While the Artifact player count languishes around the 1,200 figure, a very different Dota spin-off is making waves in the community. Dota Auto Chess now boasts more than four million subscribers, with a concurrent player count 100 times larger than that of Valve’s recent card game.
Despite the name, Dota Auto Chess has little in common with either the acclaimed MOBA or the ancient board game. Earlier this year, Ian took a look for himself, and put together a brief explainer. While you’ll benefit from a little Dota knowledge, it’s not completely necessary, as Auto Chess has more in common with a turn-based strategy title.
All told, it seems pretty complicated, particularly for a fan-made project. It features its own levelling system, draws on Dota’s existing roster, and requires you to balance resources over several rounds, all while other players are competing to do the same. That said, it’s clearly not putting people off – with a peak player count of more than 300,000, roughly a third of the people playing Dota 2 at any given point are potentially enjoying Auto Chess rather than the game itself.
The mode has likely been helped along by the wider community. Dota 2 pros and streamers are showcasing their efforts, and VPEsports says that CS:GO players are also getting in on the action.
Related: Here are the best Dota 2 heroes for beginners
Chinese publisher Tencent has suggested it’s interested in bringing Dota Auto Chess to mobile, but its developers say they have no plans to bring it to a new platform or to sell the concept on. In a recent Reddit AMA, they also say that Valve has been in contact, and that they’re planning to bring matchmaking and a replay mode to the game.
- Dota Auto Chess now has a spin-off based on Warcraft 3
- Dota 2 has finally reclaimed Steam’s top-spot from PUBG
- Valve is “working on a standalone version” of Dota Auto Chess
- Teamfight Tactics is already the top game on Twitch
- Dota Auto Chess’s Custom Pass lets you vote to balance heroes – but only for 30 days