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A freeshard is an Ultima Online server run by someone other than Electronic Arts, generally on a server emulator. They are free to play on and can be accessed using a combination of the standard UO client and a third party tool. The three main tools used to connect are Razor, UOSteam and AssistUO. These clients were originally developed by the RunUO team.

The official servers of Ultima Online, run by Origin Systems, Electronic Arts, and now by Mythic Broadsword are a subscription based model, which means you must pay a monthly fee to play.

As the number of subscribers has dwindled on the official pay servers, UO hobbyists continued to support the development of the game and created UO free servers that emulated their favorite era of gameplay.

The freeshards are run independently of the official UO servers. They were created to emulate specific eras and rule sets of UO. Some custom shards are under constant development, adding new content often, while others stay true to the original game mechanics, tailoring to the “old school” eras of PvP in the Renaissance(UOR) and The Second Age(T2A). There are now hundreds of freeshards to choose from, Take a look at a UO toplist of the best Ultima Online freeshards and start playing!

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