Top 5 Alternatives to Dota 2: A Deep Dive into Riveting Multiplayer Battle Arena Games

Audrey Hansen


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Dota 2, one of the most prolific Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games, has been enthralling millions of gamers for the past decade with its strategic gameplay, immersive lore, and compelling characters. However, the gaming universe is vast, and there are other shining stars that serve as stellar alternatives to Dota 2. Let's delve into five such remarkable Dota 2 alternatives, exploring each game's gameplay, storyline, and setting.

1. League of Legends

League of Legends

League of Legends, often lovingly referred to as "LoL," is the largest competitor to Dota 2 in the MOBA genre. Developed by Riot Games, it has gained significant popularity with its exciting gameplay, rich lore, and vibrant roster of characters known as “Champions.”


The gameplay of LoL is similar to Dota 2, where two teams of five players compete to destroy the opponent's Nexus, positioned in the heart of their base. The champions start at level one and gather experience and gold by killing enemy units, which helps in boosting their powers and purchasing items.

Story and Setting

The game is set in the mystical world of Runeterra, filled with a variety of landscapes from frozen tundras to arid deserts. LoL has expansive lore, with each Champion having unique backstories and relationships that often result in delving deep into the game’s many narratives.

2. Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm game

A product of Blizzard Entertainment, Heroes of the Storm is a free-to-play online MOBA game with characters from various Blizzard universes. It stands out with its fan-service appeal and dynamic gameplay.


Unlike Dota 2, Heroes of the Storm offers a variety of maps, each with unique objectives that contribute to victory. Instead of individual character levels, the entire team shares an experience level, fostering a more team-reliant gameplay dynamic.

Story and Setting

Set in the Nexus, a cosmic storm where several realms converge, the game involves known characters from Blizzard universes like Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, and Overwatch. The lore primarily revolves around these characters, their backgrounds from their respective universes, and their interactions within the Nexus.

3. Smite

Smite game

Smite is an action-packed MOBA game developed by Hi-Rez Studios. Boasting a unique third-person perspective, Smite's characters are inspired by various world mythologies, giving the game a distinctive flavor and appeal.


Unlike the usual isometric view of MOBA games, Smite employs a third-person perspective, making the gameplay feel more immersive and personal. The player controls a god, goddess, or other mythological figures and participates in team-based combat, using unique abilities and tactics to prevail.

Story and Setting

The setting of Smite is influenced by an array of world mythologies, providing an engaging backdrop for the game. The story spans various pantheons - Greek, Egyptian, Norse, Chinese, and more. The lore for each character is deeply rooted in their respective mythology, providing a rich pool of narratives for players to engage with.

4. Heroes of Newerth

Heroes of Newerth game

Heroes of Newerth (HoN) is a free-to-play MOBA game developed and published by S2 Games, later transferred to Frostburn Studios. Heavily inspired by Defense of the Ancients (DotA), the game offers lightning-fast gameplay and a colorful roster of heroes.


In HoN, two teams aim to destroy a large structure defended by the opposing team known as the "World Tree" or "Sacrificial Shrine." Heroes begin at Level 1 and can reach a maximum of Level 25 by gaining experience points through battle.

Story and Setting

HoN is set in Newerth, a world struggling with the conflict between two prominent factions - the Legion and the Hellbourne. Filled with tension and action, this narrative backdrop serves as the perfect setting and drives the game’s overall progression and sensation.

5. Vainglory

Vainglory game

Vainglory is a free-to-play MOBA developed and published by Super Evil Megacorp for mobiles, a platform not usually explored by MOBA games. Promising intense multiplayer battles, Vainglory delivers high-quality gaming on the mobile platform.


The game involves traditional MOBA game design, with upgraded graphics and responsive controls suited for touch screens. There are three distinct game modes that require different strategies, testing the player’s skills in diverse ways.

Story and Setting

Vainglory is set in an unexplored world, depicted with high-quality graphics and visuals usually unseen in mobile games. Overarching storylines and narratives intertwine with each hero's unique backstories and abilities, providing an immersive universe to explore.

These top five alternatives to Dota 2 exhibit unique gameplay dynamics, narratives, and settings, thus promising varied experiences tailored to different preferences. From LoL's Champion lore and Heroes of the Storm's map variety to Smite's mythological immersion, Heroes of Newerth's quick-paced action, and Vainglory's high-quality mobile gaming, there's a world of MOBAs to dive into beyond Dota 2. Ready, set, game!