A guide to Dota 2’s game modes

Dota is known all over the world for its thrilling gameplay. Since it is a direct sequel of the original Defense of the Ancients custom map of Warcraft III, the way the game is played remains largely the same. Over the years, though, Valve has added new game modes to provide more unique and fun experiences to the players.

Some of these game modes are new variants of the classic 5v5 game mode, while some change it in a big way. Still, it provides for a boatload of fun and a great time for the players.

If you want to dive into the world of Dota 2, then you should be well-acquainted with its different game modes. Here, you’ll learn about some of these game modes and see for yourself what makes them special. Each one is unique and an awesome way to spend your time. 

All Pick

All Pick is the go-to game mode for most Dota players who want a casual gameplay experience. For this mode, you can pick any of the heroes without any restrictions. Each player is given 75 seconds to select their hero. After which they are given 75 seconds before creeps begin to spawn. 

An option that a player has when choosing a hero is to pick the random option. Called randoming, this is a fun way for a gamer to play and learn new heroes. In addition, randoming also gives the player an Enchanted Mango and Faerie Fire that they aren’t allowed to sell. When consumed, these items provide small bonuses to the health regen and attack of the chosen hero. 

If players don’t get to choose a hero during the 75 second selection period, they lose 2 gold per second. Players also cannot pick a random hero during the last 10 seconds of hero selection. 

Ranked All Pick

This game mode is similar to All Pick in the sense that a player can pick any hero from the pool. However, it’s a bit more complex than that. Also known as ‘Ranked Matchmaking’ it is where competitive players go to test their skills and increase their ranked MMR. Some differences that Ranked All Pick has from regular All Pick are the following:

  • Ranked All Pick has a banning phase where players vote for a hero they wish to be banned. A banned hero is not allowed to be picked. Players are given 15 seconds to vote for a hero they wish to be banned. Each hero can be voted to be banned once and no two players can vote for the same hero.

Afterward, the game reveals the heroes that were banned. In order to fulfill the total of 16 banned heroes for the game, the system bands random heroes based on their ban rate. 

  • Instead of players picking their heroes all at the same time, each team must take turns making their selections. For the first two rounds of selections, two players from each team are given 25 seconds to pick their heroes. Afterward, the last player from each team is given 20 seconds to pick their hero. 

Just like All Pick, players lose 2 gold per second if they are not able to pick a hero during the allotted time for it. If the player still hasn’t picked a hero for 30 seconds of losing gold, they are given a random one instead. 

The player’s picks are not revealed until the round is over. If two players choose the same hero, that hero is banned and the round starts over, for a max of two times. If it happens a third time, the person who chooses the hero first gets it, and the other player has time to pick another hero.

Turbo Mode

Turbo mode follows the same rules as All Pick, except that it was meant to have faster matches. The following changes were made to allow this: 

  1. Faster picking and drafting

Unlike Ranked All Pick where bans have to be voted and each round has a set time, Turbo mode allows for instant selections and bans.

  1. Faster gold and experience gain

To make the match faster, all exp and bounties gained from creeps are doubled. When your hero is slain, you do not lose any gold as well. The gold you get from the bounty rune is also doubled, along with all the gold you get from the Hand of Midas item. 

  1. Items can be sold anywhere and towers are weaker

In addition to faster gold and exp gain, the towers are also easier to destroy. They have lowered defenses so heroes can damage them easier and break them faster. To make each team stronger quicker, each player gets the ability to sell items from anywhere on the map. This will remove the delay of having to go back to your base or using a courier just to manage items. 

All Random

As the name implies, in this game mode, each player is assigned a random hero. It is worth noting, however, that Goblin Techies is not a part of the pool of heroes that can be assigned to a player. 

Captain’s Mode

This mode is the main tournament game format. Here, the captains ban up to seven heroes per team. They also choose the hero lineup for their respective teams. After this, each player on the captain’s team picks from the lineup their captain selected. 

In this mode, picks and bans have a time limit of 30 seconds. Each captain has 130 seconds of total bonus time to use during a round. No hero is banned if time runs out during the banning phase, and random heroes are chosen if time runs out during the picking phase. 

In order to be the captain, you have to click the ‘become captain’ button. In ranked matchmaking, however, the player with the highest MMR on each team is made the captain.

How to play these game modes

These game modes normally do not appear when you click Find Match. To access them, you need to enable them through the game’s console. In the console, you must type dota_match_game_modes ## where the ## is the number of the desired game mode. Here is a list of the game modes you can play as well as their numbers:

2All Pick
4Captains Mode
8Random Draft
16Single Draft
32All Random
256Reverse Captains Mode
512The Greeviling
2048Mid Only
4096Least Played
8192Limited Heroes
65536Captains Draft
131072Balanced Draft
262144Ability Draft
1048576All Random Deathmatch
20971521v1 Mid

Dota 2 offers a variety of ways in which you can enjoy the game to the fullest. Whether you’re a new player or a veteran, there is always a fun game mode that is perfect for you. All you have to do is enter the number on the console command and hop right in!