Last Updated on Samuel Franklinby
MapleStory Reboot vs Normal Servers Guide
If you are a new or returning player to MapleStory wondering what to select in the reboot vs normal server debate our guide to server selection will break down the details, pros and cons of each option. With server selection being a permanent choice in your MapleStory adventure it is not a decision that should be made lightly and can often paralyse players as they ask themselves what server should I join?
With this MapleStory server guide you’ll have all the necessary information to make your decision and some key questions to ask yourself about your preferred playstyle before committing to either one. Regardless of your ultimate choice you’ll still be able to experience the vast majority of content that MapleStory has to offer on both reboot and regular servers.
MapleStory Server Basics
Like many online games like MapleStory the game world is split across a number of game servers with some of these utilising Reboot mechanics while others are referred to as normal or regular servers which use the mechanics that the MMO has slowly shifted towards and its development focused on.
Important things to keep in mind when selecting a server in MapleStory (regardless of reboot vs normal considerations):
- Outside of World Leap server merger events you cannot transfer characters or items between them and mechanics such as Link Skills and Legion do not work across servers. Note that your NX premium currency is available across servers.
- Each server has its own population size which impacts on many social and economic game mechanics. This includes how regularly you will encounter other players, ability to complete party based content (such as Ursus), item availability on the auction house and availability of popular training locations. In GMS for example Bera and the Reboot server are currently more populated than Scania. This server population can be checked by viewing any servers channel capacity.
Reboot Server – What is Reboot?
Launched in late 2015 in the North American GMS server Reboot was an attempt by Nexon to give players are a traditional MapleStory experience given the game had moved away from some of it’s tough RPG and free to play roots of decades past. Reboot EU was introduced approximately 3 years later and remains significantly less populated than its NA cousin.
The primary appeal to the Reboot server is that it removes the reliance on NX premium currency in progression and instead empowers players to earn powerful items with Mesos dropped from monsters that they farm. Given Mesos are such an important part of your progression a MapleStory pet purchased with NX (or acquired in game through limited free methods) is vital. Carries from friends and guild members are also often central to progression for most players which allows you to obtain powerful boss equips before you could feasibly solo the content yourself (although some still opt to play solo only for a harder challenge).
The main differences in Reboot Servers are:
- Trading: There is no trading any items between other players and there are significant restrictions on trading between your own characters with it limited to Mesos and non equipment items. This means players need to find all of their own equipment although can use other characters to farm Mesos and crafting materials for their main character. This does also complicate players switching their main character as you cannot transfer gear as you might in a normal MapleStory server.
- Professions: Given the lack of trading players can learn all three possible professions on Reboot characters (accessory crafting, alchemy and smithing)
- Classes: Originally you could not create a Zero class on the Reboot server although this was changed in December 2020 so there are currently no server specific classes. Reboot does impact the MapleStory class tier list decisions slightly though with high Meso farmers favoured over other options.
- Mesos: Mesos drop at 5 times the normal rate in Reboot servers compared to regular servers (6 times for those playing on GMS Reboot). This boost is offered given players cannot earn Mesos through selling rare drops on the auction house and Mesos are central to Reboot progression.
- Meso Rewards: Similar to the above Meso rewards for other MapleStory activities such as Ursus and Maple Tour are boosted. This also applies to sale prices of some items when selling them to NPC traders.
- Monster Health and Experience: Monsters have more HP and provide additional experience when killed which varies depending on the type of monster and the level range. Prior to level 200 this averages around 5 times the hit points and 2.5 times the experience gained while Arcane River content is closer to 2 times the hit points and 2.3 times the experience earned.
- Passive Damage Buff: Reboot players have a passive effect on their characters that boosts damage by 1% for every 2 character levels. While this offsets some of the additional health monsters have it also impacts the ratio of Damage to Boss Damage a perfectly optimised end game character will need.
- Level Advantage: Reboot characters have a less potent level advantage multiplier when fighting monsters below their level range (maximum +10% final damage rather than +20% final damage of normal servers). The damage penalty for being under levelled compared to monsters you attack also penalises players more sharply which impacts on where you train in Reboot.
- Progression: Some elements of equipment progression in Reboot are removed which means players cannot use bonus potential or scrolling. This ultimately results in lower potential end game damage for Reboot server players but does simplify the process of gearing a character.
- NX Purchases: Reboot removes all possibility for players to purchase in game benefit for real currency and instead offers important progression and convenience items for Mesos in the Cash Shop or various general stores. This most notably includes Hyper Teleport Rocks, Monster Park Entry Tickets, Miracle Circulator, Red and Black Cubes.
- Reboot Gift Boxes: To help with the progression and introduce Reboot players to some of the game mechanics you’ll get several reward boxes starting from level 30 and every 30 levels up to 150.
Normal (or regular) servers offer a different MapleStory experience that is similar to traditional free to play MMOs with trading and the economy central to your gameplay. Players that want to spend money to skip content to save time also have that option through premium NX currency.
Normal servers will appeal to those that enjoy playing the market through merchanting and want to access gear that is already made for them rather than making it themselves. Players on the normal servers also have the option to spend money on NX convenience or power boosting items although it is still possible to succeed without purchases and something I’ve done myself on Scania as an entirely free to play player.
The main features of normal servers and differences to Reboot server are:
- Trading: All trading is enabled in normal MapleStory servers which serves as a useful progression pathway for most players. On popular servers in particular players can easily obtain powerful boss drops for a small Meso investment that can then enable them to fight those bosses and make a return on their investment. Trading also opens up avenues to sell rare drops that you find while playing and merchanting your way to profits through buying and selling items in demand via the auction house.
- Professions: In normal servers players can only have one profession at a time which makes it a key decision point given each has a speciality with their own pros and cons. Players that want all of these benefits will need at least 3 separate characters and even then some benefits are limited to only the character that holds the profession.
- Progression: Normal MapleStory servers give players bonus potential to push their character power to new heights. Free to play players can access some basic tier bonus potential through events and the auction house although the highest levels require significant Mesos or NX.
- Maple Reward Points: Earned for defeating bosses and a few other MapleStory activities (such as MapleStory Collection Exploration) Maple Reward Points give access to various convenience items in the normal servers and give free players a chance to obtain key items such as pendant slots, golden hammers and pet revives. Note that Reboot has similar access to these items either for Maple Reward Points or Mesos though.
- Monster Life: Based on the popular social game of FarmVille Monster Life is only accessible to normal server players and provides a potential side activity that can also translate into moderate account bonuses with time investment.
- Meso Market: Normal servers allow players to trade Mesos for Maple Points and vice versa. This can be useful for free to play players to transfer their Mesos into paid currency or allow players willing to spend money on MapleStory obtain the necessary Mesos they need for progression.
- Powerful Cash Items: Normal servers have a long list of powerful items that are not available at all in Reboot at all. This includes pets giving you damage from set bonuses, top tier Androids, Frenzy totems and hearts, Red Familiar Cards, special rings and other Cash Shop skills.
- Cosmetics: Cosmetically customising your character can be significantly easier in normal MapleStory servers given the tradeable nature of these items that often spawn in random cosmetic boxes. For Reboot players to obtain the same items they’ll likely need to spend a significant sum of NX for cosmetic items. Similarly, Reboot players will find their Fusion Anvils an item that allows you to change the visual look of any item to another in your inventory are severely limited as you’ll have to obtain the items yourself rather than being able to trade for the item visual you want.
Reboot vs Normal Servers Conclusion
While on the surface many in the community make the Reboot vs Normal server debate a free to play or paid one the considerations on which server to play go significantly deeper.
Reboot is good for players that:
- Have the available time and interest in farming Mesos to progress their characters. Note that the most effective method to farm Mesos often restricts players to a small subset of classes that specialise in kill speed and mobility such as the Kanna.
- Enjoy having a structured approach to progression of their character as Reboot players often have a clearer pathway given they cannot buy items on the Auction House to leap their progress.
- Are confident in there choice of main character as switching later requires players to star from scratch for equipment.
- Similarly have the time and patience to grow their Legion/Link skills without the ability to trade equipment between these supporting characters to speed up the process.
- Enjoys that satisfaction of earning every single equipment slot and upgrading it for themselves. This includes using lots of cubes and flames on items that free to play players on normal servers might rarely use if they opt to buy premade gear
- Don’t want to be tempted to spend real life money for damage progression.
Normal Servers is good for players that:
- Want a faster progression pathway to mid game bosses such as Chaos Root Abyss and Lotus/Damien as you can purchase the necessary equipment for Mesos (even as a free to play player).
- Enjoy playing the market and merchanting as a source of income to fund their adventures.
- Don’t mind spending some money on premium NX currency when you decide to push into the end game content (over level 230 or Lotus/Damien boss fights). Alternatively, accept that you’ll need to spend time farming Mesos to trade for this NX on the Meso Market.
- Don’t mind having a less populated server which provides the added benefit of less server lag during peak hours.
- Want access to a more diverse amount of cosmetic items for character customisation.
Ultimately there is no right or wrong decision and it comes down to what you enjoy doing in MapleStory and what you see yourself doing long term. I’ve played both Reboot and normal servers during my time playing MapleStory since and have settled on playing Normal servers as a free to play player. This works for me as I enjoy using the auction house to hunt for deals, make Mesos and purchase equipment upgrades for my characters. My end plan for my MapleStory account is also to stop well before the end game bosses so I don’t expect to hit any of the pay to win negatives of later progression.