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 (3,811 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 6, 2012

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May 4

Update 16: Ashes of Osgiliath

Three New Regions
Upper Lebennin – Defend refugees from Minas Tirith who have taken shelter from the encroaching army. Can you protect them from the forces of Mordor while still keeping Aragorn’s approach a secret from Sauron and his spies?

Lossarnach – Clear the land closest to the Rammas, the massive wall that surrounds Minas Tirith. Tensions run high with the impending siege and those who remain call for aid from any who would give it.

South Ithilien – Join the resistance! Rangers hold their ground with little to show for it, save a rising death toll and dwindling resources. Aid them in slowing and thinning the ranks of the enemy who cross the borders ahead of Sauron’s army.

Three New Instances
The Sunken Labyrinth – Fight for survival beneath Osgiliath. Rangers who fled the invading army above have discovered that the Morgulduin’s fouled currents wash many things from the ruins above. Cleanse the depths belowed the ruin city if you hope to emerge alive.

The Ruined City – Uncover a mysterious stranger dressed in Faramir's tattered cloak. This unknown man seems to stay just steps ahead of you at every turn. Is he your missing friend, or…something else?

The Dome of Stars – Infiltrate the heart of Osgiliath and ascend the largest tower in the ruined city where you must confront one of the Nazgul in the heart of his army's power.

Introducing the Imbuement System
Sting, Andúril, Glamdring - Every hero has their weapon. Name yours and have it advance with you in the new Imbuement System. Read more about how the process works, which legacies are available, and more in our latest Developer Diary.

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

10 comments Read more

March 30

Update 15.3 - Release Notes

Update 15.3 is now live. You can read more about the update in our release notes:

Release notes: English
Release notes: German
Release notes: French

See you in game!

6 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
419 of 512 people (82%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
3,616.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 9
I met a sexy Hobbit, went bar hopping all night long, made it to third base, as far as I'm concerned, I won the game, I'm level 15.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
108 of 117 people (92%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
172.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 1
I've done nothing but farm work, help hobbits set up a festival, chase animals and beat up brigands for two hours, and I loved every minute of it.

It's strange really, I've played practically every major MMO at this point, and the only one to grip me alongside WoW is LOTRO. Personally, I'm tired of being treated as the SAVIOUR OF THE UNIVERSE as soon as I hit level 2. Hell even by level 20 in LOTRO I still often help ordinary folk with ordinary things, and I enjoy that. If I want over the top epicness there's a million and one games that do that, but LOTRO keeps things level headed for the most part (Excluding a dream sequence that was hamfisted in at level 5 where YOU ARE THE CHOSEN ONE or some crap, but that's generally disregarded by the community and even the devs as it has yet to be brought up again). This is greatly aided by the fact the MMO is based on the -books- and not the films, which is a great relief as Radaghast for example isn't an insane lunatic and there's no mention of a rabbit sleigh just yet.

That said, when the drums of war sound, and orcs and goblins march, the game isn't afraid to take a turn into the dark and foreboding. The sky goes from a clear blue to a grim dark grey or even red as I approach Angmar, the woods and wildlife growing more desolate. I can't help but feel I've only made a small scratch in the surface of the adventures that await me yet. The mundane quests are gradually being set aside in favour of "Oh god, ♥♥♥♥'s going down, halp pls" from townsfolk, which suits me fine.

Having sunk money into the expansions and quest bundles as they were on sale (Fairly frequently), I have all but negated any -need- to subscribe. A subscription at this point would only give me a few more character slots (Which I don't need, already have five), access to PvP (Which I have no interest in), a daily XP bonus (Which doesn't last very long) and an allotment of premium currency (Which I don't really need either).

I subscribed for a single month a while ago, and that has removed currency limits, given me more character slots, and even removed the lock on my class, race and virtue trait slots on all characters I played back then.

A lot of people are put off by the in-game store, yes it does pop up now and again, especially after level 30 or so if you haven't bought any zone quest packs, but really at the point I'm at I don't really see it all that much.

Additionally, you can grind out premium currency in a fairly adequate amount, hell last time the expansions were on sale I managed to get one -purely- by grinding. It was a bit boring, but it was helped by a lovely bunch of max level players offering to help newer players like myself farm out the currency. There's even guides on getting said currency in a quick, efficient manner, if a little repetitive as it involves making characters and doing specific tasks over and over.

Is the game perfect? No, it shows some signs of age, namely in the graphics (The Beoring race/class is a fair grade higher quality than the other race models), some could argue the combat was clunky. But it's otherwise well-preserved, namely with exquisite attention to detail. Weapons make different sounds on hitting enemies based on what the enemy is or what they wear, rather than the same generic SFX being heard for hours on end, to name just one example.

As a frequent role-player, LOTRO holds the crown as the most RP friendly MMO I can think of, cut down only by it's rather archaic housing system, which is very restrictive in terms of decor (Seriously, you have to place furniture in fixed locations, meaning my bed has to be in the middle of a room...). Which is a shame, as the RP community has shrunk significantly, to the point where the only prominent RP takes place in the prancing pony inn. And obviously the quality there can often be... lacking. A great shame, but the game is niche so a tiny RP community is expected.

tl;dr: The game is good, try it. Premium currency can gradually be gained for free. Wait for zone quests and expansions to go on sale before buying them. if you like the game, considor subbing just for one month to remove the worst of the limitations on your account and characters (Remember to login to each character to unlock their traits etc while you're a VIP).
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67 of 72 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4,178.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 11
So I have played this game a lot (even more than Steam says I have) it was the first MMO I played but I have played others since I started playing LOTRO I have always been Vip and have all expansion packs also I play on the Withywindle (EU) server.

There is a lot to love about this game even if you know nothing of Tolkien' work and just want to try out something a bit different or try an mmo for the first time.

I personally know people who are lvl100 with all expansions and quest packs and they have never had to spend a penny of there own money but it truly is an epic grind to do that I personally recommend buying the quad pack of expansions to get you up to date and help you in speed of lvling.


One of the best PvE experiences I've ever had in any game. The world is massive with thousands of quests and thousands of hours of game play with plenty of instances/raids/epic battles to get involved in
+ Great community.
+ There's always something to do.
+ A good wardrobe system allowing almost endless cosmetic options.
+ Great crafting system with the ability to make epic weapons clothing etc.
+ Festivals in which you can unlock items such as mounts, clothing/gear, pets and more.
+ Almost endless exploration if your into finding new stuff in game you won't be disapointed.


+ PVMP needs a bit of a reboot you can have some epic RVR action but varies by server.
+ Can feel daunting sometimes due to size of the world.
+ Virtues can be a massive grind .
+ Crafting needs an update.
They are my pros and cons I really love this game infact I have loads of games in my steam libary unplayed due to my love of this game try it out you never know you may love it.
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45 of 51 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
50.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 23
Ive got a love/hate relationship with this game.


- Its lord of the rings, with all the epic story, characters, locations and events from the books (or films)
- Huge world that has vastly different locations to play in.
- In depth game systems and mechanics that dont treat you like a brainless idiot gamer, actually requiring you to learn the game and how to master it.
- Its free (well, sorta.)
- Due to its dated graphic engine, I can run this game completely on ultra high maxed out settings, and still get super high performance (and most things look pretty nice, especially the world graphics)
- Its got dwarves, my favorite race.
- Its got years of content to keep you busy.


- Dated graphics engine. While i can max out the settings, and some things look nice, other things, like character graphics, are just UH GLEE. Dwarf beards look awful. Most hairstyles look awful. Many textures in the game are super low res/blurry, even using the high res texture pack. The game can also suffer from bad "pop up/pop in" in areas, especially with trees. (would love it if turbine would update some of these things)

- Unintuitive mechanics. Especially when it comes to quests. So many quests (especially early on), not only dont really tell you what they want you to do exactly, but really dont even point you in the right direction. The UI sometimes helps by saying "go in this direction" but not always. And when you get in the general area you are supposed to be in, you are still left trying to figure out exactly what it is you are supposed to do. Ive played The Secret World, and THAT game required a LOT of investigation and brainstorming to solve quests. This games quests, have simple objects that are simply cumbersum to complete due to bad design. This isnt an issue of "hand holding" or making the game easy. Its probablly one of the things that drives a lot of new players away. Factor in the horribly worthless and unhelpful game map, and new gamers are going to feel like getting even a simple delivery quest done to be a major frustrating chore.

- This game really clings to the "You have to wait to you are higher level to do the fun stuff" mentality. Its seems like all the improved gameplay, better design content, group play aspects, and cool events are designed for players level 45 and up. They also require the paid DLC like Moria and Helms Deep. (which is fine if you like the game. One time fees arent an issue). This "low levels are boring and slow and you just have to endure through them" mentality however, is yet another thing that will drive away players. (which is probably one of the reasons why the game is suffering from server population issues.

- Super boring and grindy quests (especially at low levels). Short of the epic storyline (which makes up about 5% of the low level content), most of the quests in this game fall into 2 categories. Fedex quests (especially if you are a hobbit), and kill quests. No attempt is made to really stray from these either. If you HATE fedex (deliver this item to steve for me!) quests, I seriously recommend NOT starting out in the Shire.

- Lack of low level group content. Pretty much everything low level can be easily solo'd. Even most of the elites you have to fight. The games first dungeon isnt until 20+, and due to the lack of low level players, good luck finding a group for that. In fact, the group finding tool is 99% worthless to low level players. If you are wanting to play this game for the multiplayer aspect, to group with people, its not something you will really experience until you reach much higher levels. My advice, bring a friend or two along when you start playing this.

- Not as Free 2 Play as some other more recent F2P games. Lotro is more of a "Free to try" game. More than a demo, or a 2 week trial, but dont expect a DC Universe or Neverwinter experience. If you dont plan on spending ANY money, its impossible to get to max level in this game. (100). Starting around 35, you will find yourself out of areas to quest in that are free. This will require you to make 1 time purchases to get a "zone" of content which will get you through the next handful of levels. At a certain point, you will most likely need to spend money on some of the games DLC. However, the DLC is priced decently. In fact, you can get the first FOUR (out of 5) DLC packs together on steam for like 40 bucks. However, if you are looking for a completely free playthrough of the entire game, this is not the game for you.


Overall, this game is well made, and full of content (some good, some bad). There is a lot of choice and variety to be had, and a set of mechanics and gameplay that leans more towards old school mmo's rather than the simplistically brain dead mechanics of some newer games out there. However, be prepared to google/wiki/forum search for answers about things in the game, because there will be plenty of things you will need to learn.

If you are ok with spending SOME money on the game, my recommendation is to play to about 20-25 first to see if you enjoy it. Then pick up a VIP subscription for a couple months (30 bucks for 30 months last i checked), and eventually grab the 4 pack of DLC. That is probably the best bang for your buck, giving you as much of the game to experience without it feeling like a paywall is locking you out any further.
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18 of 19 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
287.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 26
One of the older MMO's but if you love the world of Tolkien you will love this. This game as loads of content so theres plenty to do and see at your pace. The deeds/achievements give you turbine points to spend in store so if you are playing on the ftp you can unlock expansions & content by grinding these out.
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