Is TFT a Game of Skill or a Game Of Luck?
If you’ve been gaming at all in the past decade or so, you’ve probably heard of League of Legends, otherwise known as LoL. It’s become one of the most popular MOBA-type games on the planet, as it’s not only free but could probably run on a potato if you really tried.
In fact, according to LeagueFeed LoL has anywhere between 100-120million subscribers. That’s a whoppingly large number. On top of that, you also get 140 champions to unlock (or buy) and pick from, so there’s lots and lots of stuff to grind and do in the game.
Of course, Riot hasn’t confined itself to just their MOBA and has released a completely new game called TeamFight Tactics, or just TFT for short.
What Is TeamFight Tactics?
So what exactly is TFT?
Well, for those of you who haven’t tried it yet, essentially it’s a new genre of game called an auto-battler or auto-chess game. The way that it works is that you play against an opponent, and each of you gets a set of pawns. You place the pawns on the board before the match depending on their stats, and then once the match starts, they battle it out automatically.
Of course, the problem is that you do get random pawns every round, and much like online casinos, there’s an element of randomness to it.
This ‘randomness’ tends to compound itself as you progress with the matches. That’s right, you play several, in fact, each game has 8 players, and the matches go until you’re the last one standing. Not only that, but every few rounds you can pick or get an item, so the RNG is pretty big in this type of gameplay.
So is TFT a Game of Luck?
While it’s true that there is a large amount of randomness in the pawns and items you get, the reality is that the majority of it is more about the skill of dealing with that deck.
If you know about Hafu, which you should since she’s one of the top TFT players, she herself says that TFT is just as much about skill as it is about RNG. In fact, she compares it to poker, where you get dealt a random hand and yet nobody considered poker a game of luck.
As such, it’s a pretty toxic way to only blame losses on bad luck. While that certainly plays a part of it, it’s more important to look at your own skill and technique, and see where there are areas of improvement.
Hafu herself even mentions several times how she can improve her gameplay, or where she’s made mistakes. So if a top-level TFT player can admit that and work to get better, you absolutely can too.
As such, there is a myriad of ways to deal with a badly drawn deck or an unlucky round, and it’s all about the mindset you go into it with. This is especially true when playing TFT on a smartphone, due to the propensity for us to throw things when we’re frustrated!
TeamFight Tactics Tips
So, in that vein, let’s look at some great tips for working on your skills and bad RNG.
Leave Your Options Open
Probably the biggest mistake you can make in RNG games and auto-chess games is to set yourself down a path at the very beginning of the match. Since there is RNG, you might end up getting selections down the line that don’t fit your composition or style at all.
As such, do your best to diversify your units. If you see that the game is giving you a lot of a specific type in the later rounds, especially after the creeper round, then you can sell the ones you don’t need.
Pick Up Pairs Quickly
Players always want to play the strongest board, and the best way to do that is to pick good pairs early on in the game. As such, you should always pick up any pairs you see in the shop in the early portion of the game.
Having one 2* is better than two 1*s, so the pairs are essential if you want to play a strong board.
Also, this works well with the concept above in that you can always sell the pairs you don’t need later on.
Funnel Your Excess Gold Into Your Bench
Economy is one of the most important aspects for mitigating RNG, and so managing your gold correctly is important. What this means is that you don’t want to have a bunch of gold sitting around doing nothing, especially if the interest is going to go above your cap anyway.
As an example, if you have 28 gold and don’t see any way of 30 for the bonus interest, you might as well just buy a unit and stick it on your bench. But won’t that just decrease your economy? Yes, but it will also increase the chances of finding a valuable pair or pawn that you want in the carousel.
And again, if you don’t want that unit or see yourself in another 28 gold situation, you can sell that unit to get yourself to 30 and get that bonus interest.
Always Have a Plan B Comp
The truth is you are going to deal with RNG, and depending on your luck, it might throw your plans completely off-course. This is why you should always memorize a comp A and a comp B, so that if your first comp doesn’t really come together as you’re expecting, then at least you have a backup.
Also, at the higher levels of the game, you ideally know the majority of the meta and can either come up with comps on the fly, or tweak your current comp to fit your RNG. Until then though, having 2-3 comps memorized for each game is a good idea.
Take Advantage of Hotkeys
The one thing that delineates the amateurs from the pros is the number of actions you can take a minute. While a lot of that is definitely a bunch of practice, there is one quick shortcut you can use to help: hotkeys.
A lot of people don’t take advantage of hotkeys, even the ones built into the game, such as D for rerolling, F for leveling, and E for selling units. By being quick to do all these things, you can not only strategize more, but you can also carry out that strategy faster.