Teamfight Tactics Beginner’s Guide

by okdothis

What is Teamfight Tactics?

The basic premise of Teamfight Tactics is to form a team of Champions which will be strong enough to overcome the other players in your game. You do this through buying and upgrading Champions, improving them throughout the game to make your team stronger. The actual battling is all done for you automatically, so your job is to manage your resources to build the strongest team possible. All 8 players start with 100 life, and anytime you lose a fight, your life total drops. Once your life hits zero, you’re out, and the last player standing wins. In ranked play, a top 4 placement earns you positive MMR, and from watching streams I’ve generally seen people quite happy with a top three finish.How do I play?The Arena

The Arena is where all the fighting happens. There are 8 players on a board, each with their own individual battle arena. The official League of Legends website has a great visual resource for learning about each part of the Arena, which is where you’ll spend 95% of your gametime. I’d recommend taking a few minutes to familiarize yourself with it before jumping into your first game. You’ll want to be familiar with the Arena floor itself, your Champion bench, the Champion shop, as well as the information panel on the left side.Gold

You earn gold after each fight, with extra gold earned at various tiers if you have a win OR loss streak. You also earn one extra gold for every 10 gold in your bank when the fight ends, up to a cap of +5 extra gold each round if you have 50 gold in the bank. Gold is used to 1) buy new champions from the shop, 2) re-rolling the shop for a new set of five champions to pick from, and 3) to purchase XP to level up. Your level determines the amount of units you can have on the board.Champions

Units in TFT come in five rarities (Gray, Green, Blue, Purple, and Orange). Each champion can be upgraded by collecting three of the same champions. Once three champions are collected, those champions combine to form a Level 2 version of the base unit. If you collect three Level 2 champions, they combine to form a Level 3 unit. Anytime you sell a base unit, you get its full cost back, so don’t be afraid to buy and then resell later. Combined champions are refunded at a reduced cost, with the exception of combined Gray champions, which always refund the full value.Items

There are a number of items in TFT which are used to enhance your champions. Two base items can combine to form a more powerful version which inherits the base stat boost of each basic item while also granting additional unique perks. If you pick up an item and have it hover over another item (or a Champion who has a single item equipped), it will show you the effect of the combined item. Items are an essential part of TFT, and you’ll want to spend some time watching streams and reading to learn which items synergize well with different champions. When you sell a unit, the item comes back to your inventory, so don’t be afraid to reposition your items if you change your team up.Synergies

All champions in TFT have an origin and a class. When you hover over a unit, this information will show up on their card. When you put a unit into the Arena, it will show you on the left side of your screen what origins and classes you have on the board, as well as how many additional champions you need of the same origin/class to activate a bonus synergy. These synergies form the backbone of your team strength in later rounds of the game, so it’s important to learn them and prioritize them as you play.Positioning

Positioning is an important part of the game, but hard to really dive into in a beginners guide. A few really general tips would be to place ranged units farther back so they have more time to shoot before getting killed. Tankier units can often be at the front line, or placed surrounding weaker damage dealers. Depending on the other teams you’re facing, you’ll slowly learn more advanced positioning strategies to maximize your chances of winning the auto battle.Stages of the GameThe Carousel

A carousel is how every game starts, and it will come back at various points throughout the game. For the initial carousel, all 8 players get to run into a circle of champions at the same time and pick a starting champion for their team. The nice thing about these carousel champions is that they all come with an item. It’s almost always advisable to pick a Green champion here, as most of the time you will immediately sell this after the first round, giving you more gold to spend on 1 cost champions. As you learn what items are good, you’ll want to also try to gun for green champions with a solid item before it gets picked by someone else. In later carousel rounds, oftentimes picking a champion for the item it gives is more impactful than getting a specific unit.Creeps

Your first three fights in TFT are against PvE enemies called creeps. These creeps have a chance of dropping items or gold, which you’ll go walk over to pick up. There will be creep waves at various points throughout the game, and they are the main source of items.Early Game

Early game is about scraping together a team and some initial resources (gold, items, and champions) to prepare for the mid/late game. In general you want to be liberal with your gold early on, buying as many 1 cost champions as you can. Then you’ll want to prioritize champions where the shop gives you multiple copies (so you can hopefully level the champion up quickly). In general Level 2 versions of a champion are stronger than a Level 1 version of a champion one rarity higher, so getting Level 2 Gray rarity champions early is often more impactful than Level 1 Green champions. This isn’t always the case, and you’ll learn the exceptions as you play. As you level up, the shop will start giving you more and more of higher rarity champions, and less and less of lower rarity champions.Mid Game

Mid game is all about starting to commit to a specific build. Usually this is determined by a combination of what champions you lucked into early on, as well as which champions you’ve purposefully aimed to collect along the way. Typically at this point most people start committing to either an aggressive strategy where they are spending gold liberally to upgrade lower units and increase their level, or an econ strategy where you save your resources, potentially take some losses, but earn a lot of gold via interest which lets you rocket back into the game later on. Of course you don’t have to go full aggression or econ, and knowing how to balance the two is the key to really solid gameplay. Realize that your life is a resource, and if you had a strong start and have life to spare, you can probably take a few hits to build up some gold and interest, whereas if you’re running low on life you probably need to use resources to stay in the game.Late Game

Late game is all about optimizing your build, hunting for level ups for your Champions, and finding those last few units which will optimize your synergies. This is where you will sometimes have to make hard choices, and replace some units from early on which may be hurting your team more than helping it. Often times a Level 1, higher rarity unit that completes a synergy is worth a lot more than a Level 2 early unit which doesn’t have anything to do with your strategy.Conclusion

And…that’s kinda it! I mean there is a lot more to learn, and a quick overview can’t do justice to the depth of the game, but this should be enough to get you started. If you have a second monitor, I’d recommend keeping a “cheat sheet” like this up as you learn the items and what they do.

My last piece of advice would be to watch streamers play, especially ones who talk about their gameplay. Picking up tips and tricks from players who have devoted a lot of time to the game is a great strategy for improving.

Good luck, and may you always start with a golden spatula! :)

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