Dota 2 Game Modes - There is something for everyone

Dec 04 2019 8 min read

Dota 2 Game Modes - There is something for everyone ⚡⚡⚡ Esports and gaming news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!


Dota 2 has a couple of game modes that allow the players to play whatever they like. The game modes in Dota 2 are basically specific rules that players need to follow when they choose it. Some of them are for fun, whereas others such as Captain's mode are most focused on the professional scene. You can observe all its beauty during the WePlay AniMajor, held on June 2-13, 2021.

Let's dive in check what can you expect from each mode, and is this going to be your cup of tea.

All Pick

This is the most common game mode in Dota 2 that everyone loves to play. As the name suggests, All Pick allows you to choose one hero from the full hero pool, which gives you plenty of options to choose from. Nearly every single public (ranked or unranked) game is played in this mode because it provides players maximum flexibility.

When the All Pick games begin, each team has 75 seconds to select heroes and then another 75 seconds before the creep wave appears. If you don't pick a hero on time, you will lose two gold per second until you run out of time. When this happens, you will be given a random hero. 

If you have no idea which hero to play, you can also click the Random button, and you will be given a random hero. Of course, there are a few bonuses here, such as more gold and two starting items.


Turbo Mode

This is the newest mode in Dota 2 that is similar to All Pick because you can choose from all available heroes. However, that's where the similarities end. Unlike any other Mode, Turbo is focused on speed, which means that every single process in Dota 2 is accelerated. As a result, there are some things that you need to keep in mind:

  • You have less time to pick a hero
  • Everyone has to pick at the same time
  • The gold and experience you get are vastly increased, which makes the games a lot faster. Usually, a turbo game will be no more than 20 minutes long, but there are some exceptions
  • You won't lose any gold when you die
  • The towers are weaker which means less damage, armor, and HP
  • Less Respawn time - you will be back in action in no time
  • Faster couriers (you will get your item in a matter of seconds after you use the courier to deliver it to you)

All these small tweaks are intended to make Turbo mode an entertaining approach to play Dota 2. It is a very efficient way of trying out new heroes, item builds, or any other new tactic. Alternatively, you can also play Turbo mode to accumulate the 100 games which are needed to be able to play Ranked Mode. Many players complained about this feature, but it seems like Valve decided to let it be so far. After all, It's way easier to do 100 turbo games than 100 All Pick games because it will take you half the time.

Ranked All Pick

The ranked All Pick mode is a little bit different than the normal one, but the general concept is the same. Here is what you need to keep in mind here:

  • You have 15 seconds before you start picking a hero to ban some heroes. After 15 seconds, half of the heroes who were nominated for a ban will get banned for this game. The number of bans is always equal to half of the votes from the players. 
  • After the banning phase is over, you will be able to choose a hero. Right now, each team has 25 seconds to pick a hero, and they take turns. If a hero isn't selected in that timeframe, the entire team will lose two gold. Once someone picks a hero, the timer switches to the other side, and they have to do the same.
  • If no one picks a hero within 30 seconds, one of the players from the team will be given a random hero.
  • If a player disconnects during the picking phase, and he doesn't come back until it's over, he will be given a random hero, and the game will be "safe to leave." This is a good thing as it "saves" the rest of his team-mates from losing MMR.
  • If a player decides to random a hero, he will receive a Faerie Fire and an Enchanted Mango as a bonus.

Single Draft

In this mode, you have to choose between three random heroes that represent the three main stats - Strength, Agility, and Intelligence. This is one of the most punishing game modes because you are forced to play it once you get inside "low priority". Most players tend to avoid this unless they need to play Single Draft.

Random Draft

This mode is very similar to All Pick, but instead of all heroes, players can only choose from a pool of fifty. Each player has twenty seconds to choose a hero and start playing. Apart from that, every other thing is the same as in All Pick.

All Random

As the name suggests, this mode assigns a random hero to every single player in the game. It used to be very popular back in the days of DotA, but now, most players tend to avoid it. 

Captain's Mode

This is the standard mode that's played on every single Dota 2 tournament. Each team has a captain who's job is to ban six heroes and pick five heroes for him and his team-mates. Once the heroes are selected, each player has to choose one of them.

Each captain has 35 seconds to ban and to pick a certain hero. However, sometimes, this might not be enough, which is why each team has an extra 130 seconds that they can use. If a team runs out of time while picking, they will be given a random hero. On the contrary, if the same thing happens with a ban, no hero will get banned.

Apart from tournaments, "normal" players can also choose this mode and play. Usually, the person with the highest MMR in the team will be assigned with the captain role. However, we not advise you to spam this mode too much because there are too many things that can go wrong. 

Captain's Draft

This mode is similar to the previous one, but it has a couple of different things to keep in mind. The captains of each team have to ban and choose from a set of 27 heroes as each of them bans three heroes and then picks five for his team. Each captain only has 180 seconds to make up his mind here, and unlike in Captain's Mode, there is no extra time here. This mode isn't that popular among the Dota 2 community.

Ability Draft

This is, without a doubt, the most refreshing mode in Dota 2 that you can play. Of course, there it's not included in the Ranked system, but it is still a great way to have some fun. In Ability Draft, you can create your very own hero by choosing four abilities that are selected from a couple of heroes. As you can imagine, there are literally endless combinations for you to try out, such as having four passive skills or three significant AoE abilities. 

In the beginning, you will be given a random hero, and then each player takes a turn to select different abilities from the list. However, once someone chooses some of them, you won't be able to get the same spell.  Also, you can only get one ultimate, so don't get your hopes up.

The following heroes are not available in this mode - Invoker, Lone Druid, Morphling, and Earth Spirit. That's because their skills are particular and individual, and they can't work correctly unless you have all other skills that the specific hero offers.

All Random Deathmatch

In this mode, players will receive a random hero every single time when they die. The team that reaches 45 kills or manages to kill the ancient wins. 

After a player dies, he will be assigned a random hero. Having said that, the gold, level, and items that he bought will be transferred into the new hero. There are also a couple of things to keep in mind here:

  • If you decide to sell an item, you will get 85% of the price you paid for it, which is more than the one you get in other modes
  • You will be able to see the new hero that's been assigned to you as soon as you die
  • You can even buyback (if you have the gold, of course).

The 1v1 Practice

Dota 2 is a team-based game, but sometimes, you may want to improve your own skill. Whether that's the case or you just want to test some things, the Dota 2 client has a special mode called Practice 1v1. Here, you can play against another player in a one versus one mid-lane scenario. 

However, the rules are not the same as in the other modes. To win, you have to either kill your opponent twice or destroy his tier one tower, whichever comes first. In 90% of the cases, the players that secure first blood is the one to win, so keep that in mind.

The creeps will spawn only in the middle lane, and each player starts with a free courier. There are also a couple of changes in comparison to the other modes:

  • There are no runes at the start of the game, which means that you can get a particular rune after the second minute. Keep in mind that the runes can have a massive impact on the outcome of the game, so we definitely advise you to keep an eye on them at all costs.
  • You can talk to your opponent via the voice chat, something that's impossible in other modes.
  • You can't farm or push any of the side lanes. However, you can still farm the jungle and get gold and experience from there
  • If you say gg or leave the game, you will automatically lose.

Playing with bots and Private Lobbies

Apart from the modes we've mentioned above, you can also play against bots when you decide to try something out. This is a great way to experiment with different strategies because the bots can work together pretty well.

Of course, you also can create your very own private lobbies if you want to play with your friends.


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