What Happened to Dota 2’s Atomic War Custom Game?

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Fans of the popular Dota 2 custom game ‘Atomic War’ received a shock on 27th May 2021, when the game suspiciously disappeared from the arcade. Atomic War is a Rogue-like PVP mod similar but different from Dota Auto Chess, which was massively popular in 2019. It features a round-based combat system where you fight an enemy player’s heroes on your board or are teleported to their board with your units. The winner is determined in a battle royale manner, with the last player alive wins. The game mode had been in the spotlight since the early months of 2021 and has been featured by popular Dota 2 modder and game developer Baumi on his YouTube channel.

What happened to Atomic War and how do you play it?

After its sudden disappearance, which left fans shocked, developers of Atomic War, Atomic Nucleus Studio quickly released a backup of the custom game in the Steam Workshop explaining the reason behind the custom game’s original disappearance and stated:

“Atomic War was officially taken down by Valve due to malicious reports. We are currently trying to resolve. This alternate version has the same content and data as the original one. The newly generated data will also be stored in our server and will be automatically transferred to the original version of the map. Please feel free to play. Sorry for any inconvenience caused!”

Following this, there seem to be no further problems, and people have returned to playing the custom game as normal. There have been many speculated reasons as to why the custom game was removed, but there has been no official statement from Valve on the matter.

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How do I play Atomic War?

Atomic War resembles Auto Chess in its round-based board gameplay. You select a permanent hero/guardian at the start of the game. This hero remains off the board and provides a set buff or ability throughout the entire game. There is a gold system similar to that of Auto Chess, which gives you a default amount at the beginning and you earn a set amount per round along with additional gold for winning rounds. You buy heroes and place them on the board, you can equip heroes with equipment and different spells through the shop in between rounds.

What makes it different from Auto Chess is that the board does not have tiles in which you place heroes. You can swap out hero abilities with the ones you buy in the shop, and you can even rearrange the abilities to prioritize which one the hero uses first in the round. Apart from the heroes, you, the player, have an HP pool throughout the game. If you lose a round, you lose HP, and if you win, the opponent loses their HP. There is no limited number of rounds, and the last player remaining wins.

You can find the Custom game via its Steam Workshop page, which is linked below:

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2338579562

Or you can search “Atomic War – Backup” in the in-game arcade section. But chances are, the backup has already made it to the trending page of the arcade section. Good luck and have fun!

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