Range-targeting advice, plz?

Hi guys–I’m working on getting my act together on a fresh mage. I wanted to see the fights and dungeons in a new perspective. Its been fun and interesting, but I’ve noticed that targeting is so much more challenging compared to melee.

For our range friends who aren’t familiar–it isn’t as big a deal with us because if you hit an ability even without a specific target in mind, it will just start hitting whatever is near you; especially with cleave. Then of course you can focus a specific target to kick or burn or w/e and its all well and good.

But with this toon I’m nervous to rely on tab targeting because it opens the possibility of pulling mobs that aren’t in combat before the tank is ready, and if I simply click on the swirling pack of mobs then sometimes I end up clicking on melee and hunter pets instead and that gets frustrating too.

If I was frost then I could just do the frost-ball spell to get the ball rolling, but I’m learning fire now so its very target-focused to proc the flamestrike aoe and pyroblast.

Is this one of those things where I just have to practice and get better, or is there some trade secret that I’m just not aware of, like a macro or something? Ty

I would recommend getting a good nameplate addon and clicking on the plates instead of trying to click individual mobs.


You are right to not want to use tab. Use the name plates and click on them. If the in-game ones don’t work for you, get an add-on. I do okay with the in-game ones.

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Can you enable “target of target” in setting and have it apply to your focus? If so, set the tank as your focus frame and just click whatever they’re targeting.


Thanks guys :smiley: I’ll try these out <3

So what’s going on in this clip is I set myself as the focus (playing two accounts)
Then I click the dummy to show I don’t have anything targeted
Then I click a macro to cast at what my focus target is looking at
/cast [@focustarget] Incinerate

If you focus your tank as long as he has a target you have a target but there are downsides to this

And don’t ask me why my incinerate isn’t showing up :laughing: I have no idea, I can’t see it in game either :man_shrugging:


All you have to do is target the tank and they will have a small circle portrait of what they are targeting attached to them - click that. Solo questing I rarely have any issues using tab. Personally I find ranged much easier than Melee but I play both.

Does this statement mean that you have friendly nameplates turned on? If so then step one is turn those off immediately (for all characters you have), there is no reason you ever need friendly nameplates turned on. If you mean that you accidentally click on the melee characters or pets instead of a nameplate, that’s surprising unless you just have tiny nameplates (see below)

A second suggestion if you use the base WoW UI would be make sure in the Interface / Names panel, you have “Larger Nameplates” and “Always Show Nameplates” turned on. There are really nice nameplate addons out there but I find the base UI to be decent as long as you have those two boxes checked


Ohh nah I never have friendly nameplates showing–I do have it default where I see health bars, names and cast bars of mobs in combat. The thing where you press ‘V’ and yeah, I do use the base UI. For friendly players I only have it where I can see characters names like you see other players in a town. When I throw Tricks on the tank I use either the party UI (if the name has alt-codes in it) or a macro.

I just tab or click a nameplate if there’s a specific mob in a pack I need to target.

The key is positioning your character so you’re not facing anything you don’t want to tab target. If you can’t reliably do that just click the nameplate.

get a nameplate addon like tidyplates, and set up mouseover and ground target macros for certain spells to make your life easier.

I tab target and use my eyes… Idk maybe I’m playing the game wrong. I don’t like to click stuff and didn’t have a mouse until recently.

Macros can help quite a bit depending on the content, but for visual indicators grab something like Threatplates. It allows you to customize just about everything for nameplates, and has options that allow you to change the scale/size of your target’s nameplate; change the color of its healthbar and/or name; and add brackets/crescents/glows around its nameplate (of a color you set).

You can also set different colors for friendly, neutral, and aggro NPCs; for friendly players (your faction); unfriendly players (opposite faction); and hostile players (PVP-flagged opposite faction).

Note that with just about any (if not all) nameplate add-ons you still have to ensure you’ve toggled the nameplates you want to see or not see in the system interface. The add-ons just style what’s toggled on.

Tab target

Tab target…just be aware you’re going to pull stuff you don’t mean to while you’re getting used or it. Eventually you’ll develop a feel for it that only comes with many many many hours of playing

or you could go with a nameplate option and click on them, and you’ll never have this problem at all (or the problem where you have to hit tab 8 times to cycle to the target you want)

Yea I’ll admit tab is certainly the lazy option. And getting to that 8th target reliably and effortlessly is exactly what I was referring to when I said you’ll develop a feel for it. After a while it just becomes natural and automatic.

98% of my play has been rdps

  • hide friendly nameplates, show enemy nameplates
  • a good nameplate add-on can help a ton. i use neatplates and it has an option to put an arrow over my target which helps me see it when there’s a large group.
  • tab targeting is your friend. If you manipulate your camera to only see a specific group of mobs, it will rarely tab outside of that group.
  • you can change targets mid cast without interrupting your spell (except if it’s channeled) and without changing the target for your spell. You just acquire the target for your next cast.

You get used to verifying your target quickly before casting. It just comes to you.

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I’m impressed if you’ve ever gotten to that point! I’m still struggling after 10 years with trying to get tab to target anything reliably. Since the SL pre-patch they added code to refuse to target any mob that’s “behind cover”, even if you can actually hit it (e.g. it’s not actually LOSed from you). In Torghast, tab prioritizes hitting urns even if there’s a mob beating your face in.

It’s just too much hassle for me compared to a single click (or even better, a mouseover macro!)

So that’s why melee don’t interrupt, they don’t care what they’re hitting as long as something is taking damage.