LOTRO New Player Guide for 2024

Lord of the Rings Online is a massive game that celebrated it’s 17 year anniversary in April of 2024. There’s no doubt about it, LOTRO offers an epic story and adventures throughout Tolkien’s beautiful Middle-earth and with the many features you encounter along the way, it can be a lot of information to take in all at once. Here are the bite-size details of when you will unlock and obtain many different game play features along your path to level 150.

If you are new to LOTRO and need help selecting a class and server, check out our guides to Choosing a Class in LOTRO and What Server Should I Play On.

Do you want to know at what level you unlock riding in LOTRO? How about when can I join the Instance Finder? When can I start crafting? Read on for all those answers and more.

Intro Quests

When you start any new character, you will begin an introduction series of quests to get into the story. While in this quest you cannot leave your starting area until you are finished, and that will happen around level 8 to 10 depending on your leveling pace. Once the intro quest is complete you will be able to go to other zones and select where you wish to adventure. The epic quest will guide you in the right direction if you are not sure where to start.

Class Specialization

At level 6 you will have access to your classes’ specializations, you can open the traits panel by using the ‘J’ key. Here you will spend the trait points you earn as you level to gain more skills and abilities, both active and passive.

You will want to select a specialization which comes with perks and bonuses that will be exclusive to your class trait tree. There are three specs to choose from and you can change these at any time while not in combat.

Class Specialization
Class Specialization – Lore-master Example


You will earn your first trait point at level 10, these are spent in your specialization tree, press ‘J’ and spend the point, don’t forget to press Apply to save your changes. You will obtain more trait points every other level and through completing deeds and some quests.

Race Traits

The Race Traits panel is accessible around level 10, here you can review what racial bonuses and skills you can earn for your race. These traits are equip able in the panel and can be changed whenever you like. Racial traits are unlocked by completing deeds.


If you are playing a Lore-master or Captain you have access to summon helpful Companions (sometimes referred to as battle pets) to aid you in your battles. Your first companion will become available at level 6 and from here on you will gain more companions when you level up. These companions are controllable with their own action bar and special skills.


You can access mail at the mailboxes right away in the Intro area, if you are a VIP you can access mail without using a mailbox. Select the quick menu ^ on the left of the action bar and find Mail under Social.

Be sure to check your mail when you have completed the intro quests for A Letter of Commendation, the note will offer a blue gift box with various rewards throughout your leveling journey. Carry this in your bags and check it every now and then for more rewards, its use runs out at level 51.


At level 5 you can complete the quest Outfitting Yourself and Others which will lead you to your nearest crafting hall, or you can turn it into any Master of Apprentice. The quest starter arrives when you open the gift box and finish the starter quests. Learn more about crafting and choosing the best profession for you.

Milestone Skill

You obtain the Milestone skill at around level 8 to 10 when you finish up your Intro quest. The Milestone will allow you to set a destination of return when interacting with any milestone in the world. This will allow you to quickly travel back to your chosen milestone and the ability can be added to your quick slot bar.

LOTRO Store and LOTRO Points

All players have access to a currency called LOTRO Points, sometimes referred to as LP by completing Deeds throughout the game or by purchasing them with real money. You can spend these points in the LOTRO Store, located at the bottom right of your User Interface. The store offers account up-grades, quality of life items (our list of the best store buys) and of course, cosmetics, housing items, mounts, pets and more. Here’s a picture guide to some of the store mounts available.

Lalia's Market
Lalia’s Market in Bree


Cosmetics outfits are available from the beginning and LOTRO has one of the best cosmetic systems an MMORPG can offer. Open your character panel, press ‘C’ and check the top for the Cosmetic Outfits tab, here you will be able to drag items from your bags onto the outfit slot. You can choose to hide or show an item and there is a dye system as well. When you’re finished setting up your outfit don’t forget to press the Outfit button at the bottom of the panel to equip it.

Lalia’s Market, in Bree-town has many different cosmetic items on mannequin displays, clicking on the mannequin shows a preview of the outfit on your character.


When you open your gift box after completing the Intro quests you will receive a red gift box, the Wrapped Horse Whistle. This is a 24-hour on use item that summons a rental horse to make traveling more convenient. Upon using this whistle you will get a message in the mail with the subject, A Horse of Course, from Éogar directing you to the Hengstacer Farms in Bree-land where you can purchase a horse. Learn how to get the riding skill and all about steeds in our guide.


From the start you have access to the Collections panel, these are your Mounts, Cosmetic pets, Emotes and all the Stable-master locations. Press Shift+C to open Collections or click on the tiny horse icon in the bottom right of your radar/mini-map.


At level 10 you can start fishing once you train a Hobby. You will need to visit a Hobby trainer to learn the skill and purchase a pole. Learn more in our fishing guide.

Your very own Hobbit-hole!
For Sale! Your very own Hobbit-hole!


Did you know you can live in the Shire, in your very own Hobbit-hole? How about below the mountain with the Dwarves in Thorins Hall? When you reach level 15 you can unlock Housing that gives access to neighborhoods where you can purchase one personal home. This home is shared among all your characters on your account. You can choose from homes in Bree-land (Men), Shire (Hobbit), Duillond (Elves), and Thorin’s Gate (Dwarves). Kinships can have a Kin House at Rank 7.

If you want more than one home don’t fret, Premium Houses can be purchased (with LOTRO Points) any number of homes from neighborhoods in Belfalas, Kingstead Meadows, Eastfold Hills, Erebor, and Lyndelby.

What’s special about owning a house in LOTRO? You can decorate the interior, exterior (yard), store items in your house chest, and teleport to your neighborhood quickly.


The Wallet is where your currency items are placed including gold and tokens. You can access the wallet by pressing ‘B’, items will be transferred from your bags to your wallet to reduce bag space. The wallet starts coming into use around level 30-40 when you begin to receive reputation tokens for barter. The wallet allows you to put all these tokens of reputation from each individual faction in the wallet instead of in your inventory because inventory space is quite a big problem for most.

The wallet holds not only reputation tokens, but also various currencies such as skirmish tokens like marks and medallions, festival tokens that you will receive seasonally, taxidermy barter items, legendary item barter tokens, crafting instance tokens and crafted runic barter tokens.


When you earn reputation with a Faction you will gain access to the Reputation panel which is accessed in the Character panel. Gaining reputation with the various Factions will unlock unique rewards such as armor, cosmetics, crafting recipes, housing items and even mounts.

Deed Log
Complete Deeds for Titles, Reputation, and Rewards


The Deed log is accessible after you have completed the Intro quests and upon interacting with a monster or visit a place of interest, some class skills prompt deeds as well. The Deed log is a record of your achievements in Middle-earth, you will earn Titles, Reputations, Virtues, and LOTRO Points when completing various deeds.

Virtue Traits

These passive bonuses are called Virtues and you begin accessing them when you complete your first Deed (or quest) that awards Virtue points. You will want to review the virtues and then select one to earn points in, simply click on the virtue to begin earning points. When you cap on virtue points for a specific virtue choose a new virtue to start earning points. When a Virtue has reached rank 1 you can equip it in the slots at the top of the panel to gain benefit of the bonuses.

Destiny Points

At level 10 you will start earning Destiny Points at each level, these points are a currency you can spend to help level, such as XP gains, etc. You can spend Destiny Points if you are a VIP.

Repairs and Item Wear

Your items such as equipment, armor, will be damaged whenever you are defeated in battle. You will want to Repair your armor from time to time by visiting a merchant. If you are a VIP item wear is reduced when applying the Subscribers Jug to your character.

Instance Finder

The Instance Finder unlocks at level 10, you can use this interface to find a fellowship to instance or skirmish with. There are 3 options in the Instance Finder:

• Simple (Shift+F) selects a random instance and helps to fill your fellowship quickly, this option grants bonus rewards.
• Advanced allows the selection of a specific instance and grants bonus rewards based on how many instances you choose.
• Specific launches the instance immediately with your current fellows, there are no bonus rewards. Press Control+J to open this option.

Epic Battles

Your character will auto-complete a deed at level 10 and receive a message via in-game mail titled An Epic Battle Awaits. This message leads you to the optional training for Epic Battles, a tutorial that teaches you how they operate. You will need the Helm’s Deep expansion pack to participate in these battles that feature level-scaling for level 10 and up.

Epic Battles have objectives to complete and provide rewards based on how well your group completes them.

Monster Play

Upon reaching level 10 you unlock Monster Play, this is LOTRO’s version of PvP where you can create a Monster to fight against the Free People (also other player characters). You have to log out of the game and go to the character select screen where you can access the Monster Play button to start playing.


When speaking of “classic dungeons” with a story and quests associated with them, the Great Barrows is the first 6-man dungeon you can find a group for around level 22 to 25, it is located in the SW area of Bree-land deep in the Barrow Downs. The Inn of the Forsaken is a 3-man instance you can start the quest for in the Lone-lands at the Forsaken Inn.

You will want to take a Fellowship with you to these types of dungeons as they usually include multi-player objectives and tank, dps, healer or support classes. Use the chat channel LFF to find a group or the Instance Finder.

A Defensive Skirmish: Protect Mathi, the Lord of Gondamon


Small scale instances, Skirmishes are unlocked at level 20 and scale to level 130 that you can complete solo, or join up with others for duo, trio, six or twelve player fellowships. The larger the group, the higher rewards upon completion.

Head to any of the Skirmish camps around Middle-earth at level 20, here you will complete a tutorial quest and gain a Soldier that you can train (tank/dps/heals) to assist you in the Skirmish. There are 19 Skirmishes available in three types defense, offense, and survival mode.

War-Steed and Mounted Combat

At level 71 or above you can visit Rohan where you will learn mounted combat and obtain your war-steed. The quest to start is in Langhold, Rohan speak with Dala who will offer the quest “The Wold.” This begins a 12 quest story and 2 instances to unlock the steed. Your war-steed has specializations and levels, and it can equip its own Legendary item as well.

War-steeds are available to all players, including F2P accounts (F2P has some skills that can be unlocked in the LOTRO store). When you purchase the Rohan expansion you unlock the skills.


For high-level and end-game content there are instanced raids of Arch-nemesis bosses that require group coordination and strategy. A group up of 12 or 24 players is needed. Raids are open to all players, including F2P accounts, however most raids are unlocked through the various expansions available.

Legendary Items

Legendary Items are special weapons and class items that level with you as you progress through the game. These LI’s are customizable to your play-style. During the Epic Volumes quests and at level 50, when you complete Chapter 9: A Weapon of the Elder Days you will be rewarded with your first Legendary weapon. Continuing the story to Chapter 14: Khazad-dûm at Last! you can obtain your class Legendary item.

Each of your characters can equip 2 Legendary Items (weapon/class) and your Legendary Items will advance with you on the journey to level 140.


You can declare an allegiance to one of four alliances, Men, Dwarves, Elves, or Hobbits at level 110. Allegiances were introduced with the Mordor expansion in 2017, they are an end-game story and reputation system that provides various rewards. There are 4 different stories but the rewards are the same. Your choice of Allegiance affects the story experience and gain of certain cosmetic appearances.

Allegiances are alt friendly, so if you choose to play through each of the stories on one character (your main) the reputation requirements are more difficult as you progress.

That’s all.. for now!

Whew! That’s a lot of things to look forward to and not quite everything, did I mention all the fun holiday events of Middle-earth? That story will be for another day. Until then, I hope this quick-start guide will help you find your way. Happy travels!

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Exploring video games are one of my favored hobbies, and with a fondness for the MMORPG and Simulation genres, I set out on a quest to write guides and share my gaming adventures.

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