Auto Chess closes the loop by announcing a MOBA spin-off

Two years after becoming a breakout hit on the Dota 2 workshop, Auto Chess publisher Dragonest this month came full circle by announcing a lane-pushing spin-off for its original Dota offshoot. 

The original autobattler, Drodo Studio's Dota Auto Chess (later Auto Chess) popularised a genre that would lead to the two big MOBA creators developing their own spin-offs—Riot's Teamfight Tactics and Valve's Dota Underlords. Going from mod to standalone Epic Games Store release in July 2019, Auto Chess has now come full circle with the announcement of the creatively-named Auto Chess MOBA (via Kotaku).

"Auto Chess brought us back the feeling and confidence to make competitive games," Auto Chess developer Loring Lee explained in the announcement trailer. "So I think it's time for us to return to the MOBA's battlefield."

As it stands, Auto Chess MOBA looks serviceable—plopping the autobattler's heroes into a three-lane battlefield that looks distinctly League Of Legends. All the game's heroes and "runes" will be free, and Lee notes that item synergies from Auto Chess should carry over into its tower-bashing cousin.

While currently only announced for mobile, I wouldn't write off an eventual PC release down the line—Auto Chess itself saw an official mobile launch months before hitting Epic. Then, perhaps, we could imagine the possibility of the game getting its own modding scene, spawning its own autobattler, and perpetuating a truly bizarre genre cycle.

Who knows, maybe it'll go back even further down genre rabbithole and spawn the next great RTS. Wouldn't that be nice?

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.