The Best LOTRO Servers To Play On (Ranked)

Best LOTRO Servers
Oh... Which server shouldst I chooseth?

Every server can be the best for you. It depends on what you want out of your social life in LOTRO...

Whichever server you choose, you'll find the LOTRO community pleasant and colorful.

Good day to you, fellow Middle-Earthers. Here, we'll be talking about LOTRO servers. The title says 'best servers', but it's not that simple. Any server can be THE BEST for your particular needs, it just depends on what those needs are. 

So, we'll go through what you can expect from every server and try to sort them into some kind of order.

The most important criterion for your server choice is your place of residence. It's going to be hard for you to find someone to group up with if you are playing at noon on a server where it's actually 4 AM.

Therefore, it would be best to sort the servers into EU-based and US-based, before we do anything else, so you don't end up on a server that makes you get up at night just so you could meet someone there.

EU servers:

Belegaer [DE-RP]


Gwaihir [DE]

Laurelin [RP]

Sirannon [FR]

US servers:





Landroval [RE]

But, what do these letters in the boxes mean? Well, for the most part, it's obvious. 'DE' means that it's a German language-preferred server, while 'FR' stands for a French language-preferred server. You'll want to look into those servers if you are from one of these countries because the main language on those servers won't be English. As for other servers, just make sure that the server is friendly to your time zone so that your gaming time is best aligned with your daily activities. 

What do 'RP' and 'RE' stand for, then?

Well, that's the second big criterion you should consider when choosing your server. 'RP' stands for role-playing, while 'RE' stands for role-playing encouraged. 

LOTRO is an MMORPG that attracts a significant number of hard-core fans that are looking to be deeply immersed in Tolkien's legendarium. And some of those fans choose to role-play as they go through the game. That means that they don't use modern words when speaking, some of them don't use mounts in situations where it wouldn't be realistic (if they're on rocky terrain where you wouldn't bring a horse in real life). Some of them walk instead of running so that they can keep the realism on the highest level.

The servers with the 'RP' sign are servers that have a player base dedicated to role-playing, while 'RE' means that the server in question encourages role-playing but that it's exercised by all of the server's population. If none of that is your cup of tea, you should avoid those servers completely. If however, you are interested in that, you are going to be blown away by the level of immersion LOTRO player base can bless you with.

So, without further ado, let's jump into the countdown.

10. Gwaihir

Gwaihir, the lord of Eagles

This server is named by the great lord of the Eagles that saved Gandalf from Saruman's imprisonment. And by the way, no, they couldn't throw the Ring into the fire by riding the Eagles, stop it!

Back to the subject at hand, Gwaihir is a European German-speaking server. 

It's not the most populated EU server (not even close) and it isn't intended for role-playing. 

So if you are not keen on crowdy servers, are a proud German or German-speaking individual, and you just want to casually interact with other players, Gwaihir is the place for you. 

Bear in mind though, this server has had some complaints about the efficiency of GMs in some cases of in-game errors or issues.

What’s awesome about this server:

- German-speaking beginners can enjoy the game in quiet circumstances;

- People from time zones that are close to Germany will enjoy the peak of the daily player population.

9. Sirannon​

Sirannon - now a lake where The Watcher lives...

This server is named after a river that passed near Moria and was later dammed to form the foul lake where the Watcher of the Water lived in the years that followed.

It's a French-speaking server. Not the most populated these days. Then again, most (if not all) LOTRO servers have friendly communities that are going to make you feel welcome and eager to come back, and sometimes, that is the most important thing. 

Therefore, to all the French ladies and gentlemen, if you want to chat in your beautiful native tongue in-game, Sirannon is probably the place for you.

What’s awesome about this server:

- French-speaking beginners can play the game while using their native tongue;

- People from time zones that are close to France will enjoy the peak of the daily player population.

8. Belegaer

The Great Sea

This server is named after the Great Sea that separates Middle-Earth from Valinor, the land where the Lords of Arda (the world) or Valar live.

It's a German-speaking role-playing server. It's not the most populated, but if you're looking for the role-playing experience in your native German tongue, this is my recommendation.

What’s awesome about this server:

- Role-playing experience is available to German-speaking people that are not the most skilled in the English language.

7. Crickhollow

Crickhollow - a small town in Buckland

Crickhollow is a settlement in the Shire where Frodo Baggins had resided for a short time before leaving the Shire.

This is a US server with a bit of a lower population. That shouldn't discourage you, since the LOTRO community is pretty spry, always ready for action, and eager to help.

Also, this server has more players on lower levels, it seems. This can be quite important since all MMOs that last for a decade or more have a problem of too many players in the endgame and too few at the beginning.

So if you are a beginner, and want to meet more people in the starting areas, Crickhollow can be a jackpot for you! 

What’s awesome about this server:

- Beginners will get to cooperate with players of a similar level and experience in their character progression.

6. Landroval

Gandalf and the Eagles

This server is named after another Great Eagle and the brother of Gwaihir.

It's a US server that encourages role-playing, with a somewhat smaller player base. I can honestly say that I enjoy servers with smaller player bases and that Landroval is one of my personal favorites. People are fewer in number but know each other close and are always happy to help one another. 

The world chat is never silent and some days, you'll catch yourself logging in just to catch up with people. That's an intimate vibe that bigger servers just don't have. 

Another perk of Landroval is that you'll meet both immersed and casual players that are going to speak and behave in different ways, and that diversity is quite refreshing when meeting new partners for your fellowing.

However, if you want something grander then maybe Landroval is not the best choice for you.

What’s awesome about this server:

- Players will get to experience playing with a relatively small community full of support, useful advice, and good humor;

- Players will get to meet people with both casual and role-playing tendencies.

5. Gladden

The Great River

Named after a river of Rhovanion that was a tributary to the Great River - Anduin.

This is a US server with a high population. It's praised by its players for good support, kind community, and active kinships. 

Not a lot more you can ask out of a server.

What’s awesome about this server:

- Players will get a stable server with a decent population number and a good community.

4. Laurelin

Telperion and Laurelin - the Two Trees of Valinor

Named after the Golden Tree of Aman that was the source of light in the elder days, before the Sun and Moon were created.

This server is a European-based, role-playing server with a decent player-base. Its players praise it for being welcoming, warm, and friendly, so playing on Laurelin is probably the best role-playing experience you can hope to have.

What’s awesome about this server:

- European players will get the most quality out of a role-playing experience;

- The community is highly praised.

3. Brandywine

Brandywine on a sunny day

Brandywine is a river in the Shire and grandpa Tolkien spends like forty pages describing several rivers in the first LOTR book, so forgive me if I'm not very fond of it.

Anyway, this server is one of the most populated servers in this game. It's based in the US. You'll find crowds of people at all the major sites in Middle-Earth, you'll be able to find people for instances, epic battles, skirmishes, and all game content you might be interested in.

It's not role-play-based, so if you are also looking for a casual experience, Brandywine is a perfect choice.

What’s awesome about this server:

- Brandywine is populated, popular, and more than alive.

2. Evernight

Earendil vs Ancalagon, the Great Dragon

Evernight is a vague term mentioned in Bilbo's song of Earendil that refers to his epic journey to Valinor and beyond the borders of the world.

It is the most populated EU server with the highest number of recommendations from European players. 

Evernight's population is at times double the population of all other EU servers so you'll be getting the full MMO experience with huge groups, group events, and people mingling with each other on the world chat 24/7.

If you are from Europe, this is a no-brainer.

What’s awesome about this server:

- Europeans will get the full LOTRO experience, especially during the daily population number peaks, when the player count is at its highest.

Honorable mentions:

Before we continue to our number 1 pick, I'll mention the two legendary servers - Anor and Ithil. 

Legendary servers let you play the LOTRO experience from its beginnings - from the Shadows of Angmar expansion and on, so you can experience every stage of the game's rich history.

It is for VIP players only, but the Shadows of Angmar and the Mines of Moria expansions made the commitment worthwhile when the legendary servers came out.

There's even talk about new legendary servers coming out, rebooting the game progression back to the 2007 version once again.

1. Arkenstone

Bilbo, Smaug and the Arkenstone

Arkenstone was a beautiful jewel and the family heirloom of Durin's folk. It was buried with Thorin Oakenshield after the death of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies.

Arkenstone is the most populated and the most popular server in LOTRO. People from all over the world (not only US residents) are seeking to join Arkenstone.

It is well known that Arkenstone is the server home of Australians and all players from Oceanic time zones who greatly contribute to the server's ever-growing player number.

If you live in a US-compatible time zone (and in the case of the Arkenstone server, even if you're not), if you want a huge player base and a great chance of stable group engagement, this is my number one recommendation.

What’s awesome about this server:

- Players will enter the most popular, most populated server;

- Players will get to meet people from all over the world, socialize with them, and get to share the adventures in the amazing world LOTRO has blessed us with.


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Before he migrated to Middle-Earth, Matija was born in Serbia, a green country full of mountains. It's probably the reason he loves dwarves so much (that and their shared love of ale).
Gamer Since: 1999
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Lord of the Rings Online, The Witcher Enhanced Edition, Guild Wars 2, Mount & Blade Warband, Smite, Heroes of Might & Magic V, Call of Cthulhu
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