League Of Legends Vs. Arena Of Valor: Which MOBA Is For You?

  • Android
  • iOS
  • Switch
Which game is this? Tencent Games

Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas, or MOBAs, are some of the most complex video games you can devote your life to. Learning hundreds of champions, thousands of abilities and countless weapons for just one game can be pretty daunting. Players with any hope of reaching a level of success have to throw themselves into the game and learn as much as possible. Some games are worth the time investment, while other MOBAs are cheesy knock-offs that won’t make it past beta. For every DOTA, there’s a Master X Master, a game that’s remembered only be NCSoft developers.

The newest MOBA to hit North American shores is Arena Of Valor, a 5v5 battle arena played exclusively on cell phones. There have been other games, like Vainglory , with the same presence that achieved little success. Can AOV be the first mobile title to really capture hardcore and casual fans alike or will it end up abandoned, like every other challenger in the space?

I’m still getting my feet wet so I can’t give the game a proper review just yet, but I can do something else: compare it to League Of Legends. The first and most successful of Tencent’s MOBAs, League is one of the most-played games in the world. I’ve grinded for over four years, spent countless hours locked at my desktop, last-hitting minions and flaming team mamtes. Arena Of Valor is a solid game, one that builds on League in new ways, but still falls victim to some of the genre’s pitfalls.

AOV has three abilities and a passive per champion, while League has four. That one ability adds so much more flavor and depth to your games and it allows for better strategies and unique interactions. The champions themselves feel very similar—Arthur has the same power pool as Garen—but that’s always been a problem for games with strict limitations.

Arena Of Valor has 10 to 25 minute long matches, while League can go as long as an hour. The average iPhone user doesn’t have the time to dedicate to a game like that, which is why the game is condensed for the mobile crowd. Death timers are much longer, team fights are a lot more frequent and last-hitting really isn’t that important. If you’re looking for a game that’s bloody and hectic while still retaining that strategic MOBA charm, Arena OF Valor can feel that niche.   

League Of Legends just did away its complicated Runes system that Arena Of valor still uses. Arcana can be bought in three tiers, with only the third being useful for ranked play. To earn those Arcana, you need to earn gold, which can be acquired with real money or by playing games. Unfortunately, there’s a cap on the gold you can earn, making long play sessions seem almost useless. They are a constant gold sink, a way to spend your hard-earned currency and grind the game as much as possible.

If you like League Of Legends and have a cell phone, you’ll like Arena Of Valor . The game runs beautifully, the champions are fun and the map is pretty much the same. Though Tencent doesn’t experiment much with the MOBA formula, they’ve realized they don’t have to to still make a fuck ton of money.

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