Dota 2 is a game about resources. Winning a match requires maximizing your team’s resources while simultaneously limiting your opponent’s.
One of the most valuable resources that can influence the game’s outcome is experience.
Gaining certain amounts of experience allows heroes to level up. And when they level up, the heroes’ base attributes (strength, agility, and intelligence) increase. They also receive an ability point, which users can spend on abilities or talents. To put it simply, leveling up makes your hero more powerful.
Unfortunately, some players lag in the experience race, which puts them at a disadvantage when up against opponents who progress at a faster pace than them.
In this article, I will discuss tips on how to level up fast in Dota 2.
Get the Last Hits
Many novice Dota 2 players commit the mistake of attacking enemy lane creeps with high health points (HP) and harassing opposing heroes during the earlier phase of the game.
What you have to master is last-hitting. It is a technique where you get the final blow on a creep, hero, or building by waiting until its HP is low enough to be killed with just one attack (normal or skill.) When you secure the last hit, your hero will be awarded with gold, and it will ensure that you and your teammates get the experience.
Last-hitting may be difficult to grasp at first, but mastering the timing is part of the learning curve of the game.
One of the challenges that will prevent you from getting the last hit is enemy heroes harassing you and keeping you with low HP that you cannot sustain in the lane. Another is those same enemy heroes denying their own creeps. To deny means to last-hit one’s ally creeps to stop nearby opposing heroes from gaining experience.
A solution to this is to pull the creeps toward you and draw them nearer to your tower. To do this, when you are near enemy creeps, attack an opposing hero to pull the enemy creeps’ aggro or attention towards you. Creeps are programmed to prioritize targeting the enemy heroes that attack their ally heroes.
Through doing so, you can lure enemy creeps away from opposing heroes, allowing you to last-hit the creeps with limited harassment from the enemy heroes.
Another effective technique is to body block your ally creeps so that they are hindered from moving forward. This can result in the opposite set of creeps meeting nearer your tower. You can body block more easily when you learn how to lock camera in Dota 2.
Avoid Early Unnecessary Fights
In Dota 2, patience is a virtue. Many players fall into the trap of looking for the early fights or ganks to score some kills. But this is a huge gamble, and when it does not pay off, you run the risk of losing out on early experience and getting out-scaled by opponents.
If your role is a roamer or support, this is just fine since it is not your priority to level up fast. But if you are playing a core position, it is more important to farm in the initial stages of the match. Better stay on your lane as this is the quickest way to level up in the early game.
Conversely, the opponents will possibly look to disrupt your farm by surprising you with ganks. Avoid getting killed by placing Observer Wards in strategic spots to see possible ambushes. Remember that every second your hero is dead means you are missing out on essential experience.
One of the ways how to level up fast in Dota 2 is to hit the neutral camps, which is called jungling or bushing.
Neutral camps house different types of neutral creeps that provide varying levels of experience and gold. There are small, medium, and large camps scattered in the jungle on both sides of the map. In each side of the map, there is also an ancient camp available, which is home to the strongest and richest (in terms of provided experience and gold) non-Roshan neutral creeps.
Clearing these camps in strategic times can provide more experience than killing lane creeps.
The most opportune times to go jungling are when your hero has already leveled up enough and you have already bought items that can quickly regenerate your HP. This is because the neutral creeps can cause sufficient damage to your character, especially if it has not reached level four.
Another way to take advantage of neutral camps for more experience is creep stacking. It is the process of pulling the creeps outside the camp’s boundary right at the respawn time (at every 1:00 interval) so that a new set of creeps will appear. Stacked camps provide additional experience and gold to those who killed and stacked the camp.
Because stacking camps can consume the time that you could have spent farming on the lane, it is usually the support players who do the stacking.
Other Sources of Experience
Apart from last-hitting and jungling, there are also other sources of experience that you can use to level up fast or catch up to opponents who might have already out-scaled your hero.
Hand of Midas
The Hand of Midas is a purchasable item at the Main Shop. It provides heroes additional attack speed and, more importantly, the Transmute ability.
Casting the ability on an enemy or non-ancient neutral creep kills the unit instantly and grants the hero 160 unreliable gold and 210 percent of the target’s experience bounty. The item offers a way for players to increase their levels quickly.
To maximize the efficiency of Hand of Midas, you should look to using it on siege creeps, ranged creeps, or large neutral creeps.
Tome of Knowledge
Another purchasable item that can help you level up fast in Dota 2 is Tome of Knowledge.
When consumed, the item gives the user 700 experience for the team’s first two use. After that, a bonus 135 experience for every Tome consumed by the team is granted. Take note, though, that the item restocks every 600 seconds, so the team should plan accordingly when to buy one.
There have been debates regarding who among the players should consume the Tome of Knowledge. They are commonly reserved for supports because those players usually give way for the cores to farm in lanes and jungles. The item is a good way for supports to catch up on levels.
But there are also instances when cores should take the Tome instead to let them gain an upper hand on the opponents. For example, if a core hero needs just a few more experience points to get to level 6/12/18 (for ultimates) or 10/15/20/25 (for talents), the team will make the call for him to consume the Tome.
Leveling up fast in Dota 2 is not always an easy task. It requires good timing, positioning, and, of course, knowing what to do at any given point in the match. That the opposing team will try to limit your farm as much as possible can make gaining experience more difficult to achieve.
But Dota 2 is a game of breaks. Even if you have fallen behind early in terms of experience and gold, there are still ways to catch up in the mid and late game.
Aside from following this guide, you have to devote more time to practicing to master the mechanics and to fully understand how to take advantage of the maps and the resources available to you.