Do Global items stack? Are units shared to all players in a game? Can I lose ranks?
We answer these questions and more in this ultimate Dota Underlords FAQ page!
In this article, we list down the most common questions players ask about Underlords and try to answer them based on experience, official Valve statements, and player feedback in community forums.
If you have any feedback, corrections, or additional questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment down below!
Note: At the time of writing the game is still in its early beta stages. A lot of information in this page might change without notice. We’ll try to keep this article updated as much as we can.
Disclaimer: Some data in this article are based from Dota Auto Chess. We assume that most mechanics are carried over to Underlords. Although these are the general consensus of the community, not all data are 100% verified.
Does Underlords require Dota 2 / MOBA knowledge for me to enjoy it?
Definitely not! Everyone can learn and play Underlords without Dota 2 and MOBA games experience.
The only advantage Dota 2 players have is their familiarity of unit’s roles and skills (e.g. that Axe is a good tank, or that AM’s attacks burns mana). But even then, this advantage is almost insignificant as the gameplay is so much different from MOBA games, and these knowledge can be learned over time.
How long do games last on average?
Around 20 mins if you’re losing, and 30-45 mins if you’re winning
How are players matched per round? Who is attacking/defending who?
Each round you’ll have two “copies” of your army that defends your board and attacks another player’s board. The player matching is determined at random.
Your defending army on your own board is what you are watching. You lose HP if you lose the round.
Your attacking army takes place on the enemy board. If they lose you won’t lose HP.
How do I know which enemy player I’ll be facing next?
You can’t, it will be random. Valve also recently patched this to prevent facing the same players over and over.
During the early-mid game, position your pieces more defensively as you can’t really counter a specific enemy formation/lineup yet. In the late game though when there are 2-3 players left, positioning and counter formations become much more important.
What do the sword and shield symbols mean next to the player icons on the left?
Sword = the one you’re attacking this turn.
Shield = the one you’re defending from. This is the one you’re watching on your board
Which rounds are Loot Rounds (a.k.a. creep rounds)?
Loot Rounds are Rounds 1-3 and Round 10. After that, every 5 Rounds (15, 20, 25…)
During these rounds you get to pick a free item at the end of the round.
What do these acronyms mean?
- DAC = Dota Auto Chess, the original Dota 2 custom game
- CC = Crowd Control
- DPS = Damage per second
- AoE = Area of Effect
- More Dota 2 terminologies
Disclaimer: This information is heavily based on Dota Auto Chess values and not 100% verified for Underlords.
(Full Guide: Guide to Shared Unit Pool)
In every game, there is a limited amount of units for each unique Hero. This pool is shared across all players in a match.
Meaning, if lots of players buy and upgrade Drow Ranger, it will be more difficult to roll Drow Rangers in the shop.
How many units are in the pool per unit cost/tier?
These are the amount of units available in a single match’s shared unit pool, based on their cost:
- 1 Gold = 45 pcs
- 2 Gold = 30
- 3 Gold = 25
- 4 Gold = 15
- 5 Gold = 10
At what level/rounds do Tier 1-5 units start to appear?
Heroes, depending on their cost, start to appear on the shop at the following levels:
- Level 1 for 1 Gold heroes
- Level 2 for 2 Gold
- Level 3 for 3 Gold
- Level 5 for 4 Gold
- Level 8 for 5 Gold
Yes. See “shared unit pool” above.
If someone picks a certain Hero more, do others have lesser chances to get them?
Yes. See “shared unit pool” above.
Yes. Upgraded multi-star units are also broken down into their 1-Star components.
How do units choose targets to attack
Units attack the target closest to them in general. Assassins tend to jump to the back lines.
Does diagonal count as “1 cell away”?
Yes. For example, the Knight alliance effect works for the 8 adjacent cells.
How do Assassins’ movement work?
Assassins teleport to the furthest spot they can reach. If they’re setup in the back/corner of your board, they’ll jump near the frontline or center of the board.
(Related Guide: Alliance List: Synergy and Combo Effects)
Do duplicate heroes on the board affect synergies?
No. This is intentional and not a bug.
Do Alliance effects stack?
No. For example:
- 3 Warriors give +10 Armor
- 6 Warriors give +15 Armor
- If you have 6 Warriors you only get +15 Armor, not +25 Armor
Do Alliance synergies still take effect even if the units die?
Yes. Synergy effects are locked in at the start of the round, regardless if the units die.
How do Druids work? Is it the same as in Auto Chess?
No. Two druids on the board temporarily upgrade a random lowest-star Druid on the board by 1 level during combat.
With 4 druids, 2 of the lowest level Druids upgrade temporarily. If Druids are all the same level, it will upgrade a random Druid.
For example, if you have a 2 Star Enchant and a 1 Star Lone Druid, the LD becomes a 2 Star for the battle. If both druids are the same level, it is random.
Abilities, Spells, Mana
(Full Guide: How Units Gain Mana, Cast Spells, Cooldown)
When do units cast their skills?
Units cast their spells when they fill up their Mana to 100%, are off cooldown, and not Silenced.
How do units gain mana?
Units gain mana when dealing damage or receiving damage. More damage dealt/received = more mana gained.
Does damage from casting spells regenerate mana?
No, unlike Dota Auto Chess.
How does skill cooldown work? When do units cast their skills again?
There is a 3rd white-colored meter below the HP and mana bars. This is the cooldown timer and once it fills up the unit will cast his skill again as long as it has full mana.
Does Silence affect passive abilities?
No. For example, Anti-Mage’s Mana Burn or Drow’s Precision Aura will still work. You can check this by equipping Mask of Madness to AM and their skills will still work.
Item effects are also not affected.
Do all abilities deal magic damage?
All auto attacks are physical. Some abilities deal physical, some magic. There isn’t an official list for which abilities are which. We’ll try to come up with one soon!
Does Arc Warden’s clone count as an ability?
(Related Guide: List of Items, Tiers, Effects)
Do Global items stack?
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Global items like Unstable Reactor do stack, but for some items stacking is useless. Here are some examples:
- Fall from Grace turns all Humans to Heartless. A second one does nothing since there are no more Humans left.
- Final Flash resets Mage cooldowns and gives full mana at 30% health. Multiple Final Flashes will all trigger at the exact same time (at 30% HP) so there’s really no added benefit.
- A second Recruiter does nothing because there’s only one first reroll. If the item said “get one free re-roll” then it would make sense to get a second free re-roll.
For more details, check out our full guide to item stacking: Do Global Items Stack in Underlords?
Do passive effects work on units affected by Battlefury’s cleave?
Do multiple instances of “once per battle” items work? e.g. do 2 Mekansms work?
Yes. Multiple copies of an item will fire separate instances
Best heroes to equip Mask of Madness?
Heroes with passive skills like Drow, Troll, Luna, AM, etc, because silence from Mask of Madness doesn’t affect passive abilities.
(Full Guide: How to Rank Up / Ranking System Guide)
How do I play Ranked/Pub (non-ranked) matches?
Multiplayer mode is automatically Ranked right now during the open beta’s Preseason.
Once Season 1 officially begins, we’ll be able to choose between Normal (Pub) and Ranked matchmaking.
How does Ranking work?
Check out our full guide to the ranking system here.
Why didn’t I rank up after winning several times?
Your hidden MMR probably dropped below has fallen below your current rank medal. So you will retain that medal since you will never drop below your current medal
You need to raise your MMR to rank up your medal.
How do I rank up? How many wins do I need to rank up?
There’s a calibration period of around 25 games before the game really knows what your actual rank is. During this phase your MMR and rank badges might fluctuate. After the calibration, your rank becomes more stable and it might take longer to rank up.
To gain ranks, Upstarts must place in top 6 and Grifters and above must place in top 4. However, it’s still possible to lose rank if you placed below someone who has a worse ranking than you.
All of these might change though after beta when the actual seasonal matchmaking starts.
Can I lose rank?
You can’t rank down your badge/medal (i.e. you can’t drop from Grifter to Upstart).
You can lose rank levels (i.e. roman numerals) and your hidden MMR.
Will ranks restart?
Yes after the open beta’s Preseason. MMR will be soft reset and badges will be hard reset when Season 1 officially begins.
What is “Open Fort” strategy?
Losing streaks in Dota Underlords will reward you with bonus Gold.
“Open Fort” is a popular strategy in Auto Chess that takes advantage of this mechanic: buy enough units to clear loot rounds, then force your board to keep losing rounds.
You’ll gain a huge amount of Gold very quickly from (1) not buying/upgrading too many units and (2) losing streak bonus Gold.
Your power spike is when you get to more than 50 Gold—start buying and leveling up units to win rounds while still keeping 50 Gold for max interest.
This strategy is difficult to pull off though as you trade your health points for a strong economy. The key is having enough units on the board to reduce the amount of damage you take from other players, but not too many to win the round.
We hope this Underlords FAQ has helped clear up any confusion you have about the game.
Got any more questions? Drop a comment down below!