All Dota 2 Roles Explained (And How To Play Each Role)

How to Play Each DotA 2 Role
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Each and every player in a team has a unique purpose and role in the game. Even with varying intensity, it is a known fact that a team cannot produce results if even one member is not fulfilling a certain purpose. Although not fixed on a specific function, roles have been the standards on how the game is played. All roles have their own unique purpose, but there is still a slight gap in the impact they would have in the game. With this, let’s discuss the five positions in DotA 2.


5. Hard Support (Position 5)

image via deviantart

Hard supports are also known as position 5 players. These supports get the least resources, and most of their resources are spent on items and wards that will be used for the team’s advantage instead of their own. With virtually no items even in the late game, these supports are still expected to have an impact. 

Hard supports put an emphasis on their macro knowledge. With efficient laning, ganking, roaming, and objective gathering, hard supports can dominate the early game and give their team the lead. These players must be good at reading the game, their opponents, and the movements involved within the map. Team captains usually play position 5 due to the immense decision-making process involved in the role. The position gives them more room to think about the game and how to win it.

Because they usually call the shots in decisions within the game, hard supports are crucial in taking fights, positioning, and laning. Efficient hard supports create space for their cores to farm up, gain resources, and take favorable engagements. The space these players give is what makes the role so impactful as time is a strong factor in the game.

Hard Support’s Responsibilities:

  • Effectively call out engagements, skirmishes, lane pushes, and objective taking in order to gain resources for the team
  • Help the safelane carry survive the lane by harassing and zoning the enemy laner
  • Gank and roam to other lanes, providing assistance and wards for vision
  • Purchase wards, consumables, and items that would help the team in team fights and skirmishes

How to Play Hard Support Like A Pro:

  • Choose a viable hard support that fits perfectly in your team composition in order to make it easier for you to roam and lane. This allows you to easily incorporate your abilities into what the team needs
  • Always check your minimap and map for any overextending enemies or allies that need assistance. Doing this will enable you to respond to the advances of enemies and possibly counter them
  • Always have consumables and wards in case any skirmish or team fight occurs. Vision control gives you an advantage in fights and in decisions about what move to make. Consumables give many opportunities to win fights
  • Stack neutral camps for your cores to farm in order to give them an advantage in resources

Pick this Role if:

  • You love calling the shots, having unobstructed and undivided attention for the events happening in the game
  • You love supporting cores and helping them dominate the game
  • You prefer a playstyle that focuses on macro gameplay and decision-making

Pro Players Who Play This Role:

  • Seleri
  • Solo
  • iNSaNiA

Hard Supoport gameplay.


4. Soft Support (Position 4)

image via kibrispdr

Although still a support with similar roles as a hard support, the main difference is farm priority. Between these two supports, the soft support has the chance to purchase items for his/her own use, as well as items and consumables that can benefit the team. Most soft supports consist of playmakers that take over the game with just one item. Examples of this are Earthshaker's Blink Dagger or Rubick's Aghanim's Scepter. Their ability to create an impact with minimal items and resources shows how powerful these players are.

The soft support is usually situated in the offlane and is tasked with helping the offlane either survive the lane or crush the enemy carry's laning phase. With this amount of flexibility, the soft support can roam, ward, stack neutral camps, and team fight with the team. Responding to enemy engagements and saving cores are also included.

Soft supports are crucial in the lane and in team fights. Skirmishes with these players are easier due to the access to significant skills that these heroes have. These heroes usually have crowd control abilities that can win team fights and small engagements. Soft supports are most especially important in their transitioning. These supports can transition into a semi-carry role acting as  initiators, tanks, and more. 

Soft Support’s Responsibilities:

  • Help the offlaner survive the lane as well as harass the enemy safelane carry in order to prevent him/her from gaining too many resources, hindering his/her early game power spike
  • Roam and gank other lanes to help other laners gain an advantage against their opponents
  • Take the remaining farm available if no one has the chance to take it in order to gain game-changing items for team fights
  • Ward efficiently to give vision to teammates. This helps the captain make informed decisions

How to Play Soft Support Like A Pro:

  • Choose a soft support that fits well with the team. Typically one that can impact team fights with skills that have great damage and AOE. This allows your team to have a great team fighting capability.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and the events on the map. Responding to ganks is crucial to making sure your teammates don’t get gunned down without punishing enemies.
  • Along with the hard support, carry wards and consumables in order to spread vision control.
  • Be sure to zone out and harass enemies in lane with your skills and auto attacks. Efficient poke can hinder your enemy’s progression.

Pick this Role if:

  • You love playing a supporting role with the capability to dominate team fights with just a few items
  • Roaming and responding to engagements are some of your favorite things to do in-game
  • You love setting up your team for success either by helping them gain small leads or by setting up enemies in team fights through your abilities

Pro Players Who Play This Role:

  • Mira
  • fy
  • ah fu

Soft support gameplay.


3. Offlaner (Position 3)

image via rare-gallery 

Offlaners probably have the hardest lane in the game. Faced with the enemy safe lane carry and their annoying support, offlaners deal with an unfavorable lane structure, and hard-to-reach neutral camps and creeps. These players play on the side of the map that favors the enemy, which gives them an already staggering disadvantage. Offlaners are usually tanks and reliable initiators that can decide game-winning team fights in seconds. 

With this, offlaners aren’t really expected to stomp all over their laners, but to gain experience and sufficient resources for crucial team fights. Basically, he/she has to survive the laning phase and still gain enough to participate in fights. But in addition to this, if plausible, offlaners should prevent the enemy safe lane carry from gaining too many resources early on in the game. 

Offlaners are thought of as the tanks or initiators of the game. A reliable shoulder that teams could use in order to peel for their carry, initiate fights, protect teammates, and counter enemy engagements. Making space for the team is one of the most important jobs as an offlaner. 

Offlaner’s Responsibilities:

  • Stay alive and survive the lane. Experience is what you want to obtain from the lane and getting more of it will help you transition into the late game.
  • Harass and prevent the safelaner from gaining too many resources in the lane. You wouldn’t want your enemy carry to get fed early on in the game
  • Farm neutral camps once possible. This allows you more avenues to farm especially if you’re dealing with a difficult safelane composition
  • Initiate and set up your team for success in skirmishes and team fights. A good team fight ensures objectives for your team, space for your carry, and additional resources for everyone

How to Play Offlane Like A Pro:

  • Offlane heroes are plentiful, choosing the best one that can easily survive and work well with the team is crucial. Utility is useful for team fights and can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
  • Position well in lane. Don’t take too much unnecessary damage in order to survive in the lane. 
  • Know when to farm the neutral camps. Having sufficient levels and items can allow you to farm neutral camps which gives more experience and gold
  • Take note of key positions and opportunities to go in and use your skills to catch cores and unsuspecting enemies. A good initiation or pick-off can win your team the game

Pick this Role if:

  • You love playing a hard lane, challenging yourself and rising up to the challenge
  • You want to play a big part in team fights, having the ability to set up your team and safelane carry to deal damage
  • You want to have a chance to shut down the enemy safelane carry, giving your team a steady advantage

Pro Players Who Play This Role:

  • Collapse
  • Saberlight
  • Zai

Offlaner gameplay.


2. Midlaner (Position 2) 

image via pxfuel

When we’re talking about highlights, this is where most of the action is. The mid lane is home to one of the most famous and mechanical players the world has ever seen. With a solo experience opportunity, midlaners typically battle each other for the advantage, one that would snowball a team to a sure victory. Midlaners are solo laners that gain more experience than other positions in the laning phase. With this, they try to spread their experience lead to other lanes by ganking and roaming. Although some are geared towards the late game, most mid lane heroes can easily get their power spikes in the early game. 

A midlaner should typically be able to gain a lead over his opponent in the lane, and spread this lead to other lanes. Wave management is essential here since efficient wave clear and meansmore time and space to roam for ganks. Mid laners roam with their supports in order to ensure a successful gank, which is why efficient wave management is crucial in the mid lane. With access to resources that aren’t shared by anyone else, the mid laner should be able to properly exploit these to guarantee successful ganks, roams, initiations, team fights, and engagements. 

The mid lane is the center of the map, which means the winning laner will certainly dominate and should make it easier for the team to gain ground and objectives. The midlaner has the capability to put his team on the map simply by ganking and being present in skirmishes. The level advantage drastically gives the mid laner more room and capacity to aid his teammates. 

Midlaner’s Responsibilities:

  • Mid lane is a harsh role that needs a mechanical and dominant play style. Winning the lane is crucial for spreading leads toward other lanes which can help teammates gain advantages
  • Roam with your supports for skirmishes, objective taking, and vision control. Small advantages go a long way
  • Once you start having enough farm and experience, it is recommended to start making space for your safelane carry to farm by pushing your advantage and helping the rest of your team. Making space for your carry allows him/her to have more resources, which helps your team in the late game

How to Play Mid Like A Pro:

  • Midlaners have a variety of heroes to choose from. Choosing the right mid laner that fits the playstyle your team strives for is essential in winning team fights. A passive mid laner fits a passive team composition, while an early game one can help your early game team composition to gain early leads, making space for your carry
  • Play towards your supports and laners. Knowing where to use your lead is essential to making a lead grow into a huge advantage. Helping struggling laners can help them get back and be stronger for the next team fight
  • Know wave management, wave clear, and back timings. Knowing these can help you miss significantly fewer creeps, experience, and gold
  • Play towards your enemy’s weaknesses. Take advantage of these to dominate the lane

Pick this Role if:

  • You love being ahead and spreading your lead to your team
  • You love playing heroes that can snowball and take over the game even in its earliest stages
  • You love the flashy plays and montages that come with these mid lane heroes

Pro Players Who Play This Role:

  • Abed
  • Somnus

Midlaner gameplay.


1. Carry (Position 1)

image via cutewallpaper

For the last role in DotA 2, we have the carry position, or position 1. How the carry performs ultimately decides the fate of the game, hence having the most impact on the result of the game. The carry is probably the role with the most pressure since the team with the better and stronger carry will have an easier time winning the game. Having the greatest offensive power in the team as the game progresses, the game surely falls on the carry’s hands. The carry stays in the safelane with a support against the enemy offlaner. 

The position 1 player has to constantly find ways to gain resources. A good carry can read the map, knowing when and where to farm safely. But farming is not the only thing the carry has to be good at. Responding to fights and knowing when it is optimal to fight is crucial in making the most of your time. Being the most targeted player in the game, the carry needs to effectively survive any fight and deal as much damage as possible to enemy heroes and their base.

Being the one with the most damage capacity, the carry is crucial in the victory of the team. Team fights are won by who deals the most damage and an effective carry should be able to win. Pushing and taking objectives are centered around the carry, as well as slaying Roshan. Overall, the safelane carry’s impact in the game can mean a win or a loss.

Carry’s Responsibilities:

  • Farm, gather resources, push lanes, take objectives, and deal as much damage as possible. The main role of a carry is to literally carry your team by overpowering your enemies
  • Avoiding deaths is crucial for gaining a lead early. Deaths take time and hinder you from gaining more resources
  • Resource farming and team fighting are two of the most important tasks a carry has to do. A good balance ensures your team has a complete team while making sure you also have enough resources for items

How to Play Carry Like A Pro:

  • Playing with supports is an essential and effective way to survive the lane and participate in skirmishes. Supports are here to get you through the early game and help you gain sufficient leads
  • Last hit creeps effectively while also poking enemies can go a long way. Winning the laning phase can drastically help get you farm faster and allow you to start farming neutral camps
  • Know what kind of carry you are. If you are a late game carry, play safe and farm efficiently toward the late game. If you are an early game carry, gain early leads by farming and playing correctly with your team
  • Keeping track of where the enemy is can help you know when and where to farm. This prevents unnecessary deaths which helps you gain resources faster and safer

Pick this Role if:

  • You love being the reason for you team’s win
  • You love farming and resource gathering, gaining as much gold and experience as possible
  • You love dealing the most damage in your team and overpowering your enemies

Pro Players Who Play This Role:

  • Arteezy
  • Yatoro
  • skiter

Carry gameplay.


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As a strong-willed and hardened nerd originating from the Philippines, Niru is naturally resistant to fire attacks. But stands no chance against a good ice cold coffee.
Gamer Since: 2009
Favorite Genre: MOBA
Top 3 Favorite Games:League of Legends, DOTA 2,

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