MMORPGs are right up there as one of the most popular genres on mobile, and it’s easy to see why. The genre is pretty much defined by grind, and mobile has made this a lot more palatable thanks to the ability to take your gaming device everywhere, whether it’s the toilet or an important work meeting.
Having said that, this has resulted in some controversial mechanics, like autoplay, offline modes, and heavy pay to win – the latter of which can mitigate the grind completely for those with heavy purse strings. Still, it remains an intensely popular genre, and there are games that tend to avoid the worst of the mobile practices.
We’re going to highlight a range of our favourite options in this guide, including free to play friendly options, the best autoplay MMORPGs, and more. No matter your tastes, you’ll find something to enjoy here.
Best MMORPGs on Android 2020
For our money, it just doesn’t get any better than Old School RuneScape. This grind-heavy experience features none of the more nefarious mechanics like autoplay, offline play, or pay to win, and has almost too much content if anything.
As a result, it can feel overwhelming to the newcomer, who won’t quite know where to begin. Quite quickly, you’ll realise that it really doesn’t matter. There isn’t a right way to play RuneScape, and you’ll have the most fun by just dedicating yourself to whatever you feel like in that moment.
You can grind monsters, craft gear, cook, fish, parkour, mine, decorate your home – the possibilities are endless, and the grind to achieve all of it is deliciously addictive stuff.
Old School RuneScape features a free to play mode, which is pretty barebones but does have it’s own hardcore community. You’ll likely want to get the membership fairly quickly though, as it opens up a lot of content, including new skills, quests, areas, and equipment. You also get regular RuneScape’s membership in a single purchase, too.
Regular RuneScape has just arrived on Android, and it offers an alternative to those who can’t get on with Old School RuneScape. Though it’s pretty sacrilegious to say it, many are put off by the old school visuals and grind-heavy gameplay. There’s no shame in that. If that’s you, you might as well play OSRS’s prettier brother, RuneScape Mobile.
It’s still a darn good MMORPG in its own right. Complaints are mainly levied at its micro-transactions, which have grown increasingly ridiculous over the years, and the ease of levelling, which has resulted in a lot of high level players with nothing left to do. RuneScape excels in the mid-game, which is where most players find themselves in Old School RuneScape.
Having said that, the two games do share an awful lot of content and RuneScape Mobile provides a great jumping off point. If you’re intimidated by Old School RuneScape, or just plain don’t like it, check out RuneScape Mobile.
Villagers & Heroes is a solid alternative to RuneScape, for those that don’t really like either of them. It’s got an odd art style that’s like a cross between Fable and World of Warcraft and a world that’s reminiscent of Divinity: Original Sin’s crazier moments, but there’s a lot to like here.
Combat is fun, there’s a lot of character customisation options, and you can dedicate yourself to lots of non-combat skills just like you can in RuneScape. The community isn’t enormous, but you’ll rarely find yourself alone, and you can play across PC and mobile.
The only caveat is that we’ve received reports that the optional subscription is a little on the expensive side. We’re not entirely sure what it offers, so you’re better off reaching out to the community to see if it’s worth it.
Adventure Quest 3D is slowly growing into a powerhouse all of its own. It feels like it’s been in beta forever, and it likely will be for some time. That’s not due to lack of effort on the dev’s part though, as new content arrives on a near weekly basis.
There are tons of quests to complete, areas to explore, and gear sets to grind, and you can enjoy the entire experience entirely for free. There is an optional membership and cosmetics to purchase, but none of it is by any means essential. If you really don’t want to spend a penny, Adventure Quest 3D is the friendliest option out there.
The developers run regular events too, which are often genuinely a lot of fun. These include the Battle Concert events, in which real life bands play a set in-game for a period of time, and holiday events that feature awesome cosmetic items to unlock.
If Adventure Quest 3D doesn’t do it for you, Toram Online is a solid alternative. It’s also one of the most customisable out there, with loads of cosmetic options, and you’re never locked into a specific class. Just like with Monster Hunter, you can swap your fighting style at any point.
In fact, it borrows a lot from Monster Hunter, with you summoning your friends to help you head out into the world to slay monsters. There’s a huge world to explore, and a storyline to beat for those that like that sort of thing.
Given that there’s no PvP, there’s no real pay to win on offer in Toram Online. There are optional purchases that make the game easier, or speed up progress, but who are you really competing with?
If pay to win doesn’t put you off, or you actually like it, it doesn’t get much better than Lineage 2: Revolution. It’s basically the ultimate mobile MMORPG, with a strong reliance on autoplay, lots of pay to win, and offline modes so you can continue the grind even when you can’t actively play.
There’s an awful lot to do in Lineage 2 as well, even if you rarely feel like you’re actually doing anything. There’s a story campaign, a wealth of dungeons to battle through, and large-scale PvP warfare to be had, alongside an intimate arena. If anything, there’s too much to do in Lineage 2 Revolution.
The pay to win is strong in this one though, as you can drastically increase your power and the speed at which you progress with a single swipe of your credit card. That being said, unless you really care about topping the PvP leaderboards, you can have plenty of fun in this one without spending a buck.
We weren’t huge fans of Black Desert Mobile at review, as there’s a strong sense it just cant’ really get the basics right. It’s ugly, runs like a horse with a broken leg, and has all of the aspects we don’t like in mobile MMORPGs. However, you might be able to forgive it its shortcomings and embrace the aspects we don’t like.
It seems that a lot of you have already, as Black Desert Mobile remains a fiercely popular entry in the genre following its launch. We want to be inclusive of lots of different tastes on mobile, so we’re including this as the alternative to Lineage 2 Revolution.
It’s a fairly similar experience generally, though there are key differences. Black Desert Mobile’s combat system, for example, is the best in the business – especially on mobile – and there’s deep crafting and non-combat skill systems in play for those that don’t fancy hitting monsters with massive swords.
The Best of the Rest
Not all of them can be winners. While the games beneath aren’t what we consider to be the best on mobile, we’re including a few below that didn’t quite make the cut. If nothing above appeals, perhaps there’s something beneath that might do it for you instead.
AxE is basically a complete clone of Lineage 2: Revolution. It’s a decent effort, but you might as well play the game that inspired it, which has a much bigger community.
Rangers of Oblivion is definitely worth a look-in. It’s the best Monster Hunter you’ll find on mobile, with a wide variety of armour and weapons to craft, monsters to slay, and quests to complete.
Perfect World Mobile might well be the best looking game on mobile, but that’s all it really has going for it. It’s the usual generic autoplay MMORPG with pay to win in heaps and a nonsensical story.
World of Kings is the closest you’ll get to World of Warcraft on mobile. Autoplay does feature, though only while questing. Whenever you participate in group content, you actually have to play the game yourself.
Era of Legends is a solid alternative to World of Kings, offering near identical gameplay but less generic classes and races. There’s far less customisation on offer though, so all classes end up looking identical to each other.
Order & Chaos 2 is in maintenance mode at this point, and is no longer in active development at Gameloft. It’s a shame, as the barebones structure of the game is solid enough – even if it never ended up being quite as good as its predecessor.
Dawn of Isles has a passionate and hardcore community that’s dedicated to its own brand of mobile MMORPG. There’s crafting, town building, and a unique combat system that allows you to blend elemental attacks together to create all new abilities.
Ragnarok M does a fairly decent job of updating the classic Ragnarok experience for mobile with some fancy new visuals. It’s just a bit dull, overall, and features many of the genre’s worst tropes.
MapleStory M did a much better job of updating a classic PC MMORPG for mobile than Ragnarok M. It’s basically the experience you know and love but with some mobile-friendly options bolted on, like autoplay. Lots and lots of autoplay.
Celtic Heroes ruled the MMORPG roost on mobile for years, but it’s starting to show its age at this point. It’s still in active development, though that’s slowed in recent years as the developers have moved onto working on Warhammer Odyssey.
Tales of Wind is cut from the same cloth as Lineage 2: Revolution and AxE though with decent anime visuals and is a lot more friendly overall. We particularly appreciate how it’s so easy to find something to do every day without feeling overwhelmed.