Everything You Need to Know About Orbs and Runes
One of the biggest gameplay differences between Battlerite and Bloodline Champions are the health orbs and energy orbs that spawn across the map and the death orb that drops when you die. These are in addition to the middle rune, which is a carryover from BLC but with a few notable changes.
These may be small changes when viewed individually, but when you bring them all together, they have a massive impact on how the game is played — and even though I hated them at first, I’ve come to love them and think Battlerite is a much stronger game because of them.
Health and Energy Orbs
As of this writing, there are eight orb spawn points scattered throughout every map. Four of them are health orbs and four of them are energy orbs. Each health orb grants +6 Real HP and +6 Recovery HP (what the heck is recovery health?) and each energy orb grants +8 Energy (up until your energy gauge is full).
The thing about these orbs is that they are always placed in pairs — two of the same kind right next to each other — and these pairs are placed symmetrically across the map. In that sense, it’s more helpful to think of them as two health orbs, each worth between +12 and +24 Health and two energy orbs, each worth +16 Energy at opposing ends of the map.
On top of that, health and energy orbs have a respawn time of 25 seconds (and these timers are individual per orb). All told, that’s a potential +48 Health and +32 Energy every 25 seconds, making them well worth incorporating into your play because they can quickly turn the tides of any round that’s not going in your favor.
Not to mention that most healers in Battlerite can’t sustain long-term healing due to limited charges, so these orbs play a crucial role in everyone’s survivability. If you don’t pay attention to them, you’re just going to limit yourself on the battlefield.
Keep a look out on their spawn points because they start off as invisible but slowly get darker and grow larger as they get closer to spawning. Health orbs are green and energy orbs are orange.
The death orb is a controversial game mechanic, but I love it because it’s a wonderful comeback mechanic — not so strong that it guarantees a win for the disadvantaged player (which would make first blood something to avoid, and that wouldn’t make any sense) but meaningful enough that it properly raises the stakes for everyone as soon as it appears.
Check out this play by Warchamp7, who uses it to best effect and wins a 1v2:
It’s as simple as this: when you die, you drop a death orb at your feet. That orb grants either +25, +50, +75, or +100 Energy depending on how much energy you had when you died (rounded up to the nearest value). In BLC, it was terrible when you died with an ultimate ready because it felt wasteful. Battlerite doesn’t have that kind of waste, and it feels much better for it.
Note that death orbs can only be picked up by your teammates, so you don’t have to worry about going in rambo and accidentally feeding an ultimate to your enemies. This caveat is what makes this mechanic so great, if you ask me, and it would be broken otherwise. (Enemy orbs are grayed out so you can still see where they are and position yourself accordingly.)
The last orb type to know about is the middle rune (it’s not really a rune but that’s the carryover name from BLC) and it happens to be the most influential orb of them all. If you only have enough awareness to for one thing in this game, let it be the middle rune.
It takes 20 seconds for the middle rune to spawn once the round begins. (Each waypoint on the middle rune platform corresponds to 4 seconds, so you can use that as an easy way to approximate when the next rune will spawn.) As soon as the middle rune is taken, the timer starts right away. This respawn rate is much faster than in BLC, which is one reason why Battlerite rounds end much quicker.
And unlike in BLC, the rune in Battlerite needs to be destroyed rather than simply picked up. It starts with 50 Health and you can see how much HP it has remaining in the overlay above it, so pay attention at all times.
Why is it so damn important? Because it grants +10 Real HP, +10 Recovery HP, and +25 Energy to the team that destroys it. That’s right: if you break it, your whole team benefits, and its influence is so great that I’d reckon most rounds are won or lost based on who breaks the most runes (assuming an even match between teams, of course).
Note that if you’re the only one alive, whether in 2v2 or 3v3 mode, breaking the rune actually grants +25 Real HP, +25 Recovery HP, and +50 Energy, making it more likely for you to survive 1v2 and 1v3 situations. Indeed, mid control and rune stealing become essential as soon as first blood is shed.
One other thing to note is that the middle rune can be pulled, pushed, or otherwise moved around using abilities that tackle, drag, knockback, etc. but can’t be affected by abilities that require direct targeting.
How Do You Play Around Orbs?
Knowing all of this, your playstyle should change — but how it changes is up to you. Are you going to be an aggressive zoner? Do you think the small orbs are important enough to purposely play around them, even run away from a fight just to collect them? Or are they “just there” and you’ll only pick them up if you happen to end up near them?
If I missed any details for the orbs, or if I got anything wrong, please let me know in the comments so I can update and correct the post!