Team Fight Tactics - Riot's Auto Chess, TFT

TFT it Riot’s take on the Auto Chess genre (link to Dota Auto Chess the mod thread).

The NDA just lifted and the first gameplay footage is available. It will be playable on the test server (requires a special account type) tomorrow and available for the general public about a week later.

I’m looking forward to both this and Valve’s Underlords (also entering open beta this week or next, and currently in subscription mode beta). I enjoyed Auto Chess and am curious to see what springs to life with dedicated development.
I’m somewhat biased towards TFT at the moment due to its PC focus.

I’ll update this post to a broader introduction as more info becomes available.

First footage example:

Autochess is the new MOBA. Everyone make your clones!

DotA Underlords is very good

How is it different from Auto Chess? The gold economy, unit upgrading, and draws between turns seem identical. I can’t recall if Auto Chess had a dual tag system for champs (race and class in other words, I seem to just recall race; I’ve only watched it on streams), so that might be a big change.

All the main variants have a race/class system (using different names).

Both Valve’s and Riot’s variant are in the very early stages (they really tried to hurry to the open beta phase to establish themselves).
All three have strong similarities gameplay-wise. It’s a young genre and Riot and Valve started by creating their respective version on the Auto Chess base and are now implementing their specific approaches and ideas while in active beta.

If you haven’t played Auto Chess yourself the differences will seem relatively minor.

  • Both Underlords and TFT change the item system. In TFT any two of the 10 or so base items combine to a specific big item. They still are random loot drops from creeps and part of the TFT special carousel drafting round. TFT included items that modify race/class.
    In Underlords each creep round gives you a choice of items of which you pick one. No item combining. Underlords includes passive global items giving class/race bonuses, gold changes, special abilities and other stuff in addition to basic combat bonuses. A unit can only carry a single item in Underlords and items are freely movable outside of combat.

  • Underlords uses the Auto Chess mod combat style. Every player fights a copy of another player’s board. Only the battle on your board affects your health.
    TFT teleports both participants to a single battle and the outcome determines the result for both players (a single ghost copy is added in case of an uneven number of players).

  • Underlords adds a couple of units and classes and changes a couple of abilities but generally is very close to the Auto Chess mod content wise. TFT had to start from scratch for combinations, effects and abilities.

  • Abilities in TFT don’t have a cooldown, just mana cost.

  • Gold mechanics, leveling up units and similar base mechanics are currently very similar to the base mod in all variants.

TFT uses a hex system for the board. No idea how that impacts the battles yet.

interest in autochess is figured at the end of combat, interest in underlords is locked in at the start.

Kripparian has posted an introduction to TFT for beginners:

He explains some of the synergies, why you might want to play with suboptimal units like pirates, …

He also goes into some detail on what was not implemented for that early look streamers had.

I do like the fact that the aesthetics of the game are very reminiscent of the Rift. I also know the champions. So this is very likely to be the one for me.

Just noticed that TSM also seems to be into it. They just posted a link this TFT champion list their org created:

The tier list is likely useless at this stage. But having a rough idea of the origins and champion stats should be useful.



I don’t see Teemo.

According to the champion list Scarra put together, the alpha version they played was Teemo free:


Which some people would likely see as a good thing. :)

It’s got Braum though. You’re safe with Braum. That’s good enough for me (support player).

Lame! Teemo should be… Demonic Assassin.

P.S. Nice video

I would imagine they’ll rotate the champion pool to keep the meta interesting. Teemo may yet come!

Yep. It sounds like they are planning rotating content, which might involve a rotating rota of champions. Or maybe the pool of champions will continue expanding and they will use other ways to shake things up. For example:

We want to use skins as a means of expanding champion content and creating thematic sets of champions for the future of TFT (rotating content every few months). Imagine a world where we use skin lines as classes.

It will be interesting to see which way they go with the gameplay.

One thing I’ve noticed from a few starter videos is that, just like in League, itemisation of the champions will be important. So we can also expect the usual cycle of buffs and nerfs both on champions and items. And, like in League, having to figure out itemisation as well of champions might make the learning curve a bit steeper.

This video got me interested:

One notable thing from the video is that TFT was #1 on twitch at the time of recording, beating out fortnite. Seems like this is going to be pretty big.

I’ll play Blizzard’s version if it comes to mobile. Hope it takes less space than Hearthstone.

A Blizzard version would be the ultimate full circle. Release a game of a mod of a game that started as a mod of their game.

New gameplay trailer:

Now if only we could play it outside of the test server…

My son has played it a few times and enjoys it. But he is a student who can cope with a 3-5 hour queue on the test server. After all, he’s got Netflix to binge while he waits.

Being a responsible adult with too many commitments sucks sometimes.

Hits open beta tomorrow, so that should help with queue times.

Nice. Thanks for the heads up.