Dota 2: Everything about an efficient farming. From tactics and strategies to principles and items.

choosing hero

To farm = to kill creeps in order to accumulate gold and experience.

One of the main objectives in a #DotA game is to grow as fast as possible, both in terms of level and as net worth. To accumulate experience and gold faster and faster and to become stronger than your opponents. This is how you can set the game’s rhythm and force battles trying to achieve important goals as obtaining the Aegis and destroying the towers. In order to reach this goal is good to know what the map is offering. Both regarding the creeps that you will be farming, but also regarding the demands that you must meet for efficiently farming these creeps.


Either you are playing in Radiant or Dire, your team’s farming potential on your side of the map per minute is the following:

  • Lane creeps. Offering on each of the three lanes an average of 330 gold/450 xp (until the 16th minute) and 410 gold/540 xp between the 16th and 31st minutes of the game, if you succeed to give all the last hits.
  • Neutral creeps. Ancients, two camps (each valuing and average of ~240 gold/325 xp); three big camps (~125 gold/215 xp); three medium camps (~100 gold/180 xp); and a small camp (~75 gold/135 xp). These camps reappear just once in two minutes though.

So, all in all, until the 16th minute, the farming potential on each side of the map per minute is approximately 1680 gold and 2335 xp. To be able to put these numbers in perspective, think about the fact that until level 15 you need an average of 700 xp per level and that a blink dagger costs 2250 gold.

farming on down lane
Farming on down lane


As shown earlier in the previous analysis, the farming potential on the map is huge. But for being able to take advantage of this matter in the best way, you need to make sure that you have:


Without damage, all the fuss is for nothing. Both in the laning phase (because the opponent on your lane may deny most of the creeps) and also after you go deep in the jungle, where you can’t comfortably wait to give last hits anymore, being forced to kill every creep.

In the laning phase the most important is the total damage per attack, while in the jungle the actual damage is what matters the most (which is the damage per second, as a combination between the attack speed you have and the damage you make per attack).


In the laning phase the opponent will try to bother you and to lower your HP enough for you to feel that you are in danger and no longer able to stay around creeps to give last hits. Then, after you start to farm neutral creeps in the jungle, their damage is big for your beginner hero. Besides all these aspects, you also need to think about the fact that any ability that you are using will cost you mana.


Once you meet all the requirements above, valuing the farming potential on the map can be done better by increasing the mobility of your hero. A better movement speed, a Blink Dagger or a Force Staff will help you move faster and reach more places where you can farm.



Leaving lane
Leaving lane

One of the farming principles is leaving your lane and expand to the neutral creeps in the jungle as soon as you are strong enough to get a higher gpm (gold per minute) by farming the jungle (or a combination of jungle and lanes). If a perfect farm in your lane will give you 330 gmp and you are actually capable to get 400-500 gmp by farming in the jungle, the time spent waiting for some more creeps to come in the lane is a wasted time.

If your opponent is not pushing the lane fast enough to make you constantly defending the tower, it is ideal to leave your original lane and to invite a weaker team member in terms of net worth and level (most likely a support) to take your place and stack gold and xp while you are farming the jungle. Or, if you can and you are greedy, you could kill every creep wave in your lane really fast and then farm everything you can in the jungle and come back for the next creep wave. Good Shadow Fiend players tend to do this all the time.


A second principle is to protect your farm and to ensure the necessary visibility on the map in order to be able to farm at free will. A good opponent will know the development stages of your hero and will try to stop the farming process. In anticipation of the disruptive tactics that have this purpose, it is good to mark your territory with wards, so when someone wants to dispute your farm you can be aware of what is happening, and you can ask your team to react accordingly.


The third principle is to gradually start with small steps, by farming the creeps that you are able to kill in the stage that you are in. This principle also applies when you have to farm more camps that are next to each other and you know you will not be able to farm everything until the next respawn. In such a case you could farm the smaller camps and stack the big one in the end (probably of ancients). This way you will not lose anything from what you can farm in the respective location.



Choosing a composition of heroes that scales better (becomes stronger) in the advanced stages of the game and taking a defensive approach. The idea behind this strategy is simple: you protect yourself and you make your side of the map as strong as possible, counting on the fact that you will either be able to farm more than your opponents or you will be able to defeat them in the later stages of the game, if both teams have the same net worth (thanks to the superior abilities of the heroes in your team). This strategy is not too risky, because generally it is easier to defend yourself rather than to attack.


Choosing a composition of heroes that becomes very strong shortly after starting the game and using the extra strength to take important objectives (towers, Roshan, etc.) or to minimize the opponent’s visibility and control on the map. Such strategy, through which you are slowly suffocating your enemy, invading his territory, leaves the opponent incapable of farming and growing. Finally, he will need to confront you in a stage when his power is much lower than yours.


As a game tactic created around farming I would mention the wards blocking (generally sentries) of the important camps of the opponents’ team, especially when they start to have the capacity to value the jungle farming potential.

For example, a team that has an Anti-Mage that just finalized the Battlefury as a carry will try to create space for that Anti-Mage in order to be able to farm and to grow very fast, going from one camp to the other and getting a bigger and bigger gpm.

Blocking the camps of this team is efficient in the worst-case scenario, and game-winning in the best-case scenario. In the first situation, your opponents will surely deward with sentries their own blocked camps. For every minute of the game when they will not be aware that these camps were blocked, the opponent team is seriously damaged. And when the deward time comes, the sentries bought by the enemies will cost as much as the ones that you bought or even more.  This is applied if you’ve hidden your sentries well enough and the opponent needs two sentries to find one of yours.

This tactic gives very good results especially against teams who have more than one carry (or a mid hero who efficiently farms the jungle) and bad communication. In such a case, each player will believe that the other one stole his farm, not thinking that the respective farm was not taken, the camps being blocked.

In the end I would say that the farming potential on the map and valuing it is an essential aspect of wining a DotA game and it is similar to attracting European funds: the source exists, we just need the people!

You can also watch this video about farming:

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