Alt is an abbreviation for alternate character, or alter-ego. Virtually all MMORPGs permit a player to create more than one player character on his or her account. An alt is a character to which a person devotes less time and effort than the person's main character.
What constitutes "less" time and effort can be subjective with respect to the player. For most players, the main is the most powerful, highest-level, or simply the oldest character on the account. A few players may play multiple characters simultaneously, keeping them roughly equal in power. In those cases, players often simply use the term alt to refer to a character other than the one they are currently playing.
Alts are created for a variety of reasons.
Some players create alts to have a different social experience. In some cases, the change is minor, being simply a second character with a slightly different personality and/or abilities. In other cases it can be drastic, as in being a member of a different gender. Alts may have wholly different circles of friends from the main, or no friends at all.
In Dragonica, many players create alts to to enrich their gameplay or to remedy boredom. People who joined the game when it first came out typically reached the maximum level of 100 within a few months, and started alts. Dragonica does well in this regard, by providing four different classes, it's easy to encounter a completely different gameplay experience.
Some alts are created on the same server to increase the power of a player's main, or to create a team of characters all mutually reinforcing each other.
Some alts exist primarily:
- to be mules (AKA bank alts, very common, usually low level, often level 1)
- to be twinks (fairly common, focused on PvP, does not want to level past their bracket)
- to Multibox (requires separate accounts per character)
These types of characters are not always played in the normal sense; see their respective pages for more information.
All accounts may have up to 4 characters at a time.
Alts on the same account can be in the same guild.
Alts on the same account cannot both be present at once.
So alts on the same account cannot trade with each other using the trade window.
There is no restriction on the number of accounts you can have, though it is generally frowned upon to have more than one.
Alts on separate accounts circumvent the restrictions placed on Alts on the same account, and also loose the benefits. Few players run a separate account just to occasionally trade items.
Simultaneously playing on multiple accounts at once is often referred to as Multiboxing.