What Sets SMITE Apart from Other MOBAS?

What Sets SMITE Apart from Other MOBAS?

By  William Brett - 18th Jul 2023

Why should you pick it over League of Legends and DOTA 2?

What Sets SMITE Apart from Other MOBAS?

Whether you recently got into the MOBA sphere or are a veteran, you have most assuredly heard the name SMITE thrown around at least a few dozen times! From the crowned champion of esports that is League of Legends with its long-running awards to DOTA 2's behemoth player count, there is a lesser-known MOBA that has a lot to love and a lot that makes it unique. So, let's explore a bit as to what makes Hi-Rez Studios' SMITE special! Starting with the most obvious difference…

The Graphics and Perspective

Surely, you've seen the graphics and perspective that sets the game apart from the others. Whilst traditional MOBAs have a top-down perspective that has become synonymous with the genre, even with more niche entries like Battlerite, SMITE paves the way for an all-unique perspective that is unrivalled by pretty much every other competitor — third-person 3D.

Whenever you play pretty much every other MOBA, you can see the screen's perspective giving you a tactical view of everything that is happening. From your farm to the various enemies and even what's behind you, the top-down viewpoint is a favoured one thanks to its strategic implications. Meanwhile, SMITE's third-person 3D takes away a lot of that tactical capability in place for a more immersive and action-focused view.

Although it might sound uncomfortable — and difficult to get used to — it becomes a thing to behold. Whilst you lose the ability to look behind you comfortably, you’ll get a much better view of the character models, surrounding, and abilities; there are no words to describe the power felt when Hermes rushes past at blinding speeds! Aside from the eye candy, it also adds a difficult-to-master mechanic, of course, only exacerbated by its…

Unique Controller Scheme

Unique Controller Scheme

With a new perspective comes pretty much an entire overhaul of the genre: the third-person view means you are using your standard W A S D to walk around and clicking 1–4 to use abilities, unlike other MOBAs ask you to move and attack with the mouse. Instead, you follow the typical control scheme for every other game in third-person-perspective titles, removing the clunky (and constant) clicking! This makes SMITE feel far more accessible to those that are already used to PC games. 

Although it doesn't come without its difficulties, it works wonders to give you the opportunity to get into it without having to learn to move and attack with the mouse. This seemingly small change eventually leads to enjoyable and accessible gameplay, which means that despite some of the natural complexities of the MOBA genre, you can use this one as a great way to learn more about it.

Aim-focused Gameplay

I'll freely admit, this took me way too long to get used to, and once I did learn it, I loved it.

As a newcomer to League of Legends in the dark ages of Darius' release (oh gods, I'm old), I partook in a certain newb tradition that becomes a rite of passage for these types of games — point-and-click champions. Yes, this does mean that I delved a little bit too much into Master Yi and I may have abused Garen's spin-to-win more than I'd like to admit. After I started playing SMITE, however, I got punished for taking the easy way out, and I loved it.

Basically, everything you do in the game has to be aimed (aside from Neith's ultimate — we don't talk about Neith). This does mean that I have missed an embarrassing amount of attacks whilst playing Cupid and lost one too many kills by missing my abilities. But this anger is bittersweet because performing well in SMITE gives you a badge of honour that no other MOBA does — you have good aim. Wear it with pride!

Better Communication Options

Better Communication Options

Although I love the third-person perspective, it's hard to deny that, single-handedly, my favourite addition is the unique approach to communication— the Voice Guided System (VGS).

The first thing that anyone getting into MOBAs will struggle with is communicating with the team. Sure, your lane opponent is missing, and although they could THEORETICALLY be ganking someone in another lane, the obviously more likely case scenario is that they got lost looking at the vistas, right? And yeah, I JUST used my ultimate and my jungler is trying to gank my lane, but if I start typing that now, I'll just end up saying it once they've already arrived and missed part of the fight…

As a multiplayer experience, SMITE (and pretty much every other MOBA, realistically) is very teamwork-heavy. You need to communicate everything and anything, and sometimes, ping systems just aren't enough. Although many games have tried to expand on this, SMITE's unique VGS system means that by learning only a quick command, you can tell everyone anything.

It's simple: you can activate VGS by clicking V, after which a menu of options will appear, giving you the choice to say various different things. With over 100 commands, communication is easy in SMITE and reduces the time you need to use typing to inform the enemy, also nullifying the chances of your ping being missed (guilty as charged.)

Now, there are a lot of commands — around 160 — but a comprehensive system means that once you've learned one variant of an important command, you learned them all. Interestingly enough, in a strange twist of fate, SMITE VGS is a language I speak fluently, thanks to the repetition and simplicity of the commands. VEG VEW!

Numerous Game Modes

That being said, one of the greatest selling points are the various gaming modes — both permanent and rotational — that are available. Putting the "Arena" in Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, SMITE's Arena mode is a fantastic way to engage and fight against the foe in 5v5 continuous teamfights.

Or partake in traditional MOBA gameplay and enjoy the 5v5 map that gives it its title, Battleground of the Gods and fight with strategies and various lanes to conquer! Conquest will give you the signature experience that the genre is known for.. or play in all-random maps, or 3v3 tactical modes, or rotational ones that allow you to pick only a specific set of characters... there are a lot of possibilities to keep the game fresh.

A Pool of Almighty Deities (and Co.)

A Pool of Almighty Deities (and Co.)

And finally, it's hard to miss one of SMITE's best selling points: its mythology roots. From Greeks to Nords and even Hindu gods, you will be able to pick from an assortment of over 100 playable characters.

Now, this isn't just gods (thus the "Co." part of the title), because you'll also be able to play as various heroes from mythology! Clobber daddy with Hercules' club as you beat up Zeus, or engage in a cross-pantheon war between various myths and legends as you wreak havoc with characters' iconic abilities!

With a DLC called the Ultimate God Pack, you can unlock all of the current and future characters. This is a great way to just start your exploration of the various deities and roles you can partake in, meaning that you can even try the latest characters released without having to farm for Favor or use your precious Gems to unlock them! Because really, who wouldn't want to play The Ferryman on release?

Truthfully, SMITE is one of the best and most underrated MOBA experiences out there. With its unique take on perspective, its epic choice of characters, and various modes to choose from, SMITE is a refreshing innovation in the ever-evolving MOBA genre.

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