As the oldest active MOBA, Dota 2 has a rich history of being one of the most difficult games to get into. From the massive pool of 116 heroes, to the rather unintuitive mechanics like certain spells disabling through magic immunity without dealing damage, learning the basics alone can be daunting to even the most adamant of players.
Of course, every experienced Dota 2 vet had to start somewhere. We’ve all been through the gauntlet that is the game’s learning curve, and it’s unlikely that anyone has ever said that it wasn’t steep. Fortunately, there are heroes that can be considered “easy” for first timers, whose individual gameplans and mechanics are simple to understand.
Moreover, these heroes tend to not reduce a team’s chances of winning too hard, should the players using them end up feeding away kills and gold due to their inexperience. Either that, or they have abilities that make them difficult to kill or otherwise deal with.
If you’re someone looking to get into the hardest MOBA out there, consider trying the following heroes in your first few games.
As a hero at the very end of the support spectrum, Crystal Maiden isn’t someone you can depend on to carry your team to victory in the late game. She has no scaling, is stupidly fragile, and walks slowly.
All of these traits, however, make her perfect for newcomers. Crystal Maiden doesn’t require players to have sick last-hitting skills, or the ability to make do-or-die decisions past the 40-minute mark. Her sole responsibility in the laning phase is to keep her lane partner (typically a core) alive by harassing and disabling enemy heroes—and thanks to the easy targeting of her spells, she has a pretty wide margin of error.
Her fragility is a curse, but it also helps teach new players to position themselves properly in order to avoid dying over and over.
Vengeful Spirit is another very reliable support pick, with an easy mode single target stun and surprisingly good agility gain for a support. While Nether Swap does lead into misplays sometimes, the utility it provides is immediately obvious even to the greenest of players.
She also has surprisingly high agility gain, which gives her more late game scaling than typical hard support heroes. She can even be built as a tertiary carry, if the situation calls for it.
Lion appeals directly to new players: Two useful disables, a way to keep your mana pool filled up, and a painful nuke as an ultimate ability. The prospect of deleting enemy heroes instantly with Finger of Death can make beginners giddy, and we can’t blame them.
He plays much the same way as Crystal Maiden and Vengeful Spirit—protect your carry in lane by harassing the opposing heroes, and disable them if they attempt to dive you. In the mid to late game, Finger of Death is a great way to soften high-value targets up in order to make it easy for your team to follow up for the kill.
Just make sure to practice landing his Q, as it does travel in a line across the ground instead of being a single-target projectile guaranteed to hit its mark.
Ogre Magi is a unique case when it comes to supports. Though he is an Intelligence hero, he doesn’t have a ranged attack at all, and his Strength gain is above average.
Coupled with his high base armor, this makes him very tanky and able to take loads of punishment both in the lane and when teams really start to push the tempo. This is great for newbies that still need to learn proper positioning and when to retreat rather than fight, too.
What makes him really stand out, though, is his reliance on luck. His ultimate Multicast is a passive skill that gives his other abilities a chance to hit multiple times. Without Multicast procs, Ogre is a very average hero, with reliable but otherwise unremarkable spells and damage output.
But if you roll the dice just right, you can absolutely wipe the floor with your enemies.
Now we are in the realm of the core heroes—but those that are still considered to be fairly straightforward. Sven is perhaps the perfect example of a noob-friendly hard carry, thanks to his high health, armor, damage output, and access to a reliable area-of-effect stun.
Sven’s gameplan is obvious: Get farmed, then wreck face with Great Cleave and God’s Strength. He also isn’t too shabby in lane, with Storm Hammer allowing him to pair up with supports that also have disables and/or spell damage.
His main weakness, though, is that he is weak to kiting and teams that know how to spread out. A Blink Dagger is recommended in order to make the most of Storm Hammer, which can be followed up by God’s Strength-amplified attacks. A Black King Bar is also essential to Sven, so that he can shrug off stuns and disables.
As the meanest, toughest, most hard-headed fighter this side of the Dota 2 river, Bristleback is ridiculously hard to take down. He’s one of the most durable heroes in the game, and is great for new players who are simply tired of dying.
His signature passive, Bristleback, reduces all incoming damage from the rear and from the sides. With some simple positioning, Bristleback can outlast a team’s entire arsenal, while dishing out damage of his own.
The fun part? If the enemy team focuses Bristleback last in a teamfight, they could end up paying the consequences. The stacking nature of Quill Spray and Viscous Nasal Goo punishes teams that ignore him in favor of squishier targets, and forces them to keep their guard up.
The quintessential carry at the lowest tiers of play, Sniper stays away from harm by having the longest auto attack range in the game. Nothing beats hitting heroes from miles away thanks to Take Aim, while annoying them with slows like Shrapnel and Headshot.
If your enemies get away, you can finish them off with Assassinate, which has a cast range of up to 3,000 units. Truly, no one escapes the lengthy vision of Kardel Sharpeye.
In lane, his blazing fast projectile speed helps him beat out opponents in the contest for last hits. This helps him get an early farming advantage, all while keeping his opponent down with denies and harassment.
He is, of course, made out of wet paper, so it’s important for new players to learn how to kite enemy heroes and keep Sniper’s range at max. Picking up a Shadow Blade also helps against gank attempts, since Sniper doesn’t have a built-in escape mechanism.
One of the most exhilarating carries to ever exist, Phantom Assassin tickles the newbie’s fancy through her ultimate, Coup de Grace. Though totally luck-based, Coup de Grace can deal a frightening amount of damage in a single strike, decapitating even the hardiest of heroes in the blink of an eye.
The rest of her kit helps her immensely during teamfights, and even when eluding enemy supports in lane. Blur especially gives her the ability to go toe to toe with opposing carries, without fear of taking lethal damage before she can crit them.
As with Sven, though, she is very easy to kite, and succumbs easily to magic damage nukes and disables. Make sure to pick up a Black King Bar along the way as you farm, to protect yourself from enemy support abilities.
Zeus is about the only mid hero that we’d recommend for new players, mainly because of how obvious his playstyle is. The god of thunder has a full complement of powerful spells, and a global nuke that hits every enemy hero alive on the map. All of his abilities are practically impossible to mess up, thanks to the fact that they’re all guaranteed to hit their targets.
Though he is soft and lacking in escape abilities, Zeus’ contributions in the laning phase and in teamfights shouldn’t be underestimated. Lightning Bolt deals crazy amounts of damage, and Thundergod’s Wrath softens up entire enemy teams.
Players shouldn’t be afraid to “steal” kills with his ultimate, if there is a gank happening in another lane. Though it does take some of the gold away from those who initiated the play, it’s better to secure kills with Thundergod’s Wrath than risk having targets escape.