With the Dota 2 ‘International 4’ currently underway out in Seattle, with 19 teams battling it out for the prestigious Aegis Shield and the $5 million 1st place prize money, the game is seeing large amounts of new players flooding in, in hopes of becoming a pro Dota player and one day making their way to ‘The International’ to win that prize fund.
If you’re one of the new players entering the fray that is Dota 2, here are some tips that will help you become a better player, turn you into a valuable team mate and hopefully keep you alive.
Complete the tutorial:
Whereas in most games, players receive a short tutorial introducing the games basic controls and actions that the player will need to learn to progress through the levels, Dota 2’s tutorial can often take people over 30 hours to complete due to the complexity of the game. Even though a 30+ hour tutorial may sound quite extreme, it is worth completing and is a must for anyone looking to get especially good at the game.
Pick several heroes and stick with them:
Now that you have completed the tutorial it’s time to jump into a fully-fledged Dota 2 match. As a new player you will quickly notice that there are numerous heroes available to choose from, 102 heroes in fact. This many heroes can often be quite daunting at first glance, and so to overcome this you should pick two or three heroes that stand out, and use these characters solely until you feel comfortable with them. Once you have gotten to grips with these particular heroes, and have a few character choices to fall back on, you can move on to select some new heroes.
Do some research:
After you’ve had a chance to play a few rounds and test out your group of heroes, it’s time to take a break and reflect on how well you’re doing. Due to the complexity of Dota 2, the large amount of heroes, abilities, items available, and different play styles, one of the best ways to learn how to become better is to actually do research. There are many features included within the game that allow players to do this.
As a newcomer the quickest and easiest solution is to go through the game’s library which holds descriptions on each of the heroes, displaying their stats and abilities, as well as some background information about each character.
The library also holds information on all of the different items, again showing the stats for each and how they should be used, along with the various recipes used to craft the more expensive and powerful items.
Valve, the creators of Dota 2, has also included a spectator mode within the game, allowing players the chance to spectate other players matches as they play them live. As a newcomer this is a great way to learn about different play styles, how to move around the map and support your team and most importantly how other players overcome the mistakes they make during a match.
Don’t rush into a fight:
There is one ultimate mistake that almost every new player makes when playing Dota 2 and that is rushing into fights and allowing enemy players to draw them into unsafe areas of the map. With newcomers so eager to get their first kill on an enemy hero, it is almost too easy for the veteran player to lure you in to an unsafe area of the map and kill you before you even know what’s going on.
Unfortunately there is no full proof way to stop this from happening, enemies will catch you out now and again, however by staying close to your team mates, by communicating where enemy players are and ensuring you have some form of health regeneration item in your inventory, you can often make it out with a sliver of life left.
Communication is key:
Dota 2 is a team game, some players might be stronger than others and do far more damage, but without other heroes backing you up, you will never win. Likewise a team who communicates, that says where enemies are, when to push forward and when to pull back, will win 99% of the time compared to a team that barely speaks.
Communication as previously stated will help to identity where enemy players are, which enemies are missing and when you should watch your step in case the enemy team is planning to attack. Also don’t be afraid to ask your team mates for help, most will gladly answer any queries you have or move to provide you support on the map.
Don’t give up:
By now you will have grasped how tough a game Dota 2 is with its steep learning curve and complex gameplay styles and tactics. Even though it is an extremely fun game with every match being different from the last, you will not pick it up overnight, it will take time, practice and dedication, so don’t give up. If you find yourself on a losing streak that seems to have no end, watch how you play, learn from your mistakes, perhaps even revisit the basics again, eventually the hard work will pay off.