I started playing Trove a couple of weeks before the game went into open beta and I’ve never regretted the ten dollars I paid to get in. My approach to the MMO has always been casual— I rarely play for more than 30-40 minutes—however each session is always a lot of fun. The more the game grows the more I’m excited about it, especially now that there are so many class options to choose from. However despite the fact that the game is so well done, I don’t think it receives the attention it deserves. Like many other critics, I assumed at the start that Trove was a Minecraft clone, attempting to ride on the coattails of the survival sandbox’s success. However Trove is something else. I would describe it as a cross between an action combat MMO, a voxel builder, and a dungeon crawler. Place all of that in a whimsical world that does not take itself very seriously, and you have an idea of what playing Trove is like. If you need more convincing, then here are ten reasons in no particular order as to why I think you should be playing Trove.
Trove is accessible in many ways. The game is easy to pick up and takes very little time to understand the basics. The tutorial walks you through all you’ll need to know in order to enter a level appropriate world and start looking for adventure! It’s also an excellent bridge between the Minecraft and MMO genres. My kids love the open world elements of Minecraft and I plan on Trove being an introductory MMO for us to play together because it touches on gameplay elements we all enjoy.
While the game is easy to pick up, there is quite a bit of depth available. As you level up you’ll definitely find challenging circumstances between the platforming required in some of the lairs and dungeons as well as the boss fights themselves. There’s also plenty of breadth to crafting, gearing, and building on your cornerstone (portable, personal housing). If you do decide to plant roots in this game, there is plenty to keep you busy.
3. Custom Appearance
Trove allows you to customize your character’s appearance (and change it for free!) including hair, eye color, and gender. Additionally, every piece of gear you pick up can be saved for future cosmetic use. For each of the three gear slots (hat, face, and weapon) you can choose from a list of saved skins how you would like your currently equipped items to appear. Lastly, your character’s costume can be changed out, however additional costumes must be purchased for real money from the cash shop.
4. Short Play Sessions
Trove is easy to play in quick bursts, making it the perfect casual romp. Once you have logged in, all you have to do is pick a portal appropriate for your class level and off you go! There is a daily reward for completing several lairs and dungeons which can be completed in 20-30 minutes and rewards currency used for purchasing additional classes along with a few other cash shop items. Even with a short play session, you can accomplish a lot.
5. Small Download
I couldn’t find the exact number, but I know the hard drive space required for Trove is tiny compared to most MMOs. For comparison, my Rift folder contains almost 20GB of data whereas Trove is showing a measly 430MB. This may seem like an odd fact to include, but if you’re like me, you have to clean out old games on your hard drive to make room for new ones which means eventually some titles have to be uninstalled. However Trove is so small, you won’t even notice it’s there so even when you’re trying something new you can keep Trove around for later.
6. Generous F2P
Seriously, I don’t even see how Trion is making money with this game it is so generous. With the in-game currency (Cubits) you can purchase all available classes and a few mounts, wings, and other miscellaneous items. A few cosmetics and collectibles require real money but I’ve been content without them. Some F2P games are prone to get you with inventory space, but so far with Trove I’ve had plenty so that isn’t even problematic.
In the later levels you may want Shadow Keys to enter Shadow Arenas for better gear rewards and these keys are purchasable from the cash shop. They can also be crafted in game but gaining the materials takes a lot of time. For some people this may be problematic, but I’m fine with it. It isn’t necessary to enter SAs in order to enjoy the game and you are still able to make the keys for free if you are patient. Since each key allows up to 8 people to enter a Shadow Arena, you can also try playing with a regular group where each member takes a turn supplying a crafted key. Keep in mind, this is only for those serious about min/maxing their gear. If you are playing Trove casually, you’ll definitely have plenty of content to enjoy for free and will never need to purchase or craft a Shadow Key.
7. Quirky Aesthetics and Themes
While playing Trove you will see characters wearing plungers, spoons, squirrels, and spatulas. You will conquer cupcakes in a pool of fudge, wrestle wraiths in an eerie crypt, and descend upon dragons in the belly of an active volcano. The game does not take itself too seriously, and you shouldn’t either. Trove’s themes evoke the limitless surrealism of childhood stories, games, and role play. It’s whimsical and ridiculous; I love it.
8. Frequent Updates
I couldn’t tell you exactly how often Trove is updated, but for example in the last two months there have been two new classes introduced, fishing and boating were added alongside new biomes, new mounts, the Golden Thread quests, and several other changes and improvements. It’s astonishing to see just how much this little game has added in such a short time.
Cornerstones are player created housing that travels with you. Whenever you enter a new instance of the open world, you can place your cornerstone in one of the designated spots. Anything you have built previously within that space will show up every time you place your cornerstone. What I love about this take on housing is that it blends qualities from both instanced and open world housing systems. It is open world in that you can walk around and visit other cornerstones as you play, however it is like instanced housing in that you can “return” to your house almost anywhere in the world. Looking at what others have created for their cornerstone is part of the fun of this game.
10. Player Created Content
Most of that cosmetic gear I mentioned earlier? Designed by players. Several of the lairs and dungeons you’ll run into out in the open world? Also designed by players. A few of the costumes purchasable on the cash shop? Designed by players. In addition to assets in the game created by the community, there is also the club worlds, entire instanced worlds built by “clubs,” which are Trove’s guild equivalent. I’ve not spent much time exploring these worlds yet, but what I have seen is remarkable.
That’s ten reasons but I could go on. I’ve mentioned in other articles how much I love the end game design because it essentially blurs the line between leveling and end game. There’s never a rush to “finish” a class in Trove, because what you’ll be doing along the way is the same as what you’ll be doing at level 20. I’m also a huge fan of the class design. Right now the Candy Barbarian is my favorite but I also enjoy the Shadow Hunter, Neon Ninja, and Dracolyte. While they are quite simple, all of the classes are unique and you’re bound to find one you like. And it’s so easy to earn the end game currency to purchase them, within 2-3 months you could probably have all of them (currently) without spending a dime.
Ultimately what it comes down to is that the game is fun, plain and simple. Whether you’re running around looking to pick a fight in a lair or dungeon, designing and decorating your cornerstone, or crafting rings and mounts, it’s going to be a good time. If any of this sounds appealing but you’ve never tried Trove before, I strongly recommend you give it a shot. In the world of MMO development this game is the little engine that could and it has a bright future ahead. Trove may have largely gone unnoticed over the last year but give it time; Trion has a sleeper hit on their hands with this one.