Now that we’ve explained the general gist of Arena of Valor in our review, we’re ready to get into the nitty-gritty details of the game. Like many other mobile MOBAs out there, you’ll spend most of your time in this game on the battlefield killing minions, raising gold, and fighting the enemy team. However, while going to battle is as simple as right clicking on the ground to move and pressing spacebar to attack (thanks to our awesome Keymapping Tool), the rhythm and flow of combat is much more intricate.
Like in any other genre, the combat of MOBAs is riddled with nuance and particularities. It’s not like an RTS where you have to control many units and create a strategy to defeat your enemies. It’s also not like a fighting game where you only face off against an enemy character in a 1v1 battle to the death. Nevertheless, it shares aspects from both of these genres and combines them to create their own beast. Specifically, you’ll need to save up resources and use them to buy stuff, like in RTS games, and use certain techniques to keep your distance from the enemy and only attack when there’s an opening, like in fighting games.
These particularities are difficult to pick up at first, and the only way to get them is through time and experience. Nevertheless, we feel that, by knowing what to expect from the fights in mobile MOBAs like Arena of Valor, you can keep an eye out for certain movement patterns and expedite your understanding of the game’s mechanics and nuances. We’ve created this guide for this very reason, so that you can not only stay alive on the battlefield, but also get as many kills as you can while doing so.
However, the first thing we have to talk about has nothing to do with the gameplay itself, but still remains one of the most important aspects of every match.
Regarding Team Composition
We’ve all been there: As soon as the players enter a match, they rush to pick their favorite characters, giving no consideration to the team comp. This selfish behavior, almost always exclusive to MOBAs, often leads to the downfall of the team later on in the match, mostly because certain types of heroes don’t fare well against others. In this sense, while you may get a good start using a random composition, you might find that the tables turn in the later stages of the match and that you simply aren’t getting kills anymore.
There are six different types of heroes in Arena of Valor, including the following:
- Tank: Hardy characters with a natural penchant for defense and a repertoire of skills revolving around shielding themselves and their allies, and disrupting the enemy team. They’re meat shields that initiate battles and soak up damage while their allies eliminate the enemy team.
- Warrior: They’re “light” versions of tanks, with lots of HP, but with skills focused more on offense rather than defense. Warrior characters usually build very offensively and excel at destroying enemy assassins while staying alive thanks to their massive health pools. However, their disposition for building defense and HP leaves them vulnerable to magical damage.
- Assassin: Characters that deal colossal amounts of physical damage in very little time. Their mission is simple: To eliminate the weakest links in the enemy team in seconds, and then retreat to a safe position from which to plan their next attack.
- Mage: Like assassins, but with magic damage. Mages tend to be slow, with a few exceptions, and deal heavy damage with most of their skills. It’s not unusual to see one of these characters delete another player from the battlefield in a few seconds. However, they’re very fragile and vulnerable against just about any type of character that can close the distance and deal lots of damage, such as other mages or assassins.
- Marksman: Ranged physical attackers that, unlike assassins, deal more sustained rather than bursty damage. Marksmen are usually the “hard carries” of the team as they take a lot of items and levels to get strong. However, once they’re at their peak, they can erase entire teams with just a few attacks.
- Support: As their name implies, these characters support the team effort either through skills that disrupt the enemy, or spells that heal and buff their allies.
A decent team usually sports a mix of these characters. Ideally, you’d want a warrior for the top lane, a marksman with a support for the bottom lane, an assassin or mage for the middle, and another warrior roaming the jungle and ganking other players.
Another important part of these mobile MOBAs is the back and forth movements between the players. Whenever the teams face against each other on the lane, you’ll see them pacing constantly back and forth, moving closer to kill a minion, and then back to the safety of their own team. Rarely, the characters will meet in the lane to exchange a few blows, and then go back to lick their wounds.
These movements almost start to resemble a dance; a dance that you must familiarize yourself with if you want to nab some kills early on. In this regard, it’s important to quickly identify enemy movement patterns and capitalize on their vulnerabilities to make them leave the lane. If you get them weak enough, and they still don’t leave the lane, then you can even go in for the kill and get that sweet extra gold.
Keep in mind that, when it comes to footsies in mobile MOBAs, getting a kill is not always the objective. Making the enemy retreat to their base to get healed is also a very positive outcome. If the enemy’s not in his lane, then he’s losing both gold and experience and will quickly fall behind in relation to the other players.
Aside from the footsies, the only other relevant aspect that you always need to keep in mind is the map awareness.
The map is everything in MOBAs like Arena of Valor. This small square is your single most important piece of information on screen as it’ll help you to know when enemies are missing from their lane. By keeping an eye on the minimap, you’ll know when to expect ganks from the enemy team, as well as their probable location for you to find and intercept them along the way.
Getting used to the nuances of Arena of Valor will definitely take some time and practice. However, now that you know what to focus on, there’s a good chance that you’ll learn much faster and climb the ranks without too much hassle.