Beginner’s guide to Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB)

The guide you need to get started with Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

Image via MOONTON

This article is written in partnership with MOONTON.

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If you’re looking to hop into a new competitive game on your Android or iOS device, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) is one of the best titles out there. 

The game is a multiplayer online battle arena, commonly shortened to MOBA. Two teams of five players go against each other in real-time to try to achieve victory. 

It’s easy to get into and with its huge player base, matchmaking lasts about 10 seconds, allowing players to quickly jump into a game. Battles last about 10 minutes, though, and they can last longer if you’re in a more intense game.

Once you’re ready to jump in, here’s a beginner’s guide to MLBB

How to win

Taking down the opposing base is the main goal to achieve victory. You’ll need teamwork and strategy to accomplish this. To better understand this, you need to get familiar with the map in MLBB

Screengrab via MOONTON

There are three lanes in the game. The gold lane (top), EXP lane (bottom), and the mid lane. Between each lane is the jungle. If you’re getting confused, these terms will be explained a bit later.

Depending on what side of the map (blue or red) you start on, the lanes will be in a different position. A good way of knowing this is by locating the turtle on the map. If the turtle is at the bottom, then you are on the blue side. If the turtle is at the top, then you’re on the red side and the lanes are rotated.

To win, you need to take down a total of nine turrets that stand in your way, three in each lane. These serve as important defensive positions for both you and your opponents. You can’t attack the enemy base directly without taking down all the opposing turrets in at least one lane first.

Lanes

Before you jump into a game to destroy turrets, it’s important to understand the lanes. There are three lanes: gold, mid, and EXP. 

You can’t directly attack an enemy turret alone. These turrets shoot at champions and deal a ton of damage. To attack them without taking damage, you need the help of your team’s minions. 

Minions spawn at the teams’ bases and travel down along each lane. You need to take down the enemy minions to let your minions take the damage from the turret while you attack it. 

Screengrab via MOONTON

If you destroy all three turrets in a lane, your base will start spawning super minions, which are much stronger and deal more damage. 

Be careful while attacking turrets, though. You don’t want to get caught by an enemy hero and get killed. It’s important to make sure that the enemy hero in your lane is dead or in another area of the map (use the mini-map) before engaging on a turret. 

Remember, getting kills isn’t the main goal of the game. While it grants you experience and gold to make your hero stronger, the main focus is always destroying the enemy base. 

Jungle

The jungle is the space between the lanes. It can be divided into four parts: two between the enemy’s lanes and two between your team’s lanes. The jungle has different creeps and monsters that offer buffs, experience, and gold. While there are many intricacies of the jungle in MLBB, they can be roughly divided into the following.

  • Blue buffs: Killing the serpent in the jungle will give you the blue buff (also called the purple buff). This buff grants the hero a cooldown reduction and reduces the cost of mana and energy. 
  • Red buff: Killing the Fiend in the jungle will give the hero a red buff (also called orange buff). This will deal more attack damage and slow down enemies when they’re attacked. 
  • Other creeps: The other creeps in the jungle will give you gold and experience. These will allow you to scale up your hero and help out in the lanes. Thus, killing them is also important. 
Screengrab via MOONTON
  • Turtle: The Turtle spawns at the two-minute mark on one side of the river. It has high health, so it’s better to take it down with your team. It gives the entire team gold and EXP. The turtle is the first objective teams will fight over on the map. Thus, early teamfights are likely to happen around it. 
Image via MOONTON
  • Lord: The most important monster in MLBB is the Lord. It spawns on the opposite side of the river to the Turtle. It joins the team that defeats it to storm down the lane and destroy enemy turrets. 
Screengrab via MOONTON

Roles

Once you’ve gotten a feel for the map, you need to learn about the roles in MLBB before hopping into a game.

There are over 110 heroes in MLBB, each of which have different abilities. Usually, each hero comes with three abilities and a passive. The last of three abilities is the ultimate, an extremely powerful ability that’s unlocked later in the game and has a longer cooldown. 

Image via MOONTON

For a game like MLBB, teamwork is vital to winning. Thus, each hero has different roles depending on whether they have to jungle or play in a lane. The heroes are split into six categories or roles. These are:

Tank

  • Heroes in this category are bulky and have higher health but deal lower damage. Their main goal is to lead the charge into the enemies since their high health enables them to last longer in teamfights. Their abilities also usually offer some crowd control. This could be a pushback, stun, or slow. 
  • Position: Tanks are usually played in the EXP lane.

Assassin

  • An assassin is the opposite of a tank. They have low health but deal high damage. It’s one of the tougher roles to master since positioning is extremely important. 
  • Position: Assassins are good in the jungle. 

Fighter

  • Fighters are sort of in the middle of an assassin and a tank. While they don’t have high damage or health, these heroes excel in the late game after scaling up. In the late game, they can take up the role of a tank or even an assassin. 
  • Position: They’re best used in the EXP lane. 

Marksman

  • Marksmen are like assassins, but they deal damage from a distance. They’re more dependent on their basic attacks and can take down enemies from afar. 
  • Position: They’re used in the gold lane. 

Mage

  • Unlike the marksmen, mages don’t deal high damage with their basic attacks. Instead, they focus on their abilities. Their abilities are different and add variety to teamfights. 
  • Position: Mages are usually used in the mid lane. 

Support

  • Similar to the tank, the role of the support is to aid and take damage for the team. Their abilities usually consist of something that can help the team, which may even be a heal. While they don’t take many kills, the crucial support that they offer can turn teamfights and matches around. 
  • Position: They’re used for supporting the marksman or the mage in the gold or mid lane. 

Beginner-friendly heroes

It’s best to master a single role while becoming familiar with another one in case someone else in your match selects it. Here are some easy champions for each role to get you started. 

  • Tanks: Tigreal and Grock
  • Assassin: Hanzo and Karina
  • Fighter: Roger and Zilong
  • Marksmen: Miya and Layla
  • Mage: Eudora and Nana
  • Support: Estes and Angela

Terminology

There are a lot of terms in MLBB. You’ll become more familiar with them later on after getting a bit of experience. Initially, here are a few terms to know before hopping into a game. 

  • AFK: It stands for away from the keyboard. Originally stemming from PC games, it’s now used to denote that a player is offline. 
  • Rotation: A rotation means to move from one position of a map to another. 
  • Stunned: When a hero is stunned, they’re immobilized and can’t attack or use their skills. 
  • Airborne: Similar to stun, the hero is thrown into the air and can’t attack or run away. 
  • Silenced: When a hero is silenced, it means they can’t use their abilities. 
  • Battle spells: These are special spells that can be selected before a match. They can give heroes a shield or heal them when used. 

MLBB, just like any other MOBA, is a highly strategic game. Even the biggest stars who will compete in the M3 World Championship started where you are right now. The best way to learn is by hopping into games and gradually picking up skills along the way.