Dota 2 in-game economy 101

Dota 2, being one of Valve's longest-running competitive esports titles, has seen many players rise and fall within its battlegrounds.

Dota 2 has prospered in the esports business for the last decade, becoming one of the greatest titles in the history of the gaming industry. While there are seasoned pros in Dota 2, novices are usually befuddled by the game's complicated mechanics and intricacies.

Dota 2 is regarded as one of the most sophisticated MOBA games currently available in the gaming industry. Professionals who have played both League of Legends and Dota 2 agree that the latter is far more complicated in terms of the amount of factors that must be considered at all times throughout a game. Ever wondered why LoL has a much greater player count yet why Dota 2 is still seen as the most prestigious MOBA game, well;

The economic structure in Dota 2 is one of the more enigmatic aspects of the game, among many others. The Dota 2 economy mixes a variety of points and integrates them in such a harsh way that if a player does not play wisely, they may suffer severe consequences.

In this 101 guide, we will touch in on the intricacies of the resource system in Dota 2. Without further ado, let’s jump into the economy of Dota 2.

How to obtain gold in Dota 2

Simply, a gold and XP advantage over the opposite side makes the team more likely to win in Dota 2.

Gold is essential in Dota 2 because much of a player’s in-game impact can be measured through their net worth.

The whole Dota 2 economy centres around the gold collected by each and every player participating in a 5-v-5 battle or separately. In this game, there are primarily four ways for a player to gain gold:

  • Lane Creeps
  • Neutral Creeps
  • Passive Gold
  • Bounty Rune

According to these techniques, a player's "Net Worth" is determined by the total quantity of gold he or she has acquired. In turn, the hero's net worth indicates his or her ability to advance in the game by purchasing in-game items.

Maximising your income in Dota 2

via Valve

Every single Dota 2 game is distinct in its own way. They travel a distinct path depending on the results of each game's laning phase. Following a standard pattern to farm gold in a game like this gets challenging.

Farming Lane Creeps, on the other hand, is the best way to earn money in Dota 2. By getting the last hit on these creeps, the player not only earns the most gold from a single creep, but this gold is also considered as reliable gold.

A player must travel about the map in such a way that they may prioritise lane creeps as much as possible in the hopes of farming the most gold. In between lane creep farming, the player may make the most of their movement time by farming neutral creeps in the jungle.

Aside from that, each player that participates in Dota 2 receives a certain amount of passive gold.

What is reliable and unreliable gold in Dota 2?

A player's unspent gold is separated into 'reliable' and 'unreliable' gold. Without getting into the nitty gritty, the best way to grasp it is that the more unreliable gold a player has, the more kill bounty they will give and lose when they die. When death is nigh, it is a good idea to 'buy out' objects and spend as much gold as possible.

In Dota 2, buybacks work in the other way: they spend gold from the safe gold pool first.

In Dota 2, there are only two reliable gold sources: tick gold and bounty runes.


  • Passive income
  • Bounty runes

Are what we refer to as reliable gold.

Tick gold

In Dota 2, each player accumulates a specific amount of gold over time. This gold will continue to accumulate as long as the user does not exit the game.

Bounty runes

The quantity of gold changes based on the in-game time, and is hence nicknamed 'passive gold' or 'tick gold.' Following the horn signalling the start of a Dota 2 match, it starts at 100 gold per minute (GPM). Throughout the game, the passive GPM increases in four stages, peaking at 128 GPM after the 62nd in-game minute.

At the start of the game, each member of the squad receives 40 gold for capturing bounty runes. The value of the bounty runes increases during the game as they spawn every three minutes.

Unreliable gold

Outside of passive gold and bounty runes, all other techniques contribute to the unreliable gold pool. As a result, core players (which we will get to in a later guide) with a greater farm priority are more likely to have unreliable gold. But let’s touch upon the de facto Dota 2 roles quickly:

A core hero is one with high farm priority. This includes carries, mid laners, offlaners, and most junglers. Conventionally, teams play with one core hero per lane, with two supports who either protect a safelane carry, roam and gank, stack and pull jungle camps, or form an aggressive trilane.

The key difference between a support and a core is that the former sacrifices their potential to earn gold and experience in order to create space for the latter.

Some examples of unreliable gold income are:

Hand of Midas, creep bounty, kill bounty, building bounty, and gold-granting skills, such as 'Greevil's Greed'.


  • All other gold income is unreliable gold

We will follow up with similar guides that will introduce you to the intricacies of Dota 2 in the future, stay updated on our news page for esports betting odds, guides and encounters.