Dota 2 in 2021 ▧ Frequently Asked Questions


Do you know how different Valve’s MOBA Dota 2 in 2021?

Well, enough to confirm is not dying anytime soon.

It’s not as popular as League of Legends, but still averages 650,000 active players every month. And that number might rise with the release of its Netflix animated show “Blood Dragon.”

Are you ready to learn more about Dota 2 in 2021?



What is Dota 2?

Dota 2 is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, or MOBA, type of game, which means that it’s a mixture of two types of games: RPG and RTS.

It’s an RPG because it involves heroes and many of the elements of RPG games, like experience, items, skills, gold, talents, etc.

And it’s an RTS because it’s played in the real-time strategy format. You need to make quick decisions, respond to attacks, plan your offensive, take objectives on the map, and so on.

Think Warcraft 3 plus Diablo 3 and you will get a better picture of what Dota 2 is.

Of course, you won’t fully appreciate Dota 2 until you’ve played it for a while. The thing that makes it so addictive is the mixture of complexity, replayability, and freedom.

In this game, you can be as creative as you want to be. Many of the heroes are highly sophisticated and the better you get at playing them, the higher your impact will be on each of your games.

When learning how to play Dota 2, notice the evolution of each game.

Initially, you start with almost nothing: very little gold and a level 1 hero.

But as you gain gold and experience by killing enemy creeps and heroes, you advance in level and can buy more powerful items from the shop.

The maximum level you can reach is 30 and the maximum number of item slots you can fill is six, plus the one reserved for Teleportation Scrolls.

In Dota 2, heroes evolve very rapidly and some of them get strong.

The key is to grow faster than your enemies in level and gold so that you can buy better items and impose your rhythm on the game.

At a professional level, you’ll see teams taking advantage and then snowball out of control.

Without doubts, Dota 2 is still worth playing in 2021, but even for beginners and as with almost every other game out there, it is better played with friends!


How to Find Friends to Play Dota 2

There are three main ways to find new friends to play Dota 2 with or against.

1) In-game Request

The first one is by adding them inside the game using the Friend ID.
This will show up on your profile or your friend’s, below Steam’s username.

You can also get it on the Friend’s tab.

Here’s a short (32-second) tutorial to learn how to do it:

It teaches you how to add a Dota player if you have befriended that person on Steam before.

Although it is not needed, because you can still create a party and invite someone with the ID (without accepting or requesting “friendship”).

If you’re having problems adding someone on Steam, maybe it’s because your account or that person’s account is too new or any of the two has spent any money on Steam before.

You’ll need to do it before adding someone as a friend ($5 on the Store is enough).

In the case that you don’t have that person on Steam…


2) LFG (Looking for Group/Squad) Dota 2 Discord Servers

There aren’t many Discord servers specialized for this game, but the two non-Russian ones are good enough to find others to play with.

/r/Dota2: The official Discord server of its subreddit. A great place to discuss, get assistance and learn more about the game (including its tournaments).

Dota 2 Scrims: Speaking of the competitive scene, this server has over 10k pro players who are looking for tryouts and the best teams to join in.

But of course…


3) G1 Community (Finder)

The best place to meet Dota 2 players is G1.

We understand that the player base is smaller but loyal.

So, here’s a place where you can gather with like-minded Dota 2 players and get known in the community. It only takes a few minutes to register and you’ll have the chance to win free skins for interacting inside the platform.

Dota 2 Free Skins


How to Install Dota 2?

Valve is the parent company behind Steam. They have also developed Dota 2.

So, if you want to start playing this game, you’ll need to first register an account on Steam. Next, download the Steam client from here and then proceed to install it.

Install Steam

After you do all of that, then it is time to install Dota 2 by following this link: Dota 2 Store Page or by searching for “Dota 2” on the store page tab.

Click on the “Install” button, wait for it to finish, and press “Play Now” to… Play now.

Dota 2 Install

Luckily, Dota 2 is free-to-play and lightweight, with low-end requirements.

Here’s a comparison between minimum requirements vs. recommended specs to play Dota 2 on Windows 7 (or newer), Mac OS X (Mavericks 10.9 or newer), and Linux (Ubuntu 12.04 or newer) that Steam provides:

  • Processor: Dual-core from Intel or AMD at 2.8 GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: nVidia GeForce 8600/9600GT (Driver v331), ATI/AMD Radeon HD2600/3600 (Driver mesa 10.5.9 or Catalyst 15.7), Intel HD 3000 (Driver mesa 10.6)
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 15 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX / OpenAL Compatible

Despite what some users have shared online, the game is not pay-to-win.

Indeed, the game does offer many different skins and other cosmetic items but there’s no proof that they ever give you an advantage on an in-game match.

Right from the beginning, you can play everything the game has to offer. Every single hero in the game can be freely played without the need to either grind the game or invest money to unlock it.



How to Start Playing Dota 2 (Beginners Guide)

So, you launch the game and find yourself in the main menu. 

Once inside, you can hit “Play Dota” on the lower right to start the multiplayer match-making but I would recommend you to start with the tutorial if it’s the first time you play the game. 

The Dota 2 tutorial can be found on the “Learn” tab. Once you click on it, you’ll see the “Tutorials” sub-header with several missions that introduce the mechanics. 

Even if you’ve played other MOBAs, you’ll understand that this one is different from the rest. 

You can also choose to play versus bots to test your skills and knowledge. 

Before each game, the two teams get to choose heroes from a list of over 100 options. Each hero is unique and can be played in one or more roles within a team.

These roles separate into two categories: core (midlaner, offlaner, and carry) and support (roamer and support).

Most heroes excel at one particular role and are not well-suited for the opposite one.

For example, you can’t play Templar Assassin (midlaner) as support. She would have almost nothing to offer to your team from this role, simply because she is built to be a right-click damage dealer and is heavily item-dependent.

After the 10 players have picked their heroes – ideally two supports and three cores per team – the match begins.

By this time, the players have used their initial gold to buy some items and consumables and have gone to their lanes.

Watch for lane creeps, which spawn every 30 seconds and attack everything that stands in their way. Their behavior is simple, though, and can be eliminated easily.

Go down the lane, attack all enemies along the way, and then all enemy structures when no other enemies are around.


How Does Ranks Work in Dota 2?

Like any esport, Dota 2 has a ladder that you can climb to compete with better and better players. These ranks go from Herald to Immortal and are eight in total. Each of them has five additional subranks, symbolized by stars.

Dota 2 Ranks
Roman Kosolapov/123RF

Every time you win a game, you get around 25 points.
Every time you lose a game, you lose around 25 points.
And the better you get, the more games you will win at any given rank.

Of course, you can choose not to play at all if you don’t get comfortable with the game at all. Especially on Ranked matches, where you patience is tested.

Here’s how to uninstall it.


How to Uninstall Dota 2?

Because the game is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux, we’ll share step-by-step instructions on how to do this for every system.


To Uninstall Dota 2 on Every System (Windows, macOS, and Linux)

Open the Steam client > Right-click on Dota 2 > Manage > “Uninstall”

Uninstall Dota 2 from Client


To Uninstall Dota 2 on Windows:

  • Method #1: Find the game’s installation folder > Search for “uninstall.exe” > Double-click and follow the uninstall wizard.

Dota 2 uninstall


Method #2: Open “Programs and Features” > Click on “Uninstall a Program” > Find Dota 2 and click on the “uninstall” button.

Method #3: Use an antivirus or uninstall software.


To Uninstall Dota 2 on macOS

If you think about it, we have introduced guidelines for every system (individually and grouped) because every person has its preferences.

Although it’s important to mention that built-in and third-party uninstallers DON’T remove every game file.

Instead, remove the executable and most files but leave leftovers. This abandoned file library (caches, preferences, plugins) can affect your Mac’s performance.

The solution? Deleting all associated files manually.

You can find them here:


By the way, navigating and manipulating the game’s files doesn’t make you feel like a hacker?

… Speaking of hackers: here’s what you didn’t know about “Dota 2 cheats.” It’s not what you’re thinking about.


How to Use Cheats in Dota 2?

There’s no doubt online games are full of cheats.

The more popular it is, the more cheats it probably has.

So, Dota 2 is not the exception, right?

Well, even if Valve’s anti-hack system was good enough to catch most dirty cheaters, the new “Overwatch” is here for players to review bad behavior and sentence them.


What is DOTA Overwatch system?

Although it’s the name of a game, it’s also the new system Valve uses to take down hackers and smurfs. It’s very similar to the one that CS:GO has been benefiting from for a long time.

A wave of new players is incoming thanks to the animation series and the low elo can be punishing for beginners when queued against smurfs. Even for Pro’s facing hackers.

Every player will get many weekly reports to use wisely and report under categories, by clicking on the “red flag” near the player’s name and KDA, on the post-match scoreboard:

  • Feeding
  • Ability Abuse
  • Suspicious Movement/Casts
  • Scripting/Hacking
  • Griefing

You can report the same player, several times during the game, without using extra reports.

Once the report is done, a case will be assigned to specific, highly-reputed Dota 2 community members who would judge if the “hacker/smurf” is guilty or not.

Believe me, a good chunk of the community waited for this feature for a long time.

Although, not all cheating is bad cheating. This is what I mean: there are two other categories of permitted cheats for Dota 2.


How to Enable Dota 2 Cheat Commands

The first one can only be used in practice mode (custom game against bots) to set special parameters. You’ll first need to enable them by heading to your settings inside the lobby and tap on the checkbox option or to open the console and enter “command sv_cheats 1” inside.

Here’s a full list of Cheat commands for Heroes, Units, Item Names (Basic, Upgraded, Neutral, Events). Be aware, these are the only Valve-approved cheats/commands.

Third-party software will otherwise get you hit by the ban hammer.

Other ways in which you can configure the game, is by installing themed Mods.


Can You Mod Dota 2?

Mods are among the best things that PC gaming has. And Dota 2 has a lot of them available for free. These let you customize the aesthetic of your Hero’s cosmetic items, particle effects, ability icons, HUD skins, and more.

There’s bad news and there’s bad news related to them.

The bad news is that only you’ll be able to see the change. Other players will see the default appearance.

The good news is that in most cases, mods are safe to use, although heavy modifications could trigger the Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) alarms.

One of the main directories offering these is
Inside, you’ll find easy-to-follow instructions (video and text).

Modding often makes the game feel unique. After all, there are so many heroes, but…


How many Dota 2 maps are there?

Dota 2 has just one map. And it’s simply called “Map”.

But in its favor, it’s said that League of Legend’s map is about 60% the size of data one, with a total size of 20,000 x 20,000 game units.

Although Dota’s 2 map seems to be smaller than the DotA classic map.

Similarly, as with other MOBAs, the Dota 2 map consists of two sides (one for Radiants and the other for Dires) and three different lanes (top, mid, and bottom), joined by the River.

Each leads to the other team’s base, which is guarded by defensive structures end-to-end:

  • Towers: Each team has several placed along the lanes. The deal high single-target damage, especially in the early stages of the game. To destroy them, you have to leverage on minions and let them take the damage for you.


  • Barracks: They’re placed behind towers to “reproduce” melee and ranged creeps. Your team’s creeps will gain a buff for each you destroy from the enemy team.


  • Outposts: These are located within the first jungle side and cannot be destroyed. Instead, they provide experience when you right-click on it and provide both True Sight and grant vision to the team who has conquered the Outpost.


  • Effigies: All seven surround each base to block enemy creeps to reach Tier-4 towers.

Each team has to make its way to the enemy base with the help of minions (low-health AI creatures) and destroy the Ancient to win the match. This building doesn’t attack but will restore health over time.

Now, that’s as detailed as I can get with the map, considering it’s often changing but these elements stay the same.

For example, the Dawnbreaker Update arrived on April 9th and not only stats were changed but also specific locations in the map, as in the case of T1 and T2 towers which now have trees on both sides.

The small camp near Radiant’s T1 bottom tower was also moved away.

Dota 2 Map Update 1 Dota 2 Map Update 2


Dota 2 Statistics Every Gamer Should Know In 2020

  • Dota’s longevity is around 10 years.
  • There are over 100 heroes and hundreds of items.
  • Each hero has at least four abilities, eight talents, plus six item slots (excluding the Teleportation Scroll one).
  • The most played Dota 2 hero, by far, is Pudge. This hero, known as The Butcher, was initially made popular by Dendi, one of the original Na’Vi players who won the first TI.
  • The International or the Dota 2 World Championship first took place in 2011, with a prize pool unheard of at the time: $1.6 million. It was 10 times bigger than what the biggest esports events had offered up until that point.
  • · The International 1: $1.6 million
    · The International 2: $1.6 million
    · The International 3: $2.8 million
    · The International 4: $10.9 million
    · The International 5: $18.4 million
    · The International 6: $20.7 million
    · The International 7: $24.7 million
    · The International 8: $25.5 million
    · The International 9: $34.3 million
  • All Battle Pass purchases would boost the prize pool of The International, because 25% of their cost would go directly to this prize.
  • The International 2019 competition had 18 teams and even the competitors that finished 13th – 16th made over $500,000.
  • Only one team has won The International twice.


You’ve made it down so far!

Believe it or not, you’re now more informed and knowledgeable of Dota 2 than 50% of the worldwide playerbase.

From now on, you can only have some fun playing or watching some memes. Or, learn more from popular dota 2 streamers.

Marco Morales

Esports Marketer. Marco is the Founder of DFY Gaming. He types for a living but writes awfully on pen and paper.

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