The *ahem* arena of multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games is getting stronger as time goes on, much like the games’ heroes. What started as mods of Blizzard’s popular Warcraft and Starcraft RTS franchises became an international sensation on the backs of two specific games: Defense of the Ancients and League of Legends.
Global LoL revenue may have peaked at $2.1 billion in 2017, but Fortnight’s popularity hurt only the game, not the genre. In reality, MOBAs made a successful transition to mobile platforms in the 2010s, and we’re entering the 2020s with a great catalogue of highly playable MOBA games.
And not only are they more technically capable these days, but the genre (now 20 years old) is aging like a fine wine artistically. New entrants are coming up with innovative gameplay options, storylines, and heroes to create some great experiences. If you haven’t played it, Smite is a great (unfortunately not yet mobile) MOBA with a World of Warcraft behind-the-back (or even FPV, if you’re feeling froggy) perspective instead of the typical overhead view.
But for those looking for their fix on Android, here are the 10 most hardcore Android MOBAs on the planet.
10. Brawl Stars
Supercell, the Finland-based mobile developer who brought us Clash of Clans and Boom Beach, jumped into MOBAs in December 2018 with Brawl Stars. Despite the cartoony look, the company is really following the book on this one, right down to hosting tournaments. The team kicked 2019 off with a Red Bull-hosted tournament, and a dozen more popped up as the year went on.
9. Planet of Heroes
Planet of Heroes was recently updated to 3.0, and this simplistic “casual” MOBA is getting even more polished with every release. Modes have been expanded to include 3v3 and 5v5 battles, along with a PvE mode that adds an RTS/MMORPG feel to the game.
Shellfire brings an FPS twist to the MOBA genre, along with some breathtaking visuals. This shooter is every bit as sleek as Fortnite or PUBG, but focused on MOBA lane action. The steampunk world has a passable storyline that’s reminiscent of Final Fantasy. If this is the kind of quality Dunia Games is putting out, sign us up.
7. Awakening of Heroes
Awakening of Heroes reminds me of Team Fortress 2 and Banjo Kazooie with its cartoony style and characters. A ninja slinging sweets, a sword-wielding grandma, and a mall cop armed with a blow dryer are just a few of the zany characters you can take control of. And MOBA is just one game mode – Capture the Flag, Bomb Touchdown, and Jungle Rewards modes are also available.
6. RIVALS – eSports MOBA Manager
Not technically a MOBA, this game from Meta Games is actually a deep esports management game that brings a Madden or WWE career-mode feel to the genre. This German team worked with esports leagues, teams, and players for deep research into the training, tactics, and management techniques used in the actual MOBA pro leagues.
5. Arena of Valor
Tencent Games’ MOBA is one of the earliest released on Android, and it’s still one of the most popular. Choose from one of over 40 heroes, which include the classic RPG archetypes of Tank, Assassin, Mage, Support, Warrior, and Marksmen. This fast-paced action game is addictive, so play at your own risk.
4. Battle Bay
Rovio has one of the more surprisingly playable Android MOBAs in recent years with Battle Bay. Choosing different gunships and navigating down rivers in a bright, colorfully animated world reminds me somewhat of Twisted Metal meets Worms Armageddon. Join a guild, build your team, and take on some epic quests while participating in brutal three-lane warfare.
3. Heroes Evolved
Reality Squared Games’ Heroes Evolved has over 50 unique heroes, making it essentially League of Legends Lite. The Eternals and Ancients have been at war since the beginning of time, so choose a side and…look, it’s BRUCE LEE IN A MOBA!!!
2. Paladins Strike
Hi-Rez Studios is the developer behind Smite, Tribes, and Paladins, among others. Paladins Strike is an Android version of the latter with 15 Champions and a ton of droolworthy skins. These real-time battles are exactly what you need whenever you’re on the go and away from your gaming PC or console.
Super Evil Megacorp’s Vain Glory is the undisputed king of Android MOBAs. The graphics are amazing, the matchups are heated, and there are 50 heroes to choose from. Best of all, you can play on your mobile device, PC, console, and more. All hail Super Evil Megacorp and its cross-platform vision.