Dota 2 Auto Chess In-Depth Starter Guide

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Dota 2 Auto Chess In-Depth Starter Guide

No one expected a custom game in Dota 2 to become as popular as Auto Chess is today. The phenomenon mod has over 5 million subscribers, and they continue to grow by the minute. If you are into strategy games, Dota 2 Auto Chess is certainly worth trying.

How To Play

The goal of Auto chess is to be the last man standing. You have to buy and upgrade heroes from a shop (they are called chess pieces), place them on the chessboard, and watch them fight. You can buy new heroes each round and place them on the board to win the fight against either neutral creeps or an opponent. If you manage to win the battle, you advance to the next round and earn gold, whereas if you lose, the courier (your moving unit) loses a certain amount of HP depending on how many enemy units remain alive.

The total amount of heroes you can have on the board depends on the level of your courier. To level him, you have to spend gold. You can also upgrade your remaining heroes when you place more than one of the same kind. They will receive bonuses depending on how many of that particular type are on the board (Something I’ll touch on later).

How Does the Economy Work?

Dota 2 Auto Chess Economy

Beside from receiving gold each round, you can also get bonus gold if you win a round. Also, you can get up to 3 gold if you are either on a winning or a losing streak. All this means that if you want to be economically successful in this game, you have to be on either a winning or a losing streak. The absolute worst thing to do is to bounce between wins and loses.

That is why there are people who lose intentionally to get as much gold as possible. Usually this tactic works. However, if you want to do it, you have to start in the early stages of the game. If you do this later, it will definitely cost you more HP because your enemies will have more units on the chess board.

Like I mentioned, you have the opportunity to upgrade your hero. To do that, you have to place heroes of the same kind. For example, if you have three level one heroes, you can combine them and get a level two unit. Three level two units will get you a level three one.

Many people buy a lot of heroes in the early stages of the game and later on decide not to use them because they might not fit their chosen strategy. Luckily, you have the opportunity to sell them. The level one heroes can be sold back for their full price. This is one of the reasons to have a total of eight reserve slots. You can use those to keep some of the units that you are not using in battle.

Like I said in another article, you have the opportunity to spend gold and refresh your current available pool. However, that costs gold, which means that you should NOT be doing it too often. In case you really want a specific hero, but you don’t have to gold to get him, try “locking” the pool until the next round.

Heroes and Different Strategies

Dota 2 Auto Chess Strategies

Some heroes cost one gold, whereas others require more. Of course, those who cost more tend to be a lot more powerful. We can differentiate the different heroes in three categories – Species, Class, and Abilities.

The bonuses from the different species and classes are acquired once you have more units of the same class and race on the chessboard. For example, if you have two Orcs, their HP will be increased by 200. In terms of classes, let’s say you have three or more Mages – in this case, the magic resistance of every enemy unit will decrease.

Your main goal should be to find the strongest synergy and composition for your current matchup. One of the easiest things to do is to stack heroes from the same class. While this seems like a pretty straightforward thing to do, it might not always be the best solution. Let’s say you choose to have a Mage setup. They do a lot of magical damage, which is very good against some other classes (Warriors for example) but not so much against others. That’s why my advice would be not to focus that much on one class.

Try to experiment more and make different combinations. There are a lot of guides about different combinations that you can try.  The idea is to build a strategy of different species and classes that complement each other. You can definitely increase the effectiveness of your heroes a lot by doing this.

Also, similar to Dota, all heroes have different abilities. Some of them work very well together, whereas others don’t. It’s up to you to decide which ones are the best for your current game. Do not follow a strategy blindly only because you have read it online. Always try to think outside the box.

An example of an easy and yet effective combo is the Goblin Mech. Mechs give 10 HP regen to all friendly Mechs. The Goblins, on the other hand, provide 15 armor and 10 HP regen to a random Goblin. This means that you will have a powerful and durable army. The biggest downside of this start is the lack of damage. That’s why you should always try to add some damage dealers in the later stages of the game.

Placing Your Units

Placing your chess pieces depends entirely on your line-up. If you have a lot of squishy damage dealers, you might want to put them in the back lines and put tanks in front to protect them. If you like to play aggressive, try putting your pieces closer to the enemy half.

One of the worst things that can happen in Dota is to get hit by a massive AoE spell. The same applies here. If you are facing enemies which have a strong AoE spell, try spread out your units to avoid the spell.


Most of the items in Auto Chess are similar to the ones in Dota 2. Some of them have a chance to drop when you kill the enemy creeps. Also similar to Dota, you can combine them into a more powerful item with the only difference being the lack of a recipe. Here is a list of all items that you can currently get.

Images via: VentureBeat and Youtube

Dota 2 Auto Chess In-Depth Starter Guide
Zlosterr has been a fan of esports for many years and mainly focuses on Dota 2. He has more than five years of experience writing Dota 2 content for numerous platforms. Besides being a passionate fan of the game, he's also played for various amateur teams.