DotA 2 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Dota 2 editor


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Here are common questions many users have with the Editor.

Keep in mind that this is a Work in Progress. More questions will be added in the future.

  • What should I do to get started?
  • How do I place a unit on my map?
  • How do I set icons to my custom abilities?
  • How do I set icons to my custom items?
  • Can I edit/add heroes in my map?
  • Can I add more teams than just the Radiant and the Dire? For instance, a free for all map?
  • How do I add tooltips to my abilities?

What should I do to get started?

Visit this page

For complete beginners, here is the actual "getting started" tutorial

And here is a good tutorial on the basics of the Editor.

How do I place a unit on my map?

You have 2 options. The first option is to place a prefab unit on the map (short for pre-fabricated). Here is where it is located:

prefab pannel.jpg

Locate the neutral unit you want in there, and simply place it on the map. Note that you can only place default dota units with this, such as neutrals, towers, barracks, etc.

The second option is to place the entity named "npc_dota_base" into your map. This enables you to place custom units of your making. To place this entity, we need the entity tool, which can be accessed with [SHIFT + E] and looks like a light bulb. Once there, scroll down the list to find npc_dota_base.


Place a new unit, and within the "Unit Name" drop list, find your custom unit. Mine is called npc_dota_creature_gate_keeper. It should be right at the bottom. Note: you can also place all kinds of units with this, including brewmaster spirits (his ultimate).

Visit this page for a tutorial on making custom units.


Done! The object properties allow you to edit this placed unit a bit, like changing its color, or spawning angle. The "Use Neutral Creep Behavior" option will make your unit behave, unsurprisingly, like a neutral creature in Dota 2. Which means that it will mostly only aggro when someone gets very close to it (about 200 range), and will chase only for a while, and will then return to its spot.

How do I set icons to my custom abilities?

There are 2 things you need to do. First of all, you need your actual icon, and it has to be at the right place. Ability icons have to be .png files, and their dimensions should be 128x128 pixels.

Furthermore, they should be located within the following folders (replace zergling_madness with the name of your mod):


Second, the ability needs to be told what icon it is. Let's say your spell is named gatekeeper_bloodlust, here is the line you should add in your spell under npc_abilities_custom.txt:

"AbilityTextureName"             "gatekeeper_bloodlust"

To find more information on how to create an actual custom unit, follow this tutorial

How do I set icons to my custom items?

It's quite similar to the abilities icons, but with a twist (of course).

First, Item icons have to be .png files, and their dimensions should be 124x64 pixels, again with a twist. Indeed, the item's picture should be 88 pixels wide, 64 large. The remaining 36x64 pixels should be transparent.

When that is done, the icon should be placed into the following folder (replace zergling_madness with the name of your mod):


Second, the item needs to be told what icon it is. Let's your item's name is item_ice_mastery, here is the should add under your item in npc_items_custom.txt

"AbilityTextureName"            "item_ice_mastery"

To find more information on how to create an actual custom unit, follow this tutorial

Can I edit/add heroes in my map?

It is possible, but for now, limited.

  • You can edit any heroes using the file npc_heroes_custom.txt located in your scripts folder. However, it will replace the default hero from Dota 2 in your map.
  • Therefore, it is impossible (right now) to create new heroes and give them a unique ID. It might be possible in the future though.
  • Apparently, there are 2 unused Hero IDs in the Editor. id = 105, and id = 24. Those two do not correspond to any default heroes in Dota 2 and can thus theoretically be changed without altering any of the base heroes. This is yet untested as of August 24th, 2014.
  • All of this is subject to change in the upcoming Workshop patches.

Can I add more teams than just the Radiant and the Dire? For instance, a free for all map?

Right now, you can't. Valve designed Dota 2 with the philosophy that 2 teams would battle it out, so at the very core, the game is 5v5. However, Valve might patch the Workshop in the future to enable more teams.

For now, the most unconventional setup is 5 vs 0, which means a sort of Co-operative mode vs the computer (The Neutrals team).

How do I add tooltips to my abilities?

Tooltips aren't defined in either custom unit files, abilities files, or even item files. They're in a separate file named "addon_english.txt" in your addon's folder. Here is the file's path:


As usual, replace "zergling_madness" with the name of your addon. Opening up this file should feel somewhat unimpressive. This is what it looks like, vanilla:

    "Language"        "English"
        "addon_game_name"            "YOUR ADDON NAME"

It is time to add some tooltips to this!

Here is what the file looks like with an example item made by Valve, named Arcane Boots 2, on a map named Zergling Madness with nothing in it except the boots:

    "Language"        "English"
        "addon_game_name"            "Zergling Madness!"
        "game_mode_15_desc"         "Fight. Die. Fight again!"

        // Arcane Boots 2
        "DOTA_Tooltip_Ability_item_arcane_boots2"            "Arcane Boots 2"
        "DOTA_Tooltip_ability_item_arcane_boots2_Description"                    "Active: Replenish Mana - Restores mana in an area around the hero.\n\nFlat movement speed bonuses from multiple pairs of boots do not stack."
        "DOTA_Tooltip_ability_item_arcane_boots2_Lore"                        "Magi equipped with these boots are valued in battle."
        "DOTA_Tooltip_ability_item_arcane_boots2_Note0"                            "Does not work on Meepo clones."
        "DOTA_Tooltip_ability_item_arcane_boots2_replenish_amount"                "MANA RESTORED:"
        "DOTA_Tooltip_ability_item_arcane_boots2_bonus_movement"                    "+$move_speed"
        "DOTA_Tooltip_ability_item_arcane_boots2_bonus_mana"                        "+$mana"

Note: " \n\n " serves the purpose of jumping a line.
For abilities, it should read the same but without the "item" part, so:

As usual, the best way to learn in this editor is to play with it a little and see what happens!
Good luck!
Last edited:


† Ғσſ ŧħə ѕαĸε Φƒ ~Ğ䣚~ †
hi sim, glad to see you're the forum staff already.

i'm back to learn the d2 editor, this post made great help, thanks!
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