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Smite arrives on the Nintendo Switch on 24th January 2019, and not only will it allow you to play Hi-Rez Studio's hugely popular third-person MOBA on the go, you'll also get to play cross-platform with friends on PC and Xbox One as well.
For those of you who are either new to the game, or new to MOBAs in general, we've worked with Hi-Rez to create a guide explaining how Smite works.
It's pretty detailed, so if you're just after some specific information, use the links below to jump to the bit you need help with.
If you're interested in a particular area of our coverage, use the following links to dive straight in. Come back to the top if you want to quickly navigate to another area of interest.
Smite is a MOBA game, and you may already be familiar with other games in the genre such as League of Legends or Dota 2.
Crucially though, Smite is played from a third-person perspective which gives it a much stronger action feel.
There are many different game modes with subtle twists which we'll explain later on in this guide, but here's a basic overview of what to expect from Smite's core gameplay.
- Each team starts at their base at one end of the map. Within each base is a powerful Titan which the other team needs to destroy in order to claim victory.
- Both teams also have a series of defensive units that protect the lanes leading to each Titan. Towers fire on enemy minions and players that attack it, while Phoenixes spawn powerful flame allies that assist the team that destroyed it.
- Additionally, neutral minion waves will spawn periodically and march along their designated lane. They fight automatically against enemy minions, as well as other defenses when they encounter them.
- Your job as a team is to eke out offensive and defensive advantages by working with each other, and ultimately snowballing the kind of threat that's capable of taking down the enemy Titan with an overwhelming show of force.
- By destroying enemy minions and players during gameplay, you'll gain experience and currency which will make you more powerful, and allow you to purchase useful items back at base.
There are lots of different game modes in Smite, but regardless of the game mode you pick you'll assume the role of your chosen God in every case.
There are around 100 Gods in the game at the time of publishing this article, each one of which is categorised under a faction, or Pantheon as they're known in Smite.
Artio and The Morrigan belong to the Celtic Pantheon, for example, while Anubis and Ra fight as part of the Egyptian team. There are nine of these Pantheons in total.
Gods are further separated by fighter type, and have a skill set built around their approach to combat.
- Assassin: These Gods put out a huge amount of damage and are typically built around increasing their physical strength.
- Guardian: Think of these as tank-like characters who protect the team. They pack an impressive health pool, and you'll want to enhance their health and protective defenses wherever possible.
- Hunter: These characters like to sit back on the team and do their fighting with a lot of distance between themselves and their targets. Damage and attack speed are the attributes you'll want to enhance during a match.
- Mage: Gods that rely on a large mana resource pool to keep the extraordinary arcane damage rolling. Items that increase mana and boost damage are key considerations here.
- Warrior: These Gods like to get up close and personal, and can deliver a devastating amount of physical damage in close-quarters combat.
Free God Rotation
Each week a handful of Gods are made available to all players, regardless of whether or not you own them.
The choice rotates on a weekly basis, and it's a great way of sampling new characters that you might want to purchase if you take a shine to them.
Not only are there a number of different game modes in Smite, they can all be played in slightly different ways as well.
Essentially though, it all comes down to whether you want to play modes competitively, warm up with friends against AI opponents, or go solo in your AI encounters.
Versus is the meat and potatoes of the competitive Smite experience, but the good news is that you can try out many of the modes associated with it in Practice and Co Op versions.
We'll explain how those work a little further below in this section, but first it will be helpful to explain exactly what's involved in these core modes.
Arena: Think of this as Smite's deathmatch experience, where two teams of five fight to kill as many opposing players and minions as possible. Each team starts off with 500 tickets, and you whittle down the enemy's ticket numbers by killing players and minions. The first team to lose all their tickets loses the match overall. It's a really popular, very fun mode.
Assault: Players are assigned a random God from their collection, which also includes the Gods that are currently part of the free to play rotation. The good news is that if you really can't stand the God you've been assigned, you can trade with a team member for theirs - assuming they're willing to take your selection, of course.
There are a few unique restrictions to be aware of in this game mode. First, it's a single-lane affair with no jungle camps. Second, you cannot return to your base, which means you'll only be able to buy essential items after you've died. For that reason it's vital that you plan your needs carefully before heading back into the fray.
Clash: Clash is a two-lane map featuring two Towers, two Phoenixes and one Titan per side. As usual your objective is to fight through both of those defenses and then destroy the Titan, while fighting the other team and their neutral minions. This has become a very popular mode since launch, and provides a great learning experience for working your way into some of the core competitive modes like Conquest.
Conquest: This is a high intensity competitive experience, where two teams of five fight each other on a large map. There are three lanes in total, and each one contains two Towers. Once they've been defeated you can start working on each lane's Phoenix, before taking on the Titan in order to win the game.
Joust: If you want a slightly zippier slice of Smite, Joust is a good choice. This 3 v 3 mode contains a single lane protected by a single Tower and Phoenix. There's also a special boss in this mode called the Bull Demon King. Kill this creature and your team will gain a powerful buff that gives the team a big advantage.
Before you get stuck into the more competitive side of Smite, you might want to think about warming up with your Gods in a less stressful side of the game.
The follow game modes are available in a special Practice variant, where you're supported by AI teammates while fighting against AI enemies.
There's a tutorial mode in here as well which we highly recommend you tackle before doing anything else!
You can also explore the map and work on your strategies against camp minions and enemy waves in a Practice-exclusive Jungle mode.
If you're ready to start working with other players, but you feel like you need a little more experience beating AI teams, you can enter the Co Op mode.
Here you'll be queued up with four other real players, then put in a match against an exclusively AI team in one of the following modes:
Ranked is where you head to when you're ready to show off your skills and take part in battles where a little more than pride is on the line.
There are two leagues to take place in if you want to fight through the ranks: Conquest League and Joust League.
Conquest League: A ranked version of the standard Conquest mode we've explained above. Two teams of five go head to head in the game's core mode, where you battle to destroy the other team's defenses and ultimately obliterate their Titan.
Joust League: A ranked version of the Joust mode outlined above.
There are a few things you'll need to participate in either of these Ranked modes, however, and they're put in place to ensure that everyone gets the best possible experience:
- You must own at least 16 Gods that are in Mastery Rank 1
- You need to be level 30 or higher overall
- The worst thing you can do for your team - at any point and in any game mode - is die and be on the bench for the duration of the re-spawn timer. Knowing when to tactically withdraw is a vital skill in Smite - you may think you're close to a kill and can't resist going in for it, but you may also be heading into an ambush.
- Cooperation with your teammates is vital, and so knowing your specific role on the team is essential if you want to support them in achieving their own goals as well. Much of this will come from practice with the game, but don't be afraid to take a supporting role and buddy up with someone while you learn the ropes.
- There a huge number of upgrades to work towards in the item shop, and while you're getting to grips with the bigger picture it's worth letting the game auto-pick your upgrades when you find yourself back at base. This will help you focus on mastering the core gameplay, and you can always dig deeper into the many upgrade paths once you understand the fundamentals.
- If you're on the ropes and you need to get out of a problematic situation, be as unpredictable in your movements as possible. As a third-person MOBA, there's a fair bit of aiming involved if your opponents are to land their shots, so don't just flee in a straight line. If you do, they can simply maintain the pressure until you drop.
- There are a huge number of Gods and God-types to experiment with in Smite. Play around with as many as you can until you find a role that works for you and that you enjoy. Don't put high expectations on yourself while you're learning the game, and just focus on enjoying the many playstyles on offer. When a God clicks, that's the time to focus on it a little more and start finessing your gameplay.
- Aim to reach a point where you can play one God confidently within each archetype. That way you'll always be able to fill in a blank during the team selection, and ensure you head into battle with a rounded team. Be flexible, and be forgiving if a teammate really wants to play a God you're into - if it's the one they're most confident with, your team has a far better chance of success if you let them pick it.
How to download Smite on Switch
To grab Smite, simply search for the game on the eShop via your Switch, or use the following links: