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What are mobile MMORPGs?

This header image is bait. Only one of these games are an actual mobile MMORPG.
mobile mmorpg characters including lumine and crusader
Credit: MobileBytesGG

Mobile games are a great way to kill time, but they can also provide robust experiences that rival traditional games. MMORPGs are epic adventures that provide tons of content. Are mobile MMORPGs as good as traditional ones? Just what are mobile MMORPGs?

There are many genres of games out there. If you can dream it, there is probably a genre out there with many games for you. Platform and puzzle games have been popular for decades, and there’s no shortage of battle royale titles these days.

RPGs are another popular genre, and they share some letters with MMORPGs. They have to be related, right? Here’s what to know.

What does MMORPG stand for?

ni no kuni: cross worlds character staring at huge city
Credit: MobileBytesGG

To fully understand what mobile MMORPGs are, you first need to know what the initials stand for.

MMORPG stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. It is the evolution of the RPG genre, which is normally a single-player experience.

As you can tell, saying out the full genre is a mouthful, and why the abbreviation is so nice. That said, MMORPG isn’t short by any means, so often, people just refer to them as MMOs.

Because just think about it, a mobile MMORPG could technically be abbreviated to MMMORPG. Disgusting.

How are MMORPGs different from RPGs?

tower of fantasy mmo world
Credit: Hotta Studios

MMORPGs typically offer large worlds to explore and tons of quests, but, more importantly, it provides a community aspect with other players. RPGs are normally single-player games with epic storylines and characters.

MMORPGs focus more on group content like dungeons and raids that require multiple players to work together to accomplish a task. While there is single-player content, as well, it is normally there to level up your character for end-game group content.

It might be tempting to call something like Diablo Immortal and Diablo III an MMORPG, but those games are missing one of the main components of an MMO – a persistent online world with other players running around.

Are mobile MMORPGs the same thing as traditional MMOs?

project snow gameplay
Credit: Dragon Li Studios

So, now on to why you are really here. What are mobile MMORPGs, and are they different than “traditional” MMORPGs?

Honestly, mobile MMORPGs are often considered “lite” versions of traditional MMOs. But why is that? Well, it comes down to a couple main reasons.

Mobile MMORPGs are often easier

One of the defining factors of a mobile game is that controls have to be somewhat simplified for touchscreen controls.

Games like World of Warcraft require players to use tons of spells and attacks. PC gamers can use their whole keyboard for this. Mobile gamers are much more limited.

Because of this, the number of possible moves is reduced, or there is an auto element to fights.

Pathing option in mobile MMOs

ni no kuni screen showing mobile controls
Credit: MobileBytesGG

Mobile MMORPGs often offer pathing options that make it easier to navigate the large worlds. It’s very convenient, but it’s not perfect.

Auto-pathing options can take players out of the experience and make it a bit boring.

But that ultimately comes down to the player. Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds, for example, offers auto-pathing. But it is a beautiful game, so it gives you a chance to appreciate everything around you.

Mobile MMORPG features

tower of fantasy characters
Credit: Hotta Games

Each mobile MMORPG is different, but you’ll basically always find a couple of staple elements.

These include single-player content that is often more straightforward (and possibly even boring) and then end-game content that requires groups of real players to work together on.

Also, we can’t forget a staple of MMOs, an online world with other real players running around while you play. This really helps the world come to life and lets you flex your armor and skins to other players.

Additionally, mobile MMORPGs are typically real-time games and not turn-based. You typically still have gear, stats, and abilities, but gameplay is action-based.

Are mobile MMOs worth playing?

It can be a fun genre, but also one that is still really finding a place in the mobile gaming world.

While games like Genshin Impact aren’t technically an MMO (no real online community play), it does help show what the genre could become with options like Tower of Fantasy finally releasing.

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