After you successfully download and install the game and register an account name, it's time for you to get acquainted with the ins and outs of the world. As you level up as a Beginner you'll always want to look ahead to see how you can optimize your experience.
Like most MMORPGs, gameplay centers on venturing into dungeons and combating monsters in real-time. The players combat monsters and complete quests, in the process acquiring in-game currency, called "mesos" or "meru", experience points (EXP), and various items.
Characters advance in level by gaining a preset amount of EXP for each level. The maximum possible level is level 200. Upon leveling up, players receive Ability Points and Skill Points to distribute among their abilities and skills.
MapleStory's 2D side-scrolling viewpoint more closely resembles a platformer than the typical 3D or top-down view of other games such as Guild Wars or Mu Online. The controls for the game are executed using the computer keyboard and mouse. The keyboard is used for many game functions, and much of it can be re-arranged to suit users' needs. The mouse is mainly used to trigger NPCs (Non Player Characters) and manipulating items.
MapleStory characters exist in "worlds". Each world is split up into "servers". Players are allowed to create up to three different characters in each world. Each world, similar in content between each other in the same version, is split into up to twenty channels, among which characters are allowed to freely switch. Characters and their items cannot be transferred between worlds, unless a transfer is purchased in the Cash Shop.
 New players
After loading MapleStory, choose a server to play on. Select create character, then pick from one of the class groupings. Adventurers are the regular players, Cygnus Knights are more powerful than Adventurers but cannot level past 120, and Hero classes such as Aran, Mercedes, Evan and Phantom have a shared storyline with powerful skills. There is also a class called the Resistance class, which consists of Battle Mage, Wild Hunter, Demon Slayer and Mechanic.
Now that you've selected your class, name your character and then customize its appearance. For some class groupings, such as Evan, you will not be able to adjust the clothes or weapon that you begin with. Unlike the old system, you can now have characters of either gender.
Before you begin, you'll need to choose the sex of all of your characters, Male or Female. Once you have chosen, you cannot switch. This choice is meant to reflect your own gender; don't be surprised if many people do not. Now you must create your character: you'll have the ability to roll for its basic abilities (stats), choose what your character looks like, and name your character.
- Ability Points
Players no longer need to roll dice for their stats. Instead, they start with 4 AP in every stat and the remaining AP can be freely allocated. When job advancing to 1st job, the stats will be automatically changed to fit the job (e.g. if you become a Thief at level 10, your allocated AP will be reset to 4 STR, 25 DEX, 4 INT, and 4 LUK). This allows Beginners to allocate AP to make them strong while on Maple Island, and allows players not to worry about starting stats when they make their first job advancement.
You will be able to allocate ability points amongst four different stats that affect your character's inherent strengths. Players cannot manually choose where these points will be placed, as the distribution is randomly generated by a dice roll. Even if you have no preference, it is highly recommended that you have an idea of what class you wish to become. These stats will play a great role in your gameplay. The stats you focus on will depend on which class you choose.
When customizing your character's appearance, you'll be able to choose from a limited variety of faces, hair styles, hair colors, skin colors, and initial equipment for their character. After the character's creation, the cosmetic aspects of these can be modified only through the quest "Beauty or Beast" or purchase of special coupons from the Cash Shop.
There are very few naming rules for your character, as long as the name has not already been taken. Remember that MapleStory tends to censor, so anything slightly inappropriate may not be a good idea.
- Initial Job
- For more details on this topic, see MapleStory/Jobs.
Unlike many other MMORPGs, players in MapleStory cannot choose a character class or job when they create the character. Rather, every character starts with the job Beginner or "Legend" or something similar until they meet the requirements to complete the first job advancement.
- The Adventure Begins
After the character creation process is complete, you can chose to take several beginner quests that serve as a tutorial to the game. If you choose not to, you will be sent to Maple Island or Ereve, Rien, Elluel or Edelstein, depending on which class/job. These areas are specifically designed to be beginner-friendly.
For the means of strategy, it is important to place your points mainly into a certain stat and a certain skill. To choose which stat and skill you should mainly work on improving, you should first decide what class or job you will take on later in the game. The initial skills available to Beginner classes have little effect past the first job.
When a character's hit points reach zero, the character dies. Death will normally cost a character a percentage of EXP, never to fall below zero percent. Beginners do not lose EXP when they die. Items such as the one-use Safety Charm (available from the Cash Shop) can prevent EXP loss when the character dies. After death, the character transports to the nearest town. Upon returning to the nearest town, characters are revived with fifty HP, as well as the same amount of MP they possessed upon death.
There are four types of stats (Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Luck) with varying degrees of value depending on character class. Characters generally raise one main stat to increase their damage output, as well as one minor stat to meet the requirements to equip weapons and armor and/or increase the specialties that come with some of the stats. Also sometimes a character will choose to raise their health or mana. These are also raised using Ability Points (AP).
The following four points are the primary stats used in the game. These can be increased with the allocation of AP, and are vital to the strength of your chosen job and build.
- STR (Strength): increases Warrior and Brawler damage. As the in-game description says, STR is also used as a requirement for heavier weapons and equipment. Rarely used by any other jobs.
- DEX (Dexterity): increases accuracy, avoidability, and Bowman and Gunslinger damage.
- INT (Intelligence): increases accuracy for spells, Magician damage, and the amount of mana gained after leveling up (this amount boosts the maximum mana).
- LUK (Luck): increases avoidability and Thief damage. Decreases the amount of EXP lost after dying.
Every character class has various skills in which to invest Skill Points (SP). A skill becomes increasingly powerful or helpful depending on the amount of SP invested in the skill. Each skill can be mapped to a specific button to simplify activation.
Players can kill monsters alone, or they can form a party with up to 5 other characters. One character forms a party as the leader, and invites others to the party. The leader must be at least level 10 or have already completed the first job advancement to create a party. While killing monsters, Mesos and EXP are shared based on damage dealt to the monster as well as each character's relative level; more of each being given to higher-level members. Party members who are significantly weaker than the monsters killed by other members will not receive shares of the EXP unless they have dealt at least 1 point of damage to the monster before it is killed. The EXP and Mesos gained are only shared if the party members are on the same map and channel. Joining a party without helping is known as "leeching" and is generally considered rude.
Players can form Guilds with other players. The purpose of a guild is to be able to find and chat with each other more easily, to bond with other players, and make it easier when trying to complete a quest. Members have their guild's name listed under their character name along with the guild's emblem, if applicable.
Guilds can be created at Orbis for a large amount of Mesos. Additional upgrades to the guild such as a guild emblem and expanding the maximum amount of guild members will carry an additional fee. For each expansion, the cost is more.
Guilds have a customizable hierarchy of five ranks. The "Guild Master", who initially created the guild, has complete control over the guild. "Jr. Masters", appointed by the Guild Master, have limited control over the guild. Each guild member's rank, level, and job is displayed in the guild window. A special guild-only quest called "Sharenian" is available. It is much like a party quest, but more difficult.
 Common Courtesy
As with all MMORPGs, there are some things that you should and should not do.
- Territory: While no one "owns" territory (it is intellectual property of Wizet), a significant number of MapleStory players grow attached to the area that they have been training on for a decent amount of time. This is an "unwritten law" of MapleStory, and it is suggested that you abide by it, if you value your fame level. If you would like to train somewhere, but it has already been taken, then simply change channels. With 19 channels there are plenty of places to train at. If you invade someone's territory, then it is most commonly considered "kill stealing" and will most likely cause arguments. While it is incorrect to say that this is just as wrong to do as, for example, invading a foreign country, it tends to irritate people, so try not to do this. Unfortunately, in some places such as the popular "Pig Beach", territory is very hard to grasp, and a lot of kill stealing occurs as a result.
- The etiquette of territory is hard to define, as everyone has different views of how big their territory is. For some maps, a territory may be less than 1/8 of the map, or even a mere monster. On the other hand, the territory of some maps such as the end of the B3 Subway, and the Zombie maps, extend across the entire map. However, as you train in that particular map for a long amount of time, you will begin to grasp this common, unwritten knowledge. Also if you happen to want to kill say pigs without the random effect of maybe getting defamed go to a really unpopulated map. Say map 20 you will be able to train in relative peace, however you might not be able to kill pigs or anything else fast enough.
- Kill Stealing: Many people "kill steal", especially at earlier levels. In essence, kill stealing is when a person either invades someone else's territory, or when a stronger player follows around a weaker player just to irritate that weak player. Kill stealing is often referred to as "KSing" ("KS" referring to "kill steal", and "KSed" referring to "kill stealed"). Sometimes, a form of kill stealing is used to defend against kill stealing. This situation is rare and cannot be defined with a specific term, other than "KS war", although this generally involves more than two people. It typically happens when someone is kill stealing, is warned, defamed, and still will not leave one's territory. Kill stealing is considered rude behavior and generally results in defaming. The kill stealing etiquette rule does not apply to boss monsters, per global belief. In some extreme cases, one may wait for a boss monster such as Mushmom for a considerable amount of time, and is KSed once it spawns.When you are being ksed,a good choice is to move to another training spot, or just run away.Getting ksed is not fun,especially if you have 2Xs exp.
- Defaming: Defames, which are the opposite of fame, are generally frowned upon, as they can easily lead to "mass defames" in which a band of people defames a single person repeatedly. Defaming is sometimes a useful tool to use if someone is being extremely disrespectful by kill stealing or otherwise. A "defame war" is similar to a mass defaming, except two parties of people defame each other.
The economy of MapleStory is complicated, with prices fluctuating all the time as a result of inflation. Prices vary from version to version and server to server, depending on availability. Below is a list of those items which generally retain a standard price:
- Scrolls (those that increase equipment statistics) are usually valuable, the cheapest selling for at least 20,000 (except for DEF scrolls and scrolls for pet equipment, which are generally worth very little) and the most expensive selling for up to 30 million (for the Mage-demanded 60% Overall INT scroll, 10%/60% Earring INT scroll, the Warrior/Thief/Bowman-demanded 60/30% Glove Attack, and the 30% Overall for DEX, STR, LUK, and INT).
- Common ores are worth about 1,000-2,000 Mesos each. It is recommended that you keep all of your ores instead of selling them to the NPC. However, there are some rarer ores that are worth more, such as the Diamond, Gold or Black Crystal Ores,(Black crystal ores can be sold for 100-150k because of the need for the 3rd job advancement) which can be sold for even more (generally 2,000-10,000 Mesos each, depending on server). Then there are the rarest ores - the "Crystal" ores such as the LUK, Wisdom, DEX, Power, and Dark Crystal Ores. The most expensive, the Dark Crystal, which is needed for the third job advancement test, sells for up to 200,000 Mesos each. Be wary that the Dark Crystal and Black Crystal Ores are not the same thing.
- The newer or less populated a server is, the higher the prices for rare items are. For example, on GlobalMS Scania, an item may sell for X Mesos, while on a less populated or less established server it may sell for up to 1.5 times that amount. At the end of the first week of the GlobalMS Tespia beta phase, those who had found a Panlid sold it for up to 2 million Mesos each. At the end of the last week of Tespia, however, the price had dropped to as low as 100,000 Mesos each. Also, once an item becomes obsolete, its value drops; for example, the price of Panlids in GlobalMS dropped upon the release of the new Magician shields (Mystic and Esther shields) and Bandit shields (Seclusion, Nimble, and Jurgen Wristguards).
- Counterpoint: Scrolls will usually be lower in newer servers; While there is a lower number of scrolls in the market, there will usually be very few people, if any, who can use them effectively. Also, lower level monsters give less profit, so players will have less money, which will translate into lower prices. Finally, quests such as Jane and the Wild Boar will also add scrolls to the market, in relatively large quantities for the server's age.
- For more details on this topic, see MapleStory/Monsters.
Killing monsters gives a player experience, Mesos, and/or items. Any experience gained is automatically added to the player’s total experience, whereas the Mesos and items are dropped at the location of the monsters' death.
Like human-controlled characters, monsters have defense ratings against attacks. In addition, some monsters have elemental strengths and weaknesses making them more or less susceptible to specific elemental attacks. Nearly all monsters can damage the player simply through contact. Some monsters can use skills similar to the player's.
- For more details on this topic, see MapleStory/Quests.
Quests are varying tasks that players may perform for NPCs in return for experience and possible rewards. There are many available quests, each with varying prerequisites; most quests may require the player to have attained a certain level or to have completed certain quests. Some quests can be repeated, although the reward(s) and given EXP may be different from those attained during their first completion.
Items can be acquired from monster drops, purchased from other characters or shops, or as rewards for completing a quest. In some versions of the game, items can be obtained through cash with the gachapon system. Players buy gachapon tickets with cash and each of these tickets can be exchanged for a random item. Items can be dropped (where they can be picked up by any other character), sold to any shop for a sum of meso, or sold/traded to other characters. Generally, stronger monsters drop better items. Due to the time required to sell valuable items to other players as well as the quantity of items received, many players create a mule account to store excess items and/or act as a dedicated trading account.
There are five different item categories in the game: Equipment (clothes, accessories, and weapons); Use (potions, scrolls and other consumables); Set-up (decorations and special items); Etc. (monster drops, ores, and quest items); and Cash (items bought from the cash shop). In the inventory window, each category has its own section, each of which is only able to contain a limited amount of items. Extra inventory space can be purchased in the Cash Shop or awarded after each job advancement.
Equipment can be upgraded by using item upgrade scrolls which give stat bonuses to equipment. Using a scroll on an item can only be attempted a limited number of times irrespective of the scroll's success or failure. The number of attempts available vary with the item type. Scrolls have a certain percentage of success. Typically, the lower the success percentage, the higher the stat gains provided by the scrolls. Scrolls can only be used when you have equipped the item that you wish to upgrade, but in KoreanMS, MapleSEA, GlobalMS and JapanMS, there is a skill (listed in the beginner skill book) that allows you to scroll an item without the need of equipping it. Called Legendary Spirit, it is only available after a quest which requires over a million mesos, many 100% scrolls and a Red Whip, which is the hardest of to obtain.
 Cash Shop
The Cash Shop is a virtual shop where players can buy items using real money. The items sold in the Cash Shop include clothing items, appearance-changing coupons, pets, and usable items that provide special bonuses, such as a bonus in experience gain. Most Cash Shop items expire after a certain period of time.
Pets, modeled after animals such as monkeys, dogs, cats, bunnies, pandas, and pigs, follow the owner around and can be equipped to pick up spoils dropped by enemies.
The Global Cash Shop markets items for two virtual currencies: Nexon Cash (NX Cash), and "MaplePoints". NX Cash is purchased outside of MapleStory through the MapleStory web site. MaplePoints, however, can be earned through special events.
Prepaid cards, obtained through events or bought from stores, are available in MapleSEA and GlobalMS. In the US, the Nexon prepaid cash cards are currently available in nationwide (US) Target stores. An event has been added, named "Spot On" to introduce the partnership. Completing the quest involves talking to two NPCs who give information about the sale of cash cards. Nexon prepaid cash cards have become available from other additional stores.
 Free Market
The Free Market is a place set aside for people who wish to sell their items amongst other players. Miniature shops can be set up in this area in which people can browse their stock. Shop permits, required to set up a shop, are only available through the Cash Shop. There are two types of store permits: a standard store, which requires the presence of the player, and the "Mushroom House Elf", which does not require the presence of the player. One can meet with players located in other towns, provided the town contains a Free Market entrance. However, one cannot use the free market to travel between towns. There are entrances to the Free Market in many of the various towns, but not all.
 Unique gameplay features
Although a purely two-dimensional game lacking certain features found in other MMORPGs, MapleStory has features that distinguish it from other online games. For example, by pressing certain keys, a player can have their character temporarily display various emotions viewable by other players; some emotions showcase a confused expression, while another conveys happiness. Additional expressions can be purchased in the Cash Shop.
Fame is the designation for one of the statistics on a character's character sheet. Fame allows a user's character to do slightly more things, as some items and quests need a certain amount of fame; characters are also ranked online by fame level. Once characters are at the minimum requirement of level 15, they are able to raise or lower the fame of any character once per day. A character cannot raise or lower the same character's fame more than once every thirty days. Some quests may award a player fame points, or even take some away.
NOTE: Fame does NOT affect drops or meso amounts, nor does luck AP.
Players may participate in in-game marriages. Weddings occur at one of two special areas, based on the version played. Guests may be invited to the wedding, and the marrying couple will receive wedding rings.
The traditional Chinese marriage system that takes place at Peach Blossom Island is only available in ChinaMS. In order for the couple to enter the ceremony hall, players will need to don Western- or Chinese-style wedding outfits and a special ring purchased from the Cash Shop. After the ceremony, both players will receive a Diamond Ring as proof of the marriage.
Amoria, a marriage system based on western culture, is available in ThailandMS and GlobalMS. It requires the completion of various quests, including receiving an engagement ring and the blessing of the parents (Cathedral weddings require blessings). Unlike other versions, players may attempt to make a variety of rings. Each of these rings carry various bonuses. In Amoria Dungeon, players can fight exclusive monsters. Currently, the monsters found there include the Orange Mushroom, Blue Snail, Slime, and, exclusive to this map, the Sakura Cellion. If you buy a premium wedding ticket from the Cash Shop, you will be able to have a party after the ceremony.
On certain days, the Game Masters(or GMs) host special events in which any player is capable of participating, given their character is at a given map during the event time. All participants receive a trophy, and winners receive a random prize.
Users are notified of an upcoming event by a scrolling box at the top of the game screen. Events are known to bring an influx of players to the event's respective locations, which generally causes massive connection lag.
Special events include Christmas tree events, wedding events, drawing events, and quest events; for example, players might be required to find an item and return it to the event quest NPC or GM.
Occasionally, certain versions of the game hold events that celebrate a certain event in real-life or an event specific to that version, such as a holiday or new server release. During these events, certain aspects of the game are modified in celebration; for example, the experience rate or drop rate may be increased, or special items may be released.
 Family System
Family System is a reward system of special time-limited buffs exchanged from Reputation Points (RPs). Family System is a hierachy where players can have their own "children", hence the name "Family".
Each player can invite up to two Juniors of their own. A junior of someone is a player who is ranked below him/her. Anyone can be a Senior, which is someone who is ranked above a Junior. To add a Junior, simply right click a character and click Add Junior. Remember, you cannot add someone who is of higher level than you, or someone who is 20 levels or more below you, and you cannot have more than 2 Juniors. To get the idea of family system, refer to the 1st picture below.
Family System rewards you by the Reputation Points system. Whenever any Junior below you earns a certain percentage of EXP, you gain either 10 or 20 RPs. The 2nd picture shows the interface for Family System.
On the interface, you can click on "Pedigree" to view the hierachy as shown in Picture 1. You can use the entitlements by exchanging them from RPs by selecting your preferred entitlement and clicking "Use This". Each entitlement can only be used once a day.
There are 7 (previously there were 11) different entitlements available.
|Entitlement 1: Family Reunion||User||210 RP||Will be transferred to the map where a family member is currently in.|
|Entitlement 2: Summon Family||1 Family Member||350 RP||Summons one of your family member to the map you are currently in.|
|Entitlement 3: My Drop Rate 1.2X (15 Mins)||User||700 RP||Drop Rate will be increased by 20% for 15 minutes.|
|Entitlement 4: My EXP 1.2X EXP (15 Mins)||User||900 RP||EXP gained from monsters will be increased by 20% for 15 minutes.|
|Entitlement 5: My Drop Rate 1.2X (30 Mins)||User||1,500 RP||Drop Rate will be increased by 20% for 30 minutes.|
|Entitlement 6: My EXP 1.2X (30 Mins)||User||2,000 RP||EXP gained from monsters will be increased by 20% for 30 minutes.|
|Entitlement 7: Family Bonding (30 Mins)||User||3,000 RP||EXP gained from monsters and Drop Rate will be increased by 50% for 30 minutes. At least 6 users must be online from the Family Pedigree.|
 Professions and Traits
- For more details on this topic, see MapleStory/Professions.
At level 30, a player reveals 5 traits, which are Diligence, Ambition, Charm, Empathy and Insight. Each trait has a maximum level of 100. Each 5 levels, a trait will reveal an effect on the player. The player could have less death experience penalty, more maximum MP, more quest experience and many more. Diligence can be gotten for staying in-game for at least an hour, Ambition from boss monsters, Charm from fame, Empathy from harvesting herbs, and Insight from mining. But, there are also other ways to get traits to level up, such as useable items, Party Quests and also Quests.
The player can learn up to two professions. There are only 3 combinations available : Herbalism + Alchemy, Mining + Smithing or Mining + Accessory Crafting. Each profession has a maximum level of 10. There is also a fatigue system where each character gains a fatigue point when mining, harvesting, making potions or making equipments. When fatigue reaches 200 (or 100 for EuropeMS currently), the character cannot harvest/mine/craft/make anything. When one hour passes, the fatigue drops by 5. To fasten the process, players can buy a drink, but it comes with a price (especially in MSEA).
The profession system replaces the maker skill, which is now defunct.
- For more details on this topic, see MapleStory/Pets.
Players can acquire companions that are used for aesthetic purposes, entertainment, and to give the player special bonuses (stats and effects). In some versions you can have multiple pets out at the same time if you acquire the skill called Follow the Leader(s) (known in the table as "Multipet").
 Potential System
- For more details on this topic, see MapleStory/Potential System.
The potential system is a bonus to item stats previously set. If you pick up an item, there might be a notice in your chat window saying, "You have found an item with hidden potential." If the item has a red outline, it means it has hidden potential. If the item has a blue outline, it's a rare item. If the item has a purple outline, it's an epic item. And if the item has a yellow outline, it's a unique item.
 Versions and registration
The Korean version was the first to be created, ergo it has the most features as of yet; other versions are at different stages of development and most are not as advanced in content as Korea's. With this advantage comes the problem of players (mainly from the Global version, but some from others) trying to play KoreaMS. These players are often referred to as 외국인이, or "foreigners" by a majority of the Korean MapleStory players. IP blocking is used in some of the other versions of the game, mostly for the same reason. Some attempt to bypass this by using Proxies, which spoof IP addresses to make it seem like a player is playing from a different country - however in Europe MapleStory a GameGuard proxy check has been implemented. This is also because foreign text in the Latin Character-Based Global version causes glitches to occur. This is the same for Koreans in the Chinese version, and so on.
Though some versions share the same world names, they are different and independent of each other. They are defined by their language used, publisher, server location and specialized worlds.
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If you press the Scroll Lock key (you may have to use a function key to press it on a laptop), the game may lock up for a moment as it takes and saves a screenshot. Screenshots are saved in C:\Nexon\MapleStory\ and are named "Maple####.jpg" where #### begins at 0000 and increases with each screenshot taken.