What are runes?

Dota 2: What are runes?

Many players around the world are fond of playing Dota 2, a popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game that requires a lot of strategies to win. To enjoy this game, players would have to know every single detail that makes the game more interesting. 

Aside from learning the gameplay, it is also important for players to learn strategies that can help them win the game. This includes knowing the power ups that are available in the game. With the help of these powerups, players can maximize their chances and learn how to have an advantage against their opponents. 

One of the powerups that players can use in Dota 2 is runes. To know more about these and how they can elevate a player’s Dota 2 gaming experience, here is a better understanding of it. 

What are runes? 

Runes are unique power ups that appear at one of two places along the river. There are two categories of runes: Powerup Runes and Bounty Runes. 

Powerup Runes spawn every 2 minutes, although not at the beginning of the game, but at the 2:00 minute mark. After two minutes, if a Powerup Rune is not picked up, it will vanish and be replaced by a different rune. After the 40:00 minute mark, Powerup Runes spawn different runes on both sides of the river.

There are four sites in the jungle where Bounty Runes can be found. The river does not spawn Bounty Runes. Instead, they start spawning in the jungle at 0:00 game time (first creep spawn). Keep in mind that the runes respawn every 2 minutes.


There are several key points that players must know about bottling and how it relates to runes. Here are some of them. 

  • Taking the rune while carrying a Bottle will cause it to be stored in the bottle rather than used.
  • By activating the bottle, the rune can be used at any moment.
  • A rune that has been bottled will not prevent a new one from spawning.
  • If the rune is not consumed within two minutes after being picked up, it will automatically activate.
  • The bottle is refilled to maximum charges after utilizing a stored Powerup Rune. Bottling a bounty rune only restores 2 bottle charges, leaving the rune uncapped. 
  • The Courier is unable to bottle runes, and bottles containing a stored rune cannot be shared or dropped.

Powerup runes 

As mentioned, one of the two rune categories is a powerup rune. There are several types of powerup runes and each of them can provide a powerful effect for a short time. Also, the buffs created by these runes can be dispelled. 

Double damage rune 

When this rune is activated, it can increase base attack damage. This only affects base damage. Once activated, this buff is applied to the user’s controlled illusions within the 500 range. The electric blue visual effect of this rune is visible to enemies. This rune is also dispellable.

  • Targeting: No target 
  • Affects: Self
  • Bonus damage: 100%
  • Duration: 45

Haste rune

When activated, this dispellable rune can increase movement speed to maximum and apply haste, making the player immune to slows. The red trailing visual effect of this rune is also visible to enemies. 

  • Targeting: No target
  • Affects: Self
  • Movement speed: 550
  • Duration: 22

Illusion rune

This rune simply creates controllable illusions for heroes. 

  • Targeting: No target
  • Affects: Self
  • Split time: 0.1
  • Number of illusions: 2
  • Illusion damage dealt: 35%
  • Melee illusion damage taken: 200%
  • Ranged illusion damage taken: 300%
  • Duration: 75

Regeneration rune

This rune grants HP and mana regeneration based on the percentage of a user’s maximum values. Its effect ends when the hero replenishes all health and mana or when they receive damage from an enemy player or Roshan. This is dispellable. 

  • Targeting: No target
  • Affects: Self
  • Max HP regen per second: 6%
  • Max Mana regen per second: 6%
  • Duration: 30

Invisibility rune

Once this rune is activated, this can turn the user invisible after a short fade time. This is dispellable. 

  • Targeting: No target
  • Affects: Self
  • Fade time: 2
  • Duration: 45

Arcane rune

Activating this dispellable rune will cause all spell and item cooldowns as well as mana costs to be reduced. 

  • Targeting: No target
  • Affects: Self
  • Cooldown reduction: 30%
  • Mana cost/ loss reduction: 30%
  • Duration: 50

Bounty rune

The other type of rune that players will encounter in the game are bounty runes. There is one of these in each of the four jungles throughout the map. Therefore, this grants a gold bonus for all allied heroes once it is picked up. A bottled bounty rune will grant gold to the players once activated and not when it is bottled. 

Using a stored bounty rune will only grant players 2 charges. Also, an overhead text will show up to show how much gold was given to players. This figure is not visible to enemies. However, it is when a player gains gold from a bounty rune that a small golden particle effect visible to everyone will burst from the player. 

  • Targeting: No target
  • Affects: Self
  • Base gold: 40
  • Bonus gold per interval: 9
  • Interval: 5 minutes 

Water rune

This type of rune is known for being able to instantly restore a part of health and mana. When bottling a water rune, only 2 charges are granted. These runes spawn at the 2:00 and the 4:00 minute mark at both rune spots in the river. After that, they don’t spawn anymore. 

  • Targeting: No target
  • Affects: Self
  • Health restored: 40
  • Mana restored: 80 

These are just some of the runes that every player should know whenever they play Dota 2. By knowing the advantages that these runes bring, players will be more confident about their playstyles and be strategic enough to win. Also, learning how these can be spawned will make it easier for players to learn what runes are perfect for every game situation they may encounter!