Nothing is more frustrating for DOTA 2 players than finding themselves stuck in a whirlpool of defeats, and that too when they’re desperate to climb the MMR ladder. Unfortunately, the more desperate they become, the more they slide towards the bottom. This is not an unknown phenomenon, as DOTA 2 is all about keeping a cool head and not letting losses become a bigger disappointment than they already are. Enough about losses and desperation. If you’re here, then you’re surely looking to improve your solo MMR. Well, you’ve certainly come to the right place for help because in this guide, you’ll be learning the sure-fire ways to ensure that the fate of your future DOTA 2 ranked games leave you pleased and celebrating. So without further ado, let’s get started.
Learn the Basics
You shouldn’t expect yourself to win games unless you invest time in learning the basics. This includes learning about the different heroes and their abilities, importance of observer wards and sentries, locations and spawn time of neutral creeps and ancient creeps, rune locations and timing, map design, items and their recipes, etc. Basically, you need to learn the ABC of DOTA 2 before you actually dive into ranked match making. And even then, don’t expect yourself to start winning from the get go. You might win by fluke, but remember, the aim is to win consistently, not occasionally and that too by fluke.
Pick Your Hero Smartly
Almost 60% of the ranked matches have their fate decided during the hero selection phase. Not picking a balanced team can deal a heavy blow to your chances of winning. If you’re playing to win, then be flexible with your hero picks. Do not immediately pick Pudge, Invoker, or Nevermore, and then rush mid. Wait for a while. Let your team pick first. Take a look at what they’re picking. Keep an eye on what the enemy team is picking. Read the lineup and analyze it before picking your hero. Do not be reluctant to pick a support hero even if that might seem like a boring way to be spending your next 30-60 minutes. Playing support may not be the most exciting thing to do, but it certainly plays the biggest role in determining the fate of the match. If you feel the urge to pick a counter to one of the enemy heroes, then don’t hesitate to do so. There is no need to feel ashamed over picking counters. Remember, anything’s fair in love and war, and this is definitely war.
Know Your Role and Stick to It
This cannot be emphasized enough. Picking a support hero and then competing with your team’s carry or even tank for last hits is the worst thing you can do. Yes, you do need money for buying wards, and yes, even supports become really powerful with the right items, but that doesn’t mean you deprive your team’s carry and tank of gold. Remember, a carry and tank needs more gold than support. Plus, the support can get their fill of gold from neutrals, which they should be visiting a lot to either stack for their carry, or to pull creeps. And oh, give wards and other supporting items priority over your own items.
If you’re playing a carry hero, then remember to focus on farming. Keep in mind that your team is buying you time and hence creating space so that you can farm your items and take over once the situation demands. Do not let the opportunity go to waste. That being said, never think twice before jumping into a team fight if your team needs you with them. Do not give your farming priority over your team mates. If they need your help but there’s a large wave of creeps approaching, choose your team mates instead of the gold. Killing is an excellent way to earn quick gold. And oh, one really important thing. If you’re not good at last hitting and letting too many creeps go to waste, then take it as a hint that you’re not yet ready to be playing carry heroes. Don’t make it a matter of ego or pride. Your stubbornness can prove to be cancerous for your MMR.
If you’re playing tank, do not be afraid to move forward and take incoming damage. To absorb damage is your job. However, just don’t rush in mindlessly. Make sure your team is present and all set to utilize the shield you’re about to provide them before rushing in. And always calculate the risk before you go in. Don’t initiate when the odds are not in your favor or when your team is not ready to engage due to depleted mana or hp.
Communicate and Cooperate with Your Team
DOTA 2 is a team game, and it’s meant to be played as a team. This becomes even more important in ranked games as the margin of error in these matches is very less. Therefore, keep communicating with your team. If a call has been made, pay heed to it instead of ignoring it. Never let yourself think that you can win the game all by yourself, because it is overconfidence that can prove to be your bane. Plan out plays and execute them. If someone calls for help, rush to them, but not if it’s a hopeless situation as you will only end up giving the enemy team two kills instead of one. And most importantly, refrain from the blame game and toxic conversations. The moment that starts, you can kiss your chances of winning goodbye.
Keep an Eye on the Minimap
A lot of players end up making the mistake of not paying enough attention to the minimap. Never underestimate its importance or value. It is an excellent source of vision, and plays a vital role in helping you formulate a quick strategy, provide your team assistance, farm, avoid trouble, and do so much more. Also, pinging on the minimap is a fast and effective way of communication and putting a play in motion, like engaging the enemy heroes or retreating for instance.
Do Not Become Overconfident
Overconfidence has the potential to strip you of a sure-shot victory. The moment you believe you’ve won the game and start pulling off cheeky plays, or delay pushing because you’re interested in getting a six-slot inventory, you create a window of opportunity for the enemy team to bounce back, especially if they have a Void, Phantom Assassin, or Spectre. The smartest thing to do is to push the moment the opportunity presents itself, e.g. a team wipe or death of 2-3 enemy heroes.
Do you agree with the aforementioned tips for improving your solo MMR? Is there anything we’ve missed? Are there any great tips that you know of? We’d love to hear your thoughts and have you share your tips with us and other DOTA 2 players.