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5 Non-MOBA Games for MOBA Players to Unwind With

Has the competitive slog worn you down? Here's some alternatives you might enjoy in the meantime.

MOBAs are among the most competitive environments offered to gamers. It’s almost inevitable that if you start taking them seriously, you’ll end up becoming significantly more competitive to suit. That kind of intense competition can seriously take its toll, and this is why it’s not uncommon to see people raging or otherwise just getting completely fed up.

While it’s natural to get frustrated, it’s often best to step back from the game and take a break. A bit of time spent relaxing and getting back into a more positive mindset can go a long way in helping you climb through the ranks.

To that end, I’ve provided a short list of games MOBA players might enjoy for such a purpose. These games are chosen largely because they’re all on PC, they need some skill and awareness to excel at, but they can be as relaxed or as competitive as you choose to make it. I’ve also tried to keep them reasonably cost efficient -- after all, most MOBAs are so free.

osu!

For a period of time, osu! was the go to game during extended queues for a number of notable League of Legends streamers. It gained quite a bit of popularity for itself and other rhythm games, though few others on the PC really took advantage of it and the surge of attention eventually died down. osu! remains, however, and is really quite good.

Taking the gameplay of the Nintendo DS Ouendan games (or Elite Beat Agents), osu! is a rhythm game that sees you tapping or dragging buttons in time with the song’s beat. It can be as simple or as intense as you want it to be, with a slew of modifiers to apply for customised gameplay, not to mention some ridiculous difficulty settings for the truly dedicated.

Coming equipped with an editor, the game has a truly massive library of songs built and amassed by players over the years, so there’s likely to be something here to interest you. osu! is also fantastic for practicing mouse movements and coordination -- certain to give you an edge when you return to your favourite MOBA. You can download osu! on the official website.

Genre Alternatives: Stepmania, Audiosurf 2

Path of Exile

Famous for its Skill Tree of Doom, Path of Exile is a Free to Play Action RPG with a ridiculous amount of potential for customisation. Starting from basic archetypes such as indestructible tanks or mages raining fire on foes and going all the way to rangers throwing spectral greatswords or rapidly teleporting ninjas, Path of Exile has so many different ways to play the game.

While it ultimately boils down to lots of clicking as you kill and loot your way across the game world, Path of Exile is great for picking up, picking a crazy build, and seeing what you can do. There’s a huge amount of content in the game as well, and even replaying the same areas on higher difficulties can be quite the experience.

The game is regularly updated with new temporary Leagues providing unique spins on the game, as well as constant new features and cosmetic items. If you haven’t dabbled in Path of Exile yet, it’s well worth taking a look at. You can find it on Steam.

Genre Alternatives: Diablo 3, Torchlight 2, Grim Dawn

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

There’s little I can say about this game that hasn’t already been said. Sporting overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam years into its release, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is a delightfully twisted game that sees you roaming through randomly generated dungeons and fighting all sorts of grotesque and misshapen foes.

A staggering amount of powerups and items are available for you to find throughout the dungeons, many of which create interesting or strange combinations of effects that can completely change how you play. There’s a huge array of unlockables, playable characters, and hidden content to delve into and find. But most importantly, regardless of what items you get, getting there (or losing in the attempt) is entirely up to the player’s skill.

Whether it’s for a single quick run through the game or a marathon session with multiple playthroughs, The Binding of Isaac is a fantastic game that’s great to wind down with. Might not be for the faint of heart or weak of stomach, though… fair warning!

Genre Alternatives: Enter the Gungeon, Risk of Rain

Rocket League

Remote controlled cars playing soccer. Need I say more?

A surprisingly simple concept that has since taken the world by storm, Rocket League takes The World’s Game and shrinks it down to a handful of cars pitted against each other for control of an oversized ball. Featuring extremely tight controls that are quick to learn but very deep and involved to master, Rocket League can be as simple as you want it to be or end up becoming just as consuming and focused an activity as any MOBA.

There’s an array of customisation options for giving your chosen car its own stylish flair. There are a number of different maps and play modes from the serious 2v2 or 3v3 ranked games to the more ridiculous Rumble Mode. Rocket League is fast, it’s fun, and there’s nothing else quite like it. Well worth giving a shot.

Genre Alternatives: ...I don’t know, Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 maybe? There really aren’t any. Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars being the spiritual predecessor to Rocket League.

Team Fortress 2

Admittedly, jumping from MOBAs to an FPS is not always the best way to relax. Both genres can get quite heated and competitive, after all, and it can be quite frustrating or demoralising to go into this thinking you’ll be able to take it easy only to get sniped from across the map repeatedly.

But that’s why I’ve selected Team Fortress 2, because while it may be an FPS, the players have since made it into a virtual playground with plenty of less serious options. Exploring through the servers and maps, you might find all sorts of crazy new ways to play. From matches of dodgeball, to hide-and-seek prop hunt games, to fighting against one super-powered player, the possibilities are endless.

If none of that takes your fancy, there’s always just playing the core game itself. It’s a bit different now from how it launched, but there’s still a really good game at the heart of Team Fortress 2. With a staggering amount of weapons and options across all nine classes and huge amounts of maps, there’s never really a bad time to just kick back, relax, and grind some new hats.

Genre Alternatives: Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

This is just a small sampling of good games that MOBA players might like to try when not playing MOBAs. Still, at the end of the day, just about any other kind of video game will suffice for the purpose. Perhaps you want to go roam around and slay dragons in Skyrim, or go exploring in World of Warcraft, or even just kick back and enjoy a visual novel. The world is your oyster.

It’s always worth remembering that we come to video games to be entertained and have fun. Amidst the eternal grind of competitive games and less than savoury insults being hurled back and forth, it can sometimes be hard to remember that. But it is something to always remember. If you’re not enjoying yourself, step back and give it a bit. The game will still be there when you’re ready, and you’ll be much more refreshed and able to give it your all.

What other kinds of games do you enjoy in between your MOBA sessions? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

(Header image courtesy of TeeTurtle)

Published Nov. 3rd 2016

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