evaluating the numbers and adding a bit of conjecture.


The Numbers from Nostalrius

Below we’ve listed the numbers we’ll be evaluating, especially in regards to the ratio of average players online to the other metrics in order to give us a guess at a holistic picture of what the WoW private server community looks like. Undoubtedly some of these will be the same player playing on multiple realms, but as mentioned previous this should be a fair accounting due to what we missed or have yet to include.

  • Average Players Online – 8,000
  • Peak Players Online – 13,100
  • Active Accounts – 130,000
  • Accounts Created – 730,000
  • Characters Created – 2,438,096


The Numbers Across All Private Servers

This is the pure data numbers using the ratio from the Nostalrius infographic. The ratio of total WoW server to Nostalrius average players online was 10.00125, making it a very straightforward process to compile the rest of the numbers.

  • Average Players Online – 80,010
  • Peak Players Online – 131,016
  • Active Accounts – 1,300,163
  • Accounts Created – 7,300,913
  • Characters Created – 24,384,008


More Than 1 Million People Play on WoW Private Servers

Blizzard no longer reports on the current subscriber count for World of Warcraft, so the last numbers we have (and I think it’s safe to say that it’s lower now, but will go up some when the Legion expansion launches) was 5.5 million subscribers. We have to admit, 1.3 million active private server accounts, about 23% of the last reported retail subscription numbers, is quite a surprise to us.

We asked ourselves if the numbers could possibly be so wrong, but we don’t think so. For example, for Warmane’s WotLK servers we only marked 10,000 as the average population when in reality it’s closer to 15,000 between the Lordaeron and Icecrown realms alone without counting their PVP server.


Re-Evaluating the Numbers

Just to be fair, we went ahead and changed the average numbers online estimate for Nostalrius from 8,000 to 10,000 due to their popularity at the end, though if their peak was 13k then 8k definitely seems more reasonable. Let’s see what the numbers look like with a 10,000 average giving us a ratio of 8.001.

  • Average Players Online – 80,010
  • Peak Players Online – 104,813
  • Active Accounts – 1,040,130
  • Accounts Created – 5,840,730
  • Characters Created – 19,507,206

In summary, we think it’s safe to say that the World of Warcraft private server community has more than 1 million active players. Let’s us know your thoughts below!

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7 years ago

Honestly this is a very low number. Being able to play the game FOR FREE – no subscription and without purchasing the game – I thought there would be 20 to 50 million unofficial players.

7 years ago
Reply to  Daeveren

20-50 million players? Man, You’re out of touch with reality. Blizzard announced that in total there have ever been created just over 100 million unique game accounts. And a notable percentage of players have owned duplicate accounts (I myself have had 3 unique account subscriptions running before WoW was integrated into battlenet)
Do you really think up to more than half of the players, who have ever registered and paid for an account still play on unofficial servers?

The idea of introducing legacy isn’t mainly for gaining millions of subscribers, but to stop losing susscribers in general and eeping the numbers consistant. So that people would have a chance to drop into a previous version of the game and wait it out if they’re not happy with the current patch instead of unsubscribing for a year and QQing on the forums. In the long run Blizzard would be winning a lot more money through these means. Gaining a few hundred thousand up to several hundred thousand subscribers is just an added bonus.

7 years ago

You don’t live in reality is you think that’s a reasonable number to expect.

6 years ago

In our world I never seen that much players haha but well this is so insane that too many players around the world still playing on wow private servers

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