Dune Awakening: Everything we know so far about the open-world Dune MMO

Dune: Awakening
(Image credit: Funcom)

Dune: Awakening is going to let us loose on Arrakis like never before. Funcom made a name for itself developing some of the best MMORPGs in recent history, so news that it's working on a new Dune MMO is certainly cause for celebration. Whether it's a new game for 2023 or arrives sometime later, Dune Awakening will give us the chance to experience Frank Herbert's iconic sci-fi world with thousands of other players.

Dune Awakening was revealed at Gamescom Opening Night Live 2022, and we're desperately awaiting more information. Still, we have rounded up everything we know so far for you below, including details on Funcom's persistent open world and its focus on social interactivity. 

Dune: Awakening trailer - Watch it here

The Dune: Awakening trailer features Paul Atreides' iconic "fear is the mindkiller" monologue from the Frank Herbert novels. Paul speaks this monologue as we see a shot of him from behind, then watch as the camera pans towards ornithopter flying towards a sandstorm. We see a spice harvester get swallowed up by a sandworm before we see Paul's face, his eyes the blue-within-blue that means he has become one of the Fremen. He then launches himself off a cliff to ride the incoming sandworm before the trailer fades to black. 

What will Dune: Awakening MMO gameplay be like?

Dune: Awakening

(Image credit: Funcom)

We don't know much about Dune: Awakening's gameplay, but the Dune Steam page (opens in new tab) and the developer's past work help paint a picture. Dune: Awakening is being developed and published by Funcom,  a studio best known for another survival game: Conan Exiles. Conan Exiles is set in the world of Conan the Barbarian and tasks you with surviving in the fictional prehistoric age. You create a character and swear allegiance to one of seven religions.

Gameplay requires you to manage hunger and thirst gauges by using natural resources that can be found, as well as fending off dangerous animals. You can capture thralls to help increase your crafting speed or get special crafting recipes and a whole host of other benefits. One update even added pets! 

Now, the thought of managing hunger and thirst on Arrakis for Dune is daunting as hell. After all, the Fremen have to wear stillsuits - special full-body suits that capture all bodily fluids and filter the impurities out so that they're potable - in order to survive. Perhaps you'll be able to upgrade your stillsuit in order to increase your water retention. The Dune: Awakening Steam page gives us some clues:

  • "Build shelters against sandstorms, maintain your stillsuit, and master the old ways to walk even the deepest deserts. Avoid or be devoured by the colossal sandworms that dwell beneath the sands."
  • "Hunt for spice blooms and deploy your harvester, then protect it from opportunistic raiders and rival factions"
  • "Tailor every aspect of your character. Consume spice to conquer your senses and acquire powerful abilities. Hone your craft to become sought out for the finest creations. Construct your fortress in the style of your choosing"
  • "Head into unmapped sectors and be the first to discover secrets and riches before the coriolis storms once again shift the sands and alter the landscape."

Since Dune: Awakening is an open-world MMO, it seems like Arrakis will constantly shift and change in front of your eyes. And those enemy factions are likely other players - not NPCs. There's a lot to glean from this, and the promise of a pretty intense Dune experience.

 Dune: Awakening platforms - What is it launching on?

Dune: Awakening

(Image credit: Funcom)

Dune: Awakening will be available on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S. You can sign up for the beta at the official Dune: Awakening website right here (opens in new tab). Because of the sheer scope of this game, it makes sense that it would be on current-gen consoles only, as last-gen consoles may struggle to handle the visuals and sheer size of it.

There is no Dune: Awakening release window yet

Dune: Awakening

(Image credit: Funcom)

There is no release window whatsover for Dune: Awakening. This was the first announcement of the game, so we're sure that Funcom will update us with a release window as development continues. But we can definitely add it to our list of upcoming Xbox Series X games and upcoming PS5 games.  

For more new releases, check out our round up of new games for 2022 and beyond. 

Alyssa Mercante

Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.

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