How to play Support in Dota 2 - Overview & Tips

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Dota 2 is a complex MOBA that requires you to choose one of the in-game positions and do everything you can to defeat your opponents. Even though most people usually pick a mid-laner or a carry, some players are more interested in support. That’s why this Dota 2 support guide will include the ins and outs of this position.

For some reason, inexperienced Dota 2 players assume that playing support is like walking in the park. In fact, some of them even think that supports are not that useful and it doesn’t really matter what they do even early on. Unsurprisingly, this is definitely not the case because supports have a crucial role in the game. So, let’s learn more about them.

The types of supports

Prior to the Dota 2 patch that allowed people to choose in-game positions before playing, supports were known as “position 4” and “position 5”. The pos 4 heroes were the so-called “soft supports” whose job was to help in the lane and stack/gank other lanes when needed. As for the “pos 5”, these are the hard supports; whose job is to buy all of the utilities for the given team and help the carry.

Both types of support have their pros and cons and have a key role in the team’s success. The position 5 heroes are usually much weaker than the rest, meaning they are often the first to die in a fight. Needless to say, good support players do everything in their power not to feed too much, but there are cases where this isn’t possible.

Which heroes are the best for supporting?

Even though Dota 2 is a game where most heroes can fill any role, this does not always apply to support. While it’s true any hero in the game can be placed in this role, some simply won’t be effective or achieve anything. As a result, the support hero pool is usually limited and includes a couple of options.

Starting with the hard supports, those heroes usually have INT as their main stats. They are characterized by doing a lot of damage early on and having things like low movement speed. Some of the common position 5 heroes include Crystal Maiden, Lion, Ancient Apparition, Lich, and more.

In terms of the soft supports, this is where things get really interesting. Usually, those heroes have some sort of ganking potential; because the people who use them often try to secure kills around the map. However, there are cases where pro teams and even pub players pick specific heroes for this role who become cores once the game reaches a certain point.

Picks like Ogre, Omniknight, Marci, Chen, and Enchantress are some popular position 4 heroes in the game. That said, we’ve seen things like Riki, Tiny, Pugna, and even Pudge, so it all depends on the map and the players themselves.

Why are Dota 2 supports so important?

What makes supports in Dota 2 so important? They’re the heroes that make the difference during the laning stage. The idea of having support on your team is to help the core heroes when they have problems.

If we look at the safe lane, we’ll usually find an AGI carry that can’t do much early on. Needless to say, players know this, which is why they'll try to pick a strong offlaner that can rip through the opponent’s carry. This is where supports have to kick in because they have to help their carry farm.

Besides harassing, supports should try to land kills, pull, stack, heal, and take care of all sorts of other mechanics. We can’t include everything because some of these depend a lot on the map and the carry player on your team.

As for the soft support, their role is even more exciting and has a huge impact at all stages of the game. As mentioned earlier, most heroes in this role are usually good at ganking because they have some kind of disable; such as a stun. Unsurprisingly, those things are really strong for securing kills, which is why they have to try and land as many kills as possible.

The bad news is that this isn’t as easy as it seems, especially against certain heroes. The position 4 players are usually under huge pressure. Because their team expects them to make a difference early on. Sadly, some people fail, which often negatively impacts other players.

Supports in the mid-game

We’ve mentioned early on that both supports are under pressure in the early game because they have to help their team. This is also true up to a point when it comes down to the mid-game, but of course there are some exceptions. When there’s 123 to choose from, it often depends on the heroes.

Usually, hard supports become a walking stun/heal/sleep (depending on the hero), and they can’t really do much other than bait. Soft supports usually impact the game more, but it all depends on the hero. Some of them fall behind, whereas others; like Earthshaker or Lina, can snowball and even transition into a semi-core role when needed.

Supports in the late-game

You don’t have to be a Dota 2 expert to see that supports can’t do much during the game's later stages. In most cases, they are just walking frags that have to try and use as many abilities as possible before dying. That said, there are some exceptions because certain support 5 heroes can make a huge difference in fights as long as they survive.

For example, Dazzle’s Grave can be game-changing if the hero pulls it off before dying. Sadly, most enemies know that he can make a difference, so they’ll make sure to target him.

Bane is also a good example of a position 5 hero that can do a lot later on. His ult allows him to disable a target and give his team enough time to score a kill.


Although cores have to get different items depending on the heroes they have to go up against, supports are usually not like that. Some heroes have to adapt to every game, but most of the soft support usually buys the same items.

In addition to wards and dusts, support heroes usually go for items like Glimmer’s Cape, Eul’s, and Force Staff. Those who get lucky and secure a few kills will try to get something that will allow them to survive longer during fights. Aeon Disc is probably the best example because this item can save every support from certain death.

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CS Virtual Trade Ltd, reg. no. HE 389299 Registered address and the principal place of business: 705, Spyrou Araouzou & Koumantarias, Fayza House, 3036, Limassol, Cyprus
Copyright © 2024 BLIX.GG. All rights reserved.