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What is Dota 2 Auto Chess?

What is Dota 2 Auto Chess

The game of Auto Chess is an 8-player PvP game mode in Dota 2 based around an 8 by 8 chess board, where the individual chess pieces are Dota 2 heroes. Each round, every player gets a random set of heroes from a limited pool and has to arrange them on their side of the board (4 by 8). Each player controls a courier with a 100% health bar. The courier's Mana is always equal to the player’s Gold amount (the maximum is 100 as well). Gold and Economics play a key role in Auto Chess. We will get to that later.

The players are then matched against each other (or against neutral Creeps every 5 rounds) and the chess pieces battle against each other automatically. When you fight neutral Creeps, you get the chance to acquire some items which you can hand over to your pieces to make them stronger. If you lose the battle, you lose one health point for each enemy hero left on the board (2 or 3 if the enemy hero is powerful). The game is over when only one player remains standing.

How to install Auto Chess for Dota 2?

To start playing Dota Auto Chess, you have to download it.  Launch the Dota 2 client and find the library of custom games, where you will definitely find Dota Auto Chess. It won’t take you more than a minute – it’s a piece of cake.

1. Download Dota 2

2. Add Auto Chess to Dota 2

How to get gold

How to get more Gold in Auto Chess

As mentioned earlier, Economics is one of the cornerstones of Dota Auto Chess.

  • Every round, you get a basic amount of gold. For rounds 1, 2, and 3, you get 1, 2, and 4 gold pieces respectively. Starting from round 5, you get 5 gold.
  • When you defeat an opponent on your board, you get 1 gold. Moreover, if you manage to win a series of consecutive victories/losses, you also get more gold (up to 3).
  • Every round, you also get 10% interest on all gold you already have. However, there is a cap of 5 gold on that. In other words, even if you have 100 gold, for example, you would only get 5 gold as interest.
  • You can sell your Level 1 chess pieces for cost price. Chess pieces at levels 2 or 3 are sold at a price corresponding to their levels.

Overview of Gold in Auto Chess

At the start of the game, it is important to come up with your strategy in advance in order to successfully support your economy. If you alternate wins and losses, you will not receive bonus gold, which will greatly affect your future position in the game. Thus, it would make more sense to aim at having a winning streak/losing streak. The strategies for these are will be described later.

Gold can be spent not only on purchasing pieces, but also on leveling up your Courier. As you level your Courier up, the limit of pieces that you can place on the board increases. There is a special “level up” button and clicking on it gets you 4 XP for your Courier in exchange for 5 gold for every click. To check how much XP you have at a particular point in time, you should press the ALT button - the numbers will appear below the Courier icon. If you want to reroll the set of chess pieces you are given, you will have to pay 2 gold.

Building a Team

This is where the fun begins.

There are 58 types of chess pieces in Dota Auto Chess, with each belonging to a particular species and class. Each chess piece has its own skill, which it uses automatically when 100 Mana is reached. A chess piece gets Mana when it deals or receives damage. The list of all the chess pieces in Auto Chess can be found by clicking on a special button at the upper left corner of the screen.

List of Chess Pieces

Different chess pieces come at different price levels, which are indicated by different colors. The more expensive a chess piece is, the lower the chances are of you getting it.  The chances of acquiring chess pieces depends on your Courier’s level - basically, to get rare figures, you should level up your Courier!

Reroll Pieces

But there’s no need to rush! First of all, you will have to develop your strategy.

For example, here is no sense in leveling up your Courier if your strategy is based on low-priced chess pieces.

Races - Unit bonuses

Races bonuses

Species and Class Hero Synergy List

Species and Class Hero Synergy List

Being creative is a good thing, but sometimes it’s better to avoid reinventing the wheel.

For example, some starting combos already include some low-level pieces that form a synergy. Let’s take a look!

  • WARRIORS+ORCS. 3 warriors and 2 orcs (Juggernaut, Axe). This combination is easy to create at the very beginning. Your warriors have +5 armor buff and an additional 250 HP. Moreover, this combination deals good damage.
Warriors + Orcs
  • GOBLINS+MECHS. 3 goblins, 2 mechs (Clockwerk, Tinker, Timbersaw, Bounty Hunter). This combo is one of the most popular among players. The main drawback is that, at the start, all the pieces have minor damage, which is not enough to achieve the strategy where your Goblins and Mechs are buffed with a regeneration HP and armor bonus.
Goblins + Mechs
  • ELVES+DRUIDS. Anti mage + Treant Protector + Nature's Prophet + enchantress. The first three figures are able to tank well and have 20% evasion. Moreover, Treant Protector, Nature's Prophet, Enchantress, and Lone Druid (which costs 4 gold) are druids and require only 2 pieces to move up to the next level (★), so they can be easily become ★★ at the very beginning of the game. More on STARS ★ a little bit later.
Elves + Druids
  • KNIGHTS+any piece. If you are lucky enough to have Knights at the start, keep them! A combination of 3 Knights is quite hard to beat at the very beginning because they have 40% chance to proc a damage-reducing shield for 3 sec. What’s more, Chaos Knight is both a Demon and a Knight and has 50% additional pure damage.
Knights + any piece
  • 2nd level figures (★★). If you managed to get ★★ pieces right away, use this to your advantage. Even though they do not match with your starting pack, ★★ pieces are more powerful than any combination at the early stages of Dota Auto Chess.

There are dozens of other strategies in Dota Auto Chess. These were just some basic combinations that could still be improved by adding more strategic pieces. The first and most important thing you need to do is to take your time and study the pieces. Doing that can help save you a lot of time in the future.

How to play Auto Chess

Basic Gameplay

Randomness, chance, and luck play a big role in this game. When a match starts, your opponents may get better combinations than yours or even Level 2 pieces, while you might have nothing to work with. Here you have to decide which strategy you will implement: a winning streak or a losing streak?

The losing streak strategy is pretty simple and straightforward. You have to lose round by round in order to get additional gold. However, keep in mind that you would be sacrificing HP for gold. As soon as you have 50 gold, choose another strategy and start placing heroes on the board.

Strategy: part 1.

The winning streak strategy requires luck and good scouting and research on enemy pieces. Do it only if you have a close-to-perfect starting board. You will have to constantly strengthen your board to keep up the winning streak. To be able to get the pieces you need, you should be ready to spend gold on rerolls.

Strategy: part 2.

Auto Chess: Basic strategy

After the starting pieces are placed, you have to decide which strategy you are going to implement. Pay close attention to your enemies. If they get a particular combination of pieces, you are unlikely get the same ones. Remember that players receive pieces from a one-for-all deck, which means that there is no reason to plan a particular combination in advance (before the match starts). In a game of minds, it’s silly to rely on luck.

The main rule of Dota Auto Chess is: play with what you have. There are numerous ways to combine figures which have synergy among each other. With good resource management, you will be able to create a strong board in the later stages of the game. To implement a strategy, you should have a high gold income, which starts when you have 50 gold. Every round after that, you will get a maximum bonus of 5 gold.

Advanced Dota Auto Chess Tactics

Warriors + Control (stun, disable, etc.)

Warriors have good damage and armor aura that affects all of the warriors on your board.

Below are the bonuses that each combo has

  • + 250 HP to Orcs (Axe, Juggernaut)
  • 10% damage to all heroes/pieces (increased attack damage of 10% for 2 friendly beasts for all allies, as well as the possibility of these pieces summoning new ones)
  • 20% chance to silence the enemy for 4 seconds (2 friendly humans have a 20% chance to silence target for 4s when attacking).
  • 50% pure damage. (Demon’s buff deals 50% extra pure damage to its target)
  • +21 armor to all your warriors. (If you go with 9 different warriors later in the game)

Add tide/enigma/disruptor/medusa to have disables. This is important later on in the game. You will see for yourself that control is key to victory. By implementing such a strategy, you have good damage and additional control.

Goblins + Mechs

This is an easy strategy thanks to the starting combo we’ve mentioned before, but hold on a second – not so fast! To execute it well, you have to level up your Courier to get rare techies as fast as possible. This strategy focuses on quick push your enemies with huge regeneration buffs + damage dealt by the techies. With this strategy, you will dominate until later on in the game, where late-game counter-strategies might be played against you.

  • 3 goblins - Grants a random ally +15 armor and +10 HP regeneration.
  • 6 goblins - Grants all allies with +15 armor and +10 HP regeneration.
  • 2 Mechs - All friendly mechs have +15 HP regeneration.
  • 4 Mechs -  All friendly mechs have an additional +25 HP regeneration.

When the game is about to enter the late stage, add some damage+control (tide/enigma/disruptor/medusa).


Treant Protector+ Anti Mage + Enchantress + Furion + Luna + Windranger + Templar Assassin + Lone Druid + any of these: shadow fiend/tide/enigma/disruptor/medusa.
The last pick depends on whether or not you need additional damage or control.

  • (3) Elves: All friendly elves have +20% evasion.
  • (6) Elves: All friendly elves have an additional +25% evasion.
  • (2) Beasts: All allies have +10% attack damage, including summoned pieces.

As soon as you collect 6 elves, physical damage is no longer a big threat to you. Beasts will inflict additional damage aura on all pieces. The main advantage of this strategy is that the elves-druids combinations are very easy to make - two Druids★ can upgrade to one Druid★★. This strategy is as strong mid-game as the Goblins+Mechanisms.

Assassins and different variations of this strategy

In the current meta, one of the strongest classes is the Assassins. Their main advantage lies in the fact that they are cheap and that they have a lot of damage from the initial stage of the game.

Early in the game, it is very easy to pool together 3 assassins to get a starting buff that has a 15% chance of dealing a critical hit of 350% damage.

They can also easily be combined with any 3 tanks until you have 6 assassins. For example, you can pair 3 assassins with 3 goblins or 3 elves. But keep in mind that your tanks must be at level 2 in order to gain time for the assassins on the board. Later in the game, playing this class is much easier than playing others, since you only need a Level 8 Courier and the right economy strategy to win.

Once you have managed to achieve these conditions, start rolling pieces to level 3. The most effective piece is the Phantom Assassin.

The Phantom Assassin has the passive “COUP DE CRAGE”, which gives you a 10% chance to deal a critical hit of 300% / 450% / 600% damage depending on the level of the piece.

One of the best combinations at Level 8 is 6 assassins + Level 3 Treant Protector  + Level 2 or 3 Lone Druid. It is advisable to have a Level 3 Queen of Pain, Phantom Assassin, or Bounty Hunter. If you have these pieces, then you have the Treant Protector with elves evasion buff, which will gain time for your assassins to destroy any enemy board.

  • (3) Elves: all friendly elves get +20% evasion
  • (3) Assassins: All friendly assassins have a 15% chance to deal a critical hit of 350% damage
  • (6) Assassins: All friendly assassins have a 15% chance to deal a critical hit of 450% damage
Another strategy

Another strategy would be to put 6 assassins + Level 3 Tiny + Level 2 or 3 Lone Druid. Tiny + Morphling will give the elementals buff to turn enemy melee pieces into stone.

Lone Druid is very good in this strategy as it causes an extra summon, one of the most powerful pieces in the game.

  • (2) Elementals: all friendly elementals have a 30% chance to turn the attacker into stone for 4s when attacked by melee chess pieces.
  • (3)Assassins: All friendly assassins have a 15% chance to deal a critical hit of 350% damage
  • (6) Assassins: All friendly assassins have a 15% chance to deal a critical hit for 450% damage

All in all, remember that you can always experiment and try different combinations of pieces and, in doing so, increase your expertise in and understanding of the game.

Basic Principles Of Positioning

On top of strategy, economics, and random luck, placing figures in the right position will also help you win the game. Carefully monitor your enemies’ boards and adapt to their style. You can even knock an opponent out with fewer pieces, as long as the pieces are strategically positioned on the board. Figures that should cast their spells first should be placed at the frontline. Low HP heroes should be place at the back to help protect them using other, stronger pieces.

To win in auto chess, you should pay attention to:

  • Time. The amount of time allotted for buying pieces and thinking about the strategy between rounds is only 30 seconds. Throughout the game, you need to constantly change, buy, and level up your pieces while at the same time monitoring your opponents. With so much to do, 30 seconds is usually not enough, so you have to think up your next move in advance and act quickly.
  • Switch strategies. If you start the game off with one of the starting combos, but then you notice that you are missing some important pieces, do not be afraid to add them. Always keep a few heroes in stock. That will make you flexible.
  • Enemies’ boards/pieces. The pool of pieces is the same for everyone, so if you notice that you and your opponent may be implementing the same strategy with the same pieces, it is better to avoid that strategy altogether as you would both be blocking each other and neither of you would succeed! Pieces will be returned to the board as soon as an opponent dies, leaves the game, or simply sells the piece.
  • Positioning. Each species and class has special features, so it is very important to place pieces in a way that would play each piece to its advantage and make your board stronger. Do not forget to keep an eye on your opponents’ boards to position your figures in the right way.
  • Damage table. To the left of the battlefield, you will see dps — the amount of damage per second dealt by your heroes. Try to change some pieces from time to time, as doing so may help raise your dps. However, don’t forget that some pieces may be on your board to create a synergy with other pieces, so consider whether a higher dps would really be better than a synergy (even if the synergy may give you a lower dps).

How levels work in Dota Auto Chess

As mentioned earlier, your Courier’s level allows you to increase the number of pieces on the board and increases the chances of receiving a rare piece.

The courier has 10 levels. Below are the amounts of XP needed to reach each level.

Level 1 - basic

Level 2 - 1 XP

Level 3 - 1 XP

Level 4 - 2 XP

Level 5 - 4 XP

Level 6 - 8 XP

Level 7 - 16 XP

Level 8 - 24 XP

Level 9 - 32 XP

Level 10 - 40 XP

How can I get XP in Dota Auto Chess?

There are 2 ways to level up your courier in Dota Auto Chess:
1. Getting 1 XP at the start of each new round.
2. Increasing the level by paying out gold. Each click will cost you 5 gold and increase your Courier’s XP by 4 points.

How to get XP

Always keep in mind which pieces you currently need for your strategy. Beware: your Level 10 Courier will give you access to expensive and rare pieces, but at the same time the chances of you getting cheaper and more basic ones in your roll will decrease. So if you need the more basic pieces, you may want to reconsider leveling up your Courier too much. That’s one heads up we’d like to give you. As you can see, in Dota Auto Chess, you need to strategize beforehand and make sure you are aware of all the game mechanics.

Auto Chess Upgrades: How to combine and upgrade chess pieces in Dota Auto Chess

Let’s go back to the pieces themselves. Each has 3 upgrade levels. A piece’s current level is indicated with stars (★, ★★ and ★★★ respectively).

The formula is pretty simple:

3 x ★ = One ★★ piece

3 x ★★ = One ★★★ piece

Upgrading pieces is a must if you want to succeed in Dota Auto Chess. Starting pieces are always at Level 1.  Each piece has its own strengths compared to other pieces of the same level, but the difference between a Level 1 piece and a Level 2 piece is really huge. Make the most of high level pieces, even if they do not match your current combination of pieces, especially at the beginning of the game.

Remember that you can upgrade 3 druids into one, but doing that would be very costly for your economy.

If you want to get a next level druid, it is better to choose 2 of the same druids, with the third being a different one. For example, two Treant Protectors and one Enchantress. In this case, your Treant Protector will transform into a ★★ Treant Protector.

A special condition for getting a level 3 Druid (★★★) is that you need to have four different druids on your board (Lone Druid, Enchantress, Furion, Treant Protector), and one of them must be a duet of ★★. Sound confusing? Let’s have a look at an example.

So you want to get ★★★ Lone Druid. To do that, on the board you need to have two Level 2 Lone Druids (★★) + Enchantress, Furion, Treant Protector. This is the only way to get a Level 3 Lone Druid ★★★.

If it’s still not too clear, the videos below show examples of working with druids:

Watch from 18:17 - HYPERLINK

Watch from the start -

What is Dota 2 Auto Chess Candy?

There are nice bonuses in Dota Auto Chess in the form of so-called “Candies”. With these, you can purchase in-game cosmetic items, mostly new Couriers to change the default donkey.

How do you get Candy in Auto Chess?

Candies are given to players depending on their final game results in a particular chess match. If you managed to be among the Top 3, a certain amount of candies will be yours for sure. Candies are also rewarded for knocking out players. The more players you knock out, the more candies you will get at the end of the game.

The maximum limit of cherished Candies per day is 10.

How do you buy new couriers in Auto Chess?

What can you spend Candy on in Auto Chess?

To open a Candy Store, click on the Courier Collection tab in the upper left corner.

If you have the required amount of candies, click on the roll button to get a random courier, which costs 40 candies. You can also choose a rare courier, but the type of rare courier available and its price changes from time to time.

Note that you might also get a duplicate of the courier you already have. But worry not: the developers have created an exchange tool, where you can exchange couriers of a certain type for a rarer one. You can also sell a duplicate Courier for 10 candies.

Candy Store


Dota Auto Chess has its own ranking system.

The hierarchy is listed below. The Pawn is the basic rank for every player, while the Queen is the highest rank.

1. Queen

2. King

3. Rook

4. Bishop

5. Knight

6. Pawn

In each of the above categories, there are steps that are numbered 1-9. Once you reach the highest step, you will move up to the next rank. For example, once you reach Pawn-9, the next rank will be Knight-1.

Each rank has its own rating range, shown in the table below:

Ranks and rating system

There is a new season system added from the last patch.

New Season: Claim you reward for S0: Mystery now in the game! The higher the ranking achieved, the better the reward will be. The season began on May 1.

Item list

The beginning of each match in Dota Auto Chess starts the same way, no matter what. In the first three waves, you will battle against Creeps for experience and perhaps acquire some items in the process as they sometimes leave items when you kill them. Items are also a very important part of the game. Throughout the match, you will face the Creeps again, but they will obviously get stronger and stronger each time you meet them.

Creep waves

Creep's Features

The probability for item tiers from enemy Creeps:

Item's Drop Chance

Item list

Item List

Multiple items can be combined into one better item. To see what you can get from an item, just press “Show Combinations”.

  • Items combine automatically in the player's or the hero's inventory once the round begins
  • Items can be locked to prevent automatic combining
  • Combined items cannot be disassembled for the pieces. They can be disassembled only in the courier.

Basic tricks

  1. Io’s feature - unlike other Legendary pieces, there is a small chance for an Io to appear at any Courier level. Since this is not mentioned anywhere in the description of the game, it means that only lucky players will get the chance to have this piece.
  2. Assault cuirass gives the aura to both your pieces and your opponent’s pieces while on the Courier, so you can run around and make any of the pieces on your board more powerful.
  3. Enchantresses bring more gold. If you upgrade Enchantress ★ to Enchantress ★★ with the use of druids, you can sell it for 3 gold instead of 2, which means you get 1 extra gold from doing this.
  4. Scouting enemy teams is now easier thanks to the new update. Instead of having to physically move your mouse around the arenas, you can pull the scoreboard out from the side of the UI. The extended scoreboard details all enemy player units, their chess levels, their class and species bonuses, their current gold level, their win/loss ratio, and how much damage they’ve dealt in comparison to other players.
Enemies Boards

Summary and key advices

  • Economics is a key to victory. The more gold you can accumulate for each subsequent round, the easier it will be to play. Level up your courier and roll the pieces only if you need to.
  • Streaks. Watch out for your streaks to get bonus gold. You shouldn’t alternate winning and losing round after round.
  • Enemies. Pay attention to your opponents’ strategies. It’s not a good idea to have the same strategy as someone else. Luck might not be on your side and you will be knocked out.
  • Starting combos. Use the combos we described above for a good start. Especially if you are a beginner, it will be easier to start by having simple but effective combinations on the board.
  • Flexibility. Always keep different types of pieces in your deck to be able to quickly switch to a different strategy.
  • Positioning of pieces. No matter how strong your pieces are, always put them in the right place. Always keep an eye on your opponents’ pieces and their movements. Even if you have the strongest board at a certain point, you can lose a round and consequently a streak if your pieces are put in the wrong places.
  • Play with what you are given.  Adapt to the situation. Perhaps at first it will be hard to remember and understand the mechanics, but experience is the best teacher.
  • Time. In order to avoid mistakes, think over all these details and strategize during the rounds and not in between. Remember that you only have 30 seconds between the rounds to make decisions, so always be one step ahead.
  • Inventory. Keep track of the items you get from creeps. Combined items give huge bonuses to your heroes.

GOSU.AI hopes you have found this guide useful. We also suggest you to have a look at the list of videos of top-level Dota Auto Chess players below.

Good luck, grand master!



March 29, 2019
From GOSU.AI with 💙