Your Internet Consultant - The FAQs of Life Online

10.32. How do I connect to a MUD?

Most MUDs are open to the public. The first time you enter, you are asked for a name and a password. Then you are dropped into the virtual reality to fend for yourself. What you do then is up to you.

Note: Be aware, however, that some MUDs are closed to the Internet public. Some are reserved for students at a specific college, educators, or just the friends of the wizard who runs the place.

Like Gopher, Telnet, FTP, WWW, the IRC--indeed, like just about every facility you use on the Internet--MUDs are client-server programs.

The server is the program that's the heart of the simulated environment. It is in charge of receiving user commands, relaying and broadcasting messages among players, maintaining information such as player locations, room, and object definitions, help text, and so on.

You can generally use Telnet as the client program. Typically, you'd access a MUD game via Telnet by giving the Telnet command along with the server's Internet address and the port number for the game. For example,

telnet 8888
Telnet is usually all you need to access a MUD, but Telnet is less than elegant. Some users connect to MUDs with "client" programs that make the MUD experience that much nicer. Typical features in MUD clients include scrollback (for reviewing a conversation that's gone off the screen), fancy word wrapping, and a Rolodex of favorite MUDs. Some clients are stand-alone programs that run on your Internet host; others work alongside other programs (for instance, MUD.EL, a client that works from within of EMACS).

Note: MUDs come and go daily. Hourly. So I'm not including a list of MUDs here. For a possibly complete and potentially up-to-date listing, read "The Totally Unofficial List of Internet Muds" compiled by Scott Goehring. Goehring's list is posted to the Usenet and newsgroups. You may also get it via anonymous-FTP from

You might be interested in taking a look at the Internet Gopher Automatic MUD Registry, available at (under Fun&Games/Games/MUDs)
It is a jumping-off point for accessing MUDs. New ones are added weekly. It's a great way to discover interesting new MUDs without bothering with the MUD list.

There are several very good FAQ files available online that detail MUDs, MUD clients and servers, and a complete, current MUD-list. The most recent versions of the MUD FAQs are available by anonymous-FTP sites including

In addition, there are a variety of Usenet newsgroups related to MUDs.

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