When it comes to designing UIs, Blizzard offers a pretty mixed bag for players. It offers reliability, but the WoW UI lacks a great deal of flexibility.
It’s no secret that most players use the default interface. It’s familiar, it’s relatively simple, and it never breaks after an update. It may be a bit unattractive, but at least it’s faithful.
This is for those of you not afraid of a little bit of adventure. The following add-ons will completely replace your default UI, changing everything from the bottom to the top.
When it comes to looks, RealUI is pretty much a more minimalist version of the standard UI. The arrangement of the interface is very similar to what players are already used to seeing.
The downside to this UI is that there’s basically no options for players to customize it.
If you’ve got the magic touch and know your way around .lua files, you can make some adjustments (the files are pretty easy to understand). However, most players will be stuck with the default.
For players who don’t need finetuned control, RealUI is a great option that looks and feels intuitive.
Unfortunately, RealUI is not as regularly updated as other UI add-ons which can be a compatibility concern.
This replacement, created by Tukz, is easily one of the most popular UIs available–and for a good reason!
It’s definitely one of the prettier options. The installation process is smooth and relatively painless. If you’re new to UI replacements, it’s best to turn off anything that alters unit frames or action bars. Basically, remove as many potential conflicts as possible.
TukUI replaces virtually every interface element in the game, but it doesn’t just stop there. It also reskins several popular add-ons.
What really sets this UI aside from the rest is that there’s plenty of configuration options even for players who don’t understand lua. All you have to do is type “/tc” while in-game to load the configuration window!
Although it was once little more than a sub-build of TukUI, this interface replacement has evolved into a life of its own.
ElvUI features a somewhat clunkier overall look and can be a bit memory intensive on older machines. However, it’s also updated more regularly and has a rapidly growing fanbase.
The biggest degree of separation between the two is the greater customization features that ElvUI features. Because of this, there is a large community of players developing code for it.
If you want complete control over your UI but lack coding experience, you will probably find that ElvUI is the best fit.
Most customizations can be found by simply checking out the forum and grabbing a custom piece of code.
Although not as minimalistic as many of the UIs on this list, gUIS remains a popular choice for many.
The community hasn’t grown up around this add-on quite as quickly as ElvUI and TukUI. They have a forum, but you won’t have as much luck with user submitted customizations.
The interface recently had a huge overhaul and released its anticipated version 2.0. Pretty much the entire code base has been re-hauled and many improvements have been made. Definitely worth a look if you’re having a hard time finding the right “fit” for your interface.
Why Not Just Use the WoW UI?
UI replacements offer a lot of features that you just can’t find in the vanilla interface.
They can do anything from helping you improve raid performance by giving you an easy heads-up display of cooldowns to just helping you manage your messages better by giving you whisper alerts. They also look pretty damn cool. Different UIs offer very different features so it’s important to try them all to see what works for you.
What’s your favorite UI replacement?