On the night of June 14, Valve released its own version of Auto Chess: Dota Underlords. Despite the immense popularity of the genre, a lot of players are still only now deciding to play their first game of “chess.” Here, we discuss the primary gameplay mechanics and share basic tips for beginners.
How to play it?
All games in the Auto Chess genre are, instead of about APM, about strategy and economics (macro instead of micro, in Starcraft terms). The player buys pieces with different characteristics and abilities, then places them on the chessboard. After that, units fight on their own.
Each game involves eight players who fight each other. Opponents are selected randomly in each round. If the opponent’s pieces are stronger, the player takes damage, which consists of the levels of units remaining on the field after the battle. The winner is the one who outlives the other.
Luck is no excuse
The main elements of Dota Underlords are: money, experience, and heroes. There is no single way to win, largely due to the influence of the random market. Nevertheless, the odds can change in your favor by making smart decisions. A player is given 30 seconds per move, so there’s not time to read all the characteristics before every move.
Shop and Economy
Regardless of the outcome of each round, and with the exception of the first three, each player will receive five coins at the end of the turn. For winning a round, you will receive one gold. You will also gain more gold for consecutive wins on the board, as well as for a series of defeats. However, you shouldn’t spend everything at once on your units in each round. This is because for every ten coins in the bank, the game grants you extra gold, which helps a lot in the later stages of the game.
In Underlords, a player has only one characteristic: a level. This determines how many pieces you can put on the board. For each round, you get one experience point. Relying on experience will not be enough, though – you have to invest your earned money. In the store, you can spend five gold for every four experience points you have earned.
Make smart investments
At the beginning of each round, the game offers five random units to choose from. They are divided into five categories: price – the higher their value, the stronger they are and the higher their rarity. With an increase in level, the chances of getting expensive heroes increase. If a player doesn’t like the characters that Underlords is currently offering, one can spend two gold pieces to get a new selection of units.
All units are taken straight from Dota 2 and have the same specifications for health, attack, speed, and other characteristics. In addition, each unit has only one skill: it can be passive or active – in the second case, it will require mana. Your hero gets mana when it receives and deals damage.
Unlike Dota 2, Underlords units do not gain experience for killing enemies. Heroes can be leveled up only after collecting three identical figures. This feature can be used twice in a single game. For the strongest version of one character, you will need nine copies of it.