How to Play City of Heroes: A Guide to the New Servers
Hello! You’re most likely here because you just heard about City of Heroes being back or you’re looking for a new server to try out. Either way you are in for quite a treat as there are nearly a dozen different servers being run at the moment. This is a guide on how to play City of Heroes in 2020 that I will be updating anytime a new server starts or one closes.
But, before we get started there are some things you should know. The new City of Heroes servers are run by fans and are not officially authorized by NCSoft. While it is possible that NCSoft could request for the servers to be taken down they have been in operation for more than a year now and there are ongoing negotiations between Homecoming and NCSoft. You can read more about the NCSoft negotiations here. Some of these servers will ask for donations which only go towards maintaining the servers. No one accepts money for development or personal gain and you are not required to donate.
Last Updated: September 25th, 2020
The Homecoming servers are by far the most populated of them all. When people are talking about the City of Heroes servers they’re typically talking about this group of five servers. Yes, Homecoming has five servers for you to pick from and 100,000 people are playing on them. The Homecoming servers are as follows:
Everlasting (Unofficial RP Server)
Homecoming servers run what is being called Issue 25, though as of writing this they have advanced to Issue 26, Page 5. Their updates are smaller than full Issues that you would have been used to before, which is why they’ve added the idea of Pages. That is to say that it is running everything you remember from sunset plus some additions that were made to the game after sunset. These changes were made to improve the quality of life for the game, introduce powersets and archetypes that didn’t previously exist, as well as new content to play.
To get started on the Homecoming servers you will need to create an account on their forums.
After you’ve made an account on the forums you’ll need to create your game account which you can do by following this link.
At this point it’s time for you to download Tequila, this is the launcher that is used for Homecoming. Mac users have their own launcher called Island Rum. Links to those can be found in the Dredd’s Guide to Loading City of Heroes which is on the Homecoming forums. I won’t link directly to them here because the links lead to .exe and .zip files and I wouldn’t want to cause a security concern. You can follow Dredd’s very easy to follow guide to get you the rest of the way.
Thunderspy, Previously Known as /COXG/
Thunderspy, previously known as /COXG/ is perhaps one of the most actively developed of all the City of Heroes servers. They are constantly adding to the game be it something as small as new chest emblems or something bigger like the upcoming opt-in open world PvP. It should be warned, however, that this is the server that was previously known as the 4chan server. They have a hands-off approach to moderation, but it is a pretty chill place overall.
To play on Thunderspy you will need to download Sweet Tea which you can get on their website, and make an account on the server’s official site.
Cake Evolution is a little bit newer on the scene but they have some pretty big ideas. The server has several new archetypes that do not exist anywhere else that are a lot of fun, but, perhaps the most intriguing of them all is free form characters within an archetype. Basically, pick your archetype, and then you can pick from all the primary and secondary sets to mix and match powers as you like. Personally, I’d like to make an all pet Controller. The server also boasts instant level 50 boosts, no aggro cap, and much more.
If you’d like to play on Cake Evolution you can do so by downloading Sweet Tea, Tequila, or Cream Soda, which you can find links to on the server’s official site. You will also have to go to the server’s Discord to ask for an account to be made for you.
A small City of Heroes server that runs on Ouroboros i24+ and has a few custom features. To gain access to this server you need Tequila and to create an account on the official site.
Island of Villains
Island of Villains is a quiet, remote group of servers with a low population that operates at 3 different places in development. They have an i24 server, an i25 server, and an i26 server. XP rates differ on these servers depending on the day of the week it is. The servers have a very low operation cost so they won’t ask for donations to keep the lights on and there is no chance for funding for the server to be pulled.
If you’re interested in playing on Island of Villains head over to their official site.
The Rebirth server came about thanks to the City of Heroes Discord channel. They run on Ouroboros Volume 2 Issue 1 which is based on Issue 24. They’re a relatively small server and don’t seem to get many updates. But, if you’re looking for a small community playing the game without many changes from the original, this might be the place for you. To play on Rebirth you will need to download Tequila or Cream Soda and create an account on their official website.
A very small German-speaking server with an inactive Discord and a website that won’t load. It may very well be that the server has come to an end, but as of right now it is difficult to tell.
The Sanctuary server has a fairly decent population of a few hundred players and is well worth looking into. They’ve made a number of additions to the game including new archetypes, changes to when you can get power pools, and even new Mastermind sets. To play on Sanctuary you will need to download Cream Soda or Sweet Tea and create an account on their official website.
A European based server with a few hundred players. They host live events and offer boosted XP rates. The server runs at Issue 26. To play on Unity you will need Sweet Tea, Cream Soda, or Tequila. You will also need to create an account on their official website.
An intentionally small server that is aimed specifically at players who formerly played on the Victory server during live, though any are welcome to join in. Their server runs very closely to Homecoming in terms of updates. The biggest draw is the tightknit community. To join Victory! you will need to create a forum account, a game account, and download Tequila. You can find the full instructions on their official forums.
Other Noteworthy Mentions
The above are all the servers that will allow you to play City of Heroes right now, but that isn’t all you need to know about how to play City of Heroes. There are a few other noteworthy mentions that aren’t normal servers. I’m also giving an honorable mention to the one City of Heroes server that has shut down.
The Pleiades server was a short-lived server that was run by the City of Heroes subreddit. It shut down rather suddenly due to differences between the leadership of the server and the person bankrolling it. You can read all about the Pleiades shut down here.
I’m including Project Ouroboros in this for the sake of completion, but it isn’t a normal server. Project Ouroboros is an open-source development group, meaning that anyone can use what they make to make their own server. In fact, many of the servers on this list are based on Project Ouroboros’ work. They do have a beta server where people can try out all of the latest updates to the game, so it is somewhere you can play. But, I wouldn’t recommend playing there as your primary server.
If you’re interested in seeing what Project Ouroboros is working on right now, or you’d like to get your hands on the source code for yourself you can find it on the Project Oroboros official site.
Though some websites list Vigilance as a server it actually isn’t one. It is a resource for French players looking for French servers and information about the game in French. If you speak French you might be interested in checking out their official site.
And with that, we come to the end of this guide on how to play City of Heroes in its new form. Of course, there will be servers that will come and go as time goes on and this article will be updated with all the newest information. In the future, I will also be releasing articles that talk about the different mechanics of the game and explains how you actually play the game since there are a lot of people who are trying City of Heroes for the first time.