How to Get a Free Character Transfer in "World of Warcraft"
By Shea Laverty
Updated September 22, 2017
Being on a high-population server in "World of Warcraft" is a mixed blessing; lots of people to do things with and always something going on, but also tons of people at any one time trying to quest or kill enemies at the same time as you. Blizzard offers weary members of these high-population servers an escape hatch through free server migration, letting you transfer a character to a lower-population server at no cost.
Meeting Eligibility Requirements
When Blizzard offers free migrations, they are only available to players on specified high-population servers and usually have a predetermined low-population server as the destination. Only characters that are level 10 and higher, or at least level 60 if that character is a Death Knight, are eligible. As free character migration is not a permanent service from Blizzard, eligibility depends on what servers are overpopulated and how many people transfer. As the destination servers fill up, characters on the source servers become ineligible. Blizzard offers and disables these server transfers at any time at their discretion, depending on the needs of individual servers. Blizzard will announce when free character migrations are available through their website and the Battle.net platform.
Putting Your Affairs in Order
Delete any and all messages and items from your mailbox: If any mail is still pending, wait until it arrives and then remove it. Remove all pending and current auctions, or if one is waiting on a bid to close, allow it time to finish. Your character is ineligible to transfer until these requirements are met to ensure that items do not get lost in the process. If you're the leader of your guild, pass the leadership to someone else or disband the guild -- guild masters are ineligible by default. Also, save all of your macros and back them up in a document file: the user interface resets when the transfer is complete. Creating a screen capture of your action bars helps you restore your old interface during re-configuration.
What Transfers and What Doesn't
Most of your gold, Player vs. Player (PvP) points and rewards transfers with you, but not all of it. Limits on gold apply depending on your level: level 10 through 30 players are limited to 300 gold, levels 31 through 50 players are limited to 1,000 gold, levels 51 through 70 players are limited to 5,000 gold and levels 71 through 80 players are limited to 20,000 gold. Players level 81 and higher can carry up to 50,000 gold across servers. With exception to honor and conquest points earned shortly before the transfer, all PvP points will transfer. Friends lists, ignore lists and your interface settings do not transfer, although Real ID and Battle Tag friends do, as they are tied to your Battle.net account and not your character.
Completing the Transfer
Once your affairs are in order, go to the account management page on the Battle.net website and select "Free Character Migration" from the list of character services. Select an eligible character and confirm that you want to transfer. The process takes several days to complete; during this time, don't log into the character as it can delay the process. You can cancel pending transfers, which keeps your character on their original server. However, you cannot reverse completed transfers; to send a character back to his original server requires a paid character transfer. If your name is taken on your new server, you will need to enter a new name after the transfer is complete.
Adjusting to Your New Server
Arriving on your new server isn't the end of the process. Since your user interface has been reset, re-configure your action bars and macros as you had them on your old server. Add any non-Real ID or Battle Tag friends who have made the journey with you to your friends list, and secure a new guild either by using the guild finder tool or by starting a guild charter in your faction's capital. Take the time to hang out in capital cities and chat with the server's native residents to build up a new base of friends and fellow adventurers.