How to Play

This guide will teach you the game's fundamentals

Have you played DOTA AutoChess yet?

Well what are you waiting for?

Over 4 Million players have already tried the smash-hit DOTA mod by Drodo Studio and with up to 400,000 players in-game at any given time, it doesn't look like you will have any trouble finding a match anytime soon.

First, a little bit of clarification as some of the names are just a bit confusing:

-AutoChess is a Custom Game mod that turns DOTA 2 into an entirely new game. (Just like the original DOTA mod for WC3!)
-DOTA AutoChess is nothing like the ancient game of Chess
-DOTA AutoChess is nothing like the game of DOTA

Now that any confusion is out of the way, Lets start with the basics:

AutoChess is an 8 player free for all where each player has their own chess board on an island.

The Island

The objective is simple, defend your chess board against waves of attackers and be the last player standing.

How do you defend?

By buying Chess Pieces (the game calls them "chesses") to fight for you. At the start of every turn you are given the choice of 5 chesses you can buy with gold.

Hero bank

After 30 seconds to buy, place and upgrade your chesses, an enemy team will arrive at your board and the fight starts!
As the name suggests, the fights are automatic so at this point there is nothing for you to do but watch and plan your strategy for the next round.


Once the fight is over, every player who won the fight on their board is rewarded with a bonus gold and every player who lost their fight loses HP based on how many enemy pieces still remain alive (A copy of your team may have been fighting on someone elses board as well, but only the results on your board matter to your HP). Then all the chesses come back to life and get ready for the next round.

Upgrading your Chess Player and "Chesses"

If you want to win the fights on your board, you will need more and better chess pieces. The maximum amount of pieces you can have at any time is determined by the level of your Chess Player.
Most players start with a DOTA courier donkey as their Chess Player, but there is a wide variety of cool looking chess players you can buy with in-game candy.

Your level and maximum piece count can be found in the upper right hand of the screen. Your Chess Player will gain some experience after each level and can be leveled up much faster by buying chunks of experience for 5 gold each.
Upgrading your level also grants you access to higher level chesses.

Maximum Chesses

Every Piece you buy from the store begins as a 1-star unit. Upgrading an individual chess piece requires 3 copies of that piece. Simply place three 1-star units on the board at the same time and voila! They will combine to form a much more powerful 2-star piece. Got three 2-star pieces on the board? Well they combine to a super powerful maxxed-out 3-star unit.

Having trouble finding copies of the same piece? You can always refresh the offerings in the piece shop for 2 gold.

Gold, Economy, Interest and Streaks

In case you haven't figured it out by now, you are going to need some serious gold to build a strong army on your board. Lets take a look at all the different ways gold is earned.

  1. Basic Income:
  2. Starting Round #1, you receive 1 gold. This amount increases by 1 every round until it caps at 5 gold per turn on round #5.

  3. Interest:
  4. At the beginning of your turn, you get an extra 1 gold for every 10 gold you already have saved up. This also has a maximum of 5 gold per turn. This means it's smart to avoid spending any gold you don't have to until you have a reserve of 50 gold for the maximum interest every turn.

  5. Win Bonus:
  6. Every time you win a fight on your board, you get a 1 gold bonus.

  7. Streaks:
  8. Players are also given bonus gold each round if they are on a streak of winning OR losing battles on their board. This bonus ranges from +1 to +3 depending on the length of the streak.
    The maximum gold a player can earn per turn is 14: 5 from basic income, 5 from interest, 1 for the win and 3 for the streak

Class and Race Bonuses

Each piece belongs to a race and a class. Most races and classes have bonuses that unlock when a certain number of these are on your board at the same time.

These are generally very powerful enhancements that play to the strength of the classes or units involved. Here are some examples:

  • 3 Warriors on the board each get extra armor

  • 3 Assasins on the board gives each one a 10% chance that their attack is a Critical Hit and does 4x the damage

  • 3 Elves on the board all get an additional 25% chance to evade enemy attacks (hard to hit!)

Some of the races and classes go against the rules and work a little differently

  • Druids can use any other druid as the 3rd upgrade piece, making druids much faster to upgrade.
  • Demons do 50% more damage if they are the only Demon on your team.

You can see all of the class and race synergies here and here.


For such a easy to learn game, AutoChess has room for some incredibly deep strategy. Here are a few tips to get you started.
If you want some more advanced strategy, head over to our strategy section.

  • Learn the Characters, lots of pieces are just better than others. check out our Tier lists for more info
  • Interest is Super Important, at 50 gold in the bank, you double your income every turn. It's usually worth taking a few losses in early rounds to build this faster
  • Manage your streaks. Have a losing streak going and still have lots of HP? Maybe hold off on spending and take a few more losses to pile up the gold for later rounds.

Okay, so now you know everything you need to play your first game, on the next page you can find a summary of all the hotkeys. See you out there!

Player Actions and Hotkeys

We generally advice new players to get familiar with using hotkeys in auto chess as it will massively increase the speed at which the player can manage his heroes.

  1. Move a hero Hotkey: Q
  2. To move a hero either from or to the players slot reserve the player must first press the hotkey button Q or click the ability button in his skill bar, he then selects the hero with a left mouse click to move it to a different tile.

  3. Recall a hero Hotkey: W
  4. To recall a hero that is currently placed on the players board he either presses the hotkey button W or clicks the ability button in his skill bar. Now the player selects the hero with a left mouse click and it is placed in the players slot reserve, this is not possible if the player has a full slot reserve.

  5. Sell a hero Hotkey: E
  6. To sell a hero that is currently placed on the players board or in his slot reserve he either presses the hotkey button E or clicks the ability button in his skill bar. Now the player selects the hero with a left mouse click and it is sold for the same price for which it was bought if it is a non-upgraded unit, otherwise the price may variate.

  7. Reroll hero selection Hotkey: D
    Cost: 2 Gold
  8. To reroll the current hero selection the player either presses the hotkey button D or clicks the ability button in his skill bar, now the player is offered a new hero selection from the hero pool from which he can then buy new heroes.

  9. Level courier by 4 Experience Hotkey: F
    Cost: 5 Gold
  10. To level up the courier the player either presses the hotkey button F or clicks the ability button in his skill bar, this will grant the courier 4 Experience, a higher level allows more heroes on the players board.

  11. Switch between player's boards Hotkey: TAB
  12. To switch between player's boards, the player must press the hotkey button TAB, this increases the speed at which the player can check the other players setups.

  13. Open buy menu Hotkey: SPACE
  14. To open the hero selection the player either presses the hotkey button SPACE or clicks the image in the topmost UI bar, the player will then be able to close or open the hero selection that is automatically opened at the start of every round.

  15. Lock hero selection: N/A
  16. The current selection of heroes can be locked by clicking the lock in the bottom left corner of the hero selection, it is important to unlock once the heroes that the player wanted to buy from the hero selection are bought.

    The hero reserve

  17. Camera jump to player's board Hotkey: 1

  18. The hotkey button 1 allows the player to center his camera onto his board, allowing for a quick switch between certain perspectives.