Playable races in World of Warcraft e
Alliance 15 Bc icon Draenei (0800Battle-B-logo Lightforged) · Dwarf (0800Battle-B-logo Dark Iron) · Gnome · Human (0800Battle-B-logo Kul Tiran) · Night elf (0800Battle-B-logo Void elf) · Cataclysm-Logo-Small Worgen Both 15 Mists-Logo-Small Pandaren Horde 15 Bc icon Blood elf (0800Battle-B-logo Nightborne) · Cataclysm-Logo-Small Goblin · Orc (0800Battle-B-logo Mag'har) · Tauren (0800Battle-B-logo Highmountain) · Troll (0800Battle-B-logo Zandalari) · Undead


Tauren, or Shu'Halo in their native tongue of Taurahe, are huge nomadic creatures who live on the grassy, open plains of Mulgore in central Kalimdor. Tauren are large, muscular humanoids and bovine in appearance, complete with hooves and horns. They stand anywhere from six and a half to nine feet tall, and weighing anywhere from 400 to 700 pounds. Their immense bodies are covered with fine, short fur that ranges in color from black to gray to white to red to brown to tan and any mottled combinations or variations thereof. After generations of nomadic existence the tauren have recently made permanent settlements in Mulgore and The Barrens.


The plains of Kalimdor have long been a home to these tremendous nomads. The tauren are a race of shamans, hunters and warriors who long ago developed a complex culture and system of living without the aid of stonework, steel or conquest. This is not to say that the tauren are a race of pacifists, for when they are angered they are capable of retaliating with swift and decisive brutality. Tauren are, in a word, stoic, embodying the strong and silent type with their quiet contemplation. This introspective air combined with their immense size can lead a person to understand as to 'why' many regard the tauren as a wise and dangerous race. Tauren rarely speak unless there is a true reason to, preferring to act instead of talk. However, once a tauren has learned to interact with a companion, there seems to be a more open and enthusiastic exchange of words. Since tauren warm slowly to non-tauren, they are usually silent and may sometimes appear brooding. If anything, a person could attribute the silence of the tauren on the strife of recent times. Tauren have no love for bloodshed, as their deep spiritual beliefs do not have a place for warfare. The elders of a tribe solve most issues, or two tauren might resolve a conflict with a ritual challenge resembling a duel. Having become members of the Horde, the introspective race has been involved in more and more conflict, creating a demand for tauren warriors and healers. Many must spend time putting great thought into the actions they perform on the field of battle. Taking another life, whether it is man or beast, is an act filled with great significance and responsibility to the tauren.[1] (WoWRPG 46, 47)


Tauren have a long and complex oral tradition that has been handed down for generations. Since almost no written record exists of tauren history, the accuracy of their tales is ambiguous. Regardless, many of their stories provide the only known account for several events in history, and so these stories must be regarded as having at least some believability. The tauren race is as old as, if not older than, the night elves and much like the elves, they have a strong attunement to nature and the elemental spirits. Thus, their society is largely based on shamanism. They live to serve nature and maintain the ever delicate balance between the wild things of the land and the restless spirits of the elements. In addition, elements of druidism, which had been taught by Cenarius and then forgotten over millennia, have been recently reincorporated into tauren society, further highlighting their service to nature. In particular the presence of accounts regarding Cenarius before he was known to the elves (the "war of the ancients" trilogy refers to the night elves believing Cenarius to be a bedtime story before allying with him during the war) that are confirmed by others sources as being accurate, indicate that tauren were already a civilized presence in Kalimdor before the rise and even maybe existence of elves. In particular the birth of Cenarius is covered and their version confirmed by night elven mythos, as well as in the book "The Sundering" by Richard A Knaak.

War of the Ancients

In the timeline (prime), the tauren did not take part in the War of the Ancients, the battle against the first demonic invasion approximately 10,000 years ago. However, in the altered history created by the intervention of Krasus and his companions, they were convinced to join the alliance against the Burning Legion by the dragon-mage. The xenophobic night elf commander, Desdel Stareye, refused to use the tauren to their abilities, namely heavy melee fighters, on the grounds that they were apparently as likely to kill night elves and earthen as demons. After the "tragic" loss of the commander, the tauren were re-deployed to extreme effectiveness by his replacement, Jarod Shadowsong. The tauren who survived the war maintained fairly good, or at least cordial, relations with the Sentinels.

The New Horde

For countless generations after the war, the tauren roamed the plains of The Barrens hunting the mighty kodo, and sought the wisdom of their eternal goddess, the Earthmother. Their tent cities were scattered across the landscape and changed with the seasons and the weather. The wandering tribes were united only by a common hatred for their sworn enemy, the marauding centaur.

At the brink of extinction, the chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof, desperate for help, turned to the strange green-skinned warriors from over the sea. Cairne quickly befriended the Warchief Thrall and the other orcs, and recognized that they shared a love for honor and battle. For their part, the orcs and the Darkspear trolls that composed the Horde found much in common with the tauren. Each of these races wanted to achieve a more shamanistic culture, and the tauren, long versed in the lore of spirit and nature, were well-prepared to provide counsel and support to the budding shamanism within the Horde.

With the orcs' help, Cairne and his Bloodhoof tribe were able to drive back the centaur and claim the grasslands of Mulgore for themselves. For the first time in millennia, the tauren had a land to call their own. For this alone they were forever indebted to their orcish allies. Upon the windswept mesa of Thunder Bluff, Cairne built a refuge for his people, where tauren of every tribe were welcome. Over time the scattered tauren tribes united under Cairne's rule. There are but a few tribes who disagree about the direction their new nation should take, but all agree that Cairne is the wisest and best suited to lead them toward the future. Helping the mighty Cairne in the duties of ruling his race are the Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem and the elder crone Magatha Grimtotem.

Although the tauren have reclaimed their lands and battle alongside the Horde, not all is peaceful. The Grimtotem tribe tries to this day to usurp the rule of Cairne, plotting to overthrow his leadership. At the same time, the Emerald Dream, realm of the Green Dragonflight, is tainted with a strange evil. Malfurion Stormrage is trapped inside, and the green dragons act strangely, attacking all who pass near. Both elven and tauren druids are researching these events, as the Emerald Dream, home of Ysera the Dreamer, the Green Aspect, must be kept safe.

Tauren Mythology and Culture

The earliest history of the tauren is recorded in a series of myths. These chronicle the period of time from the creation of the world to the appearance of the centaur, speaking of the creation of the tauren by the Earthmother, their study of druidism under Cenarius, and the coming of the centaur.

Though the noble tauren are peaceful in nature, the rites of the Great Hunt are venerated as the heart of their spiritual culture. Every tauren, warrior or otherwise, seeks identity as both a hunter and as a child of the Earthmother. Tauren, young or otherwise, seek to prove their bravery by setting themselves against the creatures of the wild. Despite killing the animals, the tauren are taught never to waste anything given to them by nature and to give back what they can. They learn the fine balance that exists in nature and that if they honor the Earthmother, she will bless them in return.

Despite their enormous size and brute strength, the remarkably peaceful tauren cultivate a quiet, tribal society. However, when roused by conflict, tauren are implacable enemies who will use every ounce of their strength to smash their enemies under hoof. They are noble and proud and have never, despite significant adversity in the past, succumbed to their enemies. Like the orcs, the tauren now struggle to retain their sense of tradition and noble identity.


For the tauren, nature is the mother of the world, and their faith holds a deep and resonant tone within their hearts. Tauren are connected to the ebb and flow of the world. They revere the spirits of the land and of their ancestors, and they turn to these spirits for wisdom and guidance. This connection manifests in their deeply animistic culture, where druids and shamans stand side by side with warriors and hunters. Tauren do not see a separation between the veneration of nature and the hunt; to hunt is to honor the spirits of nature.[1] (WoWRPG 48)


Tauren speak Taur-ahe and Orcish. Tauren tend to learn languages for trade or exchanging ideas.[1] (WoWRPG 49)


The language of the tauren is often harsh and low sounding, which is reflected in the names of their children. The last name of a tauren is usually a family name, handed down through the generations. If the tauren has performed some act that has made an impression on the elders of his tribe, however, he may choose to take on his own last name to commemorate that act.

  • Male Names: Azok, Bron, Turok, Garaddon, Hruon, Jeddek.
  • Female Names: Argo, Serga, Grenda, Beruna, Halfa.
  • Family Names: Darkthorn, Thunderhoof, Stormhorn, Quillsplitter, Stonebreaker, Plainstalker, Spiritwalker.

[1] (WoWRPG 48)


Tauren are large, muscular humanoids with bull-like heads. Males average 7 1/2 feet tall and 400 pounds, while females are usually a bit shorter and lighter. Tauren are mostly muscle, having incredibly developed physiques and brawny frames most suitable for combat. Soft, downy fur (usually quite short) covers the tauren body, with manes growing along head and neck, the lengths of the arms, and the shins. Tauren men and women almost always wear their hair long, and the males prefer braids to any other style. Coloration can range from solid black to blond and even to white, or mottled pelts with a range of spots and different colors.

Horns are most prominent on males, although all tauren have horns. Tauren wear natural clothing — leather or hide, and some cloth. They prize jewelry, designing fine trinkets of ivory, bone and amber. From these materials they make bracelets or necklaces, and sometimes adorn their horns or locks with such beautiful displays of artistry.[1] (WoWRPG 47)


After living as nomads for generations, the tauren have formed a new home amid the mesas of the vast plains of Mulgore. Thunder Bluff is the single largest tauren camp, a permanent settlement built atop a nearly impenetrable mesa deep in the southern regions of Mulgore. Most younger tauren travel there after questing for a time in Redrock Mesa, a place reserved for training youths to hunt, fight and commune with the spirits.[1] (WoWRPG 47)

Notable Tauren

Tauren Tribes

  • Bloodhoof – The Bloodhoof tribe of Cairne Bloodhoof is the leading tauren tribe within the Horde.
  • Dawnstrider – The Dawnstrider tribe are experienced enchanters and skilled shaman.
  • Grimtotem – The Grimtotem tribe does not wish to join the Horde for reasons unknown. It is rumored that they have shady contacts with either the Scourge or the Forsaken.
  • Mistrunner – The Mistrunners tribe is dedicated to the druidic path and seeks to heal the earth and ease the suffering of the Earthmother.
  • Ragetotem – The Ragetotem tribe is home to some of the fiercest warriors and finest smiths among the tauren.
  • Runetotem – The Runetotem tribe has only recently rediscovered the ways of the druid.
  • Skychaser – The Skychaser tribe are the spiritual leaders of the tauren shamans.
  • Stonehoof – The Stonehoof tribe has its people in all corners of tauren society.
  • Thunderhorn – The Thunderhorn tribe is home to some of the greatest hunters among the tauren.
  • Wildmane – The Wildmane tribe has largely joined the Runetotem tribe in seeking the ways of the druid.
  • Winterhoof - Little is known of the Winterhoof tribe.
  • Shadowhoof - The Shadowhoof Tauren are known for their cunning and secrecy, traits they adopted after the emmigration of the other Tauren tribes from Desolace, who the Shadowhoof feel abandoned them.

Other tauren tribes include the Clawhoof, Cloudmane, Darkmane, Eagletalon, Icemist[2] (LoM 99), Longstride, Oatwind, Raincaller, Rivermane, Stormsinger, Strongbash, Swiftwind, Whitecloud, Wildrunner, and Younghoof tribe.

Playable Race


Starting Attributes

Base Druid Hunter Shaman Warrior
Strength 25 26 25 26 28
Agility 15 15 18 15 15
Stamina 22 22 23 23 24
Intellect 15 17 15 16 15
Spirit 22 24 23 24 22

Racial Traits

War Stomp 
Activate to stun opponents - Stuns up to 5 enemies within the area for 2 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.
Max Health increased by 5%.
15 point skill bonus to Herbalism (note, this also raises the cap by 15 at each level of herbalism).
Nature Resistance 
Increase Nature Resistance by 10.

Reasons for Racial Abilities

Before the arrival of the Horde on Kalimdor, the tauren were a nomadic people and thus, always on the move from one place to another, hunting their ancient totemic animal: the Kodo. Progressing through the wild in the tracks of these mighty beasts gave the tauren natural Endurance, as well as a Natural Resistance to the various hardships of the wild in shape of poison, disease or weather, which they were forced to endure during these hunts. Being great huntsmen and natural wanderers with a certain natural affinity, the tauren developed a deep knowledge of the botanical life of Azeroth, using it in various shamanistic rituals, as well as for medical treatment. Because of this the tauren are natural Herbalists. Hunting the Kodo and wandering the wilds has not been easy for the tauren, and facing the dangers of the wild, not to mention the tauren's ancient enemy, the centaur, drove the tauren to develop a mighty combat technique, the War Stomp, using their sheer power of size and strength to overwhelm their opponents by driving their robust hooves into the ground, shaking the earthly foundation of their adversaries. In the RPG books, this is described as the stomp scaring the spirits of the earth that make the ground shake as they seek to flee.

Tauren shaman

A female tauren healer.


Tauren characters may play as a Druid, Hunter, Shaman or Warrior.

They are the only Horde race that can play as a Druid (together with the night elves of the Alliance), and they are the only Horde race that cannot have characters of the Rogue class.

For the tauren, the Rogue profession is an alien concept and therefore rare (if not non-existent) among its peoples.[1] (WoWRPG 80) Renegade Grimtotems possess the rogue and sorcerer class.

Tauren Relations

When the tauren first encountered the orcs of Thrall’s Horde, the tauren recognized the orcs as spiritual brethren. No other race shared such a similar outlook on the world, and the shamans of both races met frequently to discuss the matters of the spirit world. The tauren allied with the orcs out of a shared vision, one of a collective of allies keeping each other well guarded. While the tauren see the orcs and trolls as potential friends to welcome, they rarely trust the Forsaken with more than a nod and a place to set their withered feet.

Tauren also bear no ill will to the members of the Alliance unless threatened by them, although they do make an exception for high elves. The taint of magic on the high elven spirit is a poisonous air to the tauren, a stench of the soul that they cannot tolerate for long. Night elves are quite the opposite; tauren sometimes view them with awe and fear. Tauren and night elves have coexisted on Kalimdor for centuries, and tauren have long seen the Kaldorei as a mythic race of demigods, possessed of great magic and steeped in natural powers.[1] (WoWRPG 48)

Tauren have an extremely close relationship with the orcs with whom they share a similar culture. Cairne is also extremely close friends with Thrall.[3] (HPG 181) They are less thrilled at the presence of the Forsaken at Thunder Bluff, who they grudgingly tolerate due to their alliance. The tauren place a strong emphasis on the value of life, and the unlife of the Forsaken stands as an affront to their beliefs.[2] (LoM 147) Some tauren like Mani Winterhoof pity them[citation needed]. There are tauren that wish to cure the forsaken like the Elder council.[1]

In general, however, the tauren get along with the orcs well and the trolls almost as well; there’s still a bit of distrust for the Darkspears, knowing that they only recently abandoned voodoo and cannibalism.[3] (HPG 181)

The Taunka

An ancient offshoot of the Tauren race, the Taunka, were thought to have been lost forever but have recently been discovered living in Northrend. Almost nothing is known about them, but their story will be revealed in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King.


  • The tauren's name and appearance are based upon the Minotaur of Greek mythology. The Minotaur was a creature that was part man and part bull. 'Tauros' is ancient Greek for 'bull'. (See the article about myth references for more information. )
  • The tauren culture is based on a conglomeration of Native American tribes from the Southwest, Northwest, and Great Plains regions of the United States and Canada.
  • Unlike in the MMORPG, tauren characters in the RPG may play as a rogue.
  • The word 'tauren' is an anagram of 'nature'.
  • In the beta tauren did not have mounts, but instead had a racial skill of Plainsrunning to move fast over distances.

External links

See also

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