Is Aion, Worth Playing?
Aion is a relic of a bygone era, and no amount of developer passion or community loyalty will save it from its current downward spiral.

The Lowdown.

Product Details
Genre: Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game
Developer: NCSOFT
Publisher: Gameforge 4D GmbH
Price: Free
Release Date: 29 February 2012
Supported Modes:

Business Model.

While Aion is officially free-2-play and manages to adhere closely to that ethos on the NA standalone client, players in the EU or those who opt for the Steam client will find themselves greatly restricted if they do not wish to open wide their wallets and purchase a continual stream of items, and buffs to allow them to be competitive.

While it’s possible to “sell your soul” and grind your way to victory, the excessive amount of time required ensures that method is entirely unviable for all but the most committed individuals willing to sacrifice 80+ hours a week to remain competitive at endgame pvp and pve content.


Cash Shop Controversy.

Aion has a very large and well-stocked cash shop, selling everything from suggestive clothing for female characters (including Loli) and weird sailor suits for male characters to outright pay-2-win items and convenience items.

Honestly, It gave me a kinda yucky feeling browsing the store and knowing that some individuals would put those outfits on characters who appear to be minors; while most games from the East have races that fit the magical little girl trope, they at least ensure that the “big girls clothes” are non-equipable.

I do not attribute this as a deliberate act, but rather an extreme naivety on behalf of NCsoft, who seem blissfully unaware of the audience this will attract.

Bizzare and oddly suggestive costumes aside, the Aion sash shop has plenty of items that are easily classified as pay-2-win, such as endgame enchantments, which are required for high-end pvp and pve content, as well as items that can easily be exchanged for in-game currency ensuring wealthy players can buy their way to in-game riches.

While players could spend 80+ hours a week to remain competitive, at that point, it would be far easier to work a second job and buy everything from the cash shop.



Aion HAD good graphics when it was originally launched and could be said to be the “Black Desert” of its time; however, time has not been kind to Aion, and even the introductory cutscene looks incredibly dated with highly visible jagged edges and pixelation.

While considerably prettier than many MMORPGs from 2009, unlike other MMORPGs from the era, which adopted a stylized aesthetic to remain relevant, Aion placed all its eggs in one basket and sought to become the “fairest of them all”.

Unfortunately, beauty is fleeting, and Aion is one of the least attractive and most plastic-looking Eastern MMORPGs still in active development.


Character Customization.

Aion has decent customization for its age and goes far beyond what most editors allow by enabling players to play as children or bobbleheads; yes, bobbleheads, I was as surprised as you are.

When creating my warrior, I was surprised that one of the first outfits I was offered could only be described as a “creepy man-baby sailor.” While I am sure there is someone out there who would leap at the chance to look like John Mulaney from SNL’s “The Admiral” sketch, I cannot possibly imagine such a look working in any other MMORPG than Aion.


Aion FAQ

Aion is a massively multiplayer online role playing game video game developed by NCSOFT and published by Gameforge 4D GmbH, it was released on 29 February 2012 and it is Free-2-Play.

Platform Availability.

Aion is available exclusively on PC.

Are The Developers Active?

Aion remains in active development as of December 2023; however, the development speed has slowed somewhat as the developers split their time between the struggling retail build and Aion classic, a return to similar times, and Aion’s last chance for any semblance of genre relevancy.

How Many People Play Aion?

As of April 2024, around 35,000 people play Aion on a fairly regular basis.

How Active Is The Aion Playerbase?

Aion suffers from low activity, and while a moderate number of players continue to log in regularly, finding an active server is not easy and may require playing on a server with very high latency.

Please note that most players use the standalone North American Aion launcher instead of the Aion EU Steam client, which has failed to achieve a three-figure active user count since March 2023.

Is There Group Finding/Matchmaking Support?

Aion offers the following matchmaking options:

  • Solo Matchmaking
  • Group Matchmaking

Are There In-Game Microtransactions?

The Aion in-game store sells:

  • Cosmetic Items.
  • Cosmetic Item Bundles.
  • Premium Currency Bundles.
  • Premium Battlepass.
  • Starter Packs.
  • Pay for Convenience Items.
  • Pay-2-Win Items.

What Peripherals Are Supported?

The following peripherals are officially supported:

  • PC - Mouse and Keyboard.

Is There Any Mature Content?

Aion is rated PEGI 16+ and contains the following:

  • Mature Themes
  • Partial Nudity
  • Sexual Content
  • Violence

Final Verdict.

Overall, Aion is long past its prime and is not worth playing in 2023; for players in the NA or who can play on NA servers, Aion is a decent MMORPG from a bygone age, and there is enjoyment to be had; however, for those limited to the Steam/EU client, I cannot recommend Aion in 2023 as there are so many better options available.

Is Aion Worth Playing In 2024?

Honest Video Game Reviews has given "Aion" a rating of 1/10, indicating that it may be either dead or mismanaged by the developer/publisher.

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