Anno Online Is Even More Online: Open Beta

Hey, everyone! What’s free and now available to everyone with an internet connection? Hang on, my phone’s ringing… What? She’s crying! You’re right, I should stop and think before posting open-ended questions to a popular website. No, I guess I didn’t think it through. Look, Dad, there’s no smoke withou – okay! Jeez. Tell her I’m sorry. Hey, everyone! What game’s now free and now available to everyone with an internet connection? Everyone answering Anno Online, I appreciate your ability to see past a “your mother” joke. You’ve made a retirement age lady very happy.

Now I’ve not played Anno Online, but I don’t need to. Not when we have Richard “Guns And Anno” Cobbett on the case. His early look at it last year raised a few concerns, though he also didn’t damn it. It’s probably a tough game to read when the part of it where you pay money hasn’t been enabled, though that has since been unlocked. Anyway, the economic city-builder is now open to all. If you’ve been looking for a browser-set game of ports and money, of settlements and civic duty, then it’s free and easy to get into. Oh god, there goes my phone again.

As an aside, when being shouted at by an angry Scottish person, you really need to listen out for the difference between “Anno” and “I know”.


  1. GamerOS says:

    My only question is:

    Is it a fully fledged game or just another time waster were you build everything in a single non-changing order with lots of time spend to get resources that you can also buy with real money?

    So far the Game itself looks like a Flash version of Anno 1701 or 1503

    • Loque says:

      Taken from Tobold’s blog (link to

      The game is not dumbed down from the single-player versions, only slowed down in time. Anno Online is a complex economic simulation game with no combat. Not only is there no “Pay2Win”, as there is no conflict, but also the Free2Play model is based on the most advantageous purchases being one-off payments. You don’t buy some double xp scroll over and over, you buy an additional slot for another island once and that is going to be helpful as long as you play the game. […] the perfect “play for 15 minutes twice per day” game. A game about careful planning, not instant gratification. […] By splitting your economy up over several islands, with restrictions on what you can produce where, Anno Online adds a nice level of complexity where you need to ship goods from one place to another, and optimize transport. I find it deeply satisfying to have a game where I succeed by thinking instead by pressing buttons quickly. Recommended!

      • FriendlyNeighbourhoodMurderer says:

        The problem is that BlueByte is way too greedy at the moment. Things are insanely priced. The last island slot costs around 500$.
        – Also I’ve seen a lot of people say that everything can be bought with ingame cash, that’s simply not true, a lot of stuff (extra islands beyond the first 4) requires rubies, which can only be bought.
        I’ve got no problem with the company wanting to make money, but right now they’re hoping to just milk the customer once he’s hooked.

        • Deepo says:

          I played for a little while this morning, and I earned quite a lot of rubies from leveling up my profile and my settlement. So it seems you can buy everything with in-game cash, though I expect that to be an enormous grind. I ran out of lumber, and seemed to earn about 1 lumber every 2 minutes with 3 lumber yards. Of course, you have the opportunity to spend rubies to earn more lumber.

          • FriendlyNeighbourhoodMurderer says:

            You don’t get a lot of rubies while levelling up. You get some in the tutorial, but otherwise you get around 20-50 each level, and for example level 19 to 20 takes a week to go through. The last island slot costs around 60.000 rubies, so yeah, you can buy everything with ingame cash, but it would take you around 8400 days of grinding to get it.

        • mokdon05 says:

          If you think Patrick`s story is impressive…, five weaks-ago my son in law earnt $8989 workin 40 hours a month from their apartment and the’re neighbor’s mom`s neighbour done this for 3 months and made more than $8989 parttime on there pc. apply the guidelines on this site
          (Go to site and open “Home” for details)

      • Rollin says:

        So basically it’s the old Anno games, but without the fun combat parts that made up the end game, and you have to pay RL money to progress.


  2. Low Life says:

    “As an aside, when being shouted at by an angry Scottish person, you really need to listen out for the difference between “Anno” and “I know”.”

    Reminds me of the old Jamaican dilemma: link to

  3. Zaxwerks says:

    What does this offer over and above Anno 1404 Gold edition? And what is it missing?

  4. Tom De Roeck says:

    Why do we need Anno Online if Anno 1404 and 2070 are still excellent?

    • BTAxis says:

      1404 does have unreasonably long loading times though. It’s a problem.

      • DerNebel says:

        Online does have unreasonably long waiting times though. It’s a problem.

    • solidsquid says:

      Some people might actually want to play city/civilization building game where it’s structured around multiplayer. From the sound of it they’ve actually done that with Anno Online (as opposed to bolting on a couple of things at the end like Sim City)

  5. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    And that’s an iMac in their trailer. Rather ironic, given none of the other Anno games were released for Mac.

    • Low Life says:

      Only if your definition of irony comes from the Alanis Morissette song.

  6. Surlywombat says:

    So they basically spriterized (new word, what do you think?) Anno 1404?

  7. barney says:

    “Proudly, we look upon what we have forged”

    I can’t get over this sentence. Every time I read it back to myself, play the clip again… it seems to get better and better. The epitome of bad writing for video games promotional material as an art in and of itself?

    I wonder what would have happened to anybody in the room who’d just blurted « What about “We observe our work with pride” ? » …

  8. narcogen says:

    Anno Online’s website is a great example of how NOT to do geolocation. The link to the site in the story above explicitly goes to the English language version; but if the site determines from your IP address that you’re from a territory that usually uses a different default language (say, Russian) then it redirects you to There is no widget to change default languages, or to change territories. Obnoxious. A few years ago it might have been forgivable since maintaining multilingual versions of a single site is non-trivial, but now there are so many good systems that handle content translation and user language preferences so well that I cannot imagine why Ubisoft or the developers of Anno Online would assume that everyone in a region uses the same language, and not provide any means whatsoever of expressing a different preference.

  9. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    I’m not sure why, but there is such a negative connotation surrounding these “Classic” Online games.
    Still haven’t played Stronghold Kingdoms, and Age of Empires gives me the same chills. I guess it’s the f2p aspect, I don’t know. I would be so excited for a new Anno, but not an online f2p anno.

  10. DonDrapersAcidTrip says:

    What on earth is with the awful writing in this article. Does anyone else ever just want to read news without having to navigate a bunch of awful jokes or witticisms in every god damn word of every article? Nerds are the worst.

    • tormos says:

      you are definitely on the wrong website

      • Craig Pearson says:

        I know, right? If it was possible for someone to take a wrong turn on the internet, it’s this chap right here.

      • ludde says:

        I’m here for the in-depth articles and some PC centric news. Posts like these I tend to mostly skip through to the relevant info. Please don’t hate me.

    • Grygus says:

      If only every website only posted things that you cared about in a manner and tone that you liked. The world would no doubt be a better place. For you, I mean; but who cares about all those other people. They’re probably stupid, and like things you don’t like.