Guardians of Middle-earth is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game set in the Lord of the Rings universe. Two teams with five players each fight against each other and try to destroy the opponents' base. Each user takes the role of a character (e.g. Sauron or Gandalf) which belongs to one of five classes, but within a class there are still differences (e.g. special attacks) between the characters. Then each player construct buildings like defense towers or minion-producing buildings, conquers shrines which give bonuses or kills AI creatures for experience points. At the beginning of each match, the characters start at level one and level ups give the opportunity to improve the personal abilities or constructed things.
However, there is an important differences to the established MOBA mechanics: there is no in-match item shop. Items (either permanent bonuses or consumables) can only be purchased and put into the character's belt outside of matches by using the money earned after matches. The player also will level up outside matches and unlock advantages like more potion capacity. Other effects of the aim for MOBA beginners are smaller maps (overall two), controls designed for gamepads (and therefore a focus on area-of-effect attacks) as well as an optional time limit.
The game is meant to be played competitively against human players (if no one are found, they may be replaced with AI), there are options to play in co-op or set up a custom match with only one human. There is only a rotating cast of player characters available to the player; characters can be permanently unlocked with in-game money.