The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best in-game cosmetic options?

I suppose this is a problem I'm happy to complain about.

With the changes made in Legion, World of Warcraft wound up with a pretty great system for cosmetic outfits. Unfortunately, it also has some notable problems, starting with the fact that there is a fairly narrow range of different cosmetic options actually available in the game. Every robe, for example, has the same basic geometry as every other. The expansion helpfully adds a few more bits and bobs, but it kind of points to the fact that the best cosmetic system in the world doesn’t help if the game’s cosmetic options are lacking.

Of course, that simply raises the question of which MMO has the best cosmetic options. But more than that, which MMO has the best in-game cosmetic options? It’s all well and good if you love the costumes in Black Desert Online, but if you feel like all of the good ones are available only on the cash shop, it rather cuts down on your practical choices. So which game do you vote for the best options available just through the game, regardless of the cosmetic system?

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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Lord of the Rings Online is one example because you have both free mix-and-match outfit creation from anything in your wardrobe and a dye system to add further customisation and variety. If you have to pay to dye, customise or swap any aspect of an outfit with in-game or real-cash currency then it is not a best of breed system – allow players to decide their characters style when they want! Having a dye system also allows for more experimentation and harmonisation of outfits than just collecting looks alone. I’m sure there are other MMORPGs that have each element but do they have all of them without cost or arbitrary limitation (e.g. your character can’t care about fashion until they are level 50)?
I’d rather dyes were crafted and part of the player economy than random drops (GW2), and using an item each time to amend gear-appearance is just wrong IMHO.

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I like how in Star Trek Online you can change anything; body proportions, head size, uniforms, hand size, etc. etc., all totally free of charge. That said, the game is getting a bit long in the tooth and definitely in need of a player avatar upgrade, even more so than ship or environs upgrades.

On the ‘dark’ side, although the GW2 player avatars are very fetching to the eye, I find their cosmetics change system very annoying. The reason for this is I don’t think the preview you get is necessarily a good indication of how the player will look in the actual game world. You may spend your gems and make a change, only to find after going out and questing for a bit that you don’t like the changes you made very much. It’s kind of like you “pay your money and take your chances.” :(


City of Heroes in the past and Champions Online currently. No other MMO comes even close to the sheer amount of cosmetic options and customizations in those two.


I’d say that Final Fantasy XIV has the widest range of aesthetics for your character. In my last pick-up group, the characters were a bikini model, a Kylo Ren cosplayer, a militant-looking elf with a high collar, and an Arabian ninja. You can probably have six or seven different glamours for each of those four descriptions I just gave.

John Mynard

Again, Secret World. Always Secret World.


The obligatory City of Heroes where the best… :(


I’m going to give this to FFXIV, easily. I just love the game’s whole aesthetic. But EQ2 and Age of Conan still win the award for the most elegant vanity systems. FFXIV has improved a lot in this regard, but until they add glamor slots the entire system will be more complicated than it needs to be.


A ton of games have really great cosmetic options. But until I can change them at will for no out of game currency, without them devouring my inventory and storage, my answer to this question will remain Star Trek Online.

I can actually use my cosmetic options there.

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FFXIV I would say for strictly in-game armor.

If you consider cash shop and in-game I would say BDO.

Kawaii Five-O

FFXIV, by far.