Play Vainglory on PC: Beginner’s Guide10 min read

This is a guide for all new Vainglory PC players as well as mobile players switching over to PC. If you’re playing this game for the first time and have no idea what’s going on, here I will discuss what this game is all about and help you find your way. If you are an existing mobile Vainglory player looking for quick tips on transitioning, I will share some basics to help in that as well, and make your experience buttery smooth.

Quick links below for easier navigation:

Standard Game (Map, Positions / Roles, Objectives)

If you’ve played other MOBA games before (League of Legends, Dota 2) Vainglory shouldn’t be that much different. Here, we will look at the maps of Vainglory, the standard game objectives and the player positions.

Vainglory has two standard game modes: 3v3 and 5v5. 3v3 ranked games take about 20 minutes or more and 5v5 (both ranked and casual) take about 25 minutes or more. Their respective maps are Halcyon Fold and Sovereign’s Rise.

Halcyon Fold

This is the Halcyon Fold mini-map for 3v3 game modes in Vainglory.

In this map, there are three (3) positions to go for:

  • Lane
  • Jungle
  • Roam (Captain)

Laner – Primary damage dealer. The Laner’s job is to farm and ‘get fat’ as in get a lot of gold by farming (last-hitting minions in the lane for gold) or getting kills. Use this gold to buy items to increase damage and / or buy defense.

Jungler – Jungle farmer who can deal damage or provide utility in team fights. The Jungler’s job is to farm jungle creeps and / or steal enemy jungle for more gold and experience (less gold and experience for enemy). In team fights, Jungle heroes can provide utility to help keep the Laner alive, or to deal damage themselves.

Roamer (Captain) – Primary utility provider. The Roamer’s job is to keep his team alive, especially the Laner as they deal the most damage (ideally). Roamers don’t get as much gold and experience as the Laner and the Jungler but they are the ones who take control (ideally) when it comes to objective and team fights.


The primary objective is to take down the enemy’s Vain Crystal located at the enemy’s base. Additional objectives that help win the fight are as follows:

Crystal Sentry – Each team has their own Crystal Sentry as shown in the mini-map in their respective team colors. They are protectors of the Jungle and fight off enemy heroes who come within their vision range. Taking down enemy crystal (last hitting) sentry gives buff to the hero.

Gold Miner – Gold Miner is in the middle of the map. He’s a neutral monster (doesn’t have a team). He digs and accumulates gold from the time he spawns. The enemy that takes him down (last hits) gets all the gold he accumulated.

Kraken – In the late game, Kraken replaces the Gold Miner and is the major objective for the rest of the game. The team who takes him down (last hits) gets Kraken and he starts pushing towards the enemy lane dealing huge damage on enemy turrets until he gets killed.

Sovereign’s Rise

This is the Sovereign’s Rise mini-map for 5v5 game modes in Vainglory.

In this map, there five (5) positions to go for:

  • Top
  • Mid (middle)
  • Bot (bottom)
  • Roam
  • Jungle

Top – The hero who sticks and farms at the top lane. Primary role is to defend top turret from duo or trio ganks by the enemy. Usually played by tanky, utility heroes that can both provide utility and deal damage when in team fights.

Mid – The hero who sticks and farms at the middle lane. Primary role is to deal the most damage in team fights. Usually played by squishy but massive damage-dealing mages that can obliterate entire teams in team fights. Also known as Hyper Carry.

Bot – The hero who sticks and farms at the bottom lane. Primary role is to deal single-target damage in team fights and kill off those weakened by the hyper carry.

Roam – The hero who baby sits supports mid lane hyper carry in the early game and rotates to either top or bottom lane when needed. Primary role is to provide utility throughout the entire game.

Jungle – The hero who farms jungle creeps for experience and gold as well as baby sit support bot laner in the early game and attempt to duo take down the enemy top turret. Primary role in the late game can be both to provide additional utility or additional damage.


The primary objective is to take down the enemy’s Vain Crystal located at the enemy’s base. Additional objective that helps win the game is taking down the Dragons of the Sovereign’s Rise (click the link to find out detailed information about these objectives).

Skill Tiers

Ranked game modes (3v3 and 5v5) are associated skill tiers. Each Skill Tier has three sub tiers: Bronze, Silver and Gold (Gold being the highest):

Just Beginning
Getting There
Rock Solid
Worthy Foe
Got Swagger
Credible Threat
The Hotness
Simply Amazing
Pinnacle of Awesomeness

Other Game Modes

You can play other game modes in Vainglory. If you don’t wish to sit for half an hour playing, or you just want a quick win to complete a quest, check out below.

Persistent Game Modes

These are game modes that are always available (unless new update makes that otherwise):

  • Standard Ranked Game: 3v3 and 5v5
  • Standard Casual Game: 5v5
  • Rumble: 5v5 in 3v3 Map (Halcyon Fold)
  • Blitz: 5-min 3v3 Brawl

Event games that happen during weekends or special seasons:

  • ARAM (All Random, All Mid) – 5v5
  • ARAL (All Random, All Lane) – 3v3
  • Onslaught – 3v3 with unique objective
  • One for all – 5v5 where your team plays the same hero

Talents, Inventory and Game Currency

You will find that there are things called ‘talents’ and if you have no idea what they are, here’s Gwen with some explanation.


Bag (Inventory)

Here, you will find all your in-game items.

  • Heroes – Shows all heroes and those that you own
  • Skins – Shows all skins and those that you own
  • Talents – Shows all talents and those that you own
  • Chests & Keys – These are items you get from game matches and / or quests. Chests need keys to be unlocked and items inside a chest vary depending on the rarity of your chest. There are also special chests that don’t need keys to open.
  • Blueprints – Skins can be unlocked by either direct purchase (using in-game currency ICE or Opals) or by using Essence with a Blueprint. You can get blueprints and essence from chests.
  • Hats – Cosmetics. If you own a hat, you can make your hero wear one in-game. Hats are made out of ‘materials’ which you can get from material chests.
  • Social Pings – Ping sets that replace the default in-game ping. You can get these from chests or via direct purchase using ICE.
  • Charm Emoji – This is what you use to taunt in-game or to make your hero dance. You can get charms from chests.
  • Boosts – In-game boosts include all hero access pass, which lets you play all heroes even those that you don’t own within a limited time. In addition, there is also a double-glory boost which lets you get, self-explanatory, double the glory you normally get from matches. You can purchase boosts with ICE.
  • Trophies – Every end of season, you get a trophy for the highest skill tier you’ve achieved within that season. This is where you keep them to show off.

Game Currency

  • Glory – to buy heroes and talents
  • Opals – to buy special edition skins
  • Essence – to craft skins with blueprints
  • ICE – Purchased with real money and can be used to buy anything
  • Sunlight – to level up your battle pass

What is Battle Pass?

There is a detailed explanation on Vainglory website on how Battle Pass works. Click here.

Hotkeys / Shortcuts

What your mouse click does:

  • Left Click Scheme – Use your left click to move your hero and to attack. Use left click to cast abilities and cancel using Right click.
  • Right Click Scheme – Use your right click to move your hero and to attack. Use left click (still) to cast abilities and cancel using Right click. Note that canceling an ability with right click also moves your hero. This isn’t the case with Left Click scheme.

Smart Cast

There is a thing called Smart Cast which lets you cast your abilities without mouse click. When you press an ability, hold it down and you will see a preview of the hitbox. This is useful to keep so you always know your range. See below for an example. The area surrounding the hero Adagio is the hitbox for his first ability (Q). Without Smart Cast, you will have to click on yourself to cast the ability. Smart Cast lets you cast the ability with a mouse hover, instead. So, when you press an ability, hover your mouse over where you want to cast the ability. Then, release the key and your ability takes effect on your target. That way it is much faster and more efficient. I just suggest you have this enabled.

Essential keys to memorise:

  • Q – First ability
  • W – Second ability
  • E – Ultimate
  • SHIFT + (Q, W, or E) – upgrades chosen ability
  • A – Attack (nearest or where your mouse is hovering)
  • D – Flask (Heal)
  • F – Scout Cam (Vision)
  • B – Teleport to home base

How to Stutter Step

Stutter stepping is moving between auto attacks to maximise your damage. This is easy with touch on Vainglory mobile but gets a bit tricky on PC. I’ve listed a for-dummies version to follow below:

  • Attack enemy either by pressing A and hitting the nearest enemy (or whoever your cursor hovering) or clicking a target.
  • Left / Right click away to move your hero.
  • Attack enemy again by pressing A or clicking target.

This needs some getting used to so use the practice mode as much as you can until you are confident enough to not accidentally run into your enemy.

Item slots

In Vainglory, there are items you can activate in game like Fountain of Renewal (activate to heal all nearby allies). These are placed in item slots. Item slots are numeric 1 through 5. Below is an example:

  • 1 – Super Scout 2k
  • 2 – Atlas Pauldron
  • 3 – Fountain of Renewal
  • 4 – Crucible
  • 5 – War Treads

Other useful controls

  • TAB – Scoreboard
  • T – Open Shop
  • G – Target Ping
  • V – Caution Ping
  • G/V + Hold – brings up more ping options, use your cursor to select which ping to use
  • Scroll Up (Mouse wheel Up) – Zoom In
  • Scroll Down (Mouse wheel Down) – Zoom Out
  • Y – Unlock Camera
  • Space bar – Center your hero on camera (works when camera is unlocked)

Video Guide

Here’s a quick video tutorial by Excoundrel.

Congrats making it this far! Don’t worry, it gets better from here. Now that you know what Vainglory is all about, it’s time to make some plays. Download Vainglory now on Steam (or below), if you haven’t yet and start wrecking nubs. GLHF!

Shoutouts: Kdals for inspiring the idea; Vyzeox, CookieCutter, iWoof, Nene my server fam who flooded me with tips and tricks on PC and practiced with me (as in, carried me on Casuals); Karthik for all the energy.


Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
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