Although Dota 2 has received many updates and changes over the years, its core gameplay of lanes and roles still remains the same.
If you’re a newcomer, it is important that you understand the concept of lanes and roles, as these are very crucial for enjoying the game fully.
So what are lanes? Well, lanes are the different paths spread across the map that connect the two ancients. Here, you will play as a team of heroes and battle against the creeps and the enemy team.
Starting with the basics, we are going to cover everything a beginner should know about Dota 2 lanes and roles.
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The game has three major lanes (i.e., Midland, Offlane, and Safelane) that are separated by a river. Here, both team strategizes their positions and fight for the opponent’s ancient.
Your main objective when fighting in any lane is to earn gold and experience by killing creeps or enemy heroes.
Both teams also have other various objectives throughout the lanes that you can contest against the enemy team to gain an early advantage.
Every lane also has three towers and barracks, starting from their base alongside the river on the map. These are your key defense structures, which act as a checkpoint for your progression.
The Midlane is the shortest lane and is on the middle of the map. The hero you pick matters a lot here, as this is the most active lane among others.
Enemies are also more likely to pressure the midlane to gank you and damage your tower. This lane should be your first priority when it comes to warding, as they provide you with vision for runes and enemy ganks.
If you love a brawl, then starting your game in this lane will be a great experience for you.
The Midlane consists of only one hero from a team. ie., a midlane core.
The Offlane is at the top-left part of the map for the radiant and the bottom-right part for the dire.
The main objective is this lane is to pressure your enemies and contest objectives to gain an early advantage.
In some games, you also have the option to trilane in offlane if your draft is focused on getting early objectives.
If you are someone who knows the map well, then the offlane should offer you a great learning experience.
There are two roles that participate in this lane. i.e., a offlane core and a roaming support.
The Safelane is for the carry hero who is weak at its early levels. It is at the bottom right and top left part of the map, opposite to the enemy Offlane.
This lane remains inactive in most matches where farming and experience points are prioritized over objectives.
Similar to offlane, safelane can also have three heroes in the lane to counteract the enemy’s early aggression.
If you like the slow progress of the game through farming and grinding, then you will enjoy the safelane.
This lane consists of a carry and a hard support.
After understanding what the lanes offer you in Dota 2, it is important that you pick the right heroes for the right role.
The hero pool can be categorized into two major roles. i.e., cores and supports.
Before selecting a hero, you should know that they are not mutually exclusive in their roles. So, I recommend you try beginner-friendly heroes, which I’ve categorized below.
If you are looking to play a passive game with low effort, then starting with hard support is recommended. One of the easiest roles to execute in the game, hard supports are strong in the early laning stage.
Some heroes in this role also come with healing spells and disables to help you and your carry against the pressure of enemy offlaners.
I recommend heroes like Lion, Crystal Maiden, Ogre Magi, Witch Doctor, and Warlock in hard-support roles.
Roaming Support Role
If you want an active gameplay experience in Dota 2, you have the option to start as a roaming support. They focus on ganking the enemy mid and safelane.
Most heroes in the roaming support role have some form of disable or added mobility, which makes them reliable in ganks.
I recommend heroes like Riki, Tiny, Venomancer, Spirit Breaker, and Nyx Assassin in roaming support role.
Offlane Core Role
Playing at the frontline and acting as a wall for your team is what offlane core does best. If you enjoy such gameplay, the offlane role is a perfect fit here.
They can also initiate ganks in later stages of the game to attract the enemy’s attention.
This role has a higher skill requirement compared to the support roles. So, I recommend heroes like Centaur, Bristleback, Tidehunter, Slarder, and Axe for this role for a better learning experience.
Midlane Core Role
Midlane core requires the highest level of skill and knowledge in Dota 2. If you are up for the challenge, you can try this role to understand the mid-role matchups and mechanics.
The primary objective of a midlane core is to gain an advantage in the lane by destroying the enemy tower and contesting power-up runes. You can also roam and gank other lanes as a midlane core if needed.
Some heroes that I recommend for the midlane are Lina, Zeus, Dragon Knight, Sniper, and Death Prophet.
The Carry Role
The carry role can be summarized as the role that provides the highest impact in the later stages of the game. The heroes in this role are mostly about farming and some occasional fighting.
They mostly spend time around their supports and tower in the early game, as they rely on their item and level timings to contest map objectives.
Phantom Assassin, Sven, Lifestealer, Drow Ranger, and Muerta are some great picks for the carry role.