League of Legends vs Dota 2: Which One Is Harder and Which One To Play In 2023
by GameTree Team • December 31, 2019
The eternal question is now settled! Which game requires more skill: League of Legends or DOTA 2? DOTA is irrefutably the higher skill game, but League beats it in sound and graphics quality.
These findings are in accordance with players’ gaming tastes, and assume people play games that match their tastes. The data comes from a GameTree Gamer DNA sample of 10,000 players who play exclusively League or Dota. GameTree itself is a next-generation player and game AI recommendation tool + social network. The Gamer DNA model is one of its matchmaking criteria. You can read more about it here or watch a video here.
Explaining the Basics of Dota 2 and League of Legends
“Dota 2” and “League of Legends” are towering colossi in the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre, each game boasting a colossal player base and an esports presence that garners global attention. Both games share a common ancestry, originating from a community-created mod called “Defense of the Ancients,” which itself was a modification of Blizzard’s “Warcraft III.” Despite their shared roots, each game has evolved distinct mechanics, aesthetics, and strategic depth that cater to different preferences within the gaming community.
What Is Dota 2?
Dota 2 is a strategic, team-based game developed by Valve Corporation. It emphasizes complex gameplay mechanics and a steep learning curve. Each player controls a single “Hero” out of a roster of over a hundred, battling it out with their team to destroy the opposing side’s “Ancient,” a large structure located within their base. The game is known for its deep strategic elements, variety of hero combinations, and a significant emphasis on player skill and coordination.
What Is League of Legends 2?
League of Legends, developed and published by Riot Games, was released in 2009 and has significantly influenced the growth of esports. It shares the basic MOBA structure of two teams of five players, each controlling a unique “champion” with distinctive abilities. The champions grow in power over the course of a match by accruing experience points, gold, and purchasing items that enhance their abilities. The game is set on the fictional continent of Runeterra and primarily takes place on the “Summoner’s Rift” map, where players aim to breach the enemy’s defenses and take down their “Nexus.” League of Legends is known for its fast-paced action, streamlined mechanics, and its extensive roster of champions that contribute to its broad appeal.
Dota 2 vs League of Legends: Key Differences Between the Games
Dota 2 and League of Legends, while both anchoring the MOBA genre, offer distinct experiences carved out by their unique gameplay mechanics, character development, and strategic depth. These games are akin to two different dialects of the same language, sharing common elements that define MOBAs but diverging significantly in their approach to player roles, game complexity, pacing, and the overarching philosophies that govern their worlds. As we delve into the key differences between Dota 2 and League of Legends, we uncover not just contrasting game designs but also the varied cultures and communities that have evolved around each title, influencing how players engage with the games and with each other. The nuances range from the intricacies of the economic systems and character abilities to the graphical styles and narrative backdrops, painting a picture of two distinct yet equally captivating universes.
Dota 2 evolved from a “Warcraft III” mod called “Defense of the Ancients,” crafted by the community and later developed into a standalone game by Valve, aiming to preserve the mod’s complexity. League of Legends, created by Riot Games, was also inspired by DotA but started as an entirely new game, focusing on accessibility and frequent updates to appeal to a broader audience. Their origins reflect in their gameplay: Dota 2 retains a high skill ceiling, while League of Legends emphasizes approachability and fast-paced action.
Champions and Heroes
Dota 2 and League of Legends both feature a cast of characters, known in Dota 2 as “heroes” and in League of Legends as “champions.” These characters are one of the core aspects where the games differ.
Dota 2 Heroes
- Dota 2’s heroes are all available from the start, allowing players full access to the game’s roster without any need for purchase or unlocking.
- Heroes in Dota 2 often have more complex abilities that can drastically change the outcome of fights and the game.
- The game includes mechanics such as “denying” (killing your own units to prevent opponents from gaining experience and gold) and attributes that can significantly alter gameplay.
League of Legends Champions
- League features a rotation of free champions, but players must purchase champions they want to use regularly, either with in-game currency earned through playing or with real money.
- Champions tend to have more streamlined abilities aimed at creating a faster-paced and more accessible game.
- League has a more rigid structure for character roles and laning phases, which can be more beginner-friendly.
Dota 2 and League of Legends, while sharing the MOBA framework, differ significantly in gameplay elements, shaping distinct experiences for players.
Skill-Related Game Differences
In terms of skill, what are the biggest differences between DOTA and League players? DOTA players like more difficulty and complexity and also care more about status. League players care more about the feeling of domination and enjoy grinding.
Bonus Game Differences
Here are the differences between how much DOTA and League players care about different game aesthetics.
MOBA Players Vs. Non-MOBA Players
While the competition is fun, we all know DOTA and League players are actually brothers and sisters – more alike than different. Here are the differences between players who play League and/or DOTA to those who play neither.
Curious if you should play DOTA 2 or LoL?
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran maneuvering through the lanes of Dota 2 or a strategic mastermind commanding the champions of League of Legends, your passion for gaming is what truly counts. If you’re looking to connect with fellow players who share your enthusiasm, GameTree is the perfect place to start. We’ve built the strongest game recommendations AI that will give you a personal answer. Download GameTree so you can rate your favorite games and take some personality tests, then compare the predicted ratings for you.
So why wait? Join GameTree today, and dive into a community where your preferred game doesn’t divide, but unites you with an even larger world of gamers!
In the grand clash between Dota 2 and League of Legends, it’s not about which game reigns supreme, but rather which one resonates with your personal taste in strategy, complexity, and community. Dota 2 offers a deep, intricate battleground that rewards tactical finesse and strategic mastery, while League of Legends provides a fast-paced, accessible arena that thrives on its vibrant dynamism and regular updates. Each game has carved out its own legacy in the esports arena, cultivating passionate fan bases and epic narratives. The final verdict? Both are champions of the MOBA genre in their own right, and the best one for you is where you find your adrenaline pumping and your strategic spirit soaring. Choose your arena, summon your team, and let the battle commence!
Custom Data Queries
GameTree is sitting on a huge amount of data on gamer tastes, personalities, preferences, values, and demographics for all games on all platforms. If you are a journalist or market researcher interested in some deep data insights, you can write us at email@example.com
- Status: +17.4%
- Difficulty: +13.4%
- Achievement: +7.5%
- Complexity: +4.0%
- Mechanical Skills: +1.7%
- Critical Thinking: +0.5%
League of Legends
- Grinding: +7.8%
- Dominance: +6.3%
- Practice: +1.9%
- Teamwork: +1.9%
- Roleplay: +4.4%
- Lore: +1.2%
- Agency: +1%
- Artistic Creativity: Dota +0.4%
League of Legends
- Sound: +5.5%
- Exploration: +3.4%
- Characters: +2.6%
- Graphics: +2.6%
- Excitement: +2%
- Socializing: +0.7%
Dota + LoL
- Status: +17.9%
- Difficulty: +10.8%
- Complexity: +6.3%
- Practice: +5.6%
- Critical Thinking: +2.9%
- Dominance: +2.6%
- Mechanical Skills: +1.0%
- Roleplay: +0.4%
- Graphics: +5.5%
- Exploration: +3.8%
- Artistic Creativity: +3.0%
- Grinding: +2.8%
- Socializing: +1.6%
- Excitement: +1.3%
- Characters: +1.3%
- Agency: +0.7%
- Teamwork: +0.5%
- Lore: +0.3%
- Achievement: +0.2%
- Sound: +0.1%