Teamfight Tactics doesn’t waste any time throwing you into the deep end. The new “auto battler” from the makers of League of Legends has some very neat ideas, but not much — or really anything — in the way of tutorials. What’s worse is that it really requires a working knowledge of League for maximum effectiveness. If you’re not a longtime player, you’re pretty left to fend for yourself! That’s why we’ve put together this guide to Teamfight Tactics strategy and tips. Hopefully, this will give you a sense of what to expect and how best to survive the grueling eight-player battles in Teamfight Tactics.
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Let Your Money Work for You
Gold is the name of the game in Teamfight Tactics. It allows you to do everything from level up, to buy new characters, to re-roll the dice and get new champions for purchase. And so a huge part of the game is earning as much money as you can.
One of the most effective ways to earn gold in Teamfight Tactics (as in other auto battlers) is to accrue interest. This is the money that multiplies every turn depending on how much gold you end with. 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. Use this surplus to fish for upgrades and higher tier champions.
You can easily see how much gold you’re going to earn via the gold generator icons on the left of the screen. Otherwise, mouse over the gold icon on the center of the screen — near the bottom. This gives a solid numerical breakdown of everything you’re about to earn and why. You can see your opponent’s gold generators as well. That helps you know how much stash they have saved up.
Sell Your First Champion
It might seem counterintuitive, but if you pick a Tier Two champion from the starting champion rotation, you almost always want to sell it. Why? Well for one, you want to be able to put that item on another champion when you’re ready to combine items. But more importantly, in the early rounds you’re really only offered Tier One champions. Selling that Tier Two champ will let you double the amount of gold you have on you first turn. You get to double the number of champions you buy from two to four. There’s so much added flexibility with that and that continues on in subsequent rounds!
Losing Is Not the End
There’s another, slightly more painful way to make money in Teamfight Tactics. Namely, you just need to lose. Winning and losing streaks — specifically against other players — will earn you increasing amounts of gold throughout any game of Teamfight Tactics. 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 minion waves for items, set yourself back up for victory!
Don’t Forget Your Items
Once you begin a battle in Teamfight Tactics, your roster is locked. The game might even show an animation of you moving units, but if you miss the deadline, you can’t change your champions until the next round. You’d think the same rule would apply to items. Well… It doesn’t! Teamfight Tactics will let you drag and drop that all-important equipment onto any living champion that’s still on the board. The bonuses go into effect immediately, too. So you can give an ailing ally 200 extra health just as they’re about to die.
This is mostly just useful if you forget to equip your lineup. However, it can also be useful for split-second decision making to turn the tide of battle. If you notice you have a ranger sitting in the back, for instance, and not taking damage right away, it’s often smart to give them a damage-boosting item. That way you get the maximum benefit from having them survive so long.
Assassins Are Special
Each class of champion has different abilities that help you bolster 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 jump to the opposite tile from which they started.
This should be familiar to you if you’ve played other auto battlers, like Dota Underlords. It also makes Assassins exceptionally good at counteracting powerful, but fragile ranged champions placed near the back.
Move Things Around
Speaking of Assassins, there’s one surefire way to mess with them. Just move all — or at least one — of your beefiest units into the rear! That will cause the backstabbing bad guys to waste time chewing through your tanks. Meanwhile your all-important ranged units can continue to fire away. Of course, this only works if you know your opponent has a high number of Assassins. Plan accordingly! Because if you’re wrong, and you place heavy-hitting melee units in the back, you can really screw yourself. Champions in Teamfight Tactics move pretty slowly from hex to hex. And all the time they spend traveling is time they’re not attacking or building up mana.
Don’t Get Fixated
It’s great to create a team that gains the maximum bonus from a single class. Six Assassins with super high crit damage can absolutely crush tender opponents in Teamfight Tactics. But just as important as maxing out bonuses is combining them for unique benefits.
Several hero classes in Teamfight Tactics 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! Not to mention some classes have strange restrictions on them. Ninjas, in particular, only receive class bonuses if there are one or four of them on the board at the same time.
You can waste a lot of time, health, and money trying to find Yasuo — to max out that Exile class bonus — or a fourth Ninja. Instead you can supplement existing bonuses with a weaker secondary category. It might not be as flashy, but it will keep you on winning streaks and in the game longer.
The Rarer the Better
Not all Teamfight Tactics champions 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. Miss Fortune, for instance, costs five gold. But she has a massive area-of-effect attack! Rarer heroes at lower levels can still absolutely overwhelm beefier, more common characters. Don’t be afraid to change tactics mid-stream to support an especially powerful (and rare) new champion you acquire later on.
Lock in Important Purchases
There is a very tiny icon on the left side of your champion 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 Karthus just yet? Lock that lineup and use the money you earn this round to buy him next time, instead!
Leveling up is very important in Teamfight Tactics. 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 look at the far left-hand side of the character purchase screen. 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 Teamfight Tactics, as you try to keep huge numbers of duplicate characters in reserve to hit two and three star upgrades. The only guaranteed ways to free up space are by selling champions and leveling up.
The former option is risky, since you never know when you might get more of a given character. The latter upsets your interest curve, but does give you a guaranteed benefit. You can mitigate this by buying XP in drips and drops — when you’re over 50 gold and don’t have a champion anywhere near leveling up.
‘Put Your Hand on That Wall’
The Teamfight Tactics meta is constantly evolving. The game mode is still very new, after all! And Riot Games has been extremely good about updating it at a rapid clip. But one major tenet from League of Legneds itself still holds water in TFT: 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 champion (or class of champions: like Glacier) with a good disable.
Get Your Champions Moving
The opening moments of Teamfight Tactics can seem intense — especially if you’ve never played before. First you have to pick from a clutch of unlabeled characters in the “group draft.” Then you have five champions to choose from, with very different class and origin bonuses… as well as different synergies. Finally, you might get waxed on your 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 Teamfight Tactics 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 minions with little trouble. So long as you get one champion on the board, and then another, and another you’re fine! Even if you lose a round or three, the amount of damage you take near the start is minuscule in the grand scheme of things. 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 Money to Make Money
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 champion — 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 Teamfight Tactics 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 Teamfight Tactics develops.