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How and when you can fly in Shadowlands

wow shadowlands flying mount
(Image credit: Blizzard)

It's been a long time coming but we're finally able to fly in WoW Shadowlands. The 9.1 patch is the first major update to hit the current expansion. As well as a new zone, a raid, and a mega-dungeon, several new campaign chapters have also been introduced, which ties in with how you unlock flying in Shadowlands. 

The latest expansion has brought about some big changes to Blizzard's long-running MMO, but waiting—impatiently—for flying to become available in the latest zones is one thing that has remained the same. Luckily that wait is now over. Here's what you need to know about WoW Shadowlands flying, so get ready to dust off those flying mounts and soar through the skies.

WoW Shadowlands flying: How to unlock it

Once you've reached Renown level 44 and completed the previous Covenant storylines, you'll unlock one of the new campaign chapters, The Last Sigil. The final step in this questline is called The Primus Returns, and completing it rewards you with the 'Memories of Sunless Skies'. Use this item to unlock Shadowlands flying for all the characters on your account.

Where you can fly in the Shadowlands 

Flying has some restrictions due, in part, to the layout of the zones. These are the areas where you can fly:

  • Ardenweald
  • Bastion
  • Maldraxxus
  • Revendreth

You still need to use a flight master to travel between Covenant zones, as flying isn't allowed in The In-Between. You also can't fly in Oribos, the Maw, and the newly added Korthia.

As of patch 9.1, you'll be able to use any ground mounts in the Maw and Korthia after completing the quest, 'Who is the Maw Walker?'. This means you will no longer need to rely on Maw-specific mounts to get around.

How riding and flying skills have changed in Shadowlands 

The level cap in Shadowlands was squished down to 60, so what does that mean for players levelling in Shadowlands? Alongside restructuring the levels at which you learn new riding skills, the Artisan Riding Skill—previously learned at level 70—has been removed completely. Below, you can see the level requirements for each riding skill in Shadowlands.

  • Apprentice Riding (60% ground speed): level 10
  • Journeyman Riding (100% ground speed): level 20
  • Expert Riding (150% flight speed): level 30
  • Master Riding (310% flight speed): level 40

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Pathfinders from previous World of Warcraft expansions 

Both the Draenor and Broken Isles Pathfinder requirements (from the Warlords of Draenor and Legion expansions respectively) have been removed with the Shadowlands pre-patch. Once you learn Expert riding, you'll automatically be able to fly in these zones without having to earn the Pathfinder achievements first. If you want to fly in Battle for Azeroth zones, however, you'll still need to complete the Pathfinder achievements. 

For completionists, all Pathfinder achievements are still obtainable and still reward the mounts. They're just not required to fly in those zones.

Sarah's earliest gaming memories involve playing Jet Set Willy on the ZX Spectrum at a friend's house. These days, and when not writing guides, most of her spare time goes into MMOs—though she's quite partial to JRPGs too. She has spent much of the last decade playing the likes of Star Wars: The Old Republic, TERA, Final Fantasy 14, and World of Warcraft. Sarah has been writing about games for several years and, before joining PC Gamer, freelanced for the likes of TechRadar, GamingBible, and Rock Paper Shotgun. One of her fondest hopes is to one day play through the ending of Final Fantasy X without breaking down into a sobbing heap. She probably has more wolves in Valheim than you.