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Character Topics: Getting Started, Character Stats, Races, Classes, Skills, Traits, Cosmetic
This page is about Traits for Freeps. For Traits for Creeps, see Trait (Monster Play)


One of the main ways to grow your character's capabilities in the game is by earning Traits. Each Trait may award a new skill, or it may give offensive or defensive bonuses, which may be active or passive in nature. In general, traits are earned by completing Deeds, Quests, or simply by leveling up. However, in order to gain the benefits of a Trait you have earned, you must first "equip it" (or "slot it"). This is done by using the Trait Tree Panel, which can be opened using the 'j' key, starting at Level 6. There are three categories of Traits:

  • Class Traits are associated with your character's class. These traits are highly specialized for each class; a character of a different class will have an entirely different set of Class Traits available.
  • Racial Traits are associated with your character's race. A player's choice of race for a character is often primarily based on the Racial Traits available for that race.
  • Virtue Traits are available to all characters, regardless of race or class. The potency of Virtue Traits may be gradually improved by increasing their tier. Virtue Traits also provide passive bonuses even without being equipped.

Equipping Traits

Although your character can earn up to 21 different Virtue Traits, 9 Racial Traits, and a multitude of Class Traits, you may only equip a limited number of traits at one time. You can change your equipped Traits at any time, except when you are in combat. (In the past, a visit to a Bard was required, but that is no longer the case.) Changes are made simply by using your Trait Tree Panel, thereby allowing your choices to be fine-tuned to situations. There is no limit to the number of times you may change your equipped traits.

Class Traits are equipped by selecting them in the Trait Tree. As you earn more Class Trait Points, you will be able to equip more Class Traits.

Racial and Virtue Traits are equipped by dragging them to an open slot. As your character gains levels, more slots will automatically open up one at a time, per the levels in the table below.

Levels at which new Virtue and Racial Slots become available:

Slot 1 Slot 2 Slot 3 Slot 4 Slot 5
Virtue: 7 9 11 17 23
Race: 13 19 25 31 37

Saving configurations

All of your Trait choices together can be saved for later use, using Trait Configurations. This feature allows you to quickly switch all of your Trait choices with a single click.

  • Trait Configurations are accessed using the numbered tabs on the right side of the Trait Tree Panel. All characters are able to use two Trait Configurations; up to five additional "saves" may be purchased for 100 Mithril Coin , up to a total of seven. Note that each purchase is just for a single character.
  • There is a 30-second cooldown after activating a Trait Configuration, before a new one may be activated.
  • Trait Configurations cannot be assigned to a Quickslot or selected with a hotkey; they must be activated by opening the Trait Tree Panel and clicking the numbered tab.
  • The game will maintain a separate Quickslot configuration for each Trait Configuration.

Class Traits

Traits as seen by a new F2P player

In the Trait Tree Panel, clicking on the first tab (the "banner" or "shield" icon), on the left side of the window, will expose the Class Traits panel.

This panel contains the Trait Tree, which is a diagram showing all available Class Traits and the order in which they may be earned. Class Traits are selected in the Trait Tree by spending Class Trait Points, which are awarded by Deeds, Quests, and character levels.

You will not be able to access the Trait Tree before reaching Level 6. At Level 6, you will receive an Alert indicating "Specialization Needed". You may then open the Trait Tree Panel and select a Specialization. (The image at the right is the Trait Tree window as seen by a new F2P or Premium player.) There are three choices for each class; each with different bonuses, capabilities, strengths and weaknesses.

After selecting a specialization, the Trait Tree for your class will be shown. However, you will be unable to select any Class Traits in the tree, because you have not yet earned any Class Trait Points.

For more information about the Specializations and Class Traits available to each class, please see the class-specific page:



Each class has a choice of three different Specializations (a.k.a. "Trait Lines"), each with an associated color and colloquially called "Blue line", "Red line", and "Yellow line". Along with the color, the description for each Specialization gives a clue about the role or playstyle typically associated with the Specialization. However, deviations from these norms are commonplace. Players often select Class Traits from multiple Trait Lines to get some of the advantages from multiple Specializations. At high levels, characters usually have more Class Trait Points than can be spent in any individual Trait Line.

Each specialization offers a set of initial "perks" (bonuses and skills) for your character, which you receive immediately after selecting it.

In addition, each specialization has seven Set Bonuses which are earned automatically by selecting Class Traits in the tree. (However these may need to be "unlocked"; see below.)

You may choose a new Specialization at any time by clicking the "Re-Specialize" button at the bottom of the window and paying a nominal fee in gold. All Class Trait Points will be refunded, and you can reallocate them as desired.

Trait Tree

Trait tree as seen by a high-level character

After you earn Class Trait Points (see below) and select a Specialization (see above), you can spend the points in the Trait Tree to acquire Class Traits. Some Class Traits have more than one Rank. More points must be spent to achieve higher ranks for these.

The Trait Tree has three sections (blue, red, yellow), corresponding to the three Specializations. You are not restricted to choosing Traits in your area of Specialization; however, choosing Traits in another area costs more points per rank:

  • Class Traits in your area of specialization cost 1 point per rank.
  • Class Traits outside your area of specialization cost 2 points per rank.

As you gain Class Traits starting at the top of the tree, additional tiers of the tree will become available:

  • In each area of Specialization, you must earn 5 ranks in any given tier before the next tier opens up.

To save the changes, click the "Apply" button at the bottom. Bonuses and skills will not be applied to your character until you have done this.

To advance the rank of a Class Trait, left-click with the mouse. To remove a rank you have added but not yet saved, you may right-click.

Set Bonuses

Depending on your Specialization, you are able to earn 7 bonus Traits, called Class Trait Set Bonuses. Each time you earn a total of 5 ranks of Class Traits, the next Set Bonus will be awarded. A total of 35 ranks are required to unlock all 7 Set Bonuses. Ranks do not need to be in your area of Specialization to count towards Set Bonuses; however (as mentioned above), ranks within your area cost fewer points. For F2P and Premium characters, each Set Bonus tier must be unlocked with a purchase from the LOTRO Store (Character > Character Upgrades > Trait Slots > Class Trait Set Unlock, 95 LOTRO Point ).

  • Note that this is per character, not per account!
  • Each purchase unlocks one tier of Set Bonuses for all Specializations of that character. So in order to unlock all Set Bonus tiers for a single character, 7 purchases must be made.
  • Free to play or Premium characters who purchased Class Trait unlocks or Legendary Class Trait unlocks prior to the Helm's Deep update will find that each unlock purchased is converted to an unlocked Set Bonus tier in the new Trait Tree system.

For VIP (subscription) players, no purchase is necessary.

Class Trait Points

Main article: Class Trait Point

To buy Class Traits in the Trait Tree, you must spend Class Trait Points. These may be earned by completing Deeds or Quests or by leveling up.

Once spent, Class Trait Points are not lost forever.

  • You may get the points refunded by clicking the "Re-Specialize" button at the bottom of the window and paying a nominal fee in gold.
  • You may create an additional Trait Configuration (see above). Each configuration allows you to spend all of the Class Trait Points you have earned.

Racial Traits

Race Traits as seen by a new F2P player

In the Trait Tree Panel, clicking on the second tab (the "circled portrait"), on the left side of the window, will expose the Racial Traits panel.

Racial Traits are unique to each race. Most require you to defeat a specified number of certain mob type. The first slot opens up at level 13, which is also when you can begin working toward your first Racial Trait. Most Racial Traits will provide your character with a special skill or fast travel ability (e.g., Return to Rivendell).

  • You can slot a maximum of 5 out of 9 Racial Traits.
    • VIP players have all racial slots unlocked. When no longer VIP, your characters retain all these slots.
    • Premium and F2P players have 2 unlocked, but can purchase additional slots in the LOTRO Store.
  • Simply drag the completed trait to an open slot on the Race Traits page of the Trait Tree Panel.
  • Mousing over the individual Traits will display a tool-tip describing the benefits of that Trait.
  • The deed corresponding to each trait will appear in your Deed Log on the "Class/Race/Epic" page, on the "Race & Social" tab. (Note however, that the deeds will not appear in your Deed Log until they are "bestowed" by accomplishing the "first step" -- typically killing a Mob of some type, a Goblin, Orc or Worm, for example.)

To learn more about individual Racial Traits (including how to earn them), please see the race-specific page:

BeorningDwarfElfHobbitManHigh ElfStout-axe

Virtue Traits

Virtue Traits as seen by a high-level player

Main article: Virtues

In the Trait Tree Panel, clicking on the third tab (the "eagle head"), on the left side of the window, will expose the Virtue Traits panel.

Virtues give enhancements to all races and classes that improve the character's combat abilities (e.g., increase to power regeneration, or increase chance to evade damage). Virtues are acquired and improved by completing Deeds and some repeatable quests.

Virtues can give you a significant advantage. Your "valuation" of different virtues will change as you progress through your career. Things like resistances and seemingly "weak" gains can mean the difference between success and failure in many encounters. As such, you will wish to collect as many of them as you are able to give you the widest range of options.