Awesomenauts is a game often classified as a MOBA or Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. It is very different from Dota 2 and League of Legends, although it has some similar principles. Awesomenauts is a 3 vs. 3 game where most players go with the Quick Match mode.
The thing that separates Awesomenauts from other MOBAs is its quickness. Although an average match lasts approximately 20 minutes, you start the game almost instantly. This isn’t the case with most Dota 2 and League of Legends mods, where strategizing and picking the right champions/heroes is an integral part of the process.
Each Awesomenaut has four buttons you can press. One is an auto-attack, one is a jump, and you get two abilities. As with other games, abilities go on a cooldown once you use them. You can upgrade them with the game’s currency, solar, adding various effects. The max level is 12.
In this Awesomenauts Game Overview, I will talk about Awesomenauts and their skills, game modes, strategies, and other peculiarities of the MOBA.
Key Info Up Front
Awesomenauts is a 2D fast-paced MOBA where you control one of the 34 characters known as Awesomenauts. Each one of them has 4 abilities in total, including a basic attack, a jump, and two powerful spells that go on cooldown after use.
The point of the game is to destroy enemy turrets and take out the main structure, Solar Drill. You gain levels as you kill opponents and their periodically-spawned allies called droids. Each Awesomenaut can upgrade their abilities, becoming stronger as the game progresses.
Awesomenauts was initially published in 2012 on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. The initial release was unpolished and lacked a lot of content we have today. The game was developed by Ronimo Games, with Ronimo Games and DTP Entertainment serving as the main publishers.
The game developers released two expansions Starstorm (2013) and Overdrive (2016). Besides new characters, the expansions also introduced various UI and matchmaking improvements.
In April 2017, Ronimo Games decided to turn Awesomenauts into a free-to-play title. Like League of Legends, you would unlock new characters and customization options with currency gained by playing. Alternatively, you could purchase the currency for real money.
Although Awesomenauts never reached the glory of Dota 2, League of Legends, or even Heroes of the Storm, it created a small niche for itself. Most game review companies gave it an average score of between 7.5 and 8. Many critics praised Awesomenauts for its accessibility and lightheartedness while portraying it as a title that could get you introduced to MOBA games without too much hassle.
1. Quick Match
Quick Match is the popular mode for Awesomenauts. Like with other MOBAs, the game matches you with people of a similar skill level and you play 3 vs. 3 matches. An important thing to note is that you cannot look for a match while at a party with your friends.
The most interesting thing about the Quick mode is that it instantly places you in a match with other players without having to wait for long. You will join other people’s games or, if everything is full, you will automatically create a match so that the other people can join it.
Another interesting thing about Quick Match is that the game starts with bots. As other people join, they will take their place. Every map is selected randomly, and the scores are considered for your MMR (matchmaking rating).
Battle mode is very similar to Quick Match, with a few exceptions. In this mode, you can group up with a friend via Steam, LAN, or the same computer and then search for a match together.
Like with Quick Match, new players who queue for a game will be automatically sent to your match, taking the place of bots. It is worth noting that you can prevent this by simply creating a private lobby. That way, you and your friend can enjoy the game without being hassled by anyone.
Unlike Quick Match, Battle mode doesn’t affect the leaderboard.
3. Bot Match
Like some other MOBAs, Awesomenauts has a Bot Match. This is the best mode if you wish to learn new Aweomenauts, game functions, or simply to get better at a game without anyone shouting at you.
By default, Bot Match only consists of bots. The only other people who can join are the players who you invite directly. People who join the game cannot leave, and you can pause the action at any time. Furthermore, you can adjust the difficulty setting going from 0 to 6, so you can test yourself against stronger foes.
Bot Matches have no impact on the leaderboard, and, unlike Quick Match, you can choose to go with random maps or select a specific map from the map pool.
4. Split Screen
As the name implies, this mode allows you to play with friends on the same machine. This mode is tailor-made for consoles when you’re hanging around with friends. You can choose between Private Match and Battle. It is worth noting that Split Screen mode tends to be laggy compared to the regular games.
If you go with a Custom Match, you can choose between the standard game, Instagib, Team Deathmatch, and Randomnauts. Here is what each submode entails:
- The standard game follows the same rules as Quick Match and Battle.
- You win a Deathmatch by scoring a certain number of kills against the opponents. There is no Solar Drill, and instead, the map is limited by walls. The Deathmatch has more Health and Solar pickups.
- As the name suggests, in Instagib mode, a player dies as soon as he or she takes damage.
- Randomnauts gives all players random Awesomenauts. You get abilities and upgrades randomly, and whenever you die, you respawn as a different character.
Besides introducing all these interesting modes, Custom Matches are especially hectic because you can modify the basic game rules. For example, you can put more pickups in the games, increase droid respawn rate, spawn Solar Boss, and other crazy stuff.
If you have experience with MOBAs, you will have no trouble picking up Awesomenauts. The game is very forgiving compared to other titles, and it doesn’t have the same toxic community as League of Legends or Dota. The games are rather fast, and everything has an arcade feel.
Unlike Dota 2 or League of Legends, Awesomenauts has multiple maps. This makes the game fresh and increases replayability. Here are all the maps in the game and their main features:
1. Ribbit IV
When you start playing Awesomenauts for the first time, this is the only map available. Ribbit IV features swampy terrain with lots of amphibians nearby. The thing that separates this map from the rest is the presence of the Solar Boss. This NPC monster attacks all creatures nearby by spitting bile acid. Awesomenaut who kills the Solar Boss will fully heal, and the team will receive 50 experience and 20 solars.
Ribbit IV also features three hide areas, which are ideal for ambushing opponents. Aside from the Solar Boss, you can also engage Small Beasts spread around the map. Ribbit IV is a map ideal for quick-paced action. Unlike some other maps, there isn’t much aerial space on this one. If you want to win, I suggest you focus on controlling the central area and the jump pad.
2. Starstorm Station
This is the last map released by the company. It came with Awesomenauts: Starstorm Expansion, but it is now free for all players. The map has several unique features that make the gameplay very unpredictable. First off, I have to mention 6 teleporters spread across the map. They make the games much more dynamic while allowing players to strategize and ambush opponents.
In the lower middle part, there is a section with several platforms and solar coins. It is separated from the rest of the map, but there is a teleporter that allows you to escape. Awesomenauts who fall down these platforms into a bottomless pit are instantly killed.
Lastly, the map also features an exposed turret that you can attack from the get-go. If you manage to destroy it, you get instant access to the enemy’s Solar Drill. Due to the map’s layout, it is much better for flying characters.
3. AI Station 205
AI Station 205 is a pretty straightforward map with a few interesting features. However, unlike most other maps, this one doesn’t have any hide areas. The bottom lane is much better for pushers, while the top is reserved for minor skirmishes and serves as an alternate passage.
The thing that is specific for AI Station 205 is the inferno device in the middle of the map. It incinerates all Awesomenauts in the area, in regular cycles. This makes it harder to move from the bottom to the top lane. Although you can easily tell when the inferno device is about to activate, an enemy might slow you down at the last moment preventing escape.
Lastly, the map also has a droid releaser for each team that spawns additional creeps.
Sorona is one of the most open maps with numerous bumpers and platforms. Although it gives the advantage to flying characters, it is particularly nice for assassins and fighters as it allows them to easily track down their targets. It is also worth mentioning that Sorona has a massive hide area that you can use to your advantage.
The main feature of the map is the Worm. You can spawn it by pressing a large button in the middle of the map. The Worm appears just below the button, allowing you to surprising passing Awesomenauts or droids. The monster instantly kills any unit caught within its radius.
Aiguillon is tailor-made for characters with high damage output. It features several hide areas, including one large section in the top, as well as hide areas in front of the bottom lane outer turrets. However, the thing that makes this map so explosive is the Stealth Orb pickup.
This is a unique pickup that only appears on the Aiguillon map. It grants Awesomenaut 20-second invisibility making it a perfect tool for ganking.
Because of this, it is much better for squishy characters to move with a group. Interestingly enough, there is a statue within the Stealth Orb chamber that will open its eyes if there’s someone in the room, even if the character is concealed. This can be a good tell if there’s an invisible opponent nearby.
6. AI Station 404
AI Station 404 was AI Station 205’s predecessor. Although no longer available in the competitive mode, you can still play it during practice and custom games.
Like AI Station 205, AI Station 404 has an interesting feature in the center called the anti-gravity field. As the name implies, it reduces the impact of gravity, allowing the players to jump higher. However, it can also affect certain projectile weapons.
At first, the map has just one bottom lane available to the players. This makes the early game much better for teams with balanced composition, especially those that have tanks and support who can slowly push lane turret. To balance things out, the AI Station 404 features a drop releaser similar to AI Station 205.
Game Phases and Dynamic
Awesomenauts is not your usual MOBA where you have to sit in a lane during the game’s early stages. Instead, you can roam around the map killing neutral creeps and acquiring solar. In fact, spending solar for new abilities is often much better than gaining experience, as it makes your character much more powerful than the traditional leveling-up system.
Another thing that is characteristic of Awesomenauts is that your early game, mid-game, and late game can vary significantly based on the map that you’re playing. Smaller maps often force you to group up as a team and push turrets (such as AI Station 205), as there isn’t much you can do otherwise.
However, going for the turrets from the get-go is often tricky. You can easily get sniped, and it might be hard to recuperate your health. As a result, you will likely be forced to go back to base to heal up, which will cost you valuable time on the map.
Depending on how your team scales, you might want to consider being more or less aggressive in the early game.
Team Composition and Roles
Unlike Dota 2 and League of Legends, where you can simply pick the most overpowered meta heroes/champions and win games, Awesomenauts forces you to choose characters according to maps. Certain characters are a very poor choice on certain maps and can put you at a major disadvantage.
Even the team composition will vary based on the map you’re playing. If we were to generalize, here are the best team compositions you can try:
- Tank, support, DPS character
- Tank, initiator, DPS character
- Brawler, initiator, DPS character
No matter what you’re playing, you should have a character with high DPS that can scale well into the late game (role of a carry). Condensed maps where you have to focus on objectives give an advantage to the tank, support, and DPS lineup.
You should always have a character that can quickly push waves. Also, getting 3 melee Awesomenauts is usually a bad idea as opponents can easily kite you. If you’re not sure what kind of composition to get, it would be much better to get an Awesomenaut that can perform several roles, functioning as a glue guy.
Droids, Creeps, and Structures
Like in any other MOBA, the goal of the game is to demolish enemy defenses and get to their main structure. In the case of Awesomenauts, your main task is to destroy the enemies’ Solar Drill. Each map features 3 to 4 turrets, which serve as main defensive structures. By destroying certain turrets, you can gain access to new areas of the map and, in particular, the enemy base.
There are three types of droids in Awesomenauts:
- Sawblade droids
- Hummingbird droids
- Super droids.
Sawblade droids are computer-generated creeps that spawn every 20 seconds (15 seconds on AI Station 404 map). They are available on every map, and each droid wave features four of these creeps (two on the AI Station 404 map). They help push lanes and become stronger as your team gains levels.
Hummingbird droids are only available on AI Station 404 map, and you can release them by pressing the droid releaser button. Unlike the regular sawblade droids, these ones do not drop solar upon death and are noticeably weaker.
Lastly, we have super droids. These are powerful NPC units that carry massive rocket launchers and deal AOE damage. They have more damage and health compared to their counterpart but don’t get stronger with the team’s levels.
Creeps are neutral monsters that spawn on all maps. They are much weaker than droids but still provide a nice experience, solar, and health packs. If you can find these units on the maps, you should kill them as soon as possible. The list of creeps includes:
- Small Beasts (spawn on Ribbit IV)
- Small Words (spawn on Sorona)
- Service-bots (spawn on AI Station 205 and AI Station 404)
- Solar crabs (spawn on Aiguillon)
- Starstorm robots (spawn on Startorm Station)
Besides these minor creeps, there is also the Solar Boss on Ribbit IV. It is a strong monster that has a very similar function to Dota 2’s Roshan or League of Legends’ Baron.
Like with all MOBAs, all Awesomenauts are divided based on their role. To have a better chance of winning, you should assemble a nicely balanced team that has a bit of everything. Then again, as it usually goes with these games, most people try to avoid support role while continuously picking assassins and other high DPS characters.
There are currently 34 Awesomenauts in the game and we classify them as fighters, tanks, supports, assassins, and harassers.
Fighters are the most generic class in the game. They provide a bit everything making them a great choice for beginners. Fighters use a steady stream of DPS to pressure enemy lines and turrets. These characters are much better at a short or melee range and are great in one-on-one situations.
Although they don’t have the same defense as the tanks, they are relatively hard to take down compared to other classes. Another thing that helps them out is the defensive mechanisms. Fighters can run away from the battle by using a movement boost or by simply disabling pursuing opponents.
Here are all the fighters in the game: Chucho Krokk, Ted McPain, Jimmy and the Lux5000, Rocco, Ayla, Admiral Swiggins, Sheriff Lonestar, and Skolldir.
Tanks are another common class in RPGs and MOBAs. Their main task is to hold the line and absorb as much damage as possible while their backline allies dish damage. Tanks are especially potent when coupled with savvy supports who can exponentially increase their life expectancy. I recommend that you stay away from them, when possible.
Unlike most other games, tanks in Awesomenauts can deal significant damage. The main drawback of playing this class is that they can’t move that fast.
Tanks are rather sluggish, which is why you need to have good positioning. Tanks often struggle to pursue faster enemies. As a result, players often take upgrades and abilities that would allow them to stun, slow, or disable opponents.
Here are all the tanks in the game: Sentry X-58, Scoop, Derpl Zork, and Clunk.
Support is the class everyone wants to have on their team, but no one wants to play. These characters focus on helping their teammates, not necessarily dealing or absorbing damage. Each of their abilities is meant to assist an ally in one way or another. Among others, they have a wide variety of heals, shields, slows, and buffs that could turn the tide of battle at any moment.
The thing that separates Awesomenauts supports from supports in other MOBAs is that these ones scale much better.
In most other games, supports are good in the early game and fall off sharply as the game progresses. This isn’t the case with Awesomenauts, where supports are perhaps the best class in the late game. I will go as far as to say that support might be the most impactful role in the game.
Here are all the supports in the game: Ix the Interloper, Genji, Deadlift, Professor Yoolip, Yuri, and Voltar.
Assassins are the game’s glass cannons. Although they have a very low health pool, they compensate with enormous damage. They are especially great for engaging opponents one-on-one, a situation in which they have a decisive advantage due to high mobility.
Assassins can pinpoint vulnerable targets on the opponent’s team, isolate them and kill them off. The class is especially great for players with quick reflexes as numerous escape mechanisms allow them to get into the fight, but also escape a threat. Unlike the other characters, assassins don’t necessarily excel in teamfight situations.
Here are all the assassins in the game: Vinnie & Spike, Froggy G, Nibbs, Ksenia, Leon Chameleon, and Penny Fox.
Harassers are a great choice for all the players who don’t like direct engagement. This class has the highest range in the game and can slowly whittle down enemies without endangering themselves in the process.
Although the class has a long-range, it works the best in teamfights. Their task is to reduce the enemy team’s health just before the engagement so that the supports don’t have enough time to heal their allies. The characters from this class have low health, but also several tools meant to keep them at a distance. However, if a fighter or assassin comes close, they can easily be killed off.
Here are all the harassers in the game: Coco Nebulon, Max Focus, Skree, Gnaw, and Raelynn.
Experience System and Upgrades
Another thing that sets Awesomenauts apart from other MOBAs is its item and experience systems. It is worth noting that the game doesn’t have items, although it has a shop where you buy ability-enhancing upgrades.
In this game, you share the experience with other teammates, and everyone levels up at the same time, including droids. Like in similar games, you gain experience from just about any kill on the map. This includes killing enemy Awesomenauts, droids, creeps, and turrets.
When a unit dies, your team gets a set amount of experience. You won’t get double experience even if there are two characters nearby. So, it makes sense to spread around the map and collect as much solar and experience as possible, even if your initial inclination might be to stay in the lane.
With every new level, Awesomenauts gain 4% more health, 3% more damage, and health regeneration. To compensate for health gain, Health Packs also become stronger by 4%. Droids get slightly less damage and health per level, at 3.5%. You can progress up to 20 levels.
It is also worth noting that killing enemy Awesomenauts will yield less or more experience based on their level. This makes it easier to catch up.
Every Awesomenaut has an auto-attack and two abilities. You can upgrade each one of these by visiting Zork’s Mega Shop and spending solar coins. There are a total of 24 unique upgrades for each character (6 upgrades for auto-attack, 6 upgrades for each of the abilities, and 6 utility upgrades). All these upgrades are split into 4 rows by 6.
You can only get 3 upgrades per row. So, you have to choose between different enhancements to your auto-attacks, which allow players to tinker with various builds. Like in other MOBAs, you should prioritize upgrades according to the map situation, and enemy team composition.
Aside from certain generic effects, such as reduced cooldown and increased damage, some of these upgrades can add status effects to your attacks.
Tips for Getting Better at Awesomenauts
Although Awesomenauts is much simpler compared to other MOBAs, and it’s easier to learn the basics, there is still a certain level of strategizing in the game. The game doesn’t require the same level of skill. Instead, it is much more important to make the right decisions.
- Try to maximize the map resources. As soon as you kill droids in the lane, move to the neutral creeps for some extra profit while waiting for the next droid wave to spawn.
- Don’t be overzealous when pushing. Turrets always target the first unit closest to them, so make sure to stand behind your lane droids. As soon as they’re destroyed, go back.
- Play the game according to your Awesomenaut and your role. Even if it seems there are no enemies in the lane, you shouldn’t be overly aggressive with a low-health character. This is especially important during teamfights where you should have enough discipline to stay in the back or go in front.
- Jump all the time. This makes it much harder for enemies to damage you.
- When checking hide areas, move to them really quickly and jump in the air as soon as you gain vision. This can help you avoid a potential sneak attack.
- Bodyblocking is a cool feature in Awesomenauts. If your team is pursuing a fast enemy, and you happen to be in front of them, bodyblock them so that the allies can catch up. Keep in mind that this move takes some time to master.
- As you gain some levels, you should start tanking for the droids. That way, your next wave can catch up, and you can have a much stronger push to the next turret.
- Make sure to maximize super droids’ potential. These units are incredibly strong, and you should move as a team with them.
- If one or more enemy Awesomenauts are dead and the rest of them are guarding a turret, send one of the faster allies to another lane to solo push.
- Spamming abilities to kill droids and damage turrets is a valid strategy, especially when there are no opponents around.
- If you’re stuck in a one-on-one duel and you’re at a disadvantage, just start running toward your base. There is no point in trying to damage the pursuer if you’re not able to kill him. You will only lose precious time, potentially resulting in your death.
- You can take damage for allies if they’re low on health. Jump in front of an incoming rocket as it’s getting ready to finish a friendly Awesomenaut.
- Don’t repeat the same moves over and over again, especially if they’re not working.
Question: Is Awesomenauts still being updated?
Answer: Since September 2019, the company behind Awesomenauts, Ronimo Games, is no longer updating the title. However, all the content is available to players, and the game has a very healthy player base.
Question: Is Awesomenauts free?
Answer: Awesomenauts is a game that was released in 2012. Until 2017, it was a paid game that you could play on Steam and other platforms. In May 2017, Ronimo Games decided to make it a free-to-play title, adding an in-game currency that would allow you to unlock Awesomenauts and other content.
Question: How many characters are there in Awesomenauts?
Answer: There are a total of 34 characters in the game. They are called Awesomenauts, and we can classify them as fighters, supports, tanks, assassins, and harassers.
Question: Is Awesomenauts on mobile?
Answer: Awesomenauts is not available on mobile devices.
Awesomenauts Game Overview: Conclusion
Awesomenauts is an incredibly innovative 2D MOBA with lots of intriguing mechanisms. Unlike the competition, players can easily learn its basics. Unfortunately, in 2019, Ronimo Games stopped creating new content for Awesomenauts, although the game is still available on Steam and is free to play.
I really love this game. It is a breath of fresh air in a sea of MOBAs that are trying to be as complex as possible, often neglecting the fun aspect of it all. Although there is some strategizing in Awesomenauts, the game is not nearly as complex as Dota or League of Legends. The games are fast, and you won’t lose a whole day in a queue.