Getting Started

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Game Guides Topics: Getting Started, Game Terms, Commands, Character, Grouping, Music, Travelling


Welcome to the Lord of the Rings Online! The community is glad to have you, this article will help you get familiar with the basic concepts of the game. Wherever your adventure's in Middle-earth take you we hope you enjoy your time in the game.

Choosing a World

Before creating a character, you have to pick a server, or "world", to play on. Pick your server carefully: although it is possible to move your characters to another server for a fee, characters cannot be moved from a Northern American server to a European server, and vise versa.

Weekly World Restarts

It is always a good idea to be aware of server downtime. Effective 5-24-18, SSG will be conducting weekly world restarts to support the health of the game environment once per week during weeks where they do not have other downtime planned. These weekly restarts typically last for about an hour, and take place starting at 8:00 AM Eastern (-5 GMT) on Wednesdays.

Character Creation

Choosing a Race

The first step in character creation is choosing what race your character will be.

The Free Peoples ("Freeps") races available include:

** Available from the Lotro store.

Choosing a Class

Once you have decided what race your character will be, you must choose their class.

The classes available include:

* These two classes are only available...
- with the Mines of Moria expansion, or
- from the Lotro store.
** Available from the Lotro store.
See Guide to Classes for an in depth look at each Class.

Race and Class Correlation

You may want to take a look at the table below to help figure out which race and class to choose as sometimes you cannot be the class and race you want. Example: You cannot play a Dwarven Burglar or a Hobbit Captain.

  Beorning Dwarf Elf High Elf Hobbit Man Stout-axe
Beorning Beorning-icon.png
Burglar Burglar-icon.png Burglar-icon.png Burglar-icon.png
Captain Captain-icon.png Captain-icon.png
Champion Champion-icon.png Champion-icon.png Champion-icon.png Champion-icon.png Champion-icon.png
Guardian Guardian-icon.png Guardian-icon.png Guardian-icon.png Guardian-icon.png Guardian-icon.png Guardian-icon.png
Hunter Hunter-icon.png Hunter-icon.png Hunter-icon.png Hunter-icon.png Hunter-icon.png Hunter-icon.png
Lore-master Lore-master-icon.png Lore-master-icon.png Lore-master-icon.png
Minstrel Minstrel-icon.png Minstrel-icon.png Minstrel-icon.png Minstrel-icon.png Minstrel-icon.png Minstrel-icon.png
Rune-keeper Rune-keeper-icon.png Rune-keeper-icon.png Rune-keeper-icon.png Rune-keeper-icon.png
Warden Warden-icon.png Warden-icon.png Warden-icon.png Warden-icon.png

Choosing an Origin

Your character comes from one of a few regions which are determined by their race. Choose a region. Each origin (or region) affects your character with slight changes in their appearance, most notably the hair and skin tones.

Man Dwarf Hobbit Elf High Elf Beorning Stout-axe
Bree-land-icon.png Bree-land Blue Mountains-icon.png Blue Mountains Fallohide-icon.png Fallohide Lórien-icon.png Lórien Gondolin Vales of Anduin Stout-axes of Mordor
Dale-lands-icon.png The Dale-lands Iron Hills-icon.png Iron Hills Harfoot-icon.png Harfoot Lindon-icon.png Lindon Imladris
Gondor-icon.png Gondor The Lonely Mountain-icon.png The Lonely Mountain Stoor-icon.png Stoor Mirkwood-icon.png Mirkwood Nargothrond
Rohan-icon.png Rohan Grey Mountains-icon.png Grey Mountains Rivendell-icon.png Rivendell Beleriand
White Mountains-icon.png White Mountains Edhellond-icon.png Edhellond Ossiriand
See Guide to Origins for detailed information about each origin.

Choosing an Appearance

Another step in character creation is choosing what your character will look like. There are many different options and it is best to scroll through each one to become familiar with what each race has available. Keep in mind that later you can make changes to some appearance items at a barber shop (i.e. hair style, color, facial hair, etc). Take your time and prepare to dazzle others as you enter Middle-earth.

Choosing a Name

This can sometimes be the most difficult part of character creation for some people, a name and an appearance is what gives your character life. First, make sure that the appearance and other features are the way you desire. Then, take your character's name seriously and do your best to follow the examples given for the race. The only way to check whether a particular name is already claimed is to enter it and try. The game does offer the ability to change your username at anytime but there is a fee.

Monster Play

While Monster Play is not part of character creation it is worth to be mentioned now. Once one of your characters reaches level 10 you are able to enter Monster Play where you may choose to play with the forces of Army of Angmar ("creeps"). The following races / classes are available:
See Monster Play Character for details about each race and class for monster play.

Entering Middle-earth

The User Interface

You are now ready to enter Middle-earth. This might be a good moment to familiarize yourself with the User Interface.

Introduction Sequence

Once you create your character and enter Middle-earth you are put into a prologue sequence, an instance, that teaches you the very basics of movement, attacking, looting, and so forth. Each race will face a different sequence and storyline according to how they relate to the epic tale in LOTRO.

Introduction Quests

After the prologue a new character must complete a series of Epic Introduction Quests. These quests are very simple and generally they do not require any assistance.

Introduction Areas

The introduction quests take place in one of five separate areas. See starter area for more detailed information.

High Elves start in Dagorlad.
Dwarves and Elves begin in Thorin's Gate.
Hobbits and Men begin in Archet Dale.
Beornings begin in the Vales of Anduin then move to Archet Dale.
Stout-axes begin in Barad-dûr then move to Ered Luin and end up in Thorin's Gate.

Some intro areas become inaccessible after completing the final quest. Others while accessible will not be the same as they were in the intro area. So be sure you finish all the stuff you want in the intro area before moving on. The final quest will warn you that after completing the area will become inaccessible.

The Aftermath

Upon completing the Epic Introduction Quests a new character enters the lands of Middle-earth where the world awaits. Now you start the true adventures, you may meet up with others who have left the introduction areas, and you may be invited to a Kinship.

At this point, each race continues their epic quests in different regions, however a character is not stuck with that region if you decide to travel elsewhere. Eventually a new character is guided by quests to explore all of the other areas as well.

The beginning areas include:

Game Overview

So, your character made it through the introduction and now you're really excited about starting the real adventure. But, where to begin? Middle-earth is vast and there is so much that needs to be done! Well, do not worry about the big stuff yet, the character just started out and has to prove itself first.

Things a new character may want to check out and become familiar with:

Prologue Quests

To begin adventuring within any one of these areas your new character must start the Epic Prologue Quests by speaking with the person mentioned in the quest log from the Epic Introduction Quests that was just completed.
It is also wise to pick up interesting quest rings found in the current area. Happy adventuring!

Continued Character Overviews

We hope you have enjoyed our article to get you started. More about how your character works, including its stats, traits, weapons, and armor proficiencies is detailed in the Character article.

Continued Game Guides

  • Want to become a master of keyboard commands see Commands for more info.
  • Tired of walking? See the article Mounts for detailed information on acquiring a mount.
  • Want to customize your clothing and find something that fits your style see Cosmetics for info on the robust cosmetic item system.
  • The game is always evolving make sure you keep up to date on the patch notes.

Technical Information

Window's Client System Requirements

  • Revised System recommendations as of 9 October 2017
Minimum Recommended*
Processor: Core 2 Duo / AMD Athlon II or better Core i5 / AMD FX-8100 or better
Video: 512MB or more memory 1GB or more memory
DirectX: DirectX® 9.0c DirectX® 11
OS: Windows Vista Service Pack 2 Windows 7 64bit Service Pack 1 or newer
RAM: 2 GB 4 GB minimum
Disk Space: 20GB to 26GB for high resolution (+3 GB for international clients) 26GB for high resolution (+3 GB for international clients)
Internet: Broadband DSL/Cable Cable or better

Suggestions from our Technical support team

  • About Graphics cards
The recommendations in the post above mention memory suggestions for discrete graphics cards, but please be aware that we suggest you have a video card that at least falls into the Nvidia 7000 series or the ATI equivalent range. Card falling under those performance levels may not offer sufficient performance, despite meeting the stated onboard memory requirements.
Intel integrated chipsets are good basic graphics solutions, but not ideal for gaming. If you’re using an older Intel integrated video solution you may experience poor performance and low frame rates on even modest settings. If you are using a newer Intel chipset, and the game reports that you can use DirectX 10 or 11 modes, we recommend not enabling these. Doing so may cause some graphical elements to display oddly or not display at all.
  • Use a 64 bit OS
Although LOTRO is a 32bit application we strongly encourage players to use a 64 bit OS like Windows Vista or Windows 7 (Please note that Windows 8 and 8.1 are not officially supported). 32bit operating systems may encounter memory limitations when the game client is running and stability issues may result. This is especially true for those using the High definition installation which uses significantly larger amounts of graphics and system memory due to larger textures. Those who choose not to or cannot upgrade to a 64bit OS are encouraged to use the standard resolution client install to reduce memory usage and avoid the memory limits for applications on 32bit versions of Windows. (If you have already installed the High Resolution version, lowering “Texture Detail” in Options > ADV Graphics to medium or lower can also aid in avoiding this memory limitation and improving game stability and performance on 32bit systems.)
  • Unsupported Operating Systems

Currently LOTRO is not supported on the following operating systems or hardware:

Windows XP or earlier versions
Any beta or preview versions of Windows releases
Linux (See latest release in WineHQ AppDB for an unofficial option)
PlayStation, Wii, or XBox hardware

Mac Client System Requirements

Minimum Recommended*
Processor: Processor: 2.0 GHz Intel Core i5 Processor: 2.0 GHz Intel Core i7
Video: Intel HD Graphics 3000 or better NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 650M or better
OS: OSX 10.7.5 OSX 10.7.5
Memory: 2 GB 4 GB
Disk Space: 25 GB available 25 GB available
Internet: Broadband - DSL/Cable Broadband - DSL/Cable
Sound: Integrated Sound Integrated Sound
* Turbine has not posted any specs for the Mac Client on the LOTRO website. These specs are from the Steam information page on the Mac Client.
* Details on the Mac Client can be found here: Mac Client