With games like Dota 2 and Smite that have been massive for a long time as well as newer entries in the arena like Pokémon Unite, the MOBA genre continues to attract players with the promise of engaging combat, fun teamplay, and intense strategy. These games can be insanely popular, with League Of Legends claiming more active players than the entirety of Steam in November, and are often defined by steep skill curves and mechanics that take time to learn.
Both for beginners and for players who have picked up plenty of MOBA experience, it is easy to fall into bad habits. Though not every player will experience these, they are extremely common for MOBA players.
Being too greedy for kills
There is no worse feeling while playing a MOBA than watching an enemy just manage to escape with the tiniest sliver of a health bar remaining, but sometimes that’s the best course of action available. It’s easy to accept that in theory, but in practice, almost all MOBA players are guilty of chasing too far and going in for the kill under far too risky circumstances.
In games like League of Legends and Dota 2, the towers and turrets tend to do a surprising amount of damage early, yet resisting a dive on a low-health player is one of the hardest things to learn and a lot of players never do.
Always Using The Same Character
Whilst focusing on learning a single character can be a good way to get a feel for a MOBA without getting overwhelmed by constantly learning new abilities, it can also make it harder to pick up other characters as time goes on. As a result, it can become a vicious cycle where trying a new character becomes too difficult so the player ends up feeling unable to play anyone else.
Technically, there is nothing wrong with maining a certain hero or champion, and most experienced players do have a main that they like to fall back on, but experiencing a variety of roles and characters is also a good way of improving. It’s a lot easier for a player to get bored when only experiencing a tiny fraction of the gameplay available in a MOBA.
Trying To Copy The Pros
A lot of the ways that people get into MOBAs is through watching eSports, and top-level streamers show off the peak of what can be achieved in a game, which can get players excited to try it out for themselves. Unfortunately, the difference between a relatively inexperienced player and a pro is thousands of hours of intense practice.
A lot of the time, this can lead to less than optimal outcomes for a player’s team and potential embarrassment for the player. Pulling off a difficult play can look very cool, but failing the same trick isn’t likely to impress anyone.
Choosing A Support Role And Not Playing Like A Support
Most MOBA games feature some kind of support role, where characters that heal, tank lots of damage, or can provide buffs and debuffs for the team tend to go, but there is still some variation in what the role can do across different games. What the role can’t do, however, tends to remain quite consistent.
Nevertheless, all too often players on support characters try to fight alone or carry a fight when they don’t have the ability to do so. This also ties into another bad habit that a lot of MOBA players have, which is stealing kills. It might seem like it doesn’t matter much, but a ton of gold and experience going to a support that could go to a carry can be a big hindrance to the team.
Relying Too Much On Guides
Larger MOBAs such as Smite and League of Legends tend to have very large and complicated item shops, with certain items building into others or being important consumables, and this can make them inaccessible. A great way of dealing with this problem that many players use is to refer to guides or even “auto builders” to take the complex decisions out of their hands.
Using guides this way is fine early on but as matches become tougher, building only preset items can put a player at a massive disadvantage. Indeed, players tend to realize quickly once they start how much better it is to adapt the items they build to the specific enemies they face in a particular game.
Continuing To Queue Up On A Losing Streak
MOBAs, as well as being fun, are also notoriously addictive. Entire days and nights can be lost to the “one more game” mentality that these games often encourage. The downside of this is that sometimes it can be very difficult for a player to stop playing when on a long losing streak, even though the game has become no longer enjoyable and the bad mood is making them play worse.
Of course, winning or losing isn’t everything and, for players who can have fun regardless of what the words on the end screen say, this isn’t a problem at all. But for most MOBA players, refusing to end even as the results and gameplay get worse and worse can be a very negative habit.
Trying To Do Everything Alone
While going for glory and trying to make huge plays that will win the game alone can be one of the most enjoyable parts of MOBAs, it also has a downside. MOBAs are team games and trying to win every game by beating every other player can harm a player’s own teammates as much as it harms the opponent.
Working as a team is one of the most important things for players to learn, according to the beginner’s guide to League of Legends, and sometimes the best way to carry a game is to play with the team and help them to reach their potential as well, and it can ensure the game is more fun for all players. For a lot of players, though, the appeal of the dream 1v5 fight will always be too strong to resist.
Not Buying Wards/Vision Items
For MOBA titles like League of Legends and Smite, gaining control over obscured areas of the map can be a crucial aspect of ensuring victory over the opposing team. For games like this that offer “ward” items that can reveal enemies in the area for as long as they are placed, these items are as important as any other a player will purchase.
It’s easy to lose sight of small gameplay aspects like this in the rush of the moment though, and so it’s something a lot of players overlook. Just as bad is buying vision items and then forgetting to ever place any, as that means a player has spent money for the exact same outcome.
Ignoring The Minimap
Tying in very closely to the use of wards, a just as common and even more harmful habit that MOBA players often have is disregarding the minimap at important times. MOBAs are usually played on a large battlefield and with five players per team, a lot can be happening at once.
The only way for a player to keep a handle on this is by constantly referring to the minimap, especially since it can give a player an advance warning for when they are about to be attacked. Whereas relying on the map can be a bad habit for players of open-world games, the minimap is one of the most important weapons in the MOBA arsenal, and failing to give it proper attention is one of the worst things a MOBA player can do.
Getting Too Heated
In an environment of long and very competitive games, it can be easy for players to lose their cool and, even worse, turn their anger towards the enemy or their teammates. Becoming too heated while playing MOBAs makes the game worse for all involved, and that’s why it’s the worst habit of MOBA players.
Regardless of the competitive spirit these games invoke, they are still meant to be an enjoyable experience like any other video game. Keeping emotions in check is one way to ensure MOBAs remain the fun team experience that they are supposed to be.
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