What’s Special About Arena of Valor?

A third-person, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game, Arena of Valor is the international adaptation of Honor of Kings. Developed by TiMi Studios and published by Tencent Games, the game was released in 2017 in Europe, North America, and Latin America.

In East Asian countries, such as China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and South Korea, it was released much earlier as Honor of Kings and received excellent commercial success. The game is available for Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android.

Arena of Valor has received multiple accolades since its release, including winning the 15th Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards for “Best Music in Casual/Social Game.” Its original score has been nominated for the NAVGTR Awards and the Hollywood Music in Media Awards. It certainly helped that the legendary composer Hans Zimmer was brought in to work his magic.

Additionally, Arena of Valor has also been nominated for other awards, such as Best Competitive Game, Fan Favorite Mobile Game, and more.


Arena of Valor has multiple modes that players can choose, and the primary objective for most of these modes is to work your way up through enemy towers and taking down AI-controlled grunts as well as enemies controlled by other players so that your team can defeat and demolish your enemy’s core or base. The overall gameplay is very similar to that of the massively popular League of Legends.

The characters that players control are known as heroes, and each of them has a unique set of abilities. You can choose which type of hero you want to play. For each round, you start at square one, and you can level up your played character by defeating enemies, destroying structures, taking down towers, or by killing any of the minions and monsters that you may encounter on the way.

As you level up, you earn more gold and experience (XP), which allows you to buy armor, tools, accessories, as well as attack buffs from the shop. Items that you purchase from the shop will not carry over to other matches, which ensures that all players are on equal footing at the beginning of every match. Earning experience also helps you to unlock special moves and augment your abilities, making your hero more powerful as the game progresses.

In addition to this, if you play a ‘Ranked’ match type, you can be matched with players who are on the same skill level as you, and you can be assessed using in-game ‘ranks.’ If you win and come out victorious from the match, you will earn stars, but if you lose, your stars will be lost too.

Game modes

Below are the different game modes that are available on Arena of Valor:

  • Grand Battle or 5v5

The 5v5 mode, also referred to as Grand Battle or Ranked, is the primary and most commonly played mode. This mode is set on the Antaris Battlefield, and two teams of five members have to work their way up to nine enemy towers so that they can demolish the core or base. Players can choose a role they want to play in, such as marksman, mage, warrior, jungler, and so on.

  • Valley Skirmish or 3v3

The 3v3 mode or Valley Skirmish mode has a smaller map, with only two towers standing on each side between the teams and their bases. In this three vs. three mode, the games are much quicker, and they are usually completed in about 4 – 6 minutes.

  • Abyssal Clash

Abyssal Clash is also a five vs. five mode, but unlike Grand Battle, this mode is much more oriented towards direct combat. Here, the heroes that players have to pay are selected at random, and you and your team will have to destroy two towers before you can demolish the enemy base.

  • Deathmatch mode

The Deathmatch mode is also available, where you play one on one with a single tower and an enemy base. Compared to other modes in Arena of Valor, this mode is the least popular.

Hero types

The characters that you play in Arena of Valor are known as heroes, and the types of heroes available keep getting updated. Currently, there are about a hundred different types of heroes in the game, and they are all divided into different categories, all of which play different and unique roles.

The biggest and most obvious difference among the heroes is the type of damage they deal. While some heroes deal physical damage, which is countered by the armor stat, there are some other heroes who mainly deal magic damage, which can be countered by the magic resistance stat.

There are also some heroes that deal both physical and magic damage, while several heroes deal what is known as true damage. True damage is not countered either by armor or magic resistance.

In Arena of Valor, all the heroes fall under any one of these six categories below. There are some heroes who may overlap multiple categories as well.

  • Marksman

Marksmen are ranged heroes who mostly deal physical damage. If you choose a marksman hero, you may be very useful in team-fights to reduce your enemy’s health, since marksmen usually deal sustained damage.

They also come in handy when you need to take down objectives so that you may win the game. The downside of marksmen is that since they don’t have much health, they are relatively fragile and vulnerable compared to other hero types. Common examples are Tel’Annas, Yorn, and Valhein. Marksmen are often referred to as “AD Carry/ADC.”

  • Mage

Also known as “AP Carry/APC,” mages are heroes who deal plenty of burst magic damage. While some mages are pretty durable, especially if their itemization is ideal, some mages tend to be more on the fragile side. Mages are a combination of ranged heroes (who can deal with high amounts of burst damage from afar), or melee heroes (who can deal high amounts of damage from a short distance). Some examples include Lauriel, Tulen, and Liliana.

  • Assassin

Assassins are designed to deal large amounts of damage in a short amount of time. Usually, these types of heroes don’t have much health. Assassins often look for and target the marksman or mage from the opponent team, as well as other fragile heroes. Their responsibility also includes shutting down any enemy unit that is on a killing spree. Thanks to their high mobility and burst damage, they have the ability to strike at valuable targets on the enemy team. Some common examples of assassins include Zill, Murad, and Nakroth.

  • Tank

Tanks are important because they usually build completely defensive and have large amounts of HP, thus enabling them to soak damage for the team. This means that they deal with little damage throughout the game. Most tanks have an ability known as ‘crowd control,’ which allows them to inhibit the enemy team’s movement. Additionally, tanks can use their crowd control ability to start a team fight, or they can prevent the enemy team from attacking high priority targets from their own team. Examples of tanks include Toro, Xeniel, and Thane.

  • Warrior

Warriors blend the attributes of tank and damage dealer, and they have moderate survivability along with respectable damage. These types of heroes often have a balanced amount of health, attack damage, and defense, giving them the ability to survive long periods of fighting. Warriors are also excellent at doing continuous sustained damage, and are all-rounded, making them very strong and potent in 1v1 scenarios. Examples of warriors include Omen, Florentino, and Rourke.

  • Support

Support are heroes with abilities such as healing, buffing allies, debuffing the enemy team, and so on. These abilities aid the rest of their team members during battle.

Support heroes are often paired with the marksman, especially early on in the game, where the support’s focus is to aid their partner while harassing the enemy heroes. Besides, this increases their chances of survival as well since supports are usually at the start of the game. Examples of supports include Krizzix, Alice, and Annette.

When you purchase items from the shop, your hero stats and playstyle are hugely impacted. For example, Zephys is a dual warrior/assassin hero type with a passive ability that can increase damage reduction against incoming damage. This ability is based on the proportion of the health lost.

If you buy only offensive items, Zephys will deal a lot of damage, but he will be low on defense and health. This means that he will have low survivability. And if you buy only defensive items, Zephys can increase his damage reduction passive to its maximum potential. This means that it will be almost impossible for him to die, but he will deal significantly lower amounts of damage.

On the other hand, the purchase of both offensive and defensive items will make sure that Zephys will be able to take damage for the team and still deal a fair amount of damage. This kind of smart playstyle can be applied to all the heroes in Arena of Valor, thus allowing heroes not to be stuck to their prescribed duty. If you are a fan of MOBAs, then Arena of Valor is definitely something you should pick up.

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