Welcome New Dota 2 Players! Learn to Play With Guides and Videos

Want to learn to play Dota 2? Check out the lower half of this article to figure out where to start.
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After two years of closed beta, Dota 2 has finally gone live to the public on Steam. If you have yet to try Valve’s ARTS/MOBA title, now is the perfect time to get your feet wet with the hordes of other new players taking their first dive into the DotA universe!

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Those of you familiar with League of Legends but not so familiar with Dota 2 will most certainly not feel at home for your first few games. Movement, casting, items, jungle spawns, terrain, and so much more vary greatly from LoL — not to mention the general negative attitude most players have toward new people coming from Riot’s MOBA.

The above sounds intimidating, but new players willing to accept that Dota 2 is not League of Legends (and vice versa) will find a complex game with enough bells and whistles in the client to impress even the pickiest of the picky.

Below the Bloodstone information is a whole gob of resource links for the brand or relatively new Dota 2 player. If you’re just starting out or are unsure of your gameplay ability, do scroll down and get some learnin’ in you.

Bloodstones for the already initiated

If you happened to play before launch, you will find a special Bloodstone in your backpack to commemorate your participation. The grade of Bloodstone you receive is tied to how many friends you invited into the beta.

The exact specifications for each stone are unknown, and their uses are also a mystery for the time being. Some people report getting Mythical-tier items from deletion, but it is not recommended to do so until Valve comes forth with actual information on their usage.

The stones released are as follows:



       Bloodstone of the Ancestor(Rare)
      Received if you sent no Dota 2 invites
during the beta.




    Bloodstone of the Precursor (Mythical)
    Received if you sent 1 to 19 Dota 2 invites
during the beta. (Not confirmed)




  Bloodstone of the Founder (Legendary)
    Received if you send 20+ Dota 2 invites
    during beta. (Not confirmed)


 So where should a newbie start?

That’s a good question, Timmy — a good question with a very simple answer: A tutorial (plural later) has been added to the game to aid new players and can be found under Play -> Learn to Play in the client. While it isn’t going to teach you everything you need to know, it will get you started on the right track as you learn to play Dota 2.

Beyond that tiny glimpse into the game’s mechanics:

Purge’s Guide and Videos

Perhaps the best guide once you’ve gone through the tutorials and played a few bot matches is Purge’s Inclusive Guide for Noobs, otherwise known as Welcome to DotA, You Suck.

Something to note about the guide above is that it applies to both Warcraft 3 DotA and Dota 2, for the most part. The sequel is not far removed from the original, by any means. As such, the icons shown (and some hero names) in Purge’s guide are those of WC3 DotA. (Here is a Steam Community version with updated images and some video.)

If you are more of a visual learner, Purge also has several high quality videos on his YouTube channel to watch and learn. It is highly recommended you watch his how-to videos and even his full-game videos if you are gunning for a particular hero.


DotaCinema is best known for their Fails of the Week and Top 10 Weekly videos, but they also pack quite an informational punch when it comes to individual heroes.

The DotaCinema YouTube channel is one thing, but the actual website’s Learn Dota 2 Heroes section is well-worth your time. You want to visit this site.


Purge’s Welcome to DotA, You Suck guide is hosted on PlayDotA and it is not the only piece of learning literature you should take a look at.

A great place to start for basic information is the plain ol’ Learn DotA part of the site, which teaches everything you could possibly want to know about the basics of the game. Do note that — as with Purge’s guide above — icons and names are from Warcraft 3 DotA.

Dota 2 Alt-Tab Guides

This site is fairly straight-forward. Don’t know what to build on a hero or not sure on spell order? This bite-sized resource has your back, just don’t expect anything mind-blowing.

Steam Community Guides

The Steam Community guides for Dota 2 are about as intensive and varied as one might expect from a resource anyone can submit to. With that said, among the many so-so guides are some stellar pieces of work. Below are a few of the top rated guides for the game’s mechanics.

  • DOTA 2 Academy – Learn the Basics – Videos and more videos to get you started.
  • The Joys of TP – Details on using teleport scrolls and why they are great.
  • How to Win Enemies and Hurt People – This guide is beefy. This is more advanced than the other resources linked here, but is notable nonetheless.
  • Frustration Free Beginner’s Guide to Dota 2 – The formatting in this guide can be kind of iffy, but it is still a great resource.
  • Comprehensive Dota 2 Guide – This is another semi-advanced guide but boy is it good. Beginners should absolutely start reading from the very top. If you have a lot of time and a real will to play, this may be all you need!

There are of course dozens, maybe even hundreds, of high quality Dota 2 guides. Don’t take the above to be the end-all list. Browse through the Steam Community Guide list if you still feel lost, wander to all of the resources linked above and find a guide that suits you best. Learning to play Dota 2 may seem like a monumental task, but it really takes no time at all to get the hang of the game with some perseverance and a will to win.

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Ashley Shankle
Ashley's been with GameSkinny since the start, and is a certified loot goblin. Has a crippling Darktide problem, 500 hours on only Ogryn (hidden level over 300). Currently playing Darktide, GTFO, RoRR, Palworld, and Immortal Life.