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Learning the Basics of Dota 2

Jan 8, 2020

If you are new to Dota 2, you may be taken aback by the amount of information, heroes, items, mechanics, strategies, etcetera in the game. This article will go over basic yet important information on how to start playing Dota 2 for beginners. That way you will be able to improve your personal skill in a short span of time and learn quickly without having to ruin games for your teammates. 

As you are only starting out in the game, you should keep in mind 3 main factors:

  • Personal Skill and Role Understanding
  • Game Understanding
  • Hero Pool

Roles and Personal Skill Impovement

If you are a support, at first your main responsibilities will be vision and core hero protection. As a support, always make sure your core is getting enough experience and gold on the lane. NEVER try to last hit the lane creeps unless you need some gold urgently (sentry wards, dust, buyback, teleport, key items). 

If you see that enemy team has invisible heroes, make sure to ALWAYS carry dusts and sentry wards, give some to your mid and carry players.

If you see that your core is comfortable on the lane and no one puts pressure on him, you can leave him alone so that he can gain more experience and will be much stronger in the mid game. 

In case any lane needs help and having hard times, try to gank your opponents in smoke to help your teammates. 

If you are the one who plays on the core hero make sure to last hit and deny as many creeps as possible. You can deny your creeps if they have less than 50% of HP. That way you also earn additional gold and leave the enemies in the lane without experience and gold. 

DO NOT auto-attack your lane creeps, hit them only when they are in the “last hit” range. By auto-attacking neutral creeps you are automatically pushing the lane towards the enemy tower. This means you will have to follow the wave away from your side’s safety. That way your farm slows down and you will be in the danger zone in case of ganking. 

Although farming is a key responsibility for the core hero, do not get too crazy with it. As a core hero, you should understand your strong points at a given moment. If you feel like you have gained item and experience advantage, you can make a call to your team to push a certain lane. 

ALWAYS carry TP and if your teammates are attacked on the other lanes, make sure to use it and help them. 

The core role is a very important and responsible position. If you are really good at a certain hero you can easily carry games for your teammates at low ranks. It`s recommended to choose one or two core heroes and get better at them by watching streams of professional players and reading guides. By focusing two specific heroes you will be able to improve on them much faster than trying to learn many.

As for a beginner, it does not really matter which hero you play, unless it`s matchmaking by role. 

Before playing ranking matchmaking, you should get better at game understanding, mechanics, and practice on at least 2-3 heroes of every role (mid, carry, support). 

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Game Understanding

What makes your team stronger in the game? Apart from personal skill, the economy is another important factor. 

The economy is one of the main things on which the game is based. Gold allows you to buy items, consumables, or even your own hero from the tavern (buyback), if necessary. The current patch (7.23) makes it much easier to build your team’s and personal economy, especially for supports. 

Killing creeps: The most money can be obtained by killing lane and jungle creeps. Jungle creeps are much stronger and give you less money and experience. Neutrals now drop unique items that cannot be sold but can be shared with allies. If you are new to the game, it`s highly recommended to farm lane creeps, or help your core hero if you are a support.

Killing heroes: The higher the level of the hero, the greater the EXP reward for killing him. The more money he has, the more gold you’ll get for killing him. Heroes that have recently applied damage or a debuff on an enemy hero that dies are now considered part of the area assist gold even if they are no longer alive or in that area.

Bounty runes:. They appear every 5 minutes and provide the whole team with gold. They affect the economy very strongly, and therefore it is highly advised to collect them as quickly as possible.

Removing wards: Shooting down an enemy observing ward will give you gold. Gold earned from killing an Observer Ward is always be given to the player that bought the true sight that allows you to see the ward.

Heroes to Play

Every patch in Dota 2 has its own meta (certain heroes that are stronger than the others). However, at the beginning it is better to pay attention to the easy heroes or heroes that you enjoy playing on:

Sniper: He simply shoots enemies and buildings from a long distance.

Wraith King: His simplicity lies in the fact that he has only one active ability.

Bristleback: He is extremely resistant to the damage in the back. In a fight, you just have to tank and click two simple abilities.

Huskar: He jumps into any enemy and just hits him, being extremely stable at the same time.

Phantom Assassin: A carry hero that has great burst of physical damage with good items and level.

The heroes for beginners who want to play as a support:

Treant Protector: He walks in invisibility near the trees. Has interesting macro abilities and great amount of physical damage.

Lich: He only has directional spells that are easy to use.

Dazzle: His main goal is to heal allies and put saving “grave” on them when they are low HP.

Ogre Magi: He is a “fat” hero with simple directional spells.

Lion: He is a great support with very powerful ultimate ability and a lot of control spells.

Final Tips

Choose easy heroes that will allow you to pay more attention to the gameplay itself. Learn to last hit and deny creeps, as the further game very much depends on it. Understand how various items are collected and used, and try to play as many heroes as possible to find out the strengths and weaknesses of each, but specialize in a few if you want to improve quickly.

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Eugene Torubalko
Eugene has a major in Germanic languages and literature. Being an avid gamer and esports enthusiast, he found himself writing and covering the competitive Dota 2 and Hearthstone scenes. He is always ready to deliver reviews, game predictions, tournament analysis, and anything else related to the world of esports.
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