Star Wars Galaxies is praised among Star Wars fans for being one of the most detailed, player-driven MMORPGs ever made, and it can still be played, even though it can’t be bought anymore. For Star Wars fans, Galaxies didn’t just let players build a character and explore the world, it allowed players to live an entire Star Wars life. Unfortunately, those lives were snuffed out when the servers were officially shut down in 2011, but the loyal community who fell in love with Star Wars Galaxies has kept it alive to make it available for everyone.
Originally released in 2003 to critical acclaim, Star Wars Galaxies was the first MMORPG developed by Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) and published by LucasArts for Star Wars, launching with bugs and without Jedi. In the game, players start by creating a character before deciding on one of over 30 professions available to mix and match and then loading into the game to start their journey. Star Wars Galaxies launched with less content than anticipated, but through expansions and regular updates, the game eventually grew to feel like a true Star Wars universe. This is largely because the game was player-driven, meaning every player could craft items and sell them to vendors for other players, own cities, be a dancer, moisture farmer, bounty hunter, or anything in between. Every Star Wars fan’s wildest fantasies could be fully realized alongside other players in a world truly driven by player choice. Galaxies is still infinitely repayable as a Star Wars game, and one of the most novel and expansive MMORPGs to ever exist.
The best Star Wars game is no longer available for purchase, but it can still be played thanks to Star Wars Galaxies Restoration III, a community-driven server aiming to combine the best elements from the original game with long-requested player-driven features that were cut when developers added the New Game Enhancements (NGE) update. The addition of NGE killed the fan base for the game which flooded the Star Wars Galaxies official forums with mountains of complaints to revert the game to its previous state. This devolved into one of the more infamous online gaming debacles to date and is part of the reason why dedicated fans pushed to keep the game alive. After Star Wars Galaxies servers were shut down, Star Wars gaming fans quickly uploaded private servers with a wide variety of experiences based on individual preferences. Many servers, most notably Project SWG, have tried to add in missing features over the years, but even with all the work done for free by developers with spare time, the server is still far away from implementing everything players miss about Star Wars Galaxies. Restoration III seeks to finish the ongoing project started a long time ago and is close to completing it.
Star Wars Galaxies Is Still Playable With Restoration III
Restoration III describes itself as a “Star Wars Galaxies server featuring the multi-profession system and combat style of the Combat Upgrade combined with all NGE content and expansions, all combined with regularly published new and exciting content additions and quality of life improvements.” The server includes the game’s original 34 professions, before NGE reduced it to nine, and all available Star Wars ships and expansion content. The Combat Upgrade was a controversial addition that eventually won fans over by changing the game from point-and-click combat to something closer to a 3rd person shooter. Overall, the goal of Restoration III is to create an authentic Star Wars Galaxies experience using the Combat Upgrade while keeping all the best parts of Star Wars Galaxies intact. Its non-existent entry fee is just an added bonus.
To start playing Restoration III, players can simply go to the website and create an account. After that, the installer must be downloaded (owning an actual copy of SWG is not required), and the launcher will be used to patch the game. Afterward, the game just needs to be launched to start exploring the Star Wars Saga galaxy map. The website also offers plenty of support and even includes a roadmap detailing the team’s direction for future updates. Right now is the best time to check out Star Wars Galaxies on Restoration III and experience the universe firsthand.
Sources: Star Wars Galaxies Restoration III, ProjectSWG