If you have been a long-time gamer that have played since the mid-90s or any time later, then surely Valve Corporation no longer needs to be introduced to you. As a very well-known game developer, publisher, and digital distribution company that started in 1996, it’s highly unlikely that any gamer exists without having been exposed to or aware of Valve Corporation’s products and services. Award-winning games like Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Portal, and Dota 2 all came from Valve Corporation. Additionally, the same company also developed the digital software distribution platform, Steam. Although Valve Corporation entered the mobile platform industry back in 2012, they only recently launched their first mobile game a little over a week ago… and what better way to stir up the excitement of the gaming giant’s fans and followers than a game based straight off of the Dota 2 franchise.
Dota Underlords is the direct product of Dota Auto Chess, which was a mod for Dota 2 released earlier this year. Following its explosive popularity that gave birth to the auto chess or the auto battler genre, Dota Underlords stands as the first of its kind on mobile which will most likely spawn countless of loosely similarly themed games soon enough. Earning over 500,000 downloads from the Google Play Store alone and going over a million just 4 days later, Dota Underlords quickly snatched places in top ten lists of mobile games in more than 30 countries.
Contrary to other variations of strategy games that require quick reaction times, fast reflexes, and even a certain degree of accuracy, Dota Underlords, as the genre suggests, plays the battle automatically without any intervention needed from the players. As such, tactics and strategies are prepared prior to each round and subsequent ones are borne of reactions based on the events of the previous round. If you enjoy strategic battles you can engage in with friends or random players, regardless of whether or not you are a fan of the franchise, it’s a must that you try Dota Underlords out.
White Spire is on the brink of descending into chaos following the untimely demise of its leader, Momma Eeb. With madness and disarray looming from all dark corners of the city, you take on a seemingly never-ending quest to be White Spire’s new leader. As the fate of the city lies at stake, you will challenge 7 other players on a tournament commanding various heroes, each with his or her own unique abilities. Round after round of slaughter and mayhem, the weak (or unlucky) will be eliminated until only one stands triumphant. Luck may not always be on your side but with strategic planning and flexible tactics, you can win even against more powerful enemies.
There is a built-in tutorial within Dota Underlords lets you get to know the game’s controls and mechanics. Not much complexity is involved in the controls as you only need to tap on heroes to choose them as well as on the few buttons available to proceed with the game. As far as mechanics go, it’s as simple as choosing your heroes or “chess” pieces and placing them on the battleground strategically. You battle round after round against opponents and earn coins to purchase more heroes. Losing a battle means losing life points and dropping your health down to zero takes you out of the game.
Although it is pretty simple and easy to learn to play the game, it is truly difficult to master especially if you are taking on other players instead of the bots. As every bit of time you spend on the game contributes to your progress, you can certainly move forward regardless of how you go about it. If you want better performances in battle as well as earn more gold than you usually can, then check out our Dota Underlords beginner’s guide for some useful tips, cheats and strategies!
1. Practice With The Tutorials And Bots
Given that Dota Underlords is a new type of strategy game, and at this point you may not yet be familiar with the auto chess genre, jumping straight into battle with other players will probably confuse you more as a beginner. Although controls and mechanics are relatively simple, it would be wise to go through the tutorial as it simulates an entire game run to give you a good grasp of what you need to do to be triumphant at the end of the match.
Although the battle itself won’t require you to be quick with your hands and your wits, the preparation phase in-between rounds have time limits within which you have to quickly decide on a variety of things. For starters, taking a lot of time to decide on whether or not to spend gold, which hero to get, or if you should spend some or all to level up, then you might end up making a mess of your set-up as the next round starts. Keep in mind that on top of these decisions, you may have to switch up your roster of heroes on the battlefield or even make adjustments on their positions on several rounds. There is also the matter of equipment that you may transfer from one hero to another at some point during the match. It may all seem overwhelming at first, but having a full run through the tutorial and a couple of trial matches against bots ought to get you familiar enough with the pace of the game to help you decide a little faster from one round to the next one.
2. Learn Each Hero’s Abilities
You can actually dive into a solo match against bots, choose whichever you like from among the random heroes that appear for sale on the pre-round screen and still win against bot opponents set on easy. Without much or any idea at all about what each hero can do, their strengths and potential weaknesses, you won’t get far in battles against more challenging difficulty levels and other players.
At the main screen of the game, be sure to click on the book icon at the top of the screen and select the heroes tab. Click on a hero, read through his or her skills and stats and tap either the left or right buttons to browse through the next one. It may take a while to get through all available champions in the game, and chances are, you won’t remember everything as you play the game. At least, you will have an idea about how some heroes work and perhaps even have a sort of preference as to which ones you would like to work on. On a more advanced note, you can even consider a pair or group of heroes that you are certain will blend together more than others.
There is actually no better way to get to know each hero than trying them out yourself in actual battle. As these are mainly what solo battles against bots are for, you should try to take each hero for a spin and cycle between using them and reading on some more information that you may have missed or forgotten. Through this process, not only will you have a set of heroes you prefer to have, but also be on your way to being well-rounded enough to utilize whichever hero that comes your way. In truth, it is hard to focus on a small group of heroes you want to use considering that the availability of heroes are random and RNG may not always be at your side. Having a good enough idea of what each hero can do will raise your chances of securing more wins as you will be able to work with more flexibility as you should in a battle that leaves room for chances.
3. Take Advantage Of Alliance Buffs
Dota Underlords does not work around getting the strongest heroes to form part of your team. There may be tier lists here and there suggesting the preferred heroes that many players love to use but then, having even the supposed top tier heroes on a team that has little or no synergy at all won’t serve you well. As alliances serve a very important role in the synergy of your squad, you should consider it to be the core consideration in building your team, especially given the increasing amount of advantages it can provide the more members of the same alliance form part of your team. In a way, this should delimit your considerations for most succeeding heroes you add on your team as you move on from one round of the match to the next one.
Similar to getting to know each hero, you can also view each available alliance in Dota Underlords as well as the perks each one provides by tapping on book icon and then choosing alliances. This will not only show you what each alliance does but also reveal all heroes belonging to that particular alliance. Although each hero will belong to 2 or 3 distinct alliances and icons will be seen on the hero before you choose to add them to your army, being familiar with the hero’s alliance to some extent will already save you some time deciding on how to build your team as you progress through the match.
Like heroes, no single alliance should be considered to be better than everything else. With limitations in roster and the diverse nature of perks they provide, it is only natural that you will be working towards building a team belonging to several groups of alliances.
Typically, though, it won’t be too spread out as you would want to enjoy higher tiers of buffs from a couple or more of the alliances you have on your squad. Similar to the synergy each hero has, the same should be considered of alliances.
4. Winning May Not Always Be Everything
Regardless of whether or not you win a round, you will always earn gold and with gold being the exclusive resource you need to purchase more heroes or level up your squad, you need a good, steady supply of it from one round to the next. More importantly, as battles grow more challenging from mid to end game, you need to have an abundant supply of gold for more chances of rerolls to get the heroes you need later on.
You will typically earn 5 gold per round from the 6th round onwards. Both winning and losing streaks can earn you additional ones and you would want to capitalize on that as well. While it’s a lot easier to manage to win round after round against bots, the same would be a harder feat to accomplish against other players. Although you will lose life points if you lose, considering to go for a losing streak while you rack up more gold to become more formidable towards the end game is often a viable option.
One thing to consider in Dota Underlords is that ranking up a hero from 1 to 2 stars early on can turn the tide of battle for you. You may be lucky enough to be able to secure 3 copies of the same hero without having to reroll but that will hardly be the case on a regular basis. As such, you will have to be willing to sacrifice some gold for rerolls if you want to quickly upgrade the heroes in your squad. Additionally, steady investments towards levelling up your squad is likewise important to have more slots to put in additional heroes. The higher the level, the more expensive it becomes so on top of carefully managing how to spend your gold, you also need to boost gains early on.
You can also get additional gold at the end of each round based on the total amount of gold you have saved up. You can earn 1 additional gold for every 10 gold you save for up to an additional 5 more. With this consideration, going for a losing streak while saving up gold on the initial rounds can become an even more interesting strategy.
5. Learn To Position Your Heroes Strategically
In addition to having good synergy among your heroes and a good blend of alliance buffs, you also need to strategically position each of your heroes in the battle stage. Having a good idea of your heroes’ skills and stats will definitely give you a good idea of where to place them on the battlefield. While there are no perfect formations to go with that can win against all other set ups, at least have a general idea of where to place each hero to ensure an efficient performance in battle.
Tanks or heroes with high HP and defense belong to the frontlines and should be set up at the front end of your formation. Melee attackers can serve at the head of the formation as well and can also be used to guard ranged attackers in your team against assassins that pop up behind your formation. Your ranged combat heroes can be placed anywhere but on the front lines. It can be a little behind the tanks and contribute damage towards the frontline enemies, lumped on one side to more likely concentrate fire on a single target, or even split between farther ends of the grid. With assassins able to jump to the location of their targets in an instant, you can situate them at the back end of your formation.
As there are a lot of powerful AoE damage dealers in Dota Underlords, lumping all your heroes together in an area is never a good strategy. Always consider the possibility of AoE effects that can cause more harm to your entire squad if they are all closely knit together which is why respecting gaps between smaller groups within your team should be a top consideration.
6. You Can Still Strategize Around Equipment
Although equipment you can acquire after every neutral round are completely random, there are still ways to make them work for you and your team. We have talked about learning as much as we can about each hero, especially their strengths and weaknesses, alliance buffs, and positioning. All these factors and how you strategize around them can further be enhanced by your picks of equipment and which of your heroes you would choose to equip them with. Despite the very bleak possibility of getting the equipment you want for your favorite heroes, one from among the three choices you may have will be more useful for you than the rest.
In essence, the idea with regard to strategizing around equipment is identifying what each hero needs as you pick them and practically going for basic boosts. With either a plus on attack or defense, it should all boil down on whether you would want to capitalize on a DPS dealer’s attack, further boost your tank’s defense, or even invest some armor on your least durable units to increase their survivability. There are actually a lot of advanced options to consider but much like rosters and formations, a lot of it is up to experimentation.
As matches in Dota Underlords take a little more time than usual matches in other games, be ready to invest some time to study and experiment with different teams and formations. Spending time and exerting effort to really get to know the game will surely pay off in the long run.
That’s all for now as far as our Dota Underlords beginner’s guide is concerned.. As there is yet much to be seen in the game, we may present additional guides later on. Additionally, expect new tweaks and updates to be done on the game itself and with seasonal roster mechanics in play, be sure to bank on getting to know more heroes as new ones will definitely come in as some will switch out for succeeding seasons. If you discovered additional tips, cheats or strategies that we have not mentioned in this guide, then don’t hesitate to drop us a line in the comments!