Arena of Valor is the big new MOBA right now – with these tips you’ll quickly rise through the ranks and be well on your way to challenging the best in the world.
If you’ve fired up the iTunes App Store or Google Play recently, you can’t have missed Arena of Valor storming up the charts. This has been one of the most successful games in China for quite a while and now it’s finally headed west to keep us all glued to our smartphones and tablets.
But Arena of Valor is not like most mobile games. Instead of having one simple core mechanic such as Angry Birds, or combining a number of good ideas into a new experience such as Clash Royale, this is a complete 5v5 MOBA on your phone, with three lanes, a full jungle and everything you’d expect in a PC MOBA. In fact, as this is developed by Riot Games owners Tencent, it has more than a few similarities to League of Legends.
It’s still early days, but the western launch seems to have gone well; as we’ve found out first hand, many of the players have already learnt everything there is to know. The matchmaking systems are solid, but we’ve come across a lot of players who just seemed to know what to do all the time and as you might expect we lost those games.
To make sure that you don’t fall victim to the same fate when you join in and play Arena of Valor, we’ve come up with these tips to help you on your way to victory.
1. Start out with one hero
When you first jump into a new MOBA it’s tempting to try out every single hero available, but in Arena of Valor that probably isn’t the best idea if you want to start winning early. Sure, knowing what every hero does is very valuable and something that you’ll need to learn at some point, but at the start you’re better off picking one or two heroes and sticking with them until the wins start rolling in regularly.
Valhein, the hero you use in the tutorial is a good shout, as are the likes of Gildur and Fennik as they’re all quite beginner-friendly and can do well in pretty much every lane in the early stages. Slowly but surely you can branch out to other heroes, but for your first few hours, mastering a couple is a much better idea.
2. Be prepared to play aggressively
In MOBAs with a mouse it can often be better to focus on getting those all-important last hits in lane, instead of wasting time harassing an opponent. However, in Arena of Valor chunking down your foe in lane can work out really well. All of the outer towers have a heal regen back behind them, and everyone has a heal spell, so many are quite happy to take damage and stay in lane. But if you can keep track of when they use both heals then a free kill could be coming your way.
If you poke them down enough they’ll inevitably burn both of those heals sooner or later and, once they do, you’re free to jump onto them and take that first blood bonus all for yourself.
They may think they can stand toe-to-toe with you, but providing you at least manage to keep up with them, the heals available to you will usually be enough to secure that fight. Early leads are very important in Arena of Valor and an early lane kill can be the perfect way to start your snowball to victory.
3. Make use of the Jungle
Considering how large the jungle is in Arena of Valor, not many people seem to use it to its full potential. There’s a lot of gold to be had at the jungle camps and they can be the perfect fallback for many heroes. If you struggle in lane, and your opponents send two or three to try and take your tower early, why not just fall back and take a few jungle camps instead of trying to fight 1v3? Sure, you might lose a tower, but you gain gold and experience and stay alive.
Once you get pretty good, then taking a hero that can jungle from the start of the game is a great idea. Sure, you need to make sure that the rest of your team are okay with having a jungler, as a lost lane because of a 1v2 can be a disaster, but if your team are competent, then taking a jungler is a great way to get more out of the map than your opponents and not many teams seem to do it right now.
4. Use pro guides
There’s a handy little system hidden away in the menus that allows you to find some of the best builds for each character and equip them as your default build. Sure, you can try and figure out the best builds for yourself, but by equipping a pro build the recommended items that pop up will match those that the best players use. Not all of them will work all of the time, but they’re certainly an improvement over the default builds that the game recommends. Variation according to situations is always a good idea, but for the most part following these pro builds will be more than enough to succeed in that department.
5. Play as a team
The same goes for every MOBA, but playing as a team really is the way to win here. While we’ve had a few epic moments where we won a 1v3 fight, most of the time our success comes by grouping up with a couple of team-mates and going to gank the living hell out of every lane. If you’re clearly winning your lane then maybe try and move to another lane to help out another team-mate. Winning lanes and getting a good start seems to be the best way to win, as comebacks are fairly rare, so securing early kills will more than likely lead to a win. Communicate, group up and gank and try never to take a fight alone after the first few minutes.