When Riot Games introduced League of Legends in 2009 it was immediately compared to a previous MOBA called Dota 2. And it’s easy to see why: the games have a lot of similarities when it comes to the gameplay itself and the mechanics. But which one is actually tougher?
Dota 2 vs. League of Legends: Mechanics
There are a lot of things to consider when you compare Dota 2 and League of Legends. The first thing to look into are the mechanics. League of Legends runs a lot smoother and the champions have a faster turn rate. Being older, Dota 2 can be a bit janky. Casual players and pros alike have to really consider the game being sluggish with animations and cast times.
League of Legends still has cast time and some abilities have to be “prepared” beforehand. But this is a lot more common in Dota 2, meaning you have to keep this in mind as well. A new player would have some trouble with this mechanic but once you are used to it, it’s not too difficult to incorporate into your strategy and gameplay.
While it may seem like League of Legends is easier because it’s smoother, there are still many new mechanics to consider that are not in Dota 2. No matter which game you choose, you’ll have to get used to the nuances of the gameplay to really start climbing ranks, keeping in mind the games’ movements, spells, and other small details.
Champions vs. heroes
League of Legends has a massive roster of champions, while Dota 2 has heroes, each of which has its own abilities and play styles. Dota 2 has all of the heroes unlocked right from the start while League of Legends forces you to unlock champions as you go.
When it comes to difficulty, however, many believe that League of Legends’ champions are harder to master than Dota 2’s heroes, considering them more complex. This is because League of Legends has many champions that rely on skill shots (which require good aim), something that isn’t seen as often in Dota 2.
On the other hand, Dota 2 has more heroes with passive abilities, which means you don’t have to actively click on a key to make it happen at an exact time. Instead, the heroes automatically do things without you needing to plan how to use it in certain situations.
- Related: CSGO vs. VALORANT: Which is harder?
Freeform and strategy
League of Legends is basically a simplified version of the Dota All-Stars custom map and has matured over time to be a very role-based game. League of Legends is very structured and the strategy is sometimes seen as more straightforward.
Both games have a similar goal: Destroy the Nexus (League) or Ancient (Dota). The difference is that Dota 2 has a lot more versatility and freeform opportunities when it comes to achieving this goal. With heroes jumping into different roles, teams have to keep track of a lot more strategies and gameplay styles while also understanding that the opposing team may have just as many wild and chaotic ideas.
So, which MOBA is harder?
Well, it depends who you ask.
Both games are extremely dynamic and complex, so they both come with their own set of challenges and are tough things to master. But most people will pick Dota 2 since it has less of a structure and chaotic, sudden game state changes.
Due to its updated mechanics, League of Legends is seen as more straightforward and easier to get into.
But LCS pro Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng will tell you League of Legends is much harder. Why? League takes more mechanical skills and has fewer abilities with auto-aim features. Meanwhile, he feels Dota 2 is more about memorising game knowledge.
It’s truly a toss-up depending on what you find to be the most challenging aspect of mastering a MOBA. But both games offer a challenging and fun experience with the right squad.
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