One heavily underlooked mechanic for most new Teamfight Tactics players is income generation. Although the game’s title might suggest most of its gameplay is centered around your army fighting, most of the actions you can make in TFT involve spending gold. Players who are getting knocked out early in a game can more often than not attribute their failure to having a bad economy, as opposed to having bad item rolls or poor army composition.
Something everyone should learn is that generating more gold than any other player in the game allows you to significantly reduce the impact of bad rolls and win more consistently.
How does gold generation work in TFT?
These are the core rules of income generation in Teamfight Tactics:
Streak gold bonus is as follows:
- +1g for 2 – 4 wins/losses in a row
- +2g for 5 – 7wins/losses in a row
- +3g for 8+ wins/losses in a row
Following these rules, once you’re past the 4th round, you can get a maximum of 14 gold in one turn, and a minimum of 5. Think about it this way — someone who’s maxing out on their economy gets 9 more gold per turn than someone who’s getting the base amount. A person who’s got a maxed out economy can buy four Tier 3 (rare hero) and reroll once, whereas the person without an economy can only buy the one Tier 3 and reroll once.
The idea is to get to a point where you can sit on a pile of banked gold and spend the 8–14 gold you get per turn without touching the money you have banked.
How do you build an economy?
Simply put, building an economy in TFT is just the process of saving up gold to maximize income from interest (up to 50g) while taking minimal damage from losing too many fights. It’s not very difficult to do at all, you’ll just need to follow a couple of very basic rules:
Save as much money as you can from each round
- Rerolling for a new set of Champions in the first 10–15 rounds is often inefficient and a waste of gold
- This isn’t to say that you can’t, sometimes it might be worth rerolling once per round if you’re close to a three-star upgrade
- Don’t buy Champions unnecessarily
Maximize income by staying above increments of 10g
- If you are at 35 gold, don’t go below 30. If you’re at 22, don’t go below 20
There are two exceptions to this rule:
- You see a Champion that you need to purchase for an upgrade.
- If your comp requires you to mass Vaynes, purchase that Vayne
- If you’ve almost completed a synergy (for example, you have 3 wilds) and you see a Gnar, buy that Gnar
2. The game is almost over.
- If you know you’ll lose the game if you lose 2–3 more fights, spend all your gold and try to upgrade your army as best as possible
If you follow these two basic rules, you will either build up your 50g bank very quickly, or you must have rolled really well and built up a very strong army. Once you get to that 50g, you’ll have at least 10 gold to spend every round.
Alright, got it chief, easy peasy. Got anything more advanced?
You can get by if you follow the first two rules, but since you asked, here are some more advanced tips:
In the first carousel round where you draft your first Champion, don’t draft for a comp you want to play, draft for the item
- You’ll get to sell this Champion for 2 gold, so you’ll have 4 gold to spend during the 2nd round which can get you a 2 star instantly if you’re lucky
Keep an eye on how much gold you have at all times. TFT only calculates how much bonus gold you get at the end of the round
This means that if you’re near the next income threshold at the start of a fight (e.g. you have 7–9g), there’s a bit of manipulation you can do mid-round
- For example, you can sell a Champion to put you up to 10 gold
- You get full refunds for selling any 1-star Champion, or grey 2-star Champions
- If you have 9g and you win the round, you get that 1g immediately, bumping you up to 10 and effectively getting you 1 extra income as well
You can combine either of these strategies to manipulate your income for the next turn
- Knowing this, you can spend a bit below the multiple-of-10 threshold to hold onto certain Champions you’re not sure you want or purchase a bit of exp
- You’ll have to calibrate carefully, it’s pretty easy to mess this up if you get caught up and make a mistake in the arithmetic
Never, ever, ever reroll on the AI maps (maps where you fight neutral creeps)
- With correct unit placement, you should never really lose against the AI unless you’re very far behind, at which point rerolling would only hurt you more
- Use the AI maps as a free round to build up your bank, unless you need to buy an upgrade
- In the worst-case scenario where you’ve rolled Champions you need but can’t buy them, you can lock the Champion shop so the shop won’t reroll after that round
In games where your opponents have very good luck (good rolls, good items) and you have very bad luck (bad rolls, no items), you may have trouble reaching 50 gold while maintaining a good amount of health
- In these games, it might be better to try to hover around 30–40 gold rather than saving for the full 50 just so you can stay relevant
Wow, I’m getting so much gold every turn! Now what do I do with all this money?
There are literally only 3 things to spend money on:
- Rerolling the shop
- Buying exp for levels
You should prioritize spending your gold in these ways:
- Upgrading your composition’s primary carry and tank Champions
- Leveling up
Always consider the number of Champions you need for your composition to work, and try to hit that number as soon as possible
- Champions that fit into the composition you want
2 and 3 on this list are interchangeable, depending on the army composition you’re running.
If I’m on a Win/Loss streak, should I try to keep it going?
It depends on how maintainable and large the win streak is. If you’re on a 1g bonus from the win streak, it’s probably not worth it. If you’re on a 2–3 gold bonus on a win streak, you might want to consider 1 reroll/turn to try to keep it up.
If you’re on a loss streak, it is generally suggested to try to break it. Being on a big loss streak results in you losing a lot of health. This can get very dangerous in the late game where a lost match can result in 20 damage to your Little Legend.
What about Pirates? (Patch 9.14 update)
As of the Patch 9.14 update with the addition of TF and fixes to Gunslingers, Pirates are a highly viable and competitive origin to run.
Pirates give you anywhere between 0 to 4 gold at the end of each round (averages out to 1.6 gold per round). What will happen is a chest will spawn at the end of each player round. You can then move your Little Legend over the chest to open it and collect the gold.
Over the course of a game, the Pirate synergy gold becomes very helpful for ramping up your economy much faster than other players, generally giving you a very strong early game boost. Here are some things you ought to know about using Pirates:
- The chest will always spawn on your board the moment your fight ends. If you collect the chest gold before your income kicks in and it brings you to the next interest level, you’ll be able to get 1 extra gold when you get your income
- Because of the above point, it’s always important to pay attention to whether or not if you’re fighting on your own board. If you are and you’re running pirates, it’s the correct play to pre-emptively move your Little Legend to where the chest spawns so you instantly collect it
- You’ll want to go for Gunslingers as soon as possible when running Pirates. You’ll try to start it out as Pyke, Graves, and Twisted Fate and transition it to Pyke, Graves, and Gangplank.
- Don’t worry if you miss a chest — you’ll be able to collect it after the next round
- It’s not suggested that you tank a bunch of rounds just to get the Pirate bonus: it’s not enough gold to let you come back from a big defecit
Is that it? That’s so simple!
Yes, that’s about it. It’s a very simple set of mechanics, which makes it easy to be effective, but there’s definitely a lot that goes into using your economy effectively.
The hardest part about economy in TFT is knowing your limits and maximizing your interest gains by not overspending. While it’s ideal to sit on top of 50 gold and only spend the 8–14 gold you’ll get each round afterwards, you should also be able to recognize when you need to really spend your banked money for last ditch upgrades.
It’ll take a little bit of time before you’re able to really identify how your spending should work, so don’t feel bad if you don’t get it right away. There’s a lot of factors to consider -
- Will you lose if you don’t spend the money?
- Did the shop just roll every Champion you needed?
- How far off are you from upgrading to a three star?
- Do you need specific Champions to counter your enemy’s team comp (like a Blitzcrank or something)
- Can you sell some of your Champions instead?
- Do you need to switch your game plan entirely if you want to win?
Being able to effectively navigate these problems is the mark of a really good TFT player. However, you’ll need a strong economy in order to be in a position before you can consider navigating these questions. If it’s strong enough, it’ll help make up not just for poor RNG, but any minor mistakes you make as well.