Smite is a free-to-play, third-person multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed and published by Hi-Rez Studios for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. In Smite, players control a god, goddess, or other mythological figure, and take part in team-based combat, using their abilities and tactics against other player-controlled gods and non-player-controlled minions. The game has multiple player versus player (PVP) modes, many playable characters, and has a successful esports scene with multiple tournaments, including the annual million-dollar Smite World Championship.
Smite features many different game modes with the largest being Conquest. Players are formed into two teams with five players on each team. All players begin at opposite sides of a map at their team’s “fountain”. Before the players enter the map, they are granted an amount of gold to buy starting items. These items grant special bonuses or abilities that enhance the player’s god. There are three continuous “lanes” running from one side of the map to the other. Each lane is defended by a “Phoenix” which is accompanied by a pair of extra defensive towers. Phoenixes and towers deal a large amount of damage to any enemies that come too close. The goal of each game is to destroy the opposing team’s Phoenixes and the Titan, a giant warrior who must be defeated to win the game. The players are accompanied by “minions”, small soldiers with a weak attack. These minions spawn at the Phoenixes every thirty seconds and run along their lane until they meet opposition and attack immediately. Archers will attack not only players and other minions, but also towers, Phoenixes, and the Titan. In fact, their presence is required for players to deal full damage to these objectives. Defensive positions will prioritize enemy minions over players, allowing players to attack a tower without receiving damage; however, towers will fire upon players if there are no minions nearby or the player attacks an enemy player under their tower. If a game is going badly for a certain team, they can decide to surrender after at least 10 minutes, though this requires a majority of the team (4 players to 1) to agree.
With every game, players have to choose a god or other figure to play as. Currently, players can choose between a large variety of characters from different pantheons including Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Hindu, Japanese, Norse, Slavic, and Yoruba. Each character is classified as one of the following classes: Assassin, Guardian, Hunter, Mage, or Warrior. Unless otherwise stated, two players on the same team cannot choose the same character (in competitive modes and those using a Draft pick method, each player must use a different character). The player controls the god in a third person perspective, which is a unique characteristic of this MOBA, as other games of this genre are typically played from a top-down perspective. Each god has a basic attack, a passive trait, and four abilities with varying effects, such as area damage, crowd control, buffs, and many more. These abilities are acquired and upgraded when the player’s character levels up by gaining experience from being in range of minions when they are killed, taking down towers or phoenixes, and defeating enemy characters. The maximum level is 20 and each successive level is more difficult to reach. Gold, which is used to buy items that increase power, defense, and passive effects, potions, wards and abilities, is accumulated through standard periodic income, by slaying enemies (player and NPC alike), or by selling owned items.
The large areas between the lanes make up what is called the “jungle”, where computer-controlled monsters such as packs of cyclopes or Furies (the latter alternately referred to as harpies) periodically spawn at specific locations distributed symmetrically across the map. Killing certain monsters in said jungle causes a “buff” to drop on the ground where it can be picked up by a player, which depending on the type of monster killed will grant the player bonuses to stats such as damage dealt, movement speed, attack speed. There are three special neutral monsters who appear less frequently that when killed will grant the entire team who killed it a powerful damage buff for a medium length of time, set amount of Gold, and a speed boost when coming out of the base respectively. There are also some monsters which do not offer a buff, only experience and gold.