Brawl Stars is a multiplayer online battle arena and third-person hero shooter video game developed and published by the Finnish video game company Supercell. It was released worldwide on December 12, 2018, on iOS and Android. The game features various game modes, each with a different objective. Players can choose from a selection of Brawlers, which are characters that can be controlled with on-screen joysticks in a game match.
In Brawl Stars, players battle against other players or AI opponents in multiple game modes. Players can choose between characters called Brawlers that they have unlocked through Boxes, the Brawl Pass, the Trophy Road, or purchased through the Shop to use in battles.
Brawl Stars has a variety of different game modes that players can choose from, each one having a different objective. Players can invite friends to play with them up to the maximum team size of the game mode. In addition, it is possible to purchase skins with Gems or Star Points, or unlock them through the Brawl Pass, which will alter the appearance, animations, and/or sounds of Brawlers.
In May 2020, a game update added a new reward system called “Brawl Pass”. The Brawl Pass is the game’s version of a battle pass. When players compete in battles, they earn Tokens to progress along the Brawl Pass. Players can earn Boxes, Gems, skins, Pins (emojis that can be used during battles or in a team game room), Coins, Power Points, and Brawlers from the pass. There are two types of Brawl Pass. All players have the free Brawl Pass by default. Players can purchase the premium Brawl Pass with Gems.
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Power League is a competitive ranking system added to the game in season 5. This replaced the Power Play system. Players unlock this system at 4500 trophies. There are a total of 19 ranks between bronze one and master. Each season lasts two months, with the exception of the first season, which would end at the end of season 5. At the end of a Power League season, players gain Star Points based on their rank.
Players can enter Power League solo or with teams of three. The winner is decided on a best-of-three format and ties do not count. Each match starts the game randomly choosing a game mode and map. A leader from both teams choose a Brawler to ban. All six players in the match must play with a different Brawler. Progression is varied based on various factors including the opponents ranks.
Club League was introduced in season 9 as a new weekly competition between Clubs, where eight Clubs compete during the days Wednesday, Friday and Sunday of the week. Tickets are required to play matches. Clubs compete to gain the most Club Trophies possible by players playing in selected matches. Players who play with other Club members are rewarded by earning more Club Trophies for the Club. After each competing day, the Clubs are ranked based on the Club’s Trophies to earn Club Points.
When the league ends on every Monday, the Clubs are ranked based on the Club’s Points to determine if the Club is promoted or demoted and the number of rewards. Club Ranks are the same as Power League ranks, where progression starts at Bronze I. Each Club member receives Club Coins at the end based on the performance of the Club and the member, which can be used in the Club Shop.
Each season brings a new Brawl Pass and Power League. Each season is accompanied with new skins that are themed to the season.
Development and release
Supercell set out to develop a team based game similar to League of Legends and Overwatch. The team wanted to create such a game that was designed with mobile devices in mind first. According to Supercell’s Frank Keienburg, “Our focus was on retaining a lot of depth while stripping away all the fluff.” Although the game contains some elements of the battle royale genre, these were implemented before the genre as a whole took off and the team did not set out to make a game with those elements.
The game is notable for its long soft launch period during which virtually every aspect of the game changed. Supercell officially announced the game via a livestream video on June 14, 2017. It received an iOS soft launch in Canada the following day. The soft launch would last a total of 522 days, during which internally it was doubted whether or not the game would ever actually see a general release.
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Initially the game was played in portrait mode and had players tapping on the screen, this was changed eventually to players using analog controls and playing in landscape mode. Other changes include changing the UI, changing the metagame and transitioning the game from 2D to 3D. Frank Keienburg attributes the difficult beta period to the developers working in a new genre where they “weren’t sure how to interpret its success”.
The game soft-launched in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macao and Malaysia for iOS on January 19, 2018, and on June 26, 2018, Android received early access to the game as a continuation of the soft launch.
Brawl Stars was made globally and officially available on December 12, 2018. It made more than US$63 million in its first month. On June 9, 2020, Brawl Stars was released in Mainland China.
The game has a partnership with Line Friends to create official merchandise, new skins for Brawlers that are based on Line Friends characters, sticker packs on Line messenger, and new content. A pop-up store was opened in January 2020 in South Korea to sell the merchandise from the partnership. Merchandise is also available at major Line Friends retail stores and online.
The game partnered up with Paris Saint-Germain F.C. (PSG), a French professional soccer club, in 2019 to host Brawl Stars Ball Cup organized by PSG’s esports division. There were three online qualifier events and an online playoff event. The top two teams travelled to Paris for the finals. The finals were played live at PSG’s home stadium, Parc des Princes. All matches took place in Brawl Ball, a football-like game mode.
The game partnered up with PSG again in 2020 and 2021. During the partnerships, the game launched the Paris Saint-Germain Challenge. The challenges are similar to the championship challenges, but all matches are based in the Brawl Ball game mode. In 2020, the game offered a PSG skin for Shelly for players who won nine matches and lost four or fewer times. PSG’s esports division also has a team that competed in the 2020 championship challenge. In 2021, the game offered a PSG Mike skin for Dynamike.