TFT Beginner Guide: Best Tips for Teamfight Tactics

TFT Beginner Guide: Best Tips for Teamfight Tactics

Getting to grips with Teamfight Tactics doesn’t need to take more than a match, and the game itself actually does a pretty good job at explaining what you need to know albeit lacking in a few key areas.

We’ll take you through the basics and tackle some of the less obvious stuff in Teamfight Tactics before you head into your first match.

Source: Riot Games

Source: Riot Games

How to play Teamfight Tactics

Teamfight Tactics is an auto chess game where you buy and upgrade units to defeat other players and their units. Unlike League of Legends, you actually don’t control your units, so you’ll be spending the majority of the match preparing by building a team with different strengths and weaknesses. It’s a thrilling game of tactics, where gambling on getting the right unit could mean victory or total disaster.

You’ll be going head-to-head against other players in different rounds throughout the match, in which you’ll collect gold, units, and items. Every unit has other units that synergize with them, and you can even stack identical units to create a stronger version of that unit.

What are units?

Units are essentially your troops that you assemble in a team and use to defeat opponents. If you’ve ever played League of Legends, you’ll see a lot of familiar faces in Teamfight Tactics. The differences are that you don’t control your champion and that you now have multiple ones at your disposal.

Units are divided into 5 categories: 1-cost, 2-cost, 3-cost, 4-cost, and 5-cost units. Obviously, the higher the cost, the better the unit. That doesn’t mean that you should only go for 5-cost units just because they have better base stats. Low-cost minions are cheaper and faster to upgrade, so focus on building a solid low-cost team in the early game.

You rank up units to increase their stats by combining three identical units into one better unit. Leveling up your Little Legend lets you roll better units in the shop, which is a great strategy if you’re looking to complete synergy builds.

Source: Mobalytics

Source: Mobalytics

What are rounds?

Teamfight Tactics is played out in rounds, in which players switch between fighting PVE and PVP battles until all but one player has been eliminated. The team that you build will be set against 7 other player-created teams in these individual rounds.

Every player has a Little Legend that represents their health with a total of 100 health points. Lose one round, and your Little Legend will take damage until it reaches zero and you lose the match.

  • The Carousel
    The first round is the shared draft, also known as the Carousel, where all 8 players in the match get to pick one of 8 random units circling the board. To select a unit, wait until the pause is over, and use your cursor to move towards the unit you want to get. These carousel rounds happen recurringly throughout the match, with the lowest-ranked players getting to pick units first in the later rounds.
  • PVE battles
    Once you’ve completed the first round, you’ll be transported to your first battle. There’s no need to worry about messing up, as your next three rounds will be AI minions. Place the unit you picked up in the previous carousel round and watch them take on the minions.

    These shouldn’t be a challenge, giving you time to focus on getting ready for your first player-vs-player battle. Use this time to inspect your current unit’s stats, including health, mana, synergies, cost, and abilities by right-clicking on them before, during, or after a battle. You don’t really have to keep too much attention to any of that for now, but these stats help you determine what units to buy and upgrade later.
  • PVP battles
    When you get into your first player-versus-player battle you’ll face one of the other 8 players in your match. Of course, your goal should be to win the round by defeating the opposing units, but should you lose, the way you do it also has something to say. Depending on how many units survive after a defeat, the more (or less) damage you’ll take. If your opponent wins one round with all of their units left, you’ll take more damage than if the round was decided in a duel between two remaining units.

What is the Shop?

Once you’ve dealt with the first minions, it’s time to decide what unit you’ll be spending your gold on. At the bottom of your screen, you’ll see a bar showing how much gold you have, your synergies, your level, XP, and 5 champion units for you to buy. Whenever a new round starts, the champion units displayed in the shop will change. You can lock it by clicking on the padlock icon to the right and prevent it from refreshing.

Quick Shop overview:

  • Gold: The top of the Shop will show you how much gold you currently have.
  • Champion units: This is where the champion units you can buy in any given round will be displayed. You buy units by clicking on a unit.
  • Sell: Choosing to sell units provides gold while also freeing up space for new units with more synergy. Sell units by clicking on the unit and pressing E or dragging them on top of the Shop.
  • Refresh: Going for a refresh will change the champion units currently displayed in the Shop. This is also referred to as ‘rolling’. The higher your level is, the higher the chance of getting a better unit.
  • Buy XP: Buying XP levels up your Little Legend faster and works great if you’re looking to increase synergy since higher levels let you have more units on the board.

What are items?

Minion and monster battles have a chance of dropping items, gold, and even champion units, which you can use on units to help buff stats and get new and powerful abilities. These items are important in making your units stronger. In fact, items share a few similarities with units, in that combining base items creates a buffing effect while also creating a unique new ability.

Items you collect after a battle will get stored at the side of the board. There’s no need to use them immediately, especially not if you’re only at the start of the match. You don’t have that many units, and if you use it on a unit early on a decide to scrap your first unit, the item is lost.

What is synergy?

Every unit has markers that let you know what other units that work well together: these are synergies. Once you’ve reached a certain amount of synergy between the units on your board, your synergized units will receive bonuses that make their stats better in some way.

Every unit essentially has two different synergy branches that you can build towards: their origin and their class. Each indicates a different category of units that synergize with that unit. A unit with a Syndicate origin and an Assassin class synergize with units from both of these categories.

Let’s say you have two units in the Assassin class, you’ll get +10% Crit Chance and +20% Crit Damage on all Assassin units on the board. Other synergies also give your units unique abilities, regardless of how many units you have on the board.

What is positioning?

By now, you should have noticed that the board is divided into hexagon-shaped tiles. These indicate where to place your units, but they also let you set up formations once you get more units. Any strategy game veteran will tell you the importance of keeping your units in formation, and this also applies to Teamfight Tactics.

You’ll want to keep a solid frontline of defensive trait units shielding your backline of damage dealers. Do this by placing a line of defensive units above your line of ranged attacking or healing units.

Quick Tips

  1. Press R to inspect what your opponents are building. It might not make a lot of sense at first, but before you know it, you’ll start to pick up on certain patterns and builds to counter and build against.
  2. Never roll without a reason. Rolling in the early game is a waste of gold, pure and simple. Save your gold for when you’ve leveled up to increase your odds of getting higher-cost units.
  3. Don’t be afraid to get rid of units. Once you’re getting the hand of synergies, sometimes your strategy changes throughout a match. Sell unused units!
  4. If you’re winning early matches you don’t need to buy as much. Save your money and build interest for as long as your low-tier units are doing well.

Teamfight Tactics is all about mixing it up. Players face off against each other in an exciting knockout tournament to be the last one standing, and with game-changing updates coming in monthly you’re always encouraged to try out new strategies, builds, and playstyles.

But while the frequent updates work to make the game feel fresh, it can be overwhelming for newcomers looking to get into Riot Games’ popular auto chess game. Even returning players might find themselves confused about certain reworks after one of the major Set updates. By now, you'll have a good foundation for entering your first game without being overwhelmed - good luck!

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