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WoW Rookie: Get up to speed with a mount

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Tired of hoofing it yet? Once you reach level 20, you can hoof it in an entirely new way: on your first mount. Mounts used to become available at level 40; then the level requirement was dropped to 30, and now Patch 3.2 (August 2009) has set the bar for obtaining your first mount to level 20. On the back of your trusty steed (or Kodo or lizard or birdie or ...), you'll be able to zip across increasingly larger zones and quest areas in style. You'll start off on a standard ground mount. Later, you can upgrade to faster versions of those creatures and eventually to mounts that can fly.

There are two parts to getting yourself into the saddle. The first step is training your riding skill. You'll upgrade your riding skill at level 40, 60 and 70, giving you access to faster mounts and mounts that fly.

Apprentice Riding (Skill 75)
  • 60% land mount speed
  • Requires level 20
  • Cost: 4 gold
  • Mount cost: 1 gold
  • Mail will be sent to players at level 20 guiding them to the riding trainer.
Journeyman Riding (Skill 150)
  • 100% land mount speed
  • Requires level 40
  • Cost: 50 gold
  • Mount cost: 10 gold
  • Mail will be sent to players at level 40 guiding them back to the riding trainer.
Expert Riding (Skill 225)
  • 150% flying mount speed; 60% land mount speed
  • Requires level 60
  • Cost: 250 gold
  • Mount Cost: 50 gold
  • Can now be learned in Honor Hold (Alliance; Stormwind faction discounts apply) or Thrallmar (Horde; Orgrimmar faction discounts apply)
Artisan Riding (Skill 300)
  • 280% flying mount speed; 100% land mount speed
  • Requires level 70
  • Cost: 5,000 gold
  • Mount Cost: 100 gold
Because some of the game's content is accessible only by air, you'll need a flyer if you want to enjoy the entire game. You'll get your first flying mount at level 60, allowing even first-time players to fly above the dangerous territory of Outland (The Burning Crusade content). To fly in Northrend (Wrath of the Lich King content), you'll need the Cold Weather Flying skill, which requires level 77. If this is your first time through Northrend, you must work your way through Northrend on the ground (you cannot use your Outland flying mount) until then.Experienced players with a level 80 character, however, can purchase a Tome of Cold Weather Flying to send to an alt who's level 68 or higher (on the same server and faction).

Training your riding skill is the expensive part of riding. Apprentice-level riding training is only 4 gold in this day and age, and the next step up is only 50 gold – but beyond that, brace yourself. Even though money is much easier to come by than it used to be, buying upper-level riding skills is generally considered a character-defining expense. Faction discounts will help soften the blow.

Simply training your riding skill won't increase your speed or get you into the air; you have to buy a fast(er) mount, as well. At 1 gold for a basic land mount, mounts are relatively cheap by comparison to the training needed to ride them. Finding where to buy your mount, however, can seem somewhat mysterious to new players. Stables and trainers are not located in the main cities, so be sure to consult a list of riding trainer locations before setting out to make your purchase.

Class-specific mounts
Several classes train or perform class-specific quests for their mounts as part of their class progression. Warlocks get Felsteeds and Dreadsteeds, and Paladins also quest for their Warhorses and Chargers. Druids get a special Flight Form later down the road, and Death Knights earn their own Deathchargers. The level requirements for travel abilities (Druid, Shaman and Hunters) and class-specific mounts have been adjusted to match the introduction of earlier mount skills in Patch 3.2. The various spells are now available at level 16 and match the regular mounts in speed and level requirements.

How fast can I go?
Here's how fast you can go on a mount:
  • Level 20 land mounts: 60% on land
  • Level 40 land mounts: 100% on land
  • Level 60 flying mounts: 60% on land, 150% in flight
  • Level 70 flying mounts: 100% on land, 280% in flight
  • Special mounts such as Swift Nether Drake or Ashes of Al'ar: 310%
The infamous Carrot on a Stick used to be every character's first and longest-used trinket. Today, there are other speed-increasing trinkets available for players under level 70 (Mithril Spurs, glove enchants and more), but Blizzard has removed the ability to augment riding speed once players are level 70 or above. Enjoy them while you can!

The perfect mount
Mounts are one of the most obvious and enjoyable ways to personalize your characters. Players today have many ways to earn or purchase a whole stable of mounts:
  • Purchase another race's mount and go for an entire collection (plus the related achievements!).
  • Earn mounts through PvP and Battlegrounds.
  • Raise your faction to earn rare mounts such as the Winterspring Frostsaber and the new Ravasaur.
  • Win a rare drop from an instance or quest.
  • Make your own mount via Engineering (copters and motorcycles) or Tailoring (flying carpets).
  • Obtain a special mount code from a World of Warcraft Trading Card Game card.
  • Get a special holiday mount during Brewfest or Hallow's End.
  • Receive a Swift Zhevra when you participate in the Recruit-a-Friend program.
  • Buy an exotic mount (even one that holds multiple passengers) in Dalaran.
  • Earn a Bear, Drake or Proto-Dragon by completing certain Achievements.
Before you saddle up
Heed these tips and you're ready to roll on your new mount:
  • Be sure to purchase both the riding skill you need plus the mount to use it.
  • Your newly purchased mount will appear in the Mounts tab of your character pane once you've clicked it for the first time.
  • Drag your mount's icon to your hotbar. Click it to mount, click it again to dismiss. (You can also dismount by right-clicking the mount "buff" to remove it.)
  • You cannot cast spells or mount other mounts (including quest mounts/vehicles and flight path mounts) while mounted. Check the auto-dismount option in your options menu if you'd like to dismount automatically when you cast a spell.
  • Mounts can generally only be used outdoors (with a few exceptions, such as in Undercity).
  • Getting hit by even grey-to-you, low-level mobs can dismount and stun you. Use caution when riding through mobs.
  • You cannot summon your mount while in combat, so mounts aren't useful as getaway vehicles!
May the road rise up to meet you, and may the wind always be at your back!

(Updated for patch 3.2.2)


WoW Rookie feeds you the basics to get you off to a good start in the World of Warcraft. We'll walk you through all sort of new-player concerns, from game lingo for the beginner to joining your first guild as a mid-level player and on to what to do when you finally hit level 80. Visit the WoW Rookie Directory for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

Filed under: Leveling, Guides, WoW Rookie, Mounts

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