Almost every person playing Dota 2 wants to increase their rank and get to higher tiers of the competition. Not only is this a point of pride for so many players, but it also allows you to get more quality games.
However, as you reach the top tiers in the ranking system, the game becomes increasingly harder. Some of the gamers are willing to do just about anything to get to the Immortal. These top tiers are reserved for players willing to invest 5 to 10 hours in Dota 2 every day. However, their journey doesn’t stop with just playing the games; they also gain superior knowledge by reading guides and watching professionals.
In this article, I will share some tips and tricks that will help you rank up in Dota 2. Keep in mind that these suggestions pertain to different ranks of the competition and are mainly focused on low to medium-tier players.
How to rank up from a specific tier?
Although there are some general rules for a player as to how to rank up, which I will share in the following paragraphs, here are some guidelines explaining what you need to improve depending on your specific tier in a ranked game.
Now that I’ve covered that, let’s talk about some parts of the game that any should improve regardless of the skill level (especially important for lower-tier players but also for the average dota 2 player).
Focus on one specific role
If you wish to progress quickly through ranks, one of the best ways of doing so is by focusing on a specific role in a ranked game. While occasionally changing roles is really fun and keeps the game fresh, it is very counterproductive for your MMR.
Basically, the game is very different depending on your position. Even small changes going from hard to soft support can pose a challenge for some players. Among others, these small alterations can disrupt your timings, item choices, and other aspects of the game.
For example, playing a carry presumes that you will never take excessive risks. On the contrary, while offlane is regarded as a core, you commonly have to sacrifice for the team when initiating. So, the death of a carry and the death of an offlane have a completely different impact on the outcome of a match.
Perhaps the biggest challenge is in the level of aggression you can allow yourself. For example, mid players are supposed to roam and gain an advantage for other lanes. However, carry should be pbuttive for the most part. Even if they decide to engage in early game teamfights, they need to come after the initial clash. That way, they won’t take the brunt of enemy nukes.
Play a limited pool of meta heroes
Perhaps the best way to progress through the ranks is to play popular heroes and ranked roles. On top of that, you should try to limit your pool as much as possible. For example, playing just one hero over and over again often yields better results than having a pool of 15 heroes.
Players often catch themselves overthinking and trying to counter enemy hero or enemy heroes in a ranked match. By doing so, they might pick characters that seem like a good counter but are pretty bad in the current meta. So, even if you get good results in the lane or in a direct matchup, you might lose the game as your overall impact is simply not big enough.
Many people don’t like this approach and stubbornly try to expand their pool even if it doesn’t make sense. For some, it feels like exploiting the system. But the truth is, pros do this all the time. In fact, the higher you go, the fewer heroes you will see in ranked matchmaking games.
If you really want to play some unpopular heroes (we can even call them bad heroes), just go ahead and play unranked matchmaking. In fact, you are more likely to notice their deficiencies during unranked dota 2 games, which would dissuade you from ever picking them in ranked matches.
You will do a service to both yourself and your team in a ranked match.
Use the optimal builds
Another common mistake has to do with excessive experimentation, whether we’re talking about items or skill builds.
One of the most common reasons people lose games in lower tiers (see what we mean by that by looking at the dota 2 ranking distribution of Dota 2) is that they make irrational item choices. You might’ve won the lane and feel very good about yourself, and the next thing you do is go and buy Divine Rapier. Regardless of the advantage, it is much better to go with common builds such as Battle Fury and Black King Bar.
Always remember that the lane advantage is only good if you can utilize it properly. Going with silly or experimental builds can only ruin it for your team. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should never tweak your build. However, if you are to do so, make sure that it makes sense and that is conducive to winning.
Buy Black King Bar on cores
Speaking of builds, you should always get Black King Bar if you’re mid or carry. In fact, the item is awesome in any position and you should almost always consider purchasing it as long as you have the money.
Black King Bar becomes more valuable as you progress through the tiers as players become so good that they can always find a way to focus on a carry and eliminate him at the beginning of the game. In fact, in the Divine and Immortal player skill tier (or even a professional player), it is almost a guarantee that a carry will be stun-locked or picked off at the start of an engagement.
Not only should you purchase the item, but you should also buy it on time. Getting Black King Bar as a fourth item is usually a bad choice. Depending on the development of the game, you should either get it as a second or as a third purchase.
Play as if you’re not ahead
Furthermore, you should always play as if you’re not ahead or as if you’re on equal terms. Overconfidence is a major issue in the games of Dota as people, and especially cores, start making dumb mistakes. This issue is more prevalent in lower tiers, but it becomes rare in Ancient and Divine.
The general rule of thumb is to always stay with your team during mid and late game. If you have the opportunity to pursue an objective, go ahead and focus on it. Losing time on dumb stuff will eventually cost you. Among others, by staying with your team, you can never find yourself in a 1v5 situation where you stubbornly try to kill everyone.
Stay with the team
Speaking of teamplay and objectives, you need to stick with your allies from minute 15 onward. One of the rare situations where you should split is when you take an objective and you cannot pursue other goals. In these cases, you can go back to farming as a core.
Most importantly, you should never act like the smart guy who doesn’t want to group up. This is a common behavior for carries who want to get just a few more creep kills. As a result, you have situations where the whole team, minus the carry, groups up and ventures to the enemy forest only to be met by a 5-man opposing team.
Situations like this can swing any game even if you’re ahead.
Proper use of communication channels
Whether you’re on a microphone or just using the chat, make sure to utilize them the right way. Everyone will get mad once in a while and will feel the need to vent their frustration publicly. They will flame their teammates even if their mistake was minor or due to a poor split-second reaction.
Keep in mind that we all make errors and that each one of us can have a bad game. Having access to communication doesn’t give you the right to belittle the person on the other side.
No matter what, try to be supportive and spread positive vibes. This also means praising teammates who have made the right call in a ranked matchmaking game. Criticism can be good if done the right way, but you gain nothing by cursing an ally. The only thing that can happen is for that person to get mad and start playing even worse.
Ideally, you should utilize the microphone to issue the instructions and guide your team like a pro player is doing it. Even if it’s only during the laning phase, you can notify the laning partner what you’re about to do, and what is expected from them (i.e. tell them that you’re about to pull creeps and to play carefully).
Lastly, I have to mention buybacks.
Once again, this mistake is much more common in the lower tiers, but it can also sometimes happen in the upper echelon of Dota 2. It is every player’s task to save money for a buyback in the mid and especially late game. Furthermore, if you don’t have a buyback, it is your duty to notify the time by clicking on the gold icon.
Buybacks are basically the most important resources in the late game alongside Glyph of Fortification in a competitive game. I’ve seen so many games where carries were playing too aggressively without a buyback or have stupidly squandered it just before a big engagement thinking to themselves: “Oh, I have a buyback and I get back to the game whenever I want.”
They would lose that buyback for nothing and after losing the subsequent engagement and not having a buyback when they need it, the team would simply falter.
That’s all tips and tricks we can give you to improve your skill level in Dota 2 and improve your win rate. Of course, you should have your basic setup right, like you playing in fullscreen with a good resolution, with a low ping (how to see PING in Dota 2), and good FPS (how to see FPS in Dota 2). And once you get comfortable, you can also look to disable help from allies.
And why you are already playing Dota to rank up, why not earn some money in the process?