Newbie Guide to Energy Management and Control
Energy management is crucial to becoming a great player. In a sense, energy is what this whole game revolves around — not only does it allow you to expand your kit through the use of EX abilities, but it’s the critical component that lets you unleash your ultimate.
There’s a good bit of depth to the energy system and this depth exists in two parts: energy management and energy control. Both of these dictate the flow of a round so it’s imperative that you learn these if you want to become an intermediate player.
The primary way to gain energy is to hit your abilities, but not all abilities grant energy. Most offensive abilities do, including projectiles, AOE ground targets, and dashes. Most other abilities don’t, including point-blank AOEs (Poloma’s Spirit Rift), targeted abilities (Lucie’s Barrier), and shields (Bakko’s Bulwark). Counters do grant energy to the caster when triggered.
M1 attacks typically grant about 5 energy per hit, but certain champions are unique (Bakko gets 6 energy per hit while Jade gets 2 energy per bullet). AOE ground targets grant energy per target hit, so if you’re Ashka and you land Flamestrike on two enemies, you gain 10 energy instead of 5. Piercing attacks (Jade’s Snipe or Croak’s Lunge) grant energy per target hit as well.
The secondary way to gain energy is to break the middle orb, grab the death orbs left behind by your teammates, and collect energy globes around the map.
As you gain energy, you become a greater threat on the battlefield. The more energy you have, the more options you have on the battlefield due to the availability of EX abilities. And once you reach 100 energy, you can unleash your ultimate (most ultimates are so good that they can turn a losing battle around).
So the basic idea of Battlerite is this. You want to kill your enemies before they kill you, but the most effective way to do this is with your energy-requiring abilities: EXes and ultimates.
Building and Preventing Energy
In a sense, filling up your energy meter is more important than actually hurting the enemies. This might sound like a weird way to think because the most intuitive action, at least for a newbie, is to bumrush a target and try to kill them before they kill you. But it isn’t so simple.
Damage is good, of course, but energy is what really matters.
If you ever watch top-tier players in a tournament, you’ll notice that the start of a round has a bit of hesitation. They don’t just jump across the map and start ramboing the enemy — they run around, toss out M1s (or M2s for melee champions), stay back, toss out more M1s, etc. It seems pointless because support champions can just heal it all back up, right?
But this technique, called poking, is pretty important. Part of it involves trying to get the enemy to overextend or move into a bad position so they can be punished, but another part of it involves energy building. If you can land a few jabs at the start without getting hit in return, you’ll can start the first real engagement with an advantage.
Poking is risky because your team could lose the trades. If you’re Freya and you miss every Hammer but tank five of Oldur’s M1s, you’re now in a tough spot. If you initiate now, Oldur could Petrify you and kill your momentum — if you initiated before, he wouldn’t have had enough energy to do that.
Poking is also a valid tactic during the middle of a round. Let’s say you’re Freya and you’re whacking away on Lucie until she lands a Panic on you and kills your momentum. You notice that you’re now at about 60 energy. Instead of diving back in right away, you could stay back and poke with Hammers until you hit about 80 — then dive in, bash a few M1s out, force her to waste defensives, and then blast her with your ultimate.
This is why it’s so important that you practice your accuracy until your aim is consistent. Missing one Javelin as Shifu isn’t the end of the world, but every miss is 8 energy down the drain. Or in Lucie’s case, every missed Panic Bolt is 12 energy! Think of it like this: you can throw 3 Panic Bolts in 30 seconds, right? Well, the difference between landing all three and missing all three is 36 energy — more than one-third your meter.
That 8-energy or 12-energy hit could be the difference between getting your ultimate a few seconds before or a few seconds after your enemy does, or the difference between being able to Roll out of the way of Bakko’s Heroic Charge.
Shields and petrifies also play an interesting role in energy building. By shield, I’m talking about abilities like Lucie’s Barrier and Iva’s ZAP, not so much Bakko’s Bulwark or Ruh Kaan’s Consume.
In our guide to targeting the right enemies, I wrote that you should de-prioritize enemies who are shielded or petrified because your damage won’t be permanent, so you should switch to another target. However, there is a valid reason to keep attacking them: you still gain energy for your hits.
So if you’re Shifu, for example, and you’re tunneling Lucie and she throws up a Barrier on herself, you might want to stay on her. Keep slashing, keep earning that 5 energy per hit, and maybe you’ll have your ultimate ready by the time the Barrier dissipates. Boom, she gets chunked down in a way that wouldn’t have been possible if you hadn’t stayed on her.
You can also be more mundane about it. If your Sirius lands a petrify on your target, you can get a free hit on them (for the energy) and then switch targets if you want. Petrify only breaks if you cross the damage threshold, so you might as well get that free hit in while you can — and it’s even better if that hit causes a debuff, like Oldur’s M1.
On the other hand, counters and directional shields (like Oldur’s Time Bender) do NOT grant energy if you hit them. As if avoiding counters and d-shields weren’t important enough already, this is just another reason to be careful, especially for someone like Jade who would lose 14 energy from a countered Snipe.
Also keep in mind: your enemy wants to do all of the above to you, too. That’s why it’s so important that you learn the fundamentals of dodging. Getting hit isn’t just about damage mitigation — it’s about denying the enemy as much energy as possible. By dodging, you’re limiting their kit and putting yourself in a position where you’ll be able to ult them before they ult you.
That being said, it could be beneficial to let the enemy poke you a few times at the start of a round. Don’t go crazy and give up any real HP, but tanking a hit or two can be seen as free energy for your support teammate. Yes, heals have energy gain too! But the usefulness of this particular tip is so negligible that you’ll probably never use it intentionally, so feel free to ignore it.
Orbs and Globes
If you don’t know how the middle orb or the health/energy globes work, then read this guide on orbs and globes. At this point, orbs and globes have so much influence that they often determine who wins a round, so you absolutely must know what they do and why you need them.
Breaking the middle orb grants recovery HP, real HP, and energy to your entire team. If you’re alone, then you get twice the value. The orb itself has 50 HP so you have to be careful of how you break it since it can be stolen with one good hit. Globes are tiny pickups around the map that grant either HP or energy.
The middle orb begins its first countdown when the round starts and takes exactly 20 seconds to spawn. As soon as it breaks, the countdown restarts and takes another 20 seconds to respawn. You can see the countdown on the platform, each market signifying a 4-second chunk of time.
What you have to realize is just how insane the value of this middle orb is. Forget about the HP it grants — even if it was only an energy orb, it would still be insane due to its respawn frequency. If you can break every single orb as it spawns, that ends up being +75 energy per minute for your entire team. Do it for an entire 2-minute round and you’ve put yourself at a huge advantage: an extra +300 energy in 2v2 and +450 energy in 3v3.
20 seconds may sound like a long time on paper but it really isn’t. If you consider that most abilities have an average cooldown between 8–10 seconds, that’s two rounds of abilities. You can use this to subconsciously track orb cycles. But even if you don’t, just watch the platform and prepare yourself to break the orb as soon as the fourth marker lights up.
Don’t forget about the globes either. These first spawn at the 25-second mark and respawn 25 seconds after they’re picked up. These are nowhere near as important as the orb, but +16 energy is nothing to sneeze at (each globe grants +8 energy and they spawn in pairs) and could be the push you need for an EX ability or your ultimate. Two globes is the same value as about 3 M1s.
In practice, you won’t be able to break every single orb on time, but think of how much energy you stand to gain. We’re talking about an extra ultimate or two, or the ability to cast several more EX abilities than you would’ve been able to otherwise. This is game-changing stuff.
Note that you don’t gain energy when you attack the orb. It’s not a huge deal, but you should know that any attacks dedicated to the orb will be wasted energy if you aren’t the one who breaks it — and try not to waste long cooldown abilities on breaking the orb unless you can guarantee it.
The most important aspect of orb control is burst damage. Nothing else matters if you can combo two abilities and break the thing in less than a second (looking at you, Taya). Check out this post for a full listing of champions who can combo-break the orb.
That post also contains information on what to do if you can’t combo-break the orb. For example, Lucie can use Clarity Potion to bring the orb closer to her team, Ruh Kaan can snatch it over using Claw of the Wicked, and Pearl can set up Bubble Barrier to prevent enemies from getting a chance at it.
One other aspect of orb control is positioning. If you can, you should use good positioning tactics and habits to push the enemy out of the map center so that you have clear access to the orb at all times. You should also use the 5–10 seconds leading up to an orb respawn to get yourself into position.
Meter management boils down to two main concepts: being aware of how much energy everyone has, including your teammates and your enemies, and using your energy in smart and efficient ways.
Watch the HUD bars. It can be hard when you’re just starting out, but you should train yourself to glance at the HUD bars (right above your champion) as often as possible. Normally newbies stare at their cursor and never glance back — but if you never glance back, how will you plan your energy usage?
Know your energy gain combos. Not a lot of people think about this, and many players like to brush this off as unimportant tryhardism, but I’ve found that it really helps: go through your abilities and figure out how much work you need to do to gain 25 energy, then memorize the most-used combos.
I’ve been playing a lot of Freya at the time of writing this guide, so here’s how I do this. M1 hits grant 5 energy each. Storm Mace grants 6 energy, so that means 12 if I get the double Mace battlerite and land both. I get 6 energy each time counter is triggered and 5 energy for each target hit by Thunderclap.
My most used pattern is Storm Mace, jump in, 3x M1, Thunderclap. If this doesn’t get interrupted, it nets me 26 energy. Another common pattern is counter, 3x M1, Storm Mace. This one is a bit easier and nets me 27 energy. Knowing this, I know that every time I pull off one of these small combos, I’ll have one more bar of energy to use.
Knowing your energy gains by heart can also be useful when, for example, an enemy is petrified and you want to gain as much energy as you can without breaking the effect.
Know your energy costs for damage combos. Every champion has their own combos, and most of them involve energy to some degree. Learn these by heart. For example, Rook needs 50 energy to combo his R > E > EX-M2 for instant ranged burst. Knowing these like the back of your hand will let you make split-second decisions faster and help you to anticipate how close you are to using such a combo.
Take it one step further and learn the energy costs for all combos for all champions. If the enemy Iva whiffs a Concussion Shot and then blasts you with Flamethrower, you know he just expended 75 energy and won’t be close to an ultimate any time soon.
Track enemy energy usage. If you can learn the energy gain of every ability in the game and the energy cost of every EX ability in the game, it becomes a lot easier to predict how much meter an enemy has. Most of this prediction happens subconsciously.
For example, most melees have an energy gain of 5 on their M1 attacks, so you can estimate that every five hits is one bar of energy. It may not be as crucial as tracking enemy cooldowns, but it’s still an effective way to push your advantage just a bit further.
Meter efficiency. Imagine you’re Ashka, you have a full energy meter, and your next M1 hits the enemy square in the jaw. What happens to that energy gain? It disappears. It’s gone. There’s no such thing as meter overflow, so that potential energy is wasted. This is meter inefficiency.
Obviously there’s nothing wrong with holding onto your ultimate until an opportunity presents itself, but you don’t want to wait too long either. I’ve even seen players hold onto their ultimates for so long that they could’ve built a second ultimate in that time.
If your meter is full and you don’t think you’ll be able to set up an ultimate within the next five seconds, consider spending some on an EX ability. Or in some cases, you might want to risk using the ultimate anyway — even if you miss, it could force the enemy into a bad position or cause them to waste their outs.
Depending on your champion, you can even take this to the extremes: use your energy as quickly as you build it so that it’s never full. It’s an effective strategy when ultimates are situational or lackluster, such as with Rook, Lucie, or Ruh Kaan. Spam your EXes so you get full value out of your energy.
Note that because energy doesn’t carry over between rounds, meter efficiency is more important towards the beginning and middle of a round. As soon as someone dies, meter efficiency becomes drops in priority.
Lastly, be careful when channeling. Cancelcasting is an important skill to master, but it’s a risky move with channeling abilities. If you cancel before casting, the energy is preserved (e.g. Lucie’s Petrify Bolt). But if you finish casting and then cancel the channeling portion, the energy is spent and gone (e.g. Iva’s Flamethrower and Jade’s Explosive Shells). Mistiming EXes and ultimates can be extremely costly!
I hope this helps. If you have any questions, feel free to ask down below. And if you have any other tips that I overlooked, please share them! I’m always looking to learn something new.