5 Reasons Why You Should Be Playing Battlerite
Back in 2011, indie developer Stunlock Studios released a game called Bloodline Champions. The game attempted to provide an alternative slant on the burgeoning MOBA genre, removing the extraneous elements of games like DotA and League of Legends such as laning and items, and instead focused purely on the battles. The game was well-received and developed a small and dedicated fanbase, but ultimately it was unable to gain much traction.
Fast forward to the present day, where Stunlock Studios has presented their spiritual successor to Bloodline Champions: Battlerite. In less than a month on Steam’s Early Access list, the game accrued over 200,000 players and had overwhelmingly positive reviews across the board. With the increasing popularity of eSports as a whole, this time around Stunlock looks ready to make a splash in the market. And you should definitely be getting in on the action.
So what is Battlerite? (And why should you care?)
Battlerite qualifies as a MOBA. But unlike the more established games in the genre, it’s less about controlling the map or storming a base, and instead reduces play down to skirmishes and fights with the enemy team. It boils down to sticking a 2v2 or 3v3 setup into an arena and duking it out in a best-of-five format. It’s fast, it’s frantic, it’s heavily skill-based, and it’s a lot of fun.
We’ve already given our early impressions on Battlerite, as well as covered the first major content update and Halloween event. But now I’m here to give you a few good reasons why you should consider picking up Battlerite and joining in the fun if you haven't already.
There's no grinding, no preparation. Just pick up and play.
Once you complete the tutorial in Battlerite, you’re thrown straight into the thick of it, with ranked play available from the get-go. There’s no need to play a set amount of games and grind up account levels in order to access the ranked modes. There are no runes or talents or gear pickups to farm in order to get a competitive edge.
You simply select your character of choice and hit the Play button, and that’s that. The only difference between you and your opponent is how skilled you are, and anything you unlock is purely cosmetic. Each round of play sees you selecting a single “Battlerite” trait from among a max of three to improve one of your basic abilities, and these reset for every match. Beyond that, it’s completely a matter of who is better -- you and your allies, or the other guys.
It focuses on player skill and timing rather than luck.
Every character has a host of abilities, and the tricky part of the game is learning what all of them do so you’re prepared to fight as (or against) them. The aforementioned Battlerite traits will alter your abilities slightly, but not dramatically. Beyond that, every single ability in the game has set damage, set effects, and a set duration. There aren’t any critical strikes, and there’s no RNG.
What matters is how and when you use your skills. The only thing stopping you is their cooldowns or energy. Every character has at least one ability to provide some kind of movement or escape, and everyone has at least one defensive ability. The difference between victory or defeat is using them at the right times to prevent or create the most devastating assaults. There’s also an energy bar that builds upon successful attacks, so generating and rationing its use into your abilities -- or saving it up for your ultimate attack -- is key.
In addition, everything in the game is based on skillshots. From your basic left-click auto attacks to the most powerful ultimates in the game, you have to aim and fire everything. Again, the only thing inhibiting you is your skill in aiming and timing, versus theirs. It’s perhaps the most purely skill-based MOBA out there.
Rounds are short, focused, and action-packed.
Every session of Battlerite is a best-of-five match, but each individual round is short and sweet. Once everyone has loaded in and selected their trait, there’s a short countdown and then the round begins. Since the arenas provide you space to maneuver and block line of sight or dodge assaults, you would think you could indefinitely stall a game, right? Nope!
After two minutes in a round, sudden death mode is engaged and the arena shrinks down to a smaller central area. Stepping outside of those bounds incurs heavy damage, but there are potential tactical advantages to doing so… or to forcing your enemy out there for a major chunk of their health. Should the match continue to persist, before too long the arena will shrink further until the damage field encompasses the entire map. You must finish your opponent quickly, or die trying.
With all of this, each match is unlikely to last more than 15 minutes, which is much shorter than even faster-paced MOBAs like Heroes of the Storm. What’s more, should a character take a significant chunk of their damage in a brief skirmish, this will reduce their overall maximum health pool for the rest of the round. That prevents running, hiding, and stalling out through healing, so skirmishes and quick burst damage are just as effective as continuous brawling.
In short, the game does everything it can to encourage you to get into the fight.
Buying now gives easy access to everything later.
When Battlerite officially releases, it is intended to be Free-to-Play. For now, buying into the Early Access costs $19.99 (though it's currently at a 10% discount on Steam for the Halloween sale). However, buying in now gives you access to every character introduced in the game, both currently and in the future. On release, Battlerite will presumably shift to having set characters be available for purchase via in-game currency or microtransactions, just as in League of Legends and most other MOBAs.
With this being the only barrier between having access to just about everything in the game, it’s a small price to pay. Besides, the game is already more polished than just about any Early Access game I’ve had the pleasure of playing, so it’s a strong contender for your investment.
There are already loads of players involved, so why not join them?
The most important thing for multiplayer games to succeed is a steady player base. Games can be incredibly fun and well-balanced, but if nobody is playing it then there’s not much point. Battlerite has already sold thousands of copies and routinely gets high concurrent player counts on Steam, so you won’t be alone if you join the fight now.
So what are you waiting for? Check the Battlerite website or the Steam page if any of this sounds appealing to you. Or check out our guide to the best Battlerite champions and how to build them if you need a little extra help getting started. I’ll see you in the arena!