An image of the map in Dota 2.

Best Map Movement Guide in Dota 2

Have you mastered the tricks in our map movement guide for Dota 2 yet?

Did you know? Dota 2 is consistently one of the most played games on Steam, currently averaging 7.6 million players a month. Since it was first released in 2013, Dota 2 has been one of the biggest games in the world. Its major tournament, The International, boasts the largest prize pool of any esport event year after year.

Because of its high number of players, it can be difficult to climb the ranks quickly. You will need to master the fundamentals of the game, including knowing the different roles, counter-picking strategies, and understanding how to move around the map efficiently.

If you want to learn that last skill, check out our quick guide on the best map movement in Dota 2.


Best map movement in Dota 2: 

  1. Lane control
  2. Farming
  3. Ganking

Dota 2 Map

The Dota 2 map is an iconic image in gaming history. Originally introduced in the Warcraft III mod Defense of the Ancients, this map is said to be inspired by the Starcraft custom map Aeon of Strife. Although the map has undergone several cosmetic and balancing changes over the years, its fundamental design remains.

An image of the Starcraft map Aeon of Strife.

There are two sides for each map. Spawning on the bottom left are the Radiant, while from the top right is the Dire faction. Each faction initially controls one diagonal half of the map, separated only by the river that cuts across from the top left to the bottom right side. As the game progresses, one faction may take control of more parts of the map.

An image of a map movement guide in Dota 2.

The map is divided into three lanes: Top Lane, Mid Lane, and Bottom Lane. Each lane is guarded by two towers on each side, which players will work towards destroying during the lane phase. Several neutral creep camps are scattered around the forests in between the lanes.

An image of a map movement guide in Dota 2.

Valve developers have tried their best to balance out both sides, but there have always been slight differences that players quickly take advantage of. In the current meta, the Radiant side is deemed better for several reasons. The jungle layout favors this side, making it easier to stack creeps, and the Roshan placement is also slightly more favorable for Radiants.

An image of the Roshan location.

Best Map Movement

Like any multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game, mastery of the map is key to victory in Dota 2. While the game’s pathing mechanic already gives you the shortest path towards whatever area you click to walk towards, there is more to map movement than just getting somewhere the quickest.

Control of the map is control of the game, so check out our best map movements guide in Dota 2 to climb the ranks quickly.

Lane Control

Unless one side decides to do something outrageous, the early game in Dota 2 is usually just the lane phase. This means players just stay in their lanes and farm creeps, earning as much money and experience while denying the same from their opponents. The standard gameplay of the lane phase provides opportunities to explore the map and gain some advantages.

A gif of the lane phase in Dota 2.

Understanding how to control your own lane lets you deny the enemy some valuable resources or experience. Basic attacks and abilities for killing creeps and denying your own is an important skill to learn. After that, you can play around freezing or pushing each creep wave to pressure your opponents.

A gif of pushing your lane.

Creeps spawn every 30 seconds in Dota 2. Take advantage of knowing this timing to know when to attack or pull back. If you freeze the lane, your opponent will struggle to gain gold and experience. Pushing the wave toward the tower gives you time to take a quick trip to the jungle for some extra farming.

An image of attacking a tower in Dota 2.


The jungle is one of the most underutilized aspects of Dota 2, especially in the lower ranks, simply because players do not know the right timings and pathing. If you take advantage of this, you can easily snowball your advantage from the lane phase to the late game.

An image of the jungle camps in Dota 2.

Creep stacking is a great advanced skill to learn. Neutral creeps start to spawn at 1:00 and respawn at the start of every minute after they are killed. Draw creeps away from their camp right before the next minute to trick the game into spawning the next group. 

An image of creep stacking in Dota 2.

You can then bring all these creeps to your own tower to farm them quickly, giving you a huge chunk of gold and experience.

An image of creep stacking in Dota 2.

You usually want to farm only on your side of the map for safety. However, if you are confident enough against your lane opponent, you can shove your lane, walk into their jungle, and practically dare them to fight you or lose their neutral creeps. 

An image of a map movement guide in Dota 2.

You can also trick them by walking into their jungle, forcing them to follow, exiting through the river, and quickly shoving your wave towards their tower.

An image of a map movement guide in Dota 2.


Ganking is perhaps the fundamental skill that requires the best mastery of map movement in Dota 2. Timing, opportunity, and the ability to predict your opponent’s movement are all important for a successful gank play.

An image of ganking in Dota 2.

There are several ways to gank in Dota 2. First, you can simply gank players in their lane. To do this, you watch out for opponents that may be extending toward your team’s tower. You can then walk from your lane into the fog of war and rush towards that enemy’s lane. Catch them off guard and work with your teammate to kill them 2 versus 1.

A gif of ganking in Dota 2.

Next, jungle ganking is a good way to get free kills. Familiarize yourself with your enemy’s heroes and know which ones are going to go farming in the jungle. Wait for them to do that and try to coordinate with your team to gank them while they are farming.

A gif of a jungle gank.

 In the early game, neutral creeps tend to do a lot of damage, which means your opponent is likely already weakened, making your gank much easier.

An image of a map movement guide in Dota 2.

Finally, bait and gank is a harder but equally effective gank tactic. To do this, start by letting your opponents deal some damage. You can then pretend to pull back and walk home to heal up.

An image of a lane gank in Dota 2.

After this, go to your jungle with a teammate or two and wait for the enemy to push toward your tower. Catch them off guard after they use their abilities and get a free gank kill under tower.

An image of a map movement guide in Dota 2.

Now that you have learned the best map movement in Dota 2, you can start catching opponents off guard for some easy kills or quick tower assaults. Climb the ranks quickly and test your skills against the best players in your region.


Lane freezing, jungle farming, and ganking are all good ways to take control of the map in Dota 2. Remember to place wards on any areas you take control of as well.
To learn the right way to move around the map, you can watch professional matches to see how the best players do it.
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