Surprisingly the difference between MMOs and MMORPGs is quite simple. But since an MMORPG is a form of MMO, you need to understand MMOs better.
MMO and MMORPG
MMO stands for “Massively Multiplayer Online” game. Simply put, it’s a game that allows group gaming, sometimes involving millions of players gaming simultaneously, while MMORPGs are “Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game” easily recognizable by their fantasy settings.
In other words, MMORPGs are MMOs in the RPG genre. MMOs can be anything from real-time strategy games to Battle Royale action. However, RPG video games are advanced, allowing you to develop and customize as you progress. You can change and evolve your digital avatar making them more powerful or make the universe they inhabit more unique. So, your actions on the RPG directly impact how the universe changes around you. Anyway, the game has multiple ways to advance the plot, and you’re free to play any style. When you combine that with the technical stuff of loot, skill, quests, and combat, you got yourself an MMORPG.
Hopefully, now you can tell the difference between MMOs and MMORPGs.