Arena of Valor is the most popular game you’ve likely never heard of. With more than 200 million players in China (where the game is known as Honor of Kings), this mobile-only MOBA is a beast unto itself.
In late 2017, the game was released to Western markets and has done very well in a market already saturated with popular titles. Already a massively popular esport in the Asian region, publisher Tencent is looking to turn Arena of Valor into a global phenomenon.
And what better way to do so than to add it to the booming Nintendo Switch market – as a free-to-play title, no less?
Arena of Valor Switch
Arena of Valor is a 5v5 MOBA not unlike League of Legends, DOTA2, and Heroes of the Storm. It has a massive hero roster on mobile and an impressive licensing agreement with DC Comics, resulting in playable heroes such as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman and is just a bunch of fun to play.
The Switch version is not a simple port, however. Given the current mobile game is optimised for small screens with touch controls, the whole game has been essentially rebuilt for Switch, which means improved visuals, and rebalanced heroes.
As a result, Switch players will only be playing against other Switch players. That said, servers will be global (a lot has been learned by refining for a mobile platform) meaning there will always be a large pool of players for matchmaking.
Of course, you can also play with friends.
There will be an additional game mode, called Hook Wars, which will apparently utilise the Switch’s motion controls, but I guess how well this plays remains to be seen – unless you were a Beta player of course.
There have been a couple of Closed Beta’s since the initial announcement, which was made at E3 earlier this year.
Arena of Valor Switch launch
This week, Tencent has announced that the game will be officially released as a free-to-play title on September 25, and will not require a Switch Online account to play. It appears that it may be September 25 in North America as at the time of writing Arena of Valor isn’t available on the Australian eShop.
Lastly, if you are an existing mobile player, and want to know if you can transfer your mobile progress, the answer is two-fold. Firstly, given the platforms will have slightly different content (for example, I don’t believe the DC Universe characters will be available), progress cannot be carried over.
However, there will be a limited event on mobile, Valor Club, which will allow players to input their Nintendo Switch Edition ID number into their mobile account. This will then look at the heroes that the player has unlocked on the mobile account, and will transfer 10,000 gold to the Switch account for every unlocked hero.
Personally, I’m very excited to play Arena of Valor on Tuesday. Having put some time into the mobile version (and this coming from someone that doesn’t generally enjoy mobile games), I can honestly say it’s worth playing.
Arena of Valor is coming free-to-play to Switch on September 25.