Today I’m going to teach you how to play TFT, how to get good at TFT, and tell you everything you need to know about Set 8. This video will be for completely new players and players returning to Set 8. I’ve been Challenger before which is the highest rank, and I’ve coached many people who were brand new to the game all the way to Masters in less than a month, and even some pro players used to watch my guides, so hopefully, I can help you out.
TFT is an autobattler, which means your goal is to build a team that fights for you… automatically. In order to do this, you will need Champions on your team. In order to get champions, you will need to buy them in the Shop with Gold. In order to power up your Champions, you will need Items. The easiest way to learn about all of these is to break down TFT into its rounds and stages.
When the game begins, we are presented with a Carousel where we see a rotating circle of Champions–all of which are holding an item. In this first carousel, it’s a free for all and everyone goes for whichever item or champion that they want. Typically, we would prioritize the item we want here, but more on that later.
Carousels happen once per stage, but in the ones after this, players take turns in pairs picking champions, starting with the lowest health players. Typically you would go for items that fit your playstyle. If you have played other combat games before, there are different damage types in TFT. Physical, Magic, and True damage. We will focus on the first two because that is what is most relevant for now. Essentially if you like physical damage, you would go for swords or bows, if you like magic, you would go for rod or tear, and if you like tanking, you would go for belt, armor, or cloak.
Neutrals and Creeps
The next round is a minion or creep round. You will face off against AI controlled units that can give you items, gold, champions, and other types of loot. These loot orbs will give you different combinations each game, so sometimes you will get more gold or items than the game before… or less! After a few of these rounds, we are presented with an Augment.
Augments are a way of enhancing your team for the rest of the game. This is usually in the form of economy augments which give you more gold or champions, item augments which give you more items, combat augments which make your team fight better, trait augments which give a specific trait more bonuses, and lastly, Set 8 introduces Hero Augments which either turns a specific champion into a carry or support unit.
But that’s it for all the rounds–we have the Carousel, Neutral, PvP, and the Augment rounds. We mentioned traits in the Augment section, so let’s talk about those
Traits (Origins and Classes)
Each champion you buy has their own set of traits, which are their origin and class. Typically they have 2 or 3 of them, but for all the people who are returning to Set 8, there are some units with only 1 trait now. Long story short, traits are a synergy that units can have. The more you field of a certain trait, the bigger the bonus you can get. For example we have the Sureshot trait. On combat start, your Sureshots gain bonus Attack Damage now and every 4 seconds. If you field two Sureshots, that’s 10% bonus attack damage, but if you field 4, it increases to 20%. This is probably the simplest trait, and the others get a little more wordy, but I assure you that after watching a few videos and playing the game, you will know which champions belong to which traits and what they do in no time.
If we take a look at Lux, we can see that her Origin is Star Guardian, and her Class is Spellslinger. We can see that Star Guardians gain increased mana from all sources. The bonus is active at 3, 5, 7, and 9 Star Guardian. The deeper you go into a synergy, the stronger it becomes. Her other trait is Spellslinger. Every 5 seconds, the next attack instead fires a magic orb at a random target, which explodes for 50% Ability Power as magic damage. The trait also gives increased ability power based on how many Spellslingers you have.
Champions, Shop, and Probabilities
Now that we know how traits work, let’s start preparing for the PVP rounds. In order to do that, we will need to create a team of champions. Since TFT is referred to as an autobattler or autochess, you can think of champions like a chess piece.
Along with the traits we mentioned before, Champions also have their own unique spell. Champions cast their spell when they reach full mana. This amount of mana needed to cast is different for each champion, but every champion gains mana on every basic attack and when they take damage. I will cover this more later in a tips and tricks video, so be on the lookout for that in the next few days.
To get champions, you will need to buy Champions from the shop, which will show you 5 champions at a time. Champions will cost anywhere from 1 to 5 gold. Much like in real life, the higher the cost, the rarer and usually more powerful the champion is. Typically, we play the low cost champions in the early game and then switch over to the more expensive ones as the game progresses.
Now if you don’t like what you see in your shop, there is an option to refresh the shop, which is also called rolling–kind of like rolling a dice. This costs two gold. This will give you a new set of 5 champions. Now you might be wondering how to get specific champions. Teamfight Tactics has a shared pool of champions, which means there is a finite amount of each champion in the game. As you level up in the game, you will also increase the chance to see more powerful champions in your shop. You can check out the exact number of champions and the chance to hit them for each level by checking out this cheat sheet.
Often times you will want to find multiple copies of the same champion to upgrade them. You will upgrade champions once you get 3 copies of them, which combines the 3 copies and gives them much higher stats and damage. An upgraded champion is usually called a two star champion. However, if you are really lucky, you can even get a three star champion by upgrading them once more by getting 9 total copies. This gives a huge increase in stats and damage, and some three star champions may even win games on their own!
Economy and Gold
Knowing about traits and champions are great, but how do we get gold to buy each champion? If you hover over your gold above your shop, you will be able to see how much gold you can earn each round. Here we can see Passive Income, Interest, Win Streak Bonus, and the amount of gold you get for winning the round.
Passive Income is income you will always get each round. It’s kind of like your salary. It starts low in the first stage of the game, but defaults to 5 gold per round once PvP begins. Next is Interest. Similar to real life, the more money you have, the more money you can get. You can save gold each round and earn an extra bonus interest for every 10 gold you have, up to a cap of 5 bonus gold per round. The interest mechanic should have you thinking about whether you want to spend your gold to get stronger right now, or if you want to save your gold and create a stronger team later in the game. After that, we have Streak gold. You gain bonus gold whether you are on a win streak or a lose streak. You can hover over the Streak icon next to your gold to see how much gold you get for your streak.
There is one last way to get gold which is by selling champions. If you no longer like a certain champion on your team, you can sell them by dragging them into the shop or by pressing ‘E’ when hovered over the champion. Remember how we said before that you typically use low cost champions early on and then swap over to more expensive ones? Well when it’s time to do so, you can sell those old champions. Unupgraded Champions sell for their cost, and upgraded Champions sell for their combined cost minus 1, with the exception of 1 cost champions. For example, an Upgraded Wukong which is a 1 cost champion and costs 3 gold to 2*, sells for 3 gold. An upgraded Leblanc which is a 3 cost champion costs 9 gold to make, but only sells for 8 gold.
Now that we know how to get gold, let’s see what we can spend it on. We already covered that you can refresh your shop and buy champions with your gold, but you can also use Gold to buy Experience. Experience can get you higher levels which increases your team size and gives you access to rarer and more powerful units.
You will need to balance managing your economy to level up and buy champions along with making sure your team is strong at all points in the game in order to not lose too much health and eventually die out. I will be coming out with a leveling guide later this week, so subscribe if you are wanting to see that for Set 8, but here is a short version:
- Level 4 – Stage 2-1
- Level 5 – Stage 2-5
- Level 6 – Stage 3-2
- Level 7 – Stage 4-1
- Level 8 – Stage 5-1
- Level 9 – Stage 6-2
Now that we know what champions do and how to buy them, let’s look into how to position and use them. So I have the easiest method of deciding where to place your units if you are just starting out. If you right click on a Champion, you will be able to see their attack range. If they have short range, such as 1 or 2, put them in the front row. If they have long range, such as 3 or 4, put them in the back row. If you are too lazy to right click your champions, you can also position based on how each character looks. Does your character look like a glob with a lot of health bars like Zac? Put them in the front because they are likely a tanky unit. Maybe your character is holding a ranged weapon like a bow. We should probably put Ashe in the back line. This rule of thumb should get you started, and I even still use this guideline to this day.
All jokes aside, positioning is one of the highest forms of skill expression in Teamfight Tactics, and you will definitely learn each and every nuance as you play more and more by learning how each champion interacts with both your team and your opponents’. If you are feeling extra ambitious, feel free to check out my Team Composition Tier List that I update every Friday on my website at https://bunnymuffins.lol/meta for the best positioning for every composition. If you are looking for short term improvements, I actually recommend only playing 1 composition at a time when you are learning. Even though this playstyle isn’t optimal, it will definitely help you familiarize yourself with all units within a synergy and you will learn the other basics of progressing through the game–think of it like training wheels.
The last topic I want to cover is items. In TFT, we get item components from the Carousel and neutral rounds. Each item combines with another to create a stronger item which combines their stats and gives a bonus effect. To do this, drag the first item onto the desired champion, and then drag the second item on top of the same champion again. You can also right click on each item component to highlight which items they can build with other components. Figuring out which items are best on which champions and which combinations synergize together can be tricky. However, every Friday, I list out every composition with their optimal items, units, and positioning. I keep a tier list of items on my website as well.
As a general rule of thumb, I form my team compositions based on which items I get rather than what champions I get because items are extremely powerful in TFT.
If you made it this far, congratulations! You are now ready to start playing TFT. As the set progresses, I will be releasing guides on how to play at every rank from Iron to Challenger, and give an intermediate and advanced continuation of this guide including a dedicated leveling guide and an early, mid, and late game guide, so definitely make sure you are subscribed to get notified for those videos.
I hope you are excited to play this game. You can play it on your phone or computer, and there are different modes such as Double Up and Hyper Roll which is pretty cool to check out. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below!