First Dota Auto Chess mobile keys start rolling out in China

Steven R. April 15, 2019

Dota Auto Chess developer Drodostudio has launched the alpha build of its mobile port of the popular game.

A number of Chinese streamers have been broadcasting their play of the early version of the game. Though details of the mobile Auto Chess release are still unknown, fans of the game can now get an early look at what is in store.

From a gameplay perspective, the mobile version of Auto Chess is functionally identical to its Dota 2 parent. The game pits eight players against one another in a board game battle for survival, with a set of pieces that synergize off one another based on their races and classes. The pieces have the same abilities and classifications as their Dota 2 equivalents, but with Valve cut out of the game’s release, the characters have all been renamed and redesigned.

The biggest change to the mobile game comes with the removal of the courier in-game. Likely due to the limitations of Dota 2’s user-made game modes, Dota Auto Chess has players handle their pieces through a courier. The mobile version seems to remove that barrier and uses couriers strictly as avatars.

The UI also received an extensive overhaul. In addition to the removal of the courier, the HUD has been rearranged to put primary statistics such as player health and piece synergies on the left side of the screen. The right side is used for the micromanagement of individual pieces, including inventory and statistics.

Aesthetically, Auto Chess looks quite good on mobile. The game itself is much more colorful and vibrant than the original, with the pieces popping off the screen in a way the Dota 2 version doesn’t allow. The reimagined characters all look as good in practice as they did in concept.

So when can fans expect to play Auto Chess mobile? That remains unknown.

Though keys have started circulating, no announcement has been made as to how many were released and whether they've made their way outside China. No further details have been announced regarding the full release of the mobile game either.

The good news is that Auto Chess mobile looks well on its way to completion. Fans shouldn’t clear their calendars for the game quite yet, but it is likely something to look forward to in the near future.

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