How to Play Dota 2 | The Most Effective Dota 2 Tips in 2023
Some people say that Dota 2 is a difficult game. Let us disagree. Dota 2 is far beyond just being difficult or hard. It’s brutal! It’s unforgiving! But that’s true only until a specific level — when you have proven your loyalty and taken the step from a beginner to… a beginner who can more or less play Dota 2. Then the game proves its reputation as one of the most exciting competitive titles. In fact, players become somewhat addicted to these matches and increase the Steam counter to thousands of hours.
We will avoid deep dives into game mechanics as DMarket has a dedicated Dota 2 guide. The tips below do not necessarily explain the game — they show the path to developing necessary skills to become a good Dota 2 player. So, let’s go!
1. Keep an eye on the goal; think strategically
Dota 2 matches might be filled with various exciting activities. You rush into the crowd of creeps and slay them in a spectacular way. You enthusiastically destroy a tower (even if your hero dies a few times in the process). You chase the opponents on your lane and all over the map.
These activities are cool and everything, but delving into them without thinking about the primary goal of every match is pointless. To know how to play Dota 2, you should know what your team has to achieve — and all actions should lead to that goal.
Whatever you do in a match is for a reason. Everything is for destroying the Ancient. Always build your behavior around the goal.
Don’t hurry to reach the Ancient. Various actions will have their best time in the flow of Dota 2 matches. It’s not about mindless feats; it’s about strategy.
2. Learn the map
Be prepared for matches — open the game map and study it. Learn the names of the objects and their positions.
It’s not a one-time activity. Return to this exercise regularly as it helps you get ideas for your personal role in a match and for the best team strategies.
The game is not only about quick actions in the middle of the battle. It’s about coining clever and unusual ideas to overplay your opponents. No Dota 2 tips can build a successful player. Only you can do this yourself.
Learning the map is a step towards a better understanding of the game, possible strategies, and individual actions. Also, you will be able to communicate with teammates quickly and effectively.
3. Choose your hero
It is more difficult than it sounds. The game offers lots of characters to play. They are available from the very beginning, and selecting the one that’s best for you is quite a process.
We all are different, and your Dota 2 hero should complement your personal game preferences. It’s not easy to understand what your preferences really are and which hero helps unleash your abilities. Only direct practice with them will give you the answer. Your hero is someone you like as a personality, enjoy playing with, and get good results with.
Don’t rush the process. Start with low-complexity heroes and play a few games with each. Increase the difficulty of characters and notice how each one makes you feel.
In the end, settle with one hero to practice regularly. Concentrate on their abilities and improve your skills with this specific character. From variety to consistency — it’s a long but satisfying path to success. In the process, you will discover a lot about how to play Dota 2.
Heroes create a specific atmosphere around them, so you might enjoy being in the presence of your favorite character even beyond the game. Dota 2 wallpapers will help with this.
4. Understand match cycles for your hero
Every Dota 2 character grows differently within a match. Some are strong from the very beginning, so they should go for kills and play aggressively. Some gain power slowly and should avoid unnecessary fights at the beginning.
This aspect is part of learning your character. But it is somewhere beyond tips for Dota 2 on how to use abilities, which items to buy, and which lane to stay in. Understanding the cycles for the hero you play is key to mastering them and finding the best role/position.
5. Don’t ignore defense
Obviously, Dota 2 means Defense of the Ancients. So rushing into offense is not always the best idea.
Defend the structures of your team! They are very important for your victory. Make protecting them a priority over getting more kills. Weave the defending idea into a gameplan with your specific character and their specific role. Just keep this aspect in mind — offense is not everything in Dota 2!
This aspect of the game is also strongly dependent on your role in the team, but paying attention to it is important for everyone.
Visit the jungle to earn gold and experience. Invest in items that bring more gold. Try to be in the process of farming longer without returning to the base.
Of course, farming is not the highest priority. It’s a very helpful addition to your team actions.
7. Think as a team
However good a player you are, you never win Dota 2 matches alone — unless you play against absolute beginners.
It is a team that wins the game. So act as part of your team.
Thinking as a team means sticking to your role, your position in a match.
To know how to play Dota, you should know the possible roles and positions:
- Carry — Safeline
- Mid Core — Mainlane
- Offlaner — Offlane
- Semi-Support — Offlane, Roaming, or Jungle
- Main Support — Safelane
8. Stick to your role
It is as necessary as playing one character. You need to understand this position, including many tricky parts you discover on your own.
Carry develops their power through farming items and scaling. When the hero is strong enough, they start carrying the whole team.
Mid Core takes and delivers hits from the very beginning and keeps the action going in the middle of the map.
Offlaner takes care of the opponents’ safeline and tries to slow the progress of the opponent Carry.
Semi-Support moves around the map to provide help whenever it’s needed.
Main Support helps Carry play his part, especially at the beginning of a match.
The positions of Carry and Main Support are often recommended for beginners, so try them out first. It would be a good idea to select around 3–5 heroes for each of the roles — the characters you like the most. You need to have someone in reserve when you don’t want to change the role but want to have different options (for example, against specific heroes).
Like with our hero tips for Dota 2, we recommend eventually settling with one role. It is essential to be effective in your team and earn high Dota 2 ranks.
9. Experiment a lot
Why do you think Dota 2 requires hundreds or even thousands of playing hours before you can think about calling yourself a good player? The primary reasons are:
You need to find your hero/role
You need to practice and develop skills
These aspects come together. First, you start doing something in the game to understand whether it works for you or not. Then you practice this hero/role to develop skills and get experience. But then you abandon these steps and start from the beginning — select another hero/role, practice, and earn experience.
To be successful in this process, you should experiment bravely. Just try everything in the game. Change patterns of your behavior. Don’t stick to a specific playing style unless you have experimented enough and know for sure where your Dota 2 talent shines the best. The purpose of these experiments is to find your own unique way of how to play Dota 2. No guide can teach this.
These experiments are also about in-game items. Try out different builds for your hero to feel the difference.
10. Watch the opponent
You play against real people, and you should know what they are planning and doing. This part of our Dota 2 tips is about observing general patterns in the actions of your opponent team. And also, you need to literally see what they are doing at every moment.
Place wards in specific places on the map to grant your team the vision. Being effective with wards is quite an art, so you should pay decent attention to it.
In general, it is an activity mainly for support players. Wards should be placed at the early stages of a match. Often, Midlaner places the wards at the start. Places for the wards are strategic areas, such as junctions. The opponents will look for your wards in the predictable spots to destroy them. Try to be effective yet unpredictable with them.
11. Find your permanent teammates
This is not beginner level, but without it, you will never progress further from being a beginner.
When you gain experience with different roles and with different players, it’s time to find consistency in your actions. Your potential teammates look for the same — and when you find each other, you all boost your progress immensely.
Teammates are people to discuss strategies with, work on common mistakes, and choose aspects to practice. Your team should act as one on the Dota 2 map.
Forming a good team is hard. Everyone has their own method — you may look for existing amateur teams to join, or communicate with people you’ve played with before. The best way is to play with friends you know in real life. Even one guy will be enough to form the core. The other teammates might connect to your core later.
Finding teammates is not enough, though. To become a team, you should improve your communication. Discuss the terms you use. Settle in positive and friendly relationships. Use opportunities to hang out beyond the game.
12. Be patient
Believe us, this is one of the best tips for Dota 2. Remember the part about the game being brutal? Well, it’s really difficult, and the community often makes it unbearable — with its toxicity.
You need patience at every stage. Gaining experience with many characters and different roles is a long process. Not all of your experiments will be successful. Your teammates might even be jerks.
Only those who break the walls of frustration succeed in this game. Your patience is the best and most effective tool. Practical experience teaches you how to play Dota 2. Patience allows you to get this experience.
Making Dota 2 your happy place might improve your patience. Try to express your personality. Customize the game in a way you consider the most interesting. Use the best Dota 2 items for this — not only are cosmetics cool, but they also create an environment you’ll want to return to.
13. Watch Dota 2 esports
Pro matches might not provide you with direct Dota 2 tips, but they will certainly demonstrate the level you should aim for.
The tournaments are interesting and exciting to watch. As a player yourself, you will easily understand what is going on — and you might even start following pro teams in their career.
But the main point here is to absorb tricks from the professionals, and various game ideas for individual actions and team strategies. Start from any major event and make it your regular entertainment/practice.
Dota 2 is more than just a game. For many people, it’s a powerful passion, even a lifestyle. Enjoy being part of the community, and get the max out of this experience. One additional thing to mention about the life around Dota 2 is the circulation of cosmetics between the players. You can buy and sell skins — think about it as another dimension of interaction within the community.
With our Dota 2 market you can find something that reflects your awesome style. And also, you can earn real money for digital objects. Don’t limit your dedication to the game! Enjoy everything the community has to offer, and you will find yourself motivated to play — and therefore you will play more and better.
Trade on the go - install the mobile app of DMarket from Google Play or App Store. Never miss great prices and unique skins. The best CS:GO, Dota 2, Rust and TF2 marketplace is always at hand!