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Very Beginners Guide to DOTA2

Very Beginners Guide to getting started with DOTA2

I play a lot of DOTA 2, and noticed that there are a lot of new players out there that does not have a clue what to do.  This little guide will give you only the very basics to get you going.  Learning to become a very skilled DOTA player will take you many months, but learning a few basics will make your Dota experience very enjoyable.  This guide will give you a good head-start and include tips and tricks to get you going strong.

I suggest you read the below end-to-end (it will take you less than 5 minutes) and then go out and have fun!

Your first "game" should be the TRAINING session.  From the PLAY menu, select the "TRAINING" under LEARN TO PLAY on the left:

The learn to play will introduce you to a hero, the interface, and a little bit about buying, upgrading, and attacking.

After your training session, go play a "Practice with Bots", or more fun will be "CO-OP BOT MATCH"

For Co-op Bot match, change the settings at the very bottom so that the difficulty is on EASY.  Select some servers close to you.  Then click "FIND MATCH".  I normally wait less than 20 seconds to locate a game.

When a game starts under the standard conditions, your first task is to select your hero.  I recommend you start with an easy-to-play hero.   Later, select random hero so you can learn all the different hero's.
Easy heros include "Drow Ranger", "Venomancer", or "Viper".  Hint: Type the first 2 or 3 letters of the Hero to get to him/her.

Select Drow Ranger to start off with.   Drow ranger is easy because her abilities are mostly static so you can focus on the game and not worry about magic and micro management.   You will find that she is a great hero to choose, even a character of choice for advanced very experienced player.  She can be a real game-changer in the later game.

When the game starts, you need to level up.  Select a skill to level up.  For your first few games, just level up what is available.  From level 6 you can upgrade your ultimate skill.  For each hero you can ask Dr Google for a build order to get some detail about better ways to level up your hero.

Next, you need to spend some items to equip your hero.

Press the SHOP button to buy.   For a start, first buy the suggested Starting Items.  Later as you get more money in (you get money for free over time, you get more money by killing creeps, you get more money by killing neutrals, and even more for killing towers and enemy heroes) you buy the Early Game items, then the Core Items, and very much later the Situational Items.  You might be tempted to skip the suggested starting items, but do not be tempted.  You will loose out by running back to your base each time to get healed and therefore loose out on experience and money.

When you are not at your base or at one of the shops, you can buy items and ask the courier (if your team has one) to deliver to you.  The courier will be faster if someone in the team bought wings for the courier.  Here is the button that will send the courier with your items:  (If the courier is busy with a delivery, this button will change and have the icon if the player being served).

Now you are ready to go and attack!

There are 3 lanes from your base to the enemy.  Top, Middle, Bottom.
Generally, 2 heroes will play top, 2 heroes will play bottom, and 1 hero in the middle.
If you are new, go top or bottom.

At the beginning of the game you want to attack from close to your own tower.   Your hero will be very weak and die quickly if you get too close to the opponent's tower.  The towers are the bigger green- and red squares on the mini-map.

So, go down the lane and stay behind your Creeps.  The best idea now is to try to get as much money and experience as possible.  You are safer closer to your own tower so follow this strategy:  Stay behind your creeps without attacking the opponents creeps.  You will get experience, it does not matter who kill the creeps.  If you see an opponent's creep on very low health, then only kill it to get the money.   This way you will not advance your lane too quickly and end up at the opponent's tower.   You will live longer and experience better.

If you get hit, run back. Better to stay alive than try to be a "hero".   Use the "Tango" by selecting it and the click on a tree.  You will now gain health much faster for a few seconds.   Use the "Healing Salve" on yourself to heal faster.  Note that if you get attacked while using the salve, it will stop working, so stand back a bit.

One hero's reach level 6, then will start using their Ultimate.  This is normally where the real action starts! Hero's will start working as a team to take out opponent heroes.

Take out towers if you can. If your creeps are attacking the tower, you can normally stand further back and attack it without the tower attacking you.  If your last creep is almost gone, then retreat.

Remember this is a team game.  Try to work as a team.  Try to anticipate your team's moves.

It will be game over when you "Ancient" in the middle of your base is destroyed.

Likewise, your team win when the opponent's ancient is destroyed:

Other notes:

When you health is very low and you do not have healing items, run back to your base.  You recover quickly in the starting area in your base.

Some items you want to buy require the Secret Store.  There are 2 of these on the map.  Small yellow/brown dots on the mini-map.  If you try to buy these items from the normal store, you will get the message "secret store required" and the mini map will flash where they are located.

There are a lot of neutral monsters you can take out.  Little green triangles on the mini map.  They will give you experience and gold.  You can take most of the smaller ones out comfortably when you are level 6.

There is a special neutral monster called Roshan.  You will find him on the mini-map with the red "cave".

This is Roshan:

To kill him you will probably have to be Level 20+, or a good team effort from level 14+ for all.
You get good money, experience and a special item if you kill him.

Special items can appear in the river.  Example:  Here is a haste ruin:

Right-click the item to use it.

Always remember this is only a game!  Have fun with it.  Do not be rude.  Remember in your later games that you were also a "newby" some time ago!  

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