Teamfight Tactics got its 9.16 update and it’s clear that the introduction of the Hextech origin has ruffled some feathers. Items had long been a dominant part of the meta, but Hextech suddenly turns powerful champions that are the lynchpin of key comps, into units with the fortitude of a wet tissue. With the big changes in TFT, now is perhaps the best time to learn the game.
Teamfight Tactics guide [patch 9.16]
Our TFT guide will go over all the basics to playing the game, such as how to download and run TFT, what TFT is, and some tips and strategies for the game. There will also be links to our other TFT guides, including links to TFT item cheat sheets and the best TFT comps to use in every game as of patch 9.16.
TFT is now a permanent part of League of Legends, though it is still in beta. It is a separate game mode within the League of Legends client so the only barriers to accessing the game on PC are that you’ll need to download and install the League of Legends client onto your computer.
To get you started playing the game, you’ll need to do a few things. First, you’ll need to sign up to League of Legends. If you already have an account, there is a link to download the client under the start button.
After creating the new account and logging into it, you’ll be presented with a news page. On the top-right hand corner, you’ll see your name and your region. Highlighting this will bring a dropdown, with the option to download as one choice. You’ll then be able to download the client for Windows or Mac.
After downloading and installing the client, sign in with your username and password and you’ll be presented with the League of Legends client. On the top bar, there is a play button. Click it and then select PVP, before clicking on Teamfight Tactics to select the mode in question. Click “Find Match” to begin matchmaking.
You’ll likely need to accept multiple times to get a match started, but you should find a match very quickly. If you disconnect from the client, you should be able to reconnect by logging back in and selecting the option to Find Match in the same PVP (Teamfight Tactics) tab.
TFT is an 8-player PvP strategy game that’s played across multiple boards. Each player begins the game with 100 life and their aim is to avoid being eliminated by having their health reduced to zero.
In order to do this, they’ll need to save up gold to buy a small army, equipping items onto them and building team compositions with certain synergies.
Games are divided into timed stages. Each stage has a period of time where you either buy champions to use in your team or draft a free champion from a small selection. There are also parts of the game where teams fight each other on multiple fronts or fights against Creeps.
While you can manage their positions, which items they have equipped, and the composition of your roster, you have no control over the battles themselves. This occurs over many rounds until one player is left standing and each game takes up to 40 minutes to play.
For those looking for a more in-depth explanation on positioning, check out the above video from YouTube user “Scarra”. He goes into a ton of detail about probably the most difficult to understand part of TFT.
Strategies are still being discovered for where best to put your champions, but the video is a great way to look at the basics and some things to think about when distributing your champions. The general idea is to try and position your tanks in front of your more fragile champions so that they have time to build up their special attacks.
This is unless there are assassins for the opposite team. Assassins always jump to behind your lines, so you’ll want to protect your squishier sorcerers and ranged champions. Your high DPS champions such as Aurelion Sol or Varus should be protected by other champions long enough for their ultimate abilities to trigger.
Specific champion positioning in TFT
Other more recent patches have made Volibear an absolute monster when equipped with the right items, but positioning him in such a way that he is able to use his skill is paramount to making any comp with him in it work. He combines well with a Blitzcrank and various other tanks that allow him to reach maximum mana.
Speaking of which, keep an eye on the enemy players that use Blitzcrank. He’ll always target the champion furthest away from him with his ability, and the robot synergy guarantees that he’ll be at full mana at the beginning of the fight. When you’re down to the last few opponents, try to counter him by placing a hard-hitting melee unit in the space he is targeting.
Items do also care about positioning in some instances, with Locket of the Iron Solari and Zeke’s Herald only affecting champions on the same row as the equipped champion.
How Hextech affects positioning in TFT
Hextech has also given huge shakeup to how players will position their champions in TFT. Beforehand, you’ll see plenty of players bunching up their champions in clusters, but the spread effect of the Hextech item EMP bomb just blows a hole in that strategy. Now you’ll see more space between champions, outside of Yasuo’s exile trait.
As for other general advice, here are the ten top beginner’s tips that you should take into consideration before and while playing online against real players in your first dozen or so matches.
- 1) In the early game, if you can’t find the champion you’re looking for, don’t spend money on a reroll. Instead, you should save the money for later turns so that you have more gold to spend when it matters the most.
- 2) Know where to find the stats for champions and their synergies. You can get individual information by right-clicking on a champion or look at the left of the screen to see the synergies.
- 3) Adapt your strategy to suit your current situation. If you lose the earliest attack phase, carry on losing to increase the amount of gold you can accumulate. Just don’t go crazy with the losses.
- 4) Before every draft stage, try to memorise what the champions you have on your team look like. It’ll take a few games to work out which champion you’re looking for, so use the mini-map at the bottom right of the screen to remind yourself, or scout other player’s boards for a way to scupper their plans.
- 5) Speaking of other TFT comps, high-level players buy and sell units they may not want. You’re denying your opponents their choice of champions, which can be good for the mid-late game. You can always sell them back and earn back the spent gold if needed.
- 6) Make sure you use the mini-map so that you get a look at enemy team compositions. You can do this by using the mini-map at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, or by using the hotkeys 1 and 2.
- 7) During the late game, change your position. If you find yourself suddenly losing to enemy teams, it may be that they’ve adjusted their positions.
- 8) If you see Hextech champions on the enemy team, spread out your items and champions. They care about clustered champions, so make sure as few of your champions and items are in the crosshairs.
- 9) Learn some recipes off by heart ahead of time, or write them down. In the heat of a game, a misplaced item can turn an otherwise flawless game into one that spirals out of control. Choose a bunch of items that you reckon would be beneficial and save your basic items until you have the correct items to make the desired combined item. You can drag one item onto another one to see what you can currently make.
- 10) Several things affect which champions are available from the shop. These include champions that have been bought by other players, as well as your Player Level. If you’re not seeing enough of the better tier units, spend some cash into Player Levels.
- 11) Don’t be afraid to sell upgraded units. The champions of higher tiers have better overall stats aside from health, so sell off weaker champions unless you’ve managed to progress their star rank to level 3.
- 12) Make sure you keep up to date with how good champions are. Just because Aurelion Sol was amazing back when it started, the TFT tier list has changed and he is not as amazing now.
- 13) Above all else, don’t rest on your laurels in the mid-game. Your enemies may be sacrificing their teams in order to build up their coffers. Keep looking at what your opponents are doing, then alter your strategy accordingly.
Teamfight Tactics guide series
We have a whole host of other useful Teamfight Tactics guide pages for your convenience. Why not take a gander?
TFT item cheat sheet 9.16 – A collection of the item cheat sheet and item rankings.
Comps TFT – A collection of the best team comps to invest in.
TFT tier list 9.16 – The complete champion’s tier list with all the skills and stats.
TFT champions [9.16] - Origins and Classes – Learn about Champion drop rates and their Classes and Origins.
How to play TFT – The basics of how to play TFT and an explanation of the user interface.
TFT gold – Tips for making money as quickly as possible in TFT.
TFT beta pass – Learn everything about the beta pass, upcoming champions, and eventually all about the upcoming Season Pass.
TFT 9.16 patch notes – Get info on the latest updates to TFT.