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Understanding Matchmaking Game Modes
By Jimo
I will give you information about the different public matchmaking game modes available in Dota 2. I will also go into detail about the drafting phase and certain exceptions and restrictions in each mode.
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Introduction
This guide will give you information about the different public matchmaking game modes available in Dota 2. It will also go into detail about the drafting phase and certain exceptions and restrictions in each mode.

Selecting Game Modes
You can change which game mode you are queueing for by clicking on the Play button at the top of the Main Menu of Dota 2.



You'll then be taken to the Find a Match screen. From this screen click on the Select button underneath the Game Modes box.



From this screen you're able to select which game modes to queue for, you're able to select as many as you'd like.



When you're done making your selection click on Save Settings. The game will now put you in the pool of eligible players for each game mode if you have multiple selected when you begin queueing.
Swapping Heroes
Some game modes allow you to swap heroes with other players. If you're in an eligible game mode this can be done before the clock reaches zero and the creeps spawn.

To do this open up the Scoreboard by clicking on the scoreboard icon at the top left of the HUD.



With the scoreboard open left click on the name of the player you want to swap with. From the drop down menu select Swap Hero.



Once a swap request is made the player will be given the option to accept or deny the request.



Once accepted, the players will instantly swap roles.
All Pick
All Pick allows you to chose from every hero in the game. There are no restrictions on which heroes you can select and no time restrictions or order in which to do so.

Starting Gold You start with 625 gold in this game mode.
Random You can select a random hero in this game mode. Doing so will grant you an additional 200 bonus gold.
Repick You can repick heroes in this game mode. Repicking sacrifices any random pick bonus gold plus 100. This will bring your starting gold to 525.
Hero Swap You can swap heroes with other players in this game mode. If you swap with a player who has randomly selected a hero they will lose 100 bonus gold.

Single Draft
Single Draft will present three heroes for each player to chose from. In the drafting phase the player must pick from one of their three choices. Decisions in Single Draft are final and you can't repick or swap with other players.

Starting Gold You start with 625 gold in this game mode.
Random You cannot select a random hero for bonus gold in this game mode.
Repick You cannot repick heroes in this game mode.
Hero Swap You cannot swap heroes with other players in this game mode.


Random Draft
Random Draft will randomly select 20 heroes. Players will then take turns to make hero selections from the pool. The selection process follows a specific order:

  • Radiant: 1 Pick
  • Dire: 2 Picks
  • Radiant: 2 Picks
  • Dire: 2 Picks
  • Radiant: 2 Picks
  • Dire: 1 Pick

During the drafting phase players will be alerted when it is their turn to pick next, and when it's currently their turn. If the selection timer runs out a random hero will be assigned, however no bonus gold will be rewarded.

Starting Gold You start with 625 gold in this game mode.
Random You cannot select a random hero for bonus gold in this game mode.
Repick You cannot repick heroes in this game mode.
Hero Swap You can swap heroes with other players in this game mode.

All Random
All Random will assign every player a random hero. Players can use the repick option at the cost of bonus gold. Whenever the repick option is selected the hero that was initially assigned is added back into the pool of possible choices, meaning it's possible to get the same hero if you repick.

Starting Gold You start with 825 gold in this game mode.
Repick You can repick heroes in this game mode, this will bring your starting gold down to 475.
Hero Swap You can swap heroes with other players in this game mode.

Least Played
Least Played excludes your personal 40 most played heroes from the pool. There are no time restrictions or a selection order in this game mode.

Starting Gold You start with 625 gold in this game mode.
Random You can select a random hero in this game mode. Doing so will grant you an additional 200 bonus gold.
Repick You can repick heroes in this game mode. Repicking sacrifices any random pick bonus gold plus 100. This will bring your starting gold to 525.
Hero Swap You cannot swap heroes with other players in this game mode.

Captains Mode
In Captains Mode one member of the team will be elected as a captain who will make all of the drafting choices for the team. It will alternate between both teams to take turns banning and picking heroes. If the selection timer runs out in a picking phase, a random hero will be assigned, however no bonus gold will be rewarded. If the selection timer runs out in a banning phase, no hero will be banned from the pool.

The banning phase will allow the captain to eliminate heroes from the selection pool. This means that they cannot be played in the game by either team. The picking phase will allow the captain to make the hero selections for their team. Once the drafting phase is complete, team members will be able to make their selection from the captains picks.

Captains mode is commonly used in a variety of pro Dota 2 tournaments.

  • Ban Phase #1: Team A/B/A/B
  • Pick Phase #1: Team A/B/B/A

  • Ban Phase #2: Team A/B/A/B
  • Pick Phase #2: Team B/A/B/A

  • Ban Phase #3: Team B/A
  • Pick Phase #3: Team B/A

Starting Gold You start with 625 gold in this game mode.
Random You cannot select a random hero for bonus gold in this game mode.
Repick You cannot repick heroes in this game mode.
Hero Swap You can swap heroes with other players in this game mode.

Captains Draft
Captains Draft is a mixture between Captains Mode and Random Draft. In Captains Draft one member of the team will be elected as a captain who will make all of the drafting choices for the team from a random pool of 24 heroes. It will alternate between both teams taking turns banning and picking heroes.

The picking phase will allow the captain to make the hero selections for their team. If the selection timer runs out in a picking phase, a random hero will be assigned; however, no bonus gold will be awarded.

The banning phase will allow the captain to eliminate heroes from the selection pool, this means that they cannot be played in the game by either team. If the selection timer runs out during a banning phase, no hero will be banned from the pool.

Once the drafting phase is complete, team members will be able to make their selection from the captain's picks.

  • Ban Phase: Team A/B/A/B

  • Pick Phase: Team A/B/B/A/A/B/A/A/B

Starting Gold You start with 625 gold in this game mode.
Random You cannot select a random hero for bonus gold in this game mode.
Repick You cannot repick heroes in this game mode.
Hero Swap You can swap heroes with other players in this game mode.

Ability Draft
Random Ability Draft assigns a random hero to every player in the game and will prompt them to take turns choosing which ability they want their hero to have. Every player can choose three standard abilities and one ultimate.

The abilities that are available to pick from is built up from all of the heroes that are currently in the game along with an extra set of abilities from two other random heroes.

Starting Gold You start with 625 gold in this game mode.
Random You cannot select a random hero for bonus gold in this game mode.
Repick You cannot repick heroes in this game mode.
Hero Swap You cannot swap heroes with other players in this game mode.



For more information on Ability Draft you can read my guide below.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=222350344
Closing Notes
If you have any questions or comments regarding this guide please feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch with me on Steam or through my website[www.Jimo.co.uk].

You can also check out all of my other Steam Guides here.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=157493936
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=154091573
163 Comments
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Jimo  [author] Mar 28 @ 6:58pm 
Apparently it's 475, I just tested it in a private game. Corrected, thanks!
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Mar 28 @ 11:12am 
U sure u got 503 for repicking in all random? not 525?
VILE THE SUPAMIDA Feb 5 @ 4:21am 
+
Jimo  [author] Feb 2 @ 3:00am 
Done.
vijum Feb 1 @ 2:48am 
I think it would be nice if you would add a brief explanation of ability draft to this guide and include a link to your "understanding ability draft" guide.
Jimo  [author] Dec 17, 2013 @ 12:08pm 
It's correct.
Fill-Lips Dec 17, 2013 @ 12:01pm 
I am pretty sure All random has incorrect info in gold, unsure though since I have never checked.
Jimo  [author] Oct 21, 2013 @ 10:49am 
Updated with the 6.79 changes.. Please let me know if you spot any errors.
Jimo  [author] Sep 23, 2013 @ 1:27am 
Information about Captains Draft has been added to the guide in preparation for the First Blood update.
Jimo  [author] Sep 22, 2013 @ 7:54am 
It will be updated tomorrow.