Learning how to get better at Dota 2 in 2021 is an important step to take if you’re serious about the game.
I don’t necessarily refer to going pro; you can be a casual Dota 2 player and still invest in your ability to play better, simply because this game is a lot more fun when you win.
Losing match after match can be unbearable, and anyone who’s lost 10 of them in a row will probably tell you that they uninstalled the game on that same day – but then probably installed it back a few days later.
Here are five steps that you can take in order to get better at Dota 2.
1. Specialize in One Role
One guaranteed way of getting better at anything is to master a small aspect of it by repeated exposure, and as you get better at that one thing, you will start to see the whole game differently.
Furthermore, you will be able to contribute more to your team’s success by playing your part to perfection.
When you choose a role, keep in mind that every role is essential and provides numerous ways in which you can make a big difference.
A lot of players who want to know how to get better at Dota 2 think that you cannot succeed except by playing carry or midlaner. That’s not true.
It is true that you will have more control in very low MMR divisions if you play a core role, but anything above 3,000 allows you to win games for your team through expertise in any role you may choose.
For example, cores are very weak early in the game and need protection.
If you know how to offer them that protection, your actions during the first 10-15 minutes could be game-winning. At the same time, enemy cores are also weak early in the game and are susceptible to repeated deaths.
Knowing how to exploit this weakness and choose the right kind of support/roaming heroes for the job could be game-winning.
You can do wonderful things from any given role. The key thing here is to master it.
If you play it mindlessly, you will need years to become competent at it. But if you do it thoughtfully, as a student of the game, as someone who takes notes, as a player who wants to get good at Dota 2, you will quickly learn all the fundamentals and then become an invaluable member of each team you play in.
If you’re the carry, they will know that you can carry. If you’re a support, they will know that you understand what it means to support. In turn, this boosts everyone’s morale on the team.
When you see that your support makes all the right moves and has played hundreds of games on one hero, as a carry you can’t help but feel good about it. Or, as a support, if you notice that your carry or midlaner is an expert at his role and his hero, you immediately want to do more to help them as much as you can.
The psychological feeling that you’re playing with winners on your side can often win you the game on its own.
The opposite is also true. If you see your carry missing four last hits in a row without being pressured, you immediately get discouraged.
2. Specialize in a Small Set of Heroes
When you have hundreds of games on a hero, you play it completely different compared to when you play it the first time. A hero is only as good as your ability to play it, especially when it comes to sophisticated heroes who have a high ceiling, like Invoker or Tinker.
You can win the game on your own if you excel with them, but doing that is hard. You may need hundreds of games just to get the basics right.
If you want to know how to get better at Dota 2, pick five heroes and force yourself to play them over and over regardless of what the enemy line-up looks like. Study the best players in the world. See what they do when they play those heroes. Study item builds and timings. Study farming patterns. Study team-fighting tactics.
Back when I was playing the game seriously, I knew everything about Templar Assassin.
All of her timings, all of her tricks, what to do to get ahead of the game, how to kill enemy heroes in team fights, and so on. I had over 2000 games with it and a win rate of around 65%.
Enemy midlaners were constantly struggling against me, simply because they had some 50 games on their hero while I could play mine at a very high level, even though the bracket was low Divine.
The first key to getting good at Dota 2 is specialization. Everything else is secondary.