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10 tips for mastering Riot’s new mobile game, Teamfight Tactics
The smash hit autobattler has just hit iPhone and Android smartphones, so here’s how to get started.
Ever since Riot Games released the Teamfight Tactics mode for League of Legends last year, fans have been crying out for a mobile version and it’s finally here, available to download now via the Google Play Store and Apple iTunes, alongside a brand new set called Galaxies. We’ve compiled a list of tips for newcomers, as well as a few that will help old players get back into Set 3. Let’s dive in.
1. Champion basics
The mobile version of TFT comes with a handy tutorial, which you should play first, but here are the basics of how champions work. Each round your champion shop will refresh. You can also spend two gold to refresh the shop whenever you want. Spend your gold to buy new champions and take a look at the keywords that they have. Placing different units with the same keywords together on the board will grant you bonuses.
Play your champions from your bench onto your board, paying attention to the team size limit. This will increase over time, or you can spend gold to level up and get there quicker.
Buying three of the same champion will upgrade it into a single two-star unit with better stats. Three two-star units combine into a three-star champion, its most powerful form. You’ll notice some champions cost more than others. In general, this means they’re more powerful, but they’re also rarer.
Champions can also hold items, and items can also be combined, too, for more powerful stats. There are dozens of combinations, which you’ll become accustomed to over time; more on that later.
2. Keep your mind on your money
You start with a very small amount of gold, but you'll quickly start earning. Everyone has the same basic income, but you'll gain a bonus if you're on a win streak, or a loss streak. You also get an extra gold if you win a round.
For every 10 gold you have, you'll also gain one gold interest at the end of the round. For example, if you have 10 gold, you'll get an extra gold on top of what you would already earn. Having 20 gold will grant you an extra two gold and so on. This interest stops at 50, so there’s no use hoarding gold beyond that mark.
The final way to get gold is by selling your champions. Don’t worry about any items they’re carrying, you’ll get those back if you sell them.
3. Positioning is key
Positioning in Teamfight Tactics is one of the trickiest things to get right. Sometimes even moving one champion to another location on the board can completely change the outcome of a fight you would’ve otherwise lost.
Each game is different, so you’ll need to learn to adapt. But in general, having your bulky units with the most health on the front line is best, while your squishier damage dealers stay back. You'll be able to see the attack range of each champion in their stat block, so make sure you don’t have your melee units trapped behind ranged units.
Pay attention to what’s happening during the game. For example, they might have Infiltrators which will jump to your back line, or they might have a Blitzcrank which is hooking your star unit into their team where you don’t want them to be. Always make sure you’re adjusting accordingly.
4. Make the RNG work for you
The item shop is completely randomised, but you can learn how this randomness works to gain an advantage over your opponents. The higher level you get, the more chance you have of being presented with higher cost, more powerful units. On the other hand, you’ll also have less chance of getting weaker units. While this may sound like a good thing, bear it in mind if you’re searching for two or three-star versions of your early champions later on.
Another thing to note is that while your individual shop is randomised, everyone is pulling from the same pool of champions. You can look around everyone else’s board at what they’re doing. For example, if you see a lot of other people have the same champions as you, it’s going to be less likely you’ll get upgrades for them.
5. Don’t get baited
That brings us to our next tip. While it’s easy to get tunneled in on your own board, perfecting your comp and making sure your positioning is good, you need to pay attention to your opponents. Your amazing early comp won’t stay that way forever, and you might find yourself getting overtaken in the middle and late game because you stuck to one strategy.
If you see other people trying the same thing as you, or you find yourself suddenly losing a lot of rounds in a row, try switching up your composition. You should be able to see what particular comps are open.
It can be tempting to try and save your gold, but that money will be no good if you’re dead. If you’re running out of time, spend that gold to level up or search for champion improvements.
6. The importance of items
A good item on the right champion can swing the game in your favour. For example, Sorcerers like ability power, so stick a Rabadon’s Deathcap on a unit that already deals a bunch of damage with its ultimate. Alternatively, a Warmog’s Armor will help your tanky unit stay alive even longer.
You’ll participate in a few Shared Draft carousels throughout the game where you get a free unit and you might see it as a good opportunity to get an upgrade for your champions. However, also pay attention to see what items you could grab. You’re always going to get a chance to get new champions by refreshing the shop, but there aren’t too many occasions you can pick up new items, so take advantage.
7. Do your research
It’s important to get into Teamfight Tactics and play a few games to get the hang of the mechanics and learn how it all works. However, there'll come a point where you want to improve your game and climb the ranks. Riot have been getting better and better at balancing the game since its release, but there'll always be certain compositions that are just better than others. Learn what they are and you’ll start winning in no time. Also, make sure you eventually know what each of the unit synergies and items do. You don’t want to be wasting time reading all the text during a game.
There’s no shame in copying other people and one of the best ways to learn is to watch streamers. There are plenty of big TFT streamers out there and the best ones explain what they’re doing and give tips to their viewers while they play. Check out Twitch or YouTube to find out new strategies.
The game changes all the time, as Riot makes tweaks to try and balance things out, so make sure you stay up to date. Your amazing comp might not be so good when the next update rolls around.
8. Break the rules a little
While you think you may know all the rules, some are made to be broken. For example, Set 3 has introduced the Mech-Pilot champion synergy. Put three units with the Mech-Pilot trait on the board and they’ll combine into one Super-Mech, which seals huge area-of-effect damage and also breaks out into the individual champions again when it dies.
The new Thresh has some dangerous potential in the new set, too. Remember that team size limit? Well Thresh ignores it completely when he uses his ultimate ability, dragging champions off your bench and into the fray.
Set 3 has brought a number of highly powerful units, so keep an eye out for interesting combos you can utilise to get a leg up on your opponents during the game.
9. Check out the Galaxies Pass
Teamfight Tactics’ version of a Battle Pass, the Galaxies Pass gives you cosmetic in-game rewards, such as new arenas and emotes. You can also pay for it, which will grant you premium rewards and 20 levels in the pass instantly. You gain experience in the pass by simply playing games, but you can also do missions which unlock each week for extra XP.
Nothing you get will give you an in-game boost, so everyone is always on a level playing field. But you will get to see how far ahead you’ve progressed than your opponents and it’s always nice to win in style with some flashy graphics. Bear in mind that the store isn’t available on mobile at launch, but there is crossplay with the PC version, so you’ll keep any cosmetics you have there.
10. Watch out for the Galaxies update
The new set is out now, bringing in all the new champions and synergies, however we have to wait until Patch 10.7 (or maybe even 10.8) for the Galaxies mechanic to come into play. Eventually, each game will have a different ruleset applied to it. For example, one match might start with the carousel containing all-powerful four-cost champions, while another match will make the first re-roll of each round free. Learn Set 3 now, but be prepared for a few things to change over the coming weeks.