Login with Patreon
WoWMar 25, 2024 10:00 am CT

Everything you need to know about Plunderstorm, WoW patch 10.2.6’s new PVP event

WoW patch 10.2.6 was a big secret for months, and as the hype built we’ve been wondering if whatever Blizzard’s been working on could possibly meet player expectations. Now we know what’s in 10.2.6: Plunderstorm, a 60-player battle royale-style game in which only one player will be left standing. And if you’re eager to earn Plunderstorm rewards, act fast: the event ends on April 30, 2024.

Wait! If you, like me, felt a blanket of disappointment settle over you after realizing patch 10.2.6 was essentially a pirate-themed PVP Battleground, bear with me for a moment, because Plunderstorm is more than that.

Okay, just what is Plunderstorm?

Plunderstorm is a unique game mode that exists outside the regular gameplay of World of Warcraft or WoW Classic — and yes, Classic players can participate too. In Plunderstorm, you aren’t playing your character: you’re playing a pirate, on the search for plunder in the Arathi Highlands.

As you play, you’ll unlock and upgrade unique new abilities (you can pick up two offensive abilities, two utility abilities, and one consumable), building your character over the duration of the match. There’s no fall damage in this game mode, and everyone can double jump to make it easy to navigate the map. Gameplay is more action-oriented than traditional WoW, with a streamlined UI (and no addons). As my compatriot Anna Bell described it, Plunderstorm is Fortnite without building.

Is Plunderstorm free to play?

Sorry, but no. You need an active World of Warcraft subscription to play Plunderstorm.

How to queue for Plunderstorm

Here’s how you join a Plunderstorm match:

  • Launch the retail World of Warcraft client — if you play Classic, you’ll have to install the retail client to play Plunderstorm.
  • Instead of logging on to your character, click the Plunderstorm in the upper left.
  • Create a Plunderstorm character — these are pre-made characters, so no gameplay knowledge is required, but you can customize the look to your heart’s content.
  • Select Solo to play alone or Duo to group with a friend (or a stranger). If you select Duo but haven’t already grouped with a Battle.net friend in the lobby, you’ll be randomly paired with another player doing the same. There’s no guarantee you’ll be on the same page with your random partner, so I recommend playing solo or with a friend.

Queue up and get ready to plunder!

What abilities are available in Plunderstorm?

You aren’t playing your usual character during Plunderstorm, and all the abilities you can pick up during the match are unique. The skills you find are random, so you probably won’t wind up with the same build twice (unless you’re very lucky or very unlucky, depending). To find abilities, explore the map, open chests, and kill NPCs and other players. When you kill another player, they’ll drop the abilities they have equipped, which can be a great way to upgrade your own — but you’ll probably want to pick up some abilities through other means first.

The abilities are divided into three categories: offense, utility, and consumable. You can equip two offense abilities, two utility abilities, and one consumable. Abilities can be used as many times as you’d like, but consumables can only be used once. If you’ve equipped the maximum number of abilities, picking up other abilities will replace one of your existing abilities — but picking up another version of the same ability will upgrade it for more power.

Here are all of the abilities and consumables you can get in Plunderstorm:

Offensive abilities

Utility abilities


Can you play Plunderstorm without PVP?

You can earn rewards without PVPing, but you’ll eventually be herded into other players where you’ll have to kill or be killed. (In my case, it’s always “be killed.”) However, if you aren’t that enthusiastic about a PVP event, there’s a lot for you to do — and PVE activities can help you earn Renown with the new Keg Leg’s Crew faction to get rewards (more on that in a minute).

If you want to skip out on the PVP, here’s what I recommend:

  • Stick to the edges of the map and avoid other players. See another player? Run away!
  • Complete the quest that pops up at the beginning of the match, which may require you to loot chests or kill elites.
  • Collect Plunder by killing NPCs, opening chests, and sometimes just out in the world.

The more Plunder you collect, the higher your reputation will be, and these PVE activities are a great way to earn it — particularly if you, like me, aren’t very good at PVP. If you need more advice, we have a guide on earning Plunderstorm rewards in PVE.

Rewards for playing Plunderstorm

Not into PVP? You can skip playing Plunderstorm and the only thing you’ll lose out on are cosmetics. Keg Leg’s Crew has a 40-tier renown track with new cosmetic rewards at each tier. But if you want to boost your transmog collection, Plunderstorm introduces great piratical rewards, including pirate-themed transmog and an impressive parrot mount, which will be available to your retail Warcraft characters. You can also pick up an extra 750 Trader’s Tender (total) across the rewards track. You don’t even have to claim them: these rewards will automatically be available when you next log on to your retail characters.

A couple of rewards — a pet and a mount — will also be available in Wrath Classic.

For all of the details on rewards, we have a list of the all of the rewards you can earn as well as tips on how to earn Renown with Keg Leg’s Crew.

How long will it take me to earn all of the rewards for Plunderstorm?

Each Renown tier requires 2500 Plunder. Blizzard says you’ll earn a rewards tier every four matches or so, but it’s slower than that in my experience. You earn 500 Plunder for being the last player standing, so if you’re good at battle royale gameplay you could make very fast progress. However, I’m not very good at the game mode so I mostly lean into quest XP: each match has a quest that rewards 250 Plunder and you get an extra 800 Plunder for your first match of the day.

Blizzard says you’ll earn a rewards tier every four matches or so, and matches are said to take 10 to 15 minutes each. If we go by that math, then it’s 26 hours of gameplay on the low end or 40 hours of gameplay on the high end to earn all of the rewards available.

Help! How do I modify my Plunderstorm UI?

Plunderstorm has a unique interface and you can’t use any addons and there’s no edit mode to customize your display, which can definitely be frustrating — particularly since your initial keybindings aren’t very intuitive. However, you can change basic interface options and keybindings — but only within a Plunderstorm match.

To modify your game settings, open the game menu and select options. From there you can change your keybindings and some other basic settings.

If you’d like to play Plunderstorm using a controller — the control scheme is pretty well suited to it — here’s how to set it up.

How long will Plunderstorm last?

Plunderstorm ends on April 30, 2024.

The devs have also left the door open on Plunderstorm becoming a recurring event — and, personally, I expect to see the tech powering Plunderstorm used for other events in the future.

Originally published March 19, 2024; updated April 15, 2024

Blizzard Watch is made possible by people like you.
Please consider supporting our Patreon!


Join the Discussion

Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our  commenting and community guidelines.

Toggle Dark Mode: