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Script error Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) also known as DotA genre is a sub-genre of the Real-Time Strategy video game genre. The gameplay is characterized by strategic combat between teams of players.



The term MOBA was originally coined by Steve Feak[1] , former developer of Defense of the Ancients and current developer of Riot Games' League of Legends, and was partially accepted by the community and press[2] and spread as a definition for "Dota-based" games[3][4]


The term MOBA has received criticism due to its vagueness and ambiguity: although games that have been called MOBAs are primarily geared at online play, they can be played offline, such as against bots, and while "battle" may describe the gameplay, the vast majority of non-MOBA games also involve battle as a core gameplay element. Additionally, the term doesn't specify team gameplay, or the relationship between MOBAs and RTS games, from which they were originally built. However, other terms used to describe genres can be vague and ambiguous as well: Real-time strategy doesn't specify resource management or the top-down perspective that are ubiquitous in the genre today.

Use of the term MOBA has been slow to catch on for DotA-type games as a result of these naming issues.[5][6][7]

Alternative Terminologies

Other commonly used terms used to refer to MOBA include but are not limited to "AoS style games", "DotA based games", "DotA Clones", "Dota-Likes", and various other combinations of words pertaining to a game inspired by DotA.


The first MOBA was a custom map in StarCraft known as "Aeon of Strife". Since then, many custom maps have imitated the gameplay, causing them to be referred to as "Aeon of Strife-type games" or "AoS-type games." However, after the relatively immense popularity of the Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne custom map Defense of the Ancients, they came to be known as "DotA-type games" or "DotA clones". The first standalone game in the genre was Demigod[8] Since then, many sources have begun using the term to describe the genre.[9] However, the terms "AoS-type game" and "DotA-type game" are still in use, primarily with respect to mods or maps for RTS games.


MOBAs incorporate elements of Real-time strategy (RTS) and Role-playing games (RPG), but are centered around teams of players each controlling a single character, attempting to defeat the other team, either by accomplishing an objective (such as destroying a critical structure in the enemies' base) or eliminating the other players. In either case, killing the other players' characters is a key element of the gameplay. The characters may level up or gain resources with which to improve their ability to compete—this often directly borrows from RPGs, with characters choosing to advance levels of spells as they gain experience and equip items bought with gold collected from defeated enemies. Although some, like Defense of the Ancients, can be played one-on-one, they are never free-for-alls. Most often, teams are composed of five players.[10]

As the first MOBAs were custom maps for RTS games, so far all have been developed for personal computers.

See also



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