Dota Underlords Strategy Tips: 11 Things the Game Doesn’t Tell You

Valve has its very own auto chess now, but how do you get into this intimidating game?

Dota Underlords doesn’t waste much time dropping you in the deep end. There’s a brief tutorial that explains how to place units and how class bonuses work. However, after that, it’s all bot battles and multiplayer mayhem. There’s quite a lot the game doesn’t bother to tell you! That’s why we’ve put together this list of Dota Underlords tips in our very own guide. Hopefully, this will give you a sense of what to expect and how best to beat your rivals in Dota Underlords.

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Interest Rates Rule

Gold is the name of the game in Dota Underlords. It allows you to do everything from level up, to buy new characters, to re-roll the dice and get new options for purchase. And so a huge part of the game is earning as much money as you can. If nothing else, it feels pretty appropriate for a game about crime lords duking it out with crews of cronies.

One of the most effective ways to earn gold in Dota Underlords is by accruing interest. This is money that multiplies every turn depending on how much gold you already have. But, naturally, there are rules. You only make one extra gold for every 10 you accrue — up to a maximum of five. So you’ll make two bonus gold in the 20 range, three extra in the 30s, and so on. But you will still only earn five interest at 60 gold and beyond. So there’s very little reason to hold onto anything above 50 gold, if you’re just after interest.

Losing Isn’t Game Over

There’s another, slightly more painful way to make money in Dota Underlords. Namely, you want to lose a lot. Winning and losing streaks — specifically against other players — will earn you increasing amounts of gold throughout any game of Dota Underlords. And for obvious reasons, losing streaks are much easier to achieve than winning all the time. So there’s some advantage to taking your pawns off the board and letting them get hosed. Then, when it’s time to battle creep waves for items, set yourself back up for victory!

Assassins Have Hops

Each class of hero has different abilities that help you supercharge your lineup. But Assassins, in particular, have a strange interaction that isn’t really obvious — until you actually see it. Whereas most heroes simply walk forward to do battle, Assassins instantly target the farthest enemy characters. This makes them exceptionally good at counteracting powerful, but fragile ranged heroes placed near the back. This ability looks slightly different depending on who does it, too. Some of them just hop across the board. Others turn invisible and reappear at the back line. And Bloodseeker, for instance, sprints all the way back as fast as he can.

Shake Things Up

Speaking of Assassins, there’s one surefire way to mess with them. Just move your beefiest units into the rear! That will cause these backstabbing baddies to waste time trying to chew through your defenses, while your all-important ranged units fire away. Of course, this only works if you know your opponent has a high number of Assassins, so plan accordingly.

Don’t Play Favorites

It’s great to create a team that gains the maximum bonus from a single class. Six Assassins with super high crit chances can absolutely crush tender opponents in Dota Underlords. But just as important as maxing out bonuses is combining them for unique benefits.

Several hero classes in Dota Underlords only max out when you have one or more of the absolute rarest characters in the game. These simply won’t be available to you for a while! And you can waste a lot of time, health, and money trying to find Techies — to max out that Inventor class bonus — when you could instead supplement with a secondary category. Trolls pair well with nearly everyone, for example, since they provide higher attack speed. That boosts both physical damage (particularly if you get crits from Assassins) and the rate at which you charge up spells.

Rarity Matters

Not all Dota Underlords heroes are created equal. Some are just plain more powerful than others, clearly indicated by their rarity level. Rarer heroes cost more, but usually compensate with more powerful abilities. Sand King, for instance, costs three gold. But he doesn’t just have your usual single passive or active ability. He gets both!

Caustic Finale is a passive that slows enemy attack speed and causes them to explode on death. Burrowstrike, meanwhile, stuns enemies in a line and applies Caustic Finale. Combos like that can impact the flow of battle tremendously — even if they come from one- or two-star units. Rarer heroes at lower levels can still absolutely overwhelm beefier, more common characters.

Locking is Free — And Useful

There is a very tiny icon on the left side of your hero selection screen every round. It’s shaped like a padlock, and it can be massively important. Tapping this icon will cause whatever lineup of heroes you currently see to “lock” for one turn. This lets you keep rare or otherwise useful heroes around until you have enough money. Don’t have five gold to buy Lich just yet? Lock that lineup and use the money you earn this round to buy him next time!

You Will Need to Level

Leveling up is very important in Dota Underlords. Doing so increases the number of heroes you can field at a time by one. So level two gives you two heroes, level three gives you three, and so on. At the outset, you won’t need to worry about this very much. You naturally earn one XP every round — more than enough to get a decent team on the board. That changes pretty quickly, though. The XP cost of leveling eventually skyrockets, making it almost impossible to level up without spending gold.

Thankfully, you can do so at any time. Just click on the character purchase screen and look to the far right-hand side. You can click on your level icon to boost yourself. You’re going to need to, too. Bench space becomes vital in the endgame of Dota Underlords, as you try to keep huge numbers of duplicate characters in reserve to hit two and three stars. The only guaranteed ways to free up space are selling heroes (a risky option) and leveling up (to get more units on the board). The downside is that this gets very expensive. So save it for when you’re well over 50 gold, and still accruing plenty of interest.

Stun for Fun

The Dota Underlords meta is constantly evolving. The game is still very new, after all, and Valve has been good about updating it at a rapid clip. But one major tenet from Dota 2 itself still holds water in Underlords: Stuns are very, very important. More broadly, “disables” of any kind (like slowing attack speed or silencing) are incredibly good. Any lineup should absolutely have at least one hero (or class of heroes) with a good disable. Sand King, Witch Doctor, Kunkka, and Lich are all great examples! Of course, it’s all down to the luck of the draw.

Just Get Something on the Board

The very opening moments of Dota Underlords can seem intense if you’ve never played before. You have five heroes to choose from — all with very different class bonuses and synergies. Then you might get waxed on your very first real battle, losing health before you even knew what you were doing. It’s scary! It’s daunting! It might make you not want to play again.

Here’s the thing, though: None of that really matters. The early game in Dota Underlords is a mess no matter who you are. However, it is balanced in such a way that you can easily beat the opening waves of creeps with little trouble. So long as you get one hero on the board, and then another, you’re fine! And even if you lose a round or three, the amount of damage you take near the start is minuscule in the grand scheme. Accruing interest and planning out your team is much more important. So just get something — anything — on the board and watch how the dice roll from there.

Spend at the End

Of course, money is only useful if you spend it. If you’re only shaving off the gold you accrue past 50 throughout a match, you should have plenty for some last-minute plays. It’s often valuable to re-roll for new characters when you’re right on the cusp of leveling up a truly powerful hero — even if it costs you a fat wad of cash. Just make sure you wait until it really, truly matters.

Once you start dipping below 50 to 25 percent health, especially if you’re consistently losing, it might be time to make big purchases. Hunt for mid-rarity heroes you can level up somewhat quickly. Look for a linchpin tier five unit you can build the rest of your team around. Level up to get more bodies on the board. You’ve got nothing to lose, if it looks like you’re losing anyway!

And there you have it! Thanks for reading our Dota Underlords tips guide. For more information, be sure to check back later. We’ll continue to update this guide with more tips and add future content as Dota Underlords develops.


Steven Strom

An obsessive writer broadcasting to you live from the middle of nowhere. Thinks cute things are good, actually.

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