Get started with our guide for LOTRO, part 1.

Are you interested in playing Lord of the Rings Online? Have you started playing it and are completely overwhelmed? New to MMOs? Fear not, this guide is here to help.

The file weighs in just under 7 Gigabytes. Downloading the client through requires you to install a download manager not associated with the game. Lots of players are reporting that it’s taken them 4-8 hours on a broadband connection to download the game.

Download the LOTRO Client for Mac or PC

Logging In

As you can see by the image below minus the character on the screen is the interface upon logging in. The “Buy points and Account Upgrades” is a newer section which was added when the game became free-to-play.

Choosing your server

After creating an account on and downloading the game, you are met with your first decision. Which server do I make my home? This depends of course on how many people you want around in the game world. Having more people is ideal when you need help. There is a greater chance someone will answer you.

It’s also much easier to form a fellowship, kinship and get the things you need via trading, especially if you have no intention of crafting. (Just be prepared to pay quite a bit of gold.) Also, the more people present at festivals, the more fun they usually are.

  • Fellowship: A group of players used to accomplish quests and trade.
  • Kinships: A unique Guild/Clan for LOTRO.

The downside to all this is that you’ll inevitably get more spammers and trollers. Not a big deal if you’re accustomed to it. However, having to wait around for monsters to re-spawn (especially if they’re for a slayer-deed), popular areas lagging, having to race against other players to get the ore you need or *shudder* having to wait in a queue to get in the game is more than some people can handle. Fortunately queuing is a very rare occasion usually only seen after a big update or perhaps the opening of a festival. If a highly populated server is still appealing, look for servers such as Brandywine, Dwarrowdelf or Imladris. If you’re looking for a more peaceful and relaxing adventure, consider servers such as Arkenstone, Crickhollow or Gladden.

Note: If your friends have already started playing LOTRO or might start playing, make sure to all be on the same server to be able to join up and form fellowships and/or kinships.

Creating your character


You have chosen a server. Excellent, now you need to create your character. There are 4 different races to choose from and 9 classes. Not every race is compatible with every class so it’s much easier to choose the class you prefer and then choose between the available races. However, if you absolutely HAVE to be an ELF or other race, jump to the Races section to see the corresponding classes.

  • Burglar

  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Role: Debuff enemies (make them deal less damage or make them easier to kill)
  • Best defining characteristic: Able to use stealth (become invisible)
  • Captain

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Role: Buff (enhance) allies, mark foes (aid whomever attacks your target)
  • Best defining characteristic: Herald companion
  • Champion

  • Difficulty: Basic
  • Role: Damage (melee) especially with multiple enemies
  • Best defining characteristic: Great for soloing
  • Guardian

  • Difficulty: Basic
  • Role: Draw enemies’ attention, take damage
  • Best defining characteristic: Great for adventuring in higher level areas
  • Hunter

  • Difficulty: Basic
  • Role: Damage (ranged) especially for a single enemy
  • Best defining characteristic: Able to port fellowship to major locations
  • Lore-master

  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Role: Crowd-control (make groups of enemies more vulnerable)
  • Best defining characteristic: Animal companion
  • Minstrel

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Role: Heal companions, revive companions
  • Best defining characteristic: Able to play any instrument while in battle
  • Rune-keeper LOCKED (795 TP)

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Role: Heal companions OR damage enemies (must decide between the two every battle)
  • Best defining characteristic: Visually appealing magical attacks
  • Warden LOCKED (795 TP)

  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Role: Draw enemies’ attention, take some damage AND deal some damage
  • Best defining characteristic: Able to use javelins

Note: Some locked classes might be unlocked for you if you bought a boxed version of LOTRO.


Alright so you’ve picked a class (or skipped ahead), now you must choose a race. Every race starts out with different attributes as well as specific Traits that can eventually be unlocked by accomplishing certain Deeds. Go to the appropriate sections for more information.

  • Man

  • Difficulty: Basic
  • Compatible Classes: Every class except Rune-keeper
  • Base Attributes: +15 fate, -7 will, increased morale regeneration, +15 might
  • Unlockable Traits:
  • – Uppercut: melee attack, chance of 3s Daze but 100% break chance (of the daze) on any damage after 1s
  • – Tactics and Might Bonus: +5% to Conjunction healing and damage
  • – Man Sword Damage Bonus: +2% to 1H and 2H Sword damage
  • – Man of the Fourth Age: +20 Will
  • – Return to Bree: Allows you to teleport back to Bree
  • – Duty-Bound: Adds a bonus to your fellowship’s Morale
  • – Balance of Man: + (4 X Level) to Evade, Parry, and Block
  • – Strength of Morale: Restores 2200 – 3000 Morale
  • – Virtuous Man: +1 Confidence, Justice, Patience
  • Dwarf

  • Difficulty: Basic
  • Compatible Classes: Champion, Guardian, Hunter, Minstrel and Rune-keeper
  • Base Attributes: +15 might, +10 vitality, +1% common mitigation, -7 agility
  • Unlockable Traits:
  • – Head-Butt: Grants a Melee attack 8-30 common damage
  • – Guile and Might Bonus: +5% damage to red and yellow Conjunctions
  • – Dwarf Axe Damage Bonus: +2% to 1H & 2H Axe damage
  • – Fateful Dwarf: +20 Fate
  • – Return to Thorin’s Gate: Enables you to teleport back to Thorin’s Gate
  • – Endurance of Stone: +75% Common, Shadow, and Fire mitigation for 10s
  • – Dwarf-Endurance: Adds a bonus to your fellowship’s Vitality
  • – Shield Brawler: + (8 X Level) Block rating
  • – Virtuous Dwarf: +1 Fidelity, Honesty, Loyalty
  • Elf

  • Difficulty: Basic
  • Compatible Classes: Every class except Captain and Burglar
  • Base Attributes: -20 maximum morale, -60 non-combat morale regeneration, + 15 agility, -7 fate, +1% disease resistance, +1% poison resistance
  • Unlockable Traits:
  • – Sylvan Shadows: Enables toggle Stealth ability, 30 min cooldown
  • – Tactics and Conviction Bonus: +5% to blue and green Conjunction skills
  • – Elf Bow Damage Bonus: +2% to Bow damage
  • – Friend of Man: +20 Fate
  • – Return to Rivendell: Enables you to teleport back to Rivendell
  • – Eldar’s Grace: +75% Parry chance for 10 seconds, 1hr cooldown
  • – Elf One-Handed Sword Damage Bonus: +2% to 1H Sword damage
  • – Power of the Eldar: Bonus to your fellowship’s Power
  • – Virtuous Elf: +1 Wisdom, Patience, Charity
  • Hobbit

  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Compatible Classes: Burglar, Guardian, Hunter, Minstrel and Warden
  • Base Attributes: -7 might, +15 vitality, +60 non-combat morale regeneration, +1% fear resistance, +1% shadow mitigation
  • Unlockable Traits:
  • – Stoop for a Stone: Enables Throw Stone, a short ranged attack, chance of 3s Daze but 100% break chance (of the daze) on any damage after 1s
  • – Guile and Conviction Bonus: +5% to Conjunction damage and healing
  • – Hobbit Club Damage Bonus: +2% to 1H & 2H Club damage
  • – Hobbit-Stature: +20 Might
  • – Return to Michel Delving: Enables you to teleport back to Michel Delving
  • – Hobbit-Resilience: Gives your fellowship a non-stacking Hope buff
  • – Hobbit-Stealth: Enables Stealth ability
  • – Hobbit-Silence: Enables Hobbit-silence feign death ability
  • – Virtuous Hobbit: +1 Empathy, Honesty, Idealism

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