Account Type

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Account Types

There are three Account Types available to new players in Lotro today, Free to Play, Premium, and VIP (subscribed). They give different benefits and bonuses. This page summarizes these differences.

Free to Play

Free to Play (abbreviated F2P) was launched in the fall 2010 and introduced a new business model. Players can play for free with some restrictions and remove those restrictions by making a purchase in the in-game Lotro Store with LOTRO Points (LP).

You can download the game for free and start playing without a subscription or even a credit card. Anyone can join the game for free as a Free player.

Premium

You will automatically be upgraded to Premium player status with your first purchase of something for real world money, e.g. LOTRO Points, etc.

VIP

VIP ("Very Important Person/Player") status is one of three types of accounts a new LOTRO player can have today. As a player with a VIP account, you have unlimited access to all game content; only expansions must be purchased. VIP is another way of describing a subscriber. Please see VIP Account Discussion below for a detailed description of this account type.

Founder

A player who pre-ordered the original Shadows of Angmar release in 2007. Benefits at the time included participation in the beta testing, special lower pricing for monthly and lifetime subscriptions, and special benefits for all characters (a ring of agility +3 and a special cloak). When Free to Play was released in 2010, Founders automatically became VIPs, as long as they kept paying their monthly fees (or were Lifetime members).

Lifetime

Lifetime subscriptions were offered to Founders at $199.00 USD. After release, the Lifetime Subscription was offered to others for $299. This subscription option was discontinued in 2009. SSG, has said many times officially and unofficially they have no plans to ever offer this option again.

VIP Account Discussion

VIP ("Very Important Person/Player") status is one of three types of accounts a new LOTRO player can have today. As a player with a VIP account, you have unlimited access to all game content; only expansions must be purchased. VIP is another way of describing a subscriber.

For a monthly fee, Lotro’s VIP program offers the best value and the most options for players who like the convenience of having unlimited access to all of Lotro’s game content and features.

Acquiring VIP status

Currently, VIP status can be acquired by maintaining an active subscription through the LOTRO in-game store LOTRO Store interface (requires a credit card or PayPal account).

In the past, there were several other ways to acquire VIP status:

  • Adding game time from 60 day or 12 month Game Cards. These are no longer purchasable.
  • Adding the key from a physically purchased Moria box to an account will add 30 days of VIP time. These are old boxes from before Free to Play. Also note that European (Codemasters) keys are no longer valid.
    • If a product key includes 30 days of play time, those 30 days count as VIP access. Please note that many, but not all types of keys include play time. If the key does include an upgrade, but no time, it won't include any VIP access.
  • Having a Lifetime Membership. Note: no longer purchasable, but occasionally awarded as Prizes for participation in Beta events.

Benefits

While LOTRO can be played for free without an active subscription, being a VIP player unlocks many elements of the game that non-VIP players would have to unlock with LOTRO Points or cannot use at all. Benefits of VIP status are:

Tooltip explanation of the VIP Bonus Experience
  • Access to all Quest Packs and the Mordor, Minas Morgul and War of Three Peaks expansions, leaving only the current Fate of Gundabad expansion.
  • 500 LOTRO Points per month *
  • Legendary Server access *
  • 7 Character slots per server
  • 75 Inventory Slots
  • 5 additional Quest Log slots
  • Swift Travel to more than the starting zones *
  • Can acquire the horse riding skill for free from a quest at level 20
  • VIP Bonus XP (Automatic Rest XP) - Daily +100% XP for 30% of your next level
  • Weekly Gold Hobbit Gifts
  • The following benefits (activated by a repeatable Quest that awards Subscriber Town Services and Subscriber's Jug items):
    • Accelerated crafting speed
    • Immunity to item wear from combat, crafting, and defeat
    • Field access to a shop for selling, buyback, and repairs
    • Field access to vault, shared storage, and wardrobe
    • Field access to auctions
    • Field access to forge-master and relic-master services
  • 20 Shared Wardrobe slots
  • Maximum Active Auction House listings
  • Unlimited Crafting Guild access
  • Can spend Destiny Points on in-game perks *
  • Freep access to PvMP
  • All monster classes available
  • Priority Login
  • Unlimited Chat
  • Maximum mail availability, including access to mail anywhere in Middle Earth; a mail-box is not required *

(*)= These features cannot be purchased from the LOTRO Store and are exclusive VIP features.

See: official LOTRO VIP information and Free to Play for more detailed information.

Drawbacks

Having VIP status also has some elements that some players may find undesirable. These are:

  • Need to pay a monthly fee, unless the VIP is a lifetime subscriber.
  • Inability to purchase Quest Packs and other elements that are unlocked while VIP. This makes it impossible to take advantage of sales in anticipation of a downgrade to Premium status.
  • Automatic rest XP. A possible side-effect is that quest content may be out-levelled before it is finished. This can be counteracted with the store-bought XP disabler.

Downgrading

If a subscription is cancelled or the time of a game card expires, a VIP account is automatically downgraded to a Premium account at the end of the remaining subscription period. Some features are maintained while most are no longer available.

Features maintained

Some features are maintained on a per-character basis when downgrading from VIP to Premium. However, these features, listed below, are maintained only for characters who have entered Middle-earth (logged in) while the VIP status was active; characters created after downgrading from VIP to Premium and characters that were created before or during VIP but were not logged into the game during VIP do not have access to these features. These per-character unlocks also function for content the character hasn't reached yet due to level or other restrictions.

The following features are maintained on a per-character basis:

  • Swift Travel
  • 75 inventory slots (plus any additional +5 Inventory slots purchased)

Handling of removed features

Downgrading removes all VIP features not described in the previous paragraph. Handling of the removal of some of those features is described below:

  • Monster Play: Aside from the Reaver, your monster play characters will become locked and unavailable to play. The characters will not be deleted, they will be available to play again once VIP status is reacquired or until that class is purchased.
  • If downgrading causes a player to go over their character slot limit, they must select one or two characters to give up. These characters are not deleted, but become unavailable until they purchase the extra character slot(s) or resubscribe.
  • Deeds and quests in progress can be finished.
  • Rest XP can be consumed, but is no longer generated.
  • Items placed in the Wardrobe as a VIP can be used and dyed but not replaced.
Your total available number of Shared Wardrobe slots is reduced by 20 (including the Maximum number of Shared Wardrobe Slots available). I.e. the 20 Shared Wardrobe slots received as a VIP player are removed. You must purchase those 20 slots from the LOTRO Store to again utilize them.
  • Crafting guild access is maintained but can no longer be increased.
  • Auctions in progress are maintained but no new auctions can be posted above the cap.
  • Swift travel is available to VIPs for free.
Swift travel can be temporarily unlocked (1 hour, 1 day, 7 days, 30 days) with the Writ of Special Passage from the LOTRO Store for Free or Premium players. The swift routes in the beginning areas are free to all players.
Characters of Premium players who downgraded from VIP keep access to all swift travel routes, even travel routes that character did not unlock while VIP (contradicting official information, which states only unlocked travel routes are maintained). Please note that only the characters played while the subscription was VIP will have access to swift travel routes; characters created after a subscription downgrade from VIP to Premium will only have access to beginning area swift travel routes.

Account type comparison table

Here are the benefits for each player status:

Feature VIP Player Premium Player Free Player
Points
LOTRO Points (LP) 500/month
Can purchase more
Or earn through gameplay

Purchasable
Or earn through gameplay

Purchasable
Or earn through gameplay
Content
World Access Free Free Free
Epic Story3 Unlimited, with some exceptions3 Unlimited, with some exceptions3 Unlimited, with some exceptions3
Races 6
Can purchase Stout-axe
6
Can purchase Stout-axe
6
Can purchase Stout-axe
Classes 10
Brawler comes with Fate of Gundabad
10
Brawler comes with Fate of Gundabad
10
Brawler comes with Fate of Gundabad
Level Cap 140 140 140
Character slots1 7/server
Can purchase more
5/server
Can purchase more
2/server
Can purchase more
Quest Packs All Quest Packs Most content up to level 95
Can purchase more
Most content up to level 95
Can purchase more
Key features
Inventory 75 slots2
Can purchase additional increments of +5 (up to max of 135)
45 slots
Can purchase additional increments of +5 (up to max of 135)
45 slots
Can purchase additional increments of +5 (up to max of 135)
Gold Limit 9,999 Gold per character 9,999 Gold per character 9,999 Gold per character
Priority login Priority High Standard
Chat Unlimited Limited Limited
Auction 30 active listings; 20 active bids 5 active listings (can purchase more); 20 active bids Listings purchasable; 20 active bids
Mail Unlimited Limited by currency cap Cannot mail currency
Rest XP Automatic Not available Not available
Shared bank Purchasable Purchasable Purchasable
Skirmishes Maximum Maximum Maximum
Traits All traits and class bonus skills unlocked All traits and class bonus skills unlocked All traits and class bonus skills unlocked
Crafting Tier 1-14 available Tier 1-14 available Tier 1-14 available
Crafting Guilds Unlimited
Purchasable Purchasable
Housing Available Available Available
Music Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Cosmetic system 3 outfits
Can purchase more
3 Outfits
Can purchase more
3 Outfits
Can purchase more
Shared Wardrobe 20 slots
Can purchase more
Purchasable Purchasable
Destiny points Can earn and spend on perks Can earn but cannot spend on perks Can earn but cannot spend on perks
Hobbit gifts 1 silver per day, 1 gold per week
Can purchase more
1 silver per day
Can purchase more
1 silver per day
Can purchase more
VIP Rewards Quest Access Yes, can obtain Subscriber's Jug & Subscriber Town Services N/A N/A
Monster play Unlimited
No freep access
Reaver class available, can purchase other classes
No freep access
Reaver class available, can purchase other classes
Community features Read/Post Read/Post Read/Limited posting
In-game Support Full access Full access for 30 days following the purchase of LOTRO Points Self-service online
Technical Support Full access Full access Full access
Account Management Full access Full access Full access
1 As of March 2022, the maximum number of Character slots per server is 46.
  • Purchasers of the LOTRO Adventurer’s Pack got 2 extra character slots and 20 slots of shared bank storage. (Option no longer available).
  • The introduction of the Beorning in Update 15 allowed for the purchase of one additional character slot. (Beorning and Character slot Bundle)
  • The World Transfer (Server Consolidation) process (Update 16.3 - August 3, 2015) allowed 2 additional character slots for VIPs.
  • Also, as part of this World Transfer process, the number of purchasable Character slots (in the on-line store) has been doubled to 26 for a F2P account.
2 This feature is permanently unlocked on a per character basis; A character played during VIP status retain these inventory slots after the VIP time expires and the subscription status is downgraded to Premium.
3 Access to the Black Book of Mordor story line is included in the Mordor expansion and the Minas Morgul expansion.

Points to note

  • All content released before and including Helm's Deep is available to all players.
  • All landscape areas in The Lord of the Rings Online are open to free players. While free players can explore and kill monsters in these areas they cannot complete the side quests contained there without first purchasing the Quest Packs (or Expansions) for those areas.
  • All Epic Quests are free.

Fraud Prevention FAQ

For info about hacked accounts, see Fraud Prevention FAQ.