The Tank-Healer-DPS Triangle Doesn’t Exist in Battlerite

If you’re new to Battlerite and come from an MMO or MOBA background, the first thing you must unlearn is the Holy Trinity. There is no distinction between Tanks, Healers, and DPSers in Battlerite. If you cling onto this mentality, you will lose — a lot.

Battlerite does have champion archetypes: Melee, Ranged, and Support. But these archetypes mean very little. Don’t be deceived into thinking that Melees are tanky, Ranged are bursty, and Supports are survivalists. It’s not that simple.

Tanks in Battlerite

There is no such thing as a tank.

When you hear “tank,” your first thought might go to something like a Protection Paladin in World of Warcraft or a fully-geared Warrior in Everquest: someone who soaks up damage and allows the other non-tanks to do their thing.

Well, forget all that. Tanks don’t exist in Battlerite for two reasons:

First, there’s no such thing as armor class. In an MMO, your armor class determines your damage reduction, and heavier armor mitigates more damage. Tank classes can therefore absorb more damage and survive longer. In Battlerite, one damage is one damage for all champions.

Good luck taking him on without a tank

Second, there’s no such thing as taunting. In an MMO, tanks exist to control aggro or threat. If they can generate enough of it, often through some kind of taunt ability, then the target keeps its attention on the tank. Non-tanks are then free to dish out damage while the target is preoccupied. In Battlerite, enemies can jump on whoever they want, whenever they want.

Champions do have different starting health amounts: Rook at 250 HP, Croak at 230 HP, Ezmo at 210 HP, Pestilus at 200 HP, etc. But one damage is still one damage, and Rook eats 28-damage Shadowbolts the same as Lucie does.

Nobody is “supposed” to take damage. Learn more in our dodging guide.

Are there damage immunity and damage reduction abilities? Sure there are a few, but abilities like that make you temporarily tanky — they don’t turn you into tanks. Damage avoidance is always better than damage reduction.

Healing in Battlerite

Healers do exist in Battlerite, but not in the traditional sense.

In an MMO, healers are fragile and can’t protect themselves. They need tanks to soak up damage so they can sit back and heal the tanks. If threat management goes awry and the tank loses a raid boss’s attention, the healer gets smashed within seconds.

Not true in Battlerite. In fact, healers are often the hardest to kill.

This goes back to the idea of one damage being one damage. Whether you’re Pearl with 200 HP or Bakko with 200 HP, it only takes 200 damage to kill you. The difference is that Pearl can spam heals on herself and mitigate a lot of that damage whereas Bakko can’t recover as reliably.

Guess which one’s tankier, the “support” or the “ranged”?

Fortunately, non-healers in Battlerite do have ways to recover HP: health orb pickups on the map, breaking the middle orb, grabbing death orbs dropped by teammates, and sometimes self-healing is available through abilities and battlerites.

But if you’re going to play a healer, keep two things in mind:

First, you have to understand the Recovery HP mechanic: when the difference between a champion’s current health and maximum health becomes too much, their maximum health shrinks. You have to keep your teammates topped off. The further you fall behind, the harder it will be to keep up.

Second, you can’t just sit back and lob heals all day. No matter which champion you’re playing, you have offensive abilities in your kit — and you need to use them. A strong offense puts pressure on the enemy and helps take pressure off your teammates. The tricky part is balancing heals with offensive pressure.

This is why the archetype is called Support. No one is just a healer.

Damage in Battlerite

Pure DPS doesn’t exist in Battlerite.

In an MMO, a DPSer can sit back. The tank tanks, the healer heals, and you just maximize your DPS rotation as best you can. Maybe you have to manage threat, but otherwise it’s straightforward. In a MOBA, a DPS carry can jump in at the right time and right-click people to death.

None of that here. No DPS rotations and no sitting back while the tank handles everything. You’ll be on the front lines, whether melee or ranged. You also want to generate as much threat as possible to pressure your enemies, but you’re expected to do that without getting hurt.

Sometimes you just have to dive in

The million dollar question: if there are no tanks or healers in Battlerite, who the heck are you supposed to attack?

Don’t pick a target at the start of the round. Whenever someone tells you to “Focus Pearl” or anyone else, kindly educate them: that’s Silver-level rubbish and will only take you so far. The “right” target to attack is always changing. Re-evaluate the situation every few seconds to see who’s most vulnerable.

Not sure what that means? Learn more in our targeting guide.

And when you see an opening, you can’t just rambo in there. If you’re Ashka and you use Searing Flight to engage, what will you do when you get blasted and need to escape? No, don’t waste outs like that. There are other ways to put out offensive pressure. Read our initiation guide and zoning guide for details.

Battlerite Is a Different Kind of Brawl

The hardest part of Battlerite is leaving behind all the baggage that comes from previous games you’ve played. It may take a while to wrap your head around this concept enough to apply it during actual play.

The gist of it? Every champion has all three aspects to varying degrees, but don’t think of it as tanking, healing, and damaging — think of it as protecting, supporting, and pressuring. If you can nail that, you’ll be ahead of the curve.


He is the lead writer at Battlecrank. You can find him on the Battlecrank Discord.

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4 Comments on "The Tank-Healer-DPS Triangle Doesn’t Exist in Battlerite"

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Great article, especially for the new players that’ll come in after the F2P release.

Battlerite is more like Street Fighter than WoW.

It’s about positioning, not about classes.

Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to separate the champions into 3 categories in the GUI, but even as a developer, it’s not easy to get away from the tropes.


I don’t see any competitive teams without a Support/Healer though. so at least one part of the triangle exists.