Dota 2 introduces Hero Builds to teach you how to play

Phil Savage at

Since their launch last month, Steam's user-guides have provided an invaluable resource for community help. Want to learn how to effectively punch shit in Skyrim? The guides have got you covered. There's some useful stuff in there too. Probably.

What those guides haven't done, until now, is integrate meaningfully with a game. Dota 2 is changing this with Hero Builds, subscribable character guides that you can overlay in your game, for a real-time lesson in the abilities you should pick and the items you should buy. And unlike your team-mates in chat, it won't surround each instruction with frustrated expletives.

A Q&A on the Dota 2 site explains their use. "A Hero Build is a way for players to gain knowledge about a specific hero. Builds provide helpful advice on which abilities to level up and when, and what the best items are for your hero. Builds also contain tooltips on strategies, tactics and any other knowledge the author saw fit to share."

You can create your own Hero Build from the Dota 2 website, or browse and subscribe those made by others. Builds can be overlayed with a new in-game option, fittingly called the "Hero Build Panel". While the scheme's still too early for effective ratings to be established, I'm sure the community will handle the task of judging each submitted Build in a calm and reasonable fashion.