This is a guide for new players and new players only. It will detail many things to bring yourself up to a level where Dota would actually be fun (unless you like learning the game). This is a work-in-progress guide. Terminology This guide will make heavy use of the following words: Last-Hitting - Dealing the killing blow onto a target grants you gold. Denying - Dealing the killing blow onto an ally denies your enemies experience. Harassing - Whittling down the enemy's Hit Points. Minimap - A map detailing the positions of visible units. Important items TP Scroll - A scroll that allows you to teleport to nearby structures. Always carry one after the 5 minute mark. Black King Bar - An item that grants magical immunity. Purchase it if you find yourself unable to do anything because of spells the enemy cast at you. Mekansm - An item which heals your entire team. Get it if you are a support. Communicate with your team to see if somebody else will get it. Pipe of Insight - An item that creates an anti-magic shield for your whole team. Get it if you see the enemy heroes killing your heroes with spells. Crimson Guard - The physical equivalent of Pipe of Insight. Starting hours You downloaded Dota from your computer, and wanted to start a game. You heard that this is a hard game, and you should probably read a guide before starting a game. You read this guide, and now you are at this chapter. (insert tl'dr image of keys here) First of all, your hotkeys will be Q, W, E, R (abilities), and Z, X, C, V, B, N (items). Of the item keys, C and V are the easiest to reach, and you should put your high-use items there. Z is a hard-to-reach key, so put your teamfight item (mek, refresher orb, any high cooldown item with a hefty mana cost) here. X is quite hard to reach, but it can still be done (rotate your keyboard slightly), so put your TP scroll there. B and N are ridiculously hard to reach. Put passive items/Arcane Boots/Wards/your least-used items there. (images pending) A is your Attack key. Use it to attack things. S is your Stop key. Use it to cancel a failed last-hit or skillshot before you launch it. Also, enable all the 'ALT show' options. You will need it. Entering a game You enter a game. You meet 10K smurfs. While otherwise, you would get completely destroyed by them, this time, you are prepared. This guide will not teach you how to last-hit. I got to 3K MMR without playing a hero who last-hit things in the first 10 minutes of the game. If you want to learn to last-hit (after you have locked your favourite hero), go practice last-hitting for 12 hours and come back. However, there is an item that helps you last-hit. That item is Quelling Blade. Purchase it on every single hero marked as Carry, and is Melee (128 attack range, except Templar Assassin). Roles There are many roles in the game. Here is a break-down of roles in the game. Note: Some carries have multiple roles (playstyles). Hard Carry Boring heroes who does nothing but hit creeps until they have the required farm. Effective for winning games, but may turn you off. If you want to play a creep-hitter (or want to transition into a creep-hitter because nothing is going on, such as Storm Spirit hitting jungle creeps while waiting for the next kill opportunity), there are five things you must know: Actually last-hit the creeps. Farm the jungle. Push the wave so you can hit towers. Watch out for ganks. Don't do 2-4 until you have sufficient items (or levels) (or a zip) (or a Blink) (or if you are confident enough in your stats) Stack the camp by running away if you are farming it and the clock hits :53 (Camps respawn at :00. Look at the clock above to know when to stack) Here is your gameplan: Last-hit everything Buy 1 regeneration item (Bottle, Morbid Mask, Ring of Health) (skip if your hero is also a jungler) Auto-attack (last-hit when a creep is low), farm nearest source of farm (usually a jungle) after you cleared the farm. Maybe hit a tower or two. Get all your items (All your core items, and enough situational items to fill your slots) Auto-attack/cast spells/hero-specific strategy to win game. Here are things that can threaten your gameplan Ganks (purchase a ward) Camping your jungle (purchase smoke and farm the enemy jungle) Enemies sieging highground before you have enough items (either defend anyway, or try to trade barracks for barracks) Best heroes in this role Terrorblade (requires no start-up farm secured by support to farm quickly, can trade towers really well, can farm faster than most other heroes, no need to last hit early on because he start in the jungle. Perfect beginner hero for this role). Juggernaut (great sustain, great magic-immunity spell that can be comboed with Teleportation Scroll to escape, reasonable farming speed, can kill minor threats easily) Team Carry These heroes make space for their team by getting lots of kills, creating an aura of fear for the enemy team, and giving them a ridiculously high kill-score. These heroes are fun to play, effective for climbing MMR, but requires a higher amount of game knowledge and skill to play properly. Masters of these heroes always get a high KDA, and only lose because their teammates are ridiculously bad. These are the perfect heroes to get to ratings where you will only play with substandard players. Note that heroes in this role requires more skill (or hero knowledge) than other roles, and often requires a keen understanding of the minimap, and the ability to predict player positions to play properly. Do not play these heroes if you intend to post on PlayDota forums, since you will get called out for having dunning-kruger. Most of these heroes also require the only solo lane in the game (almost all the time), so getting two of these will result in one not doing anything. As you can see, team carries are a very diverse bunch, all with differing playstyles. Some of these carries might not suit you, some does, some PD members might dispute Tusk/Necrophos/Riki/Troll/etc in this list, some might use them to great effect. Committing to any one of these heroes usually take a ridiculously long amount of time (for a new player), and requires separate guides for each of these heroes. Don't play a hero as a team-carry until you have mastered the basics, otherwise you might be a team-feeder (which is not good). However, if you insist to play a team-carry in your first game, I recommend you trying out the hero in a bot-game until you know the ins and outs of a hero. For example, did you know Puck can dodge most things with her 0 mana cost Phase Shift? Here are some good beginner heroes to play, when playing a Team-Carry. The following heroes require considerably less skill to start out, but, to succeed in higher-skilled games, require a better understanding of the game: Ursa (big bear that kills anyone he touches. Max Fury Swipes or Overpower, kill everything that you can hit. The trick is to get near them, and make sure you can stick to them) Huskar. Leap on someone and kill him. Beware of TP scrolls. At higher MMRs, you must get your health low before doing it, so they don't just TP out on you. Phantom Assassin. Open with Stifling Dagger, and Blink Strike. At higher levels, you must prime your critical strike by spamming A and S on a creep before killing someone. If you still insist on playing a Team-Carry, here are some tips I could give you: Demo your hero. Many heroes in this category has some sort of skillshot. Get a good feeling of their speed and cast time. Enter from the back of the lane if possible. The extra time spent getting to a good flanking position will make it easier to kill your target. Look at the minimap for potential kills. Most of these heroes are farm-reliant. Even if they are not farm-reliant, you should be hitting creeps while waiting. This will give you some more gold when you are unable to initiate a good gank. Carry a TP scroll. If someone dives, that's a free kill for you. Ward the enemy jungle. Do not trust your supports to do it for you. The wards in the enemy jungle might give you vision of a target. Roaming Support The new player's Team Carry, the Roaming Support does what the Team Carry does, with some important differences. He roams the map at minute one, creating an aura of fear at a time when your Team-Carry is still acquiring the levels necessary to carry his team. However, Roaming Supports fall off at higher levels of gameplay unless a lot more skill is added. These heroes are even more unreliable than Team-Carries, and thus require an even greater skill advantage to utilise properly. These heroes are the perfect heroes to get into Dota, as they are fun and requires little to no start-up to do their job. Roaming supports should be off the map for as long as possible, only appearing to intimidate, harass or kill a player. Failure to perform as a Roaming Support will result in loss of XP without achieving anything. Here are some tips when playing a Roaming Support You will be camping the mid-lane most of the time. Harass when you can reach the enemy mid hero. Take note of the enemy vision - heroes and creeps cannot see up cliffs, so cliffs are a good place to hide. Hide your hero when the enemy hero is hiding too. Go in for the kill when the enemy hero has over-extended (he is in the river, or is out of tower attack range), and there are no creeps behind him (creep positions are mirrored. Check the position of your own and mirror them). Go and bother another lane if the enemy mid hero is too hard to harass properly (can sit near the creepwave while taking little damage). Farm (if you can, read hero guides for that) if you can't do anything. Defensive support These are heroes with great heals or gank disruption. They keep your team alive, while they wallow in their lack of kills, and slowly cry to themselves. Pick these heroes when you want to win games at all costs. Do not pick these heroes if you want to be part of the action. These heroes usually sit in their safelane, being the stereotypical support player who purchase wards, stack, harass, and are blamed when they lose. NOTE: Legion Commander's presence in this list is debatable. Here are some tips for these heroes: Carry TP scroll Heal teammates ??? Win Do some other stuff like zoning people in your free time. Here are other stuff these heroes can do: Stack camps. Attack a camp when the time is :55 (Some camps can be stacked at :53) and run away. Creeps respawn at :00. Look at the clock above to check the time. Pull creeps. When your creeps are equidistant to the point in your lane where the path to the camp you want to pull is shortest, attack the camp and run to your lane. The creeps will attack the creeps in the camp. Harass offlaners. Try to get a flanking position, then right-click them. Pull back then they run towards you, then hit them when they run away. Initiator (AoE Disable) These heroes have the big stuns. They go in, disable four people, and wait for their team (or their abilities) to wipe the ones they disabled. NOTE: Winter Wyvern makes the target immune during Winter's Curse, which is why she is not in the list. Tips Cast your initiation spell first. Perform the other duties of the hero when his initiation is on cooldown (or whack heroes) (look at other roles). If other duties cannot be performed, farm until it is off-cooldown. Initiator (Single-Target) These heroes have the small stuns. While the big stun heroes goes in and cast their spells in glorious fashion, these heroes remove a single hero from the fight. Pick these heroes over the AoE initiators when they have a single high-priority target. Tips Don't stay near the enemy heroes for too long. Remember: you can only stun one guy. Your job is to allow your team to burst a single hero quickly. Select the most threatening target and disable him. An AoE initiator might be better if they have multiple high-threat heroes. Combo-Heroes These heroes help your team land stuff, either by giving them a better position, disabling heroes, or pulling them together. Great for comboing with heroes who experience difficulty landing their stuff. Tips Don't save enemies with their spells.