Dota 2 is a highly competitive online game, where a single team fight can decide the outcome of any match. Because of this, teamwork is the most important part of any successful strategy. While the game gives players a lot of flexibility regarding where on the map and how they want to play, Dota 2 still features five distinct positions for every hero on the team. While these aren’t strictly fixed and gamers can play however they wish, Dota 2 positions allow for easier team coordination. Although many things changed in the game over time, such as a new Dota 2 map, things like carry and support heroes remain unchanged.
Knowing how to play your position is crucial knowledge, that will allow you to improve your game and reach higher Dota 2 ranks. Here’s our guide to all the Dota 2 positions most commonly used in the game!
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In Dota 2, carry heroes are the core heroes who generally have the potential to quickly kill enemy heroes given enough farm and experience. The carry role is debatably one of the most important roles in the game since the team’s late-game performance highly depends on their carry heroes. These heroes benefit from significant gold advantage and experience early in the game, aiming to become a formidable force during the late game. A farmed carry can deal massive amounts of damage, and even take on the entire enemy team by themselves if they are farmed enough. However, if a carry hero fails to farm effectively early and mid-game, they could get weaker as the game progresses, meaning that if you want to ruin the enemy plans, you have to prevent their carry from farming.
Hard carry heroes like Anti Mage or Phantom Assassin can leverage their ability to farm neutral creeps during the laning phase. This will allow them to earn as much gold as they can, securing a large gold advantage in the early game. Sometimes their allies can even manipulate creep waves and stack neutral creeps inside the jungle. Then, they can use that advantage to destroy enemy towers and ultimately the enemy team, thus establishing game dominance.
Understanding the enemy carry’s farm level is crucial. If possible, try to disrupt the enemy carry from farming effectively to lengthen their power spike, hence gaining a huge advantage for your team. Also, be sure to check out our carry tier list for 2023 so far!
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The role of support position heroes in Dota 2 comes in two forms: hard support (fifth position, also sometimes referred to as simply support) and soft support (fourth position). Hard support role primarily involves babysitting the team’s carry, providing cover, harassing the enemy hero in your lane, and healing to keep the allies alive during the early game. Some support heroes can also fortify allied creep waves to destroy towers more easily.
Hard support heroes like Witch Doctor provide reliable crowd control by stunning or slowing down enemy heroes. When executed correctly, your team can capitalize on these moments and facilitate killing enemy heroes. Fifth-position support heroes typically stay behind during team fights, ensuring the longevity of their allies and allied creeps. Support heroes are an easy target for enemy supports and carry alike since most of them have low health pools. Some supports can also jungle early, providing some extra gold to their teams.
If you play support, remember to focus on the team’s vision by warding and de-warding. Best support heroes typically purchase items such as sentries, dust or smoke, which allows your team to join fights with an extra advantage. Keep in mind, that as a support, your hero is often very fragile, and can be easily killed in two or three hits.
The mid-lane role in Dota 2 requires a blend of farming and fighting. Mid heroes, such as Shadow Fiend or Dragon Knight, are usually core heroes with strong solo potential. Their main goals are farming, killing the enemy mid-lane hero, acquiring map control and securing power runes. If they perform well in these areas, it can translate into a significant advantage for their team in both the mid and late game.
Many middle lane heroes have high carry potential, meaning that they can easily transition into a carry role, if they gain enough advantage. Mid heroes start the game with extra exp since they solo their lane, which allows them to easily gank other lanes. The other corners of the map can be reached from the middle lane in a short time, and if you catch bot or top unaware, you can easily score a kill and snowball into a late game carry.
Mid heroes also have to secure power runes and map control, if they want to remain a threat to the enemy team. Because of this, playing middle lane in Dota 2 can be highly stressful in the laning phase, but a well played mid hero can easily dominate the match.
The off-lane, or the third position in Dota 2, involves heroes with high durability such as Spirit Breaker or Dragon Knight. These heroes can survive tough lane conditions and prevent the enemy’s carry from farming effectively. The ability to slow down the growth of the enemy carry is crucial to prevent them from becoming a major threat in the late game.
Escape heroes and various durable semi carry heroes are commonly played in the off-lane. Most offlaners in Dota 2 are heroes who can do well without much farm, since they most often have to play in the short lane. This makes it more difficult to farm effectively and puts them at danger of constant ganks by the enemy support and midlaner alike.
As an off-lane hero you have two goals: don’t die and make it difficult for the enemy carry hero to farm in the early game. Since most offlaners don’t really need items to be effective, they can trade with support and carry heroes early game, without any issues.
Soft Support (Position 4)
In Dota 2, soft support plays a different role. Soft support heroes, like Earth Spirit or Spirit Breaker, excel at roaming around the map, disrupting other lanes, securing power runes and creating chaos among the enemy teams. They’re designed with early game power to provide an early game advantage to your team. Many Dota 2 universal heroes fall in this category.
The “soft support” or the “fourth position” is a flexible position in Dota 2 that houses highly versatile heroes. These soft support heroes roam around the map, generating opportunities for kills and applying pressure to enemy structures and enemy heroes across the map. This roaming can provide a significant boost for the team’s carry or mid-laners by disrupting the enemy team’s rhythm, resulting in a more manageable late game for your team.
Unlike other heroes, the fourth position heroes don’t have a single specific area they are good at. Instead, they are mostly utility heores, who can do well in any phase of the game, and have access to wide range of different abilities.
That’s all for our Dota 2 All Roles guide. Make sure to practice these roles, understanding how they function to maximize your efficiency and effectiveness in Dota 2. Finally, remember to adapt based on the needs of each match and enjoy the game! Also, if you want to trade Dota 2 items for best prices possible, be sure to head down to OPmarket!