Marvel Contest of Champions

Marvel Contest of Champions is a 2014 fighting video game[1] developed and published by Kabam. It was released on December 10, 2014 for iOS and Android.[2] The fighting game is primarily set in the Marvel Universe.[3] The game is strongly based on the events of the limited comic book series Contest of Champions.[4][5] An arcade version was released in 2019, developed by Raw Thrills and exclusive to Dave & Buster's locations.[6] The arcade cabinet claims that the game is inspired by the film Captain Marvel, but this was done for marketing purposes.

Marvel Contest of Champions
Marvel Contest of champions official banner logo.jpg
Developer(s)Kabam, Raw Thrills (arcade version)
Publisher(s)Kabam, Dave & Buster's (arcade version)
Platform(s)iOS, Android, Arcade
ReleaseDecember 10, 2014
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer


A gameplay screenshot shows Spider-Man (left) fighting Captain America (right) in the arena.

Players assume the role of a Summoner, tasked by The Collector to build a team of Marvel heroes and villains and pit them against one another in combat. Gameplay is similar to that of Injustice: Gods Among Us and Mortal Kombat X, where the game's fighting arena is rendered in 3D with a 2D plane for the superheroes' movements and actions. New players begin with access to two 1-star characters, and can work to access additional characters including Iron Man, Thor, Gwenpool, Hulk, Dormammu, Howard the Duck, Domino, and Man-Thing. Each character is upgradable, featuring their own classes, movements, traits, abilities, and special moves.

Gameplay features an energy system that limits the number of quest-based battles in which players can compete. Energy recharges automatically at a set rate over time or players can refill their energy manually. The energy limit is increased when players increase their level. Game items (such as crystals) that impact play may be found in chests as players win battles. In addition to quests, users can battle opponents in the game's "Versus" mode, pitting their champions against those of another player in one-on-one matches or three-on-three limited-time arenas. However, the opponents are A.I.-controlled so it is not an actual real-time player battle. Controversially, Marvel Contest of Champions requires a persistent Internet connection for both single and multiplayer modes.[7]

Controls are designed for touch, rather than adapting buttons or virtual joysticks. Gameplay includes light, medium, and heavy attack options, as well as block and dodge. The character can shuffle back or sprint forward, and each hero has three of their own special attacks (unlocked with ranks and stars), as well as unique abilities and a signature ability. Synergy Bonuses reward the player for combining characters who have a unique relationship. For example, combining Star-Lord with Rocket Raccoon or Groot rewards every team member with a +70% increase of Armor ratings. As stated by Cuz Parry from Kabam, "There is also a combo system that rewards players for mixing up their moves and performing well-timed blocks. The higher the combo, the faster your special attacks regenerate."[3] As characters take and deal damage, a power meter fills which indicates the potential for unique moves. When the player levels-up their characters, more-powerful special attacks are possible but can be used less frequently due to their higher power cost.[8]

Characters can be leveled up by using ISO-8 and Gold and ranked up with Catalysts, which are all gained when fighting in Story Quests and special events. Class-specific ISO-8 and Catalysts provide heroes of the specified class a bonus. Completing quests provides XP (experience points) and unlocks the ability to add more heroes to the player's roster, to a maximum of five heroes. Higher levels also allow players to save more ISO-8, catalysts and objects.[9] In addition to taking part in a global chat feature, players can also join alliances. Alliances allow chat amongst other members and provide the opportunity to work together to earn alliance points, used to earn its own type of crystal.

Other questsEdit

To tie-in with the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel Contest of Champions was updated in late April 2015 to include Ultron-centric events and characters. To assist in the Ultron missions, all players received 2-star Black Widow, Vision and Hulkbuster characters. The new quest, called "Ultron's Assault", was a limited-time Story Quest; it contained many small quests, referred to as Event Quests or story events, and provided new rewards through play. Additional limited-time quests have been introduced over the lifetime of the game, each playable for a period before being removed to make way for another quest. These quests often coincide with the release of comics, movies and TV series, though there seems to be a routine at Kabam to release a new quest every month even if there isn't a specific project to promote. For more information, see "Event quests" below.

Event questsEdit

Event quests are quests brought into the game every month and are active for 35 days upon the time that the update is released. 5 different levels of the routine event quests are released. These levels include, from lowest to hardest difficulty; Easy, Normal, Heroic, Master, and Uncollected (which requires that you are summoner level 40 and have beat The Collecter at act 5 chapter 2 quest 6 in the story mode). The event quest coincides with new characters being released throughout the game. Usually, two characters are released along with the event quest. You also take place in fighting these characters for the event quest completion, as they serve as bosses, usually in the final 2 quests of the event quest.


Alliances are the groups or parties of the game, which can include up to 30 players and be private or open. Alliances allow players to gain alliance crystals and to access alliance quests. These alliances can be created with battle chips or units. Alliances can also take part in Alliance Events, such as "Item Use", "Villain Use" or "Summoner Advancement", each granting player rewards. Members of an alliance can assist one another in quests, and alliance members are ranked in relation to each other. The alliance leader is able to choose which members become officers, who are able to remove players from their alliance. In "Alliance Wars", two alliances compete head-to-head.


There are a number of different locations where the battles take place. These include: the Avengers' Tower, the Astral Plane (overseen by the Eye of Agamotto), the Sanctum Sanctorum, Asteroid M, the Asgard throne room, Asgard vault, Asgard power station, The Kyln, Hell's Kitchen, Knowhere, the Savage Land, a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier hangar, Sokovia, Grandmaster's 'Galactorum', the Wakandan necropolis, and an Oscorp laboratory.


With the two-year anniversary of the game (Version 11.1 – 10 December 2016), Kabam introduced titles that players can select.[10] The player starts off with the default title ”Summoner,” and the various other titles are unlocked by fully completing quests or meeting other in-game achievements.


Marvel Contest of Champions features many playable heroes and villains, referred to in the game as "champions." Playable fighters can come in one of six tiers, signified by 1 through 6 stars. Not all characters are available in every tier, and while some can be obtained through various crystals, others can only be obtained via the Versus arenas or special promotions.

Each playable character is assigned to one of six classes: Cosmic, Tech, Mutant, Skill, Science, and Mystic. In some quests, using the character of a particular class will get the player through ”gates” that block other paths. There are also relationships between the classes, and each have an advantage over another (e.g., Cosmic has an advantage over Tech, Tech over Mutant, Mutant over Skill, etc.). Characters with a class advantage over their opponent gain a class bonus, boosting their base attack by a certain percentage during the fight. There is also a Combined class which has an advantage over every other class, though only non-playable characters have this class. Three-star heroes and four-star heroes gain a higher percentage of damage compared to two-star heroes.

Some characters, such as Dark Phoenix, The Collector, The Grandmaster, and Maestro, are non-playable, several of which were only available for a limited time in Event Quests. As of October 2019 there are 163 playable champions, eight of which are original champions that were created for use in the game (Guillotine, Civil Warrior, King Groot, Morningstar, Symbiote Supreme, Venom the Duck, Ægon, and Guillotine 2099).

Playable characters:


Kabam creative director Cuz Parry describes the game as a "one vs. one, arcade-style fighting game with multiplayer as well as role-playing game elements with a quest/story mode where you're pitted against a wide range of heroes and villains from the Marvel Universe".[citation needed]

Expansion to ChinaEdit

On April 28, 2015, Kabam and Longtu Games announced that Marvel Contest of Champions would be published in China in late 2015. Some elements of the game will be changed for the Chinese market.[11] The version was later shut down and all players were transferred to the international version.

Comic book adaptationEdit

In June 2015, Marvel announced they would be publishing a comic book adaptation of the game that would take place in the main Marvel universe. The comic also introduced new heroes such as White Fox, a heroine from South Korea, and Guillotine, a French heroine with a mystical sword who was the first original character to the game. The Maestro served as the antagonist in the series.[12][13]

Realm of ChampionsEdit

A spin-off mobile game was announced as being in development at New York Comic Con 2019, created by Kabam and Marvel Games. Realm of Champions will take place in the same universe, and will expand on the story from Contest of Champions.[14]


Aggregate scores
GameRankings(iOS) 75.00%[15]
Metacritic(iOS) 76/100[16]

Marvel Contest of Champions has received a generally positive response. Upon release in December 2014, the game was named Editors' Choice on the App Store. As of 2015, it had more than 40 million downloads.[11][needs update] The 19.0 update has caused issues with iOS devices overheating, but it was later fixed.

The game was also nominated for "Action Game" at the 2019 Webby Awards.[17]


  1. ^ Shaul, Brandy. "Marvel ContestChampions". Retrieved December 11, 2014.
  2. ^ "Marvel Contest of Champions release date". Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 21, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Marvel's Contest of Champions Comics and Games -A History – SuperHero Reviews and News". July 24, 2016.
  5. ^ Sherr, Ian (June 29, 2015). "Marvel's Contest of Champions leaps from video game to comic book". cnet. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  6. ^ "Marvel Contest of Champions arcade cabinet". Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  7. ^ Fahey, Mike. "There's Not Much To Love About The Latest Marvel Game". Kotaku. Retrieved February 5, 2017.[better source needed]
  8. ^ "Marvel Contest of Champions Review: A Superb, Simplified Slugfest – Gamezebo". January 2, 2015.
  9. ^ "Marvel Contest Of Champions Review – TouchArcade".
  10. ^ "Marvel Contest of Champions Changelog".
  11. ^ a b "Kabam and Longtu Games Announce Strategic Agreement to Launch Marvel Contest of Champions in China".
  12. ^ "Marvel Announces "Contest Of Champions" Series From Ewing, Medina". June 29, 2015.
  13. ^ "CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS #1: Are You Not Entertained?". ComicsVerse. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  14. ^ "NYCC 2019: Become Your Own Marvel Super Hero and Conquer the Battleworld With All-New 'MARVEL Realm of Champions' Game | News | Marvel". Marvel Entertainment. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
  15. ^ "Marvel Contest of Champions". GameRankings. April 20, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  16. ^ "Marvel Contest of Champions". Metacritic. April 20, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  17. ^ "2019 Winners". The Webby Awards. April 23, 2019. Retrieved April 24, 2019.