Dota 2 Wiki
Dota Heroes.png

Heroes are the essential main characters of Dota 2, controlled by the players. Heroes possess the three attributes, Strength attribute symbol.png strength, Agility attribute symbol.png agility and Intelligence attribute symbol.png intelligence, from which one is their primary attribute. They capable of leveling up through the means of experience, up to level 30, gaining additional attribute points, and ability points which can be spent to level up abilities or gain even more attributes. Heroes are also able to spend gold to purchase items.


All heroes spawn once at the beginning of the match after the picking phase, but only if the player locked in their pick.

The only heroes which spawn later on are hero clones, which can only be created by 3 heroes:

  • Arc Warden minimap icon.png Arc Warden, who can create 1 temporary clone of himself by casting Tempest Double, which expires like a regular summon.
  • Meepo minimap icon.png Meepo, who can gain up to 3 (Talent 4) permanent clones of himself by leveling Divided We Stand, which all die together when any of them dies (including Meepo Prime).
  • Monkey King minimap icon.png Monkey King, who can create an army of temporary clones with Wukong's Command, which are uncontrollable and only attack heroes.

Like heroes, these clones do not disappear when dying (or expiring). Meepo Clones respawn like regular heroes, while Arc Warden's and Monkey King's clones respawn whenever Tempest Double or Wukong's Command is cast again. These hero clones are almost fully treated like regular heroes, with a few special interactions with some spells for fairness. However, since Meepo's clones and Arc Warden's clone work fundamentally differently (Meepo clones being permanent like heroes, and death to one means death to all, while Arc Warden's clone is rather similar to a summon or an illusion), each have different unique interactions. Monkey King's clones rather act like a spell effect and cannot be interacted with in any way. They stand at set locations and attack nearby enemy heroes automatically until the spell expires.

Illusions are also hero-type units, but unlike heroes, they do not respawn, but despawn completely after dying, like other units and summons. Each spell which creates illusions spawns completely new illusions on recast. Illusions are basically hero-based summons, copying the hero, but acting like a summon.

Killing and Dying[]

See also: Gold and Experience

The killing streak banner as seen in-game.

The multi-kill banner as seen in-game.

Killing a hero grants players much bigger bonuses than killing almost any other unit. Heroes grant scaling Gold Gold based on their level and their current killing streak, and scaling Experience Experience based on their level. Heroes also gain killing streaks upon killing heroes. A killing streak increases the hero's bounty, increasing its value for the enemy. A killing streak starts with 3 hero kills without any deaths in-between, and is capped at 10 kills. A streak longer than 10 has the same worth as a 10 killing streak. A hero's current streak is globally announced whenever it makes a kill.

The very first hero kill of the match, called the ▶️ First Blood!, also grants an additional 135 Gold to the killing hero.

A hero is only granted this gold if it actually killed the enemy (i.e. did killing blow). Otherwise, the hero either only gets assist gold and experience, or no gold and experience at all, based on how much time passed since the last time it damaged the target, and how far away the hero is if too much time passed.

Killing a hero also grants experience based on the hero's level. The higher the hero level, the higher the possible currentXP bounty is given. Although a hero can level up to 30, the experience bounty is out at level 25.

A table showing how much gold a hero grants and loses on death can be found here. A table showing how much experience a hero grants on death can be found here.

Killing multiple heroes in quick succession also results in a multi-kill. However, unlike a killing streak, a multi-kill has no gameplay influence and merely serves for aesthetics. Multi-kills do not require the hero to stay alive in-between the kills, if the hero dies, the multi-kill can still continue. A multi-kill occurs when killing a second hero within 18 seconds of the first kill. The multi-kill can be extended by killing even more heroes, all within 18 seconds of the previous kill. Like a killing streak, a multi-kill has no limit, but is "soft-capped" at 5, repeating the same line for 5 and more kills. The multi-kill stages are:

Kills Announcement Announcement with killing streak
1 N/A N/A N/A
2 ▶️ Player got a double kill! ... with a double kill!
3 ▶️ Player has a TRIPLE kill! ... with a TRIPLE kill!
4 ▶️ Player earned an ULTRA KILL! ... with an ULTRA KILL!
5+ ▶️ RAMPAGE!!! ...RAMPAGE!!!
Announcer responses are customizable

A hero's death has a much bigger impact than the death of almost any other unit. When a hero dies, it stays dead for an amount of time based on its level and the player loses gold based on the player's . There is no way to directly reduce or avoid this gold loss. However, only unreliable gold is lost, reliable gold is not lost on death, meaning if a hero has almost no unreliable gold but a lot of reliable gold, dying does not cost as much as it would with much unreliable gold and little reliable gold. Dying also results in the loss of any ongoing killing streak the hero has. Heroes do not lose experience on death. As mentioned before, a death also grants gold and experience to nearby enemies and the killer. However, gold and experience is only granted to the enemy, and streaks are only lost when dying to an enemy.

Dying to neutral creeps, or getting denied by an ally or oneself neither grants the enemy any bounty, nor ends the current killing streak.


An invulnerable Primal Beast minimap icon.png Primal Beast due to enemy presence upon respawning.

After the first spawn, a hero does not spawn again. However, what heroes do instead is respawning. After a hero dies, it comes back to life after an amount of time based on its level. The maximum respawn time is reached on level 25.

Upon respawning, the hero gets instantly moved to the fountain area, with its health and mana reset. Cooldowns are unaffected and buffs and debuffs are not cleared upon respawning.

The hero also turns invulnerable and untargetable if there is an enemy hero within the base, which lasts until the respawning hero is issued a command, preventing spawn-camping. Commands include any regular unit orders like moving, attacking, casting abilities, as well as shop interactions like buying and selling items.

Several abilities and items are able to affect the respawn timer and the respawn location.

Reincarnation Sources

The buyback penalty is applied on top of the respawn time, unless affected by the aforementioned Reincarnation sources. Furthermore, dying to neutral creeps sets respawn time to a minimum of 26 seconds.

The respawn times can be seen in the following table.

Hero Level Default Respawn Time
Level 1 12
Level 2 15
Level 3 18
Level 4 21
Level 5 24
Level 6 26
Level 7 28
Level 8 30
Level 9 32
Level 10 34
Level 11 36
Level 12 44
Level 13 46
Level 14 48
Level 15 50
Level 16 52
Level 17 54
Level 18 65
Level 19 70
Level 20 75
Level 21 80
Level 22 85
Level 23 90
Level 24 95
Level 25–30 100


Buyback used icon.png
No Target
While dead, the player has the option to buy their hero back into the match, spending money in order to instantly respawn at the fountain.
Base Gold Cost: 200
Networth Gold Divisor: 13
Next Respawn Time Increase: 25
Cooldown: 480


  • The buyback button appears on the hero portrait while the hero is dead.
  • Buyback only takes from reliable gold first, and then from unreliable gold.
    • This allows the player to ensure a buyback by accumulating enough reliable gold which is not lost on death.
  • Buyback has a base cost of 200 Gold, plus a fraction of the hero's networth, rounded down, using the following formula:
  • The respawn time increase affects the next respawn time. Does not count deaths with Reincarnation.

Due to the high cooldown, high gold cost and heavy penalties, using buyback should be a thoroughly thought through action, as it can backfire and cause more harm than good. Scenarios where a buyback may be a good idea is when a crucial team fight starts while one is dead, in order to join the fight. Another crucial moment is when the base needs defending, or when having died during a team fight which your team still won and is going for a final push. Buyback should generally not be used to skip death timing to farm, as the gold cost is usually too big to make it ever worth it. Also, the death time penalty gets added on the next death. Especially on high levels, an early or ill-fated buyback can easily lead to a very long respawn time on the next death.

Buyback cost with certain networth values
NetWorthNW Buyback Cost
1k 276 Gold
2k 353 Gold
3k 430 Gold
4k 507 Gold
5k 584 Gold
6k 661 Gold
7k 738 Gold
8k 815 Gold
9k 892 Gold
10k 969 Gold
11k 1046 Gold
12k 1123 Gold
13k 1200 Gold
14k 1276 Gold
15k 1353 Gold
16k 1430 Gold
17k 1507 Gold
18k 1584 Gold
19k 1661 Gold
20k 1738 Gold
21k 1815 Gold
22k 1892 Gold
23k 1969 Gold
24k 2046 Gold
25k 2123 Gold
26k 2200 Gold
27k 2276 Gold
28k 2353 Gold
29k 2430 Gold
30k 2507 Gold


Buyback status is displayed in 3 different locations, on the HP bar while dead, in the gold tooltip at any time, and below the hero icon while dead

The BUYBACK button is only accessible while dead. It is located on the right side of the death bar. The death bar replaces the HP bar while the hero is dead and shows the respawn time. On its right, the Buyback button is located.

The button has 3 different statuses:

  • When ready, the button is grey and heightened. On the button, it reads  BUYBACK  in white, and it also displays the current buyback Gold Gold cost.
  • When having not enough gold, the button is red and pushed back. The BUYBACK text turns red, and it still displays the current Gold Gold cost.
  • When on cooldown, it looks like when having not enough gold, but the gold cost is replaced by a Cooldown symbol.png cooldown timer, showing the remaining cooldown.

Alt+Keyboard White Mouse Right.png Right Click a hero's portrait above prints the respawn time if the hero is dead.

The buyback status can also be seen by allies, below the hero icon at the top bar. If the flag has a golden border, that hero has buyback ready and can use it. If there is no golden border, the player has either not enough gold, or it is on cooldown. Like the death bar, this is only visible while dead.

Lastly, the buyback status is also displayed in the gold tooltip, which can be accessed by hovering the mouse over the gold. It displays the currently required amount of gold for the buyback, its cooldown status, and how much gold the player still needs for the buyback, or how much surplus gold they have.

When a hero buys back, a string sound plays ▶️ which is audible to everyone, and a gold stack icon appears below the hero's top bar icon, which stays there for several seconds, visible to everyone. The hero also responds to the buyback. Unlike their responses on a regular respawn, which are only audible to the player, a buyback response is audible to everyone. This means no matter what setting a player uses, there is always a cue revealing that a hero bought back.


Several heroes leveling up, indicated by the light beam on them.
▶️ Level up sound

Main Articles: Experience and Abilities

Every hero starts off at level 1 and can level up 29 times, up to level 30. Each new level grants the hero some Strength attribute symbol.png / Agility attribute symbol.png / Intelligence attribute symbol.png attribute points (different values for each hero). Ability points are gained up to level 25 which they can use to level up abilities or a Talent talent. Some abilities require the hero to be on certain levels to be learned or leveled up further. Most basic abilities have 4 ability levels and can be leveled on level 1, 3, 5 and 7. Talent Talents can be upgraded at levels 10, 15, 20, and 25. Ultimates usually have 3 levels and can usually be leveled up at level 6, 12 and 18. The exceptions are Meepo minimap icon.png Meepo, who requires different levels for his ultimate, and Invoker minimap icon.png Invoker, who has unique different ability scheme.

Heroes level up through the means of experience, which is gained by killing enemy units, or by being within proximity of an enemy unit while an ally kills that enemy unit. The required distance to gain experience is 1500 if the kill is not done by the hero, or if the killed unit was not a hero. Killing other heroes always grants experience, regardless of distance. When multiple heroes are within range of an enemy unit which gets killed, the experience gets evenly split among the heroes. This includes every single clone of Meepo minimap icon.png Meepo, but excludes Arc Warden minimap icon.png Arc Warden's Arc Warden Tempest Double minimap icon.png Tempest Double. If a hero is already on max level, it still gets its share of experience when within range, even though it has no use for it anymore, causing it to get wasted. A hero cannot gain and does not get its share of experience while dead. An exception to this is Vengeful Spirit minimap icon.png Vengeful Spirit after acquiring Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter.

A ▶️ level up is indicated by a visual effect, an angled yellow light beam from the sky shining on the hero. This light beam is visible to everyone. A sound effect is also played, which is only audible to the player.

Ability Interactions[]

Just like any other unit type, the hero unit type causes several different interactions with abilities. Some abilities cannot affect heroes at all, while others have altered effects or different values when used on heroes.

The following abilities cannot be cast on, or cannot affect heroes:

On the other side, these abilities can only target or affect heroes:

The following abilities interact differently with heroes: