Smite is a MOBA, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, similar to League of Legends or Dota. Smite is a 5 vs 5 team based game where players level up their chosen characters, fight the enemy team’s minions and gods with the ultimate goal of killing their Titan.
Players can buy items, learn and upgrade abilities and acquire potent buffs from neutral enemies to help make their chosen god stronger.
What Sets Smite Apart
The single biggest difference between Smite and most other MOBAs can be seen in the screenshot above. Smite has a third person camera perspective, bringing the player’s view down into the battle instead of above it. This makes player control very important as most attacks will not lock on, or home in on the enemies. This new camera means movement is controlled through WASD, while abilities have been moved up to the number keys, 1234. It is a subtle change from other MOBAs and shouldn’t feel unnatural to veterans of other games or newcomers.
The other defining feature Smite has, are the Gods. As opposed to fantasy based heroes many games use, Smite has chosen to fill its roster with ancient mythological gods, such as Odin, Ra, and Guan Yu. Each god has a rich history about them that can be read up on and players will find that the gods are represented well, generally portrayed as one might expect them to be. You will not find a weak, easily killed Odin here, or a Ra who can’t dish out serious solar damage.
One of the biggest things to know when stepping into a MOBA is the terminology players use. Over the years MOBA players have come up with their own way of describing things. Instead of saying they are returning to base, they may simply just but B. Some of the things are pretty straightforward and should make sense, but others might stump you at first.
Smite draws its roster from ancient mythology. Gods are pulled from all over the world, with the more well known mythos having more characters in the game. Norse mythology for instance has many Gods to choose from during play. At the time of this writing, these gods include Odin,Thor, Loki, Hel, Freya, and Ymir. There are other pantheons as well, such as Hindu, Egyptian, Chinese, Greek and Mayan.
Each god is placed into a category for how they will play. These include Mage, Hunter, Assassin, Guardian, and Warrior. These are general categories and players should not feel locked into playing only that one role. Odin for instance is a Guardian that can be a very powerful melee character when built correctly. For information on the gods, and how to best use each one, head over to the dedicated Gods section.
Smite currently has 4 game modes to choose from. Conquest is your typical 5 vs 5 gameplay found in most MOBAs. To win, your team must kill the Titan of the enemy team. There is no time limit, allowing matches to go on for sometimes an hour. Arena is a 5 vs 5 game mode that is solely about player combat. Two teams will face off in a colosseum and kill each other while minion waves meet periodically in the middle of the map. Dying or losing minions will cost your team points and the first team to run out of points loses the match. Assault is Smite’s version of an ARAM (“all random all mid”) map. Every player is assigned a completely random god to play. There is only one lane with two towers and a phoenix protecting the Minotaur. Differences from other modes include a faster gold trickle, and not being able to buy items until you die and return to base. The final mode is Joust. This is a 1 vs 1 or 3 vs 3 variant that is useful for battling against friends and learning how to play gods. The goal in Joust is the same as Conquest, kill the enemies Titan. For more on the various game modes, check out our dedicated Game Modes page.
Each god comes equipped with abilities to help separate them from the crowd. For most gods, abilities will define how the god plays. Thor for instance has abilities designed to stun and damage his enemies while Loki’s are about misdirection, sneaking and large amounts of spike damage. Abilities in Smite often have modifiers to them as well. Thor’s most common ability, Mjolnir’s Attunement, gains a 30% damage increase through Physical Power. This means that if Thor currently has 100 Physical Power, his Mjolnir’s Attunement will do an additional 30 damage. These kinds of bonuses are applied to nearly every ability in the game and it is important to note what stats will make them stronger. For more information on that be sure to read over each god in detail at on the Gods page.
Smite has a unique take on items. Instead of the usual system where items would combine to form more powerful items later in the game, Smite’s items have three tiers that can be leveled up using gold. Each level of an item will increase its benefits, while the final upgrade will activate an items passive ability. All items come with at least one passive bonus attached to them. Items that can be consumed or activated are given their own category and their own slot in your inventory.
Buying and leveling up items happens only back at base. There is no way to do so on the field of battle. To make this easier, players are allowed to freely teleport back to base, but must walk back to wherever they were previously. It is also generally advisable to pick only one item and work towards getting it to level 3 before purchasing something new. Buying a large amount of weaker items typically does not pay off in Smite as it might in Dota2.
Fighting is what Smite is all about. Hardcore Player versus Player combat drives this game. Although a great deal of time is spent killing mindless creeps and monsters in the jungle, the important stuff happens when you encounter another player. The most important thing to know when going in to any fight is whether your character will be able to handle themselves. This is something new players really need to think on before committing to a battle. If you are a new player giving Ra a try, and come up against a Loki, it is highly unlikely you will live, so do your best to get away from them!
Team fights are another deal. When groups of players come together, it is best to follow someones lead. Typically this means following the lead of your teams tanking character. Battles can also be fought anywhere and at any time so it is important to keep track of your allies and enemies during the entire encounter. Is someone missing from the enemy team? Then keep an eye to the sides and back in case they are waiting behind you. Is your team winning the fight? Then make sure to follow it up by pushing up the lane, and destroying any towers you can.
Gold and experience points are vital to your character. If either of these are in short supply, you will quickly fall behind and find your character lacking the power they need to secure kills. Killing the weak creeps in lanes is how you start out the process of leveling and earning gold and depending on your character you will either continue this process by jungling or by killing the enemy team.
If you find yourself falling behind, the best way to save yourself some deaths is to avoid combat for a few minutes. Try moving into a lane with no one in it and secure some easy kills. Play it safe though! Should you push too hard, you may gain the attention of the enemy team. If you are a high enough level you can also try going into the jungle. There are some powerful buffs here and some of the jungle monsters are specifically designed to give you a exp boost if you are getting low.
Some characters in Smite have roles to fulfill in battle beyond the simple explanation that is given in their profile. There are 5 main categories of gods in Smite. Assassin, Mage, Guardian, Warrior, Hunter. This can then be broken down further. Melee Physical, Ranged Physical, Ranged Mage, Short Range Mage, Melee Tank and Mage Tank. It can all get a bit confusing, and then there are even more roles such as Melee Carry or Ranged Carry. It sounds like a lot and it is but fortunately we have that all broken down on the Gods page.
Loki for instance is a Melee Carry Assassin. Carries are characters that will often start out a little weaker, but are expected to amass large amounts of kills late in the game and “carry” the team to victory. Thor is a Physical Melee Warrior character. He dishes out consistent damage throughout the match and should constantly prove an able fighter. Hadesis a Guardian, but of the magical nature. He is also ranged, his basic attack has distance to and he has skills to get in and out of battle quickly.
Balance and Team Composition
Although it may seem like a great idea to make a team of the 5 “strongest” gods in the game, this is often not the case. A team of pure power characters would have very little endurance. Powerful characters naturally have low defense to balance themselves out, so if your powerhouse team was unable to kill the enemies in one hit, your team would fall apart. It is for this reason that building a team of balanced gods will work out far better.
A good team should have at least one guardian. This character can absorb the blows during a team fight allowing other characters to strike without worrying about being hit. 1 or 2 mages should also be present. Mages typically are very powerful but they need someone in front of them to take the hits. The last slots should be filled out with strong damage dealing warriors. A properly built team should never favor one form of power over another. If your team has 5 characters all doing magical damage or physical damage then your enemies will easily be able to defend against that. Mix it up so your enemies are forced to mix and match their defenses and never fully block one form of damage. A well rounded example team would be Hades, Zeus, Hel, Thor, Artemis
Smite is a bit more generous when it comes to earning gold and experience points then other MOBAs. Exp and Gold can be earned just for being near battle, regardless of whether you land the killing blow on someone. Thanks to this, levels should come quickly for everyone. However, simply dumping points into random skills is not the best way to level up. In the early game it is important to level up your abilities that do damage first. Movement abilities, or abilities that don’t offer any real combat advantage should not be leveled up as quickly as a something that can deal direct damage to your enemies. Your ultimate should also take precedence over all other skills. It first becomes available at level 5 and should be leveled up anytime it is available. Your ultimate attack is often the most powerful you have, so it is vital that it levels up as quickly as it can.
Last Hits, Denies and Tower Kills
First thing to get out of the way are minion denies. They do not exist in Smite. There is no way to kill your own creeps and deny the enemy team their gold and experience points like is possible in Dota 2. Last Hits still exist in Smite but play a much smaller role in money income then other MOBA’s. Since players can passively gain experience points and gold for just being near the death of an enemy minion, landing last hits is not mandatory to gaining levels and buying gear. That being said, if you land the Last Hit, meaning your attack kills the creep, your character will get slightly more gold and experience than normal.
Tower kills are just as important in Smite as they are in any other MOBA. Killing a tower will reward your entire team with a nice gold boost. It also allows you to push further up the lane without concern of dying from tower shots. It is important to eliminate towers late in the game before trying to push heavily on the enemies Minotaur. If all three lanes can be cleared of towers, then it is unlikely the enemy team will be able to hold against the large amount of creeps pouring into their base in conjunction with dealing with your teams gods.