Dota 2 Guide

How Dota Items Are Grouped

How Dota Items Are Grouped

    Last Updated on March 25, 2023

Items in a MOBA game are integral to game design, especially Dota items. Heroes are strong on their own, but items add a new dimension to a hero’s strength. While some flat-out make them stronger, other items reinvent how a hero is played.

It is this reinvention that makes Dota items feel superior to items from other MOBAs. We are not talking about cosmetics, mind you, because that in itself is another topic to discuss. Let’s talk about how strong these items are.

Dota Items Categorization


Image of All Dota Items

These items are the essential laning items that don’t stay for long. Consumables make up a player’s inventory during laning and emergencies. Items like Tango, Mango, Clarity, and Healing Salve are part of this workhorse item group. The Aghanim’s Shard is part of this category since consuming it is the only way heroes benefit from it. Support items like Smoke and Wards are here as well—don’t let them full stack!

Basic Items

Image of Tiny with Dota Items

The basics include the consumables, but they are the baseline items of the game. Great items in the upgrades section are made from these component items. Though they only muck up your inventory, they build up into iconic items later. Some players make casual purchases to counter a certain mechanic earlier on. Players buy casual plate mail for physical damage and cloak for magic damage. As long as it’s useful, basic items are a workhorse group as well.

Secret Shop 

Now, these items are special because they are not from the base shop. The Dota 2 secret shop is near the ancient creep camps on both sides. Within this shop are some of the more expensive component items in the game. From big attack speed to crazy damage and stats, the upgrades of these components produce showtime energy. As for why the shops are found in the triangle, we will never know.

Dota Items Upgrades

Image of Dota 2 Item Upgrades

The category for the item upgrades in Dota is a place too big for one header. Item upgrades also redefine some heroes, as per how Dota designs items and heroes. Some of them are a weaker version of a hero’s ability, an example being Scythe of Vyse. They can be auras or durability pieces, initiation, or all three, an example being Shiva’s Guard. Combinations of items on heroes are infinite, and Dota rewards creativity and clever choices. 

Neutral Dota Items

Image of Neutral Items

This set of items is the newest category to be added to the game. Neutral items are obtainable by farming neutral creeps. These items split up into tiers of 5, which are unlockable at 7, 17, 27, 37, and 60 minutes.

Teams can find 5 items per tier, and the rest of the items are no longer obtainable when reaching that cap. The benefits of neutral items are unique in that they give things upgrade items can give. 

The difference between these two items caters to how obtainable they are. Upgrade items need gold and components to make, thus it takes some time to get them. Neutral Items require only luck and a lot of neutral creeps to farm. It’s not a problem to find 5 neutral items since farming is integral to game design.

Written By
Jean Salgados

Spent all the years of his college writing for the school newspaper and transitioned to casting Dota 2 games shortly after graduation.

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