One of my favorite pastimes in any MMO, or even a single player RPG, is the character creation. I could sit there for hours tweaking face sliders, hair options, and skin colors -- practically never getting around to the actual game. I think part of the addiction to this feature, for me anyway, is to see how many different ways you can make a completely badass character or a completely silly one. Or even recreating celebrities and characters from other game.
In most MMOs, when you go to create a character, you’ll have a decent array of choices to customize your avatar -- like different faces and hairstyles, skin and hair color choices, and sometimes even little extras like earrings, tattoos, or pets. But then there’s some MMOs whose character creators dwarf all others, as they give you sliders galore and allow you to tweak almost every detail on your character.
The next five games in this slideshow have some of the most in-depth, granular character creation you'll find in any MMO on the market right now.
I know what you’re thinking. ‘Wait...EVE Online? Aren’t you flying a ship and look at charts for most of the game?’ Yes, yes you are. But in spite of that, this game has a character creator -- and a pretty impressive one at that.
One of the first things you’ll notice in the video is the quality of the graphics and character model, which are quite good. Next, you’ll want to note how you can pick every little detail from facial features and hair to body type and clothes. Not only that, but you can even pose the character how you’d like for their character portrait, including facial expressions.
There’s one small detail that I love about this character creator. It almost feels silly to say, but look at how each section of the body is highlighted by the outline of the muscles as your mouse passes over them. Lovely.
If you thought EVE had a lot of sliders and details to choose from, then allow me to blow your mind with APB Reloaded. While this open world, third-person shooter MMO has changed hands in both developers and publishers, it still has an insanely in-depth character and clothing customization system.
Not only does APB Reloaded allow you to customize your character's physical look (including tattoos), but you can also customize what they’re wearing. And I don’t mean picking from some preset items, although those are available. The game allows you to pick from a gallery or create graphics of your own to make your clothes uniquely yours.
You can also use it to recreate the clothes of characters from other games. There’s an example of this in the video above, as a player remakes D.va from Overwatch with the use of APB's character and clothing customizer.
Black Desert Online
Black Desert Online is by far the prettiest and most in-depth on the list in terms a graphics and customizations (my graphics card weeps just thinking about it).
In this Korean sandbox MMO, you have the ability to tweak everything -- and I mean everything -- on your character. Much like EVE Online, you can hover your mouse over sections of your character's face and adjust them accordingly. This also includes where the hair falls against your character’s armor and face. You can even take a hairstyle and give it a cut to make parts shorter or use extensions to make it longer.
Of course, having such control over features can lead to some fun and terrifying results. Get the video above to 2:47 and you’ll see celebrity recreations along with some more...abstract results.
Blade & Soul
This fantasy, martial-arts MMO boasts a highly customizable character creator -- and it has a right to do so. Blade & Soul has a wide variety of faces, hairstyles, and colors -- plus it allows you to further tweak those features with the use of sliders.
And don’t worry if you’re afraid you don’t have the talent to make an amazing looking character, because the game allows you to use presets if you want. What are presets? They are characters that another player made that you can load into the game and use in the character creator!
Despite being over 10 years old, Aion’s character creator still is gorgeous as ever and holds up well against some of the newer MMOs of today. When you dive into the game and create your first character, you’ll find many options to choose from. You could go with one of the numerous presets Aion provides, or you can use the facial and body sliders to create something uniquely your own.
That wraps up our list of the best character customization systems in current MMOs! What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments -- and share some photos of the characters you've made using these in-game creators!