With the introduction of Duos mode in Dota Underlords’ Big Update in October last year, the auto-battler title has doubled the fun, as well as the frustration of playing with a comrade.

A lot of factors have to be considered to reach first place in the two-player co-op mode — from finding the right balance of heroes and alliances, gold, rerolling, and leveling up.

Still looking for answers? Here are six things to keep in mind when playing Duos mode in Dota Underlords.

Find an ally

Call your closest friend, invite that Steam buddy on your list, or summon the neighborhood auto-battler expert and pave a path towards the streets of White Spire. In order to play Duos mode, a pair of Underlords must battle it out with seven other pairs, with their life collectively tied to each other.

There’s an option to pair up with a bot on casual matches of Duos, but for Ranked games, you are required to have an actual human player as an ally.

Both the team ranking and your solo ranking are affected by the result of the Duos game.

Watch your shared health

Life deduction works differently in this mode. HP is shared between the two of you, but each player separately fights a player from the opposing pair during rounds. This means if one of the player loses, health is deducted from the shared HP pool. The team receives no health deductions if the amount of damage that the losing player takes is the same as the amount of damage that the winning player has given to the opponent.

Winning both battles would give the team a huge advantage at staying longer in the game.

Keep your gold interests

Economy is king in this game, moreso in this mode. It’s important to gain the maximum gold interest as early as possible. This will give your team the extra resources you’ll need to add units, purchase experience, or do rerolls, which will later on be important when finishing each other’s builds.

One way of earning gold early is by sending gold to your partner in tens until he reaches a maximum interest limit the game will allow which is three. One extra gold is earned for every ten gold, which gives a player three extra gold per round by the time they reach and maintain 30 gold. It would be wise to assign this primary gold keeper the responsibility to make early decisions such as leveling up or rerolling.

Communication is key

It takes two to tango, and in Duos mode it certainly takes two to achieve first place. Unless both of you are flawless mind-readers, you and your partner will have to communicate in every possible way — whether by talking or sending an in-game signal, if you are collaborating remotely.

Always keep tabs on the following:

  • Your planned alliance for the match
  • The units you need
  • The units you are going to send
  • The amount of gold you need

Boost your partner

Let’s face it, the odds are not always be in your favor in Dota Underlords (as with any other game). That’s why taking good care of your ally and boosting them can be the ideal solution to save you from an unlucky downfall in-game.

To boost is to strengthen your teammate’s alliance composition by giving them the heroes that they need and sustaining them with enough gold. This enables them to carry you in battles when the right round comes.

If necessary, there will come a point where you will have to sacrifice and sell your own units to give them gold or even hold their units on your own bench to help them get powerful Rank 3 heroes. A little selflessness goes a long way when you play Duos.

The more three-star heroes that you or your ally have, the higher the chances of either of you dominating the game and negating health deductions in your overall HP.

Choose complementary alliances

Support your partner by choosing an alliance that works well with their chosen composition. An ideal paired alliance would be a magic-based and physical-based pairing.

For example, if your partner is aiming for a Warlock-Savage alliance, go for an Assassin alliance. This not only complements your teammate’s magic-based alliance, it also blocks other players from building the Assassin alliance which is a direct weakness of the Warlock-Savage alliance.

Avoid having the same alliance so the two of you don’t have to compete for the same units, which would make it more difficult to combine Rank 2 and Rank 3 heroes.

The shop offers a shared pool of heroes. In total, there are 45 copies of each Tier 1 hero, 30 copies of each Tier 2 hero, 25 copies of each Tier 3 hero, 20 copies of each Tier 4 hero, and 10 copies of each Ace.

READ MORE: The Outlanders Update adds a new game mode and new alliance to Dota Underlords