Unlike most MMORPGs, RF Online revolves around PvP (Player vs. Player), also called PK (Player Killing). This game is focused on three-way race war between Bellato, Cora, and Accretia - (RvRvR sytem). Player killing comes into play because of the battle for resources between the three races. Players of the same race are automatically allied with one another and cannot attack one another, and the opposing races are always considered enemies, no matter if informal truces have been established or not. RF Online PvP is designed to be team based. This ideal is only reinforced by RF Online's potion healing system, because it is nearly impossible to outdamage an opponent's self healing abilities in a 1v1 battle, within the same level range. Because of this, players are heavily encouraged by the game mechanics to group together and work as a team in RvRvR situations. Each race has many different character classes to choose from which plays different parts on a team battle – Warriors, Rangers, Spiritualists and Specialists for support.
Only the racial headquarters, and the settlement towns, are considered as safe areas from enemy races. While on aggressive maps, opposing races members may engage in combat at any point in time. Same race players may not engage in combat, unless by virtue of an item called the Chaos Potion, or during Guild Circle Zone Scramble, a special in-race Guild competition, also known as Guild Wars.
Upon killing race enemies, players receive "Contribution Points" (CP). Consequently, players lose these points upon dying at the hand of race enemies. The amount of contribution points gained or lost depends upon the level of the enemy being killed or the enemy doing the killing. Participating in a victorious Mine War (more on this below) or completing quests are other ways to acquire contribution points. Note that contribution points will decay if a character does not participate in PvP activities for a long period of time. Contribution points can also be exchanged for money at the Race Manager.