The Reborn beta is now available for everyone to download and play. Read on for installation instructions and to learn about a number of new technologies that we're using to improve Dota 2.


Dota 2 is now powered by the Source 2 engine, Valve's latest game development platform. This means that ongoing development in the new engine will continue to improve Dota 2. Source 2 includes technology for rendering improvements, performance optimizations, higher fidelity content, and richer, more dynamic games.


One of the ways Source 2 directly improves gameplay is by reducing the latency between issuing a command and seeing your hero react to that command. Our redesigned input system now allows the server to process mouse clicks and key presses directly into visible actions more quickly than before.


The new authoring tools allow maps in Dota 2 to be built using a tile system, which makes authoring new maps faster and more accessible. This new system also allows new maps, like the Desert terrain, to have dramatically different visual styles, while ensuring that each variation has identical gameplay. Players with different custom terrains equipped will be able to play together, with each player seeing a different version of the map.


Source 2 was built to support a wide range of hardware. Dota 2 in Source 2 runs better on older laptops, and at the same time further increases performance on current desktops. Though Dota 2 may not require all of the resources of a high end machine, Source 2 has been built to be capable of driving modern machines to their limits. It can use all of your CPU cores, your 64-bit OS and memory, and includes support for recent and upcoming graphics standards like Direct3D 11 and Vulkan as well as virtual reality if the game demands it. Performance will continue to improve during the beta as we optimize it for more PC configurations.


Source 2 will use any available CPU cores to provide a smoother experience, removing many hitches during gameplay. Also, much of the game content can be streamed in the background while the game stays responsive. Animation, voice chat, music and more can continue while the game is loading.


Source 2 uses a new audio system that processes all audio in full quality through the entire pipeline. Voice chat makes use of this improvement, and is now noticeably higher quality and has less latency than before. Audio and voice processing also use multi-threading to run in the background and avoid dropouts. The Source 2 audio system also makes use of your processor's SIMD instruction sets to improve performance. Additionally, it offers new audio scripting capabilities for audio designers which lets them customize the mix and effects pipeline without changing any code. This capability is also supported in Custom Games.


The renderer in Source 2 contains a number of new features and improvements, giving creators more design freedom. It removes many of the constraints on building the world of Dota 2, allowing map designers to create worlds that were not possible to build in the previous engine. Maps in Source 2 can be authored using powerful geometry editing tools and may contain complex meshes which are free of convexity constraints. The engine is capable of delivering many more batches to the GPU, even when using older versions of the OpenGL and Direct3D graphics APIs. This makes it easier to create more detailed worlds and more advanced characters. Additionally, a unified lighting system ensures all game assets have access to the same rendering feature set, ensuring visual continuity. So far Dota 2 is only using a few of the new rendering features in Source 2, including normal mapping on all types of geometry and multiple reflective water planes in the same scene.


Source 2 also includes new versions of our physics and cloth simulation engines which implement higher quality, more stable simulations. In the future, more advanced Source 2 cloth and physics simulation technology will be used to power Dota 2 Custom Games content.


Source 2 includes native support for OpenGL without needing a wrapper, improving performance, memory usage and loading times on other platforms. We're still putting the finishing touches on the Mac and Linux clients and we hope to have them available in the coming weeks.


Source Filmmaker has been rebuilt in Source 2, and with it you can create your own short films set in the Dota universe. Use the same tools and the same maps, models, particles and sounds our own animators used to create the Dota 2 Reborn Custom Games trailer.


If you're a builder of Dota Workshop item sets, couriers, or new gameplay modes, you can now make movies in the same environment using the same assets. You can also easily customize and pose heroes to render posters, capturing a single image in extremely high fidelity. Going forward, the assets available to Dota filmmakers will stay up to date with the latest Dota game updates.


Record and edit your favorite Dota matches - ones you've participated in or any that you've downloaded. Animate dynamic camera moves, add or remove characters, and change map environments to showcase your wins or highlight an exciting team fight from a tournament.


Now you can create longer movies and larger worlds using the 64-bit Source 2 engine. You'll also enjoy faster load times, dynamic map loading between shots, and faster render times. Any assets that you edit will dynamically update live in the tool's viewport.


Exert more control over rigging, with the addition of bone-at-a-time IK and other constraints, including the new spline constraint. You can now preview and import heroes into the SFM, with customized particle effects and item sets. When your creation is complete, render directly to MP4 video with H.264/AAC encoding for the best quality settings for online viewing.


Over the coming months, we'll be substantially improving the reliability of our game server network. By taking full advantage of Steam's expanding worldwide infrastructure and making use of a few new technologies, players will now have better connection quality and reduced service disruptions.


In order to more efficiently and securely carry user traffic, we've created a new network backbone that connects our US, European, and Asian datacenter sites. Over the next six months we expect to double the number of links in this network. We've also created a new game server relay network protocol, which can quickly adapt to determine the optimal route to the game server and take best advantage of our backbone. We're currently testing this protocol on a percentage of games played in the US. We have installed these relays at every data center, as well as additional edge locations in the US. In the coming months, we'll be rolling out this protocol and additional edge locations to the rest of the world.


Typically, when clients connect directly to a game server, the route is determined by standard IP routing, which is often inefficient. When connecting with our relay protocol, clients choose the relay that gives them the best route. This means that we can move game traffic into Valve's extensive worldwide network earlier in the route, resulting in packets spending less time traveling over congested public internet links and more time on our dedicated links. Once there, we can ensure routing is optimal and general internet traffic doesn't crowd out game traffic. Our experience shows that often the direct route is not the best one. In the US, 40% of all clients get a better ping when they enter our network earlier by selecting a relay closer to them. The improvement is usually modest, but for a small percentage of players, the ping is significantly lower.


Defending our servers against Distributed Denial of Service attacks is an ongoing battle. We've added specialized mitigation hardware to our network edge locations. Additionally, our new relay protocol helps defend against DDoS. If an attack or other network disruption obstructs or degrades the route through one relay, clients will now be capable of quickly switching to another relay. Eventually we can completely remove game servers from the public IP address space, where they will be much safer from Denial of Service and other security hazards. Additionally, we've expanded the edge of our network to three terabits per second, and over the past six months we've doubled our server capacity in Singapore and increased capacity in US East by 40%. Over the next six months we are planning to expand worldwide capacity by over 50%.


The Reborn Beta is now live and will run alongside the current version of Dota 2. In order to give us enough time to fix bugs and address feedback, we are aiming to bring it out of beta sometime after The International.



Install Dota 2 if you haven't already


Start up Dota 2


Go to the Play tab and select Dota 2 Reborn Beta


Click Install to begin your download


Once the beta is installed, whenever you launch Dota 2 you'll be asked which version of the game you want to play.
You'll find that your match history, items, rank, and friends are all shared across versions.
Ranked Matchmaking will be enabled soon. We anticipate it being turned on in a few days, but we need more testing of the basic functionalities first.
As you explore the beta, you’ll notice a few features aren’t fully functional yet, but we encourage you to play regularly and send us your feedback. We'll be updating the client frequently over the coming weeks as we bring everything online.