The Ultimate Dota 2 Guide Part 2: Useful Resources In Dota
There are a ton of Dota guides out there – but very few of them bother to explore the most useful resources in Dota 2.
On that note, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide with details on all the key resources that are associated with Dota 2 and its comunity.
P.S This article is part two of our four-part Dota 2 guide. Click here if you missed out on part one of the guide which is centered around how to get started with Dota.
Without further ado, let’s dive into part 2 of the guide;
While there are certainly plenty of nifty features in the game that you can take advantage of, there are tons of resources outside the game as well.
These are usually created and maintained by the community, for the community, simply due to their sheer love and passion for the game. Others are provided by Valve themselves. But given their horrible track record of promoting and advertising the game, there’s a good chance that you’ll never find out about them on your own, unless you really go looking. So, let’s see what they are!
Dota 2 Wiki
This is a repository of almost anything and everything related to Dota 2. Basically, an encyclopaedia of knowledge that no human could possibly go through and consume in one sitting (or a dozen). It includes everything that the in-game glossary has, and then some. Information about every hero, a history of the changes that were made to them, all the cosmetics ever created for them, a detailed section for the lore and even content never before released into the game.
If there’s ever something you’re curious about, you can always come visit the Dota 2 Wiki and search for it. The site is maintained and kept up-to-date by its passionate and dedicated editors. Be sure to check out the sections on the various Console Commands and Launch Options that can enhance your experience by tweaking the game, which you will find almost nowhere else but here!
While the Dota 2 Wiki contains all the technical knowledge of the game in an encyclopaedic fashion, Liquipedia serves the purpose of being your one and only portal into the professional scene. It does have a lot of information similar in nature to the Wiki, but details about the professional players, teams, tournaments and transfers is where it truly shines. It even has an entire history of the development of the game, right from the very first mod up to what we know today as Dota 2. And although we covered the history of the game in short at the beginning of this article, it is truly fascinating to read the full history on this site.
It also shows you details about the Dota Pro Circuit, the professional championship circuit. It is where players of the highest calibre play in high stakes tournaments to win massive rewards in prize money and claim fame as the best Dota 2 players in the world.
We will talk about this in more detail later, but what you need to know about Liquipedia is that you will find all the necessary information about that here. And if you’re ever curious about who a particular community member is, and what they are known for, you can read up about them on this website. Be it a professional player, caster, host or coach, chances are they have a page here.
Given the complex and deep nature of Dota 2, it is only natural for it to have a massive different number of metrics by which it can be analysed. That is why there are several sites dedicated to recording, displaying and interpreting statistics related to the game for people to use and learn from.
These can range from individual statistics for players to see for their own interest, or statistics of professional and high tier players, to see what is considered best at any given point of time. There are also stats about specific heroes, ability and item builds, the ‘meta’ of tournaments and the latest trends based on the current patch of the game. The list goes on, but every site has something unique to offer, so let’s take a look.
First is Dotabuff, the most popular stats site for Dota 2. Here, you can sign up using your Steam account to look at your own personal statistics. The design of the site is fairly simple and easy to use, with many sections for studying the meta and trends going on.
You can also find stats for items and specific game modes, and filter data in a ton of ways. Overall, we would recommend this site for those who want a simple interface. Plus, there’s a good chance that a player you know has a profile here. The downside is that not all features on the site are kept updated.
Then there is Stratz. This is one of the newer sites, but has already proven itself to be one of the most useful and innovative. It also has several features that many other sites don’t, like detailed and curated stats for particular game modes, especially holiday event modes. It gives you a host of information about your performance in games, hero guides based on successful matches in high rank games and leaderboards for a variety of metrics.
The site is well maintained and constantly updated with new and interesting features. Stratz is strongly recommended for anyone who is serious about Dota 2 and enjoys the niche stuff.
There is also OpenDota, however, it doesn’t have as many features as the previous two sites do. One thing that stands out about it is that it has a ‘Combos’ feature that allows you to find a particular match based on the hero lineups of both teams. This is something that the other two sites don’t have.
And finally, there is DatDota, which has statistics specific to the professional scene. In that regard, there is no other site like it. You can filter and find data in just about any way you can imagine, which makes it super useful for those who want to study the pro meta in depth.
News surrounding the game
There is always something going on in the world of Dota 2. And you will learn soon enough, that a major part of the fun stuff is about staying informed about things outside the game itself. As you grow to like Dota 2, you will naturally want to know about what else is going on. There are a few important places for this.
The first, is the official Dota 2 site. It has a ‘News’ section that informs you of the latest and most important updates, events and new features. This is information coming directly from Valve, so you can be sure you wouldn’t want to miss out on it. Additionally, it is a good idea to follow the official Dota 2 Twitter account.
Most of the updates you see here will basically be the ones you see on the official site mentioned before. But there are unique posts sometimes that may not be there on the site, so it’s good to follow this account.
Additionally, you can follow the Twitter account of Wykrhm Reddy, a community figure who is often first in posting about new Dota 2 updates and events. News about the professional scene and ongoing tournaments is also posted often. Keep note, that this is his personal Twitter account, so you may see some tweets unrelated to Dota 2. But we’ll leave it up to you to make the decision to follow or not.
Lastly, stay on the lookout for smaller changes on the ‘Updates’ section on the official site. This is usually where you’ll find news about fixes to bugs or other issues, and even small updates that don’t warrant an entire blog post of their own.
Keeping up with the patch notes
It is generally a good idea to check the ‘Patches’ page on the official Dota 2 site to stay informed of the latest gameplay related changes that affect the core of the game.
It can be a bit overwhelming to read patch notes at times, but it’s not something you can afford to miss if you want to get better at the game. Note that these patch notes can also be accessed inside the game client under the ‘Learn’ tab.
It’s not entirely necessary for you to read all the patch notes in the past. Just start from where you are and go from there. If you play only a handful of heroes (which is recommended), then read only the changes to those heroes.
As you discover more mechanics and technicalities in the game, you will understand how and why general patch changes affect the game. You can also see the latest changes to a hero in the strategy phase of a game, or by hovering over an ability during a game itself. So, this information is always available to you.
Challenges of the game
Now that you have a good idea of how to get into the game, where to access resources and which features in the game you should make good use of, let’s talk about the long-term challenges. This section further explores and explains what type of a game Dota 2 is, and you can decide whether it is your cup of tea or not.
There are four tenets of Dota 2. Master them all, and you have mastered the game. Don’t be so hasty to assume that this is an easy task. There are few in the entire world who could claim that they have truly mastered them all, and these are likely the greatest professional Dota 2 players in the world.
It’s easy for new players to get overwhelmed by the sheer knowledge that you could potentially learn about Dota 2. While we did provide you with a host of resources through which you can gain this knowledge, it still might not be enough.
There are things that you can only really learn by playing the game. Spell interactions, hero combinations, unusual item builds and hidden secrets about the map’s terrain, these are things that players learn about through the course of playing the game.
It’s not just new players, even those who have been playing Dota 2 for years still discover something new every day. And since the game keeps evolving and new heroes keep getting added, there are more and more things left to discover.
Having a strong grasp of this technical knowledge, and knowing what will happen when you take a certain action, allows your gameplay to have a higher predictability. And predictability means reliability in result. This is what wins games. And that’s why Dota 2 players like things that you can count on, instead of chance-based events that could cause chaos.
Dota 2 has often been compared to Chess, in that they are both strategic games with an almost infinite number of possibilities that both require practice and deep knowledge to master. The aspect of ‘technical know-how’ can be comparable to Chess, since Chess players often memorize and predict the possible movements of their opponents. However, there is one aspect that separates them. And that is teamwork.
Dota 2 has the struggle of being a team game that single-player games like Chess don’t have. It is not your individual skill that is paramount at defeating your opponents, but at how well you are able and willing to work with your team.
Sometimes, it’s not even that your team should have the best plan at hand, but that it should execute whatever plan you have single-mindedly. And that is also what makes Dota 2 so frustrating. It’s the fact that you have to coordinate and execute a plan with 4 strangers online who you have never met before. Sometimes, they may be worse than you. Sometimes, they may have a different plan than you. Sometimes, they may speak a different language. Sometimes, they may just not be willing to cooperate.
It is for this reason that toxicity festers, not just in Dota 2, but online multiplayer games in general. But that’s not something to lose hope over. Being able to master team play and the ability to work well with others can make you a stronger, better and more resilient player than little else.
In fact, it can make you a better human being overall, someone who is easier to talk to and hash out problems with in real life. A lot of Dota 2 players know they lack this skill, but are either unwilling or incapable of changing this about themselves. But those who do, ascend to a higher plane.
The mental game
Something that builds off of the fact that Dota 2 is a team-based game which requires the cooperation of 5 individuals to do one complicated, messy and unpredictable task, is the mental toll this puts on you.
For this reason, Dota 2 is not for neurotic people. It is for those who can remain calm during times of trouble, when all seems lost and there is no hope in sight.
Those who can find a way to victory even in the darkest of times. It could also be a way for neurotic people to help them become less so. But the path is not easy, and there are certainly other ways to get there.
A wise person once said, “There is no worse feeling in Dota 2 than to realize that you’re bad at the game”. And because it’s such a complex game, there’s a lot more potential for things to go wrong, than there is for things to go right.
You’ll see excuses come to your mind; your team being mediocre, bad luck or a host of environmental factors that may or may not affect the game. And they might be true to some extent as well. But ultimately, the path to winning the mental game is to realize that you and you alone are the reason for your lost games and the skill bracket you’re in.
The long haul
And that brings us to our final tenet. Dota 2 is a marathon, not a sprint. It is not a game that you can expect to be really good at in a matter of months, or even a couple of years.
There are people who have been playing this game for over a decade, but still struggle. And then there are those who grind every single day, play tons of matches and put all their focus and learning into improving bit by bit to reach their goals.
On average, you are expected to win about 50% of your games, if you’re in the skill bracket that you belong in. If you are improving, you’re probably winning 52-54% of your games at most. If you are getting worse, or don’t belong in your bracket, your win-rate will drop below 50%.
The key is not to win all your games, but to push the envelope above 50% and win just a few more games than you lose. This is the path to steady progression. And part of this also plays into the mental game. Because during the process of learning, you’re going to lose a lot of your games. Hopefully, you can keep your mind calm and manage to etch out a positive win-rate.
Okay, the tough, serious and challenging parts of the game are out of the way. Now for some fun stuff. A big part of getting to know and understanding Dota 2, is to know and understand its community.
Granted, there are some preconceived notions about us that might have some truth to them (hence the title of this guide), but sometimes that paints the entire community with one broad brush without acknowledging the positive aspects and nuances.
The Dota 2 community is extremely passionate about the game.
We live, breathe, eat and sleep Dota 2. It has also been said that Dota 2 players are among the most isolated communities on various platforms in the video game world.
And it’s true. When someone plays Dota 2, they ONLY play Dota 2!
It’s because the game is so engrossing and addictive that it leaves players with little to no time to do much else. You’ll see little to no crossover between the Dota 2 community and other video game communities. Hence, it only makes sense that you get at least a basic outline of what we’re all about.
The Dota 2 subreddit is where a lot of stuff goes down. It is probably the number one place that you should join and explore to keep up with the latest news (and drama), watch highlights from ongoing tournaments, get informed of any major event in the community and much, much more.
It’s also known for being a fairly toxic place, but that could be said about Reddit or the internet in general. As was pointed out before, the community is known to be very passionate about Dota 2, so if there’s any problem in the game, or anything that players don’t like, it will be posted about here.
But besides the complaints and criticisms, there’s a bunch of really fun and interesting content that you can find here. For example, artists from the community frequently post their artwork here for others to see. And that includes art of all kinds, paintings, digital art, 3D models and cosplay.
If there was one reason for you to join r/Dota2, this would be enough. Plus, every year around the International, Valve holds a short film contest for artists in the community who create short films for the opportunity to win prizes. And the subreddit is where you’ll usually see the submissions for this content posted.
If that isn’t enough for you, this might be. The Dota 2 subreddit has become such an integral part of the community, that even Valve employees communicate with players regarding updates, bug-fixes and news of upcoming patch notes. It may not be very often, but given Valve’s track record, it is quite impressive how often they communicate with the players, in comparison to fanbases of their other games.
Streaming is a cornerstone of just about any video game these days, especially online multiplayer games that attract large audiences. The same goes for Dota 2. The Twitch page for Dota 2 is where you’ll find streams of all the major tournaments currently taking place. It’s also where Valve’s own hosted tournaments i.e. the Majors and the International are broadcast to millions of viewers. They are generally streamed in multiple languages, mainly English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Russian and Filipino.
There are, of course, also casual streams by players in the community. There are some that stream only for the purpose of entertainment, while others who provide educational content, explain their moves and decisions as they play the game, and offer coaching services. We would recommend searching for the smaller streamers and watching and supporting them, as they can be truly wholesome without the negative aspect of a toxic and unreadable Twitch chat that certain large streamers have.
You’ll be glad to know that many popular and acclaimed professional players also stream the game. While this is less often than average, you can certainly learn a lot from watching these streams, as they can be a rare treat.
The best time to catch them live is just after the qualifiers for the International have ended, since players already know whether they have qualified for the tournament or not, and are taking a break from professional play during which they can stream. Or, this can be after the International has concluded and the professional circuit for the next season has not yet begun.
Besides guilds, another place where you can get connected with other Dota 2 players and make friends, learn and play together are Discord channels. There are many channels dedicated to certain streaming communities, which can be easy to find on Twitch as mentioned above. But there are others that are specifically dedicated to teaching new players.
Dota University and DotaFromZero are probably the two most well-known communities for this purpose. They are a positive, well-moderated and hospitable communities for new players to learn Dota 2 from scratch.
It doesn’t matter what your previous experience is. There are coaches ranging from slightly above average to the top margin of percentile in skill level who will be eager to help you. The tutorials and other resources explained before certainly help, but nothing can compare to an actual person guiding you and answering your questions in real time.
Hold up, this may not mean what you think it means! The term ‘pubstomp’ generally refers to a group of friends who form a team together to play against an uncoordinated, randomly queued team of players, thereby having a significant advantage over them in terms of coordination and ‘stomping’ them in a public match. But what we’re talking about is the act of setting up an event at a LAN cafe, bar, or other public place to bring people together and watch a publicly broadcast event.
In this case, Dota 2 pubstomps often revolve around the International, where players will come together at a LAN cafe or bar with the specific purpose of watching the live broadcast on a screen. It is a truly enjoyable and memorable affair that you must experience at least once in your life. It’s such an integral part of enjoying the International, that Valve have teamed up with Barcraft United to help people find pubstomps in their local area. You can also avail this feature to organize, find and invite people to other, smaller events like amateur leagues and tournaments.
A community is nothing without the memes. And Dota 2 has plenty. Memes are probably the best way for you to understand the mentality of its players and be better informed about events in its history without having to read an encyclopaedia. There are some memes that are relevant only to a particular time, but others that never die. Here are some of the all-time memes in Dota 2 that you should know about.
322: This refers to when Alexey “Solo” Berezin, a Russian professional player bet $322 against his own team winning. Since then, the term has been used whenever a team throws a game or is suspected of match fixing. It is often overused to the point that any time a player makes a questionable play or dies without getting something in return for their team, the term ‘322’ is spammed.
Free game no bitching/still in beta: This refers to when players come across a bug or some kind of unintended/abusable mechanic in the game that could be interpreted as harmful to the integrity of the game, but isn’t fixed very soon. It is also because the folder for Dota 2 in the Steam library is named ‘dota 2 beta’, from when it was actually in beta. And that’s why it’s used as a meme to mock Valve’s supposedly lazy nature when it comes to fixing issues in the game.
OSFrog: You probably guessed what this is about. The mysterious, enigmatic lead developer for Dota 2, pseudonymously known as IceFrog is called upon every time a mechanic or hero in the game seems imbalanced or overpowered compared to others.
So much so, that it seems to give the player an unfair advantage while playing. The phrase ‘OSFrog’ is actually a global emote in Twitch chat that shows a green frog, aptly interchangeable with the developer’s alias. This is also followed up with the phrase ‘Balance in all things’ or ‘My finest creation’, humorously suggesting that the mechanic is, in fact, working as intended by IceFrog.
If you want to get informed about other memes related to and surrounding the game, we recommend checking out the Dota 2 Wiki that has an entire page dedicated to it. Should be a fun read!