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.

Wild Rift vs Mobile Legends

Contestants

Both games have the standard 5on5 break 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 Mobile Legends vs Wild Rift stack up?

Mobile Legends

For starters, Mobile Legends is supposedly the early pioneer of mobile MOBA genres. Released back in 2016, the game 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.

Mobile Legends loading screen

Wild Rift

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.

The Wild Rift gameplay

Mobile Legends vs Wild Rift

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:

Gameplay

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, where it’s often about winning the solo fights than actual teamwork. This is great in cases where players who enjoy playing the game independently can showcase their skills. Whereas in Wild Rift, the game 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. 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.

Youtuber AssasinDave has done a series of videos comparing both titles in-depth. Make sure you check them out:

Esports potential

We already gave good points on how the Esports-side of Mobile Legends is already a mobile gaming phenomenon. However, factors like how SEA is a hotspot for mobile gaming or the portability of mobile game apps apply to Wild Rift too. Wild Rift is still a relatively new release with only a fraction of LoL’s current champions list. Hence, it might take a while before Wild Rift could become a major esports title rivaling its direct counterpart, Mobile Legends.

Nevertheless, rest assured that Riot Games is going to win in this category in the long run, especially considering the sheer size of the ecocystem created by games like League of Legends PC and Valorant, with dedicated gaming offices in 9 regions overseeing the esports scene.

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.

Player count

As of September 2021, Mobile Legends is still the undisputed most popular MOBA with a monthly average of 80 million players. Compared to Wild Rift, with only 5 million players monthly, it’s a cause for concern. Nonetheless, we are going out on a limb here to say that Wild Rift has a promising likelihood to eventually gain the entire LoL fanbase, currently worth 100 million players monthly. At such a grand scale, we might even see former Mobile Legends players hopping onto the Wild Rift bandwagon.

Thus, to once again answer the pondering question on Wild Rift vs Mobile Legends. We believe Wild Rift is the better and newer alternative to Mobile Legends. It’s derived from its predecessor game, which already has better balancing updates. On a different note, if you are looking into starting a pro career in an early esports title, Wild Rift has opportunities for you if you invest the time to get good at it.

After all, it’s only a matter of time before Tencent drops a million-dollar prize pool for their brainchild like they did for the Worlds Championship and Honor of Kings esports.

Marcus Wong

[Staff Writer] Kicking off his writing career way back in college, Marcus wrote about Esports while pursuing a degree in Software Engineering. He covers various Esports titles such as Dota 2, but not limited to CS:GO, League of Legends, and PUBG. While Marcus doesn’t play Dota 2 professionally, he can often be found playing ranked pubs in the 5,000 MMR skill bracket of SE Asia server. Available on Facebook as Marcus Wong

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