Should Dota 2 give MMR back to victims of smurfs and cheaters?

By Kenneth Williams


Feb 17, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

Dota 2 is cracking down on cheating and smurfing but it’s still missing a key feature from Valve’s other esports title, Counter-Strike.

Cheating and smurfing a problem across all competitive games, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. Dota 2 players can unwittingly go against map hackers, macro users, and matchmaking abusers, losing MMR in the process. The Overwatch system is meant to take on and bad actors, but it’s not actually doing anything to repair the damage they’re doing.

So what if Valve refunded lost MMR to players who go against banned cheaters? 

There’s actually already precedent for such a system. In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, players who previously lost against a cheater will have their ranked points refunded once the offending player is banned. In some cases, this can cause a player’s skill rating to instantly leap up ranks. CSGO uses a similar Overwatch system as Dota 2, but the game has never had any sort of reparations.

The easiest way to implement such a feature is to tie it into the existing Overwatch system. Experienced Dota 2 players can review reported games and judge players based on what they see. This system monitors both communication abuse and cheating, though the former isn’t as important for MMR refunds in Dota 2. Since the Overwatch case keeps track of every player involved, it shouldn’t be too difficult to implement CSGO’s anti-cheating measure into Dota 2.

How do people cheat in Dota 2?

Cheating isn’t nearly as common in Dota 2 as it is in CSGO, but it’s still a real problem.

The most common method of Dota 2 cheating is map hacks. These programs can cut through the fog of war to reveal enemy locations mid-game. Dota 2 map hacks can take many forms from outright replacing the minimap to using the in-game drawing feature to show enemy wards and heroes. These can’t bypass the vision requirement for targeted spells, but they’re especially powerful on skillshot heroes like Pudge and Windranger.

Blog post image

Another common method of cheating in Dota 2 is the use of macros. These programs perform complex functions with just the press of a button. For example, a Techies player using a macro can automatically explode remote mines whenever a player walks over them. Macros can also activate abilities automatically in response to enemy attacks. A cheating Alchemist player can use Chemical Rage’s delayed purge to get rid of stuns, for example. Items like Eul’s Scepter and Manta Style offer similar functionality.

If you ever spot suspicious Phase Shifts or way-too-precise Techies mines, don’t hesitate to give a report. If Valve brings CSGO’s ranking refund over to Dota 2, you might just get your MMR back.


Dota 2 BLAST

BLAST entering Dota 2 esports with five tournaments

“We have plans that Dota fans haven’t seen before.”

By Olivia Richman


May 8, 2024

Dota 2 Crownfall update: What’s new?

Exciting, but no Ringmaster.

By Fariha Bhatti


Apr 19, 2024