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 (4,192 reviews) - 82% of the 4,192 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 []

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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


“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
184 of 193 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4,228.4 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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113 of 135 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
12.6 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.
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66 of 71 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
858.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 18
I walk out of Bree south gates and mount my steed. I make my way to the east, all the way through Lonely Lands, bypassing Weathertop, through the forests of Throllshaws, crossing Bruinen Ford, climbing up the hill just to walk down Pend Eregion (Sindarin for "slope of Eregion"). Then I make my way through the vast valley to Moria gates. I venture deep into the Mines and I see giant busts of ancient dwarf kings carved in stone, waterfalls running down their beards, and I marvel about generations of dwarves have put their scrupulous hardwork in it...

But, wait. It's a computer game. All that was modelled by a bunch of geeks in glasses, sitting their necks bent towards their monitors.

What is amazing about LotRO is that it feels - it IS extremely authentic. As much authentic a digital version of Middle-Earth as much authentic a world to explore and admire. Described ride would take you 30 minutes of real time if you would be running straightly from point A to point B - and did I say that every region is a huge and diverse landscape? You can actually lost in this world.

As I stand on the northern bank of Entwash, I have city of Snowbourn and huge plain landscapes of Eastern Rohan behind my back; silhouette of Edoras and enormous landscapes of Western Rohan on my right; a plain and then mountains, covered with forests, with vast landscapes of Gondor behind them - right before me, cross the river. And I can go any of this places.

Because it is the Middle-Earth.

5 years on board, 4240 hours /played.
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42 of 44 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
177.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 8
The Lord of the Rings Online, a wonderful open-world game. Freedom and quests are great but when you first start you can't just roam free... Well, you have to do the 'Prologue/Intro' where you do many quests for either the hobbits, dwarfs, elfs, men or beorning but once you have done that, you are free to roam. I found the 'Prologue/Quests' not too irritating but it does take longer to level up the higher your level gets.

The races you can chose from are:

Some classes include:

Great game! 11/10
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20 of 20 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
424.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
TL;DR is at the bottom of the review for all of you lazy asses who didn't want to read the whole thing!

It's been 350 hours at the time of writing and my main (and currently only) character has hit the level cap of 100, experienced 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 on this game.

Even though this review will get buried under the thousands 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 ♥♥♥♥♥♥mes, 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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