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How to play the Map in Arena of Valor: A macro guide

The Map in Arena of Valor is the most useful yet underrated tool in the whole game. Because let’s face it, we all have died at some point because all of a sudden, the whole enemy squad jumped in our face. If you don’t want to be one of those players anymore, then keep reading. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about macro and how to read the Map.

Table of Contents

  • Map awareness
  • Minion waves
  • Jungle Tracking and Roaming
  • Map Control
  • Playing for objectives
  • Playing for the team
  • When to pick fights

Map awareness

The most basic but highly important thing to remember: Keep an eye on the Map. Fortunately, it tells you 90% of the things you need to know for free. Not only does it show you the positioning of the enemies, even more significantly it shows you who is missing.

Back off and hug your tower if you’re playing an immobile squishy hero. Sacrifice some CS, but stay safe from ambushes you could have seen coming half a minute ago. Keep in mind: If the enemy wastes his time camping you without achieving anything, it’s a win for your team.

Minion waves

Next on in our macro guide, we’ll talk about wave manipulation. This only becomes relevant once players aren’t farming their lanes as rigidly anymore, usually around midgame. Although this doesn’t have anything to do with the Arena of Valor Map, the concept is vastly macro-oriented and helps to assert global pressure.

You have probably encountered the situation where a huge minion wave crushed into your toplane turret while you were fighting on the other side of the map. Needlessly to say, that tower is gone.

To avoid this – or even force the respective situation onto your foes – you should always leave the lane with the wave pushing towards the enemy. Afterwards, you can join your team and create a highly advantageous scenario. Either the enemy team sends a member to deal with the minions, risking to get engaged on 4v5. Or they give up their tower in order to take an even teamfight.

The best way to implement this strategy is called Slow Push. Just make sure that you kill more minions than your own wave contains. Later on, it can be beneficial not to kill the siege minion since it allows your minions to stack up for an even bigger wave. Also, don’t forget to take care of the minion waves once they got cleared.

Jungle tracking and Roaming

Tracking the enemy

Aside from lanes, there obviously is a large area in between to take care of. Especially the Jungler and Support, who tend to roam constantly around the map, should have a good understanding of how to read the Map in Arena of Valor.

Map Arena of Valor
Always at your disposal: The Map

Especially as you climb, knowing the position of the enemy Jungler is probably the most important information early to midgame. Therefore you should pay attention to several things:

  • Covering: As the game starts, cover the Jungle entrances so the enemy doesn’t invade and steal your buff.
  • Invading: When playing a strong early game Hero such as Arum or Grock, consider invading. You’ll know where the enemy Jungler started or can even steal some camps to set him behind effectively. However, make sure not to get collapsed on for an early first blood.
  • Respawn Timers: Especially if you’re stealing camps as Jungler, remember the Respawn Timers. The enemy won’t know them if he didn’t see you, so you can keep stealing the creeps over and over again. Small camps respawn after 70 seconds, Buffs after 90.
  • Ganks: Since we’re paying attention to the Map now, we’ll also detect whenever enemy Heroes are ganking our laners. This allows us to invade, countergank or make plays on the other side of the Map without worries that we could get collapsed on.


There is a common misconception that the Support belongs to the Marksman. The only reason why Supports originally played around the Marksman is that the latter is very weak early and therefore needs the protection of Supports, who function without gold and also have a decent early game.

However, a Support’s job is to assist the whole team, not the Marksman exclusively. Again, in higher elos you’ll find Supports roaming nonstop whereas in most rank a Support-Marksman duo is sent to the Abyssal Dragon lane.

If you’re playing Support, just make sure that your Marksman can farm safely whenever you’re on duty across the Map. Try to roam a lot, because many people (unlike us) don’t watch the Map. Getting easy kills will give your team an advantage, even if your carry had to sacrifice a few minions.

Also, especially as the game drags on, sit in bushes next to your teammates. Since there are no wards or items that grant vision, sometimes you have to be the living ward for your team. Not only will you detect potential flanks or ambushes, but you can also easily set-up for picks if careless opponents cross your way.

Map control

Aside from Map awareness, Map control is a great way to establish dominance and pressure the enemy. When we’re talking about Map control, this doesn’t mean that you have to occupy the whole Arena of Valor Map. Instead, it’s more about zoning and denying the enemy access to certain places.

Sounds like a good thing, right? So, how do you gain Map control? As always, we have several ways to achieve priority for our team:

Playing with advantage & on par

  • Taking objectives: Towers provide a lot of safety for their team because they will deal massive damage to whoever dares to attack a Hero within turret range. Especially when behind, Heroes cannot safely walk across the lane without any towers left to protect them from fed enemies.
  • Being missing from the Map: This one only works if your enemies actually look at the Map. Sometimes it can be enough to hide in a bush for a couple of seconds just to make the enemy wonder where you’ll go next.
  • Numbers advantage: Unless massively ahead, it’s always a bad idea to take a 4v5. Therefore, whenever you manage to get a pick onto the enemy (even if they just have to recall), you gain control for a certain window of time.
  • Pressuring with skillshots: This mainly applies to very impactful skills like D’arcy’s ultimate or Grakk’s hook. Basically every form of hard CC can pose a threat onto the enemy, the longer the range the bigger the threat. Usually, you’ll get to zone the enemy from the area that you’re able to control through those abilities – whoever disrespects this zone of denial can easily end up dead. Just don’t throw out your abilities mindlessly.

Playing from behind

Keep in mind those concepts mentioned above mostly apply when even with the enemy team or ahead. When playing from behind, your focus should be to minimize deaths while defending your turrets as best as you can. Accept the fact that you might not be able to leave your base if you want to win.

You should refrain from contesting neutral objectives and mostly just stop the bleeding. Sacrifice towers that you cannot defend without dying. Try to catch up in experience and gold, but make sure that you defend the inner turrets. Once all of them are down, not only will there be no protection left, but you’ll also have to deal with 2 additional super minions in every lane.

Often times players will become impatient and try to go for greedy plays to quickly end the game. As long as you stay calm and focused, a comeback is always possible.

Playing for objectives

Tower > Kills

Everybody has witnessed the games where your team gets a massive lead, but you manage to lose the game because people are greedy for kills instead of the victory.

This game is all about destroying the enemy’s core; and even though the concept is the very first thing you get taught in the tutorial, players love to forget about it. It doesn’t matter how good you are at reading the Map in Arena of Valor, as long as you’re only using it to accumulate great KDAs (Kill-Death-Assist ratio).

Keep in mind that killing towers grant you a good amount of gold. The more turrets you take down, the more pressure you create onto the enemy.

Neutral objectives

Aside from turrets, Epic creatures are also considered objectives. Taking down those Epic monsters isn’t easy, but grants your team additional benefits and will increase your chances of winning.

The best situation to take those neutral objectives is after winning a teamfight. Since there are no enemies left to contest, you’re guaranteed to successfully kill the monster as long as you’re not too low on HP and have enough damage to take it down.

Alternatively, you can take it down secretly, however always be wary of enemy attempts to steal it away. Never try to finish an Epic monster without your Jungler nearby when you see the enemy Jungler hanging around. The Talent Punish deals very high damage to monsters and makes securing them very easy.

Similarly, even when you’re behind or lost a fight, your Jungler can try to go for a sneaky steal, especially if the enemy Jungler isn’t around.

Abyssal Dragon

Abyssal Dragon Map Arena of Valor

The Abyssal Dragon spawns for the first time after 2 minutes. As the game drags on, he will grow stronger so that it remains challenging to defeat him. Killing the creature grants the slayer a large bonus in experience and gold, the whole team is rewarded with a bounty.

The Dragon keeps respawning until 10 minutes when he’ll become the Enraged Abyssal Dragon. While it becomes more difficult to take him down, your team gains a strong buff depending on Hero class. Also, the Enraged Abyssal Dragon will only respawn every 5 minutes.

Also, after killing the Enraged Abyssal Dragon he will drop the Abyssal Stone. Whoever picks up the stone (even if it’s an enemy Hero) will be immune to lethal damage for 0.5 seconds and recover a chunk of HP.

Dark Slayer

Dark Slayer Arena of Valor Map

The Dark Slayer spawns 8 minutes into the game and remains the most powerful pushing tool on Arena of Valor’s Map. Defeating him allows the killer to summon the Drake, who will push the lane he was summoned in. Summoning the Drake will also buff all minions on the Map, meaning you’ll have global pressure.

Just like the Enraged Abyssal Dragon, the Dark Slayer will respawn every 5 minutes.

Inner turrets

While taking down turrets is never a bad thing, the inner ones remain the most important ones. By destroying the inner tower (the last one in a lane), you’ll get an additional super minion in the respective lane, that spawns each minion wave. Taking down all 3 inner turrets will cause an additional super minion to spawn in each lane, making it 2 per wave per lane.

Needless to say that it’s incredibly hard to come back when you have to deal with so many sieging minions. Therefore you should prioritize taking down the inner towers and, even more importantly, defend yours!

Playing for the team

Team Composition

A lot of your macro management should revolve around your Team Composition. Play the Map in Arena of Valor accordingly to your team’s strengths. Meanwhile, identify the enemy’s strengths and deny them to play towards those.

If the enemy has a Teamfight Composition while you are running a Splitpush Comp, then it might not be the best idea to contest the Dark Slayer even though he grants a powerful buff. Instead, even though you know for sure the enemy is doing it, let your Jungler try to steal it. In the meantime, the rest of your team can take turrets uncontested.

The alternative would be to teamtfight with a Composition really bad at this exact thing. Getting wiped out and losing Dark Slayer might even be your death sentence. Instead, just make them pay for their move!

For more information about Team Compositions, check out our Hero guide.

Helping your teammates

This one hurts because it’s so obvious. Nonetheless, we all have seen the Tel’Annas’ players who keep AFK-farming when a fight is breaking out one screen away from them. While YES, it is important to farm as a lategame character, you definitely want to prioritize your team over 2 minions. Nobody expects you to run from Abyssal Dragon lane to Dark Slayer lane, but keep an eye on your teammates.

The Map in Arena of Valor isn’t there just to keep you safe. It exists so you can play around the information it provides:

Especially when it comes to the Jungler, you should always be ready to rotate. A weak Jungler cannot gank for you, an underleveled and -farmed Jungler cannot contest any neutral objectives and will have an even harder time getting back into the game. Protect your Jungler and your Jungler will protect you.

Many games are decided quite early. Thus denying the enemy a couple of unnecessary kills can swing the flow of the game massively. Just showing up can often be enough to make the enemy think twice about committing.

When to pick fights

One of the most crucial things when it comes to understanding the Map in Arena of Valor is when to pick fights. Understanding what makes your team stronger (or weaker) helps you to avoid disadvantageous situations and choose the right ones.

  • Numbers advantage: We already talked about it, having more members around always makes the fight favourable for your team. Especially when you have access to hard initiation, those situations are incredibly potent opportunities for you.
  • Powerspikes: Know which Heroes need which items to come online. A lot of Heroes require a few items (Core Items) pretty badly before they get going. Check the inventory of your teammates and opponents to see, whether you’re ready to fight.
  • Scaling advantage: Hand in hand with Powerspikes, Scaling is just as important. You should opt for fights early if the enemy team has more caling on their side than you do. Similarly, avoid those fights if you’re running a Comp with strong scaling.
  • Cooldown advantage: Maybe you just forced the enemy Valhein to use his Flicker defensively; maybe your Arum just used her ultimate on an enemy. Try to keep track on those Cooldowns, especially those of ultimates and Talents. When the enemy just wasted a few important abilities, then your chances to win a fight are much higher.
  • Experience/ gold lead: It’s always easier to win fights when you have an Item more at your disposal. The same is true if you’re 2 levels ahead of everyone else.
  • Information advantage: Since AoV revolves a lot around strategy, having more information than your opponent obviously gives you a big advantage – if you know how to convert it into a lead. There are many ways to gather information, waiting in the bush for enemies to pass by or also simply seeing them on the Map. Play around the information you have, but at the same time be wary of whatever information might be missing.

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