This article explains how to play Teamfight Tactics and includes new player tips, and strategy advice.
Teamfight Tactics is Riot Games’ take on the fast growing Auto Chess genre and while it does share many similarities with its competitors, it’s home to one or two unique features which help it stand out from the crowd.
If you’re a newcomer to the genre or a hardened MOBA veteran who wants to learn the basics behind Teamfight Tactics, we’ve put together a guide which’ll help you out.
It’s worth noting that Teamfight Tactics is currently in beta form, which means a lot will be changing over the course of the next few months. We’ll do our utmost to keep this page bang up to date alongside these inevitable tweaks, so stay tuned for all the latest.
Check out our Teamfight Tactics Tier List for the latest snapshot of the strongest Champions available right now.
Need help with something specific? Use the following links to jump straight into what you’re after!
How do I download and install Teamfight Tactics? (PC)
Open Beta Update
Teamfight Tactics is rolling out on live servers throughout this week.
To access the mode, you’ll need to have a League of Legends account and the game installed on your system.
Once you’ve logged into the League of Legends client, click on the « Play » icon to the top right of the screen and select the « Teamfight Tactics » icon which will appear just below.
Hit confirm and you’ll be placed into a matchmaking queue, but remember to hit « Accept » once a suitable match has been found for you!
If Teamfight Tactics isn’t currently available in your region, here’s when it’s due to arrive:
If you’re brand new to the mode, make sure you read on below for an in-depth overview of how it all works.
How does Teamfight Tactics play?
For those new to the game, here’s a quick explainer which will get you up to speed on how Teamfight Tactics works. Once you’ve given it a glance, we hope you’ll have a better understanding of the game and its mechanics.
However, if there’s anything you think we’ve missed out at all, don’t be afraid to let us know in the comments below and we’ll get back to you straight away.
- In a match of Teamfight Tactics, you’ll be pitted against seven others players. Each player has control over their own “chess board” on which they can place their own units. All the action takes place on these boards.
- At the very beginning of each match, everyone in the match will start on the same chess board and in control of their own “Little Legend” or playable avatars. There will be a “Carousel” or rotating pool of champions in the very centre of the chess board, and each player will choose one champion to take into the first round. To choose one, simply walk over it.
- Once you’ve been teleported onto your own chess board, you’ll notice two “Creeps” waiting for you. Drag your champion from the “bench” onto the board. When the round commences, your champion will begin fighting them automatically. All fights in Teamfight Tactics take place automatically, strategy lies in how you build your team, use items and so on, but we’ll get to that a bit later.
- At the start of each round, you’ll be presented with a pool of random champions which can be purchased from the shop using gold. Any champions purchased will sit on the bench at the bottom of the screen.
- Champions can then be dragged from the bench onto the board. The total number of champions you can have on the board is dictated by your character level.
- The first three rounds of each match will always feature battles against creep waves. Their main purpose is to give you gold, EXP and items which you can use to start constructing a team. Once these rounds are over, you will begin facing off against real players.
- At specific intervals in a match, you’ll face off against stronger Creep waves. Defeat them and powerful items or extra gold may drop.
- The Carousel will also return at specific intervals too. It’ll feature a rotating pool of heroes as per usual, but each hero will come equipped with a unique item. What’s more, each player’s position in the leaderboard will determine the pick order. If you’re number one, you’ll get to pick your champion last. Conversely, if you’re last, you’ll get to pick first.
- At the end of each round you’ll gain EXP and gold depending on how well you performed. You’ll primarily use gold to buy new champions, but it can also be used to level up your character, and in turn, increase the total number of champions you can have on the board.
- As players are beaten in individual rounds, they’ll take damage and slowly drop out of contention. It’s a case of being smart with your composition and economy to increase your chances of becoming the last person standing.
How is a game of Teamfight Tactics structured?
Now we’ve gone through the basics, it’s time to explain how a match of Teamfight Tactics is structured in more detail:
At the beginning of each round, you’ll have a total of 30 seconds to purchase champions, refresh the store and place your units on the board. Once the timer has elapsed, you won’t be able to perform any of the above, so make sure you use your time wisely!
Try and avoid spending too long in the shop and dedicate the majority of your time optimising the layout and composition of your team instead. Only in the later rounds will you want to spend your remaining gold to reroll the shop and hoard powerful units.
Combat Phase: PVP
Once the planning phase has come to a close, you’ll participate in a PVP round against a randomly-chosen opponent.
The combat phase lasts until every battle has been decided, or until the timer runs out (this is very rare).
Players will take damage based on the number of units left on the board.
If combat is still going on by the end of the timer, both players will take damage based on the number of their opponent’s surviving champions.
If there’s an odd number of remaining players in a PVP round, a random player’s team is duplicated to bring the total player count back to an even number.
The duplicate team functions in just the same way as any other opponent.
Once the match is down to three players, the highest-health player always faces off against a duplicate team and the other two players always fight each other. This gives the other two players a chance to improve their teams, rather than get stomped by the highest health enemy straight away.
Combat Phase: PVE
Every few rounds, you’ll face off against AI controlled monsters. Defeat them and they’ll drop items which you can equip on your champions.
At the very beginning of each game, and at intervals after, all players will be transported to a carousel of randomly generated champions. Each players gets to pick one free champion, and the pick order is determined by rankings at the current time. For example, the player with the highest health goes last.
Players pick champions by running over to it with your Little Legend, just be careful you don’t clip another champion on your way there!
Champions – Upgrades, Origins, Classes and more
You’ll find a quick primer on how to make the most of your Champions just below:
- Champions have either a passive or active ability. An active ability is cast when a champion’s mana bar is full, and it’ll gain mana when attacking an enemy.
- If you purchase three of the same champion, it’ll combine into one more powerful version of the same unit. To create a two star unit, you’ll need three one star units. To create a three star unit (the highest tier), you’ll need three two star units.
- Every champion belongs to a Class and has an Origin. Fulfil their requirements and they will confer special bonuses. Take Aurelion Sol, for example. He’s of Dragon Origin and belongs to the Sorcerer Class. Place two Dragons and they’ll become immune to magic damage. Place three Sorcerers and they’ll deal +35% spell damage. Have six Sorcerers? The bonus goes up to a whopping +100% spell damage.
- Positioning your champions is also very important in Teamfight Tactics. Remember that each champion fits into a certain archetype, so try and position them to get the most out of their capabilities. Place tanks on the frontline to soak up damage and draw aggro away from your more vulnerable champions. Stick your ranged champions on the backline to keep them safe and spitting out DPS. Try and be smart about where your units are positioned – think about who might need protection, who can flank and so on…
- The level of your character determines how many champions you can have on the board, and you can spend gold to accelerate the process.
Gold – Why is it so important?
Gold is the key resource in Teamfight Tactics and it can be used to perform many different actions in-game:
- Champions– You’ll buy new champions from the shop at the start of each round. This selection is randomised as well, so you won’t encounter the same pool twice.
- Refresh Pool– If you’re unhappy with the selection of champions in the shop, you can spend a little gold to refresh it. We wouldn’t advise this in the early stages of a match as you’ll burn through valuable gold reserves. Spend wisely and save your pennies.
- EXP – You can spend 4 gold at a time to earn chunks of EXP which will go towards levelling up your character. If you’ve got a sizable stash of gold, it’s advisable to invest some into increasing your character level as it’ll give you an advantage over your opponents.
There are different ways you’ll earn gold too. Here’s a brief explainer:
- Rounds– You’ll earn gold at the end of every round.
- Interest– Depending on the size of your stash, you’ll be rewarded with a little extra cash at the end of each round. The amount you’ll earn is denoted by Gold Generators to the left of the battle field. Each generator is worth one interest gold at the start of your next turn.
- Win/Loss Streaks – It’s not entirely clear what the parameters are just yet, but you’ll receive bonus gold for achieving a win streak, or loss streak.
- Refunds – You can sell champions for the same amount of gold they originally cost you.
Items – How do they work?
Items will drop from creep waves, or they’ll come pre-equipped from champions you acquire from the carousel. Here’s how they work:
- Any items you acquire will appear as glowing cuboid on the bottom left of your screen, next to the bench. You can drag and drop them onto champions to equip them.
- Different items have different effects. Some may boost attack damage, while others may increase mana regeneration.
- If the right conditions are met, two items can be combined into one powerful item. Hover an item over a champion who’s already kitted out with one and it’ll show you what they’ll combine into.
- When you’re equipping items, think carefully about how it’ll benefit a specific champion and its abilities. Items which increase maximum health will suit tanks, while DPS buffing items will suit those who dish out damage.
Teamfight Tactics: Tips and Tricks
Even for someone’s who sunk a few hours into the game, Teamfight Tactics can be pretty overwhelming at times. Below we’ve put together a number of pointers which should help you on your way to winning some matches.
- Keep a close eye on your opponents – At the bottom left of your screen there’s a grid which allows you to view each individual’s chess board. Make a habit of checking how your opponents are building their team compositions and plan your own builds to counter them if possible.
- Be flexible – It’s important that you’re not overly committing to specific Origins and Class bonuses. Sometimes you’ll be gunning for a certain bonus, but RNG may not be on your side and the pieces you need may never appear. Always try and think one step ahead, and stockpile some other champions which will enable you to rebuild your composition without sacrificing too much.
- Losing round after round? – Assess what your team composition might be lacking and check your Origin and Class bonuses. Swap some champions out and slot some others in their place. If you don’t change anything, you’ll continue losing, so take the plunge and try out some other strategies.
- Prioritise your economy – Try and avoid spending all your gold every round. It’s vital you’re taking advantage of interest as you’ll want large stockpiles of gold for levelling your character in the latter stages of a match and rerolling to optimising your team composition.
- Carousel mechanics – When it comes to choosing your champion from the carousel, please don’t try and attempt sprinting through a gap in the middle. It’s likely your character model will clip an unwanted champion and it’ll result in severe disappointment. Instead, circle round the outside and time your approach carefully for guaranteed success.
Teamfight Tactics: Helpful Video Tutorials
Here’s a list of the best video tutorials we’ve found so far. They’ll walk you through matches and explain things in a clear, concise manner.
Sometimes it’s easier to watch Teamfight Tactics in action too, so do make sure you give these videos a watch and subscribe to their channels for more helpful content like this.
That concludes the second iteration of our Teamfight Tactics: How to play page, but we’ll continue updating this guide overtime. Keep this page bookmarked for all the latest!
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