TFT Mechanics Guide
TFT is quite different from LoL in that mechanic skill is not a huge factor in the game, but there are still a few mechanics that can help you win more and be more consistent. In this guide, we’ll be going over a few different mechanical tips to help you improve without having to spend hours training to decrease your reaction time by 1 millisecond.
Note that even though this is a guide to improve your mechanical skill (so things like reaction time, mouse movement, etc) many of the mechanical skills in TFT also require game knowledge and aren’t mutually exclusive.
Mechanical skill in TFT almost always refers to simply, how fast can your hands and fingers do what you want them to do. While high mouse sensitivity and practice can achieve this, here’s a few tips that will improve your mechanics, while not having to train intensively.
How to Roll Down
Rolling quickly is arguably the first mechanical skill that comes to mind when you think of TFT. Some top ladder players are able to roll down all of their gold EXTREMELY quickly. This is also key for builds that like to hyper roll.
Rolling down 50+ gold in one turn, while also buying the same cost units to increase your odds can become quite daunting. In non hyper roll cases, rolling down and picking up multiple units and envisioning multiple comps to go for based on what you find will also be very daunting.
- For hyper roll comps, buying other one cost units will help increase the odds you find the unit you are hyper rolling for. When holding units, keep the units you want to keep on one side and the units you don’t need on the other. This way you can quickly see what units you can sell and which ones you shouldn’t.
- Keep in mind that when a unit combines, it may mess up your ordering. You then can decide to keep those positions in mind if you buy more random units, or you can quickly move your desired units to fill those spots.
- In other situations, if you are rolling down at 6 or 7 and haven’t committed fully to one comp, you want to keep your options open and commit to a build you find good units for. In these situations, only try to keep in mind two comps so you don’t fill your board with unnecessary units and get nowhere.
- You may want to simply buy units for one build, while also seeing if you can high roll main carries from other comps. Example: If I’m planning to play rangers and find Kindred, I can also think about buying Yorick and Annie to pivot into Shadow Summoners if I can’t find Ashe or Twitch. Keep other comps in mind, but don’t spread yourself too thin that you end up holding 5 pairs of random good units.
How to Scout
Scouting isn’t very mechanically intensive, but it can be. If you haven’t checked it out already, be sure to read our guide, How to Improve your Scouting in TFT.
In some games, you’ll be in a situation where you have to do so many things in one round. This usually happens in the late game where you need to roll down, itemize, and reposition against players left in the lobby.
Performing all of these actions efficiently requires you to be able to scout efficiently. Early and mid game scouting usually isn’t as intense as the game is a bit slower and fewer decisions have to be made, but late game is where you really need to turn it up.
- Scout efficiently. Basically, in the late game, you won’t have as many enemies to scout against, so just look for a few specific things on each board. Things like Zephyr, assassin jumping, and enemy value units to reposition. If you know what you’re looking for ahead of time, you can speed up your scouting process.
- Counter Scouting. If you know other players have Zephyr, try to move your carries around every round. Other players will try to snipe your carry, and you may not always be able to position perfectly, but if you don’t have time to scout, simply move things around a bit to try and luck your way out.
Repositioning also goes hand in hand with scouting as there is the usual carry back center position. Deviations to your normal position are a reaction to enemy boards.
Things like Lux, Taric, Zephyr, Hush, Singed, etc are all things you want to reposition against. Make sure you have enough time after rolling and scouting to reposition your board or swap out units.
Other Helpful Tips
Optimize Action Order
During rounds like 4-1 or 5-1, you will likely have a lot of gold and many actions you’ll need to take. Having a solid game plan will allow you to quicken your decision-making process and keep you calm and focused.
- Usually, when rolling down, I prefer to roll down until about halfway into the preparation round. (About 15 seconds left)
- I then reposition based on scouting information I either already know or look for in the moment. This is also the moment I sell champions I don’t need or are holding items for a carry I just found.
- After this, I can continue to roll down if I need to without stressing about repositioning. Sometimes I’ll find a unit at the last second that I won’t have time to put in, but this allows for fewer mistakes and more consistency.
- Lastly, as the fight is starting I place my items or combine my items into the ones I need. Items are the only action you can take mid fight, so saving this for last is most natural.
- Once the fight starts, there’s little to no reason to continue rolling. Your units won’t upgrade until the next round, so try to stop rolling at an interval of 10 to net some bonus gold before you either keep rolling or eco back up.
This one might be obvious, but staying focused during a game will ensure you know what units you need, what units other people have, and just a better understanding of the game while you play. TFT can be played while multitasking, but focusing will help you make decisions quicker.
Build Comp Proficiency
If you haven’t played a comp many times, you’ll find yourself questioning a lot of the decisions you make in game. This is why many players recommend newer players to master one comp and then another comp next patch, and so on.
The more you play a comp, you’ll notice champions you need in shop faster, you’ll know how to reposition faster, you’ll know what items to make faster, etc.
This one might not seem obvious, but this will play two factors into your games. A good night’s sleep will make sure you’re rested enough to make good decisions and quick decisions. Furthermore, as you sleep, your brain will problem solve and muscle memory will kick in. As a result, you’ll gain mechanical skill over time with consistency and commitment.
In a strategy game like TFT, mechanical skill is not the defining characteristic of skill. Even if your genetics have given you slow reaction time, or your new mouse is uncomfortable, by having a dominant understanding of the game and the meta, you’ll make decisions faster and play faster as a result.
Because of this, mechanical skill correlated to game knowledge and understanding. Setting a game plan for you to follow will make playing TFT like riding a bike or breathing. It will just take some time.