Side-scrolling MOBA Awesomenauts is now free-to-play

Awesomenauts [official site], Ronimo’s 2D side-scrolling MOBA, has switched to free-to-play after almost five years. After commercial MOBAs exploded, most of the next wave were basically Lolbuts (‘like League of Legends but with…’) but Awesomenauts had an interesting take. It’s an action-platformer built upon the MOBA fundamentals of waves, bases, neutral enemies, and all that, an interesting rejiggling which casts off a lot of the MOBA baggage. If you fancy a crack, hey, it’s now free to play. Have a gander:

How does the Awesomenauts free-to-play model work? Each week, a rotating lineup of 4 of the 29 characters will be available free to all players. Extra characters can be unlocked with virtuacash earned by playing or with real money, while fluffy doodads like skins and announcer voices cost cash. For spendy players who want to skip faff, all the characters are sold in a discounted bundle.

Players who bought Awesomenauts have received a special virtual medal and portrait to show off, plus a skin for the drop pod characters spawn from. Folks who bought Awesomenauts and both its expansions will get all characters free now and ever. I believe other players get to keep heroes they had already unlocked (characters were locked to account levels).

I adore Dota 2, which is why I tend to skip other MOBAs – I can’t be having similar-but-not-quite-the-same characters, items, and systems confusing my Dotabrain. I’ve kept putting Awesomenauts off because of this too, but maybe the platformerness will let it exist in different brainspace.


  1. Fenaer says:

    This game ate up most of my first year of university; it really is fun. Highly reccomend people check it out, even if it’s only for each characters unique(!) theme music.

  2. DrFunfrock says:

    For the love of glob, please, please, check out this game. It’s something genuinely unique, a fresh, fun, exciting and utterly demented take on the classic MOBA style. It strips out enough of the excessive complexity of stuff like LOL to make it accessible to players who might not normally enjoy a MOBA, whilst still retaining an incredible amount of depth. Everything is skill-shot based, so the gameplay is fast and furious, and despite the simplified builds, the skill cap is very high. Matches are fast, typically 5 – 15 minutes, and there’s little downtime. Even the usual death penalty is alleviated with a coin collecting minigame.

    Awesomenauts is one of the most genuinely brilliant games I’ve played in years, and you really are missing out if you haven’t tried it at least once. On top of the amazing design, it’s just gorgeous, with beautiful artwork and a huge roster of wonderfully thematic characters (every one of whom has their own gloriously cheesy theme song).

    • MajorLag says:

      For the benefit of people who don’t play MOBAs, WTF does “Everything is skill-shot based” mean?

      • Pravin Lal's Nuclear Arsenal says:

        It basically means “leading your target”. A non-skillshot ability means that you click on a dude and a thing happens to that dude. “Skillshot” means you click on the area where you assume the dude will be when the power triggers. Manual aiming, basically.

        I learned all that playing Awesomenauts: I detest MOBAs with a fiery passion but I adored that game, for some reason.

  3. Tallfeather says:

    lolbuts sounds like something my son would call adults.