Teamfight Tactics, or more commonly known as TFT, is a spinoff game from Riot Games’ League of Legends which is based on popular auto chess games like Dota Underlords. The PC version of the game was released on June 26, 2019, immediately as a response to the auto-battler sub-genre booming internationally. After several months, Riot Games also announced that Teamfight Tactics will be coming to Android and iOS platforms.
Where can I play Teamfight Tactics?
You can load the game within the League of Legends client and, most recently, through downloading the app from the mobile app store. To start a game in the League of Legends client, simply click on the Play button you use to start a game in League of Legends and simply change over to the TFT option where you can either play a Normal or Ranked game. You can invite up to 7 other players to join you.
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The game is played by competing against seven other players through several rounds until only one player is left. Each Tactician will need to effectively use Gold by either drafting champions or buying EXP points to increase the player level and increase the number of champions you can place on the board.
TFT Game Elements
Champions are your main gameplay element and are used to defeat opposing Tacticians. Each cost a specific amount of gold to buy and have specific sets of rarities. The higher the rarity, the fewer chances it will appear on the list of champions you can buy. Each champion is based on champions found in the main League of Legends game either by using their original concept design or skin associated with the specific theme of the set.
Gold, on the other hand, is your main resource used to buy champions or purchase experience points. You can acquire gold by completing rounds. Additional gold is rewarded to players who complete specific streaks or as a prize in defeating neutral monsters. You can also sell champions to get the same amount of gold you spent on them.
Items, very much like in League of Legends, provide bonus stats when equipped to a champion. You can get items as drops from neutral monsters or found pre-equipped to champions during the carousel round. Each item can combine with other items to craft upgraded gear.
Level and Experience
Experience is used to gain Levels which is relevant to placing more champions on the board. Your level is exactly the number of champions you can place on the board at present. You gain experience after each round or by buying it directly.
Your “Little Legend” is your main character or avatar in games. When starting out, you can only get to play as River Spirit but can opt to get other Little Legends from the shop, rewards, or random drops from loot boxes. When you get two of the same kind of Little Legend, it ranks up and changes in appearance up to 3 tiers.
The TFT board, contrary to other auto-chess games, does not utilize the traditional 8×8 square-grid style used in chess. Instead, it uses a 6×7 42-unit hexagonal grid where champions placed will not be directly vertically aligned. This offers a more strategic approach and will open up new possibilities for the Tactician.
The bench is where you store unused champions. Since you can only place limited amounts of champions on the board at any given time, the bench allows you to buy champions you’ll use in the future. You can switch champions to and from your bench so that you can strategically plan what kind of build you’re going for.
Auto-battling is the main combat system utilized in TFT. This means that you have no control over how each of your champions will act in combat. However, you can affect their behavior and skills by either repositioning the champion or ranking them up so that they gain more stats.
Traits & Classes
Traits and Classes are shared keywords among specific sets of champions. Each trait and class offer stat bonuses or passive skills which are upgraded the more champions you have that share a trait or class. A champion generally has 1-2 traits and 1-2 classes but never amounting to 4.
Purchasing & Re-rolling
During the entirety of each round, a Tactician may choose to buy as many champions as he likes from a pool of 8 champions. The higher your level is, the higher the chances of higher rarity champions appearing on the champion pool. A player can also opt to re-roll the pool buy spending 2 gold.
Each champion is ranked by the number of stars they have. You can rank up your champion by buying three of the same champions to upgrade them to Rank 2. To upgrade a champion to Rank 3, you’ll need 3 Rank 2 champions so that’s 9 champions in total. The higher your champion’s rank is, the higher their stats become.
Item building is done by combing 2 items together to create upgraded gear (the system automatically and forcefully combines the items together). Upgraded gear will contain both initials stats from the combined items with the addition of a passive ability or additional stat bonus. Each champion can hold up to 3 upgraded gears.
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Teamfght Tactics have 3 Major Phases rotated on specific match intervals. After the first round, the round generally starts as match 1, 2, 3 are against random players, match 4 will be the carrousel phase, match 5 and 6 are against another set of random players, then finally ends by fighting a neutral monster round.
1. Carousel Round
The carousel round is considered as a free round. Each player will get a chance to free draft a champion from the rotating carousel. The lower the player’s standing is, the higher his priority in the carousel becomes. Each champion in the carousel will be holding a free item. You can only choose one champion from the carousel round.
2. Neutral Monster Round
The neutral monster round is also sort of a bonus round. You are pitted against neutral monsters that are found again in League of Legends. These monsters will each drop random items or a random champion. Unless you’ve been managing your economy and build really badly, there should be no way to lose from this round.
3. Player Combat Round
The Player Combat round is the main event. This is where you fight other Tacticians. After player combat, you will either deal or take damage from your opponent depending if you won or lost that round. The player with the most champions after a match is the winner and will deal damage according to the number of champions remaining on the board plus the round number.
Advanced Strategies in Teamfight Tactics
Managing the economy is a crucial part of the game when it comes to building up your ideal endgame board. This will include managing your gold by deciding when to buy experience points or re-rolling. Learning when to save up and spend gold can prove to be one of the most important skillsets to have in Teamfight Tactics.
A bonus tip for Teamfight Tactics economy is that there are various ways for you to aggressively earn bonus gold aside from the +2 gold you earn after each round. These include:
Interest is earned by saving up your gold to certain amounts which will give you additional gold per round. For every 10 gold you have saved up, you’ll earn +1 as a bonus to a maximum of 5 gold. That means that if you have 50 gold saved up, you’ll be earning an additional 5 gold each round.
Winning is the most basic way to earn gold. Each of your wins will award you a +1 gold bonus at the end of the round. This means that winning is generally a good way to earn gold except in some cases.
Streaking is when you accumulate a certain amount of wins or losses in a row. Win streaks will give you +1 gold after you receive a 2 match winning streak against players which increases by +1 gold every time you continue the streak for a maximum of +3 gold after getting 5 or more wins in a row.
This applies the same way in a losing streak. This is a way for players who are behind to catch-up with players who are in the higher ranking. A losing streak may prove to be strategic especially if you didn’t receive any useful champions in the initial sets of champion rotations.
The Pirate Trait
In earlier versions of the game, completing a pirate synergy will offer you an additional 1-4 gold after each round. However, since pirates are no longer an active trait this strategy has already phased out. Luckily, a new Pirate trait called Space Pirates showed up in the Galaxies expansion. For Space Pirates, you’ll have a 50% chance to gain +1 gold each time a Space Pirate kills an opposing champion.
Placement in Teamfight Tactics can also determine the outcome of a match. Properly placing your champions can benefit them greater either by gaining benefits from AoE skills from your allies or avoid being caught out by opponent abilities such as Infiltration or negative AoE abilities.
As a general rule, placing melee champions with high health bars in front while long-ranged carry champions in the backline is something you should always look towards doing. This ensures that your champions can efficiently attack the opponents. Always ensure that your main source of damage is in a safe spot where it can both wreak havoc to the enemy team and avoid taking too much damage.
Building synergy is a crucial part of winning the game. The way you build your team around a certain trait or class will determine the direction of the game moving forward. Having a powerful combination of synergies that match each other will propel your standings during the game.
By researching effective builds and synergies on websites like Mobalytics you can essentially find out which team comps are effective in the current set. These give beginners an edge by giving them a knowledge boost about playing the game. Of course, these lists will change every time a new patch or a new set comes out to give major changes to how the game is played.
How often does a set rotate in TFT?
There is no specific time-frame mentioned on how often a set will rotate out. However, the Riot Games’ development team mentioned that Teamfight Tactics will be having set rotations every few months. You can expect these months to range somewhere between 3-6 months before a new set of champions following a specific team will come out.
Needless to say, every set rotation will come with exclusive prizes by availing season passes purchased through RP. While half of the prizes are available even if you don’t purchase the premium version of the season pass, the best prizes can be obtained when you do avail of it.
However, Riot Games is strictly against pay-to-win models and always advocates for making the game completely free to play. This means that the rewards you will get from the premium version of the premium pass will only be purely aesthetic. These prizes include Little Legends, Arena Skins, and Boom effects which only offer aesthetic value and no overall bonus to help you win games.
Ranked games are also connected with set rotations. Unlike in League of Legends where your Summoner Rank resets every year, Teamfight Tactics resets the player rankings every set. That means that you’ll lose your rank every couple of months instead.
League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics have the same ranking system. Summoners will be given a set of provisionary games that will place you in a specific tier bracket depending on your performance. From here, you’ll have to win games to gain LP and climb your way to the Challenger series where the toughest opponents await.
Playing With Friends
As mentioned before, you can play normal with up to 7 other players on your friend list. The format of the game will remain as a free-for-all no matter how many of your friends are in the game. You can enjoy having a full game including only your friends to pass the time before playing League of Legends.
However, for Ranked games, the number of friends you can invite is limited. For players which are gold and below, you can invite up to 4 other friends to your Ranked games. For players which are Platinum and above, you can only invite up to 2 other friends to your Ranked games.
This is to avoid Rank funneling by utilizing 7 other dummy accounts to be invited in ranked games which will ensure that a player will always get first place no matter what. Even though Teamfight Tactics is an alternative game mode, Riot Games still aims to promote a fun and competitive environment especially since there is an increasing demand for the arrival of the TFT esports scene.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I transfer items between champions?
No, you can’t transfer items directly. The best way to do this is selling the champion holding the item causing it to be returned to your item bench. However, be careful when getting items through champions in the carousel round especially when you already own two of the same champion in your board/bench. This will cause your champion to rank up and combine any pre-existing items together.
Is the Mobile and PC version of TFT cross-platform?
Yes, they are. This means that both PC players and Mobile players have the chance to play against each other. Since it utilizes the auto-battler gameplay, there is no existing advantage whether you play on your phone or on a computer. The goal of this is to increase the player base and decrease queue timers especially in the higher ranks.
How long does a TFT game usually take?
A game of TFT will usually last somewhere between 20-40 minutes depending on whether you’re winning or losing. However, players may opt to quit in the middle of a game but will lose LP and MMR by doing so. There will also be repercussions in quitting the game too often. Take note that you can’t start a new game if you quit your current one as you’ll be asked to reconnect whenever you open the client.
Is TFT a permament game-mode in League of Legends?
As of now, we can expect TFT to be something the Riot Games development team will be continuing to work with. This is because of the consistent player base as well as the increasing demand for TFT eSports. While we can’t say whether or not it will be permanent, you can expect that it will remain as a major part of the game for the next year or so.