Did you know that Dota 2 started as an offshoot of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos? After the Defense of the Ancients (DotA) series began in 2003, the game mode became one of the most popular mods across the globe and eventually became a prominent esports game.

Then in 2009, Valve, Dota 2’s game developer, and IceFrog, the lead designer of the DotA mod, created a modernized remake, which became Dota 2. Staying true to its roots, Dota 2 has a lot of game modes or mini-games users can enjoy. One of them is Horde Mode.

If you are interested in playing this custom game and do not know which hero to use, I will recommend some of the best heroes for Horde Mode in Dota 2.

What is Horde Mode?

best heroes horde mode custom game

The Horde Mode custom game looks similar to how the real Dota 2 game is played. But instead of fighting against other heroes, you will be defending your base against increasing waves of enemy creeps. Every seven minutes or so, a boss will march down the mid lane.

Your team will be playing from the Radiant side (bottom-left corner). To win the match, you and your allies will have to destroy the Dire ancient that is protected by a dozen towers. By killing enemy creeps and bosses, your hero will level up like how it does in a regular Dota 2 game.

How to Install Horde Mode

best heroes horde mode install

This game mode is not readily available when you launch Dota 2 for the first time, but installing it is quite straightforward.

To do so, follow these steps:

1. At the Dota 2 homepage, navigate to the ARCADE tab at the top of the screen.

2. Enter “Horde Mode” at the Search custom games bar at the upper-left corner of the screen.

3. Scroll down and look for Dota 2 Horde Mode *UPDATED* and click the option.

4. Click INSTALL.

You can either create a match or join one.

To create your own game and have friends join your lobby, click CREATE CUSTOM LOBBY. If you want to join a public lobby, click PLAY DOTA 2 HORDE MODE *UPDATED*.

The map is dependent on the number of users who are playing. Choosing Horde_2P (two players) will close the top and bottom lane. The Horde_3P (three players) map opens all lanes, but gives your team a bit of a handicap. For a normal map and when you have five players on your squad, select Horde_5P (five players).

The Best Heroes for Horde Mode

Now that you are ready to play the mini-game, you have to decide first which hero to play. It is not like a normal match where you have to look for the best laner or hero based on position. The game mechanics and strategies are significantly different in this PvE (player versus environment) game than in the normal 5v5 mode Dota 2 players have been accustomed to.

The best heroes for Horde Mode in Dota 2 are those who can quickly kill creep waves, defend the base from dozens of enemies and bosses, and push on the enemy base. Below are some of those heroes.


best heroes horde mode alchemist

One of the runners up for my list of the best carry heroes in Dota 2, Alchemist is the perfect choice for Horde Mode.

His third skill Greevil’s Greed allows you to amass a huge number of gold in a short period of time, letting you buy the items you need before the arrival of bosses. Meanwhile, Acid Spray, which is buffed in this game mode, is great for killing a huge number of creeps at any given time.

Lastly, his ultimate Chemical Rage can make him solo push and destroy enemy towers in the late game while his four teammates defend the base.

Here are some tips on how to use Alchemist in the game.

For his skills, prioritize both Acid Spray and Greevil’s Greed so that you can kill creep waves and farm quickly. Before the seventh minute, you should have already upgraded Chemical Rage.

The items you should rush to purchase are Tranquil Boots, Battle Fury or Radiance, then Heart of Tarrasque. Deciding between Battle Fury and Radiance can be difficult. But if you want more attack speed, definitely go for BF. But those who want evasion could opt for Radiance instead.

After buying these three main items, get Assault Cuirass next (for increased attack speed and armor) then Octarine Core (for cooldown reduction.)

Centaur Warrunner

best heroes horde mode centaur warrunner

Centaur Warrunner, one of the best offlaners in Dota 2, is another hero built for Horde Mode.

Thanks to his third skill Retaliate, he can tank hits from enemy creeps once he is online and can solo push all the way to the Dire base. Bradwarden can also help out teammates who are struggling in their lanes.

If needed, Centaur’s ultimate Stampede can serve as an escape mechanism for teammates as casting it will give them increased strength and maximum movement speed.

These are the two skills you will have to prioritize every time you get the chance to upgrade your skills. It also helps to learn how to level up fast. When left with no choice, you can increase Double Edge as this will give you an AoE attack to kill creeps with.

As for the items, get Boots of Speed first and buy a Ring of Protection. In the early game, get the items you need to complete Tranquil Boots. Then, save up for a Blink Dagger to provide you a quick way out of creep hordes and to help you efficiently go back to the fountain to regen, if needed.

The next items to raise gold for are Vanguard, which you should immediately complete into Crimson Guard. After this, look to purchase Heart of Tarrasque. This will make you a very tanky hero who can ignore lower-level creeps as you push your way towards the enemy towers and ancient.


best heroes horde mode omniknight

Considered as among the best healer heroes in Dota 2, Omniknight can easily transform into a carry in this game mode.

What makes him a good choice as one of the best heroes for Horde Mode is his ability to sustain in the early game when other heroes are prone to dying because of the sheer number of creeps. His first two skills Purification and Heavenly Grace can heal a huge amount of HP and can prevent death if the situation calls for it.

Omni’s ultimate Guardian Angel is also a solid weapon against bosses because it provides immunity from physical damage. Be sure to prioritize these three skills and stats as you level up.

For your item strat with Omniknight, be sure to get Boots of Speed, which you should eventually complete into Boots of Travel, and Soul Ring, to help with your mana issue early on. Then what you would want to do is rush at least one Battle Fury to help you clear waves and farm quickly.

You can stack multiple BFs to increase your cleave damage bonus. You can also leave a slot for Heart of Tarrasque to increase your survivability, particularly when facing bosses or going for enemy towers. Lastly, save up for the Cursed Rapier to help you deal a huge amount of damage on enemy units and towers.