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Marvel Contest of Champions
Raw Thrills (arcade)
Publisher(s)Kabam (Netmarble)
Dave & Buster's (arcade)
Platform(s)iOS, iPadOS, Android, Arcade
ReleaseDecember 10, 2014
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

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]


A gameplay screenshot shows Spider-Man fighting Captain America at Stark Tower.

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.[citation needed] New players begin with access to two 1-star characters and can work to access additional characters at higher star levels, ranging from two to seven. Each of the 253 playable characters from Marvel Comics is upgradable, featuring their own classes, movements, traits, abilities, and special moves, although many share animations.

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 as players increase their level. Game items (such as crystals) that impact play are found at the end of quests. 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 player battle in real time. 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 an unlockable signature ability (if a duplicate of the champion is collected). Synergy bonuses reward the player for combining characters who have a unique relationship. For example, playing Doctor Doom on the same team with Mr. Fantastic rewards every team member with a 6% increased attack. 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]

Battles between the characters take place in a variety of locations pulled from Marvel Comics or the Marvel Cinematic Universe, such as Asgard, Hell's Kitchen, Knowhere, Oscorp, Savage Land, Stark Tower, Wakanda, and a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier.

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, special events, and arena. Class-specific ISO-8 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 questing team, to a maximum of five heroes. 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 in alliance quests and wars, to earn glory for rank up materials and shards to form crystals.

Marvel Contest of Champions features 3 primary in-game currencies – gold, units, and battlechips – along with other special event currencies. Gold is used to upgrade champions and buy alliance tickets and items. Units are the primary currency used to buy potions, revives, crystals, bundles, mastery items and alliance tickets. Battlechips are used to purchase arena crystals, which can give gold, units, or a chance at collecting the Punisher. Joining and being active in an alliance also grants access to Loyalty, which can be used to buy additional crystals that offer a chance at collecting Unstoppable Colossus.

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In addition to the main story quest and the versus arenas, Marvel Contest of Champions features a series of other quests for specific purposes. Typically, there is a monthly storyline and corresponding event quest revolving around the new character releases. There are also specific quests for collecting catalysts and gold, along with a handful of other selections.

Players can team up with other players up to 2 players to enter a dungeon, where there are 6 enemies and a boss. There are 2 paths in the map and the player has to choose to fight an enemy from a single path. Each enemy has a linked node which players have to defeat to weaken the other enemies. This mode introduces a new mechanic called "hacks". A player can choose a hack when arriving on a hack node. After defeating the boss, the player can go to a node where they are presented with 3 options: Revive their team members with 20 percent health, have the option to choose a boss hack or heal 40 percent health of all their living teammates. Incursions can award you gold, crystal shards and a new currency called artifacts. Artifacts can be used to purchase crystals and crystal shards from the incursion store. When an incursion dungeon is complete the player is awarded with points and after reaching a specific point criteria the player is awarded with gold and shards.

With the two-year anniversary of the game (Version 11.1 – 10 December 2016), Kabam introduced titles that players can select. 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.[9]


Marvel Contest of Champions features a wide selection of playable heroes and villains from the Marvel Comics universe, referred to in the game as "champions". Originally featuring twenty-six playable champions in December 2014, the game features over 200 playable characters.[10] Kabam typically releases two new champions per month—though this number has varied from one to four. Playable champions are found in a series of tiers, escalating in power level and abilities from rankings of one to seven stars. Not all champions are available in every tier, and while most can be obtained through standard crystals, others can only be obtained via specific crystals, limited time arenas, or special promotions.

Each playable champion is assigned to one of six classes:[11]

In some quests, using the champion of a particular class will get the player through "gates" that block other paths. There are also relationships between the classes, and each has an advantage over another (e.g., Cosmic has an advantage over Tech, Tech over Mutant, Mutant over Skill, Skill over Science, Science over Mystic, and Mystic over Cosmic). Champions with a class advantage over their opponent gain a class bonus, boosting their base attack by a certain percentage during the fight and reducing the base attack of their opponent.

Additionally, a few champions belong to the Combined class, having an advantage over all other classes, and represented by an aquamarine-colored symbol.

Some characters are non-playable, serving either as permanent guides and/or bosses in Story Quests, or as temporary allies/opponents in Event or Alliance Quests. As of the 2021 updates, Kabam has designed twelve unique characters for the game, tying into the game's prominent theme of a multiverse of infinite variations of characters beyond even what is known in the canon of Marvel Comics.


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".[12]

In April 2015, Kabam and Longtu Games announced Marvel Contest of Champions to be published in China in late 2015. Some elements of the game were changed for the Chinese market.[13] The version was later shut down and all players were transferred to the international version.[citation needed]

In June 2015, Marvel announced to publish a comic book adaptation of the game that takes place in the main Marvel universe. The comic also introduced new heroes such as Guillotine, a French heroine with a mystical sword, and White Fox, a heroine from South Korea. Maestro served as the antagonist in the series.[14][15]

A spin-off mobile game was created by Kabam and Marvel Games, launching on December 16, 2020. Marvel Realm of Champions takes place in the same universe, and expands on the story from Contest of Champions.[16] The synopsis stated that Maestro brought the shattered realms together as Battleworld and ruled it until he was mysteriously slain, causing the Barons to rise up and control their lands.[17] There was cross-promotion between the two games, as several characters who originated in Realm were added to Contest as playable characters.[18] On January 13, 2022, it was announced that Realm of Champions would shut down on March 31 of that year.[19]


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.[12]


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