The two dominant games of the MOBA genre have been the same since they came out: Dota 2 and League of Legends.

Although both games offer similar experiences on the surface, there are many things that make Dota 2 and LoL significantly different games.

In this guide, I’m going to break down the similarities and differences between Dota and League of Legends.

Similar Features

Both League of Legends and Dota 2 are 5 v 5 Mobile Online Battle Arena games in which you must destroy a structure within the enemy team’s base.

In order to get there, players must take down towers along the way that will protect each path to said structure.

Both games use somewhat similar character categories, such as tank, support, jungler, and damage dealer.

In both games, you must last hit creeps, or minions, to gather gold. However, not only do you lose gold when you die in Dota 2, but you can also hit your own creeps to deny the gold that would go to your adversary.

Both games offer similar gameplay mechanics, such as strategic team-based combat and tower defense.

Still, they also have their own unique features that set them apart. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the differences and similarities between these two behemoths of the gaming world.


At first, you might find both games very similar, but Dota 2 is significantly more punitive. 

Both games are point-and-click top-down games with RTS elements, but generally speaking, they play more like old-school eRPGs, but are much more frantic.

These are some of the most in-your-face differences between the games and how their gameplay:

  • Being taken down by an adversary will cause you to lose gold. 
  • There is no recall. You must buy scrolls to return to the base.
  • You can’t just hide in bushes. You must break the line of sight so characters won’t see you anymore.
  • In Dota 2, the characters’ level goes up to 30.
  • League of Legends has summoner spells and masteries, which change slightly the way you play a character. Summoner Spells count as two extra abilities that have a minutes-long cooldown timer.
  • In Dota 2, you can pay to make a carrier creature bring you items from the shop, eliminating the need to return to the shop.
  • League of Legends uses character stats to define a character’s ability to deal or withstand magic damage or physical damage. You have armor, magic armor, attack damage, and Ability power.
  • Dota 2 follows a rock-paper-scissor approach to the game, having Agility, Intelligence, and Strength heroes. Strength beats Agility, which beats Intelligence, and Intelligence beats Strength.
  • Dota 2 characters feel much more powerful, especially when fed. A considerably fed character might be able to solo an entire team with the right ult and build. There even is an item in Dota 2 that refreshes all cooldowns, including your character’s Ultimate.

Characters and Abilities

Both games have a vast selection of characters with unique abilities and attributes. 

That said, Dota 2 doesn’t force players to unlock new characters or anything like that. As soon as you start playing the game, you have access to all heroes. No need to grind or pay for them.

In League of Legends, each champion has four abilities (although one is passive), including an ultimate ability that can change the course of a game. 

In contrast, Dota 2 heroes usually have three basic abilities and one ultimate ability. That said, some characters break the rules entirely. 

For instance, Invoker can combine his three abilities to make 9 different spells, each with its own cooldown.

Some characters in League of Legends might circumvent this limitation of 3 active abilities as well. 

For instance, Twisted Fate has two passive abilities, but one of his active abilities works in three different ways, depending on the color of the card he uses.

Strategy and Tactics

Strategy and tactics are key components of both games. 

In both games, players need to work together to take down enemy structures while defending their own.

Having bad positioning and misjudging the enemy’s power can lead to drastic outcomes in both League of Legends and Dota 2.

Both games require teamwork, communication, and coordination to succeed, but they also reward individual skills and decision-making.

Aesthetic Style

In terms of graphics and sound, both games have their own unique style. League of Legends has a more cartoonish and colorful aesthetic, while Dota 2 has a much darker and grittier look. 

The different visual styles and sound effects can create a different atmosphere in each game, which can affect the overall gaming experience.

Community and Esports

Both League of Legends and Dota 2 have thriving communities and esports scenes. 

Each game has its own fan base, with players and fans discussing strategies, sharing fan art, and creating content. 

Both games have a dedicated esports scene, with professional players competing in tournaments for large prize pools. 

The community and esports scene can play a significant role in the longevity and success of a game, and both League of Legends and Dota 2 have proved to be incredibly popular in this regard.