Gaming has been changing and shifting ever since its actual start in the 70s. With games having a bigger focus than ever on interacting with people now more than ever, MMOs are a genre that has seen a humongous sprout in growth overall. This is a peculiar genre of multiplayer games with a massive following and thousands of games. So what are MMOs and what does MMO stand for? What is the difference between MMO and MMORPG? What settings are the most famous in MMO? What types of games constitute as MMOs and what MMO games should you be looking out for? Let me explain!


MMO stands for Massively Multiplayer Online. Now, these games aren’t just another multiplayer genre of games where you party up with your squad and play. While they do have party features, MMOs feature a humongous amount of players on the same server, much larger than Battle Royales in quantity. Often hundreds and sometimes even thousands of people can be found in the same MMO servers! These games have interaction as the main focus, they create worlds to explore and dungeons to dwell, but they become these social hubs where you can meet new people and expand your horizons.


The main difference between an MMO and an MMORPG is quite simple: MMORPGs are sub-genre in the MMO genre overall. However, most people confuse them to be the same thing, as MMORPGs are the most popular sub-genre of MMOs out there. Unlike in MMOs, in MMORPGs, you choose an individual role that your character will play within the game’s world. So you usually design your character with skills and attributes that you would want to use within your playthrough of the game. These can be selecting your role out of many that the game provides you with. This is done by selecting which race out of many optional races, some based in the real world whereas some are fantastical (as is customary in most MMORPG games). And selecting the class which you want to play as, this class system defines how your gameplay works. There are ranged classes, spell-based classes and close-range damage classes.


MMOs can have any setting you could imagine, but the most common ones are; mainly fantasy worlds with a medieval-era setting, with lots of Castles, bustling cities, armies, sorcerers and beasts. Some of the best examples of the common Fantasy MMO are World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2 and Elder Scrolls Online. However more and more futuristic settings are becoming a norm in the genre. Some games are breaking boundaries in terms of the sheer scale of the world and the addition of fresh elements within these worlds. Star Citizen, Phantasy Star Online 2, Warframe and Destiny 2 are a few of these examples, Warframe being a game that has been alive since its 2013 release.


There are a couple of different sub-genres in the MMO genre as a whole. These are mainly games that feature large open worlds, with a ton of different players in the same server. MMO is a VAST genre, encapsulating almost every kind of game that is out there; from Sports and Racing to even Real-Time Strategy MMO. The genre wouldn’t be known as Massively Multiplayer Online without a proper reason!