Beginners Guide to Dota 2



by Valve

Link to Dota 2 Discussion thread :

Register your name in the players list here >


Dota 2 is an upcoming multiplayer online battle arena video game being developed by Valve Corporation and the stand-alone sequel to the popular Defense of the Ancients mod for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its expansion pack, The Frozen Throne. - Wiki

  • In short Dota 2 is an awesome game that has a "very long" learning curve, painful to master, highly demanding of skill and very gratifying if mastered. Valve likes to call the genre Action RTS, Riot games like calling it MOBA but we simply call it Dota and Dota like games :D

  • DOTA 2 is a spiritual sequel to original DoTA All Stars, developed by Valve in conjunction with ICEFROG who is now involved in maintaining both Dota 2 and the original Dota custom maps for Warcraft 3.

This is not a true guide in the sense that most of it wont be my original writing. The reason is that DotA and Dota 2 are both vast games and making a guide for them is highly exhausting. Since many good guides are already available, I will be providing link/quotes to the ones I have found credible

NOTE: Before we begin note that Dota 2 is currently a closed beta and you will need a "Free" key to gain access to the game. The keys are regularly distributed, just ask your friends in the forum or submit a request on the steam page. as on 26th Dec '12

Link to Dota 2 Discussion thread :


PART 1 - What is Dota?
PART 2 - I want to play Dota 2 - for newcomers
PART 3 - How to get Dota 2 or Dota 2 key ?
PART 4 - Playing Dota 2 for the first time
PART 5 - For more advanced players

1 : What is Dota?

DotA or Dota 2, is an Action RTS or MOBA game but then that explanation is stupid since the genre exists because of Dota, so it doesn't make much sense. There are only 4 such games right now (which I know of)
Dota 2
HoN - Heroes of Newerth
LoL - League of Legends​

However the goal in such games is simple

  • There are two teams with 5 members each
  • You control a powerful unit called Hero
  • You need to level up and collect items for your hero
  • Killing computer generated creeps / minions and ememies (more fun) earns gold needed to buy items
  • Your end goal is to destroys the enemies base

Each game lasts an average of 45 mins.​

Official Dota website:

Official Blog:

Official DotA/Dota2 forum:

*Chronic addiction warning


The Begining

Learning Dota 2 - for beginners

Typical game
Launching Dota 2 > "Search" for a game > Select a hero > Buy items > Go to lane > Kill creeps > Kill heroes (try) > Destroy tower > loop creep/hero/tower >>> Reach enemy base > Kill throne - - - WIN game!

Now you know 1% about DotA and Dota 2. Hereon I will refer to only Dota 2 as personally I feel both are essentially the same game.


I strictly suggest watching this video to get a feel of how the game is and what it is all about HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

DOTA 2 - Learn To Play! - E1 - Basic Survival - YouTube

Points to note:

Goal: Destroy enemy base, more specifically their throne, during which process the base usually gets destroyed anyways so we are back to destroy enemy base

My character: You play a unit called a hero who has usually 4 skills, active / passive depending on hero type. The hero starts at lvl 1 and goes up to lvl 25 which takes around 40 - 55 mins. There are close to 100 heroes to choose from. You need to know each of their powers/skills to play effectively (big PITA)

My team: Your team has 5 players including you. Enemy team has same composition.

Map: The map is given below (it's a minimap). There are three lanes where you can play. You can take any of the three paths to reach the enemy base. You have to kill creeps and towers before reaching the throne.

Items: Items can be bought with gold and do one of the following or more : Increase Health, Mana, Damage, Armour or their rate. Some items also give attack modifiers or skills. (More about this later)

Dota 2 Mini-map


Guides & Tutorials

If you want to read in detail about Dota or have any doubt regarding certain phrases or characteristics of the game refer to this guide I found on the net (very long guide) RECOMMENDED
Build Guide DOTA 2: Learning the Ropes - A Beginner's Guide to DotA
I suggest you read the topics under the title "Basics" in the guide before starting your first game​

More guides / tutorials:
Welcome to Dota, You Suck | Purge Gamers

Youtube channels:
I found these very nice youtube channels which might be of great use to learn Dota efficiently

    - Very nice and good quality tutorials and guides. Have an intro for each hero too. Basically watching their entire channel means you are good to go for pub matches.
    - These two guys / channels usually showcase their own matches which you can watch to see how good players play with certain heroes. If you like a particular hero and want to play him better you can search for the video in which these guys play that character. They are no necessarily the best or the only way to play the game but they are nevertheless good and you can learn from their mistakes and borrow good tips.
    - they have a short series called Mythbusters which is useful in later stages on your learning

*I will keep updating this space with new and helpful channels and videos. Suggestions are welcome.​
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How to get the game?

Getting the game

Dota 2 is a F2P (Free to Play) game so you do not need to buy it. However at the time of writing it is a closed beta and you will require a key to get the game.

First register on steam:
Welcome to Steam

Install the Steam client:

Search for Dota 2 in the steam client:
Register for a key after writing a survey

How to obtain the key quickly?
◊ Ask your friends or submit a request in our Dota 2 thread. I got my key from Desmond here. :D Ask him everyone

◊ Participate in giveaways. Example:
Be on the lookout​

BEWARE: There will be some people selling the key saying that it costs $20 or $30 on Steam for beta access, but do not fall for it. Those sc*m bags are selling free keys instead of distributing them for free as is intended.


My first game

Playing the game

Your opinion about the game will fall into two categories: You absolutely love the game or you hate the game with all your guts

I want to play the game but how do I proceed...

First week:

Take it easy and slow. The game can be very confusing at first. It is best you watch someone play and get a hang of it.

Find a mentor if you can, try really hard. It is best you find a mentor who can teach you or guide you. Almost everyone I know has learnt that way. It is highly difficult to learn it on your own.

Practice with bots. Try a new hero by playing against easy bots. Choose a hero that you have played before for the bot using cheats (legit) so that you don't get "pawned" by surprise.

Play with other newbies. Do not play public matches at all in the beginning. You will learn better with other new players and proper mentoring than participating in public matchmaking. Most likely you will be labelled as a "noob" and the other players will keep cursing you.

Try all the heroes. Realistically it will take really long to play all of them. So play a few select heroes and practice them.

Always know your enemy heroes powers/skill You need to know what skills the opposite team enemy has or you won't be able to counter it effectively

Read the descriptions properly. Most people are too lazy to read what the "item" does or how the "skill/power" works. This can lead to unnecessary confusion.

Learn the map. See the different routes in the map and learn the surroundings, placement of enemy towers, neutral camps (see in game) etc

Game is frustrating. The game can be very frustrating in the beginning, with most people not going beyond one or two games. It requires your utmost patience. It takes almost 2-3 months of practice to effectively play in public matches (online) and I am being modest here.

Watch this video of a proffesional match to see how the pros play the game. Start from7:30 mark, that is when the game starts. It's a professional tournament match where the team called iG won $1 million

Starts/skip to 7:30

At the end of the week, after about 10 games try going through this youtube series

Read further only if you have played they game or have been playing for a few weeks

One month:

Hero knowledge: At this point you should be aware of at least half the heroes (about 50) and their skills (~400 = 50*4)

Item knowledge: You should be aware of at least 90% of the items in the game

Map knowledge: You should be comfortable with the map and be versed with the different paths you can take in between lanes.

Learn your role: Know whether you want to play a carry, support, initiator and always communicate to your team if you want to push, gank, farm, (kill) roshan etc

Play public matches: Try playing a public match with other good players or your mentor. Do not go as a team of newbies, else you will be wiped out.

Arrange frequent lobby matches: As far as possible try making lobby matches or LAN kinda matches with other newbies you know and keep practising. If not then play against bots, at first medium and then hard if you are confident with that hero.

The path of the ancients (Things to remember)

Do not feed

Do not steal the carry(s) farm if you are playing support

Buy wards and courier if you are playing support

Do not quit the game

Lastly do not play in the Chinese server or against the Chinese :D

Hereafter you will learn from experience with each passing game teaching you a little, day by day. You will soon know all the heroes names by heart and also know their powers. You will also know every item in the game and be fully aware of the map. This takes considerable time to master. 6 months is a rough figure that can be given.nn


Advanced players

Advanced Players

There is not much for me to offer for advanced players here since I am not so great myself. But here are some useful links.

For Discussions related to Dota 2 >


If you are searching for more people to play then use the links below to register yourself and find IDs of people who wish to be added

To enter your name in the players list below, use this form:

( Kindly do not tamper with other listings; the spreadsheet below is a copy to which I will be copying the entries to prevent malice )


If you wish to join a larger community (lol) of Dota 2 gamers then you can also join the following groups :::

Facebook community:

Steam Community:
Steam Community :: Group :: Dota 2 Indian

Note: Dota 2 name means the ingame name you are currently using (you can change this name any time you want)

People verified from the below list will be able to join the communities since they are closed and moderated


Questions questions and more...


The thread is open temporarily. I will be closing it after some time.

If you still have further queries regarding the game or want to discuss about the points here then use the Discussion thread

If you have any suggestions to improve the guide then let me know


Happy Playing :)

Thank you for looking


Firecracker to the moon
^^ you should join dota ;)

add this to the first post
Primary Attributes

There are three primary stat categories or attributes in DotA 2. Strength(Str), Agility (Agi), and Intelligence (Int). Each hero starts with a different number of each attribute and gains different attributes at varied rates each level.

Each point of Strength will:

Increase the maximum number of hit points (HP) by 19 points.
Increase the hit point regeneration by 0.03 HP per second.
Each point of Agility will:

Increase the attack speed by 1 point.
Increase the armor by 0.14 points.
Each point of Intelligence will:

Increase the maximum amount of mana by 13.
Increase the mana regeneration by 0.04 points per second.
Beyond these bonuses, each hero has a primary attribute. Adding a point to a hero’s primary attribute will add a point of damage in addition to the previous bonuses. Each hero’s specific primary attribute is highlighted in yellow on the hero page.



Living to Play
Yeah well I tried but my net connection doesn't help so I can't. I want to but I can't. At my place I can't even get a goddamn landline connection so that I can play online sometime. Have to rely on BSNL EVDO which gives shitty speed. Let aside online gaming. What can I say unfortunate times.
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