The autobattler is having a bit of a moment right now, with Auto Chess and Valve's new DotA Underlords both also contending to be the top title in the genre, and Riot's Teamfight Tactics has proven immensely popular with players and Twitch viewers since its launch on June 25.
Whether you’re a League of Legends player interested in trying out Riot’s new game, or an Auto Chess veteran looking for a new flavor, here’s everything you need to know about Teamfight Tactics.
How to play Teamfight Tactics
Despite being essentially an entirely separate game, Teamfight Tactics is technically featured as a mode in League of Legends, and as such is accessible through the LoL client.
Anyone who's played League of Legends before can simply log into their account and queue up for a game, or if you're a complete newcomer to Riot's title, sign up for free and install the League of Legends launcher.
Unlike League of Legends itself, Teamfight Tactics requires no mechanical skill - as the 'autobattler' name suggests, combat is played out automatically, with players mostly unable to interfere once a battle begins.
Victory, then, depends on a variety of factors relating to the composition of each player's team. As well as some champions simply being more powerful than others, champions have traits that provide additional bonuses when fielded with other champions sharing those traits, and items can also be acquired that give champions further power boosts.
After each round, the losing player will take damage - the amount increasing the greater number of champions the victor has standing at the end of combat - to their health bar, and once your health runs out you're out of the game.
Beginner’s guide to Teamfight Tactics
A game like Teamfight Tactics can be a bit daunting for an absolute beginner, with a lot to think about and nuances that aren’t necessarily immediately obvious to those unfamiliar with the genre.
The game kicks off with a 'shared draft' in which players stand around a revolving carousel of champions. When the game starts, the players race to grab their preferred champion, which then becomes your first unit.
The first few rounds of the game are played against the AI, before meeting other players from round 3. As the game progresses, players can use gold to buy champions and experience, which allows you to level up and therefore field more champions at once.
Powering up champions
There are two ways of increasing the power of your champions. If you have three of the same champion, they can be combined to form a more powerful level two version, and three of these can be combined again for a level three version.
Like in League of Legends, players can also acquire items, which are dropped by minions during battles against the AI. Items can be given to champions to increase their power, with the ability to combine basic items to create more powerful items with additional effects. A full explanation of items and combinations can be found in our item guide.
For an explanation of how it all works, streamer Disguised Toast has produced a video tutorial covering the basics of the game, which also includes a full gameplay to give you a sense for how things will play out.
Which champions are best in Teamfight Tactics?
Naturally, once you’ve got to grips with the basics of the game the next question is which champions you should be choosing if you want the greatest chance of success.
To help give you a sense of which champions are most powerful at different stages in the game, blitz.gg have put together a tier list, which also details champion stats like, health, armor, and damage-per-second.
A champion’s raw power isn’t the only consideration, however, as Teamfight Tactics also includes a “synergy” mechanic. Every champion has two traits – an ‘Origin’, and a ‘Class’. Fielding champions that share traits can unlock additional bonuses.
A full list of the champion Origins and Classes, as well as what effects they can produce and the circumstances under which those effects come into play, can be found in our champions guide.
Last updated: July 12, 2019 - 10:30 AM EST