Multiplayer Online Battle Arena Games Like League of Legends
Are you a League of Legends (LoL) player? Or a fan of Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games and looking for a list of paid or free titles? On this page you will find 12 great choices in the MOBA genre that I've been playing for the last few years.
MOBA style games are growing in popularity especially in the e-Sports scene, but there are many that you may not be aware of as it can be difficult to keep up with all the launches within this genre. part of the growing success of MOBA games is their fair approach to the freemium model which restricts in game purchases to cosmetic options, creating a fair playing field for all.
My MOBA journey starts all the way back in League of Legends beta and I've been hooked ever since. Since that time I've been playing every MOBA that I can get my hands on and discovered a number of high quality alternatives that mix settings and gameplay mechanics in different ways to create a MOBA game.
If you can think of a candidate that should be on the list, let me know in the comment section located at the bottom of this page.
Vote For Your Favourite MOBA
A Brief History Of The MOBA Genre: How DOTA Started it All
1 - Nosgoth
Nosgoth offers very unique and fun experience. While it does away with the traditional map, it does feature competitive, team-work-based gameplay with multiple characters and skills. It's a very easy game to learn but caters to both hardcore and casual gamers, making it an enjoyable experience regardless of your free time or skill level.
The game is set in a fantasy world where vampires and humans are at war with each other. In each match, teams of 4 from each race compete against to acquire the most kills (or capture key points in the domination style game mode).
While the vampire's focus is on melee combat with elements of stealth and speed, humans are more focused on ranged attacks, which often makes them the more defensive of the two sides. Since each match lets you play both sides you get both gameplay styles in bite-sized portions.
If you love the teamwork of a MOBA but want something a bit more intense, then Nosgoth represents an impressive opportunity to get into the game in its early stages.
2 - SMITE
SMITE isa free-to-play MOBA game published by Hi-Rez Studios. The game feels very much like an MMO with its third-person combat (including WASD movment). It focuses on skill-based combat with an emphasis on dodging and aiming.
Players play as gods and battle it out in a 5v5 arena-style combat that those familiar with the genre will instantly recognise.
The game is currently in beta with access being granted to a small number of registered players (you can try your luck). You guarantee your way in by pre-purchasing some of the in-game currency, called SMITE Gems.
The game will eventually have all the features that you would expect, including profiles, a spectator mode, skins, and a ladder system.
It took me quite a long time to get used to the control scheme of SMITE since it is so different from other, similar games. Because of that, I sucked horribly for my first few games (sorry team!) but once I had control of it I was really hooked on the different perspective that lets you be part of the action.
3 - Heroes of the Storm
Heroes of the Storm is the latest game to catch my eye in the MOBA genre and comes from the powerhouse studio of Blizzard Entertainment. While this is partly due to the game being based within the Blizzard universe, it has more to do with some unique gameplay elements that could quite possibly make it the best MOBA game as it grows its audience in the near future.
Launching with a large Heroes of the Storm has since grown to around 50 characters that all come from other titles produced by Blizzard. Characters mostly come from the World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo universes, which gives the game great appeal for fans of other Blizzard titles.
If you are searching for a massively multiplayer online battle game that offers the same old formula but also packs in plenty of new mechanics to master (including great customisation and environmental elements), then you'll really love Heroes of the Storm.
4 - Battleline
Battleline combines tanks with the skill-based and team-orientated gameplay of other MOBA games. If you want something a little different (something that isn't fantasy but is and vehicle oriented instead) this game is shaping up to be that experience.
In each game you'll pick your tank (each with its own special abilities) as you and your team mates move across the map to capture key locations and move your battle line forward by pushing the other team back to its spawn point.
Thanks to the responsive controls, you have a good amount of control over your powerful tank and the skills ensure there is enough depth to this experience to keep you coming back game after game.
5 - Strife
Strife aims to break the mold and very much succeeds. If you want a game like LoL that is also truly different you'll want to get into Strife as soon as possible.
Differences from the MOBA norm are everywhere: from the two lane map, to the huge jungle, to the unique hero approach that makes them suitable for every role. These elements change up the gameplay completely, as you can easily play a single character in hundreds and hundreds of games under a different role if you wish.
The game's unique approach to character works via a system that lets you tag your character as one of four roles and gain extra abilities in order to achieve that role. This includes gaining powers to help you in the jungle, extra resources for taking out enemies, and more.
Once in the game, players will find a similar flexibility both in the item system and in the ability to choose from three extra abilities (similar to summoner spells) as you progress through each match - you even the option to swap them out.
For those bored with the same old MOBA gameplay, Strife is the next logical step and promises so many unique features.
6 - AirMech
AirMech is a free-to-play game that, while it shares many features with MOBAs, is more of an action real time strategy (ARTS) game in that players have the ability to build and control units.
In the game, players control their own AirMech, which works as both an air and ground unit. While there is a MOBA style game mode where players must destroy the enemy base there are a number of other game modes available to players which gives them game great variety.
As you play, you'll earn the in-game currency and gain experience for your account. As you grow in levels you'll be able to access more units, pilots and AirMechs by unlocking them with Kudos or the premium game currency of Diamonds.
If you want some more action and varied game modes you'll love AirMech.
7 - Cronix Online
Cronix Online is one of the more interesting games that I have included on this list. The graphics are the first thing that will catch you're eye, as it's definitely one of the better looking games out there.
Graphics aside you'll notice that the gameplay is also very unique, as it opts for an over the shoulder view (third person) similar to SMITE (also featured on this page). While it takes some getting used to, I really liked the change of perspective, as it allows the game to be more about skill than most isometric MOBA games.
The gameplay is definitely it's strongest asset, as each class comes with its own strengths on the battlefield to explore. Like most games in the genre, teamwork plays a very important role but there is just enough room for individual players to take control of the game.
The reward system of the game is also unique, with players rewarded with materials for their efforts in each match, which they can use to to craft items outside of the game for their characters. This definitely adds a more unique customisation system than most games and adds something of an item hunt as you play games to try gain specific materials required.
Cronix Online gets high marks for being different and is definitely worth playing if you truly want something different in the genre. Give it an hour or two and you'll never be able to go back to the other MOBA games.
8 - DOTA 2
DOTA 2 is free to play and makes use of micro-transactions for revenue much like the other free games in this genre. DOTA 2 improves on the already popular style of MOBA gameplay by providing new and exciting insights into the genre.
Features include in-game voice chat to make communication between you and your allies much easier, an AI system to replace players who leave or get disconnected, individual sound sets for heroes to create a unique gaming experience, a better and improved match-making system to ensure all games are a challenge, a spectator system to allow players to easily watch other games and a rewards system based on community participation and mentorship.
DOTA 2 is definitely a larger game than most other experiences featured here which makes it much more of a slower paced game. This works great for players who love the thrill of 1v1 lane battles with less impact on the game from roaming and jungle based champions.
DOTA 2 is still currently in beta but you can request a key or purchase one through a DOTA 2 package. Use the links provided below for more information about DOTA 2 and its development process.
9 - Heroes of Newerth
Heroes of Newerth (or HoN) is a great game that has built greatly on the original DOTA by improving the graphics, interface, and many other features.
Similar to League of Legends, HoN pits two teams of 5 against each other (Legion & Hellbourne) with the ultimate goal being the destruction of the enemy base. Of all the MOBA style games on offer HoN will make LoL players feel right at home.
HoN has many features including an anti-leaver system, cheat detection, stat tracking, an in-game ladder system, built-in team communication, friends lists and even clan systems.
If I had to rank the MOBA games based on their play base then HoN would be considered to be the third most popular, with its recent complete overhauls of game mechanics and visual presentation it is very deserving of that place and probably should get a lot more recognition in the genre.
10 - Monday Night Combat (Series)
Monday Night Combat (& Super MNC) aim to bridge the gap between the FPS and MOBA games with a very fun and successful hybrid.
Originally released for the Xbox 360 and now available on PC through Steam, Monday Night Combat and its sequel blend the best aspects of both genres.
Players have several champions to choose from (with more constantly being added) each with unique abilities and archetypes (damage, tank, assassin and support). They play out just as one would expect for the genre so there aren't too many surprises in terms of champions.
The games features a cartoon graphic style similar to Team Fortress 2 making for a very pleasurable gaming experience while also helping to keep the game simple and not overwhelmed with details. With fast paced action and its wonderful graphics this game series is a great choice for FPS fans and MOBA fans alike.
A sequel for the game Super Monday Night Combat (Super MNC) was released in 2012. Building on the original, it is definitely the game I would recommend for newcomers, as it has the larger community and a free price tag.
11 - SmashMuck Champions
SmashMuck Champions (now rebranded as Trans-Galactic-Tournament) is definitely a hidden gem. It's been steadily working its way through beta and getting even more impressive with each update. It also strikes a good balance between League of Legends and DOTA to ensure that both parties are covered. It's a happy medium that will allow partisans of each genre to finally play together.
Also, its development has really been driven by the gamers that make up the community and there is still room for you to help shape the future of the game as well if you want.
SmashMuck Champions is best described as a fast and twisted experience that ensures you always have something to do. Colourful and comical yet also dark graphics are the backdrop for your battles against other teams as you use all sorts of strange heroes and skills to take victory.
The real appeal to SmashMuck Champions though is the variety that it packs with 5 game modes across 8 maps. While it's only got about two dozen or so champions at the moment you'll find well over 600 items to change the way that each one plays. This approach to item customisation over different champions helps ease the learning curve but doesn't take away any of the depth that other games offer making it a win-win situation for all involved.
SmashMuck champions even has a number of daily challenges and achievements to keep you coming back along with the ability to craft your own items or watch others in spectator mode.
12 - Awesomenauts
Awesomenauts is an interesting game that uses 2D side scrolling and retro style graphics to deliver a simple but very fun 3v3 MOBA.
The game takes place in the distant future where a great conflict is locked in an unending stalemate, that is until they call on the mercenary powers of the Awesomenauts. There are 3v3 style battles, customisable characters and items, and a varied number of skills to choose from and level up.
With its small size, simple control interface, and low graphic requirements the Awesomenauts makes for a great game for League of Legends fans (especially for laptop users).
I bought Awesomenauts back when it first came out and I still load it up from time to time for a casual game or two. The game is also perfect when I go on trips away from my computer but still want something that I can load up and kill some time, which is what I recommend it for.
Just like other MOBAs the game is best when playing with friends, and since it is a 3v3 experience you only need 2 other players for a team, which every true MOBA fan will know is a very attractive proposition.
Know Another Game Like League of Legends? - Share Your Favourite MOBA Games Below
DAVE on September 11, 2017:
HOW CAN I DOWNLOAD STRIFE? THIS IS AMAZING
jake on April 30, 2016:
if you are looking for a best graphic MOBA game, try Vainglory on touch. Can be better than League o!f Legend
DavidCombs on March 06, 2015:
Nice work Similarsam! but will always be loyal to LOL
marko on February 25, 2015:
Destiny of Thrones Kicks Ass. MOBA community of 40k for beta: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qU4SOukl9E
williamslaw on May 30, 2014:
176835 on May 01, 2014:
As Well, There is Guardians Of Middle Earth........
Jackson Thom from West of Left South Lucky on March 24, 2014:
These games look great! I've never heard of any of them, other than League of Legends, and that only because it always appears in the side panel of my facebook page. Maybe I should check some of these out. Great article!
Renee Dixon from Kentucky on January 02, 2014:
Have tried a few, but League of Legends is definitely the best in my opinion! Just hit level 30 tonight :) Loved the lens, can tell you put a lot of hard work into it, very helpful and well put together!
Samuel Franklin (author) on January 01, 2014:
@Arretey258: Love the honesty and I agree. League of Legends is pretty much where it is at right now and simply dominates. Their closest rival (Dota 2) simply can't compete because the games complexities just aren't inviting to new players (especially first time MOBA players).
I love Smite and what it changed up about the genre, also have a soft spot for Awesomenauts. Thanks for the comment!
Arretey258 on December 30, 2013:
Gonna be honest here, played half of them and quite a few are just dying clones of league, truthfully the only one I truly enjoy anymore is smite, just my opinion but you should still give it a shot before any of the others. DoTA is good and all but is difficult even for a veteran moba player sense it's very different and a bit more complicated, even on the actual website they admit it's not something you can pick up and some websites even say you should play weeks worth of time before playing an actual match, one guide I found even tells you to steer clear of certain characters before at least a month of total playtime, yes those are guides but when I did play those characters after a few days of play online, I couldn't help but get out leveled even after getting a great build. If you just want to pick up a game and get better by playing the game as opposed to playing bot matches for a month then you might want to try smite, if you feel up to it then play DoTA just try to stay away from the league clones. Have fun.
anonymous on September 01, 2013:
Dragons and Titans
vanthang012 on August 21, 2013:
GanjaGuru on August 19, 2013:
The trailers are cooler than the actual games. It sucks haha.
anonymous on August 02, 2013:
Arena of heroes is a moba turn based game. Its in open beta on ios apple app store and pc
ClaraSimmonds on June 17, 2013:
anonymous on June 06, 2013:
Try Chaos Online?
anonymous on June 06, 2013:
anonymous on May 12, 2013:
Armada Online, check it out
anonymous on May 01, 2013:
Prime World is great but it's a MOBA plus RPG.
JimmPlus on April 27, 2013:
I enjoy reading all about the 12 Best MOBA Games. Awesome sound and graphics.Will probably try a few but will take forever to play all of them. Thanks for the effort.
Margot_C on April 23, 2013:
I must say some of these look very intriguing (particularly HoN).
Underrated on April 22, 2013:
Really awesome lens
JosenNaSah on April 08, 2013:
Thank you len amazing
anonymous on March 15, 2013:
Smashmuck Champions is pretty cool ... even for open beta.
anonymous on March 13, 2013:
Heroes of order & chaos on iOS and android/kindle. Great game.
anonymous on March 04, 2013:
DOTA 2 amazing
anonymous on February 27, 2013:
There are a lot of MOBA games out there but none of them come close to DOTA 2 ;)
anonymous on February 22, 2013:
i can not find my activation link in land of chaos some help guys
uneasywriter lm on February 18, 2013:
Good list! Thanks
anonymous on February 16, 2013:
theres a game called heroes of order and chaos for ipod iphone
anonymous on February 14, 2013:
I know a game like this its caled smite of you dont already play it
anonymous on January 19, 2013:
anonymous on January 08, 2013:
@TeamOverpowered: i agree lol is way better - but u have 2 download it - my comp doesnt have enough space - tht sucks and it is 2 big 2 download for me
anonymous on December 19, 2012:
Uhmm i Think AirMech is kind of like League of Legends. ~My opinion~
anonymous on December 17, 2012:
Heroes of Order and Chaos. A relatively new MOBA by Gameloft for iOS
anonymous on December 10, 2012:
anonymous on December 10, 2012:
anonymous on December 04, 2012:
anonymous on December 01, 2012:
Realm of the titans
anonymous on November 18, 2012:
@anonymous: starcraft II is an rts...even tho there are similarities, real time strategy is not same as moba style.
anonymous on November 15, 2012:
I highly recommend SMITE. If's the first MOBA that I've played consistently to the tune of over 500 matches so far. If you need a Beta Key, just visit my SMITE lens.
anonymous on October 10, 2012:
anonymous on September 24, 2012:
karelito on September 23, 2012:
Didn't like Demigod all that much, but then again, I played it when it didn't have an online version yet. My favorite is def. hon, I'm 1740 currently (skills)
anonymous on September 16, 2012:
Realm of the titans
anonymous on September 16, 2012:
Real of the titans
anonymous on September 14, 2012:
League of legends
TeamOverpowered on September 10, 2012:
Wow you got some great videos in this lense, truly awesome! I love league of legends.
anonymous on August 28, 2012:
anonymous on August 24, 2012:
anonymous on August 20, 2012:
Awesomenauts, SMITE, and Super Monday Night Combat(as opposed to regular Monday Night Combat)
anonymous on August 18, 2012:
anonymous on August 07, 2012: