MMO and MMORPG – What Is The Difference Between These Genres?

Written by Editor N4GM

Many gamers have come across MMORPG and MMO genres, but few have wondered what are the main differences and how to distinguish them from each other. Well, no worries, we’ll explain everything. And first of all, it is worth understanding MMORPG and MMO concepts.

So let’s go!

MMORPG vs. MMO features:

Well, MMO is an online multiplayer game presented for the masses. In the simplest terms, this is the game that any number of people play at the same time. Sometimes it turns out that there will be not a thousand rivals, but even a million.

If we consider such a thing as MMORPG, then this is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Many are sure that it is quite easy to learn MMORPG if you use a fantasy setting, but, as practice shows, this is not an easy-peasy task. If we consider such games, then in most of them events happen among such beasts as:

  • dragons;
  • orcs;
  • elves.

But quite often it happens that in such games the creators decide to send their players to discover new worlds in post-apocalyptic ruins or even on distant planets.


So what is the main difference between the genres?

The main distinction between an MMO and an MMORPG is that while all MMORPGs fall under the MMO genre, not all MMO games should definetely be MMORPGs.

In a nutshell, an MMORPG is an RPG, and an MMO can be absolutely anything: a strategy game, card games, or even a completely new interactive game that doesn’t fit into any existing genre.

This is a thin but significant line. You can truly fail, telling another player about the new MMORPG, if in the end it turns out that in fact it is a hardcore multiplayer strategy with a complex system of customization, but without a single RPG element.


How to understand that the game is MMORPG

How to understand that the game is MMORPG

RPG games take a lot from their analog forefathers. Players may design and personalize their characters, who are represented by a digital avatar. They have complete control over their look, race, and gender, as well as their career and talents. Players may enhance and grow their characters as the game continues, making them more distinctive and powerful.

In most modern RPGs, players have the ability to manage not just their characters but also the universe in which they reside. The acts of the characters have a direct impact on the evolution of history and the modification of the surrounding world. Players can accomplish this by simply following the tale and letting events happen, or by making their own decisions.

To support varied playstyles, the greatest RPGs allow players to solve challenges and move through the tale in a number of ways. As an example, consider an encounter with a guard at a door. The player can choose whether to use magic to distract the guard, trick him by pretending to be a famous beast, or draw his sword and strike. All these options lead to different consequences just like in meta universe. Or, of course, you can use boosts like sepulcher of the first ones heroic boost in Warcraft to defeat the Jailer and finish the raid effortlessly at Heroic difficulty.

Moreover, there are technical aspects to RPGs: quests, experience points, trophies, skills and battles. They are directly related to the basic mechanisms of character customization, player engagement and a rich storyline.

The key word when talking about RPGs is engagement. The more the player can change the game’s universe and characters, the better.

Good examples of the popular MMORPGs are World of Warcraft that we mentioned above, Guild Wars 2, The Elder Scrolls Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic and EVE Online.


Problems of the MMORPG genre

Problems of the MMORPG genre

The genre that was loved by many who caught the peak of its popularity in the middle of the 2000s is now living through not the best years. The gaming industry is changing and entails new trends that every day go further and further away from the basic ideas and principles of the MMORPG genre.

In early 2010, many of the games that had already become mastodons of their genre began to stagnate. Due to the peculiarities of the genre, the quantity and quality of innovations in them began to fall. The genre implies the interaction of people with each other and their joint adventures, but in 10 years people began to get bored with the usual formula of monotonous raids, instances, sieges and battlefields. People’s requests were increasingly drawn to fast, more focused gameplay, and the industry began to offer more options for such people (especially the MOBA genre that was gaining popularity).

Many have already begun to get bored with the long mechanics of preparing for the same raids, sieges and other mechanics. Boosting also added fuel to the fire, which was often a big grindwall which hides all the main content of the game.

Due to the fact that in games every day there was more and more content, a new problem slowly surfaced. By releasing new addons and raising the maximum level, the developers threw new players more and more information and mechanics. In order to join the stream of already experienced players and start mastering the content together, it was necessary to study the game, which even at release was not small. Many potential new players were put off by that big mountain that had to be climbed just to get the things they wanted at the top.

In a word, the problem is that new players almost never come, and it becomes more and more difficult to keep old players with already boring mechanics every day.

However, RPG games have a huge community of loyal players and true fans to this day.


Wrap up

We hope you now know how to distinguish between MMO and MMORPG games, and how to understand that you are playing an MMORPG. Good luck in mastering new challenges!

About the author

Editor N4GM

He is the Chief Editor of n4gm. His passion is SEO, Online Marketing, and blogging. Sachin Sharma has been the lead Tech, Entertainment, and general news writer at N4GM since 2019. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online technicality flows the expert industry coverage he provides. In addition to writing for Technical issues, Sachin also provides content on Entertainment, Celebs, Healthcare and Travel etc... in

Leave a Comment