The Refer-A-Friend program is a program instituted by Blizzard to facilitate bringing in friends and family into the game. Normally it’s a long and difficult process to level up a friend while you play but with the Refer-A-Friend program you’ll have a cornucopia of features and advantages to help you and your tag-along to level up. This program isn’t just limited to others. It can be used to level up alts or even for someone starting the game.

Basically the Refer-A-Friend program grants triple experience from both enemies and quests that are completed by two paired accounts. There are rules and stipulations that we’ll get into but for now that’s the basics of it. There are other bonuses as well, like the ability to teleport, additional reputation, free game time, and a free Zhevra mount.

How it Works

First you’ll need a regular WoW account. It doesn’t need any expansions but it shouldn’t be a trial account. This account will need to visit the WoW website (for your own security type it in: never click a link to visit the WoW account page) and select “Refer-A-Friend” from the account menu. You’ll be asked to send an invite to someone’s email address and a brief message.

That email goes out and gives an option to start someone with a ten day trial. During the trial they’ll have the usual restrictions: can’t chat without being on someone’s friends list, no trade ability, level 20 cap, etc. Once the trial account is made then the two accounts will be “linked” together which gives all of the bonuses except the free game time and the mount (more on that later). At this point the second account has ten days to upgrade to the full game in order to level past 20 enjoy all of the features of the game.

The second account is herein known as the recruit and the primary account is known as the recruiter. The recruiter is the one that recruits the recruit.

What Exactly Do You Get?

Here is a list of all of the bonuses the two linked accounts share. This is a comprehensive list that goes over all of the current bonuses. All in-game features work until level 60 and from 90 days from when the link is established.

  • Triple experience on quests and enemies for the linked accounts as long as they are within 4 levels of each other. For instance, a level 21 and a 25 would get triple experience but a level 20 and a level 25 would not share triple XP. If there is a level gap then the lowest level character will be the only one to get triple XP. In the previous example the level 20 would have triple XP until it reached within the 4 level gap. The enemies and quests cannot be “grey con” or “low level”. Any enemy that would not normally give experience will not give triple experience. The two characters must also be within 100 yards (or basically within mini-map distance) and in a party.
  • 10% reputation bonus (about 1 reputation per 10)
  • Ability for linked accounts to summon each other.
  • The recruit can grant levels to the recruiter if their character is below their level. For instance a level 25 recruit can grant a level 23 recruiter 2 levels. The levels are finite and are gained every 2 levels (up until level 60) by the recruit. This gives a total of 30 levels to grant.
  • Once the recruit purchases 1 month of subscription game time the recruiter is given a free month of gameplay.
  • The recruiter will get a free Zhevra mount once 60 days of gametime is purchased.

Now that we know the basics to the refer-a-friend system, let’s go over the different ways we can use this to our advantage.

Zhevra Mount How-To

Some people are obsessed with achievements and collections and that person may be you. If you want the Zhevra mount the best way to go about it is to recruit a friend, but the option to recruit yourself is always there. No matter how you go about it there are two ways to get this prized mount. The first is to wait for the recurring subscription to trigger. That will take 2 months and ten days to happen. It breaks down into ten days free game time from the trial, one month of free game time from the upgrade, and then you’ll need to purchase two months of subscriptions before the mount is yours.

The other, speedier option is to purchase a 60-day time card from any game retailers out there (Wal-Mart, Target, Gamestop, etc.) and apply it to the recruits account. You’ll instantly be credited for the time and the Zhevra mount.

It should be noted that the recruiter will also get one free month of game time. So if this is something you’re doing solo you’ll only be out $35 dollars ($20 for the original game and $30 for the game time and you’ll recover $15 for the first one’s subscription on the recruit).

Recruiting a Friend

We’ll be going into a lot of options on how to use Refer-A-Friend to its full potential. The first option that we’ll examine is the traditional option of recruiting a friend. Getting a friend into the game is a joyous moment but can be difficult if they’re fearful of the stigma attached to MMO gaming, are experience to MMO gaming, or are limited in free time. The best way to approach this is to see if it’s something that they want to do. There isn’t much reason to waste the time and effort if they’re not interested in the process.

Let your friend know that they can level up faster by being recruited plus have easy access to the game download and the free trial. If possible, share your game discs to make installation a breeze or pickup the latest free trial at local retailer. If they’re going into this wanting to give it a shot past level 20 then go ahead and see if they’re interested in picking up a retail copy. For those with limited bandwith or crippled bittorrent abilities (like college students) that’s generally the best option.

Get their email address and send them the Refer-A-Friend email link. It’ll zoom through the Internet into their inbox where they can follow the simple and easy to follow instructions in order to get started. Below is the email address for them to watch out for and the invite email’s opening text for easy searching.

From [email protected]: YOURNAME has sent you a FREE ten (10) day trial of World of Warcraft®, the #1 massively-multiplayer role-playing game with over 10 million players online. This custom message was also sent to you:

They’ll be given two links. One is to signup for a trial account (and they’ll have their authentication key in the email for it) and the other is to download. If they’ve got the game ready then the only thing they’ll need to worry about is the account creation.

Once they’re through the account creation, go ahead and add them as a friend to your account. Then have them add you as a friend so that you can teleport one another through your social tab.

At this point you have two options. The first is to create a character and level up with them! To me that’s the option that’s the most fun and exciting because you both benefit with triple XP. You don’t even have to worry about falling behind since your friend can grant you levels to catch up.

You can also just straight out powerlevel them with a higher level character. This won’t give you triple XP but they’ll still benefit and they’ll get to level 60 in no time. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each:

Leveling up Together

  • Both players get triple XP until level 60.
  • If the recruiter falls behind then he can be picked up by the recruit with the free granted levels.
  • Triple XP requires both friends to play together which can be a problem if they have conflicting schedules.


  • The recruit reaches level 60 at lightning speed.
  • The recruiter gains the various bonuses for inviting, but doesn’t gain the triple XP.
  • The recruit misses out on a lot of content and learning experience.

Either way you go, as long as you’re playing with people you like, you should be fine. Both options and the various ways to accomplish it are described in detail later on.

Inviting Yourself

WoW is a social game and playing by yourself is not fun. However the Recruit-A-Friend system doesn’t disallow you from recruiting yourself to the game. This sounds odd but it’s true. This means that you can recruit a second account to help powerlevel a new alt, gain the Zhevra mount, or create a legion of followers.

To recruit yourself all you have to do is email yourself the invite and follow the instructions to create the new account. To make sure the accounts are linked the invite email has to be a Refer-A-Friend invite. Not a trial invite or a scroll of resurrection. It HAS to be a Refer-A-Friend invite. You can be DOUBLE sure that it’s the one when you see this in the email towards the bottom.

After your account has been created with this key, you and YOURNAME will share special powers and leveling bonuses.

When you invite yourself you’re not limited to just one account either. You can create an entire army of accounts all linked together and you can play them all too. It’s not against the Terms of Service as long as you’re playing each account and you’re the only one playing them. We’ll go into that later in our multi-boxing segment.

If you’re just doing a single account then remember this little catch 22: you can’t use your higher level character to powerlevel you if you’re going to use the second account for the triple XP on your first. This is solved by either playing both accounts starting at level one, using a third higher level player for powerleveling, or by powerleveling a character up and transferring it over to your main. The latter is a very expensive option and the first is time consuming (but not nearly as much as doing it solo). The middle option requires a third party.

  • Links to the options.

Duo Leveling (Two Characters at the Same Level Being Played by Two People)

Sample Scenario: A friend invites another friend into the game and both want to play with one another.

Two characters that are at the same level will find their journey to level sixty to be easy but still time consuming. Having two characters that are leveling up without being dragged through the game by a higher level is difficult, but not as difficult as one person that’s doing it.

The trick to triple XP is that you’ll out level everywhere very quickly. Anywhere with green to orange quests is the best place to be and there really isn’t a really set list of good places to go. Generally the toughest part will be the first 20 levels where you’ll be gaining levels faster than gear/money keeps up. The best thing to avoid this is to get heirloom gear. Now a lot of people will argue that the time to get the badges and the reward you get isn’t worth it, but speaking from personal experience I can firmly say that time isn’t the issue. Fun is. It’s a lot more fun on your second, third, fourth, etc. run through the old world to do so with very powerful gear. Do note the gear is more aligned towards melee classes.

The next thing is that quests will give the best XP in the duo unless you can get someone to run you through an instance. Instances do give a ton of XP, but the best XP comes when the instance is about five to seven levels above you (when the enemies are orange or red con). If you have to actually run the instance then you’ll be bogged down with inefficient XP. Don’t let that stop you if you need the gear or just want to have fun, but if you’re in a hurry then only run the major instances. Deadmines (Alliance), Shadowfang Keep (Horde), Scarlet Monestary, and Zul’Farrak is the best ones to run since you can easily get groups for them.

It’s better to let the recruit play more than the recruiter since the levels can be granted, but you may want to save those for an alt. The recruit and recruiter need to talk about the arrangements and how they want to work things out.

Duo Leveling (One Person)

Sample Scenario: You want to make a level 60 as fast as possible, but don’t want to pay to account transfer or don’t have anyone to help you or if you do they’re not available a lot.

Playing two copies of WoW is the start of “dualboxing” or “multiboxing” which is an article in itself. We’ll touch briefly on setting it up, but we won’t talk about any of the software. There is a lot of software out that that’ll relay keystrokes between multiple clients (even multiple clients on multiple computers) and a lot of it has been given the “a ok” by Blizzard since they require a simple rule: you have to press the key in order to do anything in the game. However, software can be laced with viruses and some things that are ok with Blizzard now might not be in the future. So we’ll talk a look at just playing two accounts without any third-party help and if you’re interested in that then a quick search will start your journey.

The main hurdles with duo leveling by yourself is the fact that you can’t use your main unless you plan on dragging your recruit through the game and paying to transfer it back to your account. Things are going to be more difficult than if two people are playing too for a lot of reasons. If you follow the following tips then you should have an easier time going about it.

  • Running multiple clients is difficult. If you have a 2.4-2.8ghz dual core system then running two clients is easy on one computer (just run two copies of WoW). If you don’t have a beefy system then you’ll need multiple computers with multiple monitors which can become counter initiative. Test things out with the trial before you spend any money to make sure it’s your cup of tea.
  • Questing is still going to the most efficient form of XP unless you can be run through instances. You’ll want to avoid any drop quests though or any quests that require a substantial amount of looting. Looting on one character is painful enough, but looting on two becomes a chore. Especially with drop rates and the alt-tabbing.
  • Set up macros to help you. Simple macros like “/assist <name>” can help you utilize the abilities on both characters. More advanced macros like “/cast [target=<NAME> -target,exists,harm,nodead] <SPELL>” can make one button attack keys to make one button attacking even easier.
  • Choose a good synergy. One DPS and one healer is a good combo. So if you want to make Druid then make your second account something that’ll go well with it. If that Druid is going to go feral then consider a Shaman. If you make a Warrior then consider tagging a Druid or Priest around. If you plan on playing one character and dragging the other then anything with a ranged attack can be useful for some quick painless attacks.
  • Loot quests can be a pain but so can any quest that requires you to use something or do something complicated. Don’t be afraid to skip quests! The XP comes in so fast that you can move around to a new quest hub in no time even if you skip a good deal of them.

Multiple Accounts (One Person w/ a helper)

Sample Scenario: Two, Three, or Four linked RAF accounts and a helper.

Let’s say that you’ve got two accounts running but you don’t want to quest. Then recruit in a friend to help or grab yourself a third account with a level 70-80 on it. You can get most of your XP from quick questing or just pure running instances. It’s simple, easy, and efficient and the fastest way to get those levels. Here is a chart on where to go and when:

With Questing




Do starting quests. Instance XP isn’t worth it.


Shadowfang Keep / Deadmines


Scarlet Monastery – Cathedral Wing: This only works if you can AoE down the enemies. Rogue’s Fan of Knives, Mage’s Arcane Explosion, Hunter’s with Volley (although rather slower), etc. work wonders. Just pull the boss at the end while the RAF accounts chill in the entrance hall. Pull to minimap range and blow them apart.


Do one run of Zul’Farrak to get gear and about 2 levels of experience.


Quest in Tanaris. While instances are the best bang for your buck, moving, getting pre-reqs, etc. isn’t nearly as good at the massive quest XP available in an easy quest hub like Tanaris.


Quest in Hinterlands. While this is better for Horde, there is a good deal of quests for Alliance too. The troll city is a massive boost of XP and all together everything can get you way past into 50. If you can’t get a good groove here try Felwood.


Cauldron Runs in Eastern Plaguelands: The cauldrons will give you one or two levels depending on where you’re at and take no time at all to do. Just have the high level blast the fields and then loot the key, run up and turn in at the cauldron and then turn back in town. Repeat until you’re done with the line.


Quests in EPL / WPL or alternatively give Blackrock Depths a run.


Mostly Dungeons




Do starting quests. Instance XP isn’t worth it.


Shadowfang Keep / Deadmines


Scarlet Monastery – Cathedral Wing: This only works if you can AoE down the enemies. Rogue’s Fan of Knives, Mage’s Arcane Explosion, Hunter’s with Volley (although rather slower), etc. work wonders. Just pull the boss at the end while the RAF accounts chill in the entrance hall. Pull to minimap range and blow them apart. You can enter at 20, but it’s becomes more efficient towards 24. Give SFK/Deadmines a few runs to the most out of them first.


Zul’Farrak - As far as just out right setting in an instance and soaking up XP goes Zul’Farrak is pretty bad. Mobs have low follow ranges so AoEing them down is difficult and a few of the quests require looting. However, it is enough to get you to 45 and you can gain a level or two off quests alone.


Blackrock Depths – Running the instance with the quests will give tons of XP. It’s difficult to manage, but if you can get it down to a science you can easily get ten levels from here. Even without RAF the throne room will grant a good deal of XP and various rooms are jammed packed with regular enemies and elites.


Stratholme / Scholomance – AoEing these instances is very difficult because the enemies will hurt even a fully geared level 80. They aren’t jokes and require some attention, but the amount of XP to be gained is enormous and it’s good XP until 60. Try to grab as many groups of enemies as you can to make it efficient. Stratholme has two sides that you can run as well, just be careful of enemies that spawn behind you like skeletons in the live side.


Five RAF Accounts

Sample Scenario: Five Friends or Five Accounts/One Person

First let me persuade you against going into five linked accounts grouping up together if you’re going to play all five. First of all it is $75 a month just to run five accounts with subscription fees. Secondly it requires a lot of computer power (multiple computers) and generally either a good software configuration or hardware configuration to share keystrokes and that has to be setup in accordance with Blizzard’s policies to make sure nothing is automated at all to avoid the banhammer. If you do it then follow the above guide but focus mostly on doing kill quests. With five characters all doing some form of attack at once or nearly at once you should easily be able to take down quest enemies. Getting all of that setup is beyond the scope of this guide, though.

If you’ve got a group of five friends then it’s simple. Look above at the questing guide, but replace Scarlet Monastery with your usual fair of level 20-40 stuff (see our Where to Adventure Guide). Avoid any quests that require you to loot enemies as a group and just plow through the kill quests. Within no time everyone will be sixty.

Well that’s all there is to say about setting up RAF accounts. If you’ve got something to add then why don’t you join us in the forums? Share your own RAF experiences with members of our community or add your own RAF strategies.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our World of Warcraft Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

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Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.


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