Why a Survival Kit?
Because there are some little things that could help beginners into their DotA firsts steps. If you install a free game, get butchered and insulted in various languages before even figuring out what you can actually do ...any sane person won't insists much and eventually quit. After all it's a free game, no engagement. Having some sort of a plan and stuff to try, that give a reason to stick around.
Just like the rest, that section will be updated along the way.
DotA is Awesome! yet addictive and time consuming. Some games can last for a full hour without the possibility to safely quit. To start feeling comfortable you will have to play ...a lot. And I mean ...A LOT!
Many players consider "Ranked" games as the only mode that matter, so in your first "Unranked" some may pick weird heroes, do weird stuff and throw the game because "Who cares? It's not ranked". For others, the game is to be played as if a kitten's life depends upon. They will flame/report you for every little thing they consider a mistake you could avoid. Toxicity inside! Be ready to mute and play.
Two plagues in the game: Smurf and Booster. The first one is an experienced player playing on a lower level account and crushing everybody. The second is sometimes payed to smurf with/for somebody and win the game for him, when not making fake accounts and sell them once their mmr is boosted enough.
tl;dr : If you never played any MOBA, it's a good idea to get on a Discord for beginners or play with friends, as for solo players the PvP experience can be frustrating or even not Fun.
- Start fresh if coming from LoL, SMITE, etc
Don't try to recreate LoL or SMITE in DotA. Yes, it's a MOBA, but different on many points. Consider it as a totally new game, and eventually you'll get better quicker then other players.
- Hidden MMR counts the first time!
Upon account creation, you are credited with an amount of 'hidden mmr' and nobody knows how much. Each W/L in your PvP games will make you gain or lose some of that. When calibration for the first time, that hidden mmr will be your starting point at the beginning of the 10 ranking games.
- It's ok and not a shame to learn Heroes vs Bots
Don't feed 10 games in a row just to see how a hero moves around. Remember your hidden mmr matters the first time. Use bots to get comfortable with a hero basics, spells, combos. Get used at checking often the minimap, click on enemies to gather information. Bots never quit, flame, unpause or play loudly weird music.
- Play support as you learn the big picture
In low ranks everybody want to be THE carry, and nobody will support even if a team with no support is already losing advantage. Playing support will remove some pressure as your mates will have less expectations, and you still can have enough impact to help win the game.
- Pick & study no more than 3 heroes for PvP games
Have a straight forward "go to" hero, one back-up and eventually one more. That way you will be efficient more quickly on that hero, and you will have more attention available for the rest of the games aspects: vision, minimap, timings, etc.
- Before the game starts
Pick your hero first, as nobody will specifically counter you. Buy two sets of 3 tangos and share two of them to the mid, once he pick his hero. Buy the rest of your "starting items" here, before getting on the map.
- Before the horn sounds
As you already have all needed, go straight to your lane so you could catch an enemy trying to ward. Check the minimap and click on the enemies as soon as you see them, and if you see wards in their inventory ...hold Alt and click the ward icon to inform your team.
- Ping, ping, ping
The alt+click ping is your friend. You can click on an enemy avatar at the top of the screen to say your team he is missing (and may try to kill somebody elsewhere), click on your mana bar to say your lane partner that you can't cast spells, click on the ground to get attention, and way more. This, plus the chat wheel.
- Mute if needed & Focus
As this is DotA, you will often have some angry or disruptive guys talking or flaming around in the chat. Don't feed the troll. Hit the burger menu (top left), in the score board identify the nice mate, and mute him. It can be hard enough to deal with five enemies, don't fight with allies too.
- Shopping Fever, the easy way
You don't need to "back" just to buy items. Use your courier, and have keybinds for that. With only 4 buttons pressed you can: select the courier > send it to the secret shop > buy stuff > tell your courier to bring it to you wherever you are on the map. No down time, keep doing what matters.
- Range creep, gold & xp race
The range creep in each wave (the one in the back, attacking from distance) give more xp then the others. Your carry or you should do your best to kill him and deny your own. XP coming from dying creeps is shared among heroes presents around (press alt while hovering your level number to see the radius). If your carry's life is not at risk early game you can try to let him "solo xp" while you go stacking but be ready to come back.
- Your two friends, Minimap & Clock
It's a team game of 5on5. Every few seconds check/click the minimap and see what's happening on the other lanes. One of the enemy support is missing? Play safe, keep an eye on the mid and be ready to TP if it's a gank attempt. Power runes (those that can lead to kills), bounty runes (gold), catapult wave(tower pressure), stacking/pulling timings are fixed landmarks to play around.
- Main timings in the first 10min
Neutrals creeps spawn (min 1) check if camp is not blocked. Power runes (min 4,6,8,10) help secure them if possible. Bounty & catapult wave spawn (min 5 and 10) there will be action/movement. Up to nine opportunities to stack when in camps vicinity ('53 to '55). Pulling opportunities comes twice each minute when neutrals are up (around '15 or '44).
- TP only if you must or can do something useful
TP scrolls costs Gold and have a cooldown. Seven minutes in, you just respawned? Walk back on the map, don't randomly teleport to gain four seconds. If a fight starts close to a tower while you are walking, then you can instant TP there and make a valuable use of that capacity. It can apply to other situations too, but just don't TP if there is no urgency to be precisely there.
- Don't ward just for the sake of warding
Try to not waste wards on obvious spots that get dewarded 30 seconds later, warding your jungle while all your team is moving to the opposite side of the map ...into the darkness, and don't die alone just to put a ward down. It will take time but you should ward with a purpose in mind. The next objective, the zone from where the danger can come, scouting enemy jungle, the farm space for your cores, etc.
- Kills feels good, objectives wins games
Kills are a pleasant feeling, but only pushing down towers will win you the game! Each time your team wins a fight, it should be an opportunity to cripple down, even a little their buildings (or later take Rosh, then push). Same with your creep waves, keep them pushed, and your lil'boys will do their job too. It's about resources and objectives, more that ego-points and kill chase instead of actually trying to win.