Chess-TD returns to Mobile Legends: Complete guide

After its first run in November, Chess-TD has come back to Mobile Legends‘ Arcade mode arsenal with many changes – don’t worry though, in this guide we’ll cover everything there is to know.

What is Chess-TD in Mobile Legends?

Chess-TD mixes elements of Auto Chess and Tower Defense, as you probably already guessed by the name. Unlike other game modes in ML, you play on your own rather than with a team and pair up with 5 other random players.

Everyone will start with 100 hit points that equal your health pool. Once they drop to zero, you’re eliminated from the competition for 1st place. You start off with 2 coins, the in-game currency that allows you to purchase units or level up. You’ll gain additional coins throughout the game and be able to purchase more expensive – and stronger – units as the game drags on.

The game is round-based; before every round, you have preparation time to buy units, place them and upgrade your level to place more units onto the battlefield.


We have to different ways of upgrading our lineup:

The first one is leveling up the capacity. This happens automatically after a couple of rounds since you gain experience after each round. However, you can accelerate the process by purchasing experience with coins. While you start with 2 units, you can upgrade the capacity up to 9. Having numbers advantage over your enemies can be a huge game-changer.

You can also upgrade the level of your units. By purchasing the same unit thrice, that unit will become a tier 2 unit. In order to reach the maximum level (3), you need 9 basic units or 3 of the level 2 units.

Resource management

Every round grants you a certain amount of gold, depending on whether you succeeded in defending or not. Also, you’ll gain additional interest for every 10 coins collected. So being economical early usually pays off.

The shop will refresh every round unless you manually lock it. Only lock it when you’ve got a great unit on the shop that you’re unable to purchase. Similarly, you can also manually refresh the shop at the cost of 2 coins. But don’t get tricked here!

While it might look tempting to keep rolling until you get your desired units, it’s a gamble. More often than not you’ll end up losing all your coins without much value. As a rule of thumb, you only want to roll several times when things are looking pretty bad and you can’t use the coins to level up or it’s already late into the game and one key unit could win you the game.

Level 3 units definitely provide great stats, but additional units do as well. So manage your income wisely and outsmart your opponents.

Unit Synergy: Roles and Factions

After large changes to the Hero pool some Factions were replaced, newly created or adjusted. Synergies remain one of the most powerful strategic elements for Chess-TD, but don’t worry if you can’t remember all of them – the synergy book acts as an in-game guide that’s always available.

Chess-TD guide Synergy Book
Chess-TD: The synergy book will guide you in-game

Most synergies grant stronger enhancements to the more units you collect. For example, Marksmen get 20% bonus damage and 30% critical chance if you at least own 3 of them. However, once you collect 6, bonus damage and crit chance get increased to 70%.

With all the new Heroes and synergies we will have to do some testing to see which compositions feel most powerful. Undead will definitely remain on the strong side with the 200% bonus damage, and CC will also stay relevant because, well, we all know CC wins games.

Read – Mobile Legends Update: Chess-TD

Unit placement

Heroes have different attack range, similar to ML. Marksmen and Mages possess comparatively high range, whereas Fighters, Tanks and Assassin can only influence small areas. This doesn’t mean that melee units have no value. In exchange, they provide strong burst or CC through abilities rather than basic attacks.

While the battlefield looks different every time, it generally makes sense to put your strongest units in the center, where they have the maximum amount of impact. Corners work really well, also for melee units, since it allows them to maximize their impact rather than just being able to influence a very small spot.

Chess-TD guide unit placement
Maximizing Cyclopses impact by smart placement

Attack Synergy

Every couple of rounds, you get to choose 1 of 3 items to strengthen your offense. Those items can provide powerful bonuses for specific factions or for individual units.

Try to identify which factions and roles you’re going to focus on so you can adapt your item choices. But also pay attention to your opponents’ line-ups. If they have large amounts of CC, get your hands on items that reduce the time controlled. If they have a Marksmen composition, look out for items that reduce physical damage.

Read – Mobile Legends Item Guide

Line-up: Offense vs defense

Everybody loves damage dealers – this is true for Mobile Legends as well as for Chess-TD. However, Tanks fulfil 2 important roles:

  1. They provide CC. This becomes valuable for the Tower Defense part, since CC slows down the enemy and enables your damage dealers to kill the enemy’s units before they can reach your avatar and diminish your hitpoints.
  2. They soak up lots of damage. When it comes to attacking your enemies, Tanks will not be able to withstand large amounts of damage and eventually make it through the enemy’s bulwark.

Of course, the happy medium usually fares best. A tank lineup without any damage will struggle to clear the enemy units that attack you, so try to find a healthy strategy inbetween.

Will Chess-TD stay?

While many players call for Chess-TD to stay, we don’t know for sure. The fact that Moonton put so much work into game balance and introduces a Ranked mode now definitely suggest that it might become the 2nd permanent Arcade mode after survival.

Read – Mobile Legends Chess-TD Advanced Guide

So, what’s your favourite line-up and synergy so far? Did we forget anything important in our Chess-TD guide that should be addressed? Tell us in the comment section below. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to never miss out on the latest news!

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Ling is super overpowered when you synergize with him. Seems like even in Chess TD he is broken. Can’t wait for 5 Lings in mirror mode.

Tousif Hasan Biswas

I would never want to see Ling in my opponent team. :/

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