Dota 2 Roles: What You Need to Know

Like other MOBA games, Dota 2 features different roles for every player. If you played the game for a while, particularly at higher ranks, you probably know of the different terms, like pos 1, pos 2 etc. These signify different heroes in your team and their role, as well as their position on the map.

Although there’s no strict team structure that you have to follow in Dota 2, most players choose to adhere to their role simply because it’s beneficial to the team, especially at lower ranks, where your teammates might not want to cooperate and trying out more complex team builds is simply too risky.

But what are the different roles in Dota 2? Here’s our guide to all the Dota 2 roles currently in the game and how to play them effectively!

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Position 1 – Carry

Position 1 signifies the most important heroes in the team, and is most commonly handed to heroes who need the most farm – the carry. Every carry hero needs to farm neutral creeps in order to get an early game advantage and snowball later in the game. That is why Position 1 is on the bottom lane for the Radiant team, and top for the Dire. The position 1 lane is generally longer than the other lanes and features a jungle to the side, which not only protects the pos 1 carry heroes from getting ganked, but allows them to farm some extra money if the lane gets pushed too far.

Position 1 heroes typically have one goal – farm as much gold as they can. Although you can try to go onto enemy supports for some early kills, as a position 1 hero you should always focus on maximising your gold income. A significant gold advantage at all parts of the game should be your main goal. Position 1 heroes generally play the most important role in any of the teams and are quintessential to winning the game. If the enemy heroes manage to shut down your position 1 early game, expect to have a hard time trying to bounce back later in the game.

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When going into your lane, try to work with your support heroes as much as you can, secure vision and whatever happens, avoid leaving the lane and losing out on the precious farm in the laning phase.

Position 2 – Mid lane

Mid laners are often the position heroes that everyone wants to play. There’s a good reason for this – the middle lane houses some of the most fun heroes, like the Shadow Fiend, Queen of Pain or the Invoker. The middle lane can be very tricky to play and often requires a little bit more knowledge and skill than the other lanes in the game. There are a number of different mechanics that you have to deal with in the mid lane, such as power runes, bottle or fighting uphill.

The middle lane is action-packed, since it only features two heroes going head-to-head in a short lane. The laning stage can be a real test of your skills since it’s very easy to push out the opposing player if you’re more skilled. In addition, the middle lane heroes will actively roam the other lanes, so map control and knowing the enemy’s position at all times is just one of the many goals of the mild lane.

Since the middle lane features only one hero on both sides, both of them will collect XP faster, meaning that they can hit level 6 and unlock their ultimate abilities way before other heroes. Although farming is important, as a mid lane you should always be looking to pressure other lanes, particularly targeting the enemy carry’s farm. However, keep in mind, that the enemy mid lane will be doing the same.

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Position 3 – Offlane

The offlane heroes feature all of the classic tanky initiators, who don’t need much farm and can remain relevant late game thanks to their powerful skillset alone. This group includes classic teamfight initiators, like the Earthshaker, Tidehunter, Sand King or the Earth Spirit.

The offlane heroes are tasked with going against the enemy carry hero, and have their place in what’s commonly referred to as the short lane. During the laning phase, you will most likely be fighting under enemy structures, and you might be under a constant threat of invasion from the jungle by the enemy mid lane. Because of this, playing position 3 off lane heroes can be a challenging task.

However, the third position revolves around one, simple goal – do not get killed by the enemy hero. Although heroes such as the Bristleback can go and fight off the enemy carry early game, you should generally try to play it safe, as there are many things a greedy offlaner can mess up. There are many core heroes that can take position 3, and in some cases, a farmed offlaner can even end up carrying the game and dominating the enemy team.

Position 4 – Soft Support

Position 4 heroes are commonly referred to as soft support. They are one of the two support heroes on every team, with the hard support helping out your team’s carry hero in the safe lane, and the soft support making sure the offlaner doesn’t die and has enough place to maneuver and possibly pressure the enemy heroes in your lane.

In addition to this, position 4 heroes generally are also classified as roamers, who can move around the map quickly and try to score ganks early game, since they don’t really need farm to be effective. Many of the soft support heroes, such as Mirana or Clockwerk, rely on their powerful skills and often include abilities that allow them to disable the enemy for a prolonged period of time.

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Position 4 generally doesn’t have as much impact on the game as other heroes on the team, which makes it a great choice for new Dota 2 players who are just starting to get the feel for the game. Still, a skilled soft support can make the game much easier for their team and ensure that the enemy carry heroes get shut down early on.

Position 5 – Hard Support

The fifth position support is one of the more important heroes in the team, tasked with babysitting the team’s carry, warding their lane, and purchasing support items. Although hard support heroes can be easy to play, they require a lot of skill to master and their small health pool and weak armor makes them an easy target in team fights, so expect to be targeted a lot.

Hard supports are essential to the team’s success and besides denying last hits and harassing enemy heroes with their abilities, they also fulfill many different important tasks for their team, such as creep pulling, de-warding, and buying support items for the carry players in their lane. They also have to save allies, maintain map control and awareness, and most importantly not die and feed.

As you can see, a hard support player has a wide scope of tasks that they have to fulfill to be effective. In a way playing position 5 support involves its own unique mini-game, where you’ll be actively competing against the enemy supports to control the map and jungle. Because of this playing hard support requires a lot of mechanical skill, as well as game knowledge.

To Sum Up

Here are the five Dota 2 roles explained. Learning how to play your role can greatly improve your win rate and give you a significant edge over the enemy heroes. If you ever want any more tips, tricks, and guides for Dota 2, be sure to check out the rest of our blog!

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