A noob’s guide to MOBAs. Where should you start?

Having trouble figuring out which MOBA to play with your friends? Here's a brief summary of what's on the market.

Having trouble figuring out which MOBA to play with your friends? Here's a brief summary of what's on the market.

Are you looking for a game to play with friends? Something to destroy your relationship with the ones you love? Well look no further, as this here guide to MOBAs, or ARTS, or whatever people like to call them these days, is here for you! We’re going to cover the big three, as well as one of my personal favorites.

League of Legends

League of Legends is going to go first. This is a great entry level title for the series. Relying more on positioning and a numbers game, LoL has a relatively low skill ceiling early on. New players have a well-made in depth tutorial, and there is a lot of variety to be had from the different champions and game modes. Also, thanks to the new items and constant updates, the game does it’s best to be an overhanging experience, although personally I find the current meta a little suffocating.


DOTA 2 is still in beta right now, although with the amount invites sitting in everyone’s Steam inventory, that’s kind of a moot point. Considered the “hardest” and least “casual friendly” of the genre, DOTA 2 is all about quick decision making, positioning, and team composition.

Having all playable heroes available right off the bat is amazing. And the random feature gives you bonus gold, letting you have an advantage when learning a new hero. Spells and characters hit hard, as do minions, allowing little to no room for error. If you want to be “hardcore” DOTA 2 might be the game for you.

Heroes of Newerth

Considered by many to be a dead game, Heroes of Newerth isn’t out of the running yet. Having gone free to play, it’s seen a surge of new players. HoN looks great visually, with lots of style and detail. The game was supposed to be what DOTA 2 is. A newer version, with updated graphics, a cleaner UI, and new balance updates. It’s not my cup of tea, but I have played more than a few games myself. If you are experienced with the genre, give it a try.


SMITE is a somewhat recent entry into the MOBA genre, currently still in beta. Using an over-the-shoulder 3rd person perspective, WASD movement, and having nothing but skillshots makes the game feel and play entirely different from the others. The roster contains gods from various pantheons, and some of the mechanics introduced are really neat. Not to mention some of the powers are crazy as heck. SMITE is currently one of my favorites to play for fun, as the over the top powers, multiple game modes, and low skill ceiling lead to some crazy fights.

So that’s that.

I’ve played a lot of different games like the previously mentioned, and I’ve only mentioned the most popular four right now. I’ll  most likely cover some of the rest at a later date, but for now, I hope this has been helpful. Make sure if you do play these games, you play with friends, and do your best to learn and practice. Best of luck, and have fun!

About the author


A freelance crimefighter and player of VIDYA GAEMS, currently sweating like a pig in the Arizona desert.