Dota Plus is a new subscription-based suite of player tools and rewards

Valve has unveiled a new subscription-based Dota 2 service called Dota Plus, "an evolution of the Battle Pass" that will replace the Majors Battle Passes with an ongoing service that will be regularly updated with new features and content. 

Majors Battle Passes, like this one from fall 2016, included daily and weekly challenges, new cosmetics and effects, and other themed features. Dota Plus will be similar, with hundreds of new challenges including hero-specific challenges, but as an ongoing service rather than a scheduled, seasonal one. Heroes will advance through levels via XP awarded for matches played, earning level badges, new Hero Chat Wheel responses, and Shards, a new in-game currency used to unlock rewards. Subscribers will also have free access to weekly Battle Cup tournaments (non-subscribers can take part by purchasing Battle Cup tickets for $1 each) with special emoticons, profile accolades, and Shard awards for winners. 

But the real hook for serious players will likely be the Plus Assistant, a multi-function toolset that will offer hero, item and ability suggestions to help optimize builds. Those suggestions will be based on data taken from millions of recent games at each skill bracket—and if you decide to go in a different direction, a GPS-style "recalculate" button will bring up new suggestions based on your current inventory. 

Dota Plus subscribers will also have access to a "Death Summary" screen providing "a second-by-second timeline of incoming damage, stuns, and other disabling effects" in real-time, and a "Lane Strategy" feature with team-wide suggestions for lane configurations. A post-game analytics screen will wrap everything up with a full-game performance comparison based on multiple metrics and a breakdown of damage dealt by and to each hero based on sources abilities, summoned units, and attacks. 

And while the scheduling is gone, some seasonal flavor will remain: Dota Plus subscribers will get "Seasonal Terrain" visual elements on the map that will be active during each season. 

Dota Plus goes for $4 per month, with discounts for six and 12-month subscriptions. Full details are available at   

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.