Dota 2 Map Positioning Guide:
How to Master each Role!
What are Dota 2 Positions?
Dota 2 positions split the main activities into roles, to have a great distribution of responsibilities and tactical solidarity.
When playing a Dota 2 match a lot of tasks and challenges await the team, therefore it’s wise to split all of these requirements smartly onto 5 different players. Each role is important to win the game, and also each role requires different aspects to perform well.
It’s like in a movie where Rambo can have friends, who keep him the back free. 😉 Dota is fully dependent on cooperation and the five positions are the perfect foundation for that.
While it’s important for the carry hero (position 1) to have a high creepkill count, for the supporter (position 4 or 5) the ward and vision uptime are impactful aspects.
What are the Five Dota 2 Positions?
|Position 1||Carry||Safelane||Farming items, scaling fast and carrying the game.|
|Position 2||Mid Core||Midlane||Dominating the Midlane, highest responsibility to keep the moral up and boost the team.|
|Position 3||Offlaner||Offlane||Countering the enemy safelane, denying creeps, scaling to a semi core.|
|Position 4||Semi-Support||Offlane, Roaming or Jungle||High mobility, high flexibility, ganker.|
|Position 5||Main-Support||Safelane||Giving the carry a good time, keeping his back, stacking, pulling & warding.|
Dota 2 Map Overview for the 5 Positions:
The Dota 2 map is primarily distributed into two parts, Radiant and Dire. You cannot select a side of your choice unless you are playing in bot or lobby matches.
Each Dota 2 side has three different lanes: The midlane, safelane, and offlane.
Midlane: The midlane is the most beneficial lane in Dota 2, but the midlaner also has the most pressure on his shoulders: If the middle lane is screwed the chances of winning are low. The role of a mid lane hero is to stabilize the game until the carry gets fat.
Safelane: Typically the safelane has one carry and one support. The support babysits the carry until he gets fat, the carry always needs a lot of time to get strong and to be able to take fights.
Offlane: The offlane is a solo, duo or triple hero lane, to make the life of the enemy safelane hard. The main goal is to reduce the opponent’s creep kills.
Q&A: What are the Dota 2 Positions good for?
- The roles make it easier to undertand Dota 2 and how the game is tactically taking place.
- They help to play with aynone worldwide and get a quick distribution of responsibilities.
- Every role in Dota 2 is important to win, the position 1-5 system, is the perfect foundation to understand that.
- The position definiton allows Dota 2 players to focus on a role and position model with different heroes, instead of just playing random heroes.
Dota Position 1: The Carry
The position one, is the weapon that each team has, the guy who everyone is investing into, so that he ensures big fighting potential in the lategame. The carry joins the safe lane and tries to get fat as fast as possible.
The main-support (position 5) is his best friend because that guy is babysitting him. The support harasses the enemy and creates a safe environment for the carry. 😉 The late game is primarily dependent on the carry hero – if he fails, chances of winning drop fast.
Important for the Carry:
- Have a high creep kill count (try to get every single creep).
- Try to level fast, therefore the support needs to stay out of range as much as possible.
- Get the right items for the win, don’t troll, the whole team is counting on you.
- Check the enemy team and decide if you want to be online/ready to fight early or late. Make a strategy.
Examples for position 1: Phantom Assassin, Juggernaut, Anti Mage.
Dota Position 2: The Midlaner
Pos 2 is playing mid, he has the highest impact in the early and mid-game. The midlane is intended to be a solo lane, which means the hero gets solo XP and gold. The supports should push the mid hero to scale faster by giving him tangos and wards. It’s the main goal in the early game that the mid hero creates an advantage, for that position 4 or 5 also can try a mid gank with a smoke early on.
Once the mid hero is level 6, he can gang the other lanes easily and get quick kills. Because of his level advantage, the power curve is on his side and he can dominate any other lane if it’s executed well. The mid hero is like a semi-carry, he needs to be a strong core that can have a high impact, but of course, he can not replace a position 1.
Important for the Midlaner:
- Play agressive, never let the enemy mid hero dominate you. Dominate him.
- Reach level 6 first by denying more creeps than the opponent.
- Once you are level 6, evaluate your gang and kill potential. Decide to gang or to stay and farm.
- Report the miss of the enemy mid hero asap, it will safe lives. 😉
- Get the right items, to allow having impact in the late game.
- Extra Tip: Do smart zoning, pushout creepwaves before crucial timing windows: 20 seconds before the runes spawn or if your ally wants to gang, push in less.
The most prominent mid lane heroes are Invoker, Storm Spirit, Shadow Fiend, Tinker, and Lina.
Dota Position 3: The Offlaner
The offlane is also called the hardlane, because you play against the safelane lineup, with their best possible conditions. This gives you a direct disadvantage, but also the power to decide a lot. If you make it able to even win this lane, you have an extremely big impact on the game. The key for the offlaner is to keep the enemy position 1 low farmed and to get somehow equal with him or at least come near.
Position 3 can be played in two different roles: As a semi-carry and as a tank. When playing position 3 as a tank, then often a support backup is needed. Tank heroes are extremely robust and good for the late game and initiating fights. On the other hand, if the own position 1 is no hard-carry, then the offlaner can act as a semi-carry. An offlane semi-carry would play a solo lane and the second support is helping the mid and safe lane.
Important for the Offlaner:
- Try to do a lot of small hits and damage attempts, it might count up and really hurt your opponents.
- Deny as much as you can, it will have a high impact on the game.
- Keep the death count low, don’t feed
- Farm well, you are the special weapon that the team can use as a joker.
The perfect example for offlane heroes are Windrunner, Bristleback, Axe, Mars, Underlord and Centaur Warruner.
Dota Position 4: The Roamer or Semi-Support
Position 4 is the most diverse position in Dota 2 and can be a jungler, roamer or a semi-support. If the enemy team is quite OP, then it’s a great choice to pick a roamer and hunt for an early game advantage on the midlane.
If you do not trust the skills of your carry, then it is better to pick a jungle hero to allow more farm. Moreover, your pos 3 hero can play solo and get fat fast.
A position 4 semi-support is essential if the enemy has a roamer or scouting hero. One support cannot handle all the warding tasks, the map is too big for that.
Important for the Position 4:
- You need to have good map awareness. When the enemies engage somewhere on the map or even skip towers, you need to teleport instantly to help.
- Make the right hero choice, it can decide a lot. A wrong hero decision can make your whole gametime useless.
- Help warding, consider offensive wards.
- Buy smokes and do ganks whenever you can.
- Care for bounty runes and get them all.
The best examples for roaming heroes are Pudge, Earth Spirit or Bounty. Legion commander and Lifestealer for the jungle, Winter Wyvern, and Bane for semi-support.
Dota Position 5: The Main Support
Position 5 is one of the most important roles in Dota 2. He is the baby sitter, he is sharing tangos and wards with the mid hero, frequent teleports to save allies and all the crucial tasks are performed by position 5 heroes. Support heroes are the main assets behind every win. They keep harassing the enemy heroes, stack for you, buy dust, wards, and support.
It is not an easy task, always MVP the position 5 player because he is the one who is leading you to the win. Do not hesitate to pick support. It may be sometimes hard because you will not get kills, but there are other aspects that matter.
Important for the Main Support:
- Give your life for the carry.
- Ward and deward on your half of the map.
- Push the enemey offlaner away, don’t let him reach the creeps.
- Don’t steal the XP of your carry, try to stay out of range – you can compensate the lack of xp with a tome later.
- Buy situational useful items and decide wise, you may not have much gold available.
- Try not to feed, supports are often low hp and still need to perform well or even engage in fights.
Good examples for position 5 heroes are Lion, Dazzle, Oracle or Witch Doctor.
Finding the perfect Dota 2 Role for your Playstyle:
The hardest part of Dota 2 is to find a suitable role for yourself. One player cannot play all the roles perfectly (noobs can 😉 ). This is the main reason, why professional players have specific roles, and they do not switch to other roles.
After playing your first 100 matches to even be able to calibrate for ranked matchmaking, normally every player has his favorite heroes and positions. Checkout which heroes you like the most, check the win percentage of each hero and something between that is a good choice to start. Is it the carry, the midlaner or do you love to play support? Choose one main role and get better with it! 😉
Basic Tips to play your Role good:
- First of all, specialize and focus onto one role if you start your Dota 2 career.
- For each role you love to fulfill, have about 5 heroes that you can play. Like that you will have enough flexibility for each game. Between these 5 heroes do the best pick you can, some might counter the enemy and some will be a bad pick.
- Stick to your role, don’t steal other players responsibilities – it will just cause trouble and is the first step to a lost match.
- For the hero of your choice, build the common items and after some training, add situational items dependent on what is happening in the game.
- Some positions are harder to learn: As a beginner, the support role and the carry role is recommended. The midlane, offlane and roaming role is harder.
Tip: Don’t get irritated if some roles are mixed up.
Dota 2 can basically be reduced to the 5 positions, but the game is complex and sometimes it’s required to change something that is not working.
Playing mixed roles within one game needs a lot of experience and can be learned later on.
Dota 2 Pro Tips to play your Role good:
- Pro Attitude 1: Stay calm, stay objective, consume everything that is happening, calculate everything on a reflected personal level.
- Pro Attitude 2: Have balls, be dominant, don’t be shy, allow yourself to take risks, play the game on a razor-edge, give 120%. Be confident, be over-confident, trust in your skills.
- Pro Attitude 3: Decide instantly and stick to it. Do not change your opinion. Don’t be unsure.
- In public matchmaking close the gaps: Someone is not filling out his role? Ask him nicely to do it and if he is not, just do it yourself. Examples: Wards, Dewards, Smoke engagement, telling misses, telling what do to, giving item tips, lead to victory.
Tip: Everyone can be the leader. No matter if you play position 5,4,3,2 or 1 some are good in making the calls and some are not.
Roles mean a lot in Dota 2: The new Predefined Role Matchmaking System
Valve itself is showing how much the Dota 2 positions mean for them.
In August 2019 they brought in a new patch with the predefined matchmaking search system: Players pick their position even before the game starts, like that it’s 100% given that all 5 positions can be played by only one person and the perfect team is created.
You can pick more than one role, but when the game starts it will automatically set a role for you.
To read more about the predefined position update and the new matchmaking system checkout this guide.
Conclusion – Time to Act:
The roles can help you to understand Doa 2 better and to master the game.
Which is your role and why? I am a pure midlaner, but when I experienced times where I was able to play less, I accidentally played position 5 supports. 😉 But I would never be a good carry, that’s for sure! 😀