Online Text Games and How to Win

text games ftw

Want to know how to win online text games? Read on! By Robert Axelsen and Jeremy B Saunders When it comes to online text games, MUD games (short for Multi User Dungeon) are the most popular choice out there. Ranging from hardcore fantasy MUDs to intriguing sci-fi adventures and vampire worlds, text games are not only varied in type and style, but also in possibilities.

Much has changed since the first MUD was created by Roy Trubshaw in 1987. Numerous online text games have spawned over the last three decades, and with the amount of internet users increasing every day, more and more people are discovering the marvelous world of MUD games. So what do these games have to offer, and how do you win and succeed in them?

Since there are so many of them out there, different text games have different focus and varying popularity. Some focus solely on chatting, others on hack-and-slash, some on interactive fiction, some on player versus player combat, etc. The most popular MUD games have managed to combine all of the above elements into online text games with almost unlimited potential, vast amounts of paths to take, tons of entertainment, incredible fictional detail and in short - endless possibilities.

Let me give you some examples. In my 10 years of playing online text games I have been brawling mountain lions, attempted to manufacture poisonous goose drumsticks for assassination purposes, recovered lost trinkets for women in need, been the first to discover a never-before-seen island, broken in to forbidden property, composed rituals to speak with the spirits, gained entry to the Order of the Death God, reached a level of experience which removed my character's need to eat or sleep, and much more. Some of the experiences I've had were small achievements and some were of much bigger value to me and the people I played with.

And this is where the winning comes in! Since the top-tier MUD games out there offer possibilities and experiences like no other online text games, there is so many ways in which to win and succeed. Say you like leveling your character, and you are playing in a fantasy MUD. Some MUD games offer rewards for reaching certain levels, like getting greater powers, becoming a dragon or getting rid of some penalty. So you decide to achieve a certain level, like level 100, and you dedicate a big amount of time and effort to gain the experience needed you reach your goal (by killing creatures, complete quests, explore new areas, etc).

In many games, reaching a goal would mean "The End! Would you like to play again?", but that is normally not the case in MUD games. Once you've reached your goal to become level 100, you have the freedom to choose between multitudes of new goals, or invent some yourself. I mean, you've just "won" and reached your goal, but it doesn't have to end there. Perhaps your next goal would be to explore all the areas of the game, room by room, and reach the highest explorer rank possible. Done! Have you always wanted to know it would be to lead a city, or an organization of evil murderers? Brush up on your political skills or backstabbing tactics and win over the people and the position you are striving for. In short, most top-tier MUD games come with numerous opportunities and possibilities for your character to play out. Set yourself a goal, achieve it and experience that great feeling of "winning something".

Want to win again? Just set yourself another goal and win, win, win. And you can do this over and over and over and... Yeah, isn’t it great?

If you are interested playing and winning at some of the best games on the internet, try out these great online text games from Iron Realms Entertainment.

Robert Axelsen is a text game enthusiast and currently plays games from

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You know, when I saw the title, I was thinking 'You're kidding, right?' After reading your well written piece, I can say that yes, you can win again and again in a MUD. All it takes is time, patience, and wanting to succeed within your given game or realm, and you can achieve great things.

I like the examples you give of winning (I personally am working towards a better explorer rank) and of the new things someone can try when old goals are met or exhausted.

Well done!

The article has a great point. The irony is that in order 'to win' you have to throw out the generally accepted notion of winning that is 'beating' the game. It's also interesting how variable the end game options are from game to game. Whether it be political or scholarly, to raiding/PK, to Archon hunting or even crafting or commerce, the experience is rewarding to almost anyone.

For me, the best thing about 'winning' a MUD is that the goal can be not only set according to the player's whims, but changed as well. Recently one of my goal became unattainable (temporarily), so I decided to go for something else.

Every time I start playing, I think to myself 'What is it I want to achieve today?' and then set out to achieve just that. As I do, I think of what this objective - perhaps no more than an hour's hunting - is leading to. It follows that I have weekly targets, and so on, even if I often forget about them. Such is my attitude to these targets, they change in response to almost anything, be it a Great Hunt or a cheery disposition.

These goals we set needn't be static, or long term. What matters is there is always something to aim for. With games like this, it doesn't take long to find a challenging target anyway!

In all honesty, I disagree with just the title of this article. So many people have this idea that they can "win" the game by griefing, finding loopholes and otherwise having a pain in the butt character. Dealing with people like that day in and day out is one of the few things that actually draws me away from Achaea. At least for a day or so, then I'm back to trying to thump them over the head with the idea that there's no way to actually win at the game. Sure, you can accomplish your goals, you can find new ones and work from there, but there's still a lot of people with the mindset that they can win the game. I can't think of how many times I've wanted to completely quit the game and never come back because of people with this mindset. Then the Administration comes in and thumps them for it. If they did it sooner rather than later, it'd be nice, but I understand their need to see the RP value in their idea and how they go about it.

In Achaea's most recent showing of this, the Qashar. Sure, they had a great goal set for them, but the way they went about it made me facepalm in real life and want to go on vacation early so I wouldn't be tempted into coming around and get frustrated by it all. Their RP was good, but just how they go around it like "haha I own this city now, kiss my butt city!" just made the game annoying. Then the awesome Divine stepped in, thumped them all, and ended that chapter.

There's other ways to 'win' a game, but I don't think IRE games are meant to be 'won' at all. They should be enjoyed, not for achievements or anything like that, but out of the depth of the world itself and all you can do in it on a daily basis.

Goals are great, but I consider the journey equally important. It's not a race either.

As for the subject at hand, my goals are composed of sub-goals, and even those might consist of smaller pieces. Level 100 after all does take some time. But if you split it up into getting credits together for certain skills, getting guild and city ranks along the way, mix in quest and so forth it''s a great deal more fun and manageable. And that again ties in with the journey being just as important as the end.

One of the things that has kept me coming back to Achaea is the fact it's so complicated and intricate. There's no one way to "win". In fact, there really is no way to "win". You could strive to be the best combatant or the most renowned forger. You could explore every nook and cranny of the known world or become the world's wealthiest person. You can do just about anything and accomplish any of the goals you set for yourself, and get the feeling of winning, but you just can't really win.

This stands for any multi-player game. You can accomplish the goals you set for yourself, like in the real world. You can make friends and enemies, start a new organization, protect the innocent or burn down whole villages. MUDs are very deep, almost to the point of having life-like qualities unmatched by any other genera of game. And it's common knowledge that you can't "win" life, no matter how hard you try. You can accomplish your goals and become famous or infamous, become rich, become popular… but at the end of it all, no Divine Being is going to come down and hand you a certificate or plaque saying "Congratulations! You've won life!"

The best part, though, is just like in real life, you have to fight to stay at the top or "win". If you want to be the best at a certain aspect of an IRE game, you really have to try. In order to be the best combatant you have to practice and practice and practice. You need to develop strategies and find the best equipment. And since this is a popular goal, you need to fight your peers for the title of "best combatant". Just like in real life, the only one you have to blame for not winning is yourself.

... on the one hand, I'd like to see a bankaccount ranking of some sorts (I know it won't happen, privacy and whatnot), on the other hand... I'm sure I'd pass out if I see those numbers.


Hehe, same here. But that's true that more rankings would be fine.

You cannot win a MUD game. However, the article brings up many great points, as a person can really win in so many different aspects. The one nice thing about MUDS is the fact that it never ends. It's almost like those multi disk Playstation games, where after you get so far, you just throw a new CD in and the story continues. IRE games has unlimited Cd's and the story will never end.

I agree completely with this statement.

I must confess, I disagree slightly with several of the other commentators who stated that a MUD game cannot be 'won'. Certainly there is no set goal for characters; you set these yourself, and the bar for success can be as high or low as you want it.

Equally important, however, is the notion of winning outside of the game. Playing a text game is an exercise in imagination and creativity, which is something many people nowadays don't commit time or energy to. For some, it's also a good way to practice writing skills that can have wider applications than just writing a Bardic entry or performing a dirty ditty in the middle of a Church sermon. To me, using my mind is winning, and while Achaea offers the framework for it, my enjoyment of the game comes predominantly from my interaction with others to create and build upon the foundation of the established world.

What I like about MUD games is the feature of easy winning. You do the introductory part and you gain free potions. You do achievements and you gain free lessons and free experience. Stay around for 10 minutes each day and you get 310 lessons--loads of rewards with minimal requirements, so Iron Realms for the win!

I don't see any point in winning the game. If you try, of course your going to earn the biggest spot. To be truthful, winning isn't all about it. For instance, I've earned the right to be Head of Novices in my House, and from there, I find it a 'win' to move forward. I don't see winning as in 'Looky! I've beat the game! I'm done!" I see winning as in something earned everyday. If you can make it a point to see a winning situation, then take it! Reach for it, and make it happen!

I really think "winning the game" is neither achievement nor an accepted term in Achaea, and by extension, any RPG. When you win, it means the game is over, that's it. End of the line. An RPG is a cycle that will go on and on even without me, so there's really no point in trying to "win the game". The only thing you can do is live the life of your character the way you want, heedful of the consequences, because ultimately, you decide what you want to "win" and how you want to "win". And with enough effort on my part, therein lies the thrill of trying to "win".

I think it would be better said to have goals for your character, that to say you're "winning the game". Maybe you want to be the most powerful combatant, work towards that until you're ranked 1st. Maybe you want to complete a really hard quest as a rite of passage for your character. Maybe you want to become the leader of your guild. When it all comes down to it, these are just all goals, and in many cases, people will be competing with you for them.
The nice thing about MUDs is that it isn't about winning. It's about constantly setting new goals and accomplishments for your character. There's no end to it, it's a constant battle to improve yourself, and that's what I love about it, and why I keep playing.

Full of Win. And, well, I just want the GaudiBards to come and I'm insta defect-o.

Everytime I log and play I feel like winning!

Which is the entire idea of the MUDS. It's like a book that you continue to write.

Neverending story, eh?

You can't handle this, I'm bi-winning.

Can I say something about minerals being 20 gram rocks?



It's also nice to get the unexpected mini-win.  You log in - oh, there's a revolt/event/raid/god speaking to you... you pull out your best influencing/fighting/roleplaying socks, kick butt, and feel good doing it.

This can sometimes backfire, ending much swearing and rageqq'ing.

This is what makes MUDs fun - constantly evolving gameplay.


Awesome article. That's the beauty of these games, there is no real "end" to the game. It's just life in an alternate universe. Just as you set goals in real life, getting a diploma, reaching a certain amount in your savings, or getting a job promotion, it applies to the games. Reaching a certain level, or explorer ranking, seeing how high you can make your total kills in stat stats in any given time period.. Mine are simple, but never ending. It's why no matter how many breaks I take, I can always come back and be enthralled. Video games can be great fun, but inevitabley, they always end. There's only so much you really can do. I love Achaea.

Nice article! Hey, as long as I'm enjoying playing, then I feel I'm winning.

Aye, I agree. Although it can sometimes take a while to find motivation for that new task, especially after finishing something big, like dragonhood in Achaea.

Winning is relative to your individual expectation of what you and your character enjoy. It is hard when events occur that you as a player detest but your character should accept or even welcome.  An unusual dichotomy for me that though not wholly pleasant, can be rather interesting to experience. A half-win?

As an individual, I often feel I am "winning." As part of a larger organization, not always so much...

And if you are having fun you are winning. Thats what its all about to me. Games are supposed to be fun.

fun is the win? yeah I can get behind that thought.

how come i just read this now? good article, specially for those overzealous folks who try to excel in every aspect of the game. not that it's a bad thing, but come on. pretty soon, they'd make a joke outta ya.