Aerena - Clash of Champions - The Turn Based Arena Combat Game
ÆRENA is a tactical, hero-centric combat game with a unique Ætherpunk setting. Command formidable Champions, employ powerful Æther Shells and challenge your brain - not your fingers - in strategic, turn-based yet fast paced combat. It's like speed chess meets LoL or DotA. With Æther!
User reviews: Mostly Positive (679 reviews)
Release Date: May 7, 2014

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Play Aerena - Clash of Champions - The Turn Based Arena Combat Game

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"ÆRENA is a tactical, hero-centric combat game with a unique Ætherpunk setting. It's like speed chess meets LoL or DotA. With Æther! and... Free-to-Play!"
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Recent updates View all (40)

November 4, 2014

Albert Einstein enters the Arena!

Einstein has joined The Games!

His basic attack adds +1 to ship aether and his super and ulti attack can transfer Aether from the enemy ship onto your own

- The user who starts second in a match, starts with +2 Ship Aether
- Sharina got a new skin
- Career quests no longer have a locked/unlocked symbol in the mission screen. The symbol is now a chest with coins and users receive Æther coins for solved career quests
- After the tutorial all game modes, shell generator, career and daily quests are unlocked and usable
- Champion rotation gets unlocked when the user reaches level 3
- New daily quest: Level up!
- New career quests objectives:
5. Deal 200 damage
6. Play 5 league matches


- Won AI and casual matches now also count for "Win with ship X" achievements
- Rector's tutorial dialogue has the same format as the rest
- Text issue for random hint of pushing champions against others was fixed
- "Win with The Beast" achievements are now consistent with all Win x matches with ship y
- Kill 1/10/30 with HAMMER achievement text has been fixed
- Achievement title for 30 logins is now correct
- Coupon window is not shown automatically after the tutorial anymore.

2 comments Read more

October 21, 2014

Tali and Lily join the Air Pirates! New Air Pirate arena Wildfire!


- New Champion: Tali (5 HP, 1 DMG +1 for every friendly pirate champion; Super attack deals 2 DMG or kills Taeyang instantly; Ulti attack deal 1 DMG +1 for every friendly pirate)
- H.A.M.M.E.R got a police skin
- New ship: Tesla (14 HP, ESS faction)
- New ship: Mac (14 HP, INC faction)
- Valerian Skin for Tesla
- Lilly Skin for Sparrow
- Rector skin for Bombshell
- Hendrick skin for Mac
- Map rotation now occurs every 30 minutes
- New Air Pirate "Wildfire" now fully integrated
- New league icons which are also different for every subtier
- Ranked mission debriefing added to clarify the progression through the leagues
- League Seasons now change approximately every 6 weeks starting with 15th of October
- Players now see the current rank of their opponent if the play a ranked match
- Career quests 2,3,4,5,6,7,9,12,13,18 and 19 have been changed
- Some of the early daily quests have been changed: play a match; deal 30 damage; play 4 shells; play 3 matches; win 2 matches; play 3 shells
- The tutorial can now be skipped by pushing the appropriate button in the interface and will take players to the Trophy-screen where they can enter an in-game-name
- Client side versioning warns the player if his client is out of date and will tell the player to update the client if this is the case
- All game modes: practice, casual and ranked are unlocked immediately after the tutorial is finished/skipped


Taeyang and Tali were the son and daughter of a powerful industry magnate who had founded the Four Stars Trading Company, who joined the INCquisition to bring back order to the chaos that reigned after the AEther wars. Where her brother happily devoted himself to the cause, her free-spirited and chaotic nature riled against the INC's rigid structure and elitist approach. Naturally drawn to the free life of the Air Pirates, she joined them after stealing the latest top-secret prototype weapon from her father's lab - a new device designed to harness Æther residue from sources the device is attuned to. This allows her to empower her attacks, drawing additional strength from her fellow Pirates!


- Support e-mail display in the menu has been changed to
- Luna's Ultimate damages friendly Champions again
- Badges and master images for reaching Valerian V and VI are correctly unlocked now. Players who did not get them yet but are entitled to it have to play another AI match to unlock them.
- Claiming badges takes less time
- Issues with repeated disconnection dialogues popping up will no longer happen and only occur when the client has a connectivity issue
- Corrected typos:
- in Taeyang's welcome dialogue
- in ranked screen
- Match-wins via surrendering by opponents are correctly counted towards appropriate daily quest-goals now
- Lost AI matches now reward stars for the rare shell package reward.
- Fixed that the visual effect from a heal tile was shown simultaneously on another tile on the map.
- Improved character skin portraits (they now have a higher resolution).
- The memory size of levels has been cut down to a third making it faster to download
- Claiming daily quests works quicker now

0 comments Read more


“A mix of MOBA ideas and tactical RPG gameplay, Aerena is a cool game that has the potential to be a hit with fans of both strategy and competitive multiplayer games.”
8/10 – Gaming Nexus

“Ærena is a uniquely accessible and thought-provoking take on multiplayer battles that could easily turn the MOBA scene on its head. And above all, it is damn fun.”
9/10 – GameZone

“Ærena's visuals are a delight to see. Menus and loading screens are filled with entertaining artwork that adds to the vast steampunk world that Cliffhanger Productions has built, especially each champion’s avatar portrait along with their backstories. [...]offering a different experience to those looking for something that stands out within the growing genre of battle arenas. Ærena: Clash of Champions is definitely worth checking out”
4.5/5 – OnRPG

About This Game

ÆRENA is a tactical, hero-centric combat game with a unique Ætherpunk setting. Command formidable Champions, employ powerful Æther Shells and challenge your brain - not your fingers - in strategic, turn-based yet fast paced combat. It's like speed chess meets LoL in an Ætherpunk arena!

Listed as one of the best strategy titles of 2014 by PC Gamer!

An ÆRENA match or mission takes about ten minutes, but offers the depth of a true strategy game. Whether you like MOBAs or classic Turn-Based Tactical games such as Advance Wars of Final Fantasy Tactics, ÆRENA combines the best of both worlds.

ÆRENA offers true cross-platform gameplay. Battle your friends and other players, or hone your combat skills in solo training -- anytime, anywhere.

Now, enter the Ærena and become the Master of Æther!

Aerena is a brilliant game and deserves your attention.
Cult of Mac

Win exciting prizes such as iPads, Figurines or real cash in our two-montly League Season!!! JOIN NOW!

Key Features

  • Build you team, ready your shells in a tactical game unlike any you have played before.
  • Use YOUR tactics and strategy in challenging battles to lead your team of Champions to victory!
  • Compete live against your friends and other players, or perfect your combat skills in solo training!
  • Pilot your ship from arena to arena and leverage its special abilities to support your team!
  • Turn the tide of battle with game-changing Æther Effects!
  • Build a winning strategy from dozens of Champions, Æther Shells and ships!
  • Once you’re battle-tested, enter the “League of Champions” and compete against the world’s best players for the ultimate prize!
  • Monthly updates add new champions, ships and arenas.

The game has a fair-to-play business model, meaning everything can be acquired with in-game money. We don't support pay to win!

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8/Windows 8.1
    • Processor: 1.7+ GHz or better
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB NVidia or ATI graphics card
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
    • OS: OSX 10.7 +
    • Processor: 1.7+ GHz or better
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB NVidia or ATI graphics card
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
50 of 59 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 5, 2014
A poorly planned F2P model kills an otherwise interesting game. If you want a good experience you really need to spend money.

This game could have been interesting, but the F2P models is so poorly thought out that people will be put off from playing. It works like this. You start out with three random champions, that are on a random rotation, and you can unlock new champions for in-game credits (or real money). Sounds good so far? Sure... but it's gets bad real fast.

The moment you buy your first champion, you get only two random champions each day (and buying two gives you one random champion, and so on...), so basically you get to try out fewer champions, and get stuck with a narrower selection for your battles. This means that you may get in a situation where you have bought champions that don't mesh well together, and you will be ending up losing basically every game. You will also get matched up VS people who have bought a lot of champions, and will have the ability to change linup on the fly (since you can have six champions pool to choose from, but only three on the field at any given time), so even if you manage to have a selection of champions that work well vs a player, they will still be able to counter-pick, since they got access to a pool of up to six champions during a battle.

Well.... how about just playing the game and buying some heroes? Sure, you can. If you feel like it's fun to play for hours VS players who have bought heroes, and by that merit alone have a higher chance of winning.

However, that's not all. It gets worse. You can also buy "shells", shells that can be bought in two rarities. Normal and rare. Rare shells are often stronger, and some can have devastating effects on the game, and having a big supply of rare shells will increase your chances of winning. Players who already bought all champions can spend all the money they earn on shells. Players who wants to go the F2P-route, can't, because if they do, they will never be able to buy the champions they need, unless they want to spend hundreds of hours playing the game with poor chances of winning.

Obviously you can off-set all of this by being a "skilled player" but an even easier way to increase your win rate is by throwing in some cold hard cash. Spending money gives you flexibility in your play. It gives you rare shells and better types of ships (ships basically give you a resources/tactical advantage and some added flexibility).

To sum it up, you may like the gameplay, but the free to play model is one of the worst on the market, because unlike games like LOL & SMITE you're not just stuck with a limited amount of heroes, you're also stuck with a limited selection of ways to counter your opponent during play. In MOBA games you can buy the same items, and heroes are reasonably well balanced and possible to counter through item selection during game. In this game, you can't even get a decent item selection, because that means never being able to buy champions, and buying champions early on, makes it so that you'll get an even narrower selection of champions, and are even less likely to be able to counter your opponent.

What they need to do to fix this, is to allow players to ALWAYS have three champions on a rotating schedule, even if you buy more champions. The would allow F2P-users to always have three random champions, plus the ones you bought with in-game currency. You will still be at a disadvantage VS players who spent tons of cash, but it would at least give you A SLIGHT chance to counter your opponent, since you would at least have a minimum of FOUR champions to choose from during any game. It would also allow you to try most champions in the game, since you will always get new champions with the 3x champion free rotation. It would also allow players to be able to spend some credits on shells, since you wouldn't be as punishing for F2P-accounts to spend credits on shells, since they still get a decent selection of champions.

I would also like to see the developers add an option to straight out buy the whole game. I recommend that they go the smite route with and charge 25-40 euro for all current champions and ships and all future additions of champions and ships. This give people who just want to buy the game an option to do so, without having to deal with all the cash-shop nonsense. They could also support the game in the future by buying skins, shells, and what not.

Anyway. I won't be recommending this game unless they improve the F2P model. In fact, I'll actively work to discourage people from playing this game. The current model is harmful for consumers, and it's not fair play. It's practically a PAY2WIN game at this point, and that's real bad.
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22 of 28 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 26, 2014
I didn't play this Free-To-Play title for very long, but I did play it just enough to determine that it wasn't doing it for me. Comparisons in the store page to MOBAs like League of Legends and Dota 2 are misleading as the game really has NOTHING in common with any MOBAs whatsoever. Personally, I just find it too simplistic yet at the same time too complex- success is based around rapid calculations of how much damage your characters can put out, how much they'll receive, how much Aether they'll generate, how much Aether each player will generate, which abilities that will allow, which special shells that will allow and so on, so forth. The small battlefields and low number of units mean combat is non-stop and the short turn timer means you have to think REALLY fast. While I can see a lot of room for competative depth, I just felt the lack of any kind of permanent progression within matches made it too simplistic and dull for my tastes. It's more like Chess than a MOBA, but it just didn't appeal to me. After a couple of games, I just couldn't find the motivation to play any more. Maybe it'll be more your thing, but it wasn't mine.
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2014
I like the idea of trying to make a turn-based game in the Dota style of various unique champions, esports-oriented and with a chunky, comic book aesthetic. Their tagline of it testing your brain not your fingers appeals to me. The problem is that not only does it gate the heroes behind a paywall, with a rotating trial period for them - more like LoL than Dota - it's also horribly P2W. There are special boosts you can use in battle that can really turn the tide; things like healing your team, doing direct damage to the enemy heroes or ship (the ship is basically the player in the Magic the Gathering sense) and even instantly killing enemy heroes. This leads to the typical P2W trap that you COULD grind to get them or you could just pay for them - and even worse, grinding to get them is going to be painful if other players have already bought them, or you could just grind in the versus AI training mode which will get tedious as hell.

It's a shame. If it wasn't for that element, and if all heroes were available like in Dota, this would be a great game to invest in. As it stands, it's on the level of a generic iPhone P2W game.
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18 of 27 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
21.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 8, 2014
Genre - Turn Based 1v1 Tactics Game
This game is F2P and has you in one flying ship fighting another opposite. You spawn three characters at a time with different abilities. You basically need to destroy the enemy ship using them and three shells you can fire, which can be substituted as heal etc. Games are very quick and fun (5-10 minutes). You will face varying abilities of players and as the characters are fairly balanced it is not P2W. You get daily missions and quests that allow you to earn currency getting new characters, shells and ships to use.
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18 of 27 people (67%) found this review helpful
227.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 4, 2014
Aerena is extremely tough on new players and has a mandatory longer than usual tutorial. I just about gave up before getting through it. I'm glad I didn't. That's the negatives out of the way.

Aerena is a turn based Tactical board game for those competitors types, who don't want everything handed to them. Yes you start with 3 characters and 1 ship and everyone else has more. There is nothing wrong with those characters and they can win games. They are not what is causing you to lose, you're losing because of a lack of experience.

I believe the game which includes changable characters(with special abilities), ships (think Bases) & Shells (special Attacks) are well balanced and the ability to change them keeps the game from being stable. The rate at which you acquire in game currency is fine. I have heard complaints that it is too slow but people expect too much these days. What ever happened to the days where you had to play a game for more than 5 minutes to unlock things?

If you're one of the "oh no.. it's pay2win" generation... It's not. There is only 1 thing that you HAVE to pay for and is not available through in game currency.... and it's a cool ship that is COSMETIC. Sure you will have to grind through quite a few losses before you start getting things you want. within a week, I had 4 characters. If you want to speed things up then you should support the developers and $20-25 will see you through. IF you're smart you'll end up with a handful of charcter and 2-3 ships as well.

overall Aerena is one of the better games I have played this year and would highly recommend. 8.5/10
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10 of 15 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
430.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 8, 2014
So... I have played this game for 150+ hours or there abouts. Yep. If I have played it that much, then I would say with confidence that the game is good. I'd say that all of the positive reviews are well earned.

This game is truely perfect for a quick hit of PvP action while or you can play a new map each hour if you are a marathon player.

The game keeps improving with each update. The community of players and interaction with the developers keeps growing. And communication is good regarding bugs and suggestions for possible changes or things people want to see in game.

The game is free to play but it is very worth it to get the starter pack. Otherwise, you will have a long climb in earning in-game currency to purchase heroes or ships that you want. After that, you should be able to make the grind to earn the rest of the heroes and ships you want.
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9 of 14 people (64%) found this review helpful
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 4, 2014
Rediculously easy. On my first day my PvP ranked record is 16-2, platinum league. Then the game 'error'/bugged out and some of the menus didn't work and the top ribbon vanished. There were only 30-40 people on the entire time, and the chat gets spammed up with multiple languages. I kid you not, this is actual chat text: 'italy: Italy?' Your opponents will be people from -insert country of origin- who name themselves -insert their country of origin- and then ask IN ENGLISH if there are other people online from their contry of origin by repeating their own name/country of origin.

There are a few maps, and the limited nature of the shells adds something, as do the random nature of the maps. Both do make you think on your feet and make you plan out resources a bit. It takes a LONG time to acquire both the ships and your "pieces" (ala chess). After 10+ hours of playtime I have only purchased one, and that was at half price, the other 3 are on a 'trial' period. Who know how long that will last b/c there is no help file or explanation for how that works. I could buy another 2-3 at half price assuming something went on 'sale', which is random of course, or buy 1 of either a ship or piece. I've made it to the rank V or VI bots and still only 'unlocked' one ship that I could buy, even if I wanted buy to. The next unlock is based on random map generation, where I have to play 3 of 4 types of map. So that's fun not being able to conciously work towards, you just have to grind it out.

Pros: I can say that you can at least purchase EVERYTHING in the game by grinding. And IF you for whatever reason wanted to put money into the game, the 'aether' is relatively cheap.

The bottom line is its pretty repetative, I highly doubt anyone is going to want to put over 50 hours into this thing. The only reason I lasted this long is I was steamrolling people.
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12 of 20 people (60%) found this review helpful
35.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 23, 2014
Definitely recommend, a fairly solid game.

Unlike many games based off of champion roles, there's really no ULTIMATE champion with "overpowered" abilities. Yes, some are better suited to different arenas than others, but each team can be a winner no matter what. Just had a strong comeback win in a match that I thought I'd lost. All it takes is some careful, yet quick thoughts and strategies. By learning a few quick tricks during losses, you can become more and more formidable as you combine strategies that others show you.

Yes, getting in-game currency is a BIT slow, but easily done. Games take 10-15 minutes and you can unlock many badges (achievements) early and they reward you with currency as well. OR you can pay a few bucks to help the game makers develop the game more, work a few more bugs out of the system (a few shells still lag hard), or maybe add a new feature. Don't complain.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
113.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
Well balanced (improving regularly), heavily skill-based turn-based strategy with short (10-15min) matches.

If you like varied turn-based strategy, definitely check this out.

-Lots of updates and tweaks over the time I've played the game (in the right direction)
-Wide variety of viable hero combinations (though the game is moving in a "rock paper scissors" counter-pick direction a bit)
-Skill-based. No need to spend a dime.

-Recent introduction of arbitrary faction based heroes (and bonuses on skills) is unneccessarily difficult to remember and not really related in any way.
-The newer in-game cash methods are somewhat slow to generate, although the old model was too generous so perhaps its fair. Its hard to tell for me since I've already got a large number of unlocks.
-Community is still somewhat small which makes finding matches on the upper end of the skill-spectrum a bit more difficult
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
Good, but hard especially if you get matched against players with more experience.
But it is possible to win against these too and these are those moments when the game really really is satisfying.

You always know what you did wrong and you learn something with each match!

I also like the creativity and the love that clearly went into the creation of this little gem.
It is free, try it and make sure to pay attention in the tutorial and play a few AI practice matches first!
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 10, 2014
Combination of DoTA (varied heroes to choose from with their own abilities) and Hearthstone 1 on 1 dueling. Turn based combat. It's a lot of fun.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 15, 2014
Awesome game one of the best strategy based games
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 12, 2014
Really enjoying this game so far!
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
18.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2014
I Love This Game!!! For a free to play game it is the most well balanced game I have ever played! This game is how smart one is. Can you out think, out move, out play your opponent. It does not matter on whose chess board you play on, it is how you play. And that is how this game is. One of the best F2P games I have played in a long time!!! Come give this game a try, and enjoy the fun too!!!

( Turned based game. To win you have to take down your opponents ship. To do this one has to take out one of the opponent's players that are one the board ( for onr point each kill ), or attack the ship itself once you get in range. Each Champion has their own strength and weaknesses. Some move a few more spaces on the board, while others move 2 spaces but hit hard and have knock backs. You have up to 3 Chapions on the board. They come out as you play turn by turn. The field is set up like a chess or checker board. And now the fun starts. Give it a try. If you like chess, and games like that, games you have to use your mind to win, you will love this game hands down!!!
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 10, 2014
Fun game with lots of depth in strategy.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
34.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 18, 2014
Very addictive and a lot of fun.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
25.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 9, 2014
Pretty addictive
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 7, 2014
Very fun game and very easy when u get use to it.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
14.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 26, 2014
I was a little sceptica about it at first as i started playing before they fixed matchmaking and disconnections BUT the game is AMAZING and its cross-platform so you can play against your buds who own tablets or even a tablet of your own on the go outside.

However considering its a free game id reccomend at least getting the starter pack it gets you a solid team to start with unless you dont want to spend money then thats fine the game has alot of great champs to give you on trial.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 30, 2014
really fun i highly reccomend
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