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How to play DOTA like a Pro

Updated on October 24, 2012

Defense of the Ancients is a famous World of Warcraft 3 map played by millions around the globe. This map even inspired other game companies to create versions with better graphics but somehow the same gameplay concept. Probably the most interesting feature of DOTA is that every game is unique from the previous ones. You can use the same hero over and over again yet the experience is different. There are numerous items to choose from and hero combinations to try. Moreover, this game is very competitive as it is won mainly through strategy. If you are interested to play DOTA like a pro but does not know how to start, this article is certainly the best place to be. Here are a few important tips that can help you be a better DOTA player in no time.

Choose the Correct Starting Items

Probably the most crucial items in the game are the ones you need to purchase at the beginning. In fact, you can easily pinpoint a newbie from a pro by simply looking at their starting item choices. There are a lot of factors to consider in selecting what item to purchase at the start of a DOTA game. The gold is limited so you just can’t have them all. Your main goal must be survivability. You need to stay in your lane as long as possible so you can gain more experience, money, and probably a few kills as well. Ironwood branch is a must. You can tell that this item is important by simply referring to its description. Truly, this item assures a good game. Some of you may think that adding one to all stats won’t help that much but keep in mind that even a few hit points bonus can help you survive an ambush. You must also bring with you healing items. One salve paired with a tango is good enough. Tango has three charges and it does not dispel under fire so they will surely come in handy.

Look at the Minimap Often

Being aware of the enemy’s location is very important in DOTA. This will help you decide whether to advance and go for a push or retreat and find shelter on your tower. Placing wards in certain parts of the map can also help you be safer. If you know when an ambush is commencing, it would be easier for you to avoid it. The Minimap is also helpful in the offensive side as it can update you regarding your teammate’s current positions. Most DOTA clashes are won through excellent player position so it must never be regarded lightly.

Know Your Role in the Team

Every hero in DOTA excels on a certain role. For example, Earthshaker is a perfect initiator while Centaur is good in tanking. You must be aware of your hero’s role on the team. This will help you decide what items to purchase. The team captain often decides which plays as a tank, carry, initiator, support, or ganker. Focus in playing your role effectively as incompetency could compromise the overall performance of the team.


In any game, practice makes perfect. However, you can’t play DOTA perfectly. You’ll definitely come up with a few lapses during a game. This is normal as even the best DOTA players experience it. This is one of the main reasons why many still play DOTA even after 10 years when the first version of the map was released. Be reminded that his game is quite addictive. Playing all day on your own won’t help you much in becoming a DOTA player. It would be better if you practice with your friends so you can come up with strong hero combinations. Don’t forget that DOTA is all about teamwork.

Accept Defeat like a Pro

You’ll surely face defeat every once in a while. DOTA is very unpredictable. Even a team composed of a bunch of beginners can come up with a win against and experienced team. Accepting defeat the positive way is one proof of being a professional DOTA player. Do a recap and study what went wrong in your team’s performance. You will eventually realize that you can learn a lot more from a loss than a win.

Unbelievable Mirana Nightshade Arrows!


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    • profile image

      obama 5 years ago

      I like how you said DOTA is a "world of warcraft 3 map". Haha, you really have no clue about the game's origin, do you?

    • Alma Cabase profile image

      Alma Cabase 5 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you very much for liking my hub. This game is a stress reliever for me and my friends. So we play a lot way back in college. We still do now in an occasional basis though.

      Keep safe.



    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 5 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      A lot of people go on about DOTA and I never knew what the craze was about. They make it sound like a completely different game, let alone a map for Warcraft 3. You've been popping up on my feed regularly, so I'll have a look at these articles. Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • Alma Cabase profile image

      Alma Cabase 5 years ago from Philippines


      Despite being old, my friends and I still find some time to play it during the weekends.

      Thank you for the comment.



    • jdrogers91 profile image

      Jimmy Rogers 5 years ago from Muscatine, IA

      The thumbnail for this article alone makes me miss WC3 and all the fun games that spawned from there. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. :D