Getting Started: Welcome to your first MUD adventure
Welcome! You most likely found your way to MUDListings.com while searching for Free games to play on Google or some other search engine. Perhaps you saw that MUDListings provides access to over 300 free, actively run MUD games and like any gamer you wanted to try something new. You came to the right place! If you have played or heard of Ultima Online, EverQuest or even World of Warcraft, then you have played games that were designed by people with extensive backgrounds playing and building MUDs.
Though you may not have heard of a MUD before now, chances are you have played games that are closely related. MUD stands for multi-user dungeon and a large number of them are RPG text-based games, some are based on Medieval Fantasy ( like Dungeons and Dragons ), some are based on Star Wars or Star Trek, or cyberpunk, or Dragonball, or even popular book series like the Wheel of Time, Pern or even Harry Potter. All of them have one thing in common - you play them over the internet with other people from around the world.
One thing you should not expect to see in a traditional text-based game is flashy graphics, though some text-based MUDs do offer minimal graphics that aid in gameplay, for example a world map of the game. You can think of a MUD as an interactive novel, where you are the main character and you decide how the book unfolds through your actions.
I won't bore you with the history or varied types of MUDs, instead I want you to jump right into a MUD that right now has other people from around the world waiting to play with you. We'll make it so easy for you and you won't have to pay anything, 99% of the MUDs listed are free!
There are a few basic commands that you should learn so that once you are connected you have an idea of some things you can do and more importantly, how to get help to figure out the rest.
When you connect to a MUD you will see a welcome screen displayed. These will usually have the name of the MUD plus a menu of things you can do, for instance create a new character, connect to an existing character, read some info about the MUD, exit the MUD, etc. The first time you connect you will naturally want to create a character of your very own.
When you begin to create your character you will be asked to provide some information that the game needs to get you started. For example, you will need to choose a name for your character, a password for your character so that only you may play it, plus a number of other traits that help describe your character, for example what type of character, does he or she like to wield a sword, or cast spells, or sneak around and backstab enemies. All of this is known as Character Creation, and the process differs from game to game but is often self-explanatory so that you simply need to read whats on the screen and answer the questions.
Once the character creation process is completed you will have the option to enter the game or the game may automatically start you off, either way you are now ready to play. To do stuff in the game you type your commands on the command-line ( in TMC's game client it is the white box ) and then press the Enter/Return key. The most important command that you need to know right away is simply help.
When you type help into the command box the game will provide you information about things you can do in the game, such as walk in a specific direction, or say something to a whole room full of people or a specific person, or even attack a creature or enemy. The game will also display a list of topics that you can access more specific help info, such as help say, or help commands. Note: Notice that we referred to a room above, you can think of a MUD as a series of virtual rooms that connect together, you explore the MUD's world by navigating through its rooms.
This command shows you the full list of commands that are available to you in the game, and most should have their own help info, accessed by typing help topic on the command-line ( where topic is the specific thing you want to see more information about ).
If you type look on the command-line the game will display for you what you see in the room you are in. It will show you details about the room and likely include things that are in the room, other people in the room, and exits that connect to other rooms. You can also use look to look at specific things or other people, for example if the room showed you that another player named 'Icculus' is also there you may type look Icculus to see some information about that character.
Typing who will show you the list of players that are currently playing the game as well as some information about them. This info can include their level, a brief description or status ( for example if they are away and taking a break from the game [called AFK] but still connected ). Using who is a good way to see who is on the game that might be able to help you.
This command will let you speak to a whole room full of people. For example say hello, I am new, please help me will let everyone in the room know that you are new to the game and that you could use assistance, and you might be surprised to find that many people will immediately offer you help, show you around, or possibly even take you around the game to show you important places you will want to visit. If at first nobody rushes forward to help, never fear, keep trying and it shouldn't take too long for somebody helpful to come along.
tell someone something
This allows you to say something to just one person. For example tell icculus I am new and really am lost, please help will tell the player named Icculus the message you typed, and hopefully Icculus can provide the help you need. Keep an eye on the big black box right above the command-line. You will notice it starts to fill up with text containing important information. You may see something like Icculus tells you 'Hi, need some help?' and now you can use the tell command to reply to him and let him know that you are new and could use some help.
north | south | east | west | up | down
These are direction commands that make your character move in the specified direction, if there is an exit that leads in that direction. On many MUDs you can see the available exit directions with the command exits. If the room you are in connects to a room that is north, you may type north to walk into that room.
A very large percentage of MUDs are in some way based on combat because lets face it, thats something fun to do in RPG games. In many of the MUDs we list, combat is how your character gets stronger, learns more skills and abilities and grows. Your character can enter combat by simply typing the kill command. Lets say you started walking north from the room you started in and eventually you find a fierce giant beetle showing up in the room's description. Naturally, you don't want giant beetles roaming around ( they could be dangerous ) so you can type kill fierce giant beetle to start attacking it ( many MUDs will let you just type kill beetle ). When you first start there won't be much that gives you an easy fight, it may take you awhile to kill that beetle but eventually you will. You can then loot beetle to grab anything of value from the beetle's corpse that you can use or sell in a shop.
In the last section recall that we mentioned the loot command which allows you to grab stuff from your defeated enemies. The inventory command ( just inv will work on most muds ) shows you everything that your character is carrying. Many muds even start new players out with some free stuff that they might need so be sure to check inv after creating your character to see what goodies were included.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, there is so much more to do in MUDs but you need to understand the basics before the rest will seem natural. The above list of commands will help get you started, but do not be afraid to ask for help once you have entered the game, many MUDs have people that are there specifically to help new players because they want you to have fun and come back.
NOTE: One area where some MUDs excel versus their graphical counterparts (MMOs) is accessibility for the visually impaired. Players that use screenreader software will be able to play a variety of MUDs that have taken steps to make the game more accessible to them.
You are now ready to start your first MUD adventure, take a deep breath...
Select a game by Genre
These games are considered Player vs. Environment (PvE)
Fantasy - Think Dungeons and Dragons, Dwarves, Elves, Warriors and Mages. Wield a sword and cut your enemies down or cast a spell and send a fireball hurling at them. If you have ever been a fan of Lord of the Rings, Wheel of Time or other medieval fantasy books these games should prove to entertain you.
Science Fiction/Time-Travel - If space exploration or time-travel is more your thing we have chosen some popular sci-fi MUDs for you to choose from.
You can view different MUD Themes here.
Select a game by Play Style
Player vs. Player (PvP) - If you'd prefer spending much of your time battling other players instead of creatures and enemies controlled by the computer then we have a couple of player-vs-player games available that you'll love.
Roleplay (RP) - If you are into roleplaying and really getting into your character and losing yourself in the game, one of these MUDs may be the right choice for your first adventures!
You can view MUDs by their play styles here.