It’s a solid guess that you have heard and may have tried to queue up for Riot Games’ new mode of League of Legends. Teamfight Tactics is another “auto battle” game in light of Dota Auto Chess becoming extremely popular. The game mode is currently on the Public Beta Environment (PBE), and the client has seen people in queue for hours just to try the game out. Teamfight Tactics will hit the main client in the next patch, very likely on June 25 or 26, and we will see many more people playing the game for the first time. So let’s talk basics and things you’ll need to know before hitting the brand new map. There’s a lot, so buckle in.
Basics of Teamfight Tactics
Teamfight Tactics is an 8-player game where you build units from the League of Legends roster and battle it out with the other players and various monsters. The game takes its course until only one player remains, and the game takes place over several stages. The picture above is your “board,” where you’ll purchase champions and place various units across the hexes to fight other players. There is a lot to explain, and playing will only help in learning. Currently, 50 champions are available in the game, with plans to release more as time goes on. Check out Riot’s dev post from June 21 to find out more info on future releases.
Your player view will include the image above, as well as a store of five champions to purchase more units, a reroll option, and an experience buy option. The reroll option will change the champions in the store. The experience purchase is an important mechanic in the game. You can only have as many units as the game allows, beginning at one, then growing passively as the game progresses. You gain 2 EXP per round and can purchase 4 EXP for 4 gold. The amount of EXP you need to grow your army increases as you create a larger group.
Units and items in Teamfight Tactics
The 50 Teamfight Tactics champions all receive different classifications depending on their origin and their class in the game. For example, Lissandra is a “Glacial” origin and “elementalist” class. These classifications matter because if you play champions of the same class or origin, your team gets a buff. Different buffs require different amounts of units, so keep track of what you have and what’s possible. Some units are unique to their classification like Blitzcrank and Yasuo, where others have up to seven champions attributed. Ex-professional player and streamer William “Scarra” Li made a very helpful cheat sheet to help remember classifications and their effects.
What champions actually do depends. Champions will naturally auto-attack the nearest enemy and will build their mana bar. Once full, the champions expend their mana and use their ability. For example, Lissandra will cast her ultimate ability dealing damage to an enemy champion, or if below half health, will cast it on herself. There are items in the game that you can add to your champions. A champion can have up to three items, and they have a large amount of effects. All upgraded items build out of two basic items.
You will want to try and put ideal items on different units. The only way to get an item from a champion is by selling that unit back to the store. Keep in mind what you have, both on units and on the side, in order to have the best possible setup for your board. You cannot buy items, but you will need to buy champions.
Units have different costs, ranging from 1 gold to 5 gold, and are listed at the bottom right corner of the champion portrait. These champions will appear in both increasing and decreasing rarity as the game goes on. This is very important to playing the game, because 1 gold units are less likely to appear later in the game. This brings up another core mechanic of the game: upgrading units.
Probably the simplest thing to understand about the game is upgrading units. Each unit starts as a “1 Star” unit. Getting three “1 Star” units of the same champion will create one “2 Star” unit. Having three “2 Star” units of the same champion will upgrade it to a “3 Star” unit. Having higher-star units increases all stats and is important for winning the game. Champions costing 1 gold will be very easy to get early on, but you might struggle to get that last one to get the “3 Star” unit. Usually, the winning team will have at least one “3 Star” unit, maybe even more depending on luck and the carousel.
Gold is the lifeblood of the game. No money means no units and no EXP, so prioritizing gold over early fights will get you to later stages of the game. There are three things that contribute to this generation. At the beginning of each round, you passively receive 5 gold. This can increase in win streaks and loss streaks.
The last, and most important, way to get gold is with interest. For every 10 gold you have in the bank, you receive an additional gold per 10, up to 5. What this means is with 10 gold in the bank, you will receive at least 6 gold (5 passive + 1 interest). Ideally, you want to accrue 50 gold, in order to passively gain 10 gold a round (5 passive + 5 interest). Spend away after that, but try not to cross under 50 if you can. You can risk money more frequently on rerolls and use leftover gold on experience to get more units on the map. Worst case scenario, you spend all of your money to try and get as many units on the map as possible.
There is a lot to discuss about Teamfight Tactics in order to understand it fully, but this should help people who are completely blank to the genre. Three overall tips: Don’t play the same way each time, work on upgrading units as frequently as possible, and most importantly, save your gold!