Wild Rift vs Mobile Legends: Which is the better mobile MOBA?
There aren’t many options for mobile games that can really keep us hooked on hours. If you’re a fan of the MOBA genre, then the Wild Rift vs Mobile Legends discussion should be up your alley. Sit tight, and start downloading these titles on your smartphone if you haven’t already. Because we bet you a penny that you be craving for either mobile gaming sensation soon.
Both games have the standard 5vs5, shatter the enemy base gameplay that MOBAs are famous for. Both games draw inspiration from the original League of Legends title for PC developed by Riot Games. The conflict went as far as Riot suing Moonton in 2017 for copyright infringement, citing similarities between Mobile Legends and League of Legends. Since then, plenty of changes have been done to Mobile Legends making it its own unique title.
Now, three years later, Riot Games released Wild Rift in direct competition with all existing mobile MOBA games. So, how do Wild Rift vs Mobile Legends stack up?
For starters, Mobile Legends is supposedly the early pioneer of mobile MOBA genres. Released back in 2016 and baring stark similarities with League of Legends, the game has even bloomed into a full-scale esport. Much to tournament organizers’ pleasant surprise, it was a game that significantly influenced Southeast Asia’s esports community. Furthermore, the lack of the need to prepare high-end gaming rigs for participants made it affordable to host frequently.
Meanwhile, the same perks can be appreciated by casual players, who can play a quick game on the go, whether it’s at a relative’s house gathering or a boring lecture in college.
Meet the Mobile Legends rival, Wild Rift. Inspired by its parent game, League of Legends, Wild Rift is very much the mobile version of LoL. It shares the same champions and skills from the original MOBA, making it an easier learning curve for LoL players. As for Mobile Legends players, hoping for a breath of fresh air in the Wild Rift experience, there have been controversial opinions on how Wild Rift differs from its elder rival, Mobile Legends.
It’s obvious where Mobile Legends drew their inspiration from, but how can the OG title compare to a game that has been evolving since its 2016 release.
Wild Rift vs Mobile Legends
To assess which game is better: Wild Rift or Mobile Legends, we first have to set some categories to compare them by. We decided to go with Gameplay, Mechanics, Esports Potential, Player Count and Monetization. Here’s how they stack up:
Contrary to the belief that both are generic MOBA titles, Mobile Legends and Wild Rift enjoyers will tell you an entirely distinctive insight. Most notably, Mobile Legends has a faster pace of game than Wild Rift.
The power scaling of Mobile Legends characters is often absurdly exponential; thus, it not only emphasizes teamwork but also leaves room for individual performances. This is great in cases where players who enjoy playing the game independently can showcase their skills. Whereas in Wild Rift, the game offers a more core MOBA experience. Many people would argue that the chief experience of playing MOBAs revolves around working as a team. This is where Wild Rift’s mechanics edge out MLBB. It tests the players’ cooperation with strangers and reward collaborative players with victories.
This subsequently led to Mobile Legends matches lasting merely ten minutes, provided one side had an overwhelming lead over the other. Whereas Wild Rift games can often take up to fifteen minutes. However, it’s not uncommon to see games in both titles lasting over 30 minutes. This is, of course, assuming the game didn’t end prematurely due to player surrenders.
Skill Tree & Gameplay Mechanics
Rumors have it that Mobile Legends was initially inspired by LoL, with notable resemblance in the map and even the Skill Tree. That said, the Skill Tree in Mobile Legends favors the seasoned players with fancier skills, which newcomers are not eligible to. That’s a plus point for early Wild Rift players who wouldn’t be missing out on the valuable commodity Skill Tree provides.
In terms of in-game skills and abilities, Wild Rift has almost double the skills used in Mobile Legends, making for a steeper learning curve for new players as well as a crowded side screen for smaller handheld devices. It may feel natural to transitioning League of Legends PC players to move onto Wild Rift, but newcomers that are entirely new to the market will find it more difficult to master Wild Rift than Mobile Legends.
Wild Rift was originally released with just over 40 champions, but has quickly upgraded the arsenal with regular updates to bring the tally upto 103. MLBB, on the other hand, has been more liberal about adding new heroes and currently has 120 characters.
The basic mechanic behind the champions/ heroes are the same. They can be broadly divided into six categories, namely Tank, Fighter, Assassin, Mage, Marksman, and Support. Most characters have three abilities and can be controlled with the joystick and on-screen buttons.
While Riot has alleged in a lawsuit that many of MLBB’s heroes are based on League of Legends, both games are fairly even in this category. However, with Wild Rift being able to quickly release new champions based on LoL, they may outnumber Mobile Legends soon.
MLBB vs Wild Rift: Comparing Esports Potential
While the rest of the categories are pretty even, in the Wild Rift vs Mobile Legends battle, esports is one category where the latter emerges as the easy winner. While Riot Games has attempted to build an esports scene for its mobile MOBA in 2021 and 2022, the game didn’t grow as planned. So much so, that Riot decided to pull the plug on Wild Rift esports in the West.
Currently Riot only organizes a Wild Rift League in Asia and has left esports in the rest of the world to community tournaments. Of course, as a result, no major organization in the West has active investments in Wild Rift.
MLBB, on the other hand, has been making records with its developed esports scene. The game has two franchised leagues in Indonesia and the Philippines and other regional leagues around the world, including Turkey, Brazil, MENA, and North America.
The game is known to break viewership records. For example, the M4 World Championship in January 2023 recorded a peak viewership of 4.2 million viewers. Things are only looking up for MLBB esports while Wild Rift seems to be declining.
Skins and in-game transactions
The feeling of exclusivity is always sought by MOBA gamers in both Wild Rift and Mobile Legends alike. However, Wild Rift skins are simply more affordable to purchase, ranging from $5 to $20 for legendary skins. Of course, this shouldn’t be a game-changer in terms of which MOBA is superior, but we do enjoy the polished aesthetics that Wild Rift skins offer. Especially since some were classics from the LoL ecosystem.
Overall, Wild Rift should take the cake easily in this category, since there hundreds of LoL PC skins just waiting to be ported onto the game, on top of newly developed skins developed exclusively for the game.
Wild Rift vs Mobile Legends: Player count
In the Wild Rift vs Mobile Legends player count battle, MLBB manages to edge out the newcomer. The game has more than 1 billion downloads worldwide and reportedly has more than 100 million monthly active users. Over the past year, Moonton has been investing significantly into new regions like MENA, NA, Turkey, and more so this figure is set to go up much higher. Additionally, the game is also coming to the lucrative Chinese market later this year.
According to estimates by ActivePlayer, Wild Rift’s monthly active users stand at about 15 million. While the game was released with much hype, it has certainly failed to live up to some of its expectations.
Thus, to once again answer the pondering question on Wild Rift vs Mobile Legends, we believe MLBB is the better game in this legendary battle. The main reason doesn’t come down to the gameplay, but the overall future of the game. Moonton has shown that it’s dedicated to the game, and the future is undoubtedly bright.
While the battle ranges on, there is a new title joining the field as Tencent will be releasing Honor of Kings globally later this year.