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World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Soulbinds guide

wow Shadowlands soulbinds
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Want to know more about WoW Shadowlands Soulbinds? If you've returned to World of Warcraft to dive into Shadowlands, you may be wondering about the different systems introduced by the MMO's newest expansion. As with Battle for Azeroth and Legion before it, Shadowlands has a unique mechanic that will allow you to customise your character to suit your needs and playstyle. 

There's plenty of new stuff to wrap your head around in Shadowlands, but hopefully this guide will make the Shadowlands Soulbind system one less feature to worry about.

What are WoW Shadowlands Soulbinds?

Soulbinds are Shadowlands' answer to Legion's Artifact Weapons or Battle for Azeroth's Azerite gear pieces. Essentially, when you choose your WoW Covenant at level 60, you'll be given the chance to 'Soulbind' one of several notable members of that Covenant. In return, they will lend you a small part of their power. Once you've selected a Soulbind, it can then be customised via a talent tree interface, letting you beef up your character's power in a number of different ways.

How to unlock Soulbinds 

Once you hit level 60 in Shadowlands, you'll be given the choice of four Covenants to choose from. Each Covenant governs over one of the zones in Shadowlands, offering varying goals and unique rewards for the players that join them. 

Once you've picked your Covenant and completed their introductory questline, you'll gain access to the Forge of Bonds, alongside two of the three key NPCs from that Covenant who grant you some of their power in the form of a Soulbind. The third will unlock once you've completed the Covenant campaign.

How to unlock additional Soulbind abilities

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Initially, most of the Soulbind abilities will be locked, but you'll gain access to additional rows as you increase your Renown with your selected Covenant.

Some rows will have multiple choices, so you'll need to think about which ability best suits your needs. In addition to the Soulbind abilities integrated into each unique Soulbind tree, you'll find empty slots waiting to be filled with a Soulbind Conduit. Conduits can be obtained through various activities, with each one offering a bonus tailored to your class and spec. This allows you to further customise your character.

How to switch between Soulbinds 

With three Soulbinds available per Covenant, the most sensible approach to using them would be to set them up for different purposes where appropriate. Perhaps one Soulbind is ideal for extra damage when raiding, while another lends itself more to open-world questing or Mythic Plus dungeons.

The good news is you can switch between Soulbinds, much as you can with talents. You'll need to be in a rest area, otherwise you'll have to use the item 'Tome of the Clear Mind' to make the change. 

If you want to switch out the individual abilities assigned to a Soulbind, you can do so at your Covenant Sanctum. Be aware that Soulbind Conduits have a separate cooldown if you want to switch those specifically.

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.