Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game in which two teams of five players compete to collectively destroy a large structure defended by the opposing team known as the "Ancient", whilst defending their own.As in Defense of the Ancients, the game is controlled using standard real-time strategy controls, and is presented on a single map in athree-dimensional isometric perspective.Ten players each control one of the game's 112 playable characters, known as "heroes", with each having their own design, benefits, and weaknesses.Heroes are divided into two primary roles, known as the "carry" and "support". Carries begin each match as weak and vulnerable, but rapidly become more powerful during the game, thus becoming able to "carry" their team to victory. Supports generally lack abilities that deal heavy damage, instead having ones with more functionality and utility that provide assistance for their carries.
(Few examples of heroes in the image above)
All heroes have a basic damage-dealing attack, in addition to powerful hero-specific abilities. Each hero has at least four abilities, and these are the primary method of fighting.The most powerful ability for each hero is known as their "ultimate", which requires them to have an experience level of six in order to learn and use. In order to prevent abilities from beingspammed without consequence, a magic system in the game exists. Activating an ability costs a hero some of their "mana points", which regenerate slowly over time.Using an ability will also cause it to enter a cooldown phase, in which the ability can not be used again until a timer counts down to zero. All heroes have three attributes: strength, intelligence, and agility, which affect health points, mana points, and attack speed, respectively. Each hero has one primary attribute, which influences non-ability damage.Heroes begin each game with an experience level of one, only having access to one of their abilities, but are able to level up and become more powerful during the course of the game. Whenever a hero gains an experience level, the player is able to unlock another of their abilities or improve one already learned. If a hero runs out of health points and dies, a timer begins to count down until they respawn in their base.
The two teams—known as the Radiant and Dire—occupy fortified bases in opposite corners of the map, which is divided in half by a crossable river and connected by three paths, where are referred to as "lanes". The lanes are guarded by defensive towers that slowly, but frequently, attack any opposing unit who gets within its line of sight. Weak computer-controlled creatures called "creeps" travel predefined paths along the lanes and attempt to attack any opposing heroes, creeps, and buildings in their way. Creeps periodically spawn throughout the game in groups from two buildings, called the "barracks", that exist in each lane and are located within the team's bases. The map is also permanently covered for both teams in fog of war, which prevents a team from seeing the opposing team's heroes and creeps if they are not directly in sight of an allied unit. Placeable items, known as "wards", are able to be placed in most locations on the map, granting line of sight vision in a small area around it for every hero whose team had planted it. Wards last for six minutes after being placed, and will disappear once time runs out. Also present on the map are "neutral creeps" that are hostile to both teams, and reside in marked locations on the map known as "camps". Camps are located in the area between the lanes known as the "jungle", which both sides of the map have.Neutral creeps do not attack unless provoked, and will respawn over time if killed. The most powerful neutral creep is named "Roshan"; he is a unique boss who may be killed by either side to obtain an item that allows a one-time resurrection by the hero that holds it. Roshan will respawn 8–11 minutes after being killed, and becomes progressively harder to kill as the match continues over time.
In addition to having abilities becoming stronger during the game, players are able to buy items that provide their own special abilities.Items are not limited to specific heroes, and can be bought by anyone. In order to obtain an item, players must be able to afford it with gold, which is primarily obtained by killing enemy heroes, destroying enemy structures, and killing creeps, with the latter being an act called "farming".Only the hero that lands the killing blow on a creep obtains gold from it, an act called "last hitting", but all nearby allies receive gold when an enemy hero dies.Players are also able to "deny" allied units and structures by destroying them, which then prevents their opponents from getting full experience.The player also receives a small, continuous stream of gold over the course of a match.
Dota 2 also features seasonal events that present players with alternative game modes that do not follow the game's standard rules. Some of these included the Halloween-themed Diretide event, the Christmas-themed Frostivus event, and the New Bloom Festival, which celebrated the coming of spring. In October 2015, a Halloween-themed "capture point" game mode was released, titled "Colosseum". The move to the Source 2 engine in 2015 also saw the addition of community-created custom game modes, with the more popular ones having dedicated server hosting by Valve. In 2016, Valve introduced the "Custom Game Pass" option to custom game modes, which allows content creators to add exclusive features, content, and other changes to their game mode.