The Autobattler craze – opinions by Hyped, Hoej, and dmplicious

Jul 04 2019 7 min read

The Autobattler craze – professional opinions by Hyped, Hoej, and dmplicious ⚡⚡⚡ Esports and gaming news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!

Much like MOBA and Battle Royale genres before, the newest Autobattler genre is drawing huge attention. Once again, the industry has proven that unique creative ideas do not come from huge companies or studios, which are mostly interested in a safe, yet profitable existence. Instead, the modding community serves as a proper source of innovation. Interestingly, we’ve touched upon this very topic before.

After the creators of the original Dota Auto Chess mod decided to go independent and standalone with their own version of the game, two huge companies immediately jumped on the hype train of Autobattlers with their new titles in the freshly born genre. We’re talking about Dota Underlords from Valve and Teamfight Tactics from Riot. While it’s pretty obvious that other developers will follow the trend (and it is happening right now), the three aforementioned games will keep their positions as the leaders of the market in the nearest future.

We’ve decided to speak with some prominent players about the overall Autobattler craze and some specific points we are most interested in. Below you can find the professional opinion of our three former Artifact players who participated in our tournaments. Welcome back Hyped, Hoej, and dmplicious!

WePlay!: What was your initial impression from the Autochess (Autobattler) gameplay? Which gameplay aspect did you like the most?

  • Hoej: Had a great initial impression since I’m a huge DotA fan so playing a strategic game with my favourite DotA characters got me hooked. The game is also very addicting, because there are so many different strategies you can try out.
  • Hyped: My first impression of Autochess was that it was very FUN. I was drawn in by all the different possibilities with compositions and items and I just wanted to try them all! For example, I would wonder just how strong you could be with 4 Trolls and 6 Warlocks! (Turns out the 6 Warlocks don’t do much ha, but it was still exciting to experiment).
  • dmplicious: It is fun and a great genre for hanging out with friends. I think they will become more popular if there will be unranked modes or party ranks in addition to the ranked modes. This would allow friends with a big difference in rank to play with each other without having to worry about their invisible or visible rank.

WePlay!: Do you like the idea of randomness in the fights? What would you change given the chance?

  • Hoej: I think the randomness in fights is fine. It’s a lot about positioning, and I don’t think there is a lot of RNG in fights except maybe Crits from Assassins and Human silence, but you can play around that to some extent.
  • Hyped: I’ve grown to embrace and enjoy the randomness. It’s part of the game and it’s something to account for (i.e. keep a higher health total if nothing else). If I could change anything, I would try to add more decision points throughout the game with more complex items or even talent trees.
  • dmplicious: I understand that an element of randomness is essential. The random elements of the fights are what makes the game more interesting. If the outcome were always the same for each build and positioning, the game would have very few variations, solutions, and outcomes.

WePlay!: Which game is the best in terms of providing the tactical depth and overall quality and versatility of the gameplay – Dota Underlords, Team fight Tactics, or the original Auto Chess by Drodo? Which one do you personally like the most?

  • Hoej: I have only played Auto Chess and Underlords since I like the DotA universe more than League. Right now, I like Underlords more than Auto Chess, simply because of its graphics. Gameplay-wise they are very similar.
  • Hyped: The original Dota 2 version by Drodo is the best at the moment for sure. Underlords might be able to get close once it catches up in terms of adding all the missing heroes (Gods, new Dragons, etc.). TFT is a wildcard for sure, I really like their item system but I would like them to add quite a few more heroes going forward. I’ve been enjoying TFT a lot lately just because there is so much new stuff to learn and try (similar to my initial impression of the original as I mentioned earlier).
  • dmplicious: Each game brings something different to the table. I haven’t tried TFT yet, though I have heard and read about some of its elements. I hope to try it soon after my move, so I can get a better feel for the game. I also plan to play more Auto Chess then too.  Currently, due to my limited time, I am playing Dota Underlords. I really enjoy how some randomness is reduced, such as having more control over item selection and not having some items be randomly distributed when players are eliminated.

WePlay!: Regarding esports, do you believe that these games have potential on the professional competitive scene? Is the core randomness of the gameplay going to affect that?

  • Hoej: I’m not sure since it can be pretty confusing for viewers to watch – I don’t think the randomness will be the problem since Hearthstone is an esports title, and the amount of RNG in Underlords is not that much higher.
  • Hyped: I believe the games can definitely be an esport, I don’t think the randomness is an issue at all, tournaments can just use more rounds to reduce variance. All that matters, in my opinion, is how much the audience enjoys watching it!
  • dmplicious: There is definitely potential for all three games to have a competitive scene. However, it would be better if they either reduce randomness in the main game mode or introduce a competitive mode. In addition to this, the tournament format and scoring system also play an important role. This would allow the results of such tournaments to be more skill-based, thus taken more seriously. For Dota Underlords, I have an idea to change the current popular scoring methods to reduce the randomness of matching boards with each other. I hope to test it this month with a small-scale tournament. I have been talking with other Dota Underlords enthusiasts and organizers and I hope to be able to fine-tune this and share my findings.

WePlay!: Do Dota Underlords and TFT have a better implemented and a fairer RNG than Artifact?

  • Hoej: I don’t think Artifact had that much RNG – people just often have a tendency to blame their loses on RNG instead of blaming themselves. I think the RNG is fine in DotA Underlords, the better player tends to win more often.
  • Hyped: No way haha, but that’s okay! Artifact definitely had the most “fair” RNG and the better player would win much more often than compared to Autobattlers, but ultimately that seems inversely related to the games’ popularity anyways. It seems less “fair” RNG is something we actually all love just sometimes have trouble admitting. :P
  • dmplicious: Since I haven’t had a chance to play TFT, I don’t think I can fairly answer this question. I will definitely try out the game and have a feeling I will enjoy it as well after I’ve figured out the units and game details.

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