MOBAs bring their own unique brand of fun to the gaming industry, offering a wide variety of mechanics and systems that, after a bit of refining and polishing, evolved to become one of the biggest phenomena in esports and gaming in the world—and it all started as a simple custom map for Warcraft 3.

Vainglory - The Best Early Game Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Nowadays, the MOBA genre has evolved considerably as developers create many different and unique entries. However, while the market is utterly dominated by the main two in the PC platform—League of Legends and Dota 2—the mobile gaming industry is a whole other beast, featuring many different games that offer their own spin on the classic MOBA formula. Vainglory is one of such titles that has made a name for itself in the mobile platform ever since its release back in 2014.

Though originally developed and launched for iOS, the game quickly got ported to Android about six months later, and finally also got a PC release some time afterward. Further, Vainglory offers crossplay between all 3 platforms, which means that users can match up with and against different players regardless of if they’re playing on PC or mobile. 

Despite not being as large as its more popular counterparts, Vainglory has attracted and retains a steady crowd of gamers, mostly thanks to its unique rosters, its approach to itemization, and its stellar graphics, animations, and overall presentation. The game is definitely worth taking a look at if you’re browsing for an interesting MOBA to play.

Vainglory - The Best Early Game Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Speaking of which, if you’re just a newcomer to Vainglory and are looking to start off on the right foot, then we’ve prepared a few tips and tricks that will definitely help you in the early phases of every match.

Learn the Different Types of Characters

At the time of writing this guide, there are 53 characters in Vainglory, all of which are divided into three distinct categories: Captains, Junglers, and Laners. And while these categories can give us an idea of the role and position that each hero should fill, they don’t really help in specifying how they should be played, or their general purpose in the game. If you’re just beginning, you won’t really know what “Captain” means until you’ve gotten some experience in the game. And while Jungler is fairly self-explanatory to someone with experience in MOBAs, “Laner” is not. 

Vainglory - The Best Early Game Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Does a character with the Laner tag mean they can go in any lane? Similarly, do all Laners have the same play style? The answer to this question is definitely NO.

Luckily, there’s quite a handy in-game list menu that you can check in the “Bag” menu. This panel shows all heroes available in the game, and you can click on them to learn about their skills and capabilities. We strongly recommend reading up on the ones that catch your eye, just to learn about what they can do, before jumping into a real match. Alternatively, you can simply enter practice mode and take them out for a spin to get familiarized with their skills.

Vainglory - The Best Early Game Tips and Tricks for Beginners

In this aspect, it’s crucial to learn the difference between casters, ranged DPS, melee DPS, tanks, and support characters. Not all heroes can go toe to toe against others and come out on top, and not all heroes should be able to. Nevertheless, the fact that your hero can’t 1v1 others doesn’t make it bad, it just means they have another role to fill, whether it’s as a tank or support. This leads us to our next point.

Try to Keep a Balanced Team Composition

The importance of learning about the different heroes also extends to when achieving the ideal team composition, especially in 5v5 matches where the impact of each individual hero is much larger. As a general rule of thumb, you always want at least a ranged DPS, a tanky melee DPS, a caster, support, and a jungler in the same team:

Vainglory - The Best Early Game Tips and Tricks for Beginners

The different types of DPS keep your damage sources diversified so that the enemy can’t just build a single type of defense and nullify your entire team. Not to mention that having a tanky DPS for the solo lane is ideal as he’ll be the one initiating most, if not all of your team fights, so it’s important that they’re able to farm freely in the top lane. The jungler is the wildcard of the team; one team member filling this role is incredibly important as junglers are the ones who can enable kills and help snowball your team to victory. Plus, since they’re always roaming and farming the jungle, the enemy team can never know where the jungler is going to attack from unless they fill the ambush points with vision items, which is costly.

Respect the Laning Phase

A common beginner’s trap that most players fall into in MOBA games is not knowing the objective of each lane. That is, while it might be tempting to engage the enemy players as often as possible, the actual idea of the lanes is to farm as much as you can to gain the gold advantage in the match. This is because the teams that have the gold advantage are the most likely to win in the long run; and while getting kills is a great way of farming gold, it’s unreliable since players are much harder to kill than minions.

In this sense, two golden rules of laning in Vainglory is to not auto-attack minions unless you’re getting the last hit, so as to avoid pushing the lane, and NEVER engaging the enemy unless you know you can get a guaranteed kill. In other words, just focus on farming minions, and avoid getting hit by the enemy. Getting pushed out of your lane due to taking too much damage is one of the worst things that can happen during laning, and getting killed is even worse since you’ll be giving the enemy team gold on top of free farming while your resurrection timer expires.

If you’re a support, however, your role in the laning phase is somewhat different. Though you must still avoid picking unnecessary fights and overpushing the lane, your main role is to keep your DPS partner alive and, whenever possible, to harass the enemy DPS with your auto attacks or skills. You’re also responsible for purchasing vision and placing them in strategic spots to avoid getting ganked.

Vainglory - The Best Early Game Tips and Tricks for Beginners

One last thing about the laning phase, to close this Vainglory beginner’s guide, is that, while attacking the enemy towers when they’re away from their lane can definitely sound tempting, you need to decide whether or not you actually want to destroy the building: 

If you destroy the tower too early, you’re basically forcing the laning phase to end as it’ll be too dangerous to continue in your current lane so far away from your own tower due to the risk of getting ganked. In this sense, if you clearly have the upper hand in your lane, a good strategy would be to hold back on attacking the turret, and simply focusing on farming the minions as they arrive. Take the turret down ONLY after you’ve farmed enough and have at least a few good items so you can begin participating in team fights and helping gank the other lanes.

These are three basic—but very important—tips that you should keep in mind when it comes to prevailing in the early laning phase of every match. As you can see, some of the most important things to keep in mind actually take place BEFORE the match even begins—during the hero selection screen. Bad team composition in Vainglory can often mean defeat even before starting the game, so make sure to read up on the different characters, and mix and match them correctly with your team.