SUNSfan and Jenkins announce Relic Arena, a stand-alone version of Ability Arena cover image

SUNSfan and Jenkins announce Relic Arena, a stand-alone version of Ability Arena

SUNSfan and Jenkins have unveiled Relic Arena, a stand-alone version of their popular Dota 2 Arcade game Ability Arena.

In the wake of the monetization ban in the Dota 2 Arcade, the creators of Ability Arena, Shannon “SUNSfan” Scotten and Andrew “Jenkins” Jenkins, have unveiled Relic Arena, a stand-alone “build your own hero” auto battler. 

Revealed by press release on Dec. 4, the historically-inspired battler launched its Kickstarter at 8:00 a.m. PT.

[Pre Alpha Footage] (Image via Double Edge Studios)
[Pre Alpha Footage] (Image via Double Edge Studios)

Peeling back the Dota 2 veneer from the core concept of the original, Relic Arena’s characters are inspired by historical figures and archetypes. Instead of abilities, historical relics will represent the “powers” in this game. Adding a relic to a hero will cause it to appear on the unit, transforming their performance as you play and experiment.

Historical figures have also replaced the “Gods” of Ability Arena—Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Cleopatra, and Alan Turing will take on the role of Leaders and apply an overall buff to your units.

There will be 16 Leaders in-game on release, with more to come later (Image via Double Edge Studios)
There will be 16 Leaders in-game on release, with more to come later (Image via Double Edge Studios)

Overall, it’s the same Ability Arena gameplay you loved, with a new, fresh design that will keep the game in development outside of the Dota 2 Arcade.

This philosophy behind Relic Arena

In the release, Relic Arena is described as a game that is both Casual and Competitive. SUNSfan described Relic Arena as “a game that fits into your daily routine with ease, but also boasts the depth and complexity to take center stage in competitive gaming arenas.”

[Pre Alpha Footage] (Image via Double Edge Studios)
[Pre Alpha Footage] (Image via Double Edge Studios)

"Unlike traditional auto battlers that focus on buying units with pre-defined synergies, Relic Arena empowers players to craft their heroes. Through a rich selection of real-life historical relics, each with unique abilities and significant historical context, players strategically build and upgrade their units, ensuring no two heroes are the same."

As reiterated in both the release and Kickstarter, the game will feature no gacha or pay-to-win mechanics but is free-to-play and will have a Battle Pass. This Battle Pass will apparently include cosmetics, leader unlocks, and visual effects - similar to Ability Arena’s.

The team also stressed that they want to support a “healthy competitive scene.” To do this, they’ll be doing a lot of beta testing, releasing bi-monthly balance patches, and bi-monthly tournaments.

Relic Arena Release Date

While there’s no solid release date, we do have a month and year, with the game set to be release in March 2025. However, if you’re a Kickstarter backer with appropriate access, you’ll be able to take part in the Closed Alpha in March 2024 or the Closed Beta in September 2024.

In a video on Kickstarter, SUNSfan and Jenkins described the progress as “quicker than expected,” meaning these speculative dates could be very accurate.

Relic Arena Platforms

Ability Arena is set to release on Windows, Steam, on iOS via the App Store, and Android via Google Play. 

How to support?

You can support the Kickstarter by heading to the page. Rewards for contributing range from just $5 for a thank you, $25 for bonuses and in-game rewards, up to paying to be a designer for $1500. There’s also the “Whale Pack” for $5,000, which lets you hang out with SUNSfan and Jenkins when they celebrate the game’s launch.

You can also follow development on the game’s official website.