More and more posts are popping up of new people trying out Dota 2 looking for assistance / want to learn the game. Rather then a ton of separate posts, why not have one topic.
To start off, Dota is an extremely high skill, competitive, and hard game. That being said, Dota is also one of the most strategic, exciting, and satisfying games to ever be created. It is also unique in that how much you enjoy the game will be based off how much you know / how skilled you are. If you dive right in, chances are you are going to have a bad time. So please please please, learn as much as you can, play some bot games, and ask a ton of questions before you begin to make a decision if you want to play the game or not. The first initial 100 hours will be rough, but everyone playing the game has been in the same point. But once you get over the initial hump, things will click and you will realize why people enjoy the game.
Rather then re-writing a guide, here is the best Dota guide ever written. Purge is one of the nicest and hardest working people in eSports, so please utilize his guide, his videos, and his stream to begin to learn the game. http://www.purgegamers.com/welcome-to-dota-you-suck#.UM4noG9E4ws
Some quick info that I would like to add on top of that. If you are new, here are the heros you want to start playing first. They are: Tidehunter, Venomancer, Sand King, Lion, Lich, Warlock, Vengeful Spirit, Crystal Maiden, Skeleton King, Centaur, Shadow Shaman, Windrunner, and Earthshaker. The reason being, all of these heros are generally easy to play but they each have a spell that is fantastic in helping your team win the game. In Dota, abilities will do the same set amount of damage as they say on the tool tip, they do not scale. So for example, a Tidehunter ultimate will be super effective all game long…no matter the items you get or kills you achieve. This is opposed to someone like Anti Mage, he is an agility based carry who is farm dependent. If Anti Mage starts off well and gets a bunch of items (Battlefury, Manta Style…etc) then he will absolutely crush his enemies. However if he does not achieve those items in a reasonable time, has a bad start, of doesn’t get last hits…he will become an absolutely useless hero. As a new player you need time to learn the mechanics, the items, the heros, the map…etc thing that people are still learning a decade after Dota began. So start with the heros that allow you to be effect all game long without having the mechanics / knowledge required. You will have way more fun and will enjoy learning the game, rather then getting frustrated.
One last note, Dota is notoriously known as a game with a very hostile community. This is true, people can be very harsh on new players, but not everyone is. So do not let a few rotten apples ruin your time in the game. Please ask questions, utilize the guides out there, watch a ton of game…by doing all these you will have a way better time within Dota. It truly is one of the most beautifully crafted games out there.
If you are looking for more Dota info, check out the podcast I do called Dota Insight. We are working on creating guides for heros and catering questions / discussions towards newer players coming into the scene.
Here’s a good albeit short overview of the game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akUNmFAzS98
While not for absolute beginners dota cinema has some good learn to play videos: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF50cvv4MhVrEdrQw2kGnJ7ag7eT1RfO2
They also do videos on every hero so you can see what skills they have and how they apply.
Advice by gosukiller
A little bit of advice for new players:
1. Forget about winning your first 50 matches. Unless you are a veteran RTS/LoL/DotA player, alot of concepts in DotA2 will be alien to you.
2. Dont MIND losing. The reason the DotA community is sometimes known for having a vile playerbase is because alot of people are little shits about losing. It’s about getting better every match, not winning each one (although that would be nice)
3. Someone being a little shit to you? IGNORE THEM! There is litterally an ignore button on the scoreboard, it’s the ‘sound icon’ next to a persons name.
4. As a new player, try to pick ranged supports/gankers. Try to avoid farm-heavy carries untill you have last-hitting down 100%. My personal tips would be playing Windrunner, Jakiro, Lina and Lion.
These four heroes give you a basic idea of how to be an effective stunner, AoE damage dealer and a disabler. This is a quick way to learn how to be an effective team player.
5. Once you think you know the basiscs, try a new hero each game! Sure, you can ‘stick with this one becaue he seems nice’. But then how will you get to know the rest of the line up if they are used against you? Know your enemy!
6. Read a guide to the hero that you want to pick. Preparation is half the work!
7. Find a friend. Got someone in your friendslist playing DotA? Give him a call! Most people in the DotA community are eager to teach, whatever reputation this game might have because of a few bad apples.
That’s just some stuff from the top of my head. If you are European, add me at Renethetrue on steam.
More tips by JackG100
Heroes for newbies are, from the top of my head: Dazzle, Warlock, Crystal Maiden, Lich, Lion, Lina, Twin-Head
If you are completely noob you should get one of those, go to a lane with an agility or strenght hero and babysit them. That means, protect them from the enemies, stop enemies from farming and help your friendly carry-hero to farm.
Get wards, put them up at the runes, or in places where enemies can get at you from.
Depending on the situation you might want to get a variety of things, what ability does your team need? Do you need some AoE-heal, then get a Meka. Does the enemy have a hero that is utterly horrible, get a guinsoo and turn him into a sheep. Expensive item though, if you let your friendly carry farm you probably wont be able to afford it early on.
Do not talk back to people whining at you, it will only make it worse. Pretend they are being constructive and try to learn from what they are actually upset about. Usually there is a reason you’ve pissed someone off by being a noob, it is ok though. Just learn from the experience, try and avoid making the same mistake. Sometimes people will whine on you even when you didnt do anything wrong, those people are dicks, you should ignore them completely.
There is a minimap, look at it often, is someone missing from a lane? Who is missing, is he coming to your lane? Perhaps you should back a little just to be sure. Also, is there an enemy who constantly pushes his lane so far that you could go in from the forest and stab him in the back? Try and organise some ganking-efforts to get the enemies to die. Excellent pasttime for after you planted those wards.
If you want to become a good player, trying to get good at one aspect of the game first is probably wisest. Id suggest supporting, it is a hard art to master, but once you do, everyone will love you. Also, if you know how to support well you can observe what the carries are doing and learn from that. Also, a bad support still supports and does good for the team. A bad carry-player is always going to be utterly useless.
Considering that there are 100 heroes or so in DotA, you will not know what all of them can do until until you spent at least 100 hours in the game or so. DotA is a hard game to get into, but it is a lot of fun once you do