A beginner's guide to getting started in one of the most difficult to learn but most rewarding genres of PC strategy games, the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena.
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So You're Ready to Play Your First Game....
So by now you've learned all about what a MOBA is, and you're ready to dive into your first game. Whether its a spicy game of DOTA, League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, or even something a little more eclectic such as Battleships or Enfo's Team Survival, you're going to want to take a few basic pieces of knowledge with you to ensure your “semi" survival. Facts are, if its your first time playing you're probably going to be dealing with unforgiving teammates and the MOBA learning curve. So lets give you a few simple tools you can use to hopefully rise above the ranks with as little frustration as possible.
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Play a Ranged Hero
You're going to have a lot of options for your hero. Fact is, for a beginner a ranged agility type hero is probably the best idea – you won't have to worry about getting harassed in the front lines as a melee hero, or being squishy as an intelligence hero. Try to pick someone with a bow or boomerang, and stand behind the creep waves trying to get last hits. If the game allows denying, don't waste your time with that your first few games, concentrate on staying alive and out of trouble.
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Grab Some Regeneration Gear
A lot of beginners will grab the movement boosting items first, such as boots to help them escape from dangerous combat situations or to chase down an opponent. Boots are definitely a staple item that you should be putting on just about everyone, but consider grabbing either a hit point or mana regeneration item depending on your hero – you'll be able to stay in your lane longer and acquire more experience points and gold this way, and are less likely to get killed by the opposing team with some longevity. Consider getting boots after you've got some staying power.
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Don't Overextend Yourself
This is perhaps the most common basic error when starting any MOBA. A new player will tend to push out much further than he or she should, and end up an easy mark for the opposing team to “gank". Basically anything past the first half of the map should probably be ignored unless you are with your teammates and are pushing a lane together. Don't try to go out too far, even if you don't see any of the opposing team around – ESPECIALLY if you don't see any of the opposing team around. Chances are, they're positioning themselves around you so you won't be able to escape their incoming attack.
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It sounds incredibly basic but real teamwork is often absent from even high quality player games sometimes, and is definitely the most important aspect of winning or losing a MOBA game. A team of less skilled players will easily defeat a more experienced team if they work together. Learn how your character's abilities synergize with your teammates, and if possible communicate with them. If possible, play your first few games with your friends, as they will be far more understanding of your situation than a team of angry players who “got stuck with a noob".
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Don't Take it Seriously
Your first few games, focus on having fun and learning the ropes. No one expects you to solo the opposing team your first game. You'll be on your way to MOBA greatness in no time!