You can sign up to get a daily email of our articles, see the Mailing List page.

Valve are doing some really impressive work with Dota Underlords, their new strategy game that everyone can now try.

As a quick reminder on the gameplay: you go through rounds, picking heroes and placing them on the board, then you fight against the choices of other players and neutral enemies for loot. The actual battles are done by AI, with the tactical part based on your choices and positioning. You lose health based on the amount of enemy heroes left if they beat you and it's the last player standing to win.

It's free and will remain free to play, with some sort of optional Battle Pass likely to come for cosmetic items in future. They have a lot more planned for it including: daily challenges, a level up system, a tournament system, seasonal rotation for heroes and more. They said that during the Open Beta Season, it will regularly see new features and updates.

I've put tens of hours into it and will no doubt play plenty more. It's still a little rough around the edges in places of course, since it's Early Access but I have been really impressed with not only the gameplay but how quick they've acted on feedback. You can see some early thoughts I had here.

Find it on Steam or head to the official site for more info and mobile links. The multiplayer is cross-platform across everything.

Also, this Twitter thread from one of the developers is interesting. Nice to see more Valve developers being so open, which can't be easy given how many people are watching.

Article taken from
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG and Humble Store. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
The comments on this article are closed.

sub 20 Jun, 2019
Btw, anyone else currently not able to log into Steam?
vipor29 20 Jun, 2019
gonna test this one out
jkaart 20 Jun, 2019
Quoting: subBtw, anyone else currently not able to log into Steam?
Problem is with newest kernels, use older kernel and it should works.
Ehvis 20 Jun, 2019
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Only did a few bot matches so far, but I've been enjoying it. But the game isn't really helping you with learning about the heroes. To be effective, you need to instantly know about their movement, attack, special attack and general role. For some of it you need to open the encyclopedia, but things like movement don't appear to be documented at all.
Zelox 20 Jun, 2019
Oh dear, this is so fun and addictive, good by social life, responsabiltys and future plans :P
Cmdr_Iras 21 Jun, 2019
Quoting: jkaart
Quoting: subBtw, anyone else currently not able to log into Steam?
Problem is with newest kernels, use older kernel and it should works.

THanks for this info; I will hold off updating the Kernel for a while until I see this resolved.
1xok 21 Jun, 2019
Valve fixes bugs in a matter of hours, while Artifact bugs remain unpatched for months:

Luckily rarely happens. But this segfault is really annoying for a hardcore player like me:

I encounter this problem almost every day. Okay, it only occurs with the Intel driver, and who is playing Artifact on Linux with Intel drivers? With the few remaining players, I guess I'm the only person on the planet now.

But there are other parts that are lacking. And it's not the gameplay, it's the stuff around it (or the missing stuff around it). Plus that the base game costs money while all competitors are free. If Valve treated Artifact like Underlords, everything would be great. Even if not everyone likes the game.

Last edited by 1xok on 21 June 2019 at 9:29 am UTC
1xok 21 Jun, 2019
Quoting: GuestI would think you would be happy that they were this dedicated to making the game something everybody loves instead of just scaping it.

I know this statement and can accept it. But, well, I'd like if they'd fix segfaults at least. These are just bugs and possibly security vulnerabilities that have nothing to do with the gameplay.

Otherwise I'm skeptical, because the gameplay of Artifact is completely ok. The game just needs to become more accessible.

But I have confidence in Valve. Only they shouldn't put it on the back burner. And a better Artifact should still be Artifact, like Richard Garfield designed it. The game that most people enjoy is probably Underlords and not Artifact.

Last edited by 1xok on 21 June 2019 at 4:21 pm UTC
eldaking 21 Jun, 2019
Since they were awesome enough to make a single-player without time pressure plus a tutorial and everything - and it works on Linux even on beta - I went ahead and tried it. Really nice! I hadn't touched anything MOBA-related ever since it was called "DotA" and I played it (on lan-houses) with my friends because of peer pressure. But this feels like an actually fun little game, and it isn't as wonky as the autochess mod.

But what shocked me was how popular it is for something that just released in early access. Reportedly it already got more players than Artifact ever had (peak players). Yeah, it is free to play, it builds on an already successful mod, Artifact flopped due to the monetization model, but even so... cardgames are also popular, with Hearthstone and Magic Arena for example, and Artifact had a lot going on for it.

Personally, Android: Netrunner has ruined other cardgames for me. It is so much better and unique, all those other games feel the same with their creature cards... and, ironically, the original version of Netrunner was designed by Richard Garfield, that also created the much more successful (but less interesting) Magic the Gathering and the huge flop that was Artifact.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Reward Tiers: Patreon. Plain Donations: Liberapay or PayPal.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone with no article paywalls. We also don't have tons of adverts, there's also no tracking and we respect your privacy. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
The comments on this article are closed.