VIP, Premium or Free to Play?

One of the important things to realise about LOTRO is that there are 3 different types of player account:
  • Free-to-play: Players who have never spent real money on the game
  • Premium: Players who have spent real money but are not currently monthly subscribers
  • VIP: Monthly subscribers.
There is a good explanation of the different types of account and the benefits of each here at the LOTRO-Wiki 

Free to Play

You can play the entire game without spending a penny... but be aware that it will take time, and lots of it.  You gain TP by completing deeds at a rate of between 5-15TP/deed.  When you consider that the first quest pack you need (Evendim) costs 595TP you can see that you'll need to complete a lot of deeds to unlock each new area (and you might need to play through earlier areas again on a second character to get enough points to unlock later areas).

It is entirely possible to unlock the entire game without paying a penny but if you want to progress a little faster then premium may be the way forward.


Note: Prices accurate as at 1 December 14

You upgrade to Premium by purchasing Turbine Points / Expansion Packs with real money. You can buy game-time cards at several high-street stores or you can buy them online from the LOTRO Market.

Upgrading to Premium instantly grants you 1 extra character slot per server, 5 auction house slots and raises the gold cap to 5G (in addition to whatever you choose to buy)

The cheapest purchase you can make is to buy Samwise Gamgee's Starter Pack for £3.74 (4.49 Euro, 4.99 USD). This gets you a horse, the riding skill (saving 95TP per character), an extra bag and complete removal of the currency cap for every character you ever make (saving 395TP).  

My second recommendation is the Mithril Pack which can be purchased from various online retailers (e.g Amazon) for about £18. This is a physical game (i.e. you get a box & discs) and gives you:
  • A horse available on all characters at lvl 5
  • 2,000 TP
  • Path of the Fellowship (Trollshaws, Eregion, Mines of Moria, Lothlorien)
The quest packs aren't necessarily my favourites to play but they cover a reasonable level range and the 2,000 TP will be plenty to buy Evendim & Isengard (assuming you earn a few TP from playing) so this will get you most of the way to 60 (I'd recommend subscribing as VIP from 40-50 as described below)[This is now very hard to find and since Turbine lowered their prices you'd do better to buy one of the other options I suggest]

Another good option is the Expansion Quad Pack for £14.99 (digital download, 17.99 Euro, 19.99 USD) which unlocks Moria, Mirkwood, Isengard and Rohan. Not only does this give you access to those 4 expansions (6,180TP worth) it also unlocks the Warden & Runekeeper classes (1,300TP worth) and gives you two extra character slots (1,190TP worth).  You will need to earn enough TP to unlock Evendim and I'd recommend subscribing as VIP from 40-50 as described below and then this this will get you ready for Rohan.

1 Month of VIP?

I suggest starting off with a free account and saving TP to buy Evendim then buying a 1-month VIP subscription when you hit lvl 40. This will give you permanent removal of the gold cap, access to all trait slots, 5 bags and access to all swift-travel you have already unlocked.  The reason I suggest subscribing at lvl 40 is that you will ideally want to use at least 2, probably 3 different quest packs between 40 & 50 and that can get very expensive in terms of TP.  The 500TP you get per month of subscription will also help you towards buying the expansion packs.

When you go VIP decide if you want to have any alts (i.e. extra characters that you play from time to time) and if you do then make sure you log into each of them during your month of subscription to get the permanent unlocks.


Players can choose to become VIPs by paying a monthly subscription, this unlocks all the features of the game immediately (i.e. access to all quest areas etc). If a player ceases their VIP subscription they drop down to a Premium account. VIP players still need to buy the expansion packs (either with TP or real money, I suggest saving your TP!)

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