The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite way to make money in an MMORPG?

Writing about Star Wars Galaxies’ emulator last week awoke in me a dormant desire to get back in there and make some pretend money. I freaking loved SWG for how hard it was to not not make money. Having multiple accounts helped a ton, no doubt, as did having old toons with a good stockpile of resources, but the real value in SWG was knowledge and time — and not even necessarily logged-in time. In the end, I made the most money for my effort not with my main crafter, who was one of the best on the server in her skills, but in resource trading and component supply through my vendors — in other words, all stuff that took a little know-how but not actually much in-game skill, as it was mostly accomplished with factories and harvesters while I was offline. By the end, it was those characters supplying me with most of my income, which allowed me to dabble in just about everything and even start up with nothing on other servers as a sort of challenge to myself.

I cannot believe how much I miss that – being a pure trader at that level is just not a thing you can do in the vast majority of MMORPGs.

What’s your favorite way to make money in an MMORPG? What do you play if you need to scratch the economy itch?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Zen Dadaist

I don’t enjoy farming money. If I find there’s something I enjoy doing that can also make bank then it’s a win-win, but those activities are rare.

The closest I get is when I take an active interest in the player economy of a game and delve into it to figure out how its working in a given game. I had some good times in economy wars in Eve Online, and even playing the Artifact market on both the Rift NA and EU servers once upon a time. For a while I used that to fund REX for Patron right after the F2P switch when my original subs ran out. But my interest in it waned as the market stagnated and REX price skyrocketed. It had become a tedious time consuming job.

I’m a massive crafter/builder/producer/whatever the game calls assembling stuff into other more useful stuff. But I do it for my armies of alts, my friends, my guilds. Not to sell for profit. I’ve sold maybe a handful of things I’ve crafted and only because they turned out to be unneeded for some reason (I built the wrong thing, the guildie got given the thing by someone else already, my alt looted an item that was better in the nick of time etc).

Jeffery Witman

I’m with you. When I left SWG I had s few billion credits worth of resources that I passed on to friends in game. If there had been more robust crafting choices in actually designing the things my crafters built, it would have been more enjoyable, but the resource game there was so much more fun. It’s a unique thing that I haven’t really seen in any other game.

Other than that, it’s not something I often think about within a game unless it’s as an inconvenience to overcome.

Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor

I love crafting. So much moreso if I can make money at it.


I just like stumbling into money. In FFXIV, for instance, my retainers will, from time to time, bring me back an item or two worth millions. Or I might get lucky on WT, or I might get lucky with a roll on a super-rare minion from a dungeon (it really does happen!). Or sometimes I’ll raid my inventory and find a bunch of old exclusive holiday items I stocked up on, which are now going for 300k each (not viable anymore, because most of the new ones can’t be sold).

In general, I don’t try to make money! Games like FFXIV don’t really require it, except for crafting (to make more money) or housing (not interested).

The best way to make money is to do something else that also benefits – exp grinding while farming valuable drops, for example.

Doctor Sweers

In the good ol’ days it was selling crafted items out of my shop in SWG…:( To make mula now, it’s semi-afk mining in Eve while I work. That’s right, I live on the edge….


Favorite? Questing and mission-running. More so if the missions are randomly created (as opposed to merely chosen at random from a list of pre-made missions, like WoW’s dailies).

Least favorite, on the other hand, would be commerce. But then, most features that ensure a strong, vibrant player market are things that push me away from a game. Plus, I dislike shopping in the real world, so I’m not keen to relive that in a virtual environment.

Ironically, I’m very much into crafting, deeply involved in it whenever the game has a crafting system. But I look at crafting as a way to make myself self-sufficient; I have no interest, at all, in selling to other players, and if I feel the need to purchase things from other players I’m actually prone to leave the game instead.


Crafting. But only once you have your supply chain set up. :)

Once you have your mats sorted out and a way to get a consistent replenishment by gathering or other means, then Crafting is most enjoyable.

Basically it’s like having a little factory and you are the owner living up on the hill as the money rolls in.

Nothing better.

A Dad Supreme

Grinding quests/dailies and getting a lucky drop from a raid to sell occasionally. It’s rare I have good fortune, but when playing MMOs the budget I need for my characters is always very low so money isn’t usually an issue because I craft my own items, usually never buying finished items from others (unless a game like FFXIV makes that impossible).

As long as I have enough money to purchase all the required battle skills, to have a decent (rarely full BiS gear) set of armor and weapons to raid in, food/buffs to consume and enough to buy a decent mount or house, I’m satisfied with a minimal amounts of gold.

Kickstarter Donor

Although I love crafting, I never try to make money from it. My money mostly comes from just running quests. I also hoard in-game money, don’t know why, but I do it in every game, so I generally have money when I need it. I could have made money buffing people who were not members of my organization in AO, but I usually ended up buffing them for free. Too much of a battle for money in RL. so I don’t really want to think about it in game.

Bryan Correll

It really depends on the game. If crafting is viable, I’m going that way. As far as how I play the market, send 100 quatloos to me at 385 West Fake Street, Notarealtown, Middle Carolina and I’ll send you my book on mmo moneymaking, weight loss for the lazy, how to attract women without trying, and spotting scams.