How to Play DotA

Defense of the Ancients, or DotA, is a map in the game Warcraft 3. It was created by players and is arguably the most popular custom map ever made. It combines strategy, skill, teamwork, and a little luck. DotA is relatively fast-paced for a role playing game; as a result, it can be a little difficult for beginners to get the hang of it. With a little practice and some helpful tips, however, even a beginner can start succeeding in DotA in no time.

Part 1 of 2: Install DotA

1.Make sure you have Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, along with a account.

  • You can virtually purchase Warcraft III from Blizzard by visiting The Blizzard Storeor by purchasing it from a retail supplier.
  • Connect to and create an account. You will need this to play DotA Try to make your account name distinctive and memorable.

2.Download the DotA map.
Visit Get DotA and click on "Download" on the "Latest Map" half of the screen. Save the file someplace you have access to it easily.

3.Copy and paste the file in your maps folder. The maps folder is located in your game's directory.

4.Boot up Warcraft III and log in to The latest patch will automatically be downloaded when you log in.

Part 2 of 2: Strategize and Play

1.Join a game.

Choose a game from the “Custom Game” list. It should say DotA, then the version, and the various game modes.

  • The most common game modes include:
    • "-ap," which lets you choose any hero;
    • "-em," which makes the game easier;
    • "-ar," which gives each player a random hero.
  • If you’re just beginning, you may want to try the random hero choice for a few games so you can familiarize yourself with several of the characters. If you already have a good knowledge of one hero, you’re probably better off choosing that hero. If it is your first game, however, choose an easy hero to play, such as Skeleton King, who has the "Reincarnation" ability which will bring him back to life when killed.
  • To choose a hero, click on one of the buildings you see, or ones in the opposite corner of the map, and you will see a list of all the heroes you can choose from. Select one of these or type "–random" to get a random hero.

2.Buy a few basic items for your hero

Start by finding what type of hero you have: Strength, Intelligence, or Agility. Generally, you can tell what kind of hero you have by looking at which stat is the highest.

  • You can view the stats by clicking your hero and looking to the right of the unit portrait. Based on this, look through the shops, and buy items that will boost these skills. In the beginning, you should stick to the Female Human's shop or the shop nearest to the fountain, which contains the "Boots of Speed" item. The Boots item is absolutely essential to success, as it allows your character to move around more quickly; when in trouble this is exactly what you need. If you’re not very good, you may especially want to stock up on defensive items like Bracers.
  • Some items combined together make more powerful items. These combinations are called recipes. Later in the game you will start buying recipes, which are found at the other shops. To get these items, you must buy all the items listed in the description. If the recipe does not cost gold, it means that you just need to accumulate the items in the description, and you don't need to buy the recipe itself. A recipe's power is dictated by the shop it is found in. Going from weakest to strongest, these shops are: the Human Peasant shop, Orc Peon shop, Night Elf Wisp shop, and Undead Acolyte shop.
  • As you progress you will also need to buy items that are more designed for your hero. The best way to find what these items are is to ask other players in the game. However, many players may prove to be of very little help, and might harass you until you get fed up and leave the game. The best idea is to simply ignore such people and persevere until you do not require the help of other players.

3.Upgrade your primary skill.

Click the symbol of the Red Cross in your character's menu, look at your skills, and choose the one you think is most useful.

4.Choose your lane

A lane is the path where the computer controlled monsters, or creeps, will run down and attack all enemies in their path. Try to get into a lane with an ally and follow their example. You will get gold for each creep you kill, and you will automatically get gold over time. (You will get a lot more gold over time in Easy Mode than non-easy mode.) To maximize your gold, don't attack creeps constantly, watch their health gauges carefully and time the last hit to get gold.

  • When fighting in a lane, the goal is to stay and get experience as much as possible without having to go back to your base and heal. You gain experience points by being in the vicinity of a kill, so you can stand back behind your friendly creeps and then attack the enemy creeps, while your creeps are taking all of the damage.
  • If you end up alone in a lane, don't be afraid to ask for help. If you are inexperienced and the opponents in your lane are just too good for you, explain to your teammates that you are new, and they will probably help you. You may be able to get somebody to switch lanes with you if your lane is being pushed, or somebody may team up with you in your lane.

5.Know your position in the team battle.

The main problem for beginners in DotA is that they are bit confused about what to do during team battle. There are manyplaying styles but these are the the most important and commonly known. Other styles will come with the gaming experience.

  • Ganker. These types of heroes usually have with high HP (hit points) and powerful area spells. They can take a lot of hits and do a lot of damage too. A hero like Axe is one of them.
  • Carry. These types of heroes are supposed to get killed for the team. They are usually active from the mid game to the end. These heroes have a lot of damaging spells and attacks. Heroes like Phantom Lancer are Carries.
  • Supportive. These types of heroes are very important in a game. They support the team-mate (especially the Carry) to get kills and not to get killed. Dazzle is an example of a Supportive hero.
  • Baby sitter. This type of playing style is usually required when the Carry is having trouble getting kills. Hence, a Baby sitter's duty is to help the Carry get kills until he is able to farm by him.

6.Avoid wasting your abilities on creeps.

Use your skills on heroes to weaken them, and then call for a gank, or gang kill, where your teammate(s) come from behind the enemy hero and you both attack, hopefully killing the enemy. When an enemy is killed, you pick up their gold.

7.Use the towers to your advantage.

The towers in the lanes are very powerful; don't mess with your opponent’s towers. Instead, let your creeps damage them little by little. On the other hand, if your hero is weakened, you may be able to stay alive by staying very close to your tower.

  • Move around a little bit so that you can always stay behind the tower. As enemies approach, they’ll have to deal with the tower instead of you.
  • If, however, 3 or more heroes or creeps are ganging your tower, move away. You may just need to go back to home base.

8.Get advice on what to buy.

Once you have a good amount of money from killing creeps/heroes, ask your teammates what they recommend you buy. Then go back to your base and buy that item/recipe. The right choice of items for your hero can make the difference between life and death, so don’t just buy things randomly.

  • Different conditions call for different items. During a group fight, if your team mates are getting killed by a single hero who seems impossible to kill, you might decide to make "Orchid" or "Cyclone" or "Hex." Then you'll be able to buy some time to gather all your friends around the enemy hero and tank him or her.

9.Focus on killing opposing heroes as the end of the game nears.

Towards the end of the game, you’ll want to earn as much experience (from kills) as possible, so you should try to kill heroes. Of course, you should still kill creeps if you are behind everyone in levels, and if you need money. Remember, DotA is a team game—help your team in any way you can.

10.Remember the object of the game.

The ultimate goal of the game is to destroy the enemy’s base and their main building (The Frozen Throne or the Tree of Life). As you destroy the enemy’s barracks, your creeps get stronger, so this should also be a priority.

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