If you’re short on time but still have that itch to play a game that’s more on the competitive side you won’t have to go far. T3 Arena is a new-ish 3v3 arena shooter that’s perfect for quick on-the-go gameplay. The game kicked off for iOS via the App Store back on May 26th and is also available for Android via TapTap. There are loads of different features and modes and there are even competitive seasons for those interested in climbing the ranks. If you’re not familiar with T3 Arena yet, let me break it down for you.
T3 Arena is a free-to-play arena shooter that pits teams of three against each other in a variety of modes during matches that last for just a few short minutes. The game features the increasingly popular ‘heroes’ system where there is a diverse and exciting cast of characters to choose from depending on how you want to play the game, like Gloria who has a shotgun for close range, an assault rifle for long range, and the Quicksand Bomb to slow down enemies before it detonates, dealing significant damage to anyone in range. Characters are unlocked by completing challenges and leveling up the Battle Pass, but unlike Overwatch, these characters can also be leveled up themselves, increasing their health and other stats to make them more effective in the arena. One of my favorite heroes is Iris, a sort of Mercy/Lifeline support hybrid who can deal some pretty mean damage while also keeping her team in the fight.
There’s very much an Overwatch vibe going on in T3 Arena. Gameplay feels frantic at times and the tides of battle can turn quickly with a well-placed ultimate attack. You’ll face off with other players in a variety of modes like Team Deathmatch, Payload Escort, and Crystal Assault, or you can even take the whole lobby head on in Free-for-All. For the most part, modes will be very familiar if you play other competitive arena shooters, except for maybe Crystal Assault. In this mode each team has a crystal they have to defend while also trying to destroy the other team’s crystal. I’ve had many a battle in this mode being super tight with no definitive victor until the very end. Not all modes are available right away. Again, you’ll have to unlock them by leveling up while playing in earlier modes, starting with Team Deathmatch.
Season 1 of T3 Arena wrapped up about two weeks ago and now we’re diving headlong into Season 2, Lights On. Season 1 was a brilliant introduction to the game, having no shortage of content with 20 different heroes to choose from, 15 maps, and 7 game modes, including those mentioned above. Season 2 introduces another new hero named Yaa, an agility expert who uses the Gale Pistol to literally blow her competition away with wind-based ammo. Four new maps were also introduced including a new Temple Ruins map for Crystal Assault and Chinatown for Payload Race, designed to give players opportunities for a more tactical approach. There were also a few tweaks made to some gameplay mechanisms and modes to keep gameplay more interesting.
T3 Arena really does hit that sweet spot for mobile shooters. Compared to other mobile shooters like PUBG Mobile, Apex Legends Mobile (which I reviewed, read it here), and Call of Duty Mobile, the touch controls are simple. Controls can be catered to your personal preferences but the defaults are so easy to use that I’ve not found any need to change any of the settings. One thing that you’ll notice right away is that there isn’t a ‘button’ to fire your weapon. Instead your weapon will automatically start to fire when there is an enemy in front of you. Of course there is a limit to this as if you are using a more short-range weapon like a shotgun, it won’t start to fire until the target is within the weapon’s effective range. You’ll use the left side of your screen to move your character around like every other mobile shooter and use the right side to aim, and all of your ‘skill’ buttons are on the right side as well. Long pressing on a throwable, like a grenade, allows you to move your finger around to aim before releasing it so you don’t accidentally waste it. You are in control.
The thing I am most interested in seeing with T3 Arena is eSports. This game has tremendous potential in this area in my opinion. TapTap did organize the TapTap All-Stars Tournament a little while back which had over 100k combined views, but I would be very interested in seeing bigger events around this title. If any mobile game was going to be able to have what I feel could be a truly sustainable mobile eSports scene, it would be T3 Arena. There’s already a large community surrounding this game, including an active Discord server with thousands of members and over 1 million combined views in the content creator community.
I do have a few small gripes about the game. I do hope that the devs will take a look at how characters respawn in the Team Deathmatch mode. Right now players respawn in their original starting location, which makes it very easy for a team to get spawn-camped for the remainder of the game if they become overwhelmed by the enemy team. I feel like characters should respawn at random points around the map to prevent this from happening in the future. In objective-based modes like Crystal Assault and Payload Escort, having a set spawn location makes sense, but Team Deathmatch is meant to be more fluid. I do also wish I could switch characters mid-game if the one I’ve originally chosen just isn’t working out for me.
There are also quite a few microtransactions, including things like loot boxes of varying tiers called Rumble Boxes, battle passes, virtual currency called T-Gems, and skins, but thankfully they haven’t gone overboard with it and none of it is pay-to-win. There is an in-game currency called T-Coins that can be used to purchase Power Cores to level up your heroes faster, but you earn that currency while you play and you’ll also get some from loot boxes you receive along the way. Aside from buying loot boxes where you may receive some, you are not buying your way to the top with T-Coins.
T3 Arena is a super fun and fast-paced mobile arena shooter with tremendous potential, especially in eSports. Gameplay is very simple, smooth, tight and intense and the hero system with all of its different characters to choose from keeps every match interesting. And unlike many mobile games, it isn’t plagued by pay-to-win systems.