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Teamfight Tactics: Best starting strategies, tips and tactics

Everything you need to know about LoL's Teamfight Tactics mode.

Riot Games has only gone and released its own take on the Auto Chess genre, Teamfight Tactics. It features many of the champions and items found in League of Legends, but swaps out the MOBA gameplay for Auto Chess' signature - and incredibly moreish - round by round auto-battling.

Teamfight Tactics isn't a complete carbon copy of its competitors either. Most notably, there's a unique mechanic which give struggling players a chance to mount a comeback, and there's a great deal of polish to proceedings too.

For those unfamiliar with the Auto Chess genre, Teamfight Tactics can be a daunting prospect. Below we've put together a page which'll hopefully remedy this and get you up to speed with the game.

It's worth noting that Teamfight Tactics is currently in closed beta, so there are likely many changes on the horizon. Bear with us as we work to keep this guide up to date, and stay tuned for even more info once the mode enters open beta.


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How do I download and install Teamfight Tactics?

Teamfight Tactics is currently in a closed beta state, meaning only those who have access to the PBE (Public Beta Environment) will be able to try out the game.

To access the PBE, you'll need to own a League of Legends account with an honor level of 3, and no bans or restrictions.

You can check your eligibility on the official verification page.

If your account is in good standing you can sign up for a PBE account. Once you've done so, you'll need to download the PBE client via Riot's official support page.

If you're not able to access the PBE for whatever reason, Teamfight Tactics is due to enter open beta within the next week or so. As soon as this happens, we'll update our pages with all the latest.

How does Teamfight Tactics play?

If you're unfamiliar with the Auto Chess - or auto-battler - genre, this is what you can expect from Riot's take on the game mode:

  • Each of the eight players in a match has their own game board, with tiles for unit placement.
  • Gameplay takes place across a series of combat rounds between these game boards.
  • Using a Gold currency you recruit new champions to your team at the start of each round. You then position these units tactically.
  • When a round of combat starts, you'll either visit an opponent's board or they'll visit yours, and both team's units fight automatically.
  • After combat you'll gain gold which can be spent on more units.
  • Units can be upgraded by buying more of the same type and combining them.
  • You'll need to build a team around certain strategic synergies to have the best chance of success.
  • If you lose your player health, you'll be knocked out of the game. It's a fight to be the last player standing.

Of course, these are only the fundamentals and there's a great deal of information we're not going into here. For a much closer look at Teamfight Tactics' gameplay mechanics, as well as beginner tips and tricks, we'd highly recommend you visit our Teamfight Tactics: How to play page.

How do champions work in Teamfight Tactics?

At the start of each round you'll be presented with a randomised selection of champions you can purchase with gold.

They'll cost different amounts, have different abilities and Origins, and belong to a variety of classes too. Oh, and there's a carousel which swings round every few rounds from which you can nab a champion of your choice.

If you find all of this information a bit overwhelming, we don't blame you.

To give you a better handle on champions in Teamfight Tactics, take a look below:

- How many champions are there? -

There's a grand total of 50 champions in Teamfight Tactics.

As League of Legends is home to over 100 champions, it's likely we'll see some new champions rotate into the pool, while some rotate out. Riot hasn't provided any concrete info on this yet, but we can see this being a seasonal feature.

- Do champions have abilities? -

Every champion has either an active or passive ability. Active abilities are cast when a champion's mana bar is full, and there's a short cooldown timer before they can use the ability again. Mana is generated when a champion attacks an enemy.

Champions are all subject to something called "mana lock". This is the amount of time they can't gain mana directly after casting a spell. The default mana lock is one second, however, some champions are locked for longer while casting spells.

- Can I upgrade champions? -

Every champion you purchase will be a one star unit. If you purchase three of the same one star unit it'll upgrade to a single, two star unit. Combine three two star units and you'll create one three star unit.

Upgraded units are stronger in every way as they'll have both increased base and ability stats.

Understandably it's a little confusing, so do make sure you give our How to Upgrade Champions guide a read as it'll explain things further and give you a better idea of the process.

- What's with champion Classes and Origins? -

Each Champion belongs to a Class and has an Origin.

Fulfil Class and Origin requirements and they'll confer special bonuses. For example, having two Demons (Class) on the board means that each of your Demons now has a chance to burn all of an enemy's mana and deal that much true damage.

You could also have two Blademasters (Origin) on the board at the same time, which would mean they now have a 35% chance to strike an additional time with each attack.

Building a strong composition means bearing these bonuses in mind whenever you purchase a champion, as the right mixture can make for an unstoppable force.

Head over to our Classes guide and Origins guide for a complete breakdown of all the different bonuses.

Does it matter where I place champions on the board? -


Champions all fit into different archetypes. They might be tanky, cast spells from range, or lack big health bars but deal huge DPS.

It's about taking these traits into consideration whenever you place a champion on the board.

Stick your tanks on the frontline as they're designed to soak up damage and draw aggro away from your vulnerable backline.

Meanwhile, we'd recommend placing ranged champions like Ashe on the backline to output as much damage as possible from a safe distance.

It'll also force your enemy to close the gap if they want to get to one of your primary damage dealers, and potentially land themselves in an unfavourable scenario in the process. Place her right at the front of your composition as she'll be wiped out instantly, and thus, never get a chance to lay down some damage or use her ability.

Don't be afraid to place Assassins on the far edges of the board to give them ample room to seek out the enemy's backline too. These high DPS, often melee-oriented champions are perfect for singling out vulnerable enemies and eliminating them quickly.

All in all, take into consideration each of your champions' roles and position them so they can fulfil that role to the best of their ability.

Why is Gold so important in Teamfight Tactics?

Gold is your main resource in Teamfight Tactics and you'll use it to perform many different actions in-game. Here's a quick rundown of its uses:

  • Buy Champions - You will use gold to buy champions from the shop which will appear at the beginning of each round. This selection is randomised, so you won't encounter the same pool twice. With this in mind, we'd recommend pouncing on an opportunity if you see one otherwise you might miss it.
  • Refresh the Shop - Spend two gold and you can refresh the shop's selection. We wouldn't advise this early on in a match as it's vital you keep your gold reserves and begin ramping up your economy.
  • EXP - You can spend four gold to buy chunks of EXP and accelerate the levelling process (you'll also gain a little EXP at the end of each round). The higher your level, the more champions you can field on the board. What's more, you'll also increase your chances of encountering rarer, high cost units.

Here's how you'll earn gold:

  • Passive Income - You'll earn a certain amount of gold at the end of each round and the amount differs on how well you performed.
  • Interest - If you've got a sizeable stash of gold, you'll earn up to five gold interest at the end of each round.
  • Win/Loss Streaks - Bonus gold will be yours if you're either on a winstreak or loss streak.
  • Chests - Occasionally a chest full of gold will spawn at the top left of your screen after defeating an opponent. If this happens, make sure you run over it with your avatar to collect your reward.
  • Pirate Synergy - If you place three pirate champions on the board, you'll earn the pirate buff which gifts you with additional gold at the end of every round.

How do Items work in Teamfight Tactics?

Items will drop from creepwaves, or they'll arrive pre-equipped on champions you acquire from the carousel.

- Any items you acquire will appear as a glowing cuboid towards the bottom left of your screen. Hover over them to see what effects they'll have and drag and drop them onto champions to equip them.

- Items have all sorts of effects. Some may boost attack damage, while others may increase magic resistance. Powerful items can even grant champions increased critical damage, extra auto-attacks and more.

- If you hover an item over a champion who already has an item equipped, a pop-up will show you what a combination of the two items will produce.

- When you're equipping items, carefully consider how it'll benefit a specific champion and its abilities. For example, items which increase maximum health will suit tanks, while mana regeneration items will suit spellcasters.

- Champions from the carousel will always come pre-equipped with an item. If you've picked a champion you don't really want, don't be afraid to refund them. The item they're holding will jump straight into your inventory, so it's actually a pretty decent way of getting something out nothing.

We'd highly recommend visiting our Item Cheat Sheet page as it contains a list of all the items, their stats and all item combination recipes.

Will there be ranked play in Teamfight Tactics?

Riot has confirmed that ranked play will be a part of Teamfight Tactics. It will be introduced to the game with patch 9.14, so a little while after the initial launch of the new game mode.

Just like League of Legends, we imagine Teamfight Tactics will have ranks its players will be familiar with: Iron, Silver, Gold, and so on.

For those who don't want to get all serious with Teamfight Tactics, we imagine Riot will introduce a separate ranked queue on top of the usual playlist.

What are the customisation options in Teamfight Tactics?

Customisation for the mode comes in the form of something Riot is calling Little Legends.

These creatures represent your avatar in Teamfight Tactics and you'll earn your first Little Legend after completing a handful of games.

Further Little Legends will be able to purchase for 750 RP, and there'll be six to buy at launch. More will be released as new patches for the game go live.

As well as appearing in Teamfight Tactics, Little Legends will also show up on the Howling Abyss.

Little Legends can also be upgraded. See the next section for more details.

Popular Teamfight Tactics coverage:

How do you upgrade Little Legends?

You can purchase Rare LL Eggs for 490 RP each time.

These eggs contains variations of the standard Little Legends. If you already own the Legend that hatches, you'll level your current one up with new flashy animations.

Little Legends can be upgraded a maximum of three times, after which they'll stop appearing in the egg loot pool.

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What has Riot got planned for Teamfight Tactics?

Riot has only confirmed that ranked is coming to Teamfight Tactics in the future, so there really isn't much to go on. However, if we take a quick glance at what Valve has planned for Dota: Underlords, we can begin to speculate as to how Riot will handle upcoming content.

Here's a quick list of what we reckon will arrive in Teamfight Tactics over the next few months:

  • Seasons - This one's a given. Once Teamfight Tactics releases in open beta form, we expect Riot to launch seasonal content soon after. By this, we mean the game's content drops will be separated into seasons which will last for a couple of months at a time. Expect unique themes, different champions and more.
  • Seasonal Rotation - League's home to hundreds of champions, so it's highly likely we'll see Riot switch up the roster at the beginning of every season.
  • Battle Pass - It wouldn't be an online multiplayer game without a Battle Pass would it? Pay a fee and you'll gain an exclusive progression path which'll lead to seasonal skins and all sorts of other cosmetic goodies.

Teamfight Tactics: Latest Patch Notes

Teamfight Tactics is currently in beta form, which means it'll go under the knife pretty often as Riot tinkers with champion and item stats, abilities and the like.

To help you keep on top of all the latest changes to hit the board, we'll be putting together quick breakdowns of each patch as they arrive.

Here's a look at Teamfight Tactics - Patch V1.0

Original post - RiotAugust

Nerfs: Champions and Items

  • Aurelion Sol's damage and mana cost have been lowered and increased respectively.
  • The Wild Trait's bonus attack speed has been lowered by one percent.
  • Nidalee's healing has been lowered, as well as her AD in cougar form.
  • Zeke's Herald has had its attack speed aura reduced by ten percent.
  • The Spear of Shojin has had its mana per attack lowered by five percent.
  • Darius's health has been lowered.

Buffs: Champions and Items

  • Karthus - Damage increased
  • Morgana - Health increased
  • Gangplank - Damage increased
  • Miss Fortune - Attack speed increased
  • Lucian - Attack damage and Attack speed increased
  • Tristana - Attack speed and Explosive Charge damage increased
  • Blitzcrank - Damage increased
  • Elise - Lifesteal and Spiderling health increased
  • Shen - Attack damage increased
  • Pyke - CC duration, Mana cost and Attack speed increased
  • Varus - Cast Time lowered
  • Zed - Attack damage and Attack speed increased
  • Aatrox - Health and damage increased
  • Akali - Damage and Attack speed increased
  • Yasuo - Health increased
  • Guardian Angel - Revive health increased significantly (now 500)
  • Ionic Spark - Damage doubled
  • Luden's Echo - Damage doubled
  • Thornmail - Damage reflected now 35%
  • Warmog's Armor - Max Health regen now 3%

That wraps up the third edition of our Teamfight Tactics guide! We'll have more information and strategy advice for you once the game mode actually goes live with Patch 9.13.

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