Dota 2 is one of the biggest competitive games in the world, but it’s also one of the most complicated. Many beginning players don’t know where to start, but don’t be discouraged. Once you get a grip on the basics, you’ll likely realize why Dota 2 has for years remained popular with millions of players worldwide.
So how do you get started?
Learn the basic mechanics of Dota 2
As is the case in most MOBA games, teams win the game by destroying the enemy’s home base, which in Dota 2 is called the Ancient. The Ancient is the massive throne in the middle of each team’s base. It is protected by towers, creeps, and enemy heroes. While you’re looking at attack the enemy team’s Ancient, you’ll have to defend your own as well.
As you learn the game, you’ll realize the importance of experience and gold. Experience allows you to level up your hero and learn more abilities for use in battle, while gold allows for the purchase of items that can increase your stats or convey entirely different abilities.
Creeps marching from base to the other can give you both, as do neutral monsters in the game’s “jungle” and any enemy hero kills you manage to score.
Practice the Art of Last Hitting
Gold can only be had from creeps when it’s you who deals the final blow, thus the term “last hitting.” Being able to time one’s attacks in this way is one of the most important steps in learning Dota 2.
But don’t worry. You don’t have to be a mathematician to estimate how a creep’s health and your hero’s damage will interact. You and your team will benefit a lot if you master this basic concept. Don’t forget to attack your own creeps as well, denying your opponents the opportunity to take their gold and experience for themselves. This is a mechanic that sets Dota 2 apart from most other MOBA games.
Stick with One Hero
You likely want to start off with a hero who has simple skills. Choose one beginner-friendly hero and stick with it as you learn. Some of the easiest heroes to begin with are Sniper, Bristleback, Lich, and Crystal Maiden. Discover your hero’s ideal skill utilization. Stick to a simple item build you are comfortable with before trying to spice it up with experimental item purchases gleaned from pro games or guides you’ve watched on YouTube.
Play with Bots
The best place to start for all newbies. Before playing a hero you haven’t tried before, try to learn its skills in a game versus AI-controlled bots first. Unlike people, bots won’t rage quit when you have too many deaths, they won’t complain if you forget to buy vision-extending wards, they won’t curse you out when you make questionable decisions, and they won’t report you after the game.
Practicing bots will lend you the confidence you need to step out and into the fray with other real players.
Looking for more?
The Dota 2 community has produced some great content for new players wanting to better learn the game and all of its complexities. Here are just a few examples that should help you level up your game.
Dota 2 Guides: