Is Dota Plus pay-to-win? Here’s what you’re paying for

By Kenneth Williams


May 27, 2023

Reading time: 2 min

Most Dota 2 players buy Dota Plus for the silly voice lines, but its variety of features are frequently accused of being pay-to-win.

Dota Plus is Valve’s way of profiting off Dota 2 when battle passes, and new skins aren’t available. The monthly subscription service costs only a few bucks in exchange for hero stat tracking, advanced match info, a unique currency system, and a wide variety of in-game bonuses. However, these features are often accused of being just enough to make the game unfair.

Here are all of the pay-to-win advantages of Dota Plus broken down and whether it really does tilt the game in the rich man’s favor.

Is Dota Plus pay-to-win? Statistically, yes it is

Dota Plus undeniably has some advantages, and the most apparent is its hero suggestions. By parsing data from hundreds of thousands of matches, the subscription service recommends certain heroes during the draft phase based on their win rates. These take both allied and enemy heroes into account. While any player could technically run the numbers mid-draft, it’s hard to argue against this as a clear paid advantage.

Furthermore, Dota Plus adds a ton of useful in-game features to give players an unfair edge. Every camp has its stack timing visible to Dota Plus users, as well as pull timings for applicable camps. Dota Plus will also suggest items to players, once again using stats to back up its claims. As of patch 7.33, it will even tell players the statistically best neutral item to pick from their token.

Dota Plus

However, while the functions are certainly useful, the most pay-to-win parts of Dota Plus can also be pay-to-lose. Stack timings are affected by several factors, such as existing stacks, creep types, and whether the stacker is melee or ranged. Hero suggestions also can’t factor in individual skill, so a Tinker spammer may be convinced to pick someone else despite their mechanical skill evening the odds. The same is true for recommended neutral and shop items.

Dota Plus can only provide suggestions, and it can’t directly win games for its user. However, ask a longtime user to stop using Dota Plus, and they’ll more than likely hesitate.


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