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 adventures 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 vice versa.

Weekly World Restarts

It is always a good idea to be aware of server downtime. Weekly restarts support the health of the game environment and occur unless other downtime is planned. The weekly restarts typically last for about an hour, and take place starting on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. server time. Other restarts may occur, both announced and critical restarts.

Character Creation

Choosing a Race

The first step is choosing a race. The Free Peoples ("Freeps") races are:

High Elf
Race of Man
* Available from the LOTRO store or the LOTRO Starter Bundle.

Choosing a Class

Next step is choosing a class, they are:

* Available from the LOTRO Store or with the Fate of Gundabad expansion.
See Guide to Classes for an in depth look at each Class.

Race and Class Correlation

The table below displays which races support which classes, and vice versa. A help to figure out which race and class to choose as some combinations are not available. For example, one cannot play a Dwarven Burglar or a Hobbit Captain.

Beorning Dwarf Elf High Elf Hobbit Man River Hobbit Stout-axe

Choosing an Origin

Each race has a few regions from which a character comes from. Each region affects the character with slight changes in their appearance, most notably the hair and skin tones.

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

Choosing an Appearance

Another step is choosing what the character will look like. The best is to scroll through each option to become familiar with what each race has available. Later it is possible to change some appearance items at a Barber (i.e. hair style, colour, facial hair, etc). Let this take its time and prepare to dazzle others when entering 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 name at any time, but there is a fee.

Monster Play

While Monster Play is not part of character creation it is worth to be mentioned. Once a character reaches level 10 it becomes possible to enter Monster Play and choose to play with the forces of Army of Angmar, called Creeps. Select between:

See Monster Play Character for details about each race and class for monster play.

Entering Middle-earth

The User Interface

Now it is time to enter Middle-earth. This might be a good moment to have a look at the User Interface.

Introduction Sequence

A new character who enters Middle-earth is put into a prologue sequence, an instance, that teaches the very basics of movement, attacking, looting, and so forth. Each race will face a different sequence and story-line according to how they relate to the epic tale in LOTRO.

Introduction Quests

After the prologue a new character must complete a couple of Epic Introduction quests, and a handful of optional quests to gain level. These quests are quite easy and do not require any assistance. They take place in one of eight separate intro areas.

Race Intro Area Prologue Start Region
Beornings Vales of Anduin Archet Dale Bree-land
Dwarves Thorin's Gate Thorin's Gate Ered Luin
Elves Thorin's Gate Celondim Ered Luin
High Elves Dagorlad Celondim Ered Luin
Hobbits Archet Dale Little Delving The Shire
Men Archet Dale Archet Dale Bree-land
River Hobbits Lyndelby Mossward Swanfleet
Stout-axes Barad-dûr Thorin's Gate Ered Luin
all* Mossward Mossward Swanfleet

A few intro areas become inaccessible after completing the final quest. Others remain accessible but not in the same state as during the intro.
* Selecting the "Before the Shadow" introduction (requires Expansion Content: Before the Shadow) will place the new character in the Mossward introduction, regardless of their chosen race.

The Prologue

Upon completing the Epic Intro quests the new character enters the lands of Middle-earth, the big world. Now the true adventures begins, and the character may meet up with other characters, and it may be invited to a Kinship.

At this point, each race may continue their Epic Prologue quests in different regions (see table above). However, a character is not stuck with that region but may decide to travel elsewhere. Eventually a new character is guided by Epic and normal quests to explore all of the Middle-earth.

Game Overview

Once a new character has made it through the introduction the real adventures await. But, where to begin? Middle-earth is vast and there is so much that needs to be done! Well, let's wait with the big game for a while, the character just started out and has to prove itself first.

A new character may want to check out and become familiar with the following:

  • Stable-master - click on each and every stable-master encountered
  • Mailbox - send friends and alts items/silver/etc (also connected to Auction House)
  • Bank Vault - store items for later use (not essential in the beginning)
  • Auction House - buy and sell items here (limitations apply)
  • Master of Apprentices - choose a set of three crafting professions to make armour, weapons, food or other items, or simply to gather resources for selling at the Auction House

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 23 May 2021
Minimum Recommended
Operating System: Windows 7 (64bit recommended for high resolution) Windows 7 64bit Service Pack 1 or newer
Processor: Core 2 Duo / AMD Athlon II or better Core i7 / AMD FX-8100 or better
Memory: 2GB 4GB minimum
Graphics: GeForce 7XXX / ATI Radeon HD 3000 series with 512MB or more of dedicated video memory Nvidia Geforce 8XXX / AMD Radeon HD 6### series or newer with 1GB or more of dedicated video memory
Internet Connection: Cable/DSL or equivalent Cable or better
DirectX: DirectX 9.0c DirectX 11
Disk Space: 32GB for high resolution * (Allow for additional +3GB for international builds) 32GB for high resolution (Allow for additional +3GB for international builds)
* High resolution game data or "Hi-res Textures" are only recommended for 64bit versions of Windows

Additional Notes:

Please keep in mind that these are requirements we feel should allow you to run the game reliably at low to moderate settings. If you wish to experience the game at the highest settings, additional system memory and higher end graphics cards should be considered. If you are running below any of these requirements, you may encounter graphical issues or poor overall game play performance, which SSG may be unable to troubleshoot.

DVD Installs: All versions of the DVD based installation should not be used simply due to the age of the game version they install, it is recommended that the up to date installation download be used instead of any DVD disk based installation methods to avoid issues updating and connecting.

Why is DirectX 9.0c required when I have DirectX 10 or 11, or I already have 9 installed?

The game requires specific files relating to DirectX 9.0c that may not be included with later versions of DirectX, as each is a separate installation and has separate files. Additionally, the game may also require specific customized versions of DirectX files that may not be included with your version of DirectX, and as such it may require these customized files are also installed in order to function correctly.

DirectX information can be found at and DirectX can also be updated via the site here as well.

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

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

If you need additional assistance, please contact Standing Stone Games Technical Support.

Note: The above technical support notes and the system requirements were taken from the official SSG support article found here: SSG Support Article.