2020 Arena Of Valor vs Mobile Legends Bang Bang

Mobile Legends Bang Bang (MLBB) is arguably the most popular Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) for Android and iOS in the world excluding China. In China, the most popular and successful MOBA is King of Glory/Honor of kings. KOG/HOK served as the inspiration for Arena of Valor (AOV). While many heroes are similar between KOG and AOV, and both are owned by Tencent, they are NOT the same. This article will compare 2020 Arena Of Valor vs Mobile Legends Bang Bang.

Mobile Legends Hero: Grock

What is a MOBA?

It is important that we give a brief history as to how the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre is conceived. The MOBA genre started as early as 1998. According to Wikipedia, the first official MOBA game is a video game called “Future Cop: LAPD”.

The next game and probably the start of the rapid development of this genre is when Starcraft, also in the year 1998 included a suite of game editing tools called “StarEdit” into the game. This allow the modder that goes by the name “Aeon64” to create a custom map called “Aeon of Strife”.

This map features a three-lane map where a player controls a single hero and the goal is to destroy the enemy’s core tower. During this time, there are no jungle creeps, no buffs. It only has the lane creeps

A few years later, Blizzard, the same publisher as Starcraft, released a game called Warcraft III. On this game a custom map was created called “Defense of the Ancients” or DOTA. Eventually a modder named “Steve Feak” would create “Dota Allstars”. He would then turn the responsibility of the development of the map to “Icefrog”. This is start of the “golden age” of MOBA. The rest of the MOBAs like DOTA2, League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, Heroes of the Storm, SMITE etc would follow. However, these games are all played in PC. Smartphones back then were not powerful enough to run this type of games.

Transition to Smartphones

Things would change when Tencent, a multi billion dollar Chinese company, approached RIOT games, the developer of one of the most successful MOBA “League of Legends” (Note that during this time Tencent has acquired  RIOT Games) to create a mobile a mobile version of LoL. RIOT games refused because they believe that the LoL experience could not be replicated on a mobile phone.

Determined, Tencent would create their own MOBA for mobile phones. This game is called “wang zhe rong yao” or “King of Glory/Honor of Kings”. The game is exclusively released in China.

While King of Glory/Honor of Kings were taking all over China, there was a company called “Moonton” that created a similar game called “Mobile Legends”.  Unlike King of Glory, Mobile Legends is released across the globe. This allowed them to establish the first breed of mobile MOBA players.

Not long after, Tencent decided to release a “western” version of King of Glory. They would call it first “Strike of Kings” before becoming “Arena of Valor”.  “Western” version because AOV did not maintain the same characters from KOG. They might have the same skill set, but the character appearance are totally different.

Another difference of KOG to AOV are the number of skills. Some heroes in KOG have 4 active skills plus 1 passive skill (total of 5 skills). Unlike in AOV, where all heroes have 1 passive and 3 active skills. Runes are not present in KOG but can be found in AOV.

Arena of Valor would be popular in countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. However, Mobile Legends would remain the most popular in most countries worldwide.

Arena Of Valor vs Mobile Legends Bang Bang?

Mobile Legends:Bang Bang Hero Lou Yi


The biggest difference between the two is the focus of the gameplay.

MLBB – Due to the nature of MLBB’s heroes, the game is more focused on the hero skills themselves. This allows you to hyper carry a team once you are fed enough.

AOV – AOV is more focused on synchronized team fights. Crowd Control spells can turn the tide even if the enemy team is ahead of gold. This is where AOV excels a lot. A real 5v5 experience.

Arena Of Valor vs Mobile Legends Bang Bang
Arena of Valor Hero: Ryoma


This is something very subjective. Visual Graphics between these two games are totally different.

MLBB– the character and world designs are softer, smoother and cartoony. They also have a lighter theme and much cooler in the eyes. This also means that you do not need a high-end phone to fully enjoy the graphics of MLBB.

AOV – AOV has a darker but sharper design of worlds and characters. The environment is full of detailed, crispier objects. This also means that a high end phone is required to run Ultra High settings with 60 fps of the game. 

Sounds/Hero Voice Over/Skill sound effects

Mobile Legends– like the visuals, the sound effects of skills and hero voice over in MLBB are lighter and generic. Maybe that is to match the heroes cartoonish appearance.

AOV – the heroes in AOV has more dramatic, heavier and serious voice overs. Skill sounds are also more mature than MLBB.

Character movement/Fluidity

Mobile Legends – characters move faster but character animation is more sluggish.

AOV – AOV has slower pace but character animation is more detailed and fluid.


Mobile Legends – has bigger map than AOV allowing wider strategies to be executed.

AOV – has a narrower map allowing ganks, invades and clash to happen more frequently.

Regardless of who’s bigger (or smaller), map vision is a crucial skill you want to learn early on.

Arena of Valor Hero: Murad

Heroes and Heroes skill sets

Both games have a deep lineup of heroes. Some heroes may even appear similar to the other game.

Mobile Legends – In terms of hero creativity, MLBB has more unique heroes than AOV. However, some hero skills are not really useful at all. Skill casting are also instantaneous.

AOV – AOV’s heroes are mostly inspired from King of Glory. Only a handful of heroes are currently original and not from King of Glory. However, each skill for each hero is well thought and useful providing a better and deeper skill sets compare to MLBB.  Skill casting in AOV, is more on animation based. Hitboxes are exact, making it more action packed.

Player Base/ Overall management

MLBB – has way better player base than AOV. The developer and publisher of the game seems to be more customer/player centric. This is also the reason why MLBB is so successful worldwide.

AOV – despite having cutting edge graphics and more competitive gameplay, AOV suffers from mismanagement and low player base (vs MLBB). They are only focused on countries like Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia.


The argument of who’s original and who’s not is invalid. Both games are inspired from PC games. Even if Tencent won the law suit it filed vs Moonton , it will never be a valid point on which is more fun to play. After all, if it wasn’t so successful and not making tons of money, would they be sued?

So, which is better? Arena Of Valor vs Mobile Legends Bang Bang?

MLBB wins world popularity and still has a bigger player base than AOV (again, we are not including the numbers of KOG because they are NOT the same). If you are looking to enjoy a game with huge and more active community, MLBB is still the way to go. For a more competitive and deeper gameplay, AOV is the winner.

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