Vainglory 2020 Review and Guides
Everything you need to know
Is it worth playing?
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I am a fan of the MOBA genre ever since I first laid my eyes on DOTA 1, back in 2006-7. Now, we have games like Vainglory, which have expanded the genre and taken it to other platforms I never dreamed of back in the ‘00s. To be honest, I was a bit of a skeptic because I do not believe you can play games like these on any other platform than on PC.
But, I got to say they have proven me wrong. Games like Arena of Valor, Mobile Legends, and now Vainglory…they made it work for mobile platforms. Still, when I looked at the game now I noticed that it has a completely unique thing of its own. It is its genre now almost, so I played a bit and I also composed a guide for the FAQ, which is in the second part of this page, down below.
Vainglory is one of the first mobile MOBAs that has managed to port the genre very successfully to Smartphones…
Vainglory is one of the first mobile MOBAs that has managed to port the genre very successfully to Smartphones. It was done by Super Evil Megacorp (cool name) and they released the game in November 2014, after half a year of early access. The Android version followed in 2015, along with a PC version in 2018/19. While Super Evil Megacorp developed the game, they co-published it with Netease. The game was also the first of its kind to fully support cross-platform play, for all four platforms (iOS, Android, Windows, Mac)
Super Evil Megacorp was founded in 2012 by veteran developers from Blizzard, Riot, Insomniac, and Rockstar, all well-known studios in the biz. They were seated in San Mateo, California, and this was their first effort. They met immediate success and Vainglory was an instant hit. Currently, on Google Play, the game has a score of 3.7 stars from over 800 thousand votes. But, it has a much better score of 4.7 stars on the iTunes App Store.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This game features the same iconic setting of a MOBA game (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena)…
This game features the same iconic setting of a MOBA game (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena). Players control powerful avatars, like in similar games (LoL, DOTA2). The atmosphere is mostly within the competitor spirit as it is the essence of any arena. Vainglory manages to have its own unique style and allure thanks to outlandish characters you’ve never seen before (although the game really does look a lot like LoL otherwise).
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The game actually pioneered many of the control methods and other features, becoming unique in the very process…
But, the primary focus for this game was not to be unique, but to bring the MOBA experience to mobile platforms and the game actually pioneered many of the control methods and other features, becoming unique in the very process. It does bear a resemblance to League of Legends visually and does have the same hallmark mechanics DOTA implemented, but it does its own thing.
Vainglory is one of the first mobile MOBAs to include a now-familiar control scheme, where you move your heroes with one thumb (via virtual joystick) and you use abilities with the other thumb, which are cleverly organized into a combination of a basic attack, basic abilities, ultimate ability, and some utility skills.
This game features the standard leveling system, where the player chooses the order in which to upgrade the basic abilities, which leads to certain builds and tips on how to best optimize your gameplay depending on your hero and situation. Heroes also have stats, like attack, hit points, and other things which are usually affected by items, but also by other things.
The core gameplay contains all of the MOBA trademarks, like the 3 lanes (some maps have less or more for different game mods), and lesser NPC minions that fight for the control of these lanes. They have towers, and together they protect a team’s main building, which is called Vain Crystal in Vainglory. The goal is to destroy the opponent’s vain crystal.
There are also various objectives, mobs, and control points between these mentioned lanes, which is a space popularly called the “jungle”. Thus, there are some heroes which are specialized for operating within this jungle, while others are perhaps best used in lanes, and so on. Also, heroes are different for their mobility, damage range, damage output, skills, abilities, and other things.
Hero mastery mechanic was introduced in Update 3.9 and players can now earn mastery points by playing a hero. Standard 3v3 and 5v5 matches earn more mastery points than other gameplay modes. The game also features a ranked matchmaking system, which is referred to as Elo or ELO by the players, to honor the chess grandmaster and mathematician Arpad Elo, who invented this ranking system used in Vainglory and similar games.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The game is a bit old, but it is updated regularly, with its graphics constantly improved to keep pace with the Smartphone tech…
Vainglory does look a lot like Mobile Legends and League of Legends. But, while Mobile Legends was sued for taking too much from LoL and lost around $2M, This game still manages its unique visual style, unique models, and other visual features. The game is a bit old, having been released in 2014 (and its development began in 2012), but it is updated regularly, with its graphics constantly improved to keep pace with the Smartphone tech. I must say, visual ques, ability animations, and general signals are a bit better than with other mobile MOBAs.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Any Smartphone bought since 2014 ‘till now should be able to run the game with no problem…
Being a game that is over half a decade old, Vainglory is surely to work smoothly on virtually all Smartphones today. Any Smartphone bought since 2014 ‘till now should be able to run the game with no problem. You will only need Android 4.1 and up, or iOS 8.0 or up. The app file size is a bit chunky, with the iOS base file being 2.4GB, and that’s without the latest updates. The game is compatible with iPods, iPads, iPhones, Windows, Mac OS, and Android, although you may find some operating systems that can’t run it, like EMUI 8.0.0.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Microtransactions and monetization are handled the same way as they are in LoL or Dota2…
Microtransactions and monetization are handled the same way as they are in LoL or Dota2. There is a free-to-play hero rooster available, which is refreshed and changed weekly. Other than that, heroes are available for purchase for the in-game currencies, of which there are two, Glory and ICE (Immensely Concentrated Evil. Glory is earned through usual play, which ICE is rare and is mostly bought for real cash. But, ICE is mostly for cosmetics. There are also chests in the game since patch 1.18.0, which all award random in-game stuff, including these currencies.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Vainglory’s success has shown mobile game developers that, despite all troubles, MOBAs can be successfully ported to mobiles…
Vainglory’s success has shown mobile game developers that, despite all troubles, MOBAs can be successfully ported to mobiles. It is a video game that has managed to pioneer the genre on the mobile platform and to also build its own style and player fan base. It is very much active today as it was since 2014 and, due to regular updates, it is fresh and competitive.
game guides and TIPS
How to improve your gaming experience and gameplay…
Being over half a decade old, Vainglory has a huge player fan base. Community sources are strong and plenty and players are constantly making their own contribution, builds, tips lists, guides, best hero tier lists, and so on. I’ve found that people are most interested in some beginner tips when they are first starting the game.
Use links below to jump to the guide sections. Use links in the lower right corner to jump back.
- How to get glory fast?
- How to change the region?
- How to jungle?
- How to get essence?
- How to get blueprints?
- How to make a build?
- How to use talents?
As mentioned, Glory is the basic currency in Vainglory and it is earned from all kinds of things. From just playing matches, from chests to other sources… Doing solo Battle Royale matches are cool because they last 10 minutes tops and they can award other stuff besides plenty of Glory. Some players also like to quit Battle Royale matches as soon as they start (surrender) because it awards 2 Glory and you don’t lose anything.
Since Vainglory servers divide players based on their region, many have expressed interest in changing their region to go where they feel the community suits them more. In the game, your region is determined based on your location, and there are several ways you can change this.
Firstly, you can change your server and retain your account status, progress, and everything by contacting game support and expressing them your wish
Secondly, you can make a new account in the region you wish, but since you will be starting over, if you are a veteran player, this is not desirable of course.
Thirdly, if you want to play with a friend from a different region, they can create an account on a device for you there, and give you the details.
And, lastly, you can change the location on your device, in the settings, and then create an account that will automatically be linked to that location.
As mentioned, the space between the lanes in MOBAs is universally referred to as the “jungle” And, as per hero roles, certain heroes excel in only doing jungle, while others can’t pull it off quite right. Also, jungles offer the opportunity to help out your allies in lanes and possibly gank opponents.
The jungle, as the entire 5v5 map as well, is subject to change in Vainglory so methods and tips on best routes are also evolving. But, in Vainglory, there are 4 healing trion camps and they give energy and health buffs to whoever defeats them. This is crucial to obtain as soon as available if you are a jungle hero.
Two generic camps just award gold and are to be killed on cooldown. There is also a campo with a gold toad and it awards 200 gold, which is much more than what other camps are giving, but enemy heroes might be competing for them as well. Other camps that are closer to the river are even easier to counter and invade by the enemy, so they are constantly being contested. Be sure you have someone watching your back when you do them.
There are also the Blackclaw and Ghostwing camps. When defeated, Blackclaw will push together with your minions in the mid lane. Ghostwing awards a powerful HP and energy regeneration buff (which also shields your entire team) and he spawns once every 15 min. All of the camps scale in strength as the game progresses, but Ghostwing and Blackclaw progress even faster in power.
Jungle camp spawn timer:
- Buff Camps – 0:55
- Small generic camps – 1:05
- Blackclaw – 7:30
- Ghostwing – 15:00
When update 1.4 came along, Vainglory players were introduced to Cards, which was a new skin system for heroes that have three tiers. It was an entirely new feature and the cards are now awarded from various sources, such as matches, chests, etc…
Cards can also be crafted and you use Essence to do it. You also gain essence from destroying cards, kind of how you get dust from disenchanting Hearthstone cards. Destroying blueprints you don’t need and doing quests are the two fastest methods of getting essence, besides the post-match reward. However, quests don’t always award essence and it is into a steady farm in any other way, so it is a rare drop for sure.
Blueprints were introduced in Vainglory update 2.12 with the new skins sustem. Each skin has its own blueprint and you find them in loot from quests. You would then need to spend the appropriate blueprint along with the required essence to get the skin you wish. While essence is the same for all skins, blueprints need to be appropriate and they are only randomly awarded from quests (chance drop).
If we are talking about the best builds for certain roles or situations than we would have to refer to specific guides and tips for those situations. However, if you just want to make your builds, you can do so by using online build calculators, and there are aplenty. There is no in-game build maker as of this writing.
Talents are exclusive to the brawl game mode and they are hero upgrades. They can be unlocked and leveled up in brawl matches and they change heroes’ abilities, making them insanely powerful. This makes brawl matches hectic and insanely fun. For detailed info about all the in-game talents, you can go to the talent tab in the game, where you will find all explanations and benefits.
Talents start off undiscovered. Players need to unlock them to use them, so you first need the Talent Coin. This is the currency for unlocking talents, and there are 3 main ways of obtaining it:
- Daily quest talent coin reward
- Mystery chest drop chance
- Daily Pick 3 in the in-game Market (bought with Glory)