Grab your cape and defend Millennium City in this comic book-style action MMORPG! Design your hero and costume from thousands of costume pieces, face super-villains like Dr. Destroyer, and create your own unique nemesis.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (1,772 reviews) - 77% of the 1,772 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 1, 2009

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Play Champions Online

Free to Play

Recommended By Curators

"Great character editor and rich world to explore :)"

Recent updates View all (5)

September 18

Champions Online: Supervillain Onslaught is Live!

Greetings Champions! It's time to ditch those tights for something more nefarious. Teleios has perfected a method of duplicating super-villain powers bringing waves of villains into Millenium City. In Champions Online: Supervillain Onslaught, players will take part in a brand-new in-game event where heroes become villains and battle against champions around Millennium City in open-world PvP!

Play as classic Champions Online villains like Gravitar, Grond and Medusa. Which villain do you want to play as?

Learn more about Supervillain Onslaught here.

33 comments Read more

April 16

Champions Online Returning to Cryptic Studios in Los Gatos, California

Posted on behalf of Randy Mosiondz:


Greetings, Champions!

My name is Randy Mosiondz, a Senior Game Designer at Cryptic Studios. I have some exciting news: Champions Online is returning to its original development studio in Los Gatos, California, and I’ll be heading up the game design team!

I’d like to thank the team at Cryptic North for their excellent work on Champions while it was in our Seattle office, especially Tom Atkinson-Edwards, Russell Williams, and Raymond Wood. They’ve added some memorable moments to the game, including the Fatal Err0r and Steel Crusade story arcs. They’ll still be helping us out in part with planning of new content.

I’m bringing to the development team over 10 years of development experience at Cryptic Studios. I was a Mission Designer on City of Heroes, the original Lead Designer of Champions Online at launch, and most recently Content Lead and Loremaster of the popular Neverwinter game (now available on both PC and Xbox One!)

I and the other developers here at Cryptic Studios are looking forward to creating great new things. We’ve already started work on some new costumes including the Variable Robot set and Steel Arachnid set from the earlier fan-submitted costume contest, and planning new content updates.

Stay tuned for more details! As we continue development on Champions, we’ll be sure to let you know what’s going on.

- Randy "Arkayne" Mosiondz

46 comments Read more

Just Updated

Supervillain Onslaught is now LIVE! This new content update for Champions Online puts you in the role of a hero transformed into a powerful supervillain via an Onslaught Device, or a brave Guardian trying to defend against the rampage!

To get started, go to Millennium City with a level 10+ hero. You will be granted a mission to investigate the mysterious Onslaught Agents showing up around the city. The Onslaught Agents will tell you everything you need to know to get started!

About This Game

Champions Online brings epic heroism back to the MMORPG genre with depth that challenges the most experienced online gamers, while its fast-paced action engages new entrants to the online superhero universe. Join Defender and the legendary Champions to stop Dr. Destroyer and his minions in the ultimate showdown between good and evil.

Key features:

  • Free-to-Play: Play a triple-A MMO experience without cost. Play from level 1 to 40 free of charge! There is no box price and no mandatory subscription. Enjoy Champions Online as you like, when you like.
  • Total Customization: Choose from thousands of different costume pieces, colors and body types to create your character's one-of-a-kind look. There are billions of possible combinations, and even in a universe brimming with the fantastic and the unforgettable, you can be completely unique!
  • Keep Your Enemies Close: Every hero must have an archenemy. Design your character's supreme adversary, choosing a name, powers and costume for a superpowered foe to bedevil your hero throughout his or her career.
  • Endless Exploration: The battle against evil rages across the world and into alternate dimensions. No other MMO offers players the chance to explore such diverse realms — from the shining skyscrapers of Millennium City and the frozen wastes of Canada to the hidden underwater city of Lemuria, the foul mystical dimension known as Qliphothic, and the tormented Vibora Bay.
  • Evil Most Foul: Battle supervillains, aliens, giant monsters and secret, sinister organizations. Doctor Destroyer is launching new plans to conquer the world. VIPER lurks in the shadows, seeking chances to strike at humanity. The ancient Lemurians are plotting a return to power. And Mechanon won't stop until it has wiped all organic life from the planet. Can you stop these heinous threats to humanity?
  • Hi-Octane Excitement: Combat is instantaneous and electrifying. No more boring auto attacks and lengthy recharge times.
  • Brains Required: Every enemy and super-powered threat in Champions Online has its own unique abilities and combat specialties. Use your head or wind up dead!
  • Bring Friends, Make Friends: Our universe is jam-packed with thousands of heroes, facing thousands of threats. Join up with other heroes, create your own super group, and prepare to take on the ultimate threats!
  • Your Powers, Your Terms: There is a multitude of astonishing powers to choose from and the flexible character creation system gives you total control over your hero's abilities. You can even pick the appearance of your powers. Do you want purple force fields? Green fire blasts? Jet black claws? You decide!
  • Bigger and Better: Vanquish evil and your successes will be rewarded with costume pieces to enhance your powers and abilities. Then customize the appearance of those rewards to your vision of your hero's look and abilities!
  • Make Your Mark: All this within a constantly changing, continually evolving story: Villains are defeated. Heroes rise and fall. Cities transform. Your actions may decide the future!

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7
    • Processor: 2.5GHz Single Core or 1.8GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 1GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 7800 / ATI Radeon X700 or HD / Intel Graphics with Dual Core
    • DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 5GB Free Disk Space
    • Sound: DirectX Compatible Soundcard
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7
    • Processor: 2GHz Dual Core or Better
    • Memory: 2GB RAM or Better
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 or Better / ATI Radeon HD3850 or Better
    • DirectX®: ®: DirectX 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 5GB Free Disk Space
    • Sound: DirectX Compatible Soundcard
Helpful customer reviews
403 of 452 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5,552.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 7
Okay, so, Champions Online. This is gonna be a biggie...

TL;DR: Game's dead.

NOTE: Before pointing out my playtime, or the fact that I still bother logging onto this game, please read the comments under this review for additional context.

Most people will say that the character creator is the highlight of this game -- and they'd be right. The character creator is one of the highest points this game achieves, and it achieves it in style.

...However, don't expect to make anything particularly awesome without first dropping real cash on this thing. Costume sets are quite overpriced, too, sometimes requiring the user to spend up to $10 for a single set (mind you, each set doesn't contain that many costume pieces to begin with). Being under the F2P model, you can expect the game to nickel and dime you, but ever since the takeover from Perfect World Entertainment, they've really gone overboard with the microtransactions, all while the devs have simply stopped caring about the game as a whole.

There's no ambition to be had; anything cool you see upon booting up the game was very likely put there years ago, when the game was in its prime, under the guidance of developers with the drive to make a legitimately good game. The ambition once had by the development team has since dwindled to nothing. As a result, content is largely stagnant. Most of the new content is half-♥♥♥♥♥ shlock they expect you to pay top dollar for, and anything that's halfway decent is shuttered away behind a lockbox which is essentially a big gamble that you have to pay $1 a pop to open -- and believe me, it may not sound like much, but that will add up quick.

Beyond the diseased, sickly cash cow Perfect World reduced this game to, it's also not that amazing as a game in itself. Sure, the gameplay can be deceptively nice at first, and may even feel like it has great variety -- and in some aspects, it does. But like everything in this game, it seems to only get worse as time goes on, and you'll find yourself fighting the same classes of reskinned, repurposed bad guys over and over again, doing the same types of objectives passing off as something more interesting, all while running around in relatively uninteresting, mundane locales that only have the passing resemblance to something with inspiration put into them.

You can also largely forget about questing, because an expansion introduced a while back basically made it redundant to do so. Instead of adventuring through the game and leveling your character up through time, dedication, and some approximation of hard work, you can instead just queue yourself up for one of the many "alerts" in the game that takes you and four other players to a self-contained instance to fight a boss and get an easy XP or monetary reward. Rinse, repeat, ad nauseam.

The graphics themselves can be summed up in one word: "Meh". They're not bad, but they're not exactly that great, either. On high settings, the visuals can look crisp and well-defined, with pleasing particle effects scattered about to whet your appetite. But the keen eye will notice that the art design is all over the place. This game has a BIG problem with artistic cohesion: you'll often find high-poly models with highly detailed textures in one place, and as little as five feet away will run into a very low-poly, blurry-textured mess of a model right next to it. It can't decide if it wants to look like a PS3 game or a PS2 game, and can be very distracting.

Furthermore, the actual work put into the environments is lazy at best. There's misaligned and missing textures all over the place, spots where you can see straight through the level, and even simply disgusting corner-cutting measures that one can only assume the developers thought nobody would notice, such as entire buildings being misplaced and left out in the middle of the street, or pieces of level geometry hanging a full meter away from where they're supposed to be placed.

The community is also quite lackluster. The overall population of the game is low at best, so I don't know where they're getting this "thousands of heroes" figure from on the bullet points. Maybe Cryptic means in terms of individual characters created and stored in the database, not even taking into account whether they're still active or not. Anywho, the PvP community is - as you'd expect - largely full of pompous blowhards that gloat over their ability to break this game's move sets or exploit some failure of the lackadaisical developers. On the other hand, the roleplay community is largely full of ERP'ers looking to get a quick fix off similarly horny players, all while roaming the one populated RP zone in scantily clad, large-chested women.

In terms of the general "I'm just here to level" player, I can't really complain there. They usually don't say much unless they want to sell an item in zone, or party up to do an alert.

All in all, I'd say avoid this one, unless you REALLY want to make some characters, like being begged by desperate devs to spend cash, or don't have much else better to do, such is the case for me.

...Oh yeah, and the game's kind of broken, too:
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61 of 69 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
265.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
Some years ago I would have (and did) recommend this game to people. It was fun, allows for some ridiculous levels of customization on one's character, and had a relatively decent leveling experience. Unfortunately nowadays I can't really give it much positive merit. Instead of working hard to release actual new content and deliver on a promise to raise the level cap and give us new content with an expansion, the developers instead pulled the rug out from us by revamping some systems to tie into their in-game store, completely ruined the leveling experience from what it used to be, removed crafting in favor of something that tries to get you to spend real money, and added a few other things that cost real money. All they do now is just half-heartedly produce a new vehicle or costume piece once in a while with pointless fanfare. There's no real incentive to level one's character through dedication and hard work anymore. Just idle in the city center and queue for the new "Alerts" (dungeons) until you can't stand it anymore. There's little effort that's been put into making these alerts consistent in terms of balance, structure, and bugtesting, and it really shows.

Customer service is abysmal and it feels like it's been outsourced to people who are only there to earn a paycheck and nothing more. If you have a problem, tough cookies. You'll most likely get a canned-ham response attempting to tell you in a roundabout way that policy states you just have to deal with it. The developers rarely communicate with the players except to try to put together some sort of meaningless community event once in a blue moon. Their lack of interaction with players and the direction the game went really shows that there is zero passion for making and keeping this as a quality game anymore. There's no real reason to pay for a subscription, the ONLY incentive being that you get some coins for the in-game store every month, it unlocks a bit of costumes and content that's otherwise behind a paywall, and you get unlimited access to freeform builds.

If you are coming into this expecting an awesome superhero MMORPG that you go out and fight bad guys on and save the world, prepare for disappointment. You're better off playing DC Universe Online or paying a subscription to play something that's actually worth it and with a diverse and active community such as WoW or FFXIV.

If you like playing a free superhero paper doll simulator and like coming up with ridiculous or cool costume and power concepts, then this might be right up your alley. Just don't expect much in the realm of actual gameplay.
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35 of 40 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
25.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 17
Pre-Release Review

I started playing this game in Beta way before it was on Steam and it was awesome! On launch day, they completely revamped the gameplay and turned it into a mess. There were some terrible bugs (abusing teleport in PVP, including tp'ing out of roots). The game at this point also rebalanced which didn't make you feel like a super hero anymore. Before that, I seem to remember that the group boss in the trash mobs was a threat but the underlings were just cannon fodder, however after launch, they were all threatening, making trash mobs more annoying than anything. The worst part however was that you must have ranged power sets. Melee characters were gimped in PVE and especially PVP compared to ranged characters.

Post F2P

I tried the game out. Had to get rid of some of my old characters so I could play again to give it a try because I was over my slot allotment. Game hadn't changed since Pre-F2P, except now you couldn't customize powers for your heroes unless you paid. Instead you had to select pre-made archetypes. PVP by this point was better, though range still ruled, even F2P archetypes were competative. Also teleport had be rebalanced so it wasn't the other required travel power to always get anymore.

Without customizing to some cool ways for your own unique hero it felt kind of bland.

By CoH standards with admittedly some rose tinted glasses stands out in my mind as a better game.

Current State

I feel a bit bad because I won't give this game another chance. It has always been a waste of my time whenever I've tried to get back into it. I can only imagine that PWE added more microtransactions and not a lot of content because that was what was happening after PWE first took over CO. I wouldn't be surprised if very little of the game world story arc changed.

The only redeeming thing about CO has really been its ad-hoc public missions, where something crazy is going on in the instances and players must band together, though some of these were under-whelming. Random events like giant robots invading the city was spectacular though I'd imagine after a few months even these may become stale unless new angles change up the events.

To get the maximum amount of enjoyment out of CO, you should get a dedicated friend where you play together.
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39 of 56 people (70%) found this review helpful
34.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 26
was a great game untill they made it pay to win
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19 of 26 people (73%) found this review helpful
2,384.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 27
Honestly, as a long-time player, even before I found out about it on Steam, I can safely say that I can't reccomend this game. Don't get me wrong, it's fun for a bit, but most of the really.. Good(?) content is towards the end of the game.
I'm just gonna list of personal pros and cons.

+Great costume creator, character customization doesn't come from gear.
+Most of the free Pre-Set archetypes will probably match your play style in at least some way.
+Great end-game content
+Fun up to about level 15 before endgame

-Poor community likes to whine about everything
-Beginning and middle portions of the game are just outright boring
-The entire costume creator isn't unlocked until level 10 "The level ten thing only applies to the very first character
Some thing or another they added to not "Over-whelm" new players with the high number of costume choices." ~Bread-tan
-The game feels extremely grindy and basic
-The PvP community is full of, for lack of a better word, circlejerkers
-The RP community is decent at best
-Is part of a dying genre (RIP Superhero MMO's)

Not everyone is going to agree with what I have to say here, and some people might have things they'd like to add. I'm a friendly guy so I'll take criticism and whatnot. If you for some reason want to add me in-game, I'm @narfball. I hope I at least helped sway your opinion one way or the other. Thanks.
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