A Complete Guide to Runes in Dota 2

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A Complete Guide to Runes in Dota 2

There are many different Runes in Dota 2 that buff up the hero when picked up. Here’s everything that you need to know about them


Mastering Dota 2 means understanding its many intricate systems and game mechanics. Perhaps no other MOBA in the world is as reliant on timings as this one.

At certain timers in the game, different Runes spawn at different parts of the map. They provide special buffs or give you additional gold or experience, which can help you turn the tide of the battle.

Understanding the different Runes that spawn in the game is crucial to achieving mastery over the Dotaverse. After reading through this guide, you’ll have a clearer picture of the different rune types and what they do, getting you one step closer to understanding the game.

With that said, let’s get started.

In-Depth Look at the Different Types of Runes in Dota 2

Runes are basically special power-ups that show up on the map at certain timers in Dota 2. The spawn points and spawn timing for the different Rune types are fixed. But the bonuses you get for picking up different rune types can vary.

If you have a Bottle when you pick up a Rune, the Rune isn’t consumed immediately. Instead, it gets stored in the Bottle, which you can then use to get the bonus from the Rune and refill the Regenerate charges. The number of charges that get refilled depends on the type of Rune you picked up.

There are four main rune types that you need to know about:

1. Bounty Runes

A Complete Guide to Runes in Dota 2

Bounty Runes are the first ones to spawn on the map in a Dota 2 match. These Runes grant bonus gold to the entire team. That means, if you pick up a Bounty Rune, your entire team will get bonus gold, even those who are currently dead.

When the game begins, four Bounty Runes spawn at the different parts of the map: two on the River and one on the Radiant and Dire Jungle each, at the 0-minute mark. After that, two Bounty Runes spawn after 3-minute intervals in the Jungle for the Radiant and Dire side.

Picking up a Bounty Rune with a Bottle will grant two Regenerate charges when consumed. The first Bounty Rune in the game grants 40 Gold to the entire team. However, the amount increases by 36 after each spawn.

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2. Water Runes

A Complete Guide to Runes in Dota 2

Water Runes are the next Rune to spawn as the game progresses. They spawn in a set of two. This Rune instantly refills the HP and Mana of the hero, who picks it up by 40 and 80, respectively.

When the game timer hits 2:00, the first set of Water Runes spawns on the two sides of the River. The next set spawns at the 4-minute mark.

They disappear if not picked up before the next set spawns. After the second set of Water Runes, they no longer spawn in the game. Similar to Bounty Runes, Water Runes will refill two Regenerate charges in the Bottle.

3. Wisdom Runes

A Complete Guide to Runes in Dota 2

Wisdom Runes are like Bounty Runes, but instead of giving you gold, they give you experience points. It’s a pretty recent addition to Dota 2, introduced in the New Frontiers update, but it has already seen many changes.

These Runes also spawn as a set of two, one on the Dire and one on the Radiant Side each. They spawn near the Tormentors at 7-minute intervals. In other words, the first set of Wisdom Rune spawns at 7:00 minutes, the next one at 14:00, and so on.

When picked up, these Runes offer a set amount of Experience to the hero who picks it up and another hero on the same team who has the lowest Experience level. That means no matter who picks up the Wisdom Rune, the lowest Exp hero on the team also gets a share of it.

The first Wisdom Rune grants 280 base experience, but it increases by 280 each interval. They also don’t disappear from the map if not picked up.

4. Power Runes

A Complete Guide to Runes in Dota 2

The last Rune Type is Power Rune, which gives the hero who picks it up a special buff for a limited duration. Similar to Water Runes, these Runes only spawn on the River. But they only spawn one at a time. Whether they spawn at the top side of the River or the bottom is completely random.

If you have a bottle, you can pick up a Power Rune and store it for later use. Once consumed, the Power Rune will completely refill the Bottle charges, similar to Wisdom Runes.

There are seven different power Runes that are currently available in the game. Let’s take a look at what each of them does:

1. Amplify Damage:

A Complete Guide to Runes in Dota 2
Credit: Dota 2 Fandom

Amplify Damage Rune, previously known as Double Damage, boosts the Physical Damage and Spell Damage of the one who picks it up by 80% and 15%, respectively.

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It only affects the main Physical Damage of the hero, not the added Bonus Damage. The buff lasts for 45 seconds.

2. Arcane

A Complete Guide to Runes in Dota 2
Credit: Dota 2 Fandom

Arcane Runes, when picked up, grant Cooldown Reduction by 25% and Mana Loss Reduction by 30%, making it great for heroes who rely heavily on their Mana. This is the perfect Rune for heroes like Storm Spirit and Tinker. The buff lasts for 50 seconds.

3. Regeneration

A Complete Guide to Runes in Dota 2
Credit: Dota 2 Fandom

As the name suggests, Regeneration Runes refills your health and mana to full if you pick it up. However, there’s a bit more to it than that. The rate of regeneration from this Rune is around 6% when you use it. However, if you get damaged by an enemy hero before you get healed to full, the regeneration rate is reduced to 1%.

The effect of this Rune lasts either for 30 seconds or until the user has healed to full.

4. Illusion

A Complete Guide to Runes in Dota 2
Credit: Dota 2 Fandom

The Illusion Rune works similarly to the Manta Style item in Dota 2. When picked up, this Rune summons two Illusions of the hero and also applies a basic dispel. The Illusions deal less damage and also take more damage. They last for 75 seconds in total.

5. Haste

A Complete Guide to Runes in Dota 2
Credit: Dota 2 Fandom

The Haste Rune grants maximum movement speed (550) to the hero that picks it up. It lasts for 22 seconds, but the duration is increased by 3 seconds each Rune cycle. Heroes like Spirit Breaker or Lifestealer can make good use of this Rune.

6. Invisibility

A Complete Guide to Runes in Dota 2
Credit: Dota 2 Fandom

Invisibility Rune makes your hero invisible; that much is a no-brainer, but there’s an extra element to it. You also receive 25% less damage as long as you remain invisible.

The Damage Reduction buff increases by 5% each Rune cycle, and the effect lasts for 45 seconds.

7. Shield

A Complete Guide to Runes in Dota 2
Credit: Dota 2 Fandom

The final Power Rune in Dota 2, and also the newest one, is the Shield Rune. When picked up, it grants a damage barrier to your Hero that’s equal to 50% of your maximum HP. The effect of this rune lasts for 75 seconds, but it disappears if the enemy manages to destroy it.

The Bottom Line

Runes in Dota 2 might seem like a small element, but in critical moments, they can be the difference between winning or losing the team fight. So, prioritize getting your hands on them to give your team an edge.

Hopefully, our extensive look into the different Runes in Dota 2 can help you understand the best way to utilize them. Good luck!

A Complete Guide to Runes in Dota 2
The Old One
When he's not sighing at sub-standard teammates in Dota 2 and CS2, The Old One is writing about those two games (among other things). If you see his name around the site too many times for your liking, well, the guy just never stops writing. Yes, we've tried an intervention.