Mu Online is a 3D fantasy hack-n-slash MMORPG that was inspired by older action RPGs like Diablo and Planescape: Torment. The game features a top-down isometric camera similar to Diablo.
PvP: Duels / Open World
Release Date: October 6, 2003 (NA/EU)
Pros: +Fun Diablo-style gameplay. +Over 12 years of content updates. +Very high level cap (400+).
Cons: -Zero character customization. -Only three starting classes. -Repetitive grindy gameplay. -Few quests. -No auction house.
Mu Online Overview
Mu Online is an older pay-to-play game that has gone free-to-play. Despite being released in 2003, it still boasts a surprisingly large and active playerbase. With graphics and gameplay reminiscent of Diablo, it should feel familiar to anyone with experience playing dungeon crawler games. There are a total of seven classes, with two having to be unlocked and two having to be bought from the cash shop.
Mu Online Key Features:
- Tons of Content – with over twelve years of updates under its belt, Mu Online has lots of different content available for players.
- Grind Away – with the level cap above 400, there's much to do. You'll find yourself with a long list of things to do all the time.
- Gimme Loot – crawl through dungeons and loot it up to find the best gear for your character.
- Open World PvP – face-off with the rest of the world and fend yourself from attacks, or initiate the attack on others yourself. (There are options of non-PvP servers).
Mu Online Screenshots
Mu Online Featured Video
Mu Online Classes
The Dark Wizard uses spells to cause massive damage, both to single targets and multiple ones in an area of effect. As with most magic classes, the downsides of a Dark Wizard are low hit points and weak defense.
The Dark Knight is the primary melee fighter, combining high hit points with strong defense. Compared to other classes, they also have weaker offensive abilities early in the game.
Fairy Elves in Mu Online combine archery with healing magic, allowing them to play a supportive role and deal moderate damage from a distance.
Magic Gladiators are warriors capable of using spells in addition to swords and similar weapons. They also include abilities from both the Dark Knight and Dark Wizard classes. This class is unlocked after reaching Level 220.
The Dark Lord summons his Dark Raven and Dark Horse to carry out his orders, riding his mount into battle. This class is unlocked after reaching Level 250.
Summoners use special scrolls to summon monsters to fight on their behalf. They also have to ability to incapacitate and weaken enemies. This class can only be used after purchasing it from the cash shop.
Rage Fighters specialize in charged attacks based on their strength and use buffs to make themselves stronger. This class can only be used after purchasing it from the cash shop.
Mu Online Review
By Dimitri Jordan
Mu Online is a 3D hack-n-slash fantasy MMORPG developed and published by Webzen, boasting an incredible 12+ year lifespan thus far, with (even more surprisingly) a sizeable playerbase. The game originally launched in 2003, and has the graphics to prove it. While I wouldn’t exactly call it unplayable because of them, it will be a difficult transition for those who didn’t games much in the 90’s. Despite its age, there are still constant updates being done, with the large “Season 9” update having gone live on November 11, 2014. Mu was previously available through GamersFirst, but is now operated globally through the developer, Webzen.
After quickly installing and logging in, I was immediately disappointed with the character creation. Each class has a distinct look that isn’t customizable in any degree. No hair, eye, or body options whatsoever. The classes in Mu Online are also gender locked, with all Summoners and Fairy Elves being women, and every other class being men. This is a terrible lack of player control for a roleplaying game – why can I be a frog man in EverQuest in 2003, yet in 2014, I can't be a male Fairy Elf in Mu Online? Clearly, the developers weren't too concerned with character appearance customization, but given that the game was inspired by Diablo, the lack of customization makes sense.
The controls are straightforward: click to move your character and to initiate attacking a target, and use 1-9 for abilities. However, I found the game's interface to be a little clunky. I wasn’t able to bind abilities to number keys at first, despite following their directions for doing so. The map can be accessed by hitting the TAB key and is needed to find your way back to town after grinding outside the walls a bit. Skills in Mu Online aren't learned automatically and must be purchased from a class trainer. As a Dark Wizard, I started with a single spell and had to purchase new ones as I leveled.
Once in the world, it’s readily apparent how much influence Diablo has had on this game. The graphics and animations are very near that of Diablo/Diablo 2, and much of the gameplay is similar. However, while Diablo was a a great game that had an epic story to match, a solid storytelling structure is absent from Mu Online. However, that’s not to say there are no redeeming features.
The First Few Levels
It’s easy to miss the first tutorial quest that’s already in the quest menu. Following it leads to a series of clunky quests that attempts to teach players about different menus and then leads right to fighting different monsters. And that’s basically where the structure of the gameplay falls apart.
Most of the quests I found in Mu Online are the simple monster killing ones. Aside from that, there aren’t many quests to help you reach the Level 400 cap. As someone who is not a large fan of the grinding that comes from a lack of quests, I was a bit let down at this, but tolerance for the gameplay may vary for those players who enjoy grinding.
I also found the difficulty ramp up very quickly in terms of how strong the monsters I was fighting were. Before I ventured out of the town, I found that the first quest-giving NPC also offered a buff for defense and attack, and I took it. After a few minutes of mowing down low level monsters, my buff wore off and I found myself unable to hold my ground against a single monster – much less a group of them. In order to avoid being decimated after leaving town, I’d recommend always getting the buff before you head out, especially early on. The best way to level up in the early stages in Mu Online is to complete the tutorial quests as well as the kill quests given from the Shadow Phantom Soldier in town.
In addition to the few character customization options, I was disappointed to see only three classes available from the start. Finding out that there were two additional characters only available through paying real cash, and two more were available after reaching Level 220 and 250, made it even more important to me that the three free starting class were interesting and unique.
Early on, all three of the starting classes will feel very similar. It isn’t until the later levels, once they can afford better armor and unlock more abilities, that they begin to really differentiate themselves. This is especially true when all that’s available is the basic attack, but because of its lower health, Dark Wizards tend to have much more difficulty early on. On the other hand, Dark Knights have more health and Fairy Elves have a ranged attack, so they are much easier for a new player to level. The game really only gets exciting when you gain access to the more powerful abilities.
One of the most entertaining parts of Mu Online is the loot system. Like Diablo, loot is all about finding equipment to give players the marginal edge against monsters or other players. The stat boosts provided by the loot are randomized, so players can tailor their equipment by finding what versions best compliment their class and playing style. A Dark Wizard finding an epic helmet that boosts strength won’t be as happy as when they find one that boosts their energy, allowing them to cast more spells. Because it’s luck of the draw with the RNG, players can fill hours searching for loot that suits them perfectly. Diablo 3 and Path of Exile use a similar randomized loot system, which keeps players hooked as they're always looking for the best piece of gear.
PvP plays a large role in Mu Online, as players are able to attack and kill each other anywhere outside of towns (although there are non-PvP servers). However, to prevent mindless slaughtering – like a Level 400 versus a Level 30 – there are penalties for those who kill too many people. These killers are labeled as “outlaws,” and become free game for anyone else to kill. If an outlaw is killed, there is a chance for their killer to even claim equipment, which at higher levels becomes a stern deterrent from becoming an outlaw. In addition to this, Mu Online boasts the usual PvP features of dueling, guild wars, and PvP events. Mu Online launched in an era where open-world PvP was acceptable. Remember Ultima Online at launch? How about RuneScape? You could kill anyone anywhere in those games! There aren't many newer MMORPGs where this still exists. Lineage 2 still features open-world PvP, but that's because it's an older game like Mu.
Private Servers Galore! And Final Thoughts..
Much like Ragnarok Online, MapleStory, and Fly For Fun, there are literally hundreds of private servers for the game. Since the official server through Webzen has a sizable playerbase and is entirely free-to-play, I see little reason to explore these servers, but they're there for those interested.
Having been out for 12+ years, Mu Online has enjoyed a steady stream of patches and major updates. The core visuals haven't evolved much since release, but there's a heck of a lot more content to explore. Those who began playing Mu Online early will likely love returning to the game and reliving past nostalgia, but Mu isn't an easy game for newcomers to get into.
Final Verdict – Good
Overall, Mu Online is a game I found fun for a while. Unfortunately, given the game's age, it's hard to see new players trying out Mu Online for the first time and actually sticking with it. Luckily, Mu Online doesn't need new players to survive. The game has a loyal core playerbase that's stuck with the game for years. If you can look past the game's dated graphics and limited customization options, Mu Online is definitely worth a try. With a level cap of 400+, there's A LOT of grinding to do.
Mu Online Videos
Mu Online System Requirements
Operating System: Windows XP
CPU: Pentium 4 2 GHz
Video Card: Any 3D Graphics Card
RAM: 1 GB
Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
Operating System: Windows XP
CPU: Pentium 4 2 GHz
Video Card: Any 3D Graphics Card
RAM: 1 GB
Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
Mu Online was released in 2001. The game will run smoothly on almost any modern computer.
Mu Online Music & Soundtrack
Mu Online Additional Information
Webzen, Mu Online's developer, operates the global version of Mu, called Mu Global, on Webzen.com with no IP restrictions.
Development History / Background:
Mu Online was developed by South Korean game developer Webzen and launched on October 6, 2003. Mu Online is one of the oldest Korean MMORPGs that's still in active development. The game's popularity in South Korea led to Webzen launching the game globally though their English portal. The game's success led a sequel called Mu 2 which was supposed to be powered by the Unreal 3 engine. Mu 2 was cancelled before release after numerous setbacks and poor reception. Despite the game's age, Mu Online continues to be a big money maker for Webzen and is consistently one of their most profitable titles. Like Ragnarok Online and MapleStory, Mu Online has an enormous private server community.