Join the world’s greatest fellowship of players in the award-winning online re-creation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s legendary Middle-earth.
User reviews: Very Positive (4,387 reviews) - 82% of the 4,387 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 6, 2012

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July 24

Update 16.2

Fight for power in the ruins of Osgiliath

Pit your skills against opponents in a new combat setting taking place in Osgiliath. Take over key locations to push your enemies back, win glory, and unlock quests. Fight for the security of the Free Peoples or carry out Sauron's will on the fields of battle once more!

Cosmetic Weapons are here!

Further customize the way your hero looks and feels! Cosmetically equip weapons you find in the world in the Cosmetic Outfit tab and show off your favorite weapons.

New Roving Threats

Explore the more of Middle-earth in search of dangerous creatures who lurk and plot. Roving Threats have now been added to Evendim, The North Downs, and the dangerous reaches of Mirkwood.

Weekly Episodic Content

The Adventures of Bingo Boffin will whisk you off on a new journey through old Middle-earth, from the Shire to who-knows-where. Every week you'll have the chance to reconnect with Bingo and see what else he's up too!

New Store Items

The LOTRO Store will be getting quite a few new offers, including new PvMP Cosmetics, Expanded Storage Offers, and more!

EN: Update 16 Release notes []
DE: Update 16 Release notes []
FR: Update 16 Release notes []

13 comments Read more


“The stunning visuals and the gorgeous realisation of a much-loved fantasy world are simply second to none in this genre; the brilliant storytelling and incredibly dramatic scripted events, equally, stand apart from the competition in every way.”
“a sublime MMO experience”
“Gorgeous vistas, atmosphere and details continue to bring this game alive.”

About This Game

In The Lord of the Rings Online™, join the world’s greatest fellowship of players in the award-winning online re-creation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s legendary Middle-earth. From the crumbling, shadowed ruins of Weathertop to the ageless, golden wood of Lothlórien, immerse yourself in Middle-earth as you have never seen it before. Visit the peaceful, verdant fields of the Shire, brave the dark depths of the Mines of Moria, and raise a pint at the Prancing Pony in Bree!

Key Features:

  • Explore the Massive World of Middle-earth: Immerse yourself in the award-winning recreation of the beloved fantasy world of J.R.R. Tolkien through renowned locations including the Shire, the Mines of Moria, and Lothlórien.
  • Create & Advance Your Hero: Advance to level 75 with thousands of character customization possibilities. 4 races, 9 classes, 10 professions, 7 vocations, plus over 1,000 titles, skills and traits
  • Solo & Co-op Skirmishes: Dive into instant adventure alongside friends or customizable AI soldiers in exciting, scalable battles!
  • Legendary Items: Design and customize your own legendary weapons of immense power like Bilbo’s Sting or Gandalf’s Glamdring!
  • Play as a Monster: Fight as a servant of Sauron against other players in intense PvMP Combat!
  • Craft Your Own Gear: Farm crops in the fertile fields of the Shire or let your hammer ring in the Dwarven halls Ered Luin.
  • Free Online Play: No monthly fees required.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows XP (Service Pack 2)
    • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 3.0GHz or AMD Equivalent
    • Memory: 1GB (2GB for Windows Vista)
    • Hard Disk Space: 12 GB (+3 GB for international clients)
    • Video Card: at least 128MB Onboard graphics memory
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    • Internet Connection: Cable or DSL Connection
    • OS: Windows Vista 64-bit
    • Processor: Dual Core 2.66 GHZ
    • Memory: 2 GB
    • Hard Disk Space: 20 GB (+3 GB for international Clients)
    • Video Card: 512MB dedicated discrete card
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    • Internet Connection: Cable or DSL Connection
    • OS: 10.7.5
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz Intel Core i5
    • Memory: 2 GB
    • Hard Disk Space: 25 GB of available space
    • Video Card: Intel HD Graphics 3000 or better
    • Sound: Integrated Sound
    • OS: 10.7.5
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz Intel Core i7
    • Memory: 4 GB
    • Hard Disk Space: 25 GB of available space
    • Video Card: nVidia GeForce GT 650M or better
    • Sound: Integrated Sound
Helpful customer reviews
594 of 710 people (84%) found this review helpful
37 people found this review funny
17.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
I played this game from the time when Evendim was first introduced up to when they released the Helm's Deep 'expansion'. In that time, it was my primary game. It was great. Kins, raiding, PvP. It was all I wanted in a MMO, with a Lord of the Rings theme. Unfortunately, the game went down hill.

The first expansion was Moria and was a good expansion. Probably the height of the game. We got loads of instances, a lair raid, a legendary weapons system and two new classes. They even gave us a few more updates with some instances and a couple of raids.

The second expansion was Mirkwood. It was marketed as a 'mini-expansion', and though it was smaller than Moria was, it was still much larger than anything we had later. We got a new instance system called 'Skirmishes', where we got soldiers and about a dozen instances to fight with them in. It was good, it filled it out. Mirkwood also came with 3 x 3 man instances, 1 x 6 man instance and a 3 boss raid with a gauntlet at the start. It wasn't as good as Moria but it was cheaper, so we accepted it.

Then came the biggest issue: Turbine was bought by Warner Brothers. Only a couple of months after this, the game went 'free to play' (you can play for free, but it's heavily restricted and you need to pay to unlock things). The community was a little concerned, thinking that it would mean the reduction in quality of the game or finding lots of 'pay to win' items. Turbine assured us it would be alright.

They released a large update with about 4 or 5 instances and a raid. It was a good instance cluster, but it didn't come with any level cap increase so loot wasn't that desirable. It also came about 6 months before the release of another expansion.

Rise of Isengard was our first expansion since F2P. And cracks were beginning to show more and more. They released it without any instance cluster initially. Only a single buggy lair raid that was originally promised as a free update and later tacked on to the expansion to fill it out. Then, slowly, we got the instance cluster and raid. It was an alright raid but it felt hollow. We'd waited a long time and then got nothing more than a mini-expansion had provided before, especially when it cost twice as much as Mirkwood did.

After that, we got Riders of Rohan. This 'expansion' was the biggest joke of all. Originally, they didn't tell us what was in it when they released pre-purchases. Then, after people bought it, they revealed it wouldn't have any instance cluster. No raids. The only end-game would be a daily grind to rebuild a town. That was it. The community kicked off. Eventually, they gave in and said they'd include an instance cluster. But the instance cluster was about Erebor (the mountain in the Hobbit) and not anything to do with Rohan. It was clear it was intended as a cash grab for people who watched the Hobbit films. We got the first half of the instance cluster a few months after the expansion first released. Then we got the second half. Both times they gave us these instance cluster halves, they called them 'updates'. Usually, updates had new content in. This time, it was just delayed content that was supposed to be part of the expansion. The downside being all of the instances were terrible, the raids were 2 lair bosses and a gauntlet (so less than the Mirkwood raid), and people gave up.

By this point, Turbine had also gone out of their way to monetise what they could. They ignored complaints about lag, grinds, and broken old content. Instead, they began selling more store-only items. They milked what they could from the playerbase without caring what sort of content to deliver. It got to the point where the community was so divided between fanboys and people hostile to Turbine that the forums became a propaganda-fest. The CM banned dissenters left and right.

With customer trust erroded, Turbine finally announced their next (and my last) expansion. Helm's Deep. They didn't have any instances, only these things called 'Big Battles', which took away any importance of class and relied on generic big battle upgrades. They also did the thing that killed the game for many people: Trait Trees.

Before, you could trait your character how you wanted. It made hybrid builds viable and widely varied. You could make a class built for survival, or DPS, or whatever you wanted. But Trait Trees took all of that away. They gave generic builds to everyone. Now, you couldn't run a hybrid build because you could only choose one line and the skills it came with. They literally locked our skills behind 3 different lines. Where a person might have a few healing abilities in their DPS build, they were now locked behind the healing line only. Sure, you could put points in other lines, but it didn't give you the skills you wanted like before. In effect, they took everyone's characters and made them generic, cookie-cutter builds.

After this, they said they had no plans for another expansion. A few small updates here and there, but it's basically maintenance mode now until Mordor. A cash cow to squeeze, not a game to please.

And now we're at the point where they've driven so many people away that they're having to merge servers to save cost and to make the population look busy again. 29 servers cut down to just 10; 5 US servers, 5 EU servers. It says a lot when a game is forced to make such drastic changes, while pretending it's doing fine. Not only that, they've been unsuccessful with actually transferring characters between servers, so in true Turbine form they've got no clue what they're doing.

TL;DR: Do not play this game. It's no longer what it once was. It's a broken, hollow, generic shadow of its former self, and Turbine are only using it now to milk the few remaining loyalists for all they're worth.

Edit: To clarify, I have a Lifetime account. I get full VIP perks forever because I paid a large amount when I first started playing. So my complaints are from the perspective of someone who doesn't even need to pay for it, yet still can't bring themselves to play it.
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73 of 83 people (88%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
449.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
TL;DR is at the bottom of the review for all of you who didn't want to read the whole thing!

It's been 350 hours as of this writing and my main (and currently only) character has hit the level cap of 100, quested through almost all levelling zones, participated in instance runs, big battles, is a guilded tailor, and has been a long-standing member of a kinship (known as a guild in other MMOs), in addition to a whole host of other things. So, needless to say, I think I'm finally qualified to write a proper review of this game.

Even though this review will get buried under the hundreds of other reviews listed for The Lord of the Rings Online (or LOTRO, from here on out), I still felt like it was important to write a review for this game because it's what is often referred to in the gaming industry as "a hidden gem," or at least in my opinion. There is so much to love about this amazing game but people often dismiss it in their early minutes of playing because of its appearance or other factors, and I think that this game deserves so much more than that.

I want to try to keep this review short (which will be difficult because LOTRO is an enormous game, so there is a LOT to cover if I really wanted to touch on everything), but do keep in mind that from hundreds of hours of playing I have a lot to say and am strongly opinionated on some things, so I won't shy away from going in-depth when I need to.


(+) - GAME WORLD: This aspect, right here, is what really makes this game so magnificent for me. I've got to hand it to the devs at LOTRO, because you can tell right away from your first moments in Middle Earth that there was some SERIOUS time and effort put into studying and implementing Tolkien's visions from the famous Lord of the Rings series into a vibrant game world. The scale of the game may be incorrect (if it were then the game would be terrible, because crossing the map would take forever), but what IS mostly correct is the geography and topography of Middle Earth in video game form. From the icy peaks of Wildermore to the lush and colorful forests of Lothlorien; every zone is intricately crafted to match the descriptions found in Tolkien's masterworks, not only so that the areas are accurate, but also so that they are absolutely beautiful and lively to play in.

(+) - SIZE AND SCOPE: I mentioned earlier that LOTRO's scale is largely inaccurate, but Middle Earth is still ENORMOUS. Seriously, it's hard to understate this. I've played open-world games like Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and LOTRO puts their game world sizes to shame. This, in turn, makes the game so much more immersive and memorable because there are just so many areas in the game, each with their own unique aspects and characteristics.

(+) - ART STYLE: The devs at Turbine decided to adapt a more realistic graphical and artistic style, and in my opinion it really paid off. I will touch more on graphics in the "cons", but one thing that newer players to the game have to realize when playing LOTRO is that much of Middle Earth's charm isn't found in the textures and pretty effects, but rather in the creative and artistic direction that it aims to portray. LOTRO is such a beautiful game, and you can really tell in all of its scenery. It's difficult to talk about art direction for very long because everyone has their different interpretations on artistic superiority in video games, but in my eyes, LOTRO's art style should really be appreciated because it makes the game stand out in vibrancy from even today's newest ♥♥♥♥♥♥mes.

(+) - SOUNDTRACK: Another feature that makes LOTRO such an immersive game is its epic soundtrack. There's a wide variety of songs here (like, hundreds of themes), and each compliments their respective regions immensely. I can't really describe what the music is like because I feel like players can get a better handle of it by playing the game themselves, but I think the music is not only strong and melodic but also very atmospheric, which builds onto the image of LOTRO's Middle Earth even better.

(+) - COMMUNITY: LOTRO has, by far, the best online community I have ever experienced in ANY multiplayer video game. As a League of Legends player who constantly experiences toxic, rude, and straight up disrespectful players, I was very pleasantly surprised to see that LOTRO has a welcoming and kind community of many different members. I'm currently in a closely knit kinship with many different members that always speak to each other and take pleasure and helping each other out with the game. The thing is, it's not just my kinship! Throughout the several servers, there are many awesome kins that are not only helpful but also friendly, just another reason why LOTRO is such a joy to play with others.


(-) - PAYMENT MODEL: LOTRO's payment model remains to be my single biggest problem with the game and it's structure. I don't want to go very in-depth because the model present here can be very confusing, but basically, LOTRO is free up until you hit about level 30. After that point, you have two choices: you can either cough up some money (in some cases it can be quite a lot, I paid about $80 to unlock all of the game's questing and expansion packs), OR you can grind yourself into misery and depression as you do a bunch of boring tasks called "deeds" which range from "Kill 360 of these monsters which you can only find in one concentrated area!" to "Run throughout an area and try to find specific locations!" The problem is, even these tasks aren't unlimited, so you can only do so many until you run out and you can't earn any more premium currency. Don't be confused, this doesn't mean that LOTRO is "pay to play," as there are no gamebreaking items or anything that you can buy with premium currency, it just means that instead of being "free to play," as LOTRO advertises itself as, it's really more of a "pay to play" game.

(-) - GRAPHICS: I hate to say it, but LOTRO just isn't a graphically pleasing game anymore. The game has been around since 2007, which makes it 8 years old and it really shows. Textures are muddy, distant objects are pixelated and the character models... don't even get me started. The character models are mostly just flat-out ugly and when most people get into the game, the deciding factor of whether they like it or not is going to be mostly determined by the graphics, which is a shame, because I believe that LOTRO should be looked at not for its graphics, but rather for it's content. However, it's inevitable and I understand how people feel about it.

(-) - COMBAT: Not much to say here. Some skill animations are cool, but the combat of LOTRO consists of button-mashing your combos and doesn't really provide much difficulty. When it takes you as long as I did to get to max level, this combat can get EXTREMELY monotonous and boring.

If you're a fan of The Lord of the Rings and of MMORPG games, maybe even if you're not a die-hard fan like I am, there are still plenty of things to enjoy about LOTRO. It's gorgeous, it's long, it has an extremely friendly community, and it's great for anyone who has ever wanted to explore what may be the best iteration of Middle Earth to ever be portrayed in a video game. However, if you're not crazy about The Lord of the Rings, there probably isn't much for you here. The graphics are very dated, the combat is often monotonous, and the payment model is frankly, garbage. There are plenty of better MMOs on the market, and I can even recommend some! Go play RIFT, or TERA, those are modern day MMOs that do things right. Overall though, if I could say one thing about the game that applies to all kinds of players, it's that you should at least try it out. It is free to start, and if you like it as much as I did, then you can buy the rest of the game and have a great experience.
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25 of 32 people (78%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
117.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 9
I rarely play MMOs anymore, so I will avoid talking about combat and such in this review. Instead, I will focus on other elements of the game.

So, congrats: you've just found the portal to Middle-earth. LOTRO does a wonderful job recreating the world. Despite the graphics, I still had loads of fun exploring whenever I wasn't off killing orcs. Some places, like Lothlorien, are gorgeous and breathtaking. Others, like Angmar, manage to get under your skin and make you feel just a tiny bit repulsed. The atmospheres of each region are wonderfully conveyed.

Tolkien gave us a fleshed-out world, and instead of drastically changing the lore, LOTRO adds onto it. Granted, the LOTRO-created lore is plausible within Middle-earth, so I'm usually content to let it slide. As an added plus, a lot of it is interesting!

I haven't been able to get far into the main storyline (nearly through with Volume 2), but I can vouch that it's engaging. While the Fellowship is off doing their own thing, your character is tasked with helping the Free Peoples of Middle-earth. Side quests are the usual fetch/kill quests, so nothing really notable there. You can choose to run around in groups of people (appropriately named "fellowships") or just go solo.

And that leads to what I reckon is my only complaint. It's not really a free game. You have to buy quest packs for some regions, so it's a lot harder to level up quickly when you've run out of things to do solo and don't have money to spend. That's how I got bored.

Servers are usually populated with a fair amount of people, with most hanging out on the roleplaying servers. Something that made LOTRO really stand out for me was the kind community. I've met a large variety of players ranging from high schoolers to parents. Many offered to help me out whenever I needed it. There will be the rare troll in the chat, but you can simply ignore them. Everyone's there to have fun and nerd out over Tolkien's works.

If you're a major fan of Middle-earth and don't mind some tweaks here and there, I recommend this game. 7/10.
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19 of 25 people (76%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
720.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 14
At beginning LotRO is very confused, first time i played LotRO back in 2010, i hated it, but i played just a few hours, got bored and never touched it again.

But then i decided to give another shot and really forced me into it (huge Tolkien fan), i started to understand and find the game amazing in every way, PvE and PvP are outstanding in their own unique way. The best community in an MMO by far, everyone willing to help and teach you with a Shaolin Monk patience, they would even talk with me in portuguese (my main language) using Google translator so i would feel more included in the community.

The best MMORPG i've played so far.

And it comes from a guy which have played all the top MMOs for years (such as Tibia, Runescape, MU, UO, LineAge 2, Ragnarok, WoW, PW, ArcheAge, TERA)
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
135.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 9
Traversing Middle-Earth slaying orcs and fighting alongside heroes like Legolas, Halbarad, and even Prince Theodred; what more could you ask for? Honestly, this game is not what it once was; that does not mean I don't recommend it. The Lord of the Rings Online is truly a masterpiece made a very passionate team. My first few years in this game were phenomenal - Don't let my Steam numbers fool you - if anything this game has given me a much deeper love for the lore. It's a game where the little things are the best things. The Yule (December) festival is by far the best festival I have participated in in any of the MMOs I have ever played. However instead of going on and on about this game, here are some pros and cons:

- Middle-Earth is huge. Turbine has covered The Shire, to Bree, from Forochel to Mirkwood, Moria, Rohan, Ered Luin, Rivendell, and everywhere in between.
- Very lore-friendly. Turbine has created an almost seamless integration of your character into the lore, the events that transpire through the main story (epics) fit together wonderfully with the lore.
- Meet and fight alongside mighty heroes. You will get the chance to meet and fight alongside members of the fellowship. Not only that, but you will also meet people such as Halbarad, Elrond, Galadriel and Celeborn, King Theoden, Radagast and Bilbo Baggins; the list goes on.
- Witness major events in the story. This includes the Breaking of the Fellowship, the fall of Boromir, - which is waaaay better than the movies - The Battle for Helms Deep, the final stand of Prince Theodred, the forming of the Gray Company, and many more events, which Minas Tirith and the Battle for Pelennor Fields on the way later this year.
- The crafting system. The crafting system is by far one of the best I have experienced in an MMO.
- Legendary weapons. You will be able to obtain powerful legendary weapons that grow in power as they are used; you can even name them!
- The outfit system. By far the best outfit system I have ever witnessed in an MMO. With the purchase of a wardrobe, you can cosmetically wear ANY piece of armor/clothing in the game regardless of class or race.
- The deeding system. The deeds while 'grindy' award Turbine Points (TP) which can be used to purchase quest packs, cosmetics, and other things from the LOTRO store (See Below)

There are no doubt a few I missed, but these are the highlights for me. Now onto the cons:
- It is impossible to advance in the game without spending money (unless you grind a LOT). I was able to make it to level 52 without spending a dime, and having no quest packs for levels 30+ Levels 1-30 are free, however 30-100 (yes level 100) all require the purchase of quest packs and expansion packs either with real money or Turbine Points.
- The game is not what it once was. While still enjoyable, the game has just started to really lose it's spark. I truly feel sorry for those who did not get to experience the game before 2012. It was amazing back then. But with all the gameplay/mechanic/etc. changes it has ruined the experience for me and many veteran players.
- While nice for new players, the game is not very veteran friendly. I covered this more or less in the above statement. With all the changes going on many of the veteran players have left the game. I have seen lots of new players joining, and the game is definitely new player friendly, but at a terrible cost.
- Lots of the servers are dead (or dying). Brandywine is the server to choose. It is one of the most populated servers and one of the few very populated ones still in game. That's not to say that LOTRO has a tiny playerbase; most people are just on a few servers like Brandywine.

I hope I have been able to sum up this game in a positive way with the 5 years of experience I have with it. I truly recommend giving LOTRO a try. ESPECIALLY if you love the lore; that's one of the things that keeps me in the game. With this in mind, I will mention that Lord of the Rings is nearing it's end. I do not believe Turbine will renew their license past 2017. We will luckily get Mordor, and from the looks of it, the Grey Havens and the areas that are needed to "Complete" the game. If you're on the fence about this game, I suggest you get it while you can; it is free after all.
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