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Crucial tips for complete noobs, by a noob (v1.234)


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I'm about 70 games in and people are finally not yelling at me. I freshly remember how painful the learning curve was. Here is a set of really important basics. I know it's a lot of information, so I marked the most important tips with bold and underline and important tips with bold. A lot of this I had to figure out on my own, because nobody bothered to type why they were yelling at me. Thanks, guys.


Choosing a hero

  1. I only know 5 heroes, so I'm not sure who's easy. I know many of the game's suggestions are terrible. Please suggest some and I'll change this section. I would say any tank (strength hero, has lots of health) with a leap/teleport to escape. So Biotron, brutalisk, firebat. If ranged is more your style, try Starscream. Afaik, Vespus is the easiest auto-attack hero - he's ranged and he gets faster as he gets injured, so he's very slippery.
  2. Research a build. I make build reference sheets with talents, skill order, item order, where to find items in the store (e.g. "Utility -> Intelligence -> Coat of Arms"), and how much each item (and component) costs. This saves me a lot of time at the store, so I don't miss out on money and experience. A lot of guides are horribly out of date, so you might have to steal a build from a replay with a good player. (Use the player view to see their menus. Pause and take a good look each time they hit tab or visit the store.)
  3. Stick with one hero until you learn the basics.
  4. Learn in a single player game. Boring, but worth it. Host a game, then you have all the time in the world to mouseover and read things, find items, figure out how to use spells and items, practice combos. You can type "-tm" to turn on test mode and "-help" to discover commands that let you experiment.


  1. Don't die! Feeding enemy heroes money and experience is the worst sin of AoS. You'll get yelled at for being too cautious, but it's better than getting yelled at for feeding. When you're new, this (and learning) should be your only goal.

    1. 1a. Let heroes go. A lot of heroes can survive just fine with a low health bar. They are usually baiting you into a trap.
      1b. Don't fight alone. Two heroes with low health can still kill you.

      [*]Stick with your team. I read some great advice here: "a bad idea done together is better than what seems like a good idea on your own." Run if they run, engage if they engage. You don't get yelled at (much) for dying with your teammates.

        2a. Early game, go top or bottom with a single partner. Don't go middle; that is soloed by a good player. While "laning", your main goal is to get experience and money, not hero kills, so you don't want to spread it thin between too many heroes.
        2b. Pick a good lane buddy. (Hit tab and mouseover friendly portraits for stats. They'll have lots of games and more kills than deaths.) Follow them everywhere. Let them stay in front, attack and retreat together. Ignore them yelling at you for stealing creep kills or not finishing heroes. It's better than feeding.
        2c. Mid/late game, follow the pack. Stay in the back and join the dogpile after the engagement starts. But not too far back, because some heroes gank from the flanks, and you don't want to arrive to the fight too late to help.

      [*]Avoid enemy towers. Towers kill you quickly and agro (shoot at) you if you attack a hero. You'll see teammates charge into towers to finish weak heros. Don't think about trying this until you're experienced! Good players with low health like to bait you into towers for easy kills.

        3b. Hug friendly towers to stay safe. If you're being dominated in your lane, stay near your tower. Also stay near your tower if your lane buddy goes to the store. (You should be following him on ganks/creep farms.) Ignore people who call you a tower hugger; it's better than feeding. You can get your first kills from greedy heroes charging into a tower to chase you! Late game, towers still help but aren't guaranteed safety, as plenty of heroes can tank the damage or teleport away after killing you.

      [*]If a hero charges you, run away. He has a plan to do something horrible to you. Often with the help of his unseen teammates. You can turn back when he turns back. Repeat. This dance is what MOBA games are all about. If your teammates are waiting in ambush and you're not almost dead, turn around and help once they engage. If there's a pack of heroes behind him, just run. Here are, IMO, some of the most dangerous heros, the ones that can ruin your day with the least warning:

        4a. Boros and Mandrake can pluck, Gravitus can toss you to a quick death if you stand still. Don't. Skilled players can lead you if you run too predictably, so juking until he blows his spell is often better than
        maximizing distance. IMO, these are some of the hardest heroes to lane against as a noob, so you can ask to switch.
        4b. Biotron, brutalisk, and firebat can jump on top of you. Zeratul can teleport you into a bad spot, Zyrkhan can trap you in his circle, roach can drag you. Stay back.
        4c. Cow, Cyprus, and sentry like to drop walls/force fields to block your escape. Beware of them flanking, especially to trap you near their tower. This is what you save your escape spell for. Stay extra far back and reserve more health when facing them.
        4d. Cyprus and Raynor have enormous burst damage. Stay extra far back if you're squishy or low on health, as Cyprus can teleport and Raynor has absurd range.

      [*]As a general rule, ghosts, dark templar, and many zerg can stealth and ambush you. Items let some other heroes cloak too (e.g. Darpa loves to). Beware the cloak shimmer. You can buy boundary scanner and truesight consumables in the store to counter them, but the real counter is to stick with your team and be careful around the flanks. Truesight Wards in your lane and your jungle can help you survive the early game. Truesight Elixir is too expensive to use as a noob, but you can stick near teammates who use it. They'll have a glowing white orb over their heads.

      [*]Check your minimap often like it's regular Starcraft. If you can't count every enemy hero, be careful. I find switching to team colors - green for you, yellow for allies, red for enemies - with ALT-F makes it a LOT easier to read.

      [*]Beware of high grass, high ground. If you don't have vision, act like there's an ambush waiting there! Because there often is. Beware of advancing past the jungle/river if there are MIAs (see minimap, communication section)

      [*]Don't blow your escape spell. They can be used offensively, but if you jump into a trap, you're in trouble.

      [*]Don't stand in spells. If a marking appears on the ground under you, get out of the way.

      [*]Rebind your item use keys. Seriously, who can reach the numpad in time? They're found under Options > Hotkeys > Global > Inventory > Use Slot X. Save it to a MOBA profile. I use 1 through 6, where 1 and 2 are defensive panic buttons and 3 and 4 are offensive items (e.g. detection, Mossberg Taser). I put wards on 4 early game, 5 late game.

      [*]Know your panic buttons, set them up. If you're under attack, mash these as you run away! Your "F" skill heals you by default. A lot of items give you a shield or reduce damage. Don't be stingy; it's better to blow a cooldown unnecessarily than to die.

      [*]It's okay to use consumables. You want to be laning as long as possible. A couple creep kills pay for a potion, plus you get experience. A hero assist/kill easily pays for a mana potion. Seeing a gank with a ward and avoiding it is less expensive than being ganked. And drinking a health potion (hit item slot key, click on your hero) can save your life in those close chases!

      [*]Teleport to the store ("D") in a safe place. One that's deep behind a tower or friendly vision and in a not quite predictable spot. (The grass is predictable.) Because a lot of casters can punish you for standing still when injured.


      1. Ping on river/jungle, when no heroes are visible = "incoming!" Be careful.
      2. "care" = "be careful"
      3. "b" = "get back!" Get back if said by your lane buddy/someone in the pack, because they probably know something you don't.
      4. "mia [top/mid/bot]" = a hero on [top/middle/bottom] lane is missing. He might be on his way to gank you. Be careful. You can call these out too. Don't be afraid of calling it wrong - it's better than a teammate getting ganked!
      5. Ping on river/jungle with your hero chasing theirs = "help me finish him/her!" Be careful, their team is also probably rushing to save that hero.
      6. Ping on a creep camp = "help me with them"
      7. Ping on a tower = "attack/defend here"
      8. It's okay to ask for help/a gank or to switch lanes, if you're having trouble. Not everyone will, but it's better than not asking.
      9. Leave if everyone asks you to. This is my opinion, and probably the controversial part of this guide, but while you're a noob... screw "Standing"! Late game, you're probably at least 4 levels behind and poor in items, so your attacks tickle their heroes while their heroes instagib you. You're not going to be very much use and continuing to feed will harm your team. By leaving, you spare your teammates that plus give them minerals and a "leaver bonus" to hero power, while you avoid pointless frustration and get to try again sooner. Everyone's better off. I have been in plenty of games where the underdog comes back after the feeders (aka noobs <3) leave.



      I hope this guide makes your learning curve less steep than mine! What do you think? (If it's "duh", well, you're not the target audience.) Anything important I left out? Fellow noobs, is anything confusing?



      • 2015/1/21: Improved formatting. Added conclusion header. Tweaked good lane buddy criteria. Added the concept of soloing mid. Looked up where to find item keybinds.

Edited by bebop
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Frankly I feel like this should be pinned. It's a really nice summary of the guide that is already pinned, if you don't want to do that much reading.


The other guide helped me a lot, but IMO unfortunately left out some important stuff. I think this is why a guide "by a noob" can be better, because I remember not knowing "obvious" things.

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- The wiki

- Other sub-forums. Look down, there is a list of characters and a list of items

I hope this guide makes your learning curve less steep than mine! What do you think? (If it's "duh", well, you're not the target audience.) Anything important I left out?


Now you've got the basic over, time to get good. Check out this alternative wiki to brush up on some history.

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Nice contribution man. Good players often take for granted what is considered common knowledge and thus have a harder time teaching newer players the foundation of the game.


If you dress the formatting up a bit to increase readability, I'll gladly sticky this since it's a more up-to-date version of the current newbie guide. I really dig the glossary of shorthand btw, keep improving it.

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The one problem I have with this guide (and it's a small one), is the "laning buddy" one.


The rating is generally a terrible way to judge a player's skill, and, as you mentioned, the best way is to look at the K/D ratio. I consider anyone who has a 1/1 K/D ratio to be a player of decent skill, since anything more can simply be due to a preference in hero choice (ex. playing a ton of carries rather than tanks....I know a buddy whose K/D ratio is maybe 0.9, but it's because he plays basically tanks exclusively).


I personally try to maintain a 2/1 K/D ratio, with the condition being that I random most of my heroes in pubs...unfortunately, I'm usually 100-200 kills behind :(

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The best way in old time to rate someone's skill in at least some accurate way was looking at deny ratio.


When i saw and read the guide i instantly though it should be pinned.


I liked it more without big letters marked things etc etc. and more effective to learn from for players.

I really like the order in which points are made.

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I liked it more without big letters marked things etc etc. and more effective to learn from for players.


Thanks for all the feedback! Like I said in the intro, I would find this much information overwhelming, and skim it without appreciating what's most important. I don't think many players want learning a game to feel like studying for an exam; they want to get the important stuff and jump in.


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Thanks for all the feedback! Like I said in the intro, I would find this much information overwhelming, and skim it without appreciating what's most important. I don't think many players want learning a game to feel like studying for an exam; they want to get the important stuff and jump in.


Thats what i am saying. Without letters and all the stuff, everyting looks normal.


WIth big letters, pointed things it like "says what player should do and learn etc etc. It puts subconsiously pressure, by a style.

And new people dont like this kind of stuff, telling them what to do, what they need to learn, they are afraid this like devil the holy water =D


But thats my opinion and experience. I can be wrong

Edited by SayMyName
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Thanks man, spacing looks real nice and clean now. That's really all I was going for w/ my feedback, you can delete some of the headers if you don't like em :)


Pinned & I added the version number to the topic title so people know this is a current guide.

Edited by martY
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