When you first start playing Free Realms, everything seems pretty straightforward. But after you’ve been playing a while you’ll start to notice little nuances that you might wish you’d picked up on earlier. Angela and I have been comparing notes and here’s a list of seven things you might not (yet) have noticed in Free Realms. Consider it a little nudge up the learning curve, in the event that you’re just getting started and have missed any of these.
1) Join a Friend: Let’s assume you managed to get your friends onto your Friends list. On the Free Realms launch page, bottom left, is a panel listing your friends. To join someone online, launch the game by mousing over their name and clicking on Join Friend. This will cause you to not only log into the same server they’re playing on, but to appear in-world at their location (though if they’re running when you log in they will have moved a bit). It’s faster then figuring what server they’re on, logging in, then teleporting to them.
2) Map Zoom: The “M” key brings up a world map, but it can be pretty information dense near ‘hub’ areas. Did you know you could mouse over the big “town” icons (e.g, Sanctuary) and then click on it to zoom into a map of just that area? You can get a lot more detail that way.
3) Status Pause: So you’re playing a mini-game and the phone rings. Ack! What to do? In the top left of your screen is a big STATUS button. Clicking that brings up the ‘goal’ screen and pauses the game. (We haven’t tested this is all the mini-games but it definitely works in the gem-removal game, and I’m assuming it’s there in others, too.)
4) Dressing Room: Got some gear and want to know what it’ll look like when you equip it? From the Job inventory screen, hover over the magnifying glass (bottom right of each icon in icon view, and the far right column in list view) and your avatar will don that gear. This works for stuff that you normally couldn’t equip (i.e., if you’re not high enough level to use it yet). You can preview a selected item in the Station Cash Marketplace by clicking the magnifying glass icon on the right above the “Buy” button. There is no preview functionality in the ‘generic’ inventory mode, though, nor is there at merchants, which seems like a major oversight.
5) Changing Jobs at the Start of an Encounter: When you click on an encounter, before you enter it, you can quickly change Jobs from the icon at the very top of the screen. Can be helpful if you’re in a lower level Job and the encounter looks too tough. Just switch to a Job you’re better at, and have at ‘em!
6) Class-Specific Collections: There are tons of collections in Free Realms. Did you notice that some of them are Job-specific? Here’s the thing about those. Unless you’re in the appropriate Job, you won’t see Job-Specific Shinies. It *seems* like Shinies are placed logically… so you’ll find Cook Shinies in and around harvesting fields, and so forth.
7) Buying a Pet: So you’ve bought some Station Cash and you’re ready to take on the responsibility of buying a pet. But different Pet Stores have different selections of pets. How can you be sure you’re giving the right pet his or her Forever Home? Skip the Pet Stores completely! Open the Marketplace and click on the “Pets” icon from the navbar, and voila, a list of all available pets (as well as all available pet clothing). Now you can be sure you haven’t missed the perfect pet!
Maybe all these are obvious to some folks, but to us they all eluded us for our first couple of play sessions. Hopefully someone will find the list of help. Please feel free to add more tips in the comments!