arena of valor guide

Arena of Valor Ultimate Guide: 18 Tips, Cheats & Strategies to Dominate Your Opponents

Arena of Valor is a new 5 vs. 5 multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) title from Tencent Games, that’s available now for iOS and Android devices. In this game you will be mastering “unique and powerful” heroes and teaming up with players from around the world — typically, this would mean your friends, but as is always the case in MOBAs, you will more likely be aligned with complete strangers, with the goal of each match being to destroy the enemy crystal. It will be up to you to work together and dominate your opponents, and it will also be your responsibility to choose the right heroes and improve them as you go along in the game. You can even unlock the likes of Batman, as this new title appears to have a license from DC Comics!

If we wanted to be really minimalist when it comes to making a list of tips for such games, we’d simply whittle it down to a few tips — know how to push those lanes, work well as a team player, and choose heroes that fit your play style. But we’ve got more than just that for you today, as we’re now bringing you an Arena of Valor ultimate guide, which includes all the tips you’ll need to dominate most, if not all of your opponents in the arena, whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced player.

1. Know Your Heroes

One common mistake beginners make when choosing a hero to represent them in a MOBA title is choosing based on aesthetics, or just because someone’s weapon looks cool. But more experienced players know that it all boils down to their class, as that’s also what determines their general strengths and weaknesses. Let’s look at the different hero types and see what they can, and can’t do, in a nutshell.

Warriors, for starters, are your melee fighters who deal out a lot of damage. Tanks are mainly there to lead the way in battle and soak up damage, but aren’t always reliable sources of offense, despite their oftentimes burly appearance. Assassins are quick and sneaky, but are also squishy, or easy to take out. Mages deal out burst damage with their magic, but are best used for launching follow-up attacks. Marksmen are your ranged fighters who deal out lots of damage from afar. Lastly, Support heroes offer buffs and heal injured heroes, but are virtually useless on offense and are best kept far away from the fray of battle.

Although your choice of hero (based on class) will boil down to your preferred play style, it’s always better if you have a good backup plan, in case your role is already filled by someone else in your team. Read on, and we’ll tell you more about it in the next tip.

2. Practice With As Many Heroes As Possible, Maybe Even All

It’s probably the most fundamental thing you need to figure out when playing a MOBA for the first time — you need to have the right mix of heroes on your team of five (or whatever is the team size). Generally, you want to have a team that is as balanced as possible, with as many types of heroes as you could manage in one group. And if you want to know what hero, or what type of hero, would best match your play style, the best thing to do in Arena of Valor is to practice with as many heroes as you could. Learn each hero’s strengths and weaknesses, and try to find out what they can do and what they can’t do. Take note that this doesn’t necessarily mean practicing with ALL the heroes you can get your hands on — ideally, you want to practice with several, but not all of the available warriors, supports, tanks, etc.

This could be a time-consuming process, and perhaps not the best course of action for MOBA players who like to keep it simple and stick to what works. But you wouldn’t know what works unless you try first, so it still pays to practice often, preferably not with the same hero. Alternatively, you can start with one hero and master them, then work your way on to the next hero, and so on; who knows, you might find a new favorite to use. More importantly, doing this would allow you to have a solid backup choice in case another player chooses your favorite. Either way, this also helps you be ready at all times, in case a team is in need of a fifth hero to round it out.

3. If You Should Choose A Starter Hero, Who Should You Go For?

Then again, there are some people who believe it’s best to stick to a hero or two, and make them your “tried and tested” heroes until you’ve got a good number of wins under your belt. We do agree with this school of thought, and when it comes to starter heroes, you can’t get any better than Valhein, who’s the hero you start out with in the tutorial. Fennik and Gildur are also good choices for first-time players, and are solid in all lanes of battle. Ultimately, you’ll need a fuller complement as you figure things out in the game, but if you prefer to keep it simple, those three heroes we mentioned are all good starting points.

4. Be Aggressive When Attacking

Arena of Valor is a game where the best offense is, well, a best offense. This isn’t necessarily unusual when it comes to games in this genre, but when you’re attacking enemy heroes, your best option is usually to corner them in their lane and use an aggressive offensive approach. As most of the characters seem to have a heal spell handy, with a regenerating feature included in all of the outer towers, it won’t be the worst thing in the world if your aggressive offensive stylings result in a lot of damage. Likewise, you can also use your knowledge of when your opponents usually heal up at the towers or get healed by their teammates, in order for you to have a better chance at taking them out.

Again, the healing options that will be made available to you will generally be enough to keep you alive as you try to get off to a fast start. Unlike other games, where a fast start isn’t always a rock-solid guarantee of a good finish, this is a game where taking the lead early on in the match will generally ensure that you’ll end up winning the match. So don’t be afraid to get aggressive, and if you see the chance to kill an enemy hero in your lane during the early goings of a match, then go for it.

5. How Does The ‘Last Hitting’ Technique Work?

Experienced MOBA players probably don’t need any introduction to this one, but for the benefit of those who don’t play a lot of multiplayer games of this nature, the technique of “last hitting” simply means being the player whose hero lands the final blow on an enemy minion. That would mean extra gold as a reward, and while “last hitting,” based on the description, sounds very cut-and-dry, there’s more to it than having a hero who lands the killing blow.

Specifically, you need to observe how quickly your minions damage the enemy minions, and pay close attention to your hero’s auto-attack speed. You need to have impeccable timing to ensure you’re the one who actually kills the enemy, instead of merely providing the proverbial assist. This will substantially increase your gold total, and if you want to get the job done quicker, you have the option to use your abilities. But beware, as your opponent’s heroes might be around to provide backup, making this a bad idea if that’s the case!

6. Use Brushes For Cover And Sneak Attacks

Of course, we can’t go without discussing the concept of lanes when it comes to game tips for MOBAs. We won’t necessarily go into depth here, but one thing you should remember about the middle lanes in specific is that there is some brush on the top, bottom, and sides. You may instinctively use brush to take cover and try to stay alive a little longer, though this might not be a good idea if it’s been a while since you saw your last enemy. That could mean there are some enemies waiting in the wings to perform a sneak attack on you!

Conversely, you can also ambush your enemies by leveraging the brush and using it to your advantage. This might take some practice, but there’s nothing like a good sneak attack and catching your opponent unaware. Additionally, the brush is a good way to provide cover as you try to head to safer ground, far away from enemy fire.

7. The Concept Of ‘Jungling’

And now, we continue with more tips about how lanes work in Arena of Valor. “Jungling” is another term you may not be too familiar with if you’re a MOBA newbie; this refers to straying from your lane so you can control your team’s half of the battlefield between each lane. This is a good way to offer support to your team, or to a specific hero on your team, and as any longtime MOBA player knows, the key to good jungling often boils down to how well you can handle the AI beasts. That will help you earn more gold and experience, while also providing buffs to the jungler as they offer assistance to their teammates who are defending their lane. Some of the more powerful AI-controlled beasts in the game will offer buffs that benefit the entire team, though it may often take more than one jungler to dispose of those beasts.

As a bonus tip, and a very important one at that, you should always make sure your team is fine with having a jungler or two, as it wouldn’t be proper decorum if you jungle on a team that doesn’t need or want any junglers!

8. Stay In Your Lane If You Don’t Know What To Do Next

Taking the role of jungler is not a willy-nilly process; ideally, this is something you want to establish at the very start of the battle. (More on the game’s social features in a bit!) So if you’re not the designated jungler, your best bet would usually be to stay in your own lane. Yes, it makes for some exciting moments if you can stray from your lane to provide support to a teammate, but abandoning your opponent would break down your line of defense, and that’s something your opponents will easily be able to pick up on, especially if they’re experienced players. You don’t want to play hero at the expense of your team, and good communication will fix that, as we shall explain in the tip about social features. Let your teammates know if you plan to permanently switch lanes, but other than that, it’s still best to remain in your lane unless otherwise advised.

9. Know When To Return To Your Base

As we explained in the tip about “last hitting,” there are rewards to be gained if you land the final blow that kills a dying enemy. But what if there are other enemy minions or heroes ready to meet you after you dispose of them? You may even encounter enemies who take cover behind towers, and if you consider how much damage these towers can deal out, you could be running into a trap, which would make it foolhardy at the end of the day to use the “last hitting” technique. Lastly, it’s not a good idea to go full-blast if your hero is severely wounded. So instead of taking the “no guts, no glory” approach at all times, you may sometimes be better off heading back to your base so you can heal up in earnest, and then return to battle with your health intact and your focus renewed.

10. Join The Road To Glory Event

To celebrate Arena of Valor’s launch in North America, Tencent has launched a special event called Road to Glory. We strongly suggest that you take part in this event, and complete as many matches as you could. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose — the game will reward you with a new hero if you’re able to complete a specific number of matches! All in all, you stand the chance of winning up to three free heroes, so make sure to join this event while you still can.

11. Buy New Gear And Upgrade What You’ve Got

As you keep progressing in Arena of Valor, you will need to get stronger, as your potential opponents do the same. Since you earn currency (gold) during a match, you’ll need to spend it one way or another, and the best way to spend your gold is to use it to upgrade your existing equipment. You can also use it to buy new equipment, though it’s understandable if you’d like to hang on to your gold for a while and save up for something really expensive and effective. But don’t fret if you go to the store and can’t find anything you truly want for your hero; Arena of Valor offers recommendations next to the store icon, and you can purchase any of them, assuming you have enough gold to seal the deal.

12. Visit The Armory To Customize Your Progression Tree

Once you’ve earned enough gold to buy an upgrade during a match, the game will offer recommendations for new equipment to buy, as we mentioned earlier. But the “skill trees,” so to say, can be altered at the Armory if you want to customize things and change the progression of your upgrades. There’s no shortage of upgrade progression trees available at the Armory, which means you can choose one of these alternatives if you’re looking to deal out even more damage, or become more durable in battle. The Change feature also allows you to create your own branch in the tree, if none of the available paths are in line with your play style.

As a bonus tip, you can try equipping a pro build, which would normally be a sounder choice as opposed to using any of the game’s default builds. That’s because using a pro build allows you to use the weapons and other equipment that the game’s top players use; not all of those weapons will be suited to your play style, but at least you’ll be better off than if you chose one of the canned builds.

13. Redeem Your Daily Rewards

The makers of Arena of Valor would have been remiss if they didn’t have something to encourage dedicated players. So if you can handle it, make sure you’re getting at least a few minutes of gameplay in each day, or at the very least, logging in to register your “attendance” for the day. That will still be enough to qualify you for the game’s daily login rewards. Also, make sure you’re playing at least three matches a day, if you want to unlock more heroes.

14. How Does The Arcana System Work?

Once you’ve leveled up twice or so, the Arcana system will become available. What is it, and what does it mean for the improvement of your heroes? Starting out with the basics, Arcana are boosts that can be equipped on your heroes, providing some much-needed stat bonuses that could either highlight your heroes’ main strengths, or make them more versatile.

That’s one good thing about Arena of Valor — there are many builds you can use when trying to customize your heroes. And you can use Arcana to build your heroes to your liking; for example, you can use health and armor runes to make your tanks sturdier in battle, or if you want your tanks to do something of note when damaging the enemy, that’s another possibility you can explore.

You’ll also observe that Arcana comes in three colors. Red Arcana is usually used to add some buffs to your heroes, which could mean additional attack damage, critical hit chance, or whatnot. Green Arcana usually boosts your armor and magic defense. Lastly, purple Arcana is typically good for an HP buff, and could also increase your movement speed or help you steal some life from an enemy. There are also three tiers for Arcana in the game, starting with the first tier, where you will earn less bonuses, but spend less for buying a rune. This goes all the way to the third tier, where you can get the most bonuses, including conventional ones, or a possible split focus that improves more than one stat.

Don’t worry too much about Arcana when you’re in the earliest stages of the game, but pay close attention to it when you’re consistently matched against tougher players, or slotted into tournaments or ranked leagues. You can buy Arcana with gold, although you’re limited to only two pages worth of purchases, after which you’ll need to use vouchers to get additional pages.

15. Get Social

You can’t spell “multiplayer online battle arena” without the word “multiplayer.” And unlike other games with multiplayer features where “directly” communicating with your opponents or teammates is optional, that’s not the case in MOBAs, where social gameplay is the key feature, regardless of the game or who’s making the game. That means you need to communicate with your team in battle, though fortunately, Arena of Valor makes this easier with the callout buttons in the top right of your screen. You can use these buttons to tell your teammates to retreat with you, or to band with you so you can launch a more concerted attack. In addition, it pays to work together and use the power of teamwork to overwhelm the enemy; marching to the beat of your own drum is no way to behave when taking part in MOBA battles.

Of course, the buttons may not be enough at the end off the day. You may want to articulate your orders or provide some “pep talk” in such a way that your actual words can be seen, or even heard. If so, you’ll be glad to know that the game comes with a text chat feature (as any good MOBA should), as well as voice chat, if you prefer to “bark out” the orders yourself.

16. Be Aware Of The Cap On Gold Earnings

Arena of Valor is a free-to-play game, and in a sense, most games of this kind can be considered “cash grabs.” We don’t think that this title falls into “cash grab” category, but you can’t deny that there are many players who spend so much time (or real-life money) on the game trying to farm gold for in-game upgrades. To make the game as fair as possible for everyone, Tencent has implemented a cap on the amount of gold you can earn in a day. Don’t be discouraged by this cap, as it’s there for a reason — to eliminate the chances of pay-to-win players having such a huge edge over those who choose not to part with their real money.

17. How Do Talents Work?

If you’re familiar with League of Legends, you’ll be glad to know that the talents in Arena of Valor work a lot like LoL’s summoner spells. These are potentially game-changing, tide-turning spells that could be instrumental in helping you beat your opponent, but come with one key tradeoff — longer cool-down times.

The game will start you off with three Talents at level 1, namely Sprint, Restore, and Recall. Those latter two cannot be replaced at any point in the game, as you’ll need them in a pinch during many a battle. Recall is used to bring you back to your base to heal up, while Restore is like the game’s equivalent to a healing potion, albeit with a twist — taking damage will nullify its positive effect. Sprint, on the other hand, helps you catch up with the enemy by making you faster.

As you progress in the game, you’ll unlock more Talents, until you have all of the 10 that can be unlocked by leveling up. For example, Execute becomes available at level 3 as an area of effect Talent that can affect more than one enemy. Flicker is also useful, as it allows you to teleport a short distance to perform certain tasks, such as getting the last hit on an enemy, or escaping the heat and moving to a spot where you don’t need to deal with your opponent’s heroes or minions.

18. Heroes Have Their Own Favorite Items

Going back to the topic of equipment, one thing you should notice is that certain hero types may have specific items that they favor above others. For instance, Tanks would prefer armor, magic resist, or health-boosting items, while Warriors would lean toward those items that improve their attack damage. Mages, on the other hand, look for items that improve their ability power. But you should also be building a couple defensive items per game that can negate whatever strengths your opponent has. Let’s take a look at the Medallion of Troy, for instances — you get a lower cool-down time, additional HP, a magic damage shield, and additional magic defense. This will obviously be a good item to counter an enemy team that mostly consists of Mages.

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