It is better to stay close to your tower than to blindly venture forward.
So, you've chosen your character and you are ready to play. Well good!!
To start, you have 603 gold. Now what do you do with that?
Well, I'm a firm believer in the recommended guide that Dota has already in game. So, open your shop and look at the tab that says recommended. Go buy the starting items and then head out to a lane.
When picking a lane, try to stick with a "two top and bottom, one mid" approach. By doing that you will get a balanced way of gaining experience and gold without having no support or being crowded.
Stop by the furthest tower you have and wait until the game starts. If it has already, wait for the creep wave to go by you and follow them. Once the creeps on both sides have met, you can now focus on trying to get last hits if you are a carry. If you aren't, let the other person in your lane, if they are a carry, get them.
Be wary of the other team's heroes. They might harass you or use abilities on you. If this happens and you are losing health, fall back to your tower and eat a tango or use a health potion.
You can also harass the other heroes, but that has low priority if they are well behind their own creeps.
If you see the other team disappear, or one of them is missing, call it out in chat. Either by using the wheel with key binding 'y' or saying "[insert lane here] mia".Now, if you aren't a carry, you can also do something that's specific to Dota. You can deny your creeps. Wait until your creep is low enough that one attack will kill it, and use your attack key (typically 'a') to kill it. This will lower the experience that the other heroes get.
Now that you know what to do, try and just keep on getting creep kills and preventing the other team from harassing you (by harassing them).
Remember, you aren't the only lane out there.
Your minimap is your friend.
You will check your minimap constantly.
You will see if your team calls mias, but don't count on them.
If your lane or another lane disappears, take the safe route and fall back towards your tower. This will make any attempt on them to try and kill you fruitless.
Warding is your friend.
Lets say that your recommended build has Observer wards in it (or maybe you're feeling superior and you buy them anyways, which is a good thing). Well good job! You will give your team an immediate advantage.
If you are a support, always make sure wards are placed.
Try and place them in the rune warding spots referenced in the map in the [Warding] section. Go for one there and possibly one in the jungle ward locations.
If you end up having to go mid, then you have some added responsibility.
First off, to gain the advantage mid lane, you need to kill AND deny creeps.
Secondly, you need to call whenever your lane opponent goes missing. <--- THIS IS VITAL
Furthermore, you need to go to check runes and grab them whenever you can (Rune information below)
Lastly, you need to put pressure on the opposing team's midlane.
Midlane is a tug-of-war game in which you have to gain an advantage over the other team. If you do this, you will succeed later on in the game.
Runes are special buffs that appear at one of two locations in the map. Right between each lane in the river there is a spot where they spawn every even minute. Check this if you have the time and take it so the other team doesn't get the chance.
Here's the location of where they spawn:
Here are the types:
Invisibility gives the user invisibility for 45 seconds.
Double Damage gives the user 2x the base damage of their autoattack for 45 seconds.
Haste gives the user maximum speed for 30 seconds.
Regeneration gives the user 100 hp regen/second and 67 mana regen/second for 30 seconds. If you are hit this is lost.
Illusion gives the user 2 illusions of themselves for 75 seconds.
Once you are above level 7 or 8, that's when the Mid-Game starts.