While its been a thing of its own for some time now, the MOBA genre really got its start as the multiplayer component of an action RPG or MMORPG. Dungeon Hunter Champions [Free] just goes ahead and acknowledges that directly by setting up solo play in classic action RPG fashion but marrying it with a 5v5, full-on MOBA mode as its PvP component. Why choose between two genres of mobile game when you can enjoy them both in one title?

To a certain extent, you don't have to play everything if you prefer one experience over the other, though you do get rewarded for dabbling in both. As it's a free-to-play affair, there are definitely many of the usual trappings that come along with that, but we're here to guide you through them, tell you how you can play Dungeon Hunter Champions for free as long as possible — both in terms of individual sessions and over the long haul — and generally take the mystery out of as much of the game as possible.

Hot to Get More Champions and Improve the Ones You Have

Without delving too deeply into the lore of Dungeon Hunter Champions, which you'll unravel as you journey through the single-player Adventure mode, it involves you collecting a group of characters called Champions, each with their own set of attacks and skills. They come in five tiers of rarity form one to five stars, though they can be boosted to six-star status, with rarer characters starting with much more powerful baseline stats. In other words, a five-star Champion is much better than a three-star in almost every case, even if you haven't done much to improve it.

Champions each have one of five elemental affinities:

  • Water, Fire and Nature have a rock-paper-scissors relationship: Water -> Fire -> Nature -> Water. An element with ad advantage over another has an increased chance to deal critical hits and bonus damage.
  • Light and Dark counter each other. They have offensive advantages over each other but are not strong or weak against any of the other elements.

Finally, Champions can also be separated into five different roles — Fighter, Support, Tank, Assassin and Marksman — which should be fairly self-explanatory if you've spent any time playing MOBAs or fantasy RPGs.

Now we've come to the most important stuff, which is how to get more Champions. The most common way is through Summons, which you'll find as the third option from the left on the game's bottom nav bar. Each summon gives you a chance to pull a Champion from a specific group of rarities:

  • Common Summons: 1- to 3-stars
  • Rare Summons: 3- to 5-stars
  • Legendary Summons 4 and 5-stars

While you can earn Summon Discs of all three kinds as in-game rewards, it's also possible to simply buy Rare Summons with Gems, the game's premium currency. On top of the three standard Summons, the shop also has a rotating Featured Summon for 100 Gems that offers an increased chance of a particular 5-star Champion.

Champions will improve by leveling up on their own, and one nice thing about Dungeon Hunter Champions is that almost every mode earns XP toward their advancement, not just the single-player Adventure levels. It's possible to hasten the leveling process by tapping on the 'Train' button and sacrificing other Champions to level up the ones you want to keep.

Bonus tip: When you get new Champions, especially of the 1- or 2-star variety, pay attention to the recommendations the game gives you. If it advises using it as "food," that means you can feel pretty comfortable utilizing it to train other Champions.

Once a Champion hits its max level, you'll need to promote it to bump it up to the next star tier. This can be done by tapping on the 'Promote' button in the character profile and then sacrificing the same number of Champions as the target's current rarity. For example, a 3-star Champion takes three 3-stars to promote, whole a 4-star takes four other 4-stars.

There are two other ways to improve your Champions. One is by outfitting it with gear, usually found as rewards for clearing out solo levels. Each character has six gear slots, and using two or more gear pieces with the same icon will grant additional set bonuses. You can also upgrade gear simply by tapping on it, hitting the 'Upgrade' button and spending the required amount of coins. Note that each upgrade attempt only offers a chance at boosting the item and that each new level costs more and has a different success rate.

Last but not least, a Champion can be Ascended to a new form by the use of special Elixirs that can be won in Boss Raids. Ascension does not improve the character's rarity but does give it an overall stat boost and a cosmetic overhaul (a.k.a. it looks different, and supposedly cooler).

How to Get More Gems for Free

Now that we've discussed why you need more Gems to get better Champions, you'd probably like to know to get more of them. And preferably not by spending your real life currency, though that option is always there if you need it.

Dungeon Hunter Champions

Let us count the ways to get free Dungeon Hunter Champions Gems:

  • Watch a video or two: If you tap on the 'Free Rewards' ad thingy you'll always see on the right side of the main screen or head to the 'Free' tab of the shop, you'll see opportunities to watch a short ad for items or Gems. If you're about maximizing your Gems, use the few videos you get every day and always go for the premium currency. In a related tip, you'll also be offered the chance to watch a video at the end of a completed level or match to double your rewards. Wait until Gems are offered and use them only for this purpose if that's your main goal.
  • Complete Daily Quests and Achievements: Located under the 'Missions' menu, Daily Quests and Achievements both sometimes offer Gems as part of their overall reward payouts. What's the difference between the two? Daily Quests refresh daily (yeah!), while Achievements are cumulative goals to work toward while playing. One thing to keep in mind is that completing all your Daily Quests for a given day gets you some extra Gems and bonus player XP.
  • Compete in Arena matches and climb the ranks: As opposed to the 5v5 MOBA live PvP battles, Arena matches are a form of asynchronous PvP where you pick a team of four Champions and fight against a defense squad selected by a player but controlled by the AI. Arena play is divided into seasons, and you'll get a reward at the end of each one based on your rank on the leaderboard that always includes some Gems.

While you can't count on this as a dependable source of free Gems, Gameloft has already shown a willingness to distribute some free Gems for unexpected downtime or parts of the game that are just plain buggy. So be sure to check your in-game mailbox frequently, because it's quite possible there could be some free Gems waiting for you to claim.

The Universe of Energy: How to Play for Free as Long as Possible

In the finest (not really) tradition of free-to-play mobile games (said with tongue firmly in cheek), Dungeon Hunter Champions features a dual-tiered energy system that limits how many solo levels and PvP matches you can play in one session. Having two separate "pots" of energy is suboptimal, but the system in this game isn't terribly restrictive compared to many others, especially on the solo play side.

Dungeon Hunter Champions

What's important to remember is that the two energies work together, and you can earn more of one by playing the other, thus helping you max out how much you can play at one time. For example, winning any Arena match gets you more solo energy, as does finishing the Arena and Challenger daily quests.

Watching videos for either kind of energy is also an option, though a video only gets you one point of PvP energy so that perhaps isn't the most efficient use of the few videos you can watch for freebies every day. Solo energy also shows up in your inbox once every eight hours (20 points at a time), so simply logging in thrice daily at regular intervals will also help keep you from having to buy energy.

Arena and 5v5: A Quick Introduction to PvP Modes

The PvP aspect of Dungeon Hunter Champions could easily be a guide of its own (and definitely could be on this very website at some point), but it's worth a quick spin through here just to help you get your bearings. Arena, which we've already discussed, unlocks first, and it's a pretty straightforward best-of-3 fight against a defense team picked by a human opponent.

Dungeon Hunter Champions

At any given rank, you'll be able to pick from 10 different opponents and see the overall Battle Rating of their team. It goes without saying that picking the lowest among these is almost always the smartest move, and if all 10 look too tough to handle, you can simply wait until the 'Refresh' option is available in the lower-right corner and get 10 new choices.

Dungeon Hunter Champions

The 5v5 mode is where the game goes all-out MOBA, as it's a simple but familiar idea: The map places both teams on opposite sides, with the goal being to destroy a central crystal in enemy territory. There are lane minions, turrets and everything you'd expect from a stererotypical MOBA.

Since 5V5 is real time multiplayer, you only take and control one Champion in each match, and you won't have access to your entire roster. Only Champions with the crossed swords icon can be used in 5v5.

(Why? Probably because the developers have an easier time balancing 5v5 play with less characters, or that some of the Champions' skills proved problematic in that mode.)

That in turn means that to get the most out of 5v5, you'll want to get your hands on some good Champions usable in that mode. When you're ready to get in a match, simply head to the '5 Vs. 5' part of the Battlefield menu and then tap 'Match Now' when you are ready to queue for the next available team.

Final tip: Dungeon Hunter Champions has a surprisingly thorough in-game guide that can help you answer questions we didn't cover here, but it's not in an obvious place. To access the guide, tap on the 'Missions' icon from the bottom nav, then the 'Guide' tab, which is the last one on the right. There's plenty of great info therein.