The Best MOBAs for Android

You can't play LoL or Dota 2 on Android, but these games are just as fun.

The MOBA genre has taken the world by storm.  League of Legends, Dota 2, Heroes of the Storm, and more are starting to dominate gaming. They're mostly free-to-play, so they allow anyone intrigued by the games to try them out. The gameplay in MOBAs, where two teams try to destroy the other base by leading their heroes and automated creeps against defensive towers, eventually breaking through to the other side, offers tremendous depth and complexity for those who want them. While games like the original Warcraft III mod of Defense of the Ancients became popular, the genre exploded thanks to Riot's League of Legends and Valve's Dota 2, made with the original creator of Defense of the Ancients.

But it's also the competitive aspect of the games that makes them so compelling. League of Legends has a whole hierarchy of leagues surrounding it and massively popular world championships. Valve's The International for Dota quickly added legitimacy to the game by offering huge cash prizes for winning teams. And because the game has that team aspect to it, along with the compelling aspect of the various heroes and their customizations in the games, the genre has exploded into the leader of eSports. Even Heroes of the Storm by Blizzard has gotten its college championships on ESPN2. And other developers are trying to cash in on the mega-popularity of the genre with their own games. Battleborn by 2K and Gearbox adds a first-person shooter twist to the game. Epic Games is also working on their own big MOBA, Paragon.

Plenty of mobile developers are trying to make the MOBA work on mobile as well. Considering how many people around the globe have mobile devices, and the decline of PC and consoles, there's no reason why the next big MOBA hit couldn't be a mobile game. While games like Clash Royale are trying to ape elements of the MOBA for themselves, other games are going for more of a pure experience. Here are 5 of the best traditional MOBAs for Android.

01
of 05
Vainglory
Super Evil Megacorp

This is the leading MOBA on mobile right now, precisely because there's a ton of funding behind the developers, and the team's commitment to constantly updating the game. Ever since its big ballyhooed launch back in 2014 and eventual Android release, the game has seen several new characters, features, and tweaks added. It's pretty much the leading MOBA on mobile, and Super Evil Megacorp has put a ton of work into keeping it that way. It's still very much a deep MOBA-like experience, though it definitely treads a line between simpler MOBA games and MOBA-inspired games and full-fledged PC ones like League of Legends. Namely, the game features 3-on-3 combat and 30-minute matches. Granted, that's a long time to play a mobile game, and it hurts its portability, but it's not like people don't have tablets or use their smart devices at home.

What's particularly interesting as of late is that the team has added in a Battle Royale mode that's centered around short matches of 7-10 minutes. They're not meant to be the serious competitive matches that Vainglory's eSports scene has been centered around, but it's still a feature that could have some usefulness for casual players trying to get into the game. The growth of this game could be key to mobile's role in the future of eSports, and the constant feature updates and new characters are a huge part of that.

And if you want to watch people play Vainglory, there are plenty of ways to do that. Super Evil Megacorp themselves run several global tournaments. And players from top-tier professionals regularly stream the game on streaming services. Twitch has a big relationship with Vainglory, regularly demoing the game at events like PAX. While the game still isn't a huge money-maker yet, it has one of the most serious competitive scenes around it. Anyone looking to play MOBAs on mobile needs to try this out. More »

Heroes of Order and Chaos
Gameloft

 Gameloft's MOBA deserves to have attention paid to it as well. This was one of the first MOBAs on mobile, period. It features incredibly lengthy matches, and 5v5 gameplay, though alternate modes for smaller matches are available. The game has been around for a long time on mobile but is still getting updates: a massive overhaul over a year timespan is planned to add new heroes and revamp the look of the game. Gameloft might just figure out how to make this the longest-lasting MOBA on mobile, despite the relative lack of fanfare behind the game. More »

Call of Champions
Spacetime Studios

This MOBA is perfect for those who want a short-form experience. Matches are 5 minutes, tops. The game makes this work by streamlining the experience down to being about a points system: take down more towers than the opponent, and you can win. The creeps are replaced by orbs that can be pushed by players and do damage to the towers if nearby. It's a clever system to make this genre of game that can otherwise be incredibly dense and lengthy far more accessible to the mobile player. That's not just because the short length makes the game more palatable for on-the-go quick sessions, with the game's AI instantly replacing anyone who drops out a clever function that helps out a lot with the issues that mobile multiplayer has. No, it's also the fact that you can be a lot more open to experimenting with different characters and strategies when you have a span of 5 minutes to play with, rather than the half-hour match time that many games have. It's also a great cross-platform multiplayer game, one that our iOS games expert loved. More »

Ace of Arenas
Gaea Mobile

This MOBA owes a significant stylistic debt to Vainglory, yes. But how it plays is quite ingenious, in that the game can be played entirely with two thumbs. You use a left virtual stick to move, and buttons on the right side of the screen to target creeps or heroes, and use your abilities. It's an inventive control scheme that other games should be adapting, perhaps not in the MOBA genre, but even just as mobile action games. This MOBA features matches that go from 1v1 all the way up to 3v3, letting players decide just how long and complex they want their experience to be. More »

Heroes of SoulCraft
MobileBits

The SoulCraft games are popular action-RPGs, which made the conversion into a MOBA quite natural. What's funny in part about this game is that it has the funniest, most shameless app description ever that's a punny work of art. What's really cool about this one is that you can play it with a controller, so you can actually enjoy this game on your couch on an Android TV if you so choose. It also goes with the interesting hybrid between 3v3 5-minute matches, and 5v5 15-minute matches. Plus, the player base should be helped between the game's compatibility with Android, iOS, and PC. More »