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 5 and Teamfight Tactics in 2021. I’ve been Challenger, which is the highest rank, multiple times before, and I’ve coached many people who were brand new to the game all the way to Masters. You can play TFT on your phone or on your computer, and it’s super fun to play. FYI, this is a work in progress and am adding pictures soon.
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 put into what is called a Carousel where we see a rotating circle of Champions–all of which are holding an item. When the Carousel is unlocked, all 8 players can try grab any champion that they want. In every Carousel after that, players take turns in pairs for picking champions, starting with the lowest health players. As a general rule of thumb, prioritize choosing the item you want rather than the champion you want, since it is much easier to find champions from the shop. Of course, as you play more, you will learn when to break this rule.
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.
The next type of round is the PvP round. This is where your team fights other players. You will lose health if you lose and deal damage if you win.
The last type of round is the Armory. This occurs in the 2nd round of Stage 2, 3, and 4. Here you are able to choose from a selection of item components. Getting an item from the Armory is free, and you can also get Shadow Items which we will get into later.
But that’s it for all the rounds–we have the Carousel, Neutral, PvP, and the Armory.
Champions, Shop, and Probabilities
In order to prepare for the PVP rounds, 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.
Every champion has their own set of traits and origins, offensive and defensive stats, and 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.
In order 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 with the exception of Teemo who costs 6 health instead because of his Traits–more on Traits later. Much like in real life, the higher the cost, the rarer and usually more powerful the champion is.
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 copies. This gives a huge increase in stats and damage, and some three star champions may even win games on their own!
Traits (Origins and Classes)
As mentioned before, each champion has their own set of traits, which are their origin and class. Generally, Champions have 2 or 3 traits. Learning traits can be quite daunting, but I assure you that after watching a few videos and playing the game, you will know which champions belong to which traits in no time.
If we take a look at Lux, we can see that her Origin is Redeemed, and her Class is Mystic. We can see that Mystic gives your entire team Magic Resistance if you have 2, 3, or 4 unique Mystic units. The deeper you go into a synergy, the stronger it becomes. For example, if we have Lux and Morgana on our team, our entire team will gain the 2 Mystic bonus which is 40 Magic Resistance. If we add another Mystic, such as Ryze, we will have 100 for our entire team!
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 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 of 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. Next 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. 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 Udyr which is a 1 cost champion and costs 3 gold to make, sells for 3 gold. An upgraded Leblanc which is a 2 cost champion costs 6 gold to make, but only sells for 5 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.
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 giant bear with a lot of health bars like Volibear? 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 all the way in Challenger.
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 post every Friday on my website at https://bunnymuffins.lol/meta for the best positioning for every composition. 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 basics of progressing through the game.
The last topic I want to cover is items. In TFT, we get item components from the Carousel, creep rounds, and the Armory. 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 also new modes such as the Hyper Roll mode which is pretty cool to check out. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below!