TFT, short for Teamfight Tactics is an auto battler game where players build teams and then watch them face off against neutral enemies or other players. There are eight players in any given game and your primary goal should be to be the last player standing in this face-off.
There are currently 4 available modes available to play, but this guide is focused on giving you an overview of the modes of normal and ranked.
The UI is simplistic and easy to read with all important information being easily displayed. On the top side of the screen, you have the current stage and round of the game and the types of upcoming rounds. On the right side of the screen, you have the health overview of all players alongside a menu to see the damage dealt by your units.
On the bottom side, you have your current level, experience, and available pool of champions. Here you can also spend your gold (in-game currency) to either buy experience, refresh the pool of available champions or acquire one of them. On the left side, you have the current synergies between your units, which can be synergies between traits or origins.
The main goal is to build a good board with powerful units, which can be acquired via gold, the Carousel (also known as a shared draft), or by defeating neutral enemies during certain rounds. Each unit has a class and an origin and by stacking the same types of units you can get various bonuses to make your board stronger, capable of taking down your opponents and being the last player standing.
The game is divided into stages and rounds with all stages with the exception of the first one consisting of seven rounds with the fourth round of each stage giving you access to the Carousel. After each round, you generate gold which can be used to increase your experience and level up, giving you access to more units on board, acquire units or reroll the available pool of units to another one. The gold generation can be increased by having a win or loss streak or by saving the gold to generate interest (from 1 to 5 gold for every 10 increments up to 50).
On the left side of the map, you'll see golden objects pop up with each one indicating an additional gold earned from interest. In the case above with 30 gold, there is 3 additional gold which will be earned at the end of the round from interest. Managing your gold is one of the most crucial things you need to learn in order to be able to win your TFT games as a beginner.
Start of the match
Once you hop into a match, you'll begin in an area called the Carousel, where players pick from a pool of 9 units, each equipped with an item to begin their first couple of rounds.
The first Carousel has no barriers and it's on a first-come, first-serve basis. The second Carousel and beyond has some limitations to ensure a fair game, giving priority to choose from the available units to those who have the lowest health. If you are losing rounds early on while you're learning the game, you'll have access to units first to ensure that you don't fall too far behind. If you are winning rounds early on, then you'll have to wait for your turn after your opponents picked their units.
Once you have picked your first unit, you'll proceed to the first three rounds against neutral enemies where you'll be able to pick up boxes that contain gold, units, or item components.
To reach your goal of winning the game, you need to build a strong team of units with synergy between them. Every unit in TFT comes from the League of Legends universe and if you've played League before, you'll easily get familiar with the units' abilities. Each unit has either an active or passive ability with the main difference being that mana is required for the units which an active ability while those with a passive do not need any resources to use their abilities.
In the current set 6.5, there are 60 units available to be picked up with each one of possessing from two to three traits from a list of 28 unique traits.
In the screenshot above, all traits from units on board are displayed on the left. If the icon is bronze or above it means it is active, otherwise it's inactive since you haven't reached the required conditions. In the case of 'Bodyguard', it is active because there are 2 units with this trait on the board, while in the case of 'Sniper', it is inactive because there's only 1 Sniper out of 2 required for it to be activated.
All units also start at 1-star and can be upgraded to 2-star and 3-star respectively. To upgrade a unit from 1-star to 2-star, you need to have 3 1-star units in your roster, which can be from either the board or the bench. To upgrade a unit from 2-star to 3-star, you need to have 3 2-star units. In essence, you need 9 1-star units to upgrade the unit to the maximum rank of 3-stars. With every upgrade, your unit gets stronger, gaining additional stats and more benefits to their ability, such as reduced cooldown, increased damage, increased resists, etc.
Items act as enhancements for your units with each component giving you basic stats, such as attack damage, ability power, armor, etc. Once it has been equipped to a unit, it can no longer be removed from it unless you have a special, rare item that can be obtained via Augments or if you sell the unit.
Two item components can be combined into a more powerful item with unique effects, which can vary from additional damage, shields, healing, additional tankiness, and many more possibilities. Items can be acquired from the Carousel, by winning the rounds against neutral enemies, and from Augments.
All items you gain are stored on the bench to the left according to the screenshot above while all items equipped to a unit are visible throughout the rest of the game on the unit.
In the current set 6.5, there are 3 rounds (1-4, 3-3, and 4-6) throughout the game in which are able to choose an Augment, a powerful enhancement for you, that can vary from units, and items, to various effects. While specific compositions can be built depending on the Augment you get, for starters try to get familiar with them since there are over 100 hundred Augments available right now.
With every game being different in TFT, the most important thing as a beginner is to learn the basics such as what types of units are in the game, what sort of items can you build, when are the Carousel rounds, and when are the rounds against neutral enemies. With this foundation, a beginner can look to start learning about positioning, economy, best compositions, how to build a proper composition, and how to adjust it in case you aren't getting the required units.