This is where we at Hotspawn have you covered. We’ve picked out the five most beginner-friendly characters for Dota 2 newbies in each role. Tried and tested over many years, these picks have a few things in common: their individual playstyle and builds are simple to remember and execute. Of course, these characteristics are great for new players, who need to learn the fundamentals of Dota 2 alongside the numerous heroes they’ll encounter in-game.
Safe Lane/Hard Carry: Sven
While we don’t recommend playing hard carry for your first few games of Dota 2, it’s still worth mentioning heroes that are easy for beginners to pick up when they feel confident enough to take on core roles. The first of these heroes is Sven, the Rogue Knight: a strength hero that encapsulates the carry position in a package that’s easy to digest.
The first thing that makes Sven beginner-friendly is his innate durability. Dying in Dota 2 is more punishing than in other MOBAs, due to the loss of gold upon death. Being a strength hero, Sven’s health pool is larger than that of the average carry hero. He also gains three points of strength per hero level, which makes his health pool grow quite fast as the game goes on.
Moreover, his kit contains one of the most essential mechanics in the game: a targeted area-of-effect (AoE) stun in the form of Storm Hammer (Q). At all levels of play, abilities that stun enemy units and deal damage to them at the same time are extremely valuable. Sven has one built-in, that is guaranteed to hit the target as long as they aren’t immune to magic or protected from spells somehow.
As for his prowess as a carry, the rest of Sven’s kit is all about allowing him to farm fast and dish out tons of physical damage in the late game. Great Cleave (W) is a passive ability that causes Sven’s regular attacks to cleave multiple enemy units in front of him, making it great for gathering gold by killing creeps. Warcry (E) makes Sven and his allies even harder to kill thanks to the bonus armor. And finally, his ultimate God’s Strength (R) massively increases his physical damage output — up to double his base damage at max level.
Solo Mid: Zeus
Zeus is the easiest mid hero to pick up and play, bar none. His design revolves entirely around putting out heavy magical damage from range, primarily through his ranged nuke Lightning Bolt (W). Zeus can quickly snowball out of the enemy team’s control if he gets a good start in the laning phase, as his magical damage output is often too much for most heroes to withstand in the mid game.
He also has a surefire way of easily securing farm in the early game. Arc Lightning (Q) deals minor magical damage, jumping up to 15 enemy units if they are close enough to each other. As it is also a ranged spell, Zeus can use Arc Lightning to snipe creeps at low health in the laning phase, without putting himself in harm’s way. It also serves as a harassment tool, though its mana cost does add up with repeated use.
Although he relies solely on his nukes to help carry him in the mid game, Zeus is still quite potent in the late game thanks to Static Field (E). This passive ability causes his spells to deal bonus magical damage proportional to the current health of any affected units. This means that even heroes that have large health pools like Sven will still feel the sting of Zeus’ lightning, especially when they’re at full health.
Finally, there’s his ultimate Thundergod’s Wrath (R). As the god of thunder himself wills it, lightning bolts come crashing down on enemy heroes upon use, no matter where they are on the map. Though it has a long cooldown of about two minutes total, Thundergod’s Wrath greatly extends Zeus’ reach, allowing him to contribute to ganks and teamfights even if he isn’t present.
Offlane: Centaur Warrunner
Bradwarden the Centaur Warrunner is the quintessential offlaner. This hero is designed almost purely with the offlane position in mind; he’s durable, has naturally good self-sustain, and can threaten the enemy carry just by being nearby. He has a potent AoE stun in the form of Hoof Stomp (Q), which can be deadly in the mid game when combined with the power of a Blink Dagger.
His ultimate ability Stampede (R), meanwhile, is a powerful teamfighting spell that sets the movement speed of all his entire team to maximum — globally. This means that he can boost his entire team and create a ganking opportunity on a dime no matter where he is on the map. Stampede also allows Centaur Warrunner to quickly close the gap to his target, making it easier to land a blink-stun combo.
In the late game, Bradwarden’s immense strength gain causes his health pool to grow to gargantuan proportions. When combined with his passive Return (E) and its corresponding talent at level 20, his massive HP makes him really good at manfighting against physical damage carries. And of course, since his nuke Double Edge (W) is based on a percentage of his strength, it just becomes much more deadly later in the game.
Soft Support (AKA “Position 4”): Bounty Hunter
Soft support is perhaps the most misunderstood role in the game, and this fact is of course no different for new players. Gondar the Bounty Hunter, though, embodies the role completely, as he is a support hero that becomes much more effective with items compared to hard support heroes. He is also a fantastic roaming support thanks to Shadow Walk (E), which renders him invisible for a moderate duration.
Combined with his passive Jinada (W), Shadow Walk helps Bounty Hunter stalk his targets and deal heavy physical damage coming out of invisibility. As a bonus, Jinada also steals a small amount of gold on hit, fueling Bounty Hunter’s greed over time. The ranged ability Shuriken Toss (Q) allows Gondar to finish off stragglers from a short distance.
But the real reason that Bounty Hunter is such a good soft support is his ultimate, Track (R). Upon targeting a single enemy hero, Gondar gains persistent vision of that hero for 30 seconds, allowing him to keep tabs on them even through the fog of war. Gondar also gains extra movement speed when he is near tracked targets.
Aside from the vision, though, Track’s most attractive characteristic is the bonus gold it gives when the tracked target dies. Bounty Hunter himself gets a whopping 320 gold when Track is at max level, while his teammates, if nearby, get a small bonus themselves. With the right level of aggression, Gondar can allow his team to snowball out of control with Track alone.
Hard Support (AKA “Position 5”): Jakiro
Jakiro the Twin Head Dragon may not have a guaranteed stun or disable, but his simple design and clear game plan still make him easy for newbies to pick up. This is especially true at the hard support position, which most new players will find themselves in at the start of their Dota 2 journeys.
His design revolves primarily around Ice Path (W), which lays down a path of freezing ice that stuns any enemies that get into contact with it. The path itself stretches over a distance of 1,200 units, making its reach fairly long for an AoE stun. It does, however, have a delay of 0.5 seconds before it actually appears, making it just a bit more difficult to line up compared to single target stuns. Used correctly, though, Ice Path can decide teamfights almost on its own. Stunning multiple enemy heroes for up to 2.5 seconds is very powerful, and gives your team more than enough time to follow up with their own spells.
Aside from Ice Path, Jakiro has plenty more going for him as a hard support. Dual Breath (Q) allows him to burn and chill his enemies at the same time, dealing damage over time and slowing their movement speed significantly. Dual Breath is also great for clearing creep waves — something that hard supports really appreciate. The same goes for Liquid Fire (E), but because it has no mana cost, it also functions as a great harassment tool in the lane.
Macropyre (R) is Jakiro’s big teamfight ability. Upon use, he puts down a carpet of fire in a line AoE, stretching up to 1,400 units away. Units that step in this line take heavy magical damage over time, which essentially means that the area is a no man’s land for 10 seconds. When used properly, Macropyre can easily cut off large swaths of the battlefield during a teamfight, forcing the enemy team to either stand and fight or retreat to a more favorable position. Its short cooldown of 60 seconds at max level also makes it a good wave clear ability as well.
And those are our five picks in each position for those completely new to Dota 2! Make sure to also check out our guides to each role in order to maximize your time practicing with these beginner-friendly heroes. Stay tuned to Hotspawn for more in-depth guides on intermediate and advanced Dota 2 concepts as well.