Each player is in control of only one hero which is picked at the start of the game. If a player leaves the game or a player slot is set to a computer before the game begins, a custom AI will control the hero for the rest of the game. Slots set to computers will select their heroes randomly after all players have chosen.
The maximum level a hero can attain is 80. Unlike standard games, hero skill points are not granted upon every level. Every odd level until 21, a skill point is awarded. Then until level 45 skill points are awarded every 3 levels; after level 45 a skill point is given every 5 levels. This results in heroes not having sufficient skill points to raise all of their skills to their highest level without purchasing extra skill points from their altar. Planning early in the game what skills to place points in is recommended.
Each player has an altar located in the main base, which can be used to research additional improvements for your heroes at the cost of crystals. In addition, the altar can be used to Temper items, improving their strength at a cost of gold. The available hero upgrades are:
- Strength (2 points gained per upgrade, initially 6 crystal, which increases by 1 every upgrade. Has 25 upgrades)
- Agility (2 points gained per upgrade, initially 6 crystal, which increases by 1 every upgrade. Has 25 upgrades)
- Intelligence (2 points gained per upgrade, initially 6 crystal, which increases by 1 every upgrade. Has 25 upgrades)
- Attack damage (20 crystal initially, increasing in cost by 9 each upgrade. Has 20 levels. Increase varies by hero, usually being around 10% of the hero's initial damage.)
- Armor (20 crystal initially, increasing in cost by 9 each level. Has 20 upgrades. Increases armor by 10 each level)
- Additional skill point (30 crystal initially, increasing by 10 each upgrade. Has 8 levels)
- Talents (Varies based on any given talent, also not every hero has talents and will not be implemented until v1.12)