League of Legends and Dota 2 are both MOBAs — Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas — and have very similar foundations. If you’re a League player it might seem that you can easily make the jump to Dota 2, but there are actually a bunch of small details that might throw LoL players off. Like any esport, it takes time to learn a new game, but with your knowledge of LoL and these tips, you should be able to make the transition smoothly.
Picking a Hero
You can’t bring your League of Legends heroes with you. Learning an entirely new cast of characters can be daunting, especially when you’ve spent so much time getting used to the champions you already know and love. You’ll want to take some time to learn the Dota 2 heroes by playing the game, of course, but there are other handy ways to figure out which one is right for you.
Dotabuf has an incredibly helpful tool that lets you choose six of your favorite LoL champions, and then chooses six Dota 2 heroes that match those characters most closely. This will give you a good starting point.
Beware of Turn Delays
Dota 2 has different turn delays that, if you’re not used to it, could cause you to miss last hits due to the amount of time it takes for heroes to move. To better line up your last hits, click to attack and then hit “S” right afterwards to get your character ready without wasting an attack. When you’re ready to land the last hit, simply click and you’re good to go.
Ground Levels Make a Big Difference
In Dota 2, where you’re standing can impact the effectiveness of ranged attacks. Players on low ground can’t see those at a higher elevation, and accuracy when aiming at those higher up is lowered by 25%. This is important to remember — not only is it a good idea to keep creeps on hills, but running uphill can also help you escape.
Some Useful Abilities Are Actually Items
While champions in League of Legends have an innate teleport ability, this is not the case in Dota 2. If you want to teleport back to base quickly, always make sure that you have a Teleport scroll on hand. It’s recommended that you try to acquire one of these within the first few minutes of the game.
The same can be said for spells like “Flash” in LoL which teleports you a short distance based on the direction your cursor is pointing. In Dota 2 you’ll need items that carry this ability, like a Blink Dagger. In general, Dota 2 relies much more heavily on purchasing items.
Be Aware of High Mana Costs
It’s not as easy to spam spells in Dota 2, so make sure you’re watching your mana pool if you’re playing as a spellcaster. In the early game, most players can’t use more than two abilities with their mana pool, so use them wisely.
Take Advantage of Stores and Courier
Dota 2 has three different shops players can use when theyre ready to burn through their hard earned gold. There’s the main shop back at base, but you also have access to a side shop at the bottom of each safe lane, and a secret shop located around the Ancient’s pit. Different shops carry different items, but the variety of locations makes it a lot easier to break for a shopping trip mid-match.
If you do find yourself stranded without necessary items, though, you can call the Courier to deliver items to you from your stash or the secret shop.
Death = Lost Gold
Death in Dota 2 is a bit more punishing than in League of Legends. When you die, you lose some of your gold, which can set you back quite a bit. Learn to know when death is inevitable, and in preparation start buying up items. This will make the most of your gold, even if you know you’re going to die.
Read and Watch Purge
Friendly Dota 2 expert Purge has a whole slew of beginners guides to Dota 2 if you’re still feeling lost. He explains everything from core mechanics to individual heroes, and even provides educational commentary over matches on his YouTube channel.
Dota 2 is a little bit tougher in terms of accessibility, but with a background in LoL you’ll find yourself adapting pretty quickly. Pay attention to these minor differences, though, as they can greatly alter how you perform in the game. Above all, though, practice makes perfect, so get out there and fight.