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League of Legends is the most popular MOBA, and one of the most popular overall games, in the world. League of Legends is not the first MOBA, but it definitely leads the way today with one of the largest player bases in all of gaming. In League of Legends you will choose from one of many champions and battle it out in the arena while being matched up with 3 to 5 teammates. Each of these PvP battles exist in a persistent world and the only thing that carries on to the next match are your previous experience points. The more you play the more points you get which will not only increase the amount of champions you can play as, but increase one of many runes and/or attributes that you add to as you play. League of Legends is very popular in the eSports realm and has many professional players and teams that compete for million dollar prizes during the season.
SMITE is a newer entrant into the free to play MOBA category. The game went through an extensive beta and has just recently been released in 2013. SMITE takes the MOBA category in a slightly different direction by introducing a new camera angle. Instead of the typical top down or 3/4 view you are in more of a third-person combat view. With that new angle SMITE requires more skill-based combat and resembles more of a PvP MMO than a straight up MOBA. Players can take part in session-based arena combat in several different game modes that are unique to SMITE. SMITE features mythical gods from multiple cultures across history instead of, umm, how do I say this, made up heroes? Throughout your games you will earn Favor points which can be used along with Gems (which cost real world money) to buy new gods and goddesses. Each God has a unique playstyle and only four abilities, which makes it easy to pick up and play.
Heroes of Newerth is a quite popular free to play MOBA that is heavily inspired by the original DotA. In the game you will choose from a large roster of heroes and battle it out as part of either the Legion or the Hellbourne. Heroes of Newerth's roots lie with S2 Games' Savage series, which is what the map is based off of. HoN is extremely competitive and has one of the most community oriented players around. The gameplay experience is quite polished and refined for not being backed by one of the big names in gaming. There are a great number of characters, each with their own play styles and skill sets. Like many MOBA's HoN rewards players based on their master of the characters. The best players have put in the hours and have learned to not only play each and every character, but how to use them in conjunction with their teammates.
Bloodline Champions offers a more simplified take on the classic MOBA game. This is not a bad thing mind you, as it gives players a great chance to get into the genre without being beat up in every match like other battle arena games. In Bloodline Champions there is no leveling of characters and no equipment or loot. There are also no minions or creeps to distract you, just straight up battling between characters. All players have all the abilities available to them at all times and each of the archetypes should be fairly familiar to anyone who plays MMO or RPG games: Tanks, Melee DPS, Ranged DPS, and healers. Each archetype has five distinct bloodlines that you can choose from and each is subtly different from the next. You can switch between bloodlines at any time but it will take a bit of acquitance with each to become familiar to how each works. Bloodline Champions is a great MOBA for begginers and veterens looking for a chance of pace.
AirMech is a free to play mech-focused MOBA that is inspired by an old RTS game called Herzog Zwei. Herzog Zwei was sort of a cult favorite in Europe and AirMech tries to bring back that nostalgia along to a new genre, the MOBA. In AirMech you will lead an airborne mech that can transform into a walking murder machine at any moment. Your mech is outfitted with guns, rockets, lasers and shields and patrols a uniquely colorful battlefield looking for opponents and their bases. The action is very fast paced and oftentimes frantic as you roam around the map looking for bases to both defend and attack. You may end up battling a group of enemies all by yourself, or with your partner/team if you're smart. AirMechs have different special abilities that can be upgraded and changed as you level up in a match. Nw AirMechs, pilots, units and items can be purchased between matches in the store, which offers a great variety of challenge to the game.
Land of Chaos Online, or LOCO for short, is a 3D fantasy MMO game that mixes a little bit of third person shooter, MMORTS and RPG elements to form one really unique MOBA style game. LOCO has two game modes, one is more the Aeon of Strife style like you find in Dota 2 or League of legends, with two teams pushing into the enemy base to win, and an arena style map where players simply battle it out against each other. In Land of Chaos Online you take up ot three heroes into battle and swap between them while waiting to respawn. Each hero has 10 skills but only 5 of them can be taken into combat with you at once. It offers a variety of playable characters and a ladder ranking system so you can see how you stack up against your opponents after each match. You can upgrade armor and equipment in game but the in-game interface is a bit poor and can sometimes get in the way of your enjoyment. Land of Chaos Online definitely has some work to do to catch up with the big boys, but a solid development team may bring our the best in this game in no time.
Dota 2, or Defense of the Ancients 2, is the sequel to the originator of the MOBA Genre. Like all MOBA games, in Dota 2 you will control your hero along with 4 allies to take out the enemy team on the opposite end of the map. Dota 2 is a bit more simplified in that there is only 1 map and 2 game modes, but that does make it easier to understand for the new player. The graphics in Dota 2 are probably the best of the entire genre, with a great attention to detail in both the scenery and the sounds. The champions in Dota 2 are all very unique and none play like the next. The most difficult about the game is learning what each and every hero does so that you can not only know how to play yours, but play against the enemy. Dota 2 is a difficult game to get in to as there is no tutorial, you learn as you go or against bots in private matches. Dota 2 seems to be in perpetual beta state, and you'll need a key to play it, but there are plenty of sites around the web that offer free keys at any given time.
Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game developed by BioWare Mythic and Electronic Arts. The game was spun-off of another Warhammer game, Age of Reckoning, but of course Wrath of Heroes ditches the Realm versues Realm focus of the last game and brings in the PvP arena action of MOBAs. WoH is a free to play title that uses micr-transaction for players to buy certain items in game to gain certain advantages over others. There are a large number of options when playing WoH, including ways that heroes play off each other. You can choose different roles like Tanks, Healers, Casters, and Jack-of-All-Trade types. The main difference between WoH and other MOBA games is that you can actually switch between heroes during your respawn time. This takes strategy to a whole new level as you can switch it up on the fly if the situation presents itself.
SmashMuck Champions is a free online arena game that seperates itself from many in the MOBA genre by offering a bit of a twist on traditional gameplay modes and settings. But you could probably tell that just by looking at the title and any media released by Kiz Studios. The game features four different games types: Plunder Ball, Siege, Conquest, and Destroyer, along with interactive environments to bring even the most hardened MOBA players over to check the game out. The best part about the interactive environment is that there are a variety of strategies that can be used at any one time to defeat the enemy. The characters in SmashMuck Champions are far from typical, they have dinosaurs, robots, dragons, blobs and lots of others that I can't really put my finger on. SmashMuck Champions is currently in Open Development which means you have a chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at an independent game studio in action while they create this awesome new MOBA.
Avalon Heroes, or Avalon Online in Asia, is a fantasy MOBA that pits over 35 heroes in a battle against enemy teams in individual matches. Avalon Heroes places an immense amount of emphasis on teamwork and micr-management and takes only the saviest of gamers to master. Typical to most MOBA's you will be placed on a team with 4 of your allies as you look to break down the defenses of the enemy. One thing Avalon Heroes has had a difficult time with is the imbalances between heroes. But that can be said for many MOBA's, and it's why Dota 2 is in a perpetual beta state. Avalon Heroes has a great online ranking system that keeps track of how you match up to other players. There have various game modes to keep the game fresh and a unique single player mode that is not often found in a MOBA. As with many Asian games there is a bit of a mismatch with some of the translations, but that won't really hold you back as the name of the game is taking out the opponent.
Rise of Immortals doesn't do much to differentiate itself in the MOBA market but does offer something for fans of the genre to enjoy. One thing RoI does differently than most MOBAs is that each hero has their own perk branch and skill treat, which allows you to individually upgrade each unit. With that comes the fact that you only level up a hero that you play, whereas in League of Legends the leveling is persistant so leveling up helps every champion as you play. The matchmaking leaves a bad taste in your mouth as you oftentimes must wait for several minuts to find a match and teams sometimes become uneven becaus you must pick your hero before your team is composed. Hopefully as time passes the developers will continue to add in the features that players want and will add in additional heroes to spice it up a bit.
Super Monday Night Combat or Super MNC takes a mix on MOBA style action like Dota 2 and blends it with the past-faced action of a first person shooter. The game is played out as a futuristic televised deathmatch between two teams that features sultry cheering girls and menacing gameplay action. Super MNC doesn't take itself very seriously, and you can tell by the visual styles and the gameplay that it's not trying to be all hardcore like League of Legends or Dota 2. The game does have a cash shop, but it's only good for new characters, cosmetic items and single game boosts. You can earn coins after each round and save up to buy these items as well, it just takes a bit of play time to earn anything worthwhile.
You may be intrigued to find Forge here. Not only is it not 'technically' a MOBA, but it's also not free. But let me plead my case for a minute. Forge offers lobby-based PvP with an exciting variety of classes, an intense fast-paced combat style and intuitive game design. That sure sounds like a many of these MOBAs to me. Forge will only set you back $20 on Steam, so it's not a killer in the pocket either. I would argue that players who love Free MOBAs or the MOBA genre will find something they like in Forge. Plus it's from an Indie developer and it's in a hugely competitve scene, they deserve to have some recognition for even tackling this project. Give Forge a try and you will not be sorry. I guarantee.
Guardians of Middle Earth is a console based MOBA game that is inspired by the Lord of the Rings. GoME is not free, but doesn't dent the wallet too much at around $30. The game is developed by Monolith Games and features many of the famous characters of Tolkien's world in a strategy based online PvP game. Like most MOBAs GoME features 5v5 battles between Guardians. Since it is a console game they have simplified the skills to make it more playable with a controller. Most attacks have a cone or column range and instead of heading back to the base to buy gear throughout the game you choose a loadout at the beginning of each match in the form of your Guardian Belt. The main issue with GoME is the time it takes to find matches, sometimes it can take upwards of 5 minuts to find a suitable game and there tends to be a few disconnects throughout the match as well.
Blizzard All-Stars, originally called Blizzard DotA, is the first attempt into the MOBA genre for world renowned developer Blizzard. There is very little known about the game except that it is 'COMING SOONish', according to their websites landing page. Blizzard All-Stars will most likely feature two teams in the battlefield style that will consist of some of the most popular characters from across the Blizzard universe.
Sins of a Dark Age is a fantasy multiplayer online battle arena game that mixes the real-time strategy feel with the MOBA genre that we all love so dearly. In Sins of a Dark Age you will bear the responsibility of managing tasks which include base guilding, defense positioning, acquiring resources, building an army, creating defenses, controlling your troops and using your team's Commander's Realm Powers. What makes Sins so unique is that you can not only play against other teams in PvP battles, but you can also go up against the AI in custom scenarios where you can earn rewards for yourself and your clan. Sins of a Dark Age features leaderboards, stats tracking, online replays, kill-cams and more that make the game feel more grown-up than many in the MOBA genre. The strategy involved in Sins of a Dark Age make this MOBA a definite must try for anyone who lovs mixing their PvP with a strategy element and an all around great gaming experience.
Creative Assembly only just announced their brand new MOBA styled game, Total War: Arena at GDC recently. Really the only information we know about the game is that it will feature everything that you know and love from the entire Total War franchise and mix it with an RTS and MOBA style that has become popular these days. The game will be free to play and developers at CA are hard at work to make sure the game is as successful as their previous titles. Stay tuned to Free MOBA Games as we continue to bring you up to date information about Total War: Arena.
Infinite Crisis, was recently announced by Warner Bros. and developer Turbine. They are hoping to get that audience that is having a difficult time getting in against the ever stronger players of games like Dota 2 and League of Legends. They are creating a friendler, more approachable MOBA Game. The game will feature various altered versions of popular DC superheroes and villains and also have destructible environments that players can turn into weapons. Again we encourage you to keep up with Free MOBAGames for all the latest information about Infinite Crisis as it become available.
Dawngate was recently revealed on accident by Electronic Arts. The game will be a unique play on a fantasy-themed MOBA game that is built from the ground up. Dawngate will be focused on an incredibly rich lore with a very detailed environment. The game will have a more natural, easy-to-learn progression along with a better interface and multiple objectives. An interesting addition to the genre will be their spirit wells, these will essentially be a capturable source of enemy that the teams can vie over as NPCs work the mines. This should add a unique RTS style to the game that hasn't been seen before. The game will offer a few more tweaks, because well, it's built from the ground up, and EA wants to do something "different". The game was just announced and is heading into a closed beta in late May. Can this game take some players from LoL and Dota 2? Or will it just supply some new ideas for the big dogs to bring into their game? Time will tell.
Merc Elite is a brand new free to play MOBA game from Bigpoint. The game is military-themed and set in the near-future where you lead a team of mercenaries as you coordinate joint operations to eliminate your enemy. The game will rely on skill, strategy, precision and courage to succeed in the eliminating the enemy. Like many MOBA games Merc Elite is a team-based, PvP / strategic shooter where you will compete against the enemy in various battlefields. The maps offer a multitude of strategic cover options that you can use to minimize enemy fire. At start the game will have five different character classes, each with their own unique skillsets. The game is just entering closed beta as of May 2013.