The Mana World: An Open Source MMORPG For All Platforms

Danny Stieben 21-10-2013

Besides your typical first-person shooters or strategy experiences, plenty of people love MMORPGs, or “massively multiplayer online role playing games”. Although the most popular of this type of pastime is World of Warcraft, there are still plenty of others available for you to play. In fact, there’s even an open source MMORPG that you can play on any platform (including Linux) named “The Mana World”.


About The Mana World

The Mana World is a serious effort to create an open source MMORPG using 2D graphics. The project behind the game is aiming to create fully-developed and stable client and server components so that anyone can play it as well as host their own server. As of right now, the client is functional but the server component is not yet ready for release to the general public.

The game revolves one of your characters (of which you can have several per account) as you complete quests, fighting off various creatures, and building communities with other online players. You start out in a desert town, but your quests will give you many adventures through all sorts of climates and locations. Like most other MMORPGs, you can use many different items during your battles and quests, so you can strategize appropriately.


Windows and Mac OS X users can easily download the game via the project’s download page. Users of various Linux distributions should check the download page as well as it can forward you to the package page in your distribution’s repositories. It’s difficult to install the game from that page, but it can confirm for you under what name the package is. For most distributions, you’ll be able to find the game via “the mana world” or “tmw”. If you’re a Windows user, you could even get the game as a portable app The Best Portable Apps That Require No Installation Portable apps don't need installation. You can run them from even a flash drive. Here are the best portable apps around. Read More .

Getting Started

Once you’ve installed the game, you’ll need to head over to the project’s registration page so that you can create an account. This is important because it’ll keep track of all your characters and their progress. The registration must also be done in a browser because clicking on the Register button in-game will tell you to do just that.

Once you have an account, you can log into it within the game and create a character. After choosing some physical characteristics, you need to spread out 18 points among various abilities. Each of these have their own benefits, so you can spread them just about however you please. I would advice that you don’t give your character any points for intelligence, however, because intelligence appears to only apply once you’ve learned some magic — something you won’t do until you’ve progressed quite a bit in the game.


Starting the game is pretty simple. You’re first put through a tutorial which will give you some simple tips on how to move, how to fight creatures, how to talk to NPCs (non-playing characters — ones that are programmed to do preset tasks and aren’t controlled by a human), how to equip clothes and weapons, and how to upgrade your attributes.


Like I said before, you can complete various quests throughout the game to visit new environments, discover new mobs, and improve your character via abilities, weapons, clothes, and more. There is no “end game” in The Mana World, which I like to see as a good thing because that means you can always go on quests with your friends. The true purpose of the game isn’t to “beat” the game and advance your character, but rather it’s a game which offers some sort of progression while providing a great way to enjoy time with others.

You can move your character around by using the arrow keys, or you can simply click to where you want your character to go. There are various dialogs along the top right corner of your screen that can open different windows, such as the Quests, Kill stats, Smilies, Status, Equipment, Inventory, Skills, Social, Shortcuts, Spells, and Setup windows. All of these are either necessary or beneficial to complete certain tasks.

As you kill mobs and complete quests, you can gain points which you can use on your various abilities. While the maximums when you first create your character is 9, you can go far beyond that when increasing your abilities in-game. How these various abilities affect your character is explained in the tutorial.



The graphics are acceptable for this game, although they’re pretty good considering the project is limiting itself to 2D graphics. It can be configured to display various levels of detail, as well as whether it should use OpenGL for rendering. I’m not entirely sure about this, but I assume that leaving the OpenGL option unchecked results in a software renderer being used in the processor rather than using your graphics card What Is the Difference Between an APU, CPU, and GPU? Confused about computer processor acronyms? It's time to learn the difference between an APU, CPU, and GPU. Read More . I don’t quite think that it matters what you choose since the game isn’t heavy on resources, but if you crank up the settings and use 1080p resolution, you might as well go ahead and use OpenGL anyways. There’s no reason to make it harder on your system than it needs to be.


The Mana World is a fun game to play, and it’s even more fun when you have friends playing with you and you are completing quests together. Best of all, it’s completely free and open source, so there’s no reason not to play it. Hopefully development on it will continue so that a full stable version including a server counterpart can be released.

What’s your favorite MMORPG game? What types of games would you like to see more of on Linux? Let us know in the comments!

Related topics: MMO Games, Online Games, Role-Playing Games.

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  1. Spacetrilobite
    September 24, 2017 at 12:38 am

    hi! excellent article. I recently started playing the Free version on Mac, stunning intro, customisation and so forth, however as soon as the lovely robot lady said "now you are ready to start training, simply drag the book into the top of the skills list to start training" i see these odd commands "24hrs remaining" "18 hrs remaining" cant past that point. What am I missing? I want to believe this is where I need to buy an account, is that correct or am I totally braindead in this regard? Thanks, guys, any help would be appreciated.

  2. blaha
    November 11, 2013 at 10:26 am

    the current server runs on a files stolen from a previous admin (platyna) at March 2013 so encouraging people to use it is wrong

    you can read the whole story here:

  3. NASA_TestPilot
    October 26, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    > This is one of the things that we addressed in the new “Mana” server
    It can be addressed in less drastic ways, to say the least. And adding ability to do some more sane (challenge-response) auth to eAthena is a far less work than porting whole game world to "new, better" server. Not to mention that The Best OpenSource 2D RPG Client Ever (ManaPlus - see has ditched support of "better" manaserv protocol since its not widely used or demanded and manaserv/manasource devs not really care about TMW, ManaPlus and so on.

    Perfectionism is what kills half of projects on the way. Its really worth of nothing to have superb architecture, perfect code and so on, if result lacks all features players love, no content, etc. It would be just some chunk of code which is okay to put into museum but not a much use otherwise. He-he, o11c sometimes falls to the same pit but he haves far better starting conditions: alive world with developed content and bunch of players.

  4. Buddy Bradley
    October 23, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I guess I'll stick to Tibia, it's better in all points of comparison.

  5. Brian Tkatch
    October 22, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Security warning: Do not use the same username and password on two different servers. The server admins can read all of them in clear text and nothing stops them from trying them on other servers. It happened a lot in the past that users of the official server got "hacked" because they ignored this important precaution.


    • Thorbjørn Lindeijer
      October 22, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      Yes, The Mana World still sends the password over to the server in clear text. This is one of the things that we addressed in the new "Mana" server, but this server is currently only being used for Source of Tales - [Broken Link Removed] . There are some who'd like to port The Mana World over to the new server, but it's a big project that should be done with the support from The Mana World community.

    • o11c
      October 23, 2013 at 6:56 pm

      Really, you have no reason to expect ANY site to encrypt your password.

  6. Viviana Ruppel
    October 22, 2013 at 2:32 am

    Thank you so much for your honest review, as part of the group of people behind the game I´m really happy to read it.
    One thing i must add to your post is we have a second official client, made by a really talented player, for his fork and for The Mana World, it´s called "Manaplus" it will allow you to set the graphics to your best comfort, like choosing between OpenGL and Software acceleration among other nice features.
    And a last thing if you start to play and don´t find much people on the first town don´t panic ;) once you finish the quests there you will travel to another town, "Hurnscald" that is the heart of our game and were people usually is.
    Again thank you for your review and I´m happy you liked the game.

    • Danny S
      October 31, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      No problem! :) I'm happy to spread the word on great open source projects.

  7. Leoner R
    October 22, 2013 at 2:20 am

    I'll try this.. it looks fun.

  8. Joel L
    October 21, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    Wow. I used to follow this game years ago, back when it was running on eAthena (the server emulator for Ragnarok Online). It's nice to see that it's still going strong, though I hoped it would be further along by now than it is currently. Probably won't play it due to a lack of time, unfortunately.

    • o11c
      October 22, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      TMW developer here ...

      The server still is running on the eAthena-based version. I decided it was better to support that rather than wipe all characters and switch to ManaServ. It's been 9 years, and only recently (after I started maintaining TMWA) was there a serious release based on ManaServ ( [Broken Link Removed] ). There's a still a lot of documentation that's outdated, but TMW itself no longer plans to use ManaServ.

      TMWA (the server) is still not very well packaged and there's a lot of cruft from people who assumed it was only a temporary step on the way to ManaServ, but I'm hoping I'll be able to make proper releases for linux distros (it is not supported on Windows or BSD, but it's just the server, you can't complain) in the next year or so - hopefully in time for the 10th anniversary, but I won't rush it if it's not ready.