Time in MMOs is a tricky thing. Some MMOs have a complete day-and-night cycle that usually follows its own pacing, while others only change to reflect a specific time of year, like a holiday or a season. Furthermore, since people from all over the world play the same MMO, you also need to factor in different time zones.
To avoid any unnecessary complications, when we discuss the best time to play MMO games - we will refer to time in the real world, and not in-game. Yes, some mobs, bosses or events might only be available at specific in-game times, but it’s really up to you to decide when to tackle them. We are talking about the time MMOs are at their best.
The easy answer to the question “when is the best time to play MMO games” is “whenever you darn please”. You’re here to have fun, after all. However, if you want to have the best multiplayer experience possible, you might want to consider a few things.
In MMORPGs or massively multiplayer shooters, the best time to play online is whenever there are the most people to play with. If you’re alone in the game world, a lot of options will be closed to you. Finding a group to go on raids with you is much easier when there are a ton of other players all LFG around you. The same goes for competitive modes - if you’re always fighting against the same people, things will get real boring real quick. We know it sounds a bit obvious, after all these games are built on the concept of a massive amount of players all playing together, but you’d be surprised how often people don’t consider it when logging into the game.
Playing in the evenings is best, since that’s when most people have time to play. However, not everyday is the same, and you might want to do a little research to find when your MMO of choice is mostly being played and plan accordingly.
MMORTSs are a little more complicated, though. If in most types of MMOs you want to be playing together with as many people as you can, in strategy games there’s an advantage to playing when most other players are away, like in the middle of the night or early morning. It’s hard to disagree that the best time to attack someone is when they are least prepared, such as when they are sleeping. Players can fortify their Castles all they want, but if they are not available to maintain their defenses, eventually these will fail. Learn your enemy’s gaming habits, and you can find the best time to launch a series of attacks that will leave their forces scattered with no hope for reinforcements.
Naturally, things aren’t always that simple. A lot of players are part of a Clan with people from all other the world, so there’s always a chance your rival has a powerful ally that’s awake and can foil your attacks. However, some Clans are only populated by players from the same country, which means they will most likely be away around the same time.
Playing while other people are absent is also a good opportunity to strengthen your army and Base. You can focus on improving yourself without worrying someone will attack you out of the blue. Still, you might want to get synchronized with your Clan and play together so there’s always an army at your back.
As you can see, the best time to play an MMO greatly depends on the type of MMO you’re playing, and what you’re planning to accomplish. You might not have all the time in the world, but with a little forethought you can plan the time you do have to make the best out of each session. Just be sure to leave some some time to actually enjoy yourself.