Moba Games: 10 Reasons Why We Love Them

Meet League of Legends, a brilliantly-designed clash of wit and talent.

Two teams, one goal, one winner.

Whether you’re a hardcore League of Legends fan or a dedicated Dota 2 player, MOBAs (multiplayer online battle arenas) are probably some of the most exciting games you’ve ever played before. Why is that? Check out some of these reasons.

1. (More than) a million ways to play a single game

League of Legends, where controlling certain objectives might win you the game.

Anyone who’s ever said that MOBAs are stupid because they involve players doing the exact same thing every time they play the game needs to rethink their opinions – because MOBAs are more than that, as we MOBA players already know.

Although the end goal is always the same (go after the enemy team’s main structure to win the game, sort of like capture-the-flag), elements of character selection and abilities and items and much, much more combine to create a game that is different every single time you enter the battle arena. MOBAs are a testament to the power of probability: there is literally less than a chance in one million that a game you play will be exactly the same as one you’ve played before.

2. Excellent way to while away the days

Give Dota 2 a shot, the revamped version of what some people call the parent of all other MOBAs.

Let’s be honest – MOBAs are a huge time-suck, as are most PVP games, because you can’t really pause in the middle of a match to go take a walk or eat your dinner. Which is awesome, though, because if you’re one of those people who has a lot of spare time, then MOBAs are an incredibly engaging and interesting way to spend your days.

Whether you play on your own or with friends, MOBAs have you exercising quite a bit of endurance and patience, considering you do have to sit there for twenty minutes or more per match… But before you know it, time flies by and suddenly you find that you’ve spent hours playing the game. It’s a great way to spend lazy summer days, if you ask me.  

3. PVP play will keep your brain spinning wild

This is Faceless Void, a playable Hero in Dota 2.

Did I mention that most (if not all) MOBAs are PVP? If there’s anything that’s a miracle in this world, then it’s the human brain… And you get to experience all of the human brain’s glory as you face off against opponents that can actually think (unless you choose to play against AIs, which is another story entirely) and play with teammates that’ll either drag you to a bitter defeat or carry you to a resounding victory.

When you consider the variety of the in-game interfaces along with the unpredictable PVP elements of MOBAs (even annoying things, like how that one teammate of yours keeps disconnecting), these types of games serve up a uniquely awesome kind of experience.

4. No access to hardcore tech? No problem!

Released in 2013, Dota 2 brings brilliant updates and exciting new characters.

Whether you’re a hardcore gamer who’s already been around the block or someone who’s just getting into PC games, MOBAs have a little something for everyone. And the thing is, you don’t have to have a top-of-the-line gaming machine or a lot of cash in your pocket if you want to get in on the MOBA scene.

Why’s that? Part of the beauty of MOBAs is that many of them are free-to-play, which opens them up to a lot of PC gamers who don’t have a ton of money to spend on games. Not to mention that many MOBAs can also run on computers that don’t have the best specs, and though the game may be on the slower side, people can still enjoy playing it.

5. Easy to understand, hard to master

Meet Lissandra from League of Legends, the frosty Ice Witch that’ll freeze your heart (and your enemies).

This is yet another way that MOBAs can appeal to all sorts of audiences – they’re perfect for gamers who just want to have some light fun and dabble in real-time strategy games, but they’re also perfect for people who want to get extremely good at PC-level gaming. Why? Because MOBAs are easy to pick up and really, really hard to get good at.

Because of all the variety that’s inherent to MOBAs, a casual gamer can find joy in all the new sorts of gaming experiences that these types of games can provide… But a serious gamer can also find a lot of interest in MOBAs, because it’s that same variety that makes MOBAs unpredictable (why else are MOBAs the perfect battlegrounds for esports teams?).

6. Fun doesn’t always mean a winning streak

Fun events abound in League of Legends.

Unlike many RPGs and other types of strategy games, MOBAs don’t force you to complete a story or defeat bosses in order to advance the game – that is to say, you don’t always have to win. Even if you lose, MOBAs allow you to gain experience to keep playing against better and better players, and they also help you avoid the frustration that comes along with not being able to beat a particularly annoying boss or dungeon.

7. Cheaters beware

A screenshot from Heroes of the Storm.

Ah, remember the good old days when you could hack certain games to make things easier for you? (Pokemon, anyone?) Well, you’re in luck, because MOBAs are incredibly hard to hack. Which makes it great for everyone involved (except maybe the hackers), because everyone’s on even ground and the only thing that really matters is skill.

Not to mention that everyone hates a cheater, and MOBAs get rid of those sorts of suspicions by making it difficult to mold the game to your will – because MOBAs aren’t your run-of-the-mill, formulaic games that are easily predictable, cheating is nigh impossible. Yay for being honest, good players!

8. Work hard together, play hard together

Another glimpse of the fun that is Heroes of the Storm.

Did your parents ever get mad at you because they believed that playing video games would harm your social life? Look no further, because MOBAs are some of the most cooperative types of games around. In order to win, you have to coordinate smoothly and collaborate wisely with your teammates to destroy the enemy team. Without good teammates, you’re doomed.

MOBAs are lovely, then, because this element of respect is enforced inherently by the in-game mechanics. I also probably don’t need to say this, but I’ll also point out that because they’re PVP-based, MOBAs also have reporting systems for unfriendly and unresponsive players, which make their communities friendlier than most.

9. Your game, your schedule

Smite your enemies… in Smite, a MOBA that was released earlier this year.

Yet another special thing about MOBAs is that you play them on a match-by-match basis, so basically if you have time you can play a game, and if you don’t have time you don’t have to play a game.

How’s that any different from a story or adventure-based game that you can pause at any time, you ask? Well, for me, at least, I’ve played more than one RPG in which I was so annoyed at not being able to complete a certain task that I would drop everything I was doing and keep playing until I finished… only to find out afterwards that I forgot to do something important in my real life. (This may be only a personal issue of mine…) MOBAs, on the other hand, are very easily divided – one game, and then another, and then another, and in between you can choose to exit and do other things. Ah, the smell of freedom.

10. The unpredictably wild world of esports

A brief moment from one of the most exciting League of Legends esports games... ever.

…And possibly the most exciting thing about MOBAs? Esports! Because of the endless variety and infinite possibilities of MOBAs, these games quite easily lend themselves to the professional gaming scene. MOBAs give rise to a whole different caliber of skilled players, and, well, it’s really entertaining and engaging for the rest of us gamers to watch them duke it out in the arena.

Step into the battlefield and get ready for a wild ride.

Now that we’ve established that MOBAs are some of the best kinds of PC games out there, go out there and try some out for yourself! Get started by taking a look at some MOBAs you can try or, if you’re feeling a little nervous, check out some other genres of PC games.

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Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: League of Legends
Top 3 Favorite Games:League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn

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