Emulator FAQ, by Xena Dragon

This FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page is a simple introduction to what Ultima online emulators are, and what you can do with them.


What is an "emulator"?

An emulator, in definition, is a piece of software or hardware that mimics something else. In the matter of Ultima Online, UO emulators mimic the official playing servers. This allows players to run their own "shards" - both private and public.


Is it legal?

If you read the most up to date license agreement (available at the Origin support site) you will see something resembling the following in it:

Ultima Online has been designed by Origin Systems for play only on the Service. The Software is licensed to you for play on the Service only. Origin does not grant you a license to use the Software for any other purpose. You agree to play Ultima Online only on the Service and not through any other means. You further agree not to create or provide any other means through which others may play Ultima Online, for example, through server emulators.

Bottom line: you cannot run a public UO server for others to play on, and you cannot play on someone elses server. Origin wants to make sure that if you play UO, you play it on an official server, which requires you to have an account which you pay for. It's called protecting ones investment.


So I cannot use a server emulator at all?

If the purpose would be to actually "play" Ultima Online then that is correct. You are not allowed to do that using an emulator. It's as simple as that.

However, there are situations where you could be using an emulator in a private and single-user environment. You can install an emulator in such a way that only *you* can enter the world. You are not allowing others to play on your server, nor are you going to actually play the game. (Maybe you would if you play a hermit...)

When you are alone in your world, there are several things you can do

  • You can walk or teleport around the world and have a good look at things without having to worry about monsters or other players on your tail
  • You can create new structures, tile by tile. This has been done by people to send in new house designs (before UO:Renaissance).
  • You can create scenes to be used in those wonderful comics such as ImaNewbie Does Britannia.
  • You can have a good look at all the various art that is used in UO

Keep in mind though, that by using an emulator in such a way, you are moving into the grey area between what is allowed and what is not. Until today Origin has not asked any fan or comics site to stop using the UO art that was created with the use of an emulator. Our advice: when used with some common sense, you can enjoy your emulator and use it to look around in Britannia and/or create interesting screenshots.


What is Stratics' policy on emulators?

We support the use of emulators if only used to look at UO art or used to create interesting UO screenshots. We do not support public shards, or free shards, that are using such an emulator.