This guide is for new players to Heroes of Newerth who have little or no experience with [ Defense of the Ancients] (The game Heroes of Newerth is based on). Heroes of Newerth is a lot of fun once you have a good knowledge of the game, but unfortunately there's a high learning curve. The aim is to give new players enough information to know how to approach the game and not be overwhelmed or frustrated. This page covers the basics, you can follow the links to more advanced topics. Try not to overwhelm yourself, skim the guide, play a few private practice games, and come back and read some more later. If there are terms you are not familiar with, check the Category:Glossary.
HoN Culture and History Править
HoN has strong ties to [ DotA]. Many of the beta players in HoN played DotA, so they're already familiar with many of the game concepts. Almost all of the heroes and items in HoN were taken directly from DotA. The problem is that many DotA players refer to the heroes and items by their DotA name instead of the HoN name because that is what they are familiar with. This is confusing for players not familiar with DotA. So if someone mentions an item or hero and you can't find it anywhere they may be using the DotA name.
The other ramification of the DotA exodus is that many of the HoN players are pretty advanced. In higher ranked pubs it's not uncommon to see advanced techniques such as warding. (This is where the enemy puts sight wards around the map so they can see when you walk by them and then run to kill you in your forest) You don't want to play with these kinds of players until you're ready, which brings us to the next section.
Practice Game Править
It is essential for new players to play through a few practice games on their own if they have never played DotA. This will give you time to explore the game, learn the controls, examine the items, and prepare for a real game. In a game with other players you do not have the time to learn these things. Time spent examining items in the shop is time lost leveling, which will ultimately lead to you being weak and getting killed over and over by the other team.
So start up Heroes of Newerth and create a game. Select the following options:
- Private Game: Prevents other players from joining unless you invite them
- Easy Mode: Makes you gain more gold & experience
- Easy Mode is NOT recommended by some people, saying that it just leads to gaining bad habits. Someone should do some research to find out if this is true or not and remove this item from the list if needed.
- All Pick: Lets you pick any of the heroes
- Instant Respawn: If you accidentally die this will make you instantly respawn instead of having to wait.
TODO: Check for other options player should choose, unranked?
After you create the game, pick a slot and start it. You are now at the hero selection screen. You will learn more about the Heroes later in this guide. For now just pick a hero you like the sound of. Continue reading this guide and switching back and forth between your game as you learn and test new things.
Game Overview Править
Heroes of Newerth is a team game with up to 5 players on each team, each controlling a single hero. There are three entrances to your base, each with a tower and two barracks. These barracks spawn creeps regularly, which march to the enemy base, attacking everything they encounter. The creeps follow one of 3 paths to the enemy base, referred to by players as top, middle, bottom. In the beginning the heroes spread themselves among these lanes and fight along side the creeps to get experience and gold. Each lane has two towers that detour heroes and creeps from entering your territory easily.
As the game progresses the teams will tear down the towers and eventually the barracks in the base. Once a barracks is destroyed the team who destroyed the barrack will spawn stronger creeps, giving the team a significant push advantage. If all of the barracks are destroyed the team which destroyed the barracks will gain super creeps, which are almost certain to end the game. When the tree in the center of a team's base is destroyed the team loses.
The number of Heroes will be overwhelming to new players. As you play you will learn their names & skills and which ones you like. Some heroes are weak in the beginning of the game and scary at the end. Some do little damage but have abilities that can aid your team. Players categorize the heroes using different Hero Classifications. Knowing the abilities of your team and the enemy's is the key to winning fights.
It is a good idea to look at each of the Heroes during the selection phase and try to understand what they do. Unfortunately, it's hard for new players to understand the implications of these skills and how they will play out in a fight. For this reason we've created a Hero Overview that indicates good heroes for new players and quickly summarizes the hero strategies.
TODO Casting, hotkeys TIP: click portrait
Experience and Levels Править
If any enemy dies around you within experience range (about 3/4 the screen) your hero will gain experience. A purple circular gauge around your hero portrait indicates your progress toward the next level.
Hero Statistics Править
Your hero will have different statistics.
- Increases hit points and health regen
- Increases attack speed and armor
- Increase mana points and mana regen
- Reduces physical damage
- Magic Armor
- Reduces magical damage
- Movement Speed
- How fast your character can run (522 is maximum)
- How much damage your hero does with each attack
Each hero will have different natural statistics and gain strength/agility/intelligence at different rates as they level. Heroes can very widely even though they are the same type. For example, the Blacksmith starts with 23 strength and gains 3.2 each level whereas Nymphora has 15 and gains 1.7 despite both being intelligence heroes.
Hero Types Править
The heroes are categorized as strength, agility, and intelligence. Your hero will get 1 point of damage for every point of their primary attribute. So if you are a strength hero and you get an item with 10 strength, not only will you get the hit points and health regen that other heroes would, but you get 10 damage as well. Here are some generalities on the different types:
- Usually good tanks, many have decent nukes, but they usually aren't as powerful as the int hero nukes, some can carry or chase well
- Many of these heroes are considered carry or chase heroes, a few have no nukes at all, making killing difficult until you gain levels and items
- These heroes have a variety of skills that can turn a team fight. Many have disables of some kind.
I highly recommend that new players _DO NOT_ play agility heroes. Agility heroes are very squishy (low hit points/easier to kill) in the beginning and not very effective. New players will likely end up dying often with these heroes. In addition, playing these heroes effectively requires good movement, positioning and knowledge of the enemy heroes. All of which new players will not have.
Most strength heroes are a good choice. Some of the int heroes may be fun for new players to play but some are tricky and difficult to use effectively.
There are various non-player creatures in the game. For a detailed overview look at the Creeps page. If you last-hit a creature you will gain a chunk of gold. In general, killing stronger creatures gives you more gold and experience. A few heroes can create or take control of creatures in various ways. Two items also let you create/control creatures: Puzzle Box and the Whispering Helm. However, it's strongly recommended that new players don't play these types of heroes or use those items since controlling more than one unit will be difficult for new players.
Heroes can hold items that increase their stats, augment their attacks, and even give them new abilities.
There is a Shop in your base where you can buy items. The more powerful items are created by buying pieces and then creating the final item by buying a recipe. Clicking a recipe will show you what items you need. This view will also highlight items you already have. Some items will auto-combine, meaning you don't need to buy the recipe to create the final item.
Some items can _only_ be bought at the Secret Shop. This shop is outside your base on one side of your forest.
A few items can be bought both in base and at the Outpost. The outposts are found next to the top and bottom lanes. Note that you can buy a Homecoming Stone at these outposts to quickly get back to base or a tower.
Inventory & Stash Править
Your hero has 6 inventory slots for items. In your base you also have Stash with an additional 6 slots. Only the items in your inventory benefit your hero.
To transfer items between your inventory and the stash right-click the item and then click an empty spot to transfer it to. Note that you can use this to move items around within your inventory as well as to drop items on the ground. You can also use this method to exchange items with a courier or another hero. Only certain items can be given to other heroes such as bottles, regen items, and wards.
You can buy items while you are away from base. (TIP: The default hotkey to bring up the shop is B) These purchased items will go into your stash. It is a good idea to do this as soon as you have enough money to buy the next item you want so that money isn't lost if you die.
Items can be sold for half-price by right-clicking them from your inventory and dropping them on a shop.
Some items have activated abilities that you trigger by left clicking the inventory slot. You can also do this with the hotkeys Alt + (Q|W|E|A|S|D)
Breaking apart items Править
Place the item in your stash (accessed by selecting the main shop) and click it. It will be broken into the components. Only works with certain items.
Morph Attack Items Править
TODO: Overview, limitations, stacking
Game Features Править
The game has many features that will help you in the game.
Moving and Attacking Править
Move by right-clicking the ground. You can also queue waypoints and actions by holding shift while issuing commands.
Right-clicking will move to that position, ignoring any enemies on the way. You can also issue an attack-move command by hitting A and then left-clicking on the ground. This will move to that location while attacking any enemy units along the way. Note, you can also issues these commands on the mini-map.
You will notice that if you left-click an enemy hero you can view some information about them such as their health and other statistics. You can also view their items this way. When you target other units you lose selection of your hero. You can quickly select your hero with F1. You can also save certain unit selections with Ctrl+# and recall the selection by pressing that number key. Hitting these select keys twice will select and then center your view on those units.
You can also view and select your hero by clicking the portrait at the bottom of the screen. This is very useful for casting targeted abilities on your hero. Activate the skill and then click on your portrait. This is often easier to click than your unit on the screen.
Health Bars Править
It is always a good idea to turn on Health Bars so you can see the health and mana of everything around you. Activate this by hitting this apostrophe '' key. Note, you can scale these bars to be bigger in the game options.
The Map Править
The map gives you an overview of the battle field. This is one of your most important assets. Left-click on the map to view that area. You should constantly keep an eye of the map to be aware of enemy positions and what your own team is doing. If enemy heroes are missing from your vision on the map they're up to something. As you gain experience you will learn to anticipate what the enemy is doing when they disappear from your radar. Sometimes an enemy dot will appear for a split second on the map as they run by something giving you vision. These split seconds of insight are the reason you should always keep one eye on the map.
You can ping the map by holding Alt while clicking on it. This is used to communicate different things to your team. Often players will notice enemy movement on the map that they think their teammates missed and ping to indicate something. The meaning depends on the context.
- A ping on your own heroes generally means your team thinks they are in danger and are trying to warn them
- A ping in an area you can't see such as the forest generally means the enemies are there
- Pinging an enemy location usually means people want to attack that position
- A ping on one of your buildings means to defend at that point
- A ping on an enemy building means push this lane
- A single ping on you and then another position means your team whats you to move there, usually to join a push, teammates will most often do this if you are killing neutral creeps in the forest and they want your help.
The score board Править
The scores button reveals who is alive or dead, for how long, and some game stats. This gives you some important information. Players with a high kill death ratio are probably dangerous and you should be wary of them and watch for them on the map. Players that your team has killed a lot are probably worse players and easy to kill. This information is also important for making ganking decisions. If an enemy hero has never died it might be wise to gank them in order to slow their progress.
Sometimes a game has gone horribly wrong and the team wants to give up. Players will vote to concede a match. Everyone most vote yes to Concede. Once a match has been conceded you can leave without any leaver penalty.
Players in the game can vote to kick other players. Most often this is because a player has been afk (away from keyboard) and is not helping the team. By kicking the player, the team will get their gold and be able to use their items.
Basic Mechanics Править
Waves Hills Fog Death runes
Now that you understand the basics of the game lets look at their strategic implications.
Hero Matchup Править
A team that chooses heroes with good synergy or that counter the other teams heroes increases their chances of winning. Of course the way you play a hero is just as important as choosing it. If someone picks a hero that is
Item Selection Править
Starting Items Править
At the start of the game you have a bit of gold to buy some items. You want to get some items with stats and some consumables to replenish your health so you don't have to run back to base when you get hurt. Open up the shop and click the Initiation tab.
There is a set of 3 cheap stat items you can make that increase your stats. There are strength (Fortified Bracelet), agility (Soulscream Ring), and intelligence (Talisman of Exile) versions. In the very beginning you just want to get the parts and some health regen. So for an int hero you might get the parts for two Talismans, (2xMark of the Novice & 2xPretenders Crown) and from the Supplies shop get a couple Runes of the Blight
A strength hero would get parts for 2xFortified Bracelet. Remember don't buy the recipe yet as it's not cost effective. Sometimes you have a strength or agility hero that really needs more mana. There's nothing wrong with getting parts for a Fortified Bracelet and parts for a Talisman of Exile.
Future Items Править
At some point you will want one of the 3 kinds of boots (Marchers, Enhanced Marchers, and Post Haste). The 3 boot recipes can be found at the bottom of the Initiation shop. The Enhanced Marchers are favored by many players because they let you run a little quicker and run through creeps and heroes. This gives you an edge when chasing or evading. However, as a new player you're probably going to forget to use the item in combat so I wouldn't recommend them. The Steam Boots give you some stats and boost your attack speed a bit. Post Haste boots make you run the fastest constantly and allow you to teleport to your creeps anywhere on the map. (Note that this uses the Homecoming Stone cooldown. There's nothing wrong with just sticking with plain Marchers for a large part of the game and spending your money on other things.
Some items have very expensive components. For example, the Behemoth's Heart and Wingbow, both good items have components that cost more than 3000 gold! As a new player you may be working away and have saved up 2000 gold and then get killed and lose half that money. This is really frustrating. So, it's better to focus on items with cheaper components unless you're making lots of money and feel confident you won't be killed any time soon. A great piecemeal item is the Sacrificial Heart. This makes you harder to kill and reduces how much gold you lose when you die and how long you're dead.
Fighting in the Lanes Править
Each path to the enemy's base is called a lane. At the start of the game your team will spread out between the lanes, named top, middle, bottom. One hero will have the lane all to himself, known as being solo. As you learned above that means the solo player will gain more experience and level quicker than the other players. As a new player you should not solo. Often a player that wants solo will call solo at the beginning of the game.
Once in your lane you want to stay within experience range of any enemy creeps that die. Try to last-hit creeps for gold and deny your own creeps. Depending on the hero matchup you may or may not have the advantage on the enemy hero. You will notice that if you try to attack an enemy hero, their creeps will attack you. In the beginning of the game enemy creeps can do significant damage to you. Pay attention and don't get mauled by the enemies creeps. In general, a ranged hero will be able harass a melee hero and keep them from getting last-hits.
Lane dynamics and positioning is an important skill to learn. As you will play you will learn to manipulate the creeps to your advantage, gain more gold, and prevent the enemy from getting experience and gold! More detailed information can be found in the [ Basic Laning Guide].
Sometimes a lane has trouble killing the heroes in its lane. Other times there are enemy heroes you want to kill to make them lose money and slow down their progress. Or else an enemy hero is just in an exposed position and vulnerable. In these cases your team may try to sneak up and kill them, also known as a gank. Often your team will indicate that they're trying to kill someone by pinging the enemy position.
A successful gank requires surprise and the right set of skills. If you are sneaking up on the hero, use the trees to hide yourself. Don't let the enemy creeps see you on the way. Position yourself and move with your team so that you all move into the enemy's vision at the same time. If your team has multiple stuns or disables you should spread them out. Most stuns last 2 to 3 seconds and other disables 4 to 5 seconds. So if someone else has already used a disable, use the time to position yourself and hit the disabled hero. As soon as they are free use a disable you might have. If you are ganking a hero with some kind of escape, such as the Magebane it is important to time your disables so that the hero does not have a chance to use their ability. Another strategy is to anticipate the enemy's escape path and have some of your heroes waiting to catch them when they try to escape.
As you play you will learn how to perform better ganks and coordinate with your team as well as what heroes are good at ganking and what heroes are hard to gank.
- Also, when your target is, or trying to escape and it will take more than one hit to kill them, if you have enchanted marchers or can stealth try and get infront of them berfore you attack, this way you will get more than one hit, as he will have to run passed you before you have to start chasing him again. *
The objective of the game is to destroy the towers, barracks, and eventually the tree at the enemy base. So sometimes your team will decide that it's time to push a lane. Your team will gather together and start moving down a lane with the objective of destroying buildings in the path.
Often you will decide to push after killing an enemy hero. While that hero is dead their team will be vulnerable and have more difficulty defending. You should have the Scores visible so that you can see the death timer for that hero. In early pushes you may just destroy one tower and then someone on your team will say "back" or just "b" to indicate that your team should retreat. If you stick behind you will likely be killed by the enemy heroes that have been positioning to defend.
Pushing at the right time is an important strategy. Certain teams will have a strong opportunity early in the game but lose it toward the end due to strong carries on the enemy team. These teams need to push early and destroy barracks before the other team begins to gain the upper-hand with their stronger end-game heroes. With barracks destroyed the other team will constantly need to tend to their base, which limits their ability engage their entire team in pushes or team fights.
Team Fights Править
Team fights are exciting and chaotic. A team fight occurs when both teams clash, usually as a result of a push or when one team is chasing a hero and the other team comes to help him. In a team fight many heroes will use their ultimate abilities and use all of their skills. The most important thing you can focus on in a team fight is to focus-fire. This means attacking the same hero that your teammates are attacking in order to kill them faster.
Your role in a team fight depends on your hero and its abilities. Usually your ultimate is important to use, but you must judge when to use it. Should you use it right away or wait for people to be hurt first? In general abilities that damage and confuse multiple enemies will be used right away. Abilities that pick off single heroes will be used to execute heroes that are nearly dead after the initial onslaught.
Watch what your teammates are doing. Sometimes your team will realize that they have lost the advantage and start to retreat. At this point you need to do your best to escape. Other times your team will clearly have won and you should do your best to catch stragglers and then push.
Technically you can attack the forward most enemy building at any time (Buildings further behind it are invulnerable). Attacking a building when your creep wave is farther up the lane engaged with the enemy creeps is called backdooring. Though technically allowed by the game many players consider this foul play. However, the game does not prevent it. Whether or not backdooring is good acceptable is [ debated].
In general you should not backdoor unless it has been made clear that backdooring is ok in the game you're playing. As a general rule your creeps should be in the area before you may attack any buildings.
Backdooring overall is vaild; but unless your high level and can take a beating its best to just push the creeps so they take damage over you from the tower.
Joining a Game Править
Now that you are familiar with the game you're ready to fight other players!
In the game list you have a number of filters. As a new player, you want to play Noob Only and Easy Mode games. Easy Mode means you start with more gold, gain more experience and gold from creeps, and gain more gold over time. This is important because some characters have a hard time killing creeps to gain gold; in an Easy Mode game you won't be punished as much for having a character that is poor at farming.
After you join a game you have to pick which team you want to be on. But first, look at the player ratings (the number in the thousands next to each player). If a player wins a game this rating increases and if they lose their rating will decrease. The twist is you don't get many points for winning against players with much lower ratings. Conversely, if you win against a team with higher ratings, you will get more points. You can see the rating change each player will get for winning/losing this game in parenthesis.
Players start at 1500. As a new player, you probably don't want to be in a game with players over 1550. In some games all the good players jump to one team, stacking the teams. The percentages on top are the chances for each team to win, based on the cumulative ratings. If your team has less than a 40% chance to win you probably don't want to play this game. If the host tries to start the game and you feel the teams are unfair disconnect before the 5 second countdown finishes.
If you find yourself losing a lot of games, look for games where other people are learning just like you. Hosts will put something like "< 1500" to indicate that players rating should be bellow 1500 or the host will kick them. Other indications such as "< 0.9 K/D" mean you should have less than an 0.9 Kill-Death ratio. You can find this by right-clicking your name (and other players) and clicking 'View Stats'.
After the game starts from the lobby you go to the hero selection screen. Here you pick the hero you will play this game. Depending on the game settings heroes may be selected in different ways. Make sure you look at the Hero Advice bellow before picking a hero.
- Normal Pick
- Each team has a set of heroes they can pick from
- All Pick
- Both teams can pick any of the heroes in the game
- All Random
- Each player gets a random hero
- Single Draft
- Each player is given a random strength, agility, and intelligence hero to choose from
- Random Draft
- X (TODO) heroes are randomly selected and the teams take turns picking heroes from the draft
There are a few things worth noting here:
- In a pick game you will get bonus gold for selecting a random hero (Click the dice on top)
- Often in pick games players wait til the last second to pick so that the enemy team doesn't have time to counter-pick them. For this reason, many players prefer Random Draft, which has a more fair and honest picking process
- Players on a team can swap heroes by clicking other heroes portraits on their team (You cannot do this if one of the players already clicked ready)
- As soon as everyone clicks Ready the game will start, otherwise it will start after the timer expires
- In Random Draft games the top players pick first. Certain heroes are good first picks, others are not. If you are the first player you may want to ask your teammates if they want you to pick a hero for them and swap them. In the lobby try to pick a lower slot so you don't have to deal with this.
TODO: Confirm exact names and filters
You've just played your first game against other players. Hopefully you won the game, but it's likely you died a lot and got frustrated as a new player. This is normal, Heroes of Newerth is a complex game with a large skill factor. It's like playing a game of Rock Paper Scissors with multiple people where you don't know what's rock and what's paper. As you get comfortable with the game controls and learn the heroes the game will become much more fun. Here is a list of things you should think about during and after a game.
- How did you get killed?
What heroes were good at killing you? How did they do it? Could you do anything about it? What if you bought different items?
- Why did you win or lose?
Was it because of how your team played? Was it because your team's heroes were a bad matchup?
Dying Less Править
Forgot a skill, Forgot an item avoid hero, stick with a buddy
Improving your Game Править
Advanced Strategy Править
The following strategies should only be looked at after you have mastered the basics above.
Creep Blocking Править
Counter Warding Править
More Reading Править
This guide is in progress. Other new player guides can be found on the forums:
- [ Extremely helpful general guide to all new players]
- [ DotA Basics for New to Average Skill]
- [ Heroes of Newerth Basics ] An extremely detailed game guide
- [ The Big Item Guide] Very detailed item guide, worth skimming the first part
- [ Hero/General Guide Links] Collection of links to many different guides
- [ Hero Guides and Strategies Forum] You can always browse this guide forum for new guides