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    Last week, Dota Underlords – Valve’s stand-alone version of the popular Auto Chess mod – popped up unannounced, playable by anyone with the Dota 2 Battle Pass. Now it’s free for everyone to hop into.

    Today marks the beginning of open beta, which means that you (yes, you) can hop into it right now to try it out. This update also promises a bunch of new features, which… I can’t actually confirm or deny exist.

    I can confirm that there’s now a tutorial in place. The Steam page claims that ranked matchmaking is now a thing, but if it is, there’s no specific option for it and all multiplayer games are ranked by default. The Steam page also claims that you can create private lobbies and matches and invite spectators, which I likewise can’t confirm. There’s definitely a friends list thing over on the left, though, so that one certainly seems plausible.

    Dota Underlords Tutorial

    This letter opening the tutorial will probably result in dozens of lore theories.

    But what’s coming?

    If you didn’t hop into the closed beta last week, all of this is probably exciting enough. For me, it’s the forthcoming content that looks appealing, though, not least because it’s what might set Dota Underlords apart from the other Auto Chess games out there.

    First, and definitely most importantly, there’s going to be a Battle Pass. This’ll offer progression, cosmetics, custom boards, and other bits and pieces. This is a Valve game and it’s free, so obviously there are hats.

    In terms of “actual gameplay stuff”, though, there’s a fair bit. Seasons will rotate in new heroes, items, and alliances while shoving out older ones, which’ll change the gameplay dramatically by itself. You’ll also be able to choose an Underlord “persona” for yourself, which will offer “unique gameplay affecting changes.” Presumably boosts to particular heroes, layouts, alliances, or playstyles? I guess we’ll find out.

    Dota Underlords Title

    Also, there’s one more character (Underlord?) on the title screen now, and they’re no longer hidden in silhouette. Can’t see the quit button, though.

    That said, it’s still a beta. Right now, the quit button on the main menu is invisible (it’s in the top right). I’m sure that’ll be fixed at some point, but maybe Valve just don’t see why you’d want to quit. Dota Underlords is proving popular, after all, although it’s now got some stiff competition with Riot’s Teamfight Tactics.

    If you want to check out Dota Underlords for yourself, you can do so right now by clicking over to the game’s Steam page.

    Tim McDonald
    Tim has been playing PC games for longer than he's willing to admit. He's written for a number of publications, but has been with PC Invasion - in all its various incarnations - for over a decade. When not writing about games, Tim can occasionally be found speedrunning terrible ones, making people angry in Dota 2, or playing something obscure and random. He's also weirdly proud of his status as (probably) the Isle of Man's only professional games journalist.

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