Auto chess title Dota Underlords' player base dipped by 84 per cent in second half of 2019

Auto chess title Dota Underlords' player base dipped by 84 per cent in second half of 2019

Valve's free-to-play Early Access auto chess game Dota Underlords has seen a huge drop off in its active user base since launch.

As pointed out by Reddit user SharkyIzrod - and spotted by The Loadout - the game's concurrent player count dipped by 84 per cent between its June 2019 launch and December of that year, according to Steam Charts data.

When the title hit Early Access in the summer, it had an average of 76,388 concurrent players; by the end of the year, that figure was just 11,846. Meanwhile, the peak simultaneous player base for December was 20,177, down from the 202,254 mark it hit on launch on June.

These stats only tell half of the story as the game is also available on mobile devices.

Dota Underlords was rolled out in the aftermath of the original auto chess title, Dota Auto Chess, gaining huge traction and popularity as a community project. Valve isn't the only company to try and get into this new genre, too, with League of Legends maker Riot launching Teamfight Tactics, too. Meanwhile, Epic simply locked down PC exclusivity for an official version of auto chess, made by the original mod's creators Drodo Studios.

Given that Underlords is free-to-play, it's surprising that the game hasn't attracted more users.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.