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WoWNov 2, 2021 6:00 pm CT

How to switch Covenants in WoW Shadowlands patch 9.1.5

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is live with patch 9.1.5, and Covenants are just one of the game systems that received extensive quality of life improvements. The big takeaway is that regular players who reach the maximum Renown will have a ton of flexibility around their Covenant choice.

Here’s more detail on the patch 9.1.5 changes to Covenant switching, and how to swap Covenants right now.

Switching Covenants is free and easy in patch 9.1.5

In the early days of Shadowlands, Covenant selection was presented as a weighty, story-impacting decision. However, at this point in the timeline, regular players have been chafing under the limitations. Fortunately, the people who have been logging many long sessions in the expansion are getting a reprieve. Patch 9.1.5 introduces free switching between Covenants once players reach 80 Renown. There will be no cooldown or restriction on moving between Covenants for that audience.

Meeting that renown level will also make cosmetic rewards available for your character even if you’re not currently active in that Covenant, and Conduit Energy is being removed. At max renown, you’ll also be able to transfer Anima to your other characters by purchasing a Broker Mark of Distinction. Basically, things are about to get drastically simpler for your alts.

How to switch Covenants in patch 9.1.5 (if you’re Renown 80)

Switching couldn’t be simpler. Just go to the head of the covenant you want to join in Oribos and talk to them about swapping.

To join up with a new Covenant, go talk to its leader on Oribos. These are the leaders of each Covenant in Shadowlands:

  • Polemarch Adestres for the Kyrian
  • Baroness Draka for the Necrolords
  • Lady Moonberry for the Night Fae
  • General Draven for the Venthyr

In conversation with these NPCs, they will ask you twice if you really want to change your affiliation. If you’ve never been a member of the covenant before, you’ll be starting all over with Renown and building up your Sanctum, but if you’ve been a member of the Covenant before you’ll find your Renown, Sanctum, Soulbinds and everything else just as you left them.

Starting at one Renown makes for a tough grind back to where you were, but fortunately there’s a workaround: for 500 gold you can buy a Broker Mark of Distinction from Au’Dara in Oribos, located just next to the flight master. It will instantly boost you to 40 Renown, which may not be as good as 80 Renown, but it’s a lot better than starting from scratch — and your Renown levels will rebound quickly just from average gameplay. Have an alt that needs a Renown boost? They can buy their own token or you can buy one for them: they’re Bind on Account so you can send mail them to all of your alts.

When you switch, all of your Anima stays with your original Covenant, but when you use the Broker Mark of Distinction, you’ll receive a thousand Anima to get you started with your new Covenant, as well as your Covenant mount. Need more Anima? You can swap back to your previous Covenant and buy Traveler’s Anima Cache from Au’Dara for 1000 Anima, and you’ll be able to redeem it with your new Covenant for 1000 Anima.

Now you’re all set. Just pick up the seed quest from your new Covenant leader and head to your new Sanctum. If you picked up the Broker Mark of Distinction and brought a bit of Anima with you, you should be able to unlock the major features right away.

Want to switch back? Just repeat the process and talk with a different covenant leader in Oribos. There’s no penalty or cooldown to switching, so you can go back and forth as much as you’d like.

Before maximum Renown, the old Covenant switching rules will remain

If you’re on the casual side and don’t have a character at maximum Renown level set in patch 9.1.5, you’ll still be subject to the full process of leaving and rejoining a Covenant. It’s not much harder than the way you can do it at Renown 80, but it will take time to swap back if you change your mind again before Renown 80.

First, you’ll want to reclaim any Anima from your previous faction. You can do this by buying a Traveler’s Anima Cache from Au’Dara in Oribos (you’ll find her next to the flight master) for 1000 Anima. You’ll be able to grab as much Anima from your current Covenant’s Anima Reservoir as you’d like, in blocks of 1000 — but any Anima you’ve already spent remains with your original Covenant. (If you switch back later, everything will be just as you left it.)

Then all you need to do is jump headfirst into a new relationship. To join up with a new Covenant, go talk to its leader on Oribos, who are exactly the same people you need to talk to if you’re switching at 80 Renown:

  • Polemarch Adestres for the Kyrian
  • Baroness Draka for the Necrolords
  • Lady Moonberry for the Night Fae
  • General Draven for the Venthyr

In conversation with these NPCs, they will ask you twice if you really want to change your affiliation. You’ll start at one Renown with your new covenant, and unlike players with 80 Renown you can’t buy a Broker Mark of Distinction for an early Renown boost — however, as you get to working on your Covenant campaign and doing your regular questing routine, you’ll find the Renown adds up fast.

Be sure to pick up the seed quest to go to your new Covenant’s Sanctum and begin your training. You’ll need to do a few quests to unlock your Covenant abilities and features, but it won’t take long to get all caught up!

How to rejoin a Covenant before maximum Renown

The leaving is easy, even if you aren’t at 80 Renown for free Covenant swaps in patch 9.1.5. The rejoining is more involved. The path to reconnecting with a past Covenant begins with another NPC conversation in Oribos. The leader of your former crew will lay a guilt trip on you, sharing their disappointment in your betrayal. Once you get the dressing-down, no matter which Covenant you’re returning to, you’ll be assigned the Prove Your Worth quest.

Prove Your Worth requires you to complete eight World Quests and fill a percentage bar of activities in the Covenant’s home zone or related dungeons. Once you complete and turn in Prove Your Worth, wait for the next weekly reset. Then you’ll have the Rebuild Our Trust quest from the Covenant Ambassador. New name, same song and dance. You’ll have to do a second round of tasks and World Quests in the Covenant’s zones. Once Rebuild Our Trust is finished, you’ll be allowed back into the fold.

You can swap back within a week if you put the effort in: just pick up and complete the Prove Your Worth quest the day before reset (Tuesday for NA servers, Wednesday for EU servers) and then do Rebuild Our Trust when the servers are up the next day. The good news is that once you finish these quests, your Covenant Sanctum will have all of its original upgrades and you’ll have your original renown level, so once there’s no additional grind to go through.

Though it will take some time to make the switch, it’s not an overwhelming effort if you want to test-drive a new Covenant — and change your mind again later. And by the time you make it to the most current content, it seems likely that you’ll be at the renown level needed to change at all.

Originally published 10/19/2020, updated 11/2/2021

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