Dota 2 Role Guide: How to Play Offlane/Position Three

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Dota 2 Role Guide: How to Play Offlane/Position Three

Some things to keep in mind when playing the offlane.


It there is a position in Dota 2 that can be considered as underrated, it has to be offlane. Depending on the patch, the people who’re in the offlane have one of the most important jobs in the game. Apart from just surviving and not giving kills, they also have to try and make plays around the map, which is not easy.

Before we dive into our review, you should keep in mind that offlane is not really a “noob-friendly” position. Unless you know what you’re doing, you will end up in a feeding spree that you’re not going to enjoy.

With that out of the way, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Picking a hero

Similar to any other role in Dota 2, it all begins by picking the proper hero. When it comes down to offlane, there are two main things that you need to consider:

  • What’s your team-lineup
  • What are you going to lane against

The second point is very important because as an offlaner, you will most likely have to play against multiple enemies on a lane. As a result, you will have to get a hero that has some way of surviving. So, if you see that the enemy team picks Juggernaut and CM, you need to get something that can survive. On the other hand, if you’re going to be 1v1, you have a lot more options.

Before you pick your hero, think carefully about how it will work with your team. Generally speaking, the offlane heroes can be divided into two:

  • Farming offlaners
  • Utility offlaners

The first ones need a lot of farms in order to be effective, which is why they don’t really fight all that much, at least early on. Dark Seer and Timbersaw are pretty good examples here.

On the other hand, the utility offlaners are the ones that have to make something happen around the map. Their job is definitely a lot harder because apart from surviving, they also need to make rotations with the support. One of the best heroes in this regard is Batrider due to his ultimate. When he gets to level six, he can try to gank someone easily.

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Farming and Surviving

As we’ve mentioned earlier, one of the worst parts of playing offlane is the fact that you need to lane against multiple enemies. This means that they will try to zone you out and kill you all the time.

In order to stand a chance, you need to play very smartly. There are various tips and tricks here, such as placing good wards, pulling the creep towards you, creep blocking/pulling, and more. Whatever you do, you just have to make sure that you don’t feed.

If things are not going well for you, you can always go to the nearby jungle and farm. Sure, you will leave the enemy carry free farm but at least you’ll get some gold. On the other hand, if you stay there, you won’t get any farm and you might even die a couple of times.

In a perfect game scenario, you will be able to farm, get the needed levels and then start causing havoc. However, this rarely happens, so prepare yourself for a very though laning stage.

What to do during the early, mid, and late game

Every offlaner’s early game is all about surviving. You have one job and that’s to get as much experience and farm as possible without dying. Of course, this is a lot harder than it sounds, especially when you have to lane against multiple enemies.

There are many tricks when it comes down to the early game as an offlaner. Some players tend to play extremely defensively and just soak as much exp as possible. Others place good wards and try to play around them. In fact, there are even players who just hide in the trees around the lane until they get the needed levels to sustain themselves in the lane.

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Once the laning stage is over, the mid-game is where every offlane player needs to make a difference. Unlike carries and mid laners, offlaners shine during the mid-game so if they fail, the end result is probably not going to be good.

The things that you need to do here depend entirely on what kind of a hero you’re playing. For example, if you’ve picked Tidehunter, you should have at least a Blink Dagger and more items by now. If that’s the case, grab a Smoke of Deceit and gather with your team.

There are also offlaners who are all about team fights, such as Underlord. He is the type of a hero that buys as many team-based items as possible. So, in order to make the most out of him, you need to constantly involve yourself in fights and push the towers.

When the late game arrives, your job as an offlaner is to help your team as much as possible. If things went well for you, you should have strong utility items, like a Scythe of Vyse for example. So, just try to coordinate with your team so that you don’t lose the game.

Needless to say, you should always have enough gold for Buyback. Don’t forget that every kill matters once the late game arrives, so don’t stay alone on a lane where you don’t have a vision.

Closing thoughts

The best advice that we can give to all new players out there is not to give up. Playing offlane is way harder than it seems, so you will definitely experience some problems. However, when you get used to how this position works, you will be able to easily get loads of MMR. Remember that this is the easiest position to reach the Immortal bracket.

Dota 2 Role Guide: How to Play Offlane/Position Three
Zlosterr
Zlosterr has been a fan of esports for many years and mainly focuses on Dota 2. He has more than five years of experience writing Dota 2 content for numerous platforms. Besides being a passionate fan of the game, he's also played for various amateur teams.