Arena of Valor (AoV) - Arena of Valor FAQ

A continuously updated article regarding frequently asked questions (and questions we came up with) regarding Arena of Valor. If you're confused about anything regarding AoV, leave a comment below.


Every game has to have a set of rules for how players, items, abilities, and more interact, though it would be a bit cumbersome if all of those details were laid out in the tutorial. Arena of Valor is no different, so we’ve gone about testing and finding the answers for questions one might have about the game. Though we’ve provided the answers to many of the questions already, we’ve decided to make a FAQ post for a few reasons:

  1. The answers available on the site are pretty scattered, so compiling them here makes it a bit easier (some people might not know that we listed stat caps in our items basics article, for instance)
  2. Sometimes a tidbit of information is worth noting, but not worth writing an entire article about (not to mention it makes it even harder to find if there are too many posts)
  3. Occasionally, something that seems obvious to us (like being able to change your item build while in a game) is not so obvious to everyone else, so the comments section of this post is a good place to ask any questions you may have

Like our Glossary, this page will be continuously updated as we test new information. If something about Arena of Valor is unclear to you, make sure to leave your question in the comments section below.

(Much of the initial information we’re providing can be found on our Database page, so check that out if you’re interested)

Items Basics

How much do items sell for?

They sell for 60% of their original value.

Is there a cap (maximum) on how much of a certain stat you can have?

Yes, most stats have a maximum or some sort of built-in maximum based on how much you can buy in a game. Head to our items basics article for a list of the stat caps (and other items basics, naturally).

Do passives stack?

Typically, passives are listed as “unique passives,” in which case they only stack if the names are different. If you buy an item with a unique passive twice, the passive will not double. Similarly, if you buy two items with the same unique passive name (like Belt of Clarity and Gaia’s Standard), they will not stack.

What happens when I buy two jungle items?

Once you buy a second stack-able jungle item, you’ll lose stacks on the first item and have to restart building stacks on the second item. You cannot have stacks on two items at once, making buying two jungle items extremely cost-inefficient.

Words (like “nearby” or “additional damage”)

What does it mean when it says “nearby” in ability and item descriptions?

There is no set rule in Arena of Valor for how close/far “nearby” is. Sometimes it’s 150 units, sometimes it’s 200, and sometimes it’s 200 with the added caveat that the effect will last a few seconds after you leave. We’ve measured most, if not all of the ranges of items and abilities (let us know if we haven’t), so check our items and hero pages for each case.

Why do some abilities have all the damage added up in succession (like Arthur‘s Holy Guard) but on some abilities it says it’ll deal “additional damage”?

Additional damage is treated differently from damage directly added to the base number. “Additional damage” does not get multiplied on a critical hit, and does not grant extra life steal if the additional damage is physical. Pierce effects do increase additional damage though, just like they affect any damage.

What the heck does it mean when it says “+0” in the ability description?

Abilities will show how the damage scales with attack damage or ability power, but will only show the current scaling – and since everyone starts with 0 ability power, it will say +0 if you’re looking at a hero in the selection screen. Don’t worry though – we went through the trouble of writing down all the heroes’ scaling numbers and listed them on their attributes pages. We also wrote an article explaining ability multipliers if you’re still confused.

Crowd Control

What is “CC”?

Head to our glossary.

What’s the difference between a stun and a knockup?

The only difference appears to be that a knock-up (like Krixi‘s Nature’s Wrath) reveals heroes who are in bushes, allowing you to target them with abilities and attacks.

How do the calculations work on slows?

The percentages on slows work the same way as the percentages on speed boosts – they’re based on your base movement speed. For example, if my movement speed is 400, and I equip Gaia’s Standard, my movement speed will increase by 400 x 5% = 20. If I then buy Frosty’s Revenge, my speed will be increased by 400 x 5% = 20 again (putting me at 440 with both items), instead of the percentage compounding and being multiplied by the increased number. If my opponent then equips Frosty’s Revenge and hits me with an ability, I will be slowed by 400 x 20% = 80. I will NOT be slowed by 440 x 20% = 88. Thus, my movement speed with Gaia’s and Frosty’s equipped and damaged by an ability aided by Frosty’s will be 440 – 80 = 360.

At present, only boots can increase your base movement speed.

What does “resistance” mean?

The word “Resistance,” found on Gilded Greaves and abilities like Max‘s Liftoff and Lu Bu‘s Conqueror, reduces the duration of CC effects by the percent listed. For example, if I have 30% resistance and get hit by a 1-second stun, I will only be stunned for 0.7 seconds instead. Resistance does not reduce incoming damage.

Calculating Damage

How is armor% and magic defense% calculated?

The damage reduction formula is

  • damage reduction = Armor / (Armor + 600) or Magic Defense / (Magic Defense + 600)

Therefore the amount of damage dealt to a target is: damage dealt = damage incoming * (1 – Armor / (Armor + 600))

Then how is pierce calculated?

First of all, you didn’t finish that article we linked above. Anyway, you subtract the pierce number from the armor number then re-calculate the armor%. If it’s percentage-based pierce, then subtract that percentage from the original raw number then re-calculate the armor%.

Is raw armor pierce or percentage-based armor pierce calculated first?

Percentages in Arena of Valor are always calculated last.

Should I buy armor or HP?

Up to you. We did, however, calculate how much armor is worth when compared to HP (and only defending against physical damage).

Can true damage be reduced?

Yes, if the item or ability says “damage reduction

Should I buy armor pierce or critical chance?

Depends on which hero you’re using, but we made some tables so you can compare. Also keep in mind that heroes like Yorn and Violet benefit from critical hits because they have attack-enhancing abilities, while Slimz and Wukong benefit because the entire amount of damage listed is multiplied.

Life Steal and Critical Hits

How are Life Steal and Magic Life Steal different?

Life steal effects apply only to normal attacks and item-enhanced normal attacks. The more damage you deal, the more life steal you get, so armor pierce and critical hits are particularly important. However, life steal isn’t applied when using abilities (like The Joker‘s The Killing Joke) and anything that says “additional damage” (like Fafnir’s Talon) doesn’t add to life steal.

Magic Life Steal, on the other hand, provides healing whenever any magic damage is dealt, including additional damage on items like Loki’s Curse and Apocalypse and damage auras on items like Leviathan and Mantle of Ra.

Something to note about Magic Life Steal is that the amount healed halves when coming from an AoE ability. This is done to make up for the fact that the ability will be healing from multiple sources at the same time. This will come up much more commonly than single-target abilities, as AoE abilities are simply much more plentiful in the game. Some examples of single target abilities that would get the full healing effect are normal attack modifiers like Kahlii’s Powerful Hymns or Jinnar’s Samsara, and guaranteed hits like Veera’s Mesmerize or Valhein’s Curse of Death.

What is the difference between Critical Chance and Critical Damage?

Adding critical chance will increase the likelihood that you deal a critical hit, which usually doubles the damage of a normal attack. Adding critical damage increases the damage you deal on a critical hit, making it more than double the damage.

I got a critical hit with Violet‘s Tactical Fire, and it dealt more damage than double a normal attack but less than double her tactical fire amount. I’m…confused.

For most heroes, getting a critical hit on an enhanced attack means that all of the AD scaling up to 1.0 is multiplied, but not the extra damage from the ability. So, say I’m Arthur at level 15 with 350 AD, and I use Righteous Fervor. The base damage (we won’t worry about armor for this) would be 305 + 1.0 AD, or 305 + 350 = 655. If I dealt a critical hit, though, instead of multiplying the whole thing, it would only multiply the AD part. So a critical hit would deal 305 + (350 * 2) = 1005.

If the AD scaling is over 1.0, then only the part up to 1.0 is multiplied. Violet’s Tactical Fire, for instance, deals 475 + 1.15 AD at level 15. If she dealt a critical hit, the damage would not be 475 + 2.3 AD (like with Arthur), but instead 475 + (1.0 AD * 2) + 0.15 AD = 475 + 2.15 AD.

(All the calculations above assume a “normal” critical hit, with no critical damage added)

There are exceptions to this rule, however, the most notable being Wukong and Slimz.


Do abilities damage towers?

For the most part, no. Only if the ability enhances a normal attack or it specifically mentions that it will damage buildings. Here is a full list of ways to increase damage on towers.

I’ve seen super minions before, but how do I get them to spawn?

Killing all three towers in a lane will cause super minions to spawn in that lane. Killing all nine towers will spawn five super minions per wave – 3 in the middle and one each on top and bottom.

Which effects (critical, item passives, etc.) work on towers?

Our tower guide has all your answers, but here are some specifics:

  • Fenrir’s Tooth’s unique passive applies to towers, but Fafnir’s Talon’s passive does not
  • Critical hits are not possible on towers
  • Though armor pierce affects towers, armor reduction from items like Spear of Longinus doesn’t
  • True Damage applies to towers, dealing the full amount listed
  • Life steal is not possible on towers, but life gain (Kil’groth‘s Enraged Spear, for example) is.

Minions and Monsters and More

When do monsters spawn?

Normal monsters at :28, Golems and Seagles at :30, Spirit Sentinel at 1:50, Abyssal Dragon at 2:00 and the Dark Slayer at 6:00.

How often do minions spawn?

It’s complicated.

How much gold do I get for killing minions and monsters? What about heroes?

We’ve listed all the bounties in this article.

I’ve heard that I can steal opponents’ Sage Buffs and Might Buffs by killing them. Is this true?



How long is a unit?

About a centimeter in-game.

Can you change your item build once the game starts?

Yes, there’s a button in the bottom left corner of the Shop.

How does drafting work? Who bans? How do I switch heroes with another player? How do I change my item build and Arcana page once I know the heroes?

Since the June 2018 patch introduced two bans, the first person to ban is now the player in the 4th slot, or second from last to pick. The second ban belongs to the player with the last pick. The first team to ban and pick is effectively the “blue” team, meaning the Abyssal Dragon will be in the bottom lane and the Dark Slayer in the top lane. If your team is picking and banning second, you’re the “red” team (even though it will show as blue for you) and the epic monsters will be flipped.

Once everyone has picked, the option to switch heroes with other players will appear, though the button will only appear over players when both of you own both of the heroes in question. In order to change your item build and Arcana page, press “hide” to get those annoying skins out of the way.

Why does Green hate Diao Chan’s voice lines so much?

As an avowed Marvel fan, Green (or Cody in real life) hates everything DC. Including characters with the initials DC.

Arena of Valor (AoV) Recommended Article List

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  1. Guys, can you fix the crappy targeting system on the game?!! Its annoying because at one game, I tried to target the minion to unlock my ultimate by pressing the minion attack button of course! But when Taara came through, my basic attacks suddenly aimed at her instead of the minions while pressing the minion atk button! Like, what the heck man! Please fix it!!!

  2. Can you guys tell Papa Tencent to make a new marksman? I’ll give you the ideas of his skills but you guys come up with the name, First ability: Buckshot, (blank) fires a blast from his gun in a fan-shaped area, dealing (blank) damage while pushing back (blank) backwards. (You guys can decide if the ability can wallhack or not). Second skill: Howitzer, (blank) fires a grenade (like Joker’s first skill except with no delay and has an explosive impact) that deals (blank) damage while knocking back enemies (like Preyta’s poison bomb) and stunning them for (blank) second’s. Ultimate: High Noon, (kinda like Reaper’s ult) (blank) spins in a circle and deals (blank) damage every (blank) second’s for (blank) seconds. (you guys make the decision if it counts as a basic or not). Please reply if Papa Tencent like’s the idea 🙂