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Guide to Socketing in Dota 2
By Wyk
Dota 2 now has a gem and socketing system added to the game that will allow you to tweak and enhance your cosmetics in a number of ways. This guide will run you through all that is available at the moment to get you started.

Last updated: November 17, 2013
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Introduction to Socketing
Dota 2 now has a Socketing system as of the Three Spirits[www.dota2.com] update that will allow you to enhance and tweak your favorite cosmetic items using different types of Gems that you can gain through different means detailed later in this post.

You can access the Socketing interface for any item by going to your "Armory" and right clicking on the item -> Socketing.



Once you open it, you will be presented with a screen showing all the Sockets available on your item and the options to do more. For eg: I opened up an Unusual Drodo the Druffin.



  • Every item can hold up to 5 Sockets.
Each one of these Sockets is capable of holding One Gem. In case you add gem to a Socket that already has one, the previous Gem will be destroyed.

While you can add a wide variety of Gems to these sockets, some particular sockets require special types of gems that are discussed later in this post.
How Do I Make Sockets?
You have a couple of tools now that will allow you create New Sockets on your items.

Artificer's Chisel: The Chisel will allow you to create General Sockets on items.

You can buy the Chisel on the Dota 2 Store for $0.99[www.dota2.com] or craft it using the Artificer's Chisel Crafting Recipe.

Quantity: Varies between 1-5 Uses. Hover over the item to see how many charges it carries.
Artificer's Brand: You can use the Brand to create Effect and Color sockets on a Courier and make it Unusual.

The only way an Artificer's Brand can be attained right now is by crafting using the Artificer's Brand Crafting Recipe (NOT IMPLEMENTED).
How Do I Get Gems?
There are a couple of ways to get Gems but the default way is to hammer items and extract their effects in the form of Gems. In order to extract these gems, you will need the following tools.

Artificer's Hammer: The default weapon used to extract Gems from items. You cannot use this item on Unusual Couriers.

You can purchase the Artificer's Hammer from the Dota 2 Store for $0.99[www.dota2.com] or craft it using the Artificer's Hammer Crafting Recipe.

Quantity: 5 Uses
Unusual Artificer's Hammer: As the default Hammer is incapable of extracting Gems from Unusual Couriers, you will need this enchanted hammer to get the job done. It will extract the color and effect gems but then destroy the courier it used on.

You can purchase the Unusual Artificer's Hammer from the Dota 2 Store for $0.99[www.dota2.com] or craft it using the Unusual Artificer's Hammer Crafting Recipe.

Quantity: 1 Use

You can also gain Gems from the Locked Gemstone Cache timed Chest Series. Each series will come with its own loot list which will normally comprise of a random set of gems and a tool. These chests randomly drop in-game.

Locked Gemstone Cache Series #42: The current series in circulation and it will randomly give you a couple of Inscribed Gems and an Artificer's Chisel.

If you weren't lucky enough to find a chest in-game, you can always buy one from the Market.

You can buy a key to open this chest on the Dota 2 Store for $2.49[www.dota2.com].

That's about it for now. I'll update the section once the next Chest series goes in to circulation with the content.
Types of Gems
Now that you know how to add Sockets extract Gems from the items, it is time to brief you in on all the types of Gems that are currently available. It is to be noted that most of the previous counters and effects on an item have now been changed to gems. So you can easily classify these gems based on what they do.

Kinetic Gems: These gems can be added to an item to add one more new animations to the hero equipping the item.

Kinetic Gems are limited to the hero and slot of the item that it was initially found in.

For eg: if you pick off a Fireborn Assault Kinetic Gem from the Fireborn Odachi, you can apply it to another Sword for Juggernaut only.
Inscribed Gems: These gems add the ability to track stats to the item. It will also boost the item to Inscribed Rarity. The items stats that are gained from Inscribed Gems are not wiped when an item is traded.

Pretty much the new form of the old Strange Counters. All items that have such counters already will now be equipped with a gem of the counter now. You can extract these from them using the Hammer.

Unused Strange Counters have now been changed in to Gem Packs that give an Inscribed Gem of the same counter and an Artificer's Chisel to create a socket for that gem.
Ethereal Gems: These gems are used for adding an Ethereal Particle Effect to the Unusual Courier they are socketed to.

These gems are special and cannot be socketed in to general slots. You will need to use the Articifer's Brand to create a slot for this item and then use it (or) replace an existing particle slot with this gem.
Prismatic Gems: These gems are used to changing the color of the particle effect of the effect gem on any Unusual Courier.

These are special gems too and can only be socked in to special slots crafted by the Artificer's Brand (or) currently existing color slots. Supports pretty much all colors sparing the Legacy cycle.
Ascendant Gems: Beta participation and event rewards such as Bloodstones (Dota 2 Beta), the Ascendant Orb (Chinese Beta) and Gem of Taegeuk (Korean Beta) are now considered as Ascendant Gems. These items will raise the quality of the item to Ascendant rarity.

In addition, previous attributes on the items such as tracking Victories or Gifts Given will be retained.

Note: These are Untradeable Gems. In general, when you socket an item with an Untradeable Gem, the item will itself become Untradeable. So be certain before you do this.
Autograph Runes: Player Autographs are now called Autograph Runes and can be embedded into sockets. An item with this gem will be digitally signed by the player / personality that the autograph belongs to. It will also change the rarirty of the item to 'Autographed'.

Fun Fact: As each item has 5 sockets, you can collect and mark an item with signatures from an entire team.
Spectator Gems: These gems will add the ability to track Games Viewed for a league or a team.

All items with this tracker previously will now have a Spectator Gem in them instead. So remember that styles that required a certain games viewed requirement will now require a gem with the same number of games viewed and from the same league / player / team.

Note: Unusual and Special Couriers do not change quality when gems are added to them but non-unusual items (normal quality) will change quality in the order of the gems embedded into them.

More gems will be added in the future patches. I'll update this any time a new gem is added to the list.
Understanding the Socketing UI
  • Now that you know pretty much there is to know about Socketing, I'll run you through some UI elements that have been put in to place to make the experience smoother for you.

    To begin with, all Sockets and Gems embedded in an item can be easily viewed by hovering over the item in your Armory. It will also show you the type and quality of the gem socketed to your item.



  • On the socketing screen, you can add Sockets by clicking on the Add Socket button. It will ask you for a confirmation.



    Press OK. A charge of your Artificer's Chisel will be consumed and a Socket will be added to your item.



    If you do not have the required tools, it will provide you with a direct link to the store to Purchase one or to the Steam Market when you can get your hands on one.



  • When inside the Socketing screen, you can see all the Gems that you have listed at the bottom of the Socketing screen. Usable gems on the current item will be displayed active while the unsuable ones will be darkened out.



  • Former Strange Counters are now converted to Gem Packs and can be opened to gain the repsective Inscribed Gem and an Artificer's Chisel. The same has been done to Unusual Paints too with the pack giving out a Prismatic Gem instead.





    That's about it for now. The entire Socketing system can get really varied and you can make use of a lot of resources to get things going. Be sure to keep an eye on the Steam Market for items that you may need. Crafting might also come in handy for you to make tools required. So do look into that too. I'll have a Crafting Guide up in the near future.
Closing Notes
You can follow me on Facebook or Twitter and buzz me with any further queries. I'll try to respond to as many as I can.
233 Comments
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Fatal Oath Jul 19 @ 9:24pm 
When I try to add sockets to an item, I click yes to agree with a charge being consumed and nothing happens... any suggestions?
British Tea Biscuits Jul 11 @ 3:02am 
Ty
Comend ME Jul 6 @ 3:40pm 
how to get gem ? i don't know
ΡĤ∅EΝ¥ // MVPfan Jun 27 @ 3:16pm 
you can place a kinetic gem into any socket ...
ramper Jun 26 @ 11:14am 
"Kinetic Gems are limited to the hero and slot of the item that it was initially found in. "

Is this to say that if one removes a Kinetic Gem from the top socket of an item with multiple sockets, it must be placed back into top socket to continue to grant the effect?

Thanks
[ NoE ] ~ @Por-seidonツ Jun 24 @ 2:57am 
Where can I find Artificer's Brand?
Perseverance Jun 22 @ 8:58am 
WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM SOCKET SLOTS in an item?
FortuiTouS Jun 17 @ 8:21am 
is gem just for counting?
boyhigad Jun 12 @ 10:11pm 
can i mount the lucentyr liveliness kinetic gem to starrider crescent steel mount?
Common Item Jun 10 @ 5:41pm 
any 1 know if i put my (kill assist gem) and (kill gem) to my courier will it be still counting?