Dota 2 For Beginners: What You Need to Know Before You Play

Even if you’ve never played it before, it’s very likely you’ve heard of Dota 2.

It’s a sequel to Defense of the Ancients, which was a fan-made mod to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. That was back in 2003, and in 2009, Valve – the company who owns Steam – bought the rights to the IP. It was four years later in 2013 when Dota 2 was released.

Dota 2 is a MOBA – multiplayer online battle arena – which means that players face off against each other, usually in two teams of five. Each team has their own separate bases, and it’s the goal of the game to take over the opponent’s base in order to destroy a large statue that sits in the middle of it, known as an “Ancient”.


Each of the 10 characters on the battlefield is known as a “Hero”, and each one of them has their own abilities and skills, allowing for different styles of play. It also means that whichever hero you play as, you’ll have a unique and important role to bring to the battlefield.

It’s Been Around For A Long Time – So Where Do You Start?

Dota 2 officially launched on 9th July 2013, which means that it has nearly been around for six years. That’s an extremely long time in video game years – but the game is still going strong, with a loyal fanbase who play it regularly.

Many of its players will have been playing it since the beginning, which is great news for Valve, but not so great if you’re a new player thinking about joining in. Those devoted players have the benefit of knowing the game inside out; the controls, the heroes, the skills, the little tricks of the trade to ensure they’re victorious. Not to mention their heroes are undoubtedly max level with the very best gear. It might seem like you’re fighting a losing battle before you’ve even begun.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give Dota 2 a shot; it just means that you might have to work a little harder in the beginning. You’ll have a harder time defeating higher level players until you begin to level up your character – and that can take months or even years depending how often you plan to play. If you plan to take it seriously though, there are Dota 2 boosting services available that can help you boost your heroes and attributes so that you can battle on an even playing field.

It’s Considered a Sport

Dota 2 might just be a game to some, but to others, it is considered a sport. It’s one of the biggest esports titles out there, actually: the annual championship, known as The International, has the biggest prize pool of any other esport event, with last year’s total winnings being an incredible $34 million.

Being played in a team, it’s the perfect game for a popular esport, so it makes sense. As we said above, the goal in Dota 2 is to take over the other team’s Ancient, located in their base. But before a team can storm their enemy’s base, they need to build up enough strength and power. To do that, teams need to defeat other players and NPCs in combat. Once they’re strong enough, it’s time to take over the base, and if the Ancient is successfully destroyed, that team will be declared the winner.

As such, you’ll come across players who take the game very seriously – but not everyone is playing it as a sport. There are plenty of people who enjoy playing it for entertainment, too. But even for fun, Dota 2 is a game to take seriously. That means choosing the best hero for certain situations, spending time learning their skills, and carefully choosing teammates.

It’s Free to Play – So Give it a Go

If you’re interested in finding out more about Dota 2, the easiest way to learn more is to simply play it for yourself. As a free to play game, there’s nothing stopping you.

Even better, its minimum system requirements are very low – it is a six-year old game after all – so you don’t need a fancy gaming PC to run it well. While a basic graphics card is beneficial if you want to enjoy the best graphical detail, you shouldn’t have any problem even running Dota 2 on a bog-standard work laptop.

Most of us learn better when we’re hands-on, so if you’re even a tiny bit intrigued, go download Dota 2 and see if it’s for you.