What's a fun, competitive 1v1 game?

by slim_just_left_town. Posted on Jul 01, 2020    15    62

Over the last two years I've learned and played league of legends, getting diamond this year. The game is toxic to my well being and has had all the enjoyment from playing sapped up from relying on sad, petulant, malicious people.

That being said, I love competition and being able to rely on myself to strategically beat someone. Ideally I'm looking for a game I wouldn't have to put loads of money into to be able to have a chance at winning. If anyone has any suggestions, that would be appreciated.



Valorant is dope


Teamfight tactics.


Depends on what genres you're into. I would personally recommend Legends of Runterra - Riot has done a phenomenal job with the game. It's so well polished and fun, and the model of the game is such that you don't have to spend money on cards to have a competitive deck. In fact, within a month, I was able to build any deck I wanted. Riot intends to profit via cosmetics. Bi-weekly patches (just like LoL) to keep the game fresh, amazing animations, barks (character interactions)... the game is just super fun to play. Best card game on the market rn.

Though if you don't like card games, this game won't change your opinion on that.


Magic the gathering, in both Arena (ftp) and MtgO (ptp)

Gr33kSpartan98 1

Dragon Ball Fighterz

nus321 1

Tekken 7, Street Fighter 6

anoopvk268 1


yourstru1y 1

I recently got into Gwent and its alot of fun. Sure its quite different from Witcher3's Gwent, and it has its flaws but I'm having alot of fun with it. It's free to play, but doesn't feel like you need to pay at all.

eternalweebtrash 2

Most fighters, I'd particularly recommend Soulcalibur 6

justsomeguy_why 1

Any card game, Gwent, hearthstone. Probably dota chess and regular chess. Can't think of any real competetive game that will be fun to play 1v1

WildChild007 1

Tekken 7

Flyllow 1

Guilty gear, BBCF, or any other fighting game.

Dexter4111 1

Hunt Showdown
Killing one player feels good, killing duo feels amazing

vikoy 1

In addition to those already suggested. How about digital card games?

Hearthstone, Gwent, Magic the Gathering Arena, Legends of Runeterra (this is based on LoL, so you'd be familiar with the heroes, minions, etc.)

marcspc 1

for honor, but not every team game is so affected by other players performance like mobas

breichart 1

Rivals if Aether.

Zombieferret2417 1

Starcraft 2, Tekken 7, Guilty Gear, Soul Calibur 6, Street Fighter 5, and Tabletop Simulator.

Mr_pessimister 1

Rocket League

babarlab21 1

titan fall 2

trungthao 1

Fifa 20, it’s always fun to play with your friends.

anotheraussiebloke 3

Rocket League

Darkseid_One 1

Street Fighter

dadude69 3

Brawlhalla is fun and 1v1

fr4nkie79 2

For Honor

Crimsongz 2

Tekken 7

Pallasite 2

Mordhau duels

Isaacvithurston 2

MTG arena or other tcg games. Fighting games, can't think of much else.

edit: starcraft 2 or age of empire remastered

OrgunDonor 3

I want to also throw out fighting games.

My personal choice is Street Fighter V Champion Edition which is currently £18.74 on steam - https://store.steampowered.com/bundle/13444/Street_Fighter_V__Champion_Edition/

This contains all the characters currently released, they have however announced another season for later this year.

The only things it does not come with are a couple stages and some costumes/colours. Which is not a big deal.

It has a fair amount of single player content, and will give you a long competitive road to sink a load of hours into. You also don't need to buy anything special to be competitive, a standard controller or just use your keyboard.

Cross play with PS4 is also in the game, which gives you a much larger population than just on PC as well.

Xjph 1

> This contains all the characters currently released, they have however announced another season for later this year.

As a follow up to this, characters are also purchasable with Fight Money, an in-game currency. While the ways to earn it haven't been particularly good throughout most of SFV's life, the sheer size of the full roster you get from Champion Edition allows you to easily get enough FM from offline play to buy the next season's characters without paying a cent.

Mr_Clovis 2


Very F2P-friendly card game with beautiful art, good balance, active player base and unique mechanics. Also, when you lose, it's almost always abundantly clear what you did wrong.

snowmanBob156 2

Duels on mordhau.

ChildOfHonor 2

If you like league you might try venturing into the realm of real time strategy games like age of empires 2. It recently got a nice remaster with a competitive scene that is gaining popularity.

Onyx_Sentinel 2

Lethal league blaze

slyrac01 2

Nidhogg, nidhogg 2

jayrocs 5

Smash Brothers Melee on Dolphin - Project Slippi just released a new version for smash ladder that has rollback netcode and match making that makes global matches playable.

Brawlhalla is free. I don't really think this is that deep of a game though.

Fighting Games - Tekken 7. SFV. and DBFZ are probably the 3 most popular FGs atm. You could even do Mordhau or For Honor, these aren't fighting games but you do fight 1v1 (in mordhau duels).

Rocket League 1v1.

Quake Champions 1v1 duels - low population, you might be turned off by queues times. You could also wait for Diabotical and practice arena FPS with Quake right now.

Thinking outside the box here - you already play league have you tried TFT? I know it's not 1v1 but you're still solo.

Out of all of these IMO - Starcraft Brood War is probably the hardest competitive 1v1 game ever made. You could also do SC2. Any game that has 1v1 in general is a pretty hardcore/hard game (well except for hearthstone). There's only you and no excuses if you lose. You could also wait for Riot's fighting game to come out.

reality_is_lame 7

Mordhau dueling. Medieval melee combat. Not really into the competitive scene personally but afaik it's still decently healthy. Very technical game with a high skill ceiling. Leveling does not affect stats in any way so at level 1 the only difference between you and anyone else is skill. No money involved beyond buying the game. Super fun in casual team modes too. Strong recommend.

ElvenNeko 4

All fighting games. Also all card games, but i warn you - amost all of them (especially popular ones, like hs or mtg) are higly pay to win, so dont even bother if you don't have money or tons of time to do boring grind. Any battle royale game in solo mode (i would recommend Ring of Elysium, it's free to play). Any asymmetrical game if you will play the solo side (resident evil resistance, last year, deceit, friday 13th, hide or die, dbd, white noise) - just be warned, those games are awefully ballanced, and it means you will face almost guaratneed defeat against full premade group of players. In survival games you can play solo but it would be easier for team to stomp you. Still, beating a team alone is very satisfying) Also, strategy games.

penatbater 6


mikeloud 3

To give an option outside of what's already been said:


On PC, there's Jstris (free, browser), tetr.io (free, browser and desktop, has ranked matchmaking) and Puyo Puyo Tetris (paid, has ranked matchmaking). Consoles also have PPT.

The gist of it is that lines you clear are sent to your opponent. Whoever goes out of space to put their next piece first loses. It's a lot of fun and playable almost anywhere, with a nearly infinite skillcap.

moothemaster 3

For Honor! The game is still alive and well. Great for 1v1s and if you want to team up with ya boy you can jump into 2v2s.

iml3g3nd 7

Quake champions has duel, and is the main mode in tourneys.

Won_Doe 11

Tekken 7 - fun game, all characters are viable, incredibly competitive.

az516 4

RTS and fighting games have already been suggested and are good options, but for me 1v1 modes in FPS games like Quake and Unreal will always be the most intense, most primal experiences. Most games of that type (often called arena FPS) have nice 1v1 duel modes, and some are even free to play.

It would really help to have people you know willing to play with you though, especially those at your skill level. The communities for these games are small, and you will be spending half the time arranging games via discord channels.

Quake Live and Quake Champions are great options, and QC probably has the most active playerbase. If you want any help/input, or if you want discord channels for new players, feel free to ask! :)

MistakeNot__ 1

TCG's are more of "pay to play certain formats" rather than P2W. And limited formats (which are by far the most skill intensive) have absolutely nothing to do with P2W.

az516 3

Friend, I think you replied to the wrong post.

Maggost 9

Starcraft 2 might be the best pick for you, it's all about your actions and mistakes through the entire match, you don't need to rely on someone else.

r13z 14

Age of Empires 2: DE

AT_93 5

Learns build orders and civs for 2 months. Tries out Ranked 1 vs. 1. Quits game after losing repeatedly. Fun.

Foraning 1

After a while you will be matched with your own skill level. You can also play unranked where there are more new players.

Nesqu 1

I actually find unranked to be full of people who've met their match in ranked and decide to get low elo players to face off against, stacking the deck against them...

Minkelz 3

Any competitive game 1v1 going in as a newbie you should expect to lose a lot the first couple of weeks... If you can’t handle that than they probably aren’t for you. In 2 months if you practice every day you should be good enough to beat medium/hard AI in Starcraft2/AoE2/WC3 at which point you can hop on to ladder and you will find even matches after just a few games.

AT_93 1

Yeah man i love the game. I am at like 1300 ELO RN. That being said, the AOE2 learning curve is quite tough and definitely not fun for newbies.

abacabbmk 5

Brood war

Wc3 Frozen throne


Arcturax 34

Starcraft 2

teachanywhere 83


Fighting games.

jusmar 6


AC3R665 2

Nice Ref.

MalstrumVG 5

Glad to see Chess as the top comment.

Ivanzypher1 20

Another vote for Rocket League. There is nothing you can spend money on that will help in any way, and the most popular car in the game is the default one. The skill ceiling is insanely high, and tactics and skill play an equally important role. There isn't too much toxicity, sarcastic "what a save!" calls are the worst you usually encounter.

Plus there are 2v2 and 3v3 modes if you ever decide to branch out back into team stuff.

WoodenPickle304 3

Champ 3 here and I can say that rocket league is the single most competitive multiplayer game, there’s no bs if you lose then it’s 100% on you

runnbl3 4

At first i was like no way his hitting that, as if he calculated, planned, and did all the math...

As more videos i watch, i quickly found out, its more skill and less rng