As arguably the oldest active MOBA today, Dota 2’s rich history is just as fascinating as it is muddled with mechanics that were ported over from the original Defense of the Ancients (dotA).
Although this helps make Dota 2 what it is, it also makes the game far more clunky and complicated compared to the more streamlined MOBAs released after it.
While much of Dota 2’s difficulty is due to arguably outdated mechanics, majority are by design, as the mysterious developer, IceFrog, seems to insist on keeping Dota 2 the way that it is.
With that said, Dota 2’s complicated mechanics and steep learning curve has made it one of the least likely games to attract newcomers.
However, every now and then, someone comes along to brave Dota 2 and see what it has to offer.
If you’re one of those players who’s playing Dota 2 for the very first time, or have played for a couple of games only, you most likely found yourself elated by the fact that you cold pick from a massive pool of 116 heroes from the start, before the eventual confusion regarding which one to pick kicks in.
Even though every Dota 2 hero is complicated in their own right, some are easier to learn compared to others, with mechanics and optimal strategies far simplier to understand without necessarily being weak or underpowered.
With that said, we rounded up 10 of the best beginner heroes for Dota 2 for you to try in your first few games.
1. Crystal Maiden
A hero that can literally do no wrong, Crystal Maiden has it all: a global mana regeneration aura, a nuke, a disable, and an ultimate that makes her a bit tankier than usual while dropping hail and ice to all enemies around her.
The quintessential support hero, Crystal Maiden may have zero scaling in the hands of a beginner, but that’s actually why she’s so useful.
Players don’t even need to last hit when playing Crystal Maiden. All they need to remember is to cast Crystal Nova (Q) every now and then, while not forgetting to use Frostbite (W) when their team is ganging up on an enemy. Then, when they get jumped, just use Freezing Field (R) and hope that help comes immediately.
Basically, because Crystal Maiden can contribute just by being alive, she has a huge margin of error, especially in the lower ranks.
Crystal Maiden can teach you a lot of the basic skills necessary to excel in Dota 2, including how to position yourself so you don’t keep on dying, which makes her the perfect Dota 2 hero for beginners, even those who don’t want to play support.
2. Ogre Magi
Whereas Crystal Maiden is fragile and quick to die, Ogre Magi is one of the tankiest supports in the game and is supposed to be played aggressively so you can zone out the enemy while in the lane.
Equipped with fairly high starting HP and base armor, Ogre Magi won’t die easily unless you purposely feed him towards the enemy team. As a beginner, this is a blessing.
Once the enemy team starts rotating and pushing the pace, Ogre Magi’s tankiness makes him a less likely target, allowing you to focus on helping out your team the best way that you can.
Ogre Magi is also a hero that literally doesn’t know what he’s doing; his ultimate, Multicast, relies mostly on luck.
Plus, because it pairs with Hands of Midas, an item used to farm fast, Ogre Magi is the sort of support hero that you can play without necessarily being dirt poor even if you end up buying all of the support items such as Observer Wards and Sentry Wards, among others.
Ogre Magi is a fairly basic hero that you can rely on for disables and buffs. However, once you learn to play the hero right, you could easily floor other Dota 2 players with his spells.
3. Wraith King
A hero that used to have one active spell, Wraith King has since been revamped to include summons in his tool set. Even then, that doesn’t make him any more complicated. In fact, he pretty much remains one of the few Dota 2 heroes where you only need to push a button or two to engage.
Most important of all, Wraith King’s ultimate allows him to revive after a specified amount of time in the middle of the battle fight, which makes him a lot more forgiving to try out, especially if you’re new to playing carries and tanks.
Sven is fairly similar to Wraith King in that he’s a pretty straight forward hero to play. Plus, they’ve both got similar attack swing times(and even poses), which means that you won’t have a hard time adjusting from one hero to the other.
Sure, you might have to press more buttons for Sven — Storm Bolt (Q), Warcry (E), and God’s Strength (R) are all active skills — but he’s also arguably a lot tankier, and once his God’s Strength buff is on, he’s the sort of hero that no one really wants to face off against with. Also, in lower ranks, you’d be surprised as to how many players will try to challenge you at the peak of your ultimate.
With a fairly simple optimal skill build and item build to follow, the strength-hero Sven is really easy to play and yet, has huge potential to do a lot of damage.
Taking Sven and Wraith King’s simplistic approach to a whole other level, Tidehunter is a head-on brawler that likes to get into the thick of things to cast his ultimate, Ravage (R), much to the devastation of his enemies.
Tidehunter’s build is pretty simple — you need a Blink Dagger.
Once you have that, you’re pretty much set. You can build anything else you want, provided that it makes you tankier and harder to kill, of which there are a lot of in Dota 2.
Similar to Tidehunter, the strength-hero Axe is a core hero in Dota 2 that has a lot of potential to turn the tides of the battle and tilt it towards his team’s favour with the use of a trusty Blink Dagger at the most opportune time.
Because Axe is fairly tanky and has immense harass potential in the lane, with the ability to retreat and farm in the jungle if necessary, Axe has a lot of room for error.
Playing Axe will teach you a lot about awareness and positioning, especially because you’ll want to be blinking into the thick of things where you can catch enemies off of their guards and allow your team to throw all of their damage at them.
Just don’t forget that, while fairly tanky, Axe is not a one-man army (regardless of how much he says that he is in-game).
Mid is a lane that’s generally considered off-limits for beginners, up until you’ve played a couple dozen or hundred of games first.
The game literally is different in the mid lane, where you have to win against your opponent and make sure that you prevent them from rotating and affecting the other lanes. But, if you insist, we’d recommend trying out Zeus.
Zeus is an all-out nuker. His playstyle is evident right from the onset, as your goal is pretty much to dish out as many spells in as little time as possible to your enemies. Not to mention, Zeus has a global nuke that hits every hero alive on the map, making him very annoying to deal with as he can literally kill any hero from afar.
Zeus can also be played as a support as well, so, if you don’t want to play him mid, feel free to rotate to the side lanes and provide help to your cores instead of trying to be a core yourself.
Considering how easy Zeus is to play and how much his skills are guaranteed to land, he is practically impossible to mess up unless you’re deliberately trying to do so.
Tough to kill while capable of dealing a lot of damage is always a good combination for players who are new to Dota 2.
While Tidehunter, Axe, Wraith King, and Sven, all can tank and dish out damage, none of them can do both at the same time like Bristleback can.
With a skill that literally throws damage back to the enemies the more he is hit from behind, Bristleback is perfect for beginners, who most likely will be pressing the mouse back to the base all of the time.
A tank and a bruiser all in one, Bristleback is definitely one of the best Dota 2 characters for beginners.
If you want to learn how to play a more engaged support who stays in the lane and helps buff out his allies, Warlock is a good place to start.
Warlock has a heal, slow, a skill that lets him do damage to an entire group of creeps or heroes, and an ultimate that drops down a huge hulking meteor from above to summon a golem that will fight for you until it dies.
You don’t even need to know the names of Warlock’s skills to know that he is fairly simple to play.
As an added bonus of playing Warlock, you’ll get to learn how to play the lanes as a carry since you’ll be adjusting a lot to your laning partner as you help enable him to his fullest potential.
With two disables, a skill that lets you drain mana from other creeps and heroes, and an ultimate that can literally let you one-hit opposing heroes that are walking around with less than ideal health, Lion is great for beginners who want to learn how to gank, rotate, and make an impact around the map.
Lion is often one of the more popular heroes in Dota 2 and as such, you won’t run out of film to watch of pro players playing the hero to its absolute best.
Either way, even at your absolute worst, you should be able to make an impact on Lion and notch a couple of kills while you’re at it.
Don’t be afraid to be accused of kill stealing as well. It’s much better to secure a kill for your team than letting someone get away because you’re afraid that you’ll be flamed for killing steals with your ultimate, Finger of Death.
It’s Your Turn to Pick
Well, that’s pretty much it.
If you’re new, you’ll be doing yourself a lot of favour by starting out with these beginner-friendly Dota 2 heroes and playing against bots, or even using the last-hit trainer to get a better feel of them first.
But, if you really insist, then go away and play with other players right off the bat — it’s better that you experience the magic and wonder that is the public matchmaking of Dota 2.
So, what are waiting for? Good luck and have fun! Interested in e-sports scen of Dota 2? Then make sure to read our Best Dota 2 Teams.