One of the best free MMORPGs versus the best buy-to-play games.

The Match-Up

This match pits two MMORPGs against each other. Both have been around for years and both can be played without monthly fees. One of the games is part of a hugely successful franchise where the other remains one of the most innovative with some of the best combat in the entire genre. The other key differences come down to system requirements and cost. Elder Scrolls Online is ultimately less accessible than TERA because it must be bought first and the system requirements are more rigorous.  For example, I can no longer play Elder Scrolls on my Alienware PC because the game requires a minimum of DirectX 11 while TERA only requires DirectX 9.  In addition, although certainly not a major factor by itself, TERA is about half the file size of the Elder Scrolls Online. In the end, TERA gets the nod in an otherwise close match due to accessibility.

Tale of the Tape



Free to play.
One of the most popular MMOs on Steam.
True action combat.
Started pay-to-play.
Big epic battles.
No restrictions on players.


The Elder Scrolls Online


Buy to play fantasy MMORPG.
Highly anticipated when launched.
Started pay-to-play only.
No single player offline mode.
Several different races to choose from.
Improved well after a shaky start.
Listened to fan feedback.
Was in development for seven years.

Select Comments For TERA

Rating: 9
Author: molnyi
Comment: Tera online is one of the best, if not the best free mmorpg these days. It offers a variety of class picks, races and many other things. Graphic is outstanding, world looks fantastic and pvp is the best. I love this game very much.

Rating: 8
Author: Thedarkboy
Comment: Tired of the typical MMO? Want dynamic battles against huge monsters where the basic concept is still intact? Then Tera might just be what you’re looking for.

The MMORPG genre is often criticized for being itself. “This is exactly like World of Warcraft,” it’s said, before anyone has time to think exactly the same reasoning that could be applied to – say – the action genre. In the case of Tera, the basic concept is back from other MMORPG’s but at the same time the battles and design reveals that this is something beyond the ordinary.

Tera has been marketed as an action-oriented MMO, and this shows itself in the fact that I have to aim my attacks on my own (or healing spells) to succeed. A classic, Japanese MMO feature that have not yet established itself in the western world. By lining up my attacks I can perform combos and generally the fighting feels much deeper and more entertaining than many other MMO titles.

In Tera it feels natural to slaughter everything you see. But firstly, my items are breaking after a while and I need material to repair my stuff. Secondly, I can earn incredible buffs (positive impact) with everything I gather.

If you do not have a sufficient number of comrades to clear a particular instance, you can use the game’s built-in matchmaking system, and caves and instances is something that will require some weaning from the classic online role players side. For example, you can not pass through allies or monsters, but must run around to get where you want.

After many hours, I start to get used to the battle system, but I still have to say that I really do not recommend roles like tank or healer for someone other than someone used to MMORPG’s. Other players tend to move which complicates the critical heals when it is needed most, and the one to blame will be you. Instead, choose a class with a focus to injure the enemies and learn yours and your comrades movement patterns is, in different situations.This will help you if you later choose to play as a healer.

Even though the crafting system might be a little complicated and some side quests are really unnecessary and boring, the unique combat system, the adorable graphics, heavy sound, great story and almost an endless of things to do makes the game worth your time. You definitely don’t want to miss this game.

Select Comments for The Elder Scrolls Online

Rating: 9
Author: Thedarkboy
Comment: The fact that The Elder Scrolls Online is becoming an online role playing game was only a matter of time, it has always struck me as a logical evolution for the series and now the time has finally come. Even before it was released, the emotions are mixed. Many did not want to see a MMO with the fear of a generic product that would just fall on our faces as many others have done before. Fortunately, worried souls rest now – The Elder Scrolls Online looks like Skyrim, played like Skyrim and feels like Skyrim. Except that it’s online with hundreds, sometimes even thousands of players. There is quality throughout.

If you are looking for a new online role playing game, The Elder Scrolls Online is an excellent alternative. Tamriel is a huge and vibrant world with a background story that surpasses most in the industry. This is packed with engaging missions thanks to a skillful pen and relevant objectives and the battles are exciting and challenging, thanks to skilled gameplay. The Elder Scrolls Online is a successful recipe.

Rating: 9
Author: Skylar
Comment: Finally. I have been waiting on an Elder Scrolls MMO for years.

The Showdown

Cheaper to Play = TERA

Better Multiplayer = TERA

More Popular = The Elder Scrolls Online

Better User Created Content = The Elder Scrolls Online

Better for Livestreams/Videos = TERA

TERA received a total score of 3
The Elder Scrolls Online received a total score of 2

The Result

TERA Wins!

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  1. yawn Tera is Horrid bad graphics tons of boring quest pvp is unbalanced and just meh same eso just looks better both are poop games

    Des did not rate this post.
  2. I’ve played both and only continue to play Elder Scrolls Online. I got bored of Tera.

    The look of both games are great in their own ways. If you like a more anime look with a lot of flash, skimpy outfits, and lots of curves, Tera fits that bill. ESO is more on the realistic side with more natural body types and armor that looks like it actually protects rather than just says it does.

    The combat in both games are also fun. Both Tera and ESO require you to aim at your targets before being able to hit them with either normal or special attacks. However, Tera relies more on your speed while ESO relies more on your timing. Both games have their combat systems fleshed out well enough that you’ll find plenty of excitement no matter which game you play.

    I didn’t do much crafting in Tera, mainly because it seemed overly complicated with the items you need to make to build other items. I suppose it might be a good system if you like the WoW type of crafting of which the two are very similar. For me, it wasn’t my cup of tea. It seemed to me that I had to put in a lot of work for very minimal reward. ESO, on the other hand is more simplified with its complexities more subtle. I was underwhelmed at first, but found that there is a lot hidden depth to the crafting in ESO and I didn’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get what I wanted.

    As far as the story goes, I couldn’t find much in Tera. It’s there, but it’s cookie-cutter and unimpressive. And, there’s a LOT of text to read, especially for side-quests. I found myself skipping the text and just going to do whatever I needed to do. At least parts of the main story quests were cut-scened and voice acted. They were fun to watch, if nothing else. ESO’s story I feel is more fleshed out. Every NPC that you can talk to has a voice, though, per Elder Scrolls games in general, there are so many voices that you start recognizing particular voice actors playing many different characters and not all of them sound like an A+, movie quality, voice. Overall, the voice acting is pretty good, if not just decent. At least the main voices tend to be unique and done by bigger names at least in the industry. Also, ESO story scenes tend not to be as flashy as Tera, but I found myself wanting to follow ESO more simply because of the voice acting, even the side-quests. There are some pretty spectacular events, though.

    Through it all, the biggest factor of me stopping playing Tera and moving on to ESO was the fact that Tera is so repetitive. As exciting as the battles are, the game entirely revolves around it with the quests being the main reason to go do battle. Then, nearly every quest I took from were “kill , fetch ” kinds of quest with nothing more to them. Intermingled in there were a few “protect as s/he walks from to .” If there were other types, I don’t remember them. It was just so repetitive. I found myself taking several quests at a time in one area killing this monster for this drop, that monster for that drop, etc., making a circuit around the map, turning all the quests in to get my items/xp/gold, then repeating until I was high enough level with good enough gear to go to the next area just so I can do the same thing all over again, but with different scenery and different monsters. This “wash, rinse, repeat” thing I could take for only so long before I saw the end game being something even more boring with even more of a grind just to get better equipment, but without the leveling after the cap was reached… for what? I couldn’t figure that out and my research only helped to point me away from more repetitiveness by playing something else. In order to change things up I had to create new characters. I could grind my way until the end game again until I got bored of that and started over, with each character having the same or different play style.

    With ESO, again, it’s more fleshed out. The fetch quests are there, but there’s a story to every one of them. The game doesn’t feel like it’s all about combat with getting better gear by side-questing into oblivion. At the same time, combat is huge and my skills and gear play very important roles. If I want my character to be more of a tank than a DD, I can make him that way, then change my mind later by doing a respect at the cost of in-game currency. Each class has its own strengths, but I can play a tank, healer, or DD with any class and mix and match, nearly at a whim, in order to fit my favored play style or just to try something new. To top it off, the world of ESO was created with the intention that players will explorer it. I can find points of interest, treasure hunt, defeat world bosses, dungeon crawl, etc. There are a crap-ton of things to do in the game that I simply didn’t find as fun in Tera. Everything in Tera seemed to be grind-oriented and I just don’t get that same feeling in ESO. ESO feels more like a role-playing game while Tera feels more like a dungeon crawler.

    XRavishX did not rate this post.
  3. This one is pretty easy for me, I’d go TESO without a second thought. I like purely on a gameplay level Tera has a edge… it’s combat is very well done for an MMO. It works quite well and can be fun to get into. However is pretty much every other aspect of the game it’s just a standard fetch quest MMO in my opinion. Make no mistake TESO falls into this a bit itself but I feel TESO tries to be more a lot harder than Tera does.

    I prefer TESO graphics, I think the quests while simplistic… most of the time still offer more than the standard fetch quest… and even the fetch quests themselves are at least all voiced an usually have some kind of story scenario built up around them. While I don’t think TESO combat is as good as Tera… it’s still above what most MMOs offer and done pretty well.

    I love the Elder Scrolls world, it’s such a great IP… which makes me kinda bias but I really think it’s a much better foundation than the one Tera is built on. I don’t believe TESO has lived up to the TES legacy but I’ll give them credit… they’ve listened to fans an the game has changed a ton since it was first announced. They’ve really be plugging away to make the game better and I can really respect that. I think TESO has a brighter future and more to offer.

    Aaddron did not rate this post.