Understanding all the different roles and their duties in Dota 2

Dota 2 is one of the most popular MOBAs in the world (Image via Valve)
Dota 2 is one of the most popular MOBAs in the world (Image via Valve)

Dota 2 is a real-time strategy game. The game is 5v5, where all five players must work together to gain victory.

Each player on the team plays a different role within the game. They are all crucial to the team's success. If a team lacks one role, its chances of winning decrease.


Dota 2 has five different roles. They are:

  1. Position 1 or Carry or Safe-Laner
  2. Position 2 or Mid-Laner
  3. Position 3 or Off-Laner
  4. Position 4 or Soft Support or Roamer
  5. Position 5 or Hard Support

The first three positions are core players, while the other two are supports. The cores get farm priority over the supports. They spend their killing creeps and getting stronger while supports spend their time enabling the cores.

Also Read: Dota 2 esports: Final list of 18 teams confirmed for the WePlay AniMajor

The 5 roles in Dota 2

Disclaimer: The game of Dota 2 is very flexible. Players can play the game in their own style, and there is no single way of playing. As such, this list contains guidelines rather than strict instructions on how to play a role.

The Position 1 or Carry or Safe-Laner


This is the role that eventually wins the game for the team. The carry player receives the highest farm priority and space on the map. They are very weak early in the game and must farm items to get stronger.

In the late game, the team rallies around them to win team fights and eventually the game.

Carry players must have a good farming pattern. Farming efficiently is one of the main attributes that carry players need. They need a high amount of game sense as well. Players must know when to fight and when to farm. Finally, the most important skill for carry players in Dota 2 is patience.

Knowing when a hero is strong enough to fight is one of the most important skills in Dota 2. It is essential for carry players cause if they join fights too early and die, their game is over. They must stay alive and dictate the flow of the game once they are strong enough.

Suggested carry heroes for new players are Juggernaut, Phantom Assassin, Sven, etc.

The Position 2 or Mid-Laner


Mid-Lane is one of the most lucrative positions in Dota 2. Players usually solo this lane against the enemy mid-laner. It is the most versatile and important role in the game since it greatly impacts both side lanes.

The primary duty of the mid-laner is to outscale and defeat the enemy mid-laner. Since they are solo, they have a huge level advantage in the early game. As a result, they are the best gankers in Dota 2. A good mid-laner can win a team's side-lanes as well as the mid-lane.

Mid-laners remain important throughout the game. They receive the second-highest farm priority in the game. Mid-laners are the most active players in the game. Players need to have a high amount of mechanical skill and game sense to succeed in this role.

Suggested mid heroes for new players are Viper, Dragon Knight, Zeus, etc.

The Position 3 or Off-laner


The off-lane and mid-lane roles are similar. The only difference is that off-laners receive much less farm priority and space on the map. Both roles perform a similar function for the team. Off-lane heroes are usually strong and durable heroes who can amplify their effectiveness with very few items.

Their primary job is to tank enemy spells and create space for their mid and carry. They often play a sacrificial role and are left alone in the lane. As a result, it is one of the hardest roles in Dota 2. Players need great game sense and match knowledge to succeed in the lane.

Off-laners must play in high-risk areas of the map. Their role in the late game is to enable the carry and mid. They often act as meat shields for their team, soaking in all the damage from the enemy team.

Suggested off-lane heroes for new players are Tidehunter, Bristleback, Slardar, etc.

Also Read: Top 5 game-ruining mistakes that new players make in Dota 2

The Position 4 or Soft Support or Roamer


Playing position 4 is one of the hardest tasks in Dota 2. They must play all over the map. Their primary job early in the game is to provide vision for the team. They are usually paired with an off-laner but can roam around the map.

Soft support players usually play an important role for the mid-lane as well. They are advised to rotate during the six-minute mark to secure power runes. They must strike their enemy when they least expect it. As such, playing this role requires a huge amount of game sense and map awareness.

Some of the position four heroes have a very strong ultimate. This can help them turn a fight around with just one click of a button. This is why position 4 is one of the most important roles in Dota 2.

Suggested soft support heroes for new players are Spirit Breaker, Abaddon, Ogre Magi, etc.

The Position 5 or Hard Support


Hard support is the least lucrative role in Dota 2. Hard support receives no farm priority. Their only job is to place wards and enable their core heroes. Unlike position 4 players, they are not expected to rotate early in the game.

Their primary job early in the game was to babysit their position 1 player. They must provide vision for their carry to farm safely. They are also expected to stack neutral camps to amplify their carry's farm.

Hard Support players are expected to buy all sentry wards and scout risky areas of the map. When the enemy is under the effect of the smoke of deceit, they are expected to walk into them to break the smoke. As such, they are the most disposable members of the team whose only objective is enabling others.

Suggested hard support heroes for new players are Lion, Witch Doctor, Lich, etc.

Also Read: Dota 2 7.29c: Top 5 insanely broken Aghanim's Shard upgrades for core heroes

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Edited by suwaidfazal
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