Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Account Sharing, or "Care to Join the Banwagon?"

Account Sharing is when two or more people use the same account. This includes even occasional sharing, such as allowing a friend to have your account information for profession emergencies or neutral AH deals. This is against the game's rules.


First and foremost, it's never okay with Blizzard. Your account will be perma-banned if they find out. If you're okay with that, keep reading.

The only situation I've seen that really works: I had a friend who rolled a character on her boyfriend's account while they leveled to 80. They had different work hours, so they could play while the other was out, and they only logged onto their own characters when they played.

Once they hit 80, they wanted to do endgame stuff together and she got her own account and transferred her character to it. (I advised her to do it and told her how, but they made the decision.)

Tips for Chronic Sharers

Never join a guild without informing them that you share your account and who with. Some guilds will reduce your permissions if your partner in crime isn't a member, and other guilds won't let you in at all. Being upfront about this will keep your guild from kicking you when they find out the hard way. (Guilds -- always ask applicants if an account is shared.)

If you share a single character with someone, always be clear about who you are when you speak. Even if you've already said it in gchat, repeat it if you whisper anyone. This prevents confusion.

Never expect to be made an officer. No guild wants a non-officer to have access to officer capabilities, and for good reason (non-officers on shared accounts can see sensitive info in officer chat, loot gbanks, or gkick people they don't like).

You are always responsible for what someone else does on a shared account -- whether you have to explain yourself to a guild, a friend, a server, or even Blizzard, everyone on the account must face the consequences of mistakes made on that account. "It wasn't me!" is never an excuse.

Don't be surprised if your shared account causes problems, confusion, or drama. In fact, expect it.

If you decide sharing isn't worth it and you want to split an account, you can transfer characters from your current account to a new one if the payment information on both accounts match. Info here. (Having the same payment info does not mean both accounts must have the same user name. My husband and I have the same payment info but I have a different user name than he does.)


Account sharing has many more cons than pros. In the long run, it's better to pay for two accounts than to get banned and lose all the subscription money (and progress) you've spent on the one. Account sharing can be practical in a very few scenarios, but it never stays that way. Eventually, you'll find yourself with more problems than solutions.


  1. Excellent, relevant comments.

    I do account share . . . kind of a variant on the situation you say "works". I have 3 kids who all want to play. We only have one computer. Paying $120 up front, plus $60 per month, plus another $120ish dollars each expansion so that we can each have our own account would be somewhat cost prohibitive for me. So we all make our own toons on this one account.

    My two older kids each have plans to get jobs, paper routes, somehow make enough money to someday buy their own computers and get their own accounts. I assume the third eventually will too. In the meantime we take turns playing on the same account. And you're right. My guild priveleges should be somewhat limited. I mean, I know my kids. I trust them. But just as a guild policy, it makes sense.

  2. Letting your own minor play on your account is allowed by the Blizzard TOS.

    And account sharing will not get your account perma-banned - at least not in Europe. If they find out they will only issue a warning.

  3. Is it? Wonderful, lol. Maybe I should actually read the ToS instead of just assuming I know what will be in it.

    Regardless, I do recognize that from the viewpoint of guild administration, letting someone who is sharing accounts with his kids have certain administrative authorities is a recipe for problems.

  4. I see... and he has 3 minors... BAN HIM!! :-p

    I wonder why they allow 1 minor and only 1? Maybe they are forced by a law?

  5. the 'allow 1 minor' is to facilitate the situation where the parents pay for a kid's account. If possible they would have probably gone for 'the paying customer OR his kid can play', but that was probably too much trouble to make stick.

    In general, Blizzard wants one person per account.


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