The best MMORPG games and massive multiplayer games you can play in 2020 without spending a single dime, penny, or cent
What is the best free MMO? Making such a decision is no mean feat. Free-to-play games are increasingly common, meaning the F2P MMO crowd now have a lot more options than they used to. Even if your wallet is gathering cobwebs and your bank account is best friends with the number zero, there is a quality game on the PC to enjoy.
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What’s more, from online war zones to behemoth free MMORPGs, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Free games are no longer just the domain of MOBAs and Runescape; there are shooters to rival the likes of Overwatch, space games as shiny as Elite, and Warcraft-grade MMOs that don’t demand a subscription.
Aside from completely free to play games, we have also included some MMOs with lengthy free trials – games where there is plenty to enjoy without spending a penny. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the best online games you can play without breaking the bank.
The best free MMOs are:
Raid: Shadow Legends
Raid: Shadow Legends offers a more strategic, management-focused take on the genre, as its gameplay largely revolves around collecting heroes and optimising your squad. The turn-based combat encourages clever and calculated play, which will test the skills of both newcomers and more experienced players.
Raid also allows for online battles too. You can team up with other players and take on challenging missions or fight against a rival player’s AI-controlled squad. Both of which lead to high-quality rewards that can be used to further develop and improve your team.
Play Raid: Shadow Legends for free
WORLD OF WARSHIPS
World of Warships switches out the twitch shooter elements of World of Tanks for a slowed-down and much more tactical style of play. Warships are leviathans: they crawl and creep across the map, and each one possesses enough power in a single barrage to wipe out anything else.
The change of pace makes for action that is more calculated and nerve-wracking. It can take a long time for shots to meet their targets, which means that every moment is spent trying to avoid incoming fire or anticipating where your foe will have moved to. World of Warships is also more cinematic than its on-tracks sibling thanks to the sheer scale its warfare is conducted on. Oh, and it has got some lovely sunsets too, if that is what you want from a free-to-play war game.
With regular updates adding everything from Halloween cosmetics to Pan-Asian Destroyers to World of Warships, it’s not an MMO that will get stale any time soon.
Play World of Warships for free
Genshin Impact offers a lot of everything. An open-world RPGwith some of the least intrusive free-to-play mechanics going. After you’ve chomped through the main story, you’re ready to get into the real game, which is exploring the vast, pristine world of Teyvat. Wherever you go there’s more to do, rewards to earn, and puzzles to solve.
While there’s no multiplayer PvP in Genshin Impact, you can play through the enormous open world with up to three friends in co-op, whether you just want to relax and unwind by a lake, or slay your way through a few dungeons. There’s cross-play, too, so it doesn’t matter if your friends aren’t playing on PC.
Play Genshin Impact for free
WORLD OF TANKS
There are over 400 tanks in World of Tanks, and if you revisit this page in the next hour that number will likely have grown. Essentially, if you are a fan of military hardware, you are a fan of World of Tanks. Unlike War Thunder however, World of Tanks does not ask you to pour hours of research into learning the armour ratings and layout of every vehicle in the game; instead, World of Tanks takes a more arcade approach.
That is not to say there is a lack of sophistication, but rather that the core of the game has always been its fast-paced, arcade action. Like Call of Duty, World of Tanks is easy to learn, but impossible to master. Clashes are won by fine margins and lightning-quick reflexes, while a compelling XP system and tech tree keep players coming back for more. Perhaps it’s not very realistic, but its speed and intensity make it one of the best tank games to play.
Play World of Tanks for free
GUILD WARS 2
With a storyline that reacts to the player’s actions, Guild Wars 2’s narrative is unique by MMORPG standards. Instead of traditional quests, players encounter dynamic events that pop up around the game world. Likewise, there are multiple paths to completion for each of these encounters, and intentional or not, your actions in Guild Wars 2 will have consequences.
For example, defending a town from a group of rampaging ogres might cause them to return with deadlier weapons or seek out refuge in a nearby cave – you will have to deal with the fallout of these events, whether that means repelling a stronger attack or hunting down and killing the remaining ogres. The result is a free MMO with the questing diversity of one of thebest RPGsof all time: what’s not to love?
Play Guild Wars 2 for free
Planes, tanks, and ships battling it out for ever and ever and ever. That is the ultimate goal of War Thunder. It is a F2P title that specialises in vehicular warfare, with three similar but largely separate games under its title: Ground Forces, Aviation, and Naval Battles.
War Thunder’s frankly ridiculous number of vehicles all manage to stay unique thanks to the game’s realistic damage model, which simulates almost every single aspect of ballistics, from shell type and speed to the thickness and angle of the armour it is hitting. Every single shot is calculated, meaning that real-life tactics like staying hull down or angling your armour to deflect shells are essential skills to master in War Thunder. That realism means it can be a little tricky to get started, so be sure to read our pilot’s manual, AKA the War Thunder beginner’s guide.
Play War Thunder for free
BLADE & SOUL
Blade & Soul is a Korean fantasy martial arts MMORPG. And, if that’s not enough to pique your interest, frankly, we don’t know what will. Perhaps the game’s intricately designed world – inspired by the visual style of artist Hyung Tae Kim – and four unique races and ten compelling classes will sway you.
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Whether you choose to play as the mighty Gon, the versatile Jin, master of the natural world, Yun, the mystical Lyn, or any of the many other roles, doing battle using the fast, high-octane combat system is always a joy. Rapid counters and combo chains are essential, whether you team up with friends to tackle a wide range of dungeons or you want to do your virtual scrapping in PvP. And since it’s free, you can get started right now with help from ourBlade & Soul guide, no cash required.
Play Blade & Soul for free
Star Conflict dumps players in the role of an elite space pilot on a quest to track down and fight for alien treasures scattered throughout its expansive sandbox. Essentially, the game’s progression is all about acquiring a bigger and bigger collection of ships, from agile fighters to floating behemoths, before finally handing you control of your own fleet.
PvE quests and raids see you and your friends facing off against squadrons of aliens or space pirates, while PvP is a looming threat wherever you venture. An impressive tech tree and catalogue of ships means there’s always reason to keep playing, as you’re never far off a new weapon type or ship module. Thanks to Star Conflict Oculus Rift support, this is also one of only free MMOs you can play in VR.
Play Star Conflict for free
Rifts, as you might expect, are what makes Rift one of the most lively and exciting free MMOs on PC. These titular portals open up unpredictably across the world, spawning in hordes of enemies or gigantic bosses and forcing every player in the area to band together in order to repel the demonic attacks.
Of course Rift is not just a multiplayer adaptation of whack-a-mole. It boasts one of the most flexible class systems in the genre, allowing players to create a variety of builds. From the very specific to the Jack-of-all-trades: every style of play is catered for.
Play Rift for free
Blankos Block Party is essentially a giant party thrown by a colourful cast of collectible vinyl figurines. There’s a central hub, known as the ‘Junction’, where players can go on quests and unlock items for their Blankos – or you can venture into a user-generated party game with your pals.
The tools on offer allow you to create all manner of games, and because it’s free-to-play, you can invite everyone you know to test out your ideas. New content will arrive regularly with each new season, locking out older content – meaning all the Blankos and items you can get are essentially limited editions, and the player-owned economy will allow you to trade your valuable acquisitions.
Play Blankos Block Party for free
As varied as it is satisfying, Crossout is a post-apocalyptic MMO action game from Targem Games that gives you the chance to scavenge and craft the materials to build more fearsome vehicles of battle beyond the imagination of any ten-year-old. What more could you possibly want from youronlinemultiplayer games.
In what is essentially a free-to-play Mad Max: The Game, you customise a unique and wide range of vehicles with dozens of bespoke parts and use them to destroy your enemies in high-octane, action-packed skirmishes. You can play in both PvE and PvP modes, even fighting against player-created bosses.
You also have plenty of weapons at your disposal: rocket launchers and machine guns favour the most offensive and in-your-face players, whilst stealth generators and drones give you a greater choice in your approach. All your explosive efforts go toward your choice of five factions, too, earning you new blueprints, missions, parts and, storage space. Shooting and building things has never been so lucrative. It can be a little tricky at first, so make sure you read our Crossout beginner’s guide.
Play Crossout for free
Finally, an MMO for sailing aficionados! No, not the sweater-tied-around-neck, regatta and finger sandwich type of sailing. Instead, ArcheAge’s world is full of rum-drinking, Kraken-fearing pirates who traverse the enormous oceanic map completing sidequests and hoarding loot. Of course this also makes Archeage one of the best pirate games on PC.
Unlike most MMOs, there’s actually stuff to do at sea. And in the air, too – if you’re feeling a little seasick the game also has dragon mounts, reared by players to become fearsome sky-conquering beasts. ArcheAge is free to play with an optional subscription, but there’s also ArcheAge: Unchained, a separate but identical game that gives you access to all gated content for a one time fee.
Play ArcheAge for free
STAR TREK ONLINE
Character creation tools in MMOs let you shape everything from your avatar’s jawline and eyelash length to the exact density of their chest hair, but even they have got nothing on the options available inStar Trek Online. Tired of playing as a human? Great, here you can be a Gorn, Rigellian, Romulan, Klingon, or any other of the 30 race variations available.
Questing and progressing in Star Trek Online plays out like episodes from the TV series: one moment you are wandering through space, the next you are having to do deals with, or shoot lasers at, one of the many franchise belligerents. Be it in spaceship battles or on the ground where gameplay takes the form of a third-person shooter, Star Trek Online does a brilliant job of bringing the storylines and tone of the TV shows into an F2P MMO. It even gets updated regularly like a TV show, withexpansions like Victory is Lifeadding the crew from Deep Space Nine to the game.
Play Star Trek Online for free
The name and setting ofNeverwinterhas a long and storied history online, beginning in 1991 with the first graphical MMORPG, before revolutionising the realm of player-made modules under the stewardship of BioWare with Neverwinter Nights. The rather more modern Neverwinter pulls from both – setting groups of D&D characters loose in the famous city, while allowing players to write their own stories, with additions likeRavenloft charactersbeing added to the game. There are some inventive community adventures on offer if you’re willing to dig.
Not that you will have to reach for those if you do not want to – expansions have taken Neverwinter players to some of the most beloved corners of the Forgotten Realms, including the Underdark and Icewind Dale. Plus, there’s also theBaldur’s Gate 3 release dateto look forward to for more from this glorious world.