[Guide] Dota 2 Tips and Tricks (25 Best Tips)

DotA 2 can be pretty tricky and complex. With all the niche little things and nuances in its gameplay, players have been trying to get a grip on the game and all its glory. The game has been around for more than a decade but is still ripe with new discoveries and ways on how to play the game. There really is no right answer but there are a few that could be helpful. Let’s talk about the best tips and tricks you should know when playing DotA 2.


1. Learn the Basics

We all gotta start somewhere. DotA 2 is a vast game full of infinite ideas, strategies, and techniques. Starting from the beginning is your gateway to unlocking all the game has to offer. Starting with how it’s played, what the roles are, and the premise of the game itself. 

How it works: 

  • Learn about the game. This includes studying about the objectives, teams, heroes, roles, maps, creeps, buildings, gold and experience, and the shops.


2. Check the Heroes Out

After more than a decade since its initial release, DotA 2 has accumulated a collection of 124 heroes. Every hero is unique and multiply that by 124 and you’ll get a serious case of confusion. But knowing the heroes and their unique skill sets and capabilities will help you tremendously in the game. 

How it works: 

  • DotA 2 has an easy way to check out each hero based on their main attribute. Checking them out 1 by 1 and reading their abilities help you learn how to play them, play with them, and play against them.
  • Play the heroes in the demo mode, allowing you to use their abilities and playtest basic scenarios. 


3. Choose Your Role

DotA 2 is filled with numerous roles to choose from. These are categorized into 5 positions, positions 1 to 5. Starting from position 1, these are called safe lane, mid lane, off lane, soft support, and hard support. Each role is important and has a very vital part in the game. While these might be different, they all strive for a common goal, which is the enemy’s Ancient.

How it Works: 

  • Check out the roles available on the web and determine which play style suits you best. 
  • Each role has specific heroes that are the standard. Try these heroes out and see which role, that the hero corresponds to, is the one for you.


4. Choose a Small Pool of Heroes to Master

Considering that the game has a massive pool of heroes, it’s pretty hard to get the hang of most of them. Mastering a small group of heroes can go a long way. It’s better to be great at a small pool of heroes compared to being mediocre in a couple ones.

How it works: 

  • Check the heroes out and choose which of the heroes you want to start playing.
  • Master the heroes by consistently playing them in games no matter the game mode.


5. Learn About Hero Counters and Synergies

With all the heroes included in DotA 2, counters and synergies are sure to be by the lot. Learning about these can help you create a draft that makes it easier for you to play the game. Lineups and drafts matter a lot since each hero is unique and has a specific set of skills that can turn the tides of any game. With the right hero selection, wins will come rolling in.

How it works:

  • The easiest way would be to search up hero counters and synergies. The internet is full of guides on these and this would be a great starter.
  • Check out these hero combinations and counters. If it works, then you have a definite answer.


6. Itemization

Items are the backbone of every hero. Learning how to equip your hero with the right items makes all the difference in the world and is the step that lets you stomp over the opposition. Itemization starts at the beginning of the game and only ends when the game is over. This means that this is a vital part of the game and optimal itemization is key to winning lanes and destroying games.

How it works:

  • Search guides and advice from websites regarding the best items for each hero.
  • Try out different items in specific situations (eg. buying Blink Dagger for heroes with playmaking abilities such as Earthshaker, Enigma, and Tidehunter).
  • Save the best item builds for your heroes for your next games.


7. Warding

Vision is everything in DotA 2. Everything relies on vision control: decision-making, objective control, farming, stacking, fighting, pushing, etc. Almost every aspect of the game relies on information regarding the enemy’s whereabouts in order to make informed choices and strategies.

How it works: 

  • Search the web for areas where wards are most useful and learn how to efficiently place them, making it hard for them to be destroyed.
  • Focus on destroying your enemy’s vision control.


8. Blocking Creeps

Blocking creeps allows your lane creeps to more slowly reach your enemies. This allows you to manipulate your lane to place your lane opponents in a riskier and more dangerous position that is susceptible to ganks from allies. In turn, blocking can also allow your wave to settle in a place that is closer to your tower, making you safer.

How it works:

  • Stand in front of the first creep in the wave and slowly move forward, keeping your hero in front of it and not letting any creep pass through you. Do this until you have your desired wave state.


9. Last-Hitting 

Last-hitting is a term in MOBAs wherein you deal the fatal blow that kills your opponent. Creeps give tons of gold in DotA 2 and last-hitting makes sure you get that gold. This is an essential aspect in the game as gold ensures you get through all the stages in the game with a fighting chance. Items and consumables are purchasable by gold and this changes the game in various ways.

How it works:

  • Carefully monitor the target's health and your damage. If your damage is greater than or equal to its current health, attacking it will deal the fatal blow and give you the gold.


10. Creep Aggro

While an informal term, aggro is a commonly used word in the world of gaming which basically means aggression. Creep aggro is when creeps switch targets from your creeps to you. This happens when you damage your enemy when there are enemy creeps nearby. Creep aggro is useful in manipulating the wave in your favor. By doing this, you essentially taunt the enemy creeps, making them easier to kill since they basically chase you.

How it works:

  • When laning, attack the enemy hero with enemy creeps nearby. You can cancel this attack before it happens since it already triggers creep aggro. Once the creeps follow you, move back and carefully last hit.


11. Denying

Last-hitting gives you resources, and denying prevents your enemies from getting some. Denying is a great way to make sure your enemies get less experience from each creep death. It also prevents your enemies from getting the gold that the creep gives when it is killed. This is one of the many techniques that can give you small, incremental advantages that scale up ridiculously well.

How it works:

  • In the lane, monitor your creeps’ health and your attack damage. When your attack damage is greater than or equal to its current health, attack it to deny it.


12. Poking

Harassing enemies is a surefire way to get advantages in the early game. Laning is all about getting those small advantages with your capabilities to deal damage. By learning how to efficiently poke out your enemies, you can effectively get the upper hand in your lane.

How it works:

  • Know your hero’s strengths, weaknesses, abilities, and damage output. Know your capabilities and by doing this you’ll be able to come up with ways to damage your laner.
  • Use your abilities and attacks to hit your enemy constantly, always placing them on the edge of their seats.


13. Zoning


Poking is not the only way to bring your enemies down. Zoning is another way to prevent your enemies from gaining too many resources. Through the use of your skills and advantages, you can effectively zone out enemies from creeps, gold, experience, runes, and pathways.

How it works:

  • Move up to your enemy, with the threat of using your attacks and abilities. You can incorporate poking into this.


14. Roaming

Your lane is not the only place in the game. Roaming is essential in making sure your teams are doing fine and gaining leads. Supports are usually the ones roaming to gank other lanes but anyone in the game can do it. It just needs efficient timings and skill usage to spread your lead to other lanes.

How it works:

  • Before roaming, leave your lane in an optimal state. Clear out your wave and roam to a lane that needs help. Once on the way to a gank, clear out some warding spots and make sure to catch the enemy by surprise. 

15. Pulling Waves

Creep waves have a constant speed that allows them to reach the enemy at certain times every time. Pulling is another way to block creep ways but is way more effective. By doing this, the creep wave doesn’t reach the enemy immediately. Pulling can also allow the support to farm these neutral camps by using creeps to tank the damage for them. In summary, pulling reduces enemy gold and experience, and gives you more avenues to gain gold and experience. It also improves your wave state, by placing you closer to your tower.

How it works:

  • Once the creep waves get close enough, attack the neutral creeps in order for them to follow you. Once the creep wave and the neutral camp meet, they will attack each other and the pull is successful.


16. Blocking Enemy Neutral Camps

Enemy jungle camps spawn neutral creeps for them to farm and get neutral items from. Blocking out these sources of gold and experience can greatly give you more advantages.  Blocking crucial camps can also hinder your enemy’s ability to pull and stack waves. 

How it works:

  • Neutral camps spawn at every minute starting from minute 1. You can block these camps by standing at the camp’s area or by placing wards.


17. Stacking Neutral Camps

Camp stacking is usually done by supports in order to boost the farming capabilities of their cores, but this can be done by anyone. Stacking allows the neutral camp to house more instances of the neutral creeps in order to generate more potential gold and experience farmed per camp. By doing this, it will also be safer for cores if the stacked camp is closer to their base.

How it works:

  • Attack the camps just before the next minute arrives, preferably at the 53-55-second mark. Once they follow up, move away and make sure nothing stands on the area of the camp. The next neutral creeps will spawn right at the next minute mark.


18. Quick Buy

Buying items requires you to go to the shop and open the store menu. While this requires an extra step, quick buy solves that. This menu tells you when you can purchase each individual item and allows you to buy it directly from the quick buy menu. This is more accessible and saves you the extra time from opening the store menu.

How it works:

  • Search for the item you want to buy. Shift-click the item or drag it to the quick buy menu. Right-click the item once you have enough gold for it.


19. Pings and Chat Wheel

Communication is important in many games such as DotA 2. While chatting may be tiresome and ineffective, pings and chat wheels come to our rescue. Pings allow you to send signals regarding fighting, disengaging, warding, and defending. Chat wheels can send select phrases to communicate what you want to say about the game. These can be a great way to effectively communicate without taking your hands off your mouse.

How it works: 

  • To use pings, hold alt and hold your left mouse button then drag to the ping you want to send. These hold about 7 choices. 
  • To use the chat wheel, hold down the assigned hotkey for this option (which can be set in the options menu) and drag your mouse to your choice phrase. Release to send.


20. Neutral Items

While we have our main items, neutral items get into our neutral item slot, giving us another item to utilize to our advantage. While these items can vary in their usage and hero compatibility, all of them can be utilized to gain leads and wins. 

How it works:

  • Neutral items come from killing neutral camps at the start of specific time periods. Tiers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 come at minutes 7, 17, 27, 37, and 60. Once a token is obtained, click and choose your item. The choice will be placed in your neutral item slot and will give you the stats and abilities it possesses.


21. Backpack

The main inventory houses 6 usable slots for 6 active items. The backpack is a secondary 3-slot inventory that houses inactive items. This serves as additional storage space for items that you don’t need at the moment. This can range from items to consumables such as Smoke of Deceit and Tango. The added storage space gives more flexibility for your skirmishes and overall gameplay.

How it works:

  • Drag the items you want to place into the backpack. These items become inactive and can’t be used until they are dragged back into the main inventory. Dragging back these to the main inventory houses a 6-second cooldown before it can be used.


22. Watch the Pros

Watching how the best of the best do it is a surefire way to get some free coaching. There are lots of players out there who do coaching, analysis, and gameplay for free. These streamers produce content for us, the viewers. Since a lot of DotA 2 streamers are ex-pro players, we can be sure that their knowledge comes from the highest level.

How it works:

  • Think of a specific skill you want to achieve such as farming. Search up carry players who stream and produce videos. These will help you see how they do it and mimicking them will be a great start to building your playstyle.

23. Watch Replays

While you can watch the pros, you can also check out your replays in order to see where you went wrong or right. Finding the mistakes can quickly allow you to make up for them in the next games. DotA 2 is a game full of improvement, and changing how we play is a big part of it. Watching replays can help you get a wider view of the picture as you can see how your allies and enemies move in the game.

How it works:

  • After finishing up a game, go to the match recap and download the replay. Watch closely on the little things you can improve on and observe how the other players behave.


24. Map Features

The map is filled with lots of obstacles, trees, cliffs, water, and so many more natural and artificial elements. Learning how to abuse these can make your team fights and skirmishes all the more one-sided. High-ground areas refer to those areas which have an elevated position. When in the high-ground area, you’ll have vision over the low ground and your attacks won’t miss. Choke points are those places where the area is so tight it’s perfect for AOE abilities. One example is the Rosh Pit.

How it works:

  • Study the map the more you play and identify key areas where fights would be well-suited for your team. If your enemy has lots of AOE abilities, it would be best to not fight in tight areas. If your enemy is on a high-ground area, don’t extend too much as you’ll have no vision and you’ll miss attacks.


25. Stalk Your Enemies

Tracing the movement of your enemies makes you know what to do. Having more information allows you to produce more thought-of decisions that can easily give you the advantage. When your enemies are up top pushing, you could either farm up safely in the bottom lane or TP up and help them. Just by having this information, you will be safer and more dangerous.

How it works:

  • Constantly monitor your map and minimap. Act depending on the enemy’s whereabouts. Based on their positions, establish the objectives and scenarios you want to achieve.

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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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