How Throne and Liberty is Becoming the Console MMORPG for Everybody


  • We get a detailed look at NCSoft and Amazon Games’ upcoming free-to-play MMORPG, Throne and Liberty.
  • A unique trait system, cross-platform play support, and an ambitious control scheme have Throne and Liberty primed for console success.
  • Throne and Liberty is set to launch September 17, 2024, for Xbox Series X|S.

Massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) have been synonymous with PC gaming for years. Over the past decade, as consoles have become more powerful, we’ve seen an abundance make their way to our living rooms — and each one has approached the challenge of paring down such a massive experience into the confines of a controller in their own way; it’s no easy task.

Now, Throne and Liberty is next in line to try and address that challenge – but it has some serious pedigree behind it. With the experience of seasoned MMO developer NCSoft (Lineage II, Aion) at the helm, along with Amazon Games, the teams are looking to make their mark by bringing this massive online experience to console, with the goal of leaving no player behind.

“Having a game that is welcoming to new and veteran MMO players has been at the forefront of our design choices — we understand this genre is still (relatively) new in the console space and providing a smooth first-time user experience will be critical to attracting new players,” says Globalization Design Manager at Amazon Games, Daniel Lafuente.

A few weeks ago, during Sumer Game Fest: Play Days, we had a chance to go hands-on with the current build of the game to experience this ourselves. Our session saw us jump into a 6-player co-op experience through the Roaring Temple, which gave us a taste of how a balanced party can work together to swiftly move through a dungeon, culling enemies left and right, leading up to its central boss: the massive, Chimera-like King Chimaerus.

To help with refining that onboarding experience — the game soft-launched in Korea seven months ago – the team has been constantly examining data to learn what their most devoted players are seeking when they dive into Throne and Liberty for the first time. This has helped balance the game’s unique take on the traditional class system.

Instead of being intrinsically tied to your character, progression is more equipment based, falling into four major categories: Gear Level, Traits, Skills, and Weapon Mastery, each of which grants you progress towards your overall Combat Score. This is where the game’s dual weapon system comes in, where each weapon you have equipped will give you access to a different set of abilities, letting you mix and match, giving you upwards of 20 unique combinations to play with.

“One of my favorite things about the dual weapon system, is that you can still play your classic archetypes but with some accents or flair of another archetype mixed in,” explains Lafuente. “The Trait system is one of several different ways that players can alter their build and playstyle, allowing them to equip different stats onto their gear which can have a big impact on their character’s overall style of play. The ability to learn how to maximize the benefit from Traits will be a key aspect to every player’s progression within Throne and Liberty.”

Another of the impressive elements we saw on display during our hands-on time was the incredibly rich and detailed character creator. You’ll be able to choose from many amazing looking presets or customize your character through a deep set of configurations — or even upload a picture of yourself which will transform your character to look like you.

“One of our core beliefs is that player self-expression is paramount,” explains Lafuente. “We want every player to have as many tools as possible to express the fantasy they want to play with their character; the character customization features in Throne and Liberty are top tier in that aspect.”

Another unique element for Throne and Liberty will be its dynamic weather system with changing states that can affect gameplay in different ways. From flooding passageways, to unlocking areas of the map, to altering abilities and how they are used in combat — the environment is going to be a significant element to consider when playing.

“Players and Guilds will be able to harness the weather and call down different elemental flurries which provide boosts or alterations to certain abilities, potentially turning the tide in battle. The world itself is vast and filled with verticality, which adds another element of strategy within the massive scale combat players can expect,” Lafuente elaborates.

From this experience, I also got to play around with Throne and Liberty’s unique morph system, which allows players to turn into mounts, elemental creatures that can travel across water, air, and land. With just a toggle on the controller, I would shift into my “mount” as a bird to help me fly down from a high ledge and avoid fall damage, or into a tiger to help me sprint through the dungeon and catch up with my crew, or an otter to help me glide through the water.

These unique morph abilities tap into the lore of Throne and Liberty, which takes place in the fantasy world of Solisium, a land where fragments of the Sealstone that held the Goddess of Destruction, Sylaveth, have scattered across the world. These fragments have created a great deal of conflict not only because of their value, but their ability to develop powers in those who can collect them. This is where you and your friends come in; working to get your hands on these unique resources, embarking on a grand adventure across the land of Solisium, battling unique monsters, and taking on other rival players across this massive, free-to-play online world.

As I mentioned earlier, trying to bring this massive experience into a controller is a monumental task. I did stumble a bit initially on getting my head around the wealth of options available to me at my fingertips. But as my session continued, I found it fluid and natural. And although I only played for just under an hour, I could see myself getting used to this configuration if given more time with it. This is an area that NCSoft remains committed to, iterating on what is typically a heavy keyboard and mouse experience for a controller-friendly game.

“We’ve made several alterations to how the controller handles – button mappings, targeting, and movement are the three most critical elements we’ve been continuously iterating on over the past 12 months to really nail what’s needed for this type of combat,” Lafuente explains. “We’re very proud of the progress we’ve made, and our latest tests have shown that players are saying the gameplay feels natural. I’ve even found myself wondering if I should make the switch to playing Throne and Liberty from the couch on a controller from now on.”

With NCSoft’s pedigree at the helm, and a wealth of unique ideas to bring to the genre space, Throne and Liberty is in a fantastic position to showcase how to bring a proper MMORPG to the console space. If their vision proves successful, it has the potential to be game changing.

Look for Throne and Liberty to launch September 17, 2024, for Xbox Series X|S. The next open beta event for Throne and Liberty on Xbox Series X|S will take place July 18 to 23, 2024. Visit the official site here for more details and stay tuned to their social channels for additional information.

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Amazon Games

Welcome to THRONE AND LIBERTY, a free-to-play MMORPG that takes place in the vast open world of Solisium. You can scale expansive mountain ranges for new vantage points, scan open skies, traverse sprawling plains, explore a land full of depth and opportunity. Adapt your fight to survive and thrive through strategic decisions in PvP, PvE or both as you encounter evolving battlefields impacted by weather, time of day, and other players. There is no single path to victory as you seek to defeat Kazar and claim the throne while keeping rival guilds at bay. THRONE AND LIBERTY is made available subject to the Amazon Games Terms of Use, see