Demo mode is the perfect place to test new Dota 2 builds, but the real map provides much more realistic feedback. A new track allows the two to be combined.
Dota 2 is a complicated game, and players love spending hours in demo mode uncovering hidden synergies and mechanical quirks. New patches like 7.31d always bring new things for players to test. But even demo mode has its limits. For some ideas, it’s best to test them on the actual Dota 2 map. Thanks to a trick found by some inquisitive Dota 2 players, getting into an empty lobby is now easier than ever before.
To open the normal Dota 2 map in demo mode, start from the main menu and click Heroes. From there, select Global Items near the top under the Store tab. In the column called World, there should be a category called Weather Effects. Click on it to open the cosmetic weather menu.
From there, select a weather effect from the grid menu. A transparent button saying Demo Weather should appear near the top of the screen. Click that, and the game will immediately open a Dota 2 game on the real map with only the player involved. All ally and enemy slots are empty.
This mode uses the new demo mode interface added in the Spring Cleaning 2022 update, so it was probably added around that time. Players can spawn enemy units, activate free spells, and buy all the Divine Rapiers they want. Based on how difficult to access this trick is, it’s unlikely that Valve even knows it’s available in the live version of the game.
This new trick opens up a ton of opportunities to test things that aren’t available in demo mode. By demoing a weather, players get access to structures around the Dota 2 map beyond just the tier one towers. This means that instead of whacking a training dummy, players can test out their damage on actual structures all the way up to the ancient.
Jungle camps also spawn as normal in this mode, which makes it very useful for testing out heroes like Chen and Enchantress. The new mode can also be used to plan vision, with wards accurately showing their reach and limitations on the real map.