There isn’t anyone on the planet who hasn’t spent time pondering the question: “If you could be any animal – what would you be?” Here is a list of animal-based MMO games that give you the chance to bring your answer to that question slightly closer to reality.
Project Gorgon allows the player to play as a number of animal characters via ‘Beast Forms’.
As a fast and furious cow, you can trample, hoof and clobber your enemies, and you can also ‘Moooooo’ to either summon your inner-bull for a stampede or calm yourself into a state of zen-like readiness. Playing as a majestic deer is similar to a cow – you can bash, slash or kick your enemies, but you can also use your cuteness to overload the enemy, or even summon your own companion. Spiders, werewolves and giant bats are a good choice for an assassin play-style, while rabbits are also stealthy.
As a druid, your close connection to nature allows you to temporarily become a deer, mallard, owl, raven or snow raven at various levels, as and when you need to.
Istaria, also known as Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted, allows the choice of eleven playable races. While most of these races are biped classes like human, elf, gnome and dwarf, one of these options is to play as a dragon! A character choosing to play as a dragon has only one adventure school, and three trade schools to choose from.
In Istaria, only the dragon is able to fly. Though initially a dragon character will start as just a flightless hatchling. During the course of the game, your hatchling will grow into an adult, and your dragon will develop the ability to soar through the skies. From adulthood, there is the possibility through another series of quests to earn more abilities and become an ancient dragon.
Animal character bonus note: You can also choose to play as a feline humanoid with the Saris race.
Furcadia is the longest running MMO of all time, and it is all about creating, customising and socialising. With over two decades of furry goodness under its belt, what is it about Furcadia that has kept players coming back?
The graphics are reminiscent of the good old days of the GameBoy Colour, and there is no real ‘gameplay’ as such, rather a collection of user-created dreams in which to explore. The characters, or ‘Furres’, seem to closely resemble ‘furries’ – anthropomorphic animal characters with human characteristics. As a subculture, furry fandom is based heavily in the realms of roleplaying and identity.
Furcadia embodies this furry fandom, and it is easy to find elements from the subculture. If furry fandom is of little interest to you, then Furcadia might not capture your attention. On the other hand, if you’ve ever been fur-curious, then perhaps this MMO is for you!
Mabinogi is a unique cel-shaded MMORPG. Initial character creation only allows for the choice of three races: human, elf or giant. “None of those are animals!” I hear you say. However, the ‘Transformation Mastery’ skill (or Shapeshifting Mastery in overseas servers) allows you to learn the ancient ways of studying monsters. As you improve this skill, you become able to transform into a huge variety of different animals and creatures.
You might choose to become a seal, chick, rabbit or fox, a horse, a hen, or even a kiwi – the list is almost endless. You can only transform into an animal once you have collected it in your ‘Transformation Diary’. After you have transformed, you will then be able to use skills like smash, defence, or windmill. The skills you have access to depend on the creature you have chosen to transform into. Some of our favourite animals to transform into are: fennec fox, unicorn, llama, a wicked penguin, and even a… pumpkin?!
Mabinogi offers such a broad selection of game features. An in-game character has realistic but accelerated aging, and the weather system of the world is dynamic. You can build a homestead, go on adventures, get a part time job and even get married.
Eat or be eaten. The Isle is a gritty open-world survival game in which you play as a dinosaur. It is currently in playable open beta, with the dev team working hard on redeveloping the game from the ground up.
You can choose to play as a herbivore or carnivore in different game modes. You can use the Sandbox mode to access and play as any dinosaur in the game, or choose the popular survival mode in which you have to try to survive in the harsh environment. In order to live you need to find food and water.
As you survive, you are able to develop from a juvenile dinosaur to a fully grown stomping adult dinosaur, complete with deafening roar!
If you have ever had dreams of walking with dinosaurs, then maybe you need to up your game to walking as dinosaurs. Certainly, this is an MMO to watch!
This is the only entry on this list that doesn’t allow you to play as an animal, but as a human. Star Stable focuses on allowing your character to maintain stables, choose your very own horse, care for your steed, and go on lots of horseback adventures! Your main character might be a human, but the horses are an integral part of the game.
You go on escapades across the island of Jorvik, solving quests with your friends. You can meet up and ride together, or even start and join Riding Clubs, as well as participating in horse racing competitions and championships.
As you progress through the game you are able to access rarer breeds of horse for your stable and explore a variety of different quests. However, the game is free only up to level 5, beyond which you will need to purchase either a lifetime fee or pay a monthly subscription.
Star Stable is largely aimed at a young-teen/teen audience. There is nothing particularly inappropriate in the game, but there are some more mature themed quests dealing with anger within family situations. There is of course a swearing filter for the dialogue.
The game promotes a culture that it’s good to keep fighting and staying positive, even when the going gets tough, and that you can do anything you can set your mind to.
Super Animal Royale
What do you get if you cross Fortnite with cartoon animals? Well… something along the lines of Super Animal Royale. This indie battle royale animal MMO game is currently available to be played for free. The intense game takes a 2D twist on the battle royale genre. Up to 64 animals play on each map, parachuted into the arena by a giant flying military bird.
The game is currently in free early access, with player progress able to be synced to the full version. Players can choose from the option of 40 different animals, although only fox, bear, skullcat and tiger are available initially. Keep playing to unlock animals like bat, capybara, penguin, hedgehog, or even skunk, all of which are available in different breeds.
The initial reviews for the game have been overwhelmingly positive. If you like the sound of adorably murderous cartoon animals then parachute right in!