The PvP flag indicates whether or not you can engage or be engaged in PvP combat by a player of an opposing faction. If it is up, you are open for combat against the opposite faction. If it is not, you cannot be attacked by a player of an opposing faction. The PvP flag can be seen in the top corner of the screen next to your players portrait. You may see Horde 15 or Alliance 15 next to your portrait depending on your faction. If the icon appears, then your flag is up. If it does not, your flag is down. If your flag is temporary, the time that it will be up, will be displayed. That is, as long as you are not in contested territories, not in PvP combat, and not having quests in your log that flags you for PvP. PvP flag timers of other players are not displayed.

If you use any mods that change your unit frames (your portrait, your target, and your party members), you may see that your name changes color according to your PvP flag status. Generally, your name (and others' names) will show as blue if the PvP flag is down, and green if it is up.

Putting up your flag Edit

Your flag will be put up in any of these situations:

  • You put your PvP flag up permanently.
    This is done by the /pvp slash command or from player's portrait menu. Typing /pvp while flagged will disable PvP.
  • You engage another player of an opposing faction in combat other than dueling.
    If you see someone that you would like to try to kill, the fair thing is to put your flag up. To attack someone before you put your own flag up is known as bluewalling and is considered very cowardly. It does not preclude getting yourself killed, however, and there are stories on the official Blizzard forums of some getting bluewalled and coming out on top.
  • You cast a spell on a player whose flag is up.
    If you cast a buff (for example, Power Word: Fortitude) on your friend who has his PvP flag up, yours will also go up. If you cast a healing spell or resurrect a flagged player, your flag will go up.
  • You attack an NPC marked by a PvP flag, like most quest givers, guards, and vendors. This usually applies to NPCs of the opposite faction, but also to neutral factions if you are at war with them, and in rare cases, your own faction. Certain quests require you to kill these type of NPCs. You may also be flagged without attacking aforementioned NPCs, but instead they striking you, this is considered to largely be a bug that has existed throughout the history of the game, be wary about getting attacked by guards.
  • You accept some of the PvP quests. You will remain flagged as long as that quest is in your quest log.
  • You enter a specific territory. The scheme for flagging by zoning-in is shown in the table bellow:
Zone type Normal realm PvP realm Flag
Horde territory Horde cities Horde cities, 2 lowest level zones near them Alliance 15
Alliance territory Alliance cities Alliance cities, 2 lowest level zones near them Horde 15
Contested territory BGs BGs, dungeons, raids, zones that don't fit into any other category Alliance 15Horde 15
Neutral territory Dungeons, raids, zones that don't fit into any other category
PvP arena Arenas, Outdoor arenas Neutral 15
Sanctuary Neutral cities, Stair of Destiny, Acherus: The Ebon Hold, Argent Tournament subzones
Combat zone Wintergrasp Alliance 15Horde 15
  • The Deeprun Tram is considered a neutral territory on PvE realms and it is possible for Horde players to enter this zone and wait out the PvP flag, although if you re-enter the capital city zone, you will immediately be re-flagged.
  • Certain actions that don't fit in above categories like accepting the battle standard in Zangarmarsh.

Bringing down your flag Edit

Whatever the reason for flagging was, there is a five-minute delay to pulling down your PvP flag, after which you will return to normal PvE mode without fear of those of the opposite faction. The exception is FFA flag which is removed in just a few seconds.

Your flag timer continues to run even if you die (although getting ganked counts as PvP activity, and resets it to five minutes), so if you're tricked into turning on your PvP (or otherwise engage in PvP combat with the other faction) in friendly territory, and die, you can wait the five minutes while dead, so you can resurrect without your PvP flag up.

The other solution is to take a ride on any flight path. Doing so will also automatically remove the PvP flag upon engaging the flight.

Color scheme Edit

To help a player determine the status of players quickly, Blizzard has set a color scheme to make this obvious:

Your flag Disposition Other players' flag Other players' highlight
circle and name
off/on in Sanctuary friendly/hostile off/on in Sanctuary blue The player is not aggressive; combat is impossible (outside of dueling)
on/off friendly on green The player is friendly to you, but hostile to the opposite faction
off hostile/friendly with FFA1 on yellow The player is hostile, but you are not; combat is impossible unless you intiate (see Bluewall)
on hostile/friendly with FFA on red Both you and the other player are hostile; combat is perhaps imminent

1) This is possible only when you are standing outside and friendly player inside FFA zone.

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