How the new bans work in Dota 2 ranked matchmaking cover image

How the new bans work in Dota 2 ranked matchmaking

Carefully pick your four most hated, your MMR could be elevated.

Hero bans were one of Dota 2’s most needlessly complicated mechanics, and Valve has come up with a new system designed to streamline the process. However, in traditional Valve fashion, the company has replaced an old complicated system with a new complicated system. Here’s how to set up your bans in Dota 2 7.35d and why the developer chose to rework the system in the first place.

The new bans system starts outside of the game in the Dota 2 client. Players can select four heroes as their default bans, which will stay consistent between matches and game modes. At the start of each game, Dota 2 will randomly select one of the four heroes to ban. The random bans based on win rate in your bracket will stay the same, resulting in the same total number of bans each game.

Here’s how to set your new hero bans list in Dota 2.

  1. Navigate to the Heroes tab
  2. Click on the four ban slots in the top right
  3. Select one hero for each tab
  4. To change bans, click the slot again and select a new hero
The devs will have to wait and see how people abuse this (Image via Valve)
The devs will have to wait and see how people abuse this (Image via Valve)

Note that empty slots can still be selected by the randomized system, which will result in no ban at all. There’s no reason not to use every slot. As an extra incentive, heroes make a funny noise when you select them as a ban. Feel free to click through the cast and hear all 124.

Why did Valve make a new bans system for Dota 2?

The changes may seem strange at first glance, but Dota 2’s developer outlines the reasons for the new hero bans system in the introductory blog post.

First, the company looked at the problems surrounding the old system. Players had to make constantly make one important decision as soon as they loaded into a game. This could lead to small mistakes like forgetting to ban, banning the wrong hero, or accidentally picking when you meant to ban. The ban system also incentivized players to use third-party draft cheats like Overplus, which are now officially banned.

The new system is designed to nip potential “draft assistant” cheats in the bud by making players ban heroes before the match even starts. It also removes one of the many decisions players must make before the game starts. Valve hopes that this will diminish the analysis paralysis players previously experienced as they glanced at all the players in the lobby to look for spammers. 

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