The mobile version of Dota Auto Chess is playable now [Updated]

By Ian Boudreau 27 May 2019 1

Update: iOS players can register to play Auto Chess Mobile early by creating a Dragonest account at the official Auto Chess site. From there, you'll be able to sign up for a chance to play as they invite more people into the early access build.

Original story: Dota Auto Chess, the free arcade mod for Dota 2, now has an official mobile adaptation in the works, and it’s available to play right now, as I discovered today. After downloading and installing the early access version in the Google Play store, I’m pretty impressed: This might be the definitive way to play the game.

The source material, of course, has a bit of a windy trail. Auto Chess is a mod for Dota 2, which itself began life as a mod for Warcraft III. And now this is an “official” mobile adaptation of Drodo Studio’s strange game of drafting and positioning, stripping out all of the characters that are now copyrighted by Valve, and replacing them with legally-distinct but similar versions that do more or less the same thing.

What’s great about this version of the game is that it’s purpose-built to do exactly what it does. Dota Auto Chess is fun and all, but it’s pretty clear that, like the original Defense of the Ancients, it wasn’t really meant for this game mode, so there’s some wrestling that has to happen to get it to work. Matches queue up very quickly in this mobile version, the interface is lovely and simple, and you can see all the synergies you’re working with on the right-hand side of the screen. It even highlights pieces that work with the ones you already have when the drafting panel pops up between rounds. Another nice touch: When you can upgrade your pieces, a little button will appear over their heads, and you can just tap that instead of placing all your pieces onto the board individually.

It’s currently available on Google Play, but not - at least as far as I can tell - on the App Store quite yet. When you search for it, make sure you’re downloading the app from Dragonest - they’re Drodo Studio’s partner for this mobile adaptation of Auto Chess. If you’re interested in tips on how to play Auto Chess, check out our sister site’s strategy guide for the original game - that’ll get you started.

One thing to note if you play this version: the app will ask for a strange set of permissions when you install it, including the ability to make and manage calls. Don't grant it these permissions. It works fine for me without them, but I'm not entirely pleased that it asked for them to begin with.

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