Arena of Valor Switch Guide: Beginners Tips, Tier List, Hero List

After more than a full year since its announcement, Arena of Valor Switch, or more officially known as Arena of Valor Nintendo Switch Edition, is here. It’s gaming giant Tencent’s first major title on the machine and a near-direct port of one of the biggest mobile games in the world.

Even if you’re permanently glued to your smartphone, the name Arena of Valor may not ring a bell. Its popularity stems from places like China where it’s known under a different name, but this mobile MOBA title is slowly making a name for itself around the world thanks to a staggered release over the last year.

Arena of Valor Switch: What Is Arena of Valor Switch?

Arena of Valor Switch is essentially a mobile version of League of Legends; a title which spearheaded the growing popularity of the MOBA genre over the last decade.  If you’ve played games like League of Legends, DOTA 2, Heroes of the Storm or Paragon in recent years, Arena of Valor Switch is like a supercharged version of those in that it’s a fast-paced battle arena title designed to be played in short bursts.

Two teams of five heroes chosen from an ever-growing roster fight across a battlefield divided by lanes in a tug o’ war-style mission to destroy the opposing team’s base. Typical MOBA matches last from anywhere between 30 minutes to two hours, whereas Arena of Valor matches rarely last 20 minutes. Alternate modes can even take as little as five minutes to complete

Arena of Valor Switch: Beginner’s Tips

Arena of Valor Switch

One of the key tips given out to any aspiring MOBA player is to pick your fights carefully and know when to retreat. Heroes typically fit roles like Tank, Damage, and Support, with sub roles like Assassin, Mage, Marksman, Jungler, and Warrior telling you a bit more about how that hero will act in-game. Pulling away from a fight you can’t win will keep the opposite team from growing stronger.

You’ll use the L, R, and ZL buttons to cast hero-specific abilities and mix them with auto-attacks to pick off an enemy hero before they’re able to do the same to you. Abilities can be upgraded by leveling up in a match, and supplemented through stat-boosting equipment bought with Gold earned with each kill.

With so many heroes to choose from, some are far more equipped to counter others, meaning certain characters will have distinct advantages and disadvantages against another. Every hero has the potential to defeat another, but this works both ways. Learning which heroes counter each other will play a major role in your Arena of Valor Switch growth, but this will come more from experience than book smarts.

First up it to learn the layout of the battlefield. The Antaris Battlefield of Arena of Valor Switch features two opposing enemy bases split by three lanes, a ‘jungle’ comprised of 4 sections on each side of the center lane on both halves of the map, and a river running vertically through the center of the map. We’ve detailed each area down below.

Arena of Valor Switch: Learning the Battlefield

Lanes: Three of these link each base and are split into Top, Middle, and Bottom. Expect damage dealers and support to take bottom lane, another damage dealer on middle, and a tank on the top lane. You’ll fight waves of mobs and other players on these lanes to gain Gold and EXP to power up your hero in each match. Each lane has two towers protecting the base of each team. Destroying these will allow you to push into the opposing team’s base. You’re free to leave these lanes at any moment, but learning when to stay as a team and when to divide will play a major part in a winning strategy.

Jungle: Select heroes make light work of the monsters found in the jungle camps and are therefore more suited to farming EXP and Gold in these areas. You’ll typically only want one jungler on each team, but it will be up to this person to “gank” vulnerable lanes to help take down opponents in a surprise attack. The larger Golems found in each jungle camp award buffs that can boost a single hero’s capabilities for a few minutes.

River: An extension of the jungle in most regards, the river acts as not only a shortcut for quickly traversing the battlefield but as the home of the toughest monsters in the game. The Abyssal Dragon awards bonus Gold to the team who delivers the final blow to the creature, while the Dark Slayer awards a powerful buff. Other monsters can award temporary vision or powerful regen effects. Each of these monsters respawn over time and killing them can make a big difference to an attentive team.

The accelerated nature of Arena of Valor Switch matches means the teams will quickly come together to fight in a central location (usually the middle lane). Paying attention to the mini-map and team pings will ensure you’re helping out your team whenever possible, but learning when to take advantage of a larger distraction to “push” a lane free of opposition is a good skill to work on. Knowing how to read the battlefield is what separates the pros from the novices.

Arena of Valor Switch: Hero List

Arena of Valor Switch

Most, if not all, heroes are free to play at the moment, but this will change over time. If Arena of Valor Switch sticks to the same rules as the mobile version, expect a rotation of free heroes each week. You can permanently unlock any hero with either Gold acquired through play or Vouchers bought through in-app purchases. The cost of each hero typically depends on the date they were added, with most new heroes costing around 18,888 Gold.

Arena of Valor Switch contains around 39 heroes at the time of launch, with dozens more ready to make the jump from the mobile version over time. Many of these heroes can fit many roles depending on the items and arcana used in each round. For the sake of simplicity, we’ve created this Arena of Valor Switch hero list with a hero’s more popular role in mind. You won’t see the same hero in two different role categories, but remember that many (like Ormarr and Mganga) can organically fill two roles in the right situation.

  • Tank
    • Mina
    • Taara
    • Skud
    • Toro
    • Omega
    • Maloch
    • Gildur
    • Thane
    • Arthur
    • Grakk
    • Cresht
  • Warrior
    • Zanis
    • Lu Bu
    • Wukong
    • Kriknak
    • Zephys
    • Ormarr
  • Mage
    • Natalya
    • Raz
    • Mganga
    • Veera
    • Jinnar
    • Preyta
    • Diaochan
    • Ilumia
    • Krixi
    • Kahlii
    • Azzen’Ka
    • Ignis
  • Marksman
    • Valhein
    • Slimz
    • Fennik
    • Yorn
    • Violet
  • Support
    • Peura
    • Alice
    • Chaugnar

Arena of Valor Switch: Hero Tier List

Arena of Valor Switch

Popular Arena of Valor fansites have pieced together hero tier lists with each major patch, but the release of Arena of Valor Switch has caused a divide in their usefulness. Arena of Valor Switch includes far less heroes than the mobile version and also appears to be running several balance patches behind to match. This means long outdated Arena of Valor tier lists are relevant for Arena of Valor Switch only – though many of these have been heavily revised rather than archived.

The below Arena of Valor Switch hero tier list is based upon the Patch 1.19.1.1 Arena of Valor hero tier list built by MobileGamerHub and should be used as a simple guideline only and not in any official manner. This Arena of Valor Switch hero tier list awards heroes with S, A, B, C, and D ranks with S being the best, and D being the worst.

Arena of Valor Switch: S-Tier Heroes

  • Violet

Arena of Valor Switch: A-Tier Heroes

  • Alice
  • Chaugnar
  • Fennik
  • Lu Bu
  • Maloch
  • Raz
  • Zephys
  • Ormarr
  • Slimz

Arena of Valor Switch: B-Tier Heroes

  • Arthur
  • Gildur
  • Jinnar
  • Ilumia
  • Skud
  • Wukong
  • Yorn
  • Chresht
  • Mina
  • Ignis
  • Thane
  • Taara
  • Preyta

Arena of Valor Switch: C-Tier Heroes

  • Azzen’Ka
  • Diaochan
  • Grakk
  • Krixi
  • Omega
  • Valhein
  • Kriknak
  • Butterfly
  • Natalya
  • Puera

Arena of Valor Switch: D-Tier Heroes

  • Toro
  • Zanis
  • Veera
  • Mganga
  • Kahlii