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Tech

League of Legends vs. Dota 2

If you want to get involved in a multiplayer online battle arena, also called a MOBA, you have over a dozen choices. New MOBA games are coming out almost every week, but most people get involved in either League of Legends or Dota 2, two of the most popular games of this type.

People seem to like one or the other, and generally you’ll struggle to find someone who plays and enjoys both. Both games have their dedicated fan base, and are rapidly growing every year. Large tournaments worth over $20 million dollars bring attention to the e-sports scene, especially to these two MOBA giants, but which one is better? Although it's subjective, we can give you a rundown of hard facts in the debate of league of legends vs. Dota 2.

Difficulty

LoL: The difficulty of both games depends on your opponents, but League of Legends is definitely a lot easier to get into. League of Legends is a lot more accessible and player-friendly, let’s put it that way.

Dota: If you’ve never played a MOBA game before, starting off with Dota 2 might seem like a daunting task. The user interface is more advanced, and as a general rule, you’ll be a little bit clueless when you’re first starting off. It’s a game made for someone who has a general understating of what’s going on, or at least knows how to get in a match.

Accessibility

LoL: Again, accessibility has to go to League of Legends here. The gameplay is a lot easier, since you’re not punished for playing poorly as much as you are in Dota 2. Dying won’t hinder you back a lot, and you’re not forced to “try hard” like you are in Dota 2. The tutorials are a lot better and learning the game takes far less time.

Dota: If you’re a complete newbie and get paired up with someone who knows what he’s doing, you’ll probably lose. Dota punishes players a lot harder for making mistakes. Dying or having to retreat back to your fountain puts you in a position where you’re behind your opponent both in levels and in gold. As you can imagine, this can cost you the game from the very get-go. Once you learn how to use this to your advantage though, it’s very beneficial and fun.

Gameplay

LoL: The max cap on levels in LoL is 18. Most players reach max level pretty quickly therefore, and get all of their items pretty soon. This makes for a fast-paced match and one which lasts quite a bit shorter than a comparable match in Dota.

Dota: On average, a Dota 2 game lasts 45 minutes. The maximum cap on levels is 25 though, so reaching it is fairly difficult. You’ll almost never get to fully develop and equip your hero (character), hence why optimizing and prioritizing certain items over others is so much more important. 

Skills

LoL: Both games rely heavily on using your hero’s skills, but the abilities of the heroes themselves are fairly similar in both games. One of the original Dota 1 designers used a lot of the same ideas in LoL, hence why you won’t find a lot of differences when it comes to the skills of the heroes themselves.

Dota: Using those skills takes a lot more knowledge in Dota though. They cost a lot more mana, have a longer range, a bigger cool down, and many other variables such as permanent invisibility you have to take into consideration. It’s important to use them right, as one bad move can cost you the entire fight and ultimately, the game.

So what’s the conclusion?

Well, League of Legends is definitely a lot friendlier. It’ll get you accustomed to MOBA games quicker, but that just means you’ll cap out a lot sooner, i.e. get decently good at the game. Dota 2 is more of a challenge, but that also makes it a lot more rewarding when you do something right and win because of it.

Our recommendation is you try both and see what feels right for you. If you start out with LoL, try Dota once you get better and you’ll adapt to the game a lot faster. 

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