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Heroes of The Storm Beginners Guide

Heroes of The Storm Beginners Guide


Before I proceed with Heroes of the Storm beginners guide, let me ask you something. How many of you remember an alias IceFrog? This is the name which solely made an amazing impact on the industry of video games. Several people besides him were involved in a project named “Defense of the Ancients”, or shorter, DotA. This mod for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos brought a new approach to the well-known game. Instead of an army, the player controlled only one hero.


This concept caught the eye of a then young company named Riot Games.  They made one of the most popular game concepts today, League of Legends. Due to its soaring popularity, Blizzard had to answer somehow, and their ace is “Heroes of the Storm”. Because of its popularity, I believe that this Heroes of the Storm beginners guide will benefit new players, as well as those who are veterans of MOBA games but want to try something new.


The main idea

As I said, Blizzard took DotA approach, changed it to some extent, and this game was born. The main feature which sets HotS apart from others is that the map is not always the same. Although this sounds confusing, in fact, it keeps the game fresh, since that there are fewer chances that you will get bored.


Also, there are no “items” in the game which you can buy to strengthen your hero. Instead, at every third level, you can choose an ability, which gives you specific features. Another thing which is unique to this game is that there are no individual levels for each hero, but instead, the whole team levels at the same time.


This is perhaps the best solution for including teamwork in a game. For example, in League of Legends, you can have a hero who is left behind regarding items and level. This results in the opposing team to focus on him and push even further, while getting stronger in the process. In HotS, the whole team wins or loses.


Regarding team goals, know that each map has two or three lanes along which computer-controlled minions are moving. At each lane that are several points with towers which deal significantly larger damage. The primary goal is to take down the opposing Nexus (base).


As with every game, HotS also has its expressions and vocabulary which represents specific actions or similar. Luckily, it is the same as with other MOBAs, so you won’t have trouble to fit in. In case that you haven’t played any of those, here’s a quick guide on words you can meet in Heroes of the Storm.


I have organized this part of Heroes of the Storm beginners guide into sections, so that it is more transparent.



  • Gank – is made when the hero leaves its lane, and goes to another one without being noticed, and if possible, ambushes the opposing hero with the intent of killing him.
  • Gap closing – an expression used for approaching an enemy hero by using the ability, to attack him. For example, Zeratul’s Blink will teleport him where needed so that he can engage enemy hero in melee.
  • Initiator – a hero who starts the fight, usually done by warrior which can endure some punishment from the opposing team. Coordination is essential here since you don’t want your teammate to rush in only to be took down, do you?
  • Kiting – means keeping the distance with the opposing hero who is chasing you, to damage him further, or to lure him to an ambush.
  • Zoning – keeping the opposing heroes in an area where they cannot damage your team or coordinate with their own.


  • Backline – is where you will usually find ranged assassin heroes. These look to be distanced from the opposing heroes and to deal damage from afar.
  • Counter pick – or simply counter is choosing the hero who has such abilities that can neutralize the opposing one.
  • Focus – is what you need to do, to take down the target as fast as possible, and usually means that the whole team attacks one target. High-damage heroes are typically primary focus.
  • Split-push – is made when the team presses two objectives at the same time, leading the other side to fail at one at least.
  • Peeling – an ability to keep the opposing heroes from your teammate.
  • Laning – is what you use when wanting to describe staying in lane, and damaging/eliminating opposing minions and heroes, to get experience.
  • Sustain – the possibility of staying in lane for as long as possible, with healing not to be a problem. Self-sustain is the feature of keeping yourself not being killed.

Damage types

  • AoE – Area of Effect means that some spells will affect more heroes instead of one.
  • Burst damage – is the one which reduces the opposing heroes health fast, and usually, don’t have an extended period of effect.
  • Crowd control or cc – is an ability which will affect opposing hero regarding movement in a negative For example, stuns, slows, or rooting in place are all Crowd Control abilities.
  • Poke – not to be confused with the Facebook feature; this means that the hero can remove a lot of health of the opposing hero in one or few combed abilities.
  • Skillshot – are those abilities which require some skill (of course) to use. These are usually AoE abilities for which to hit the opposing hero need prediction and good aim.


  • gg – means “good game”, and is usually written at the end. If followed by ez, this means that the player thought the game was easy.
  • Meta – stands for “Most effective tactics available” and is what’s most useful at the moment. For example, “Bruisers are real meta now”.


Heroes who are available

Instead of going with making entirely new heroes, Blizzard decided to take already known ones, and introduce them into this game. Therefore, more or less known heroes and individuals from StarCraft, WarCraft, Overwatch and Lost Vikings are present.


Their roles can be divided into four broader groups, which have their subgroups to define the role better. Here are the main ones.

  • Warrior – as the name suggests, these heroes have in general larger health pools, with less effective Surely, not all are the same, and some can hit pretty hard.
  • Assassin – the main damage dealer, an assassin seeks to exploit weaknesses in opposing team’s defense and to secure a kill.
  • Support – is used to either keep an ally alive by healing or other means. This can include high CC or good peel.
  • Specialist – stands out by some means. His playstyle and ability kit is different than other heroes. For example, Abathur stays hidden and influences the battle from far.


Team composition is not strictly determined, and there are no rules. However, it is recommended to be as balanced as possible and can include one or two warriors, one or two supports, and one or two assassins. Specialist is there for diversity and specific situations. Again, an example is Xul, who can counter self-sustaining heroes such as Illidan.


Experimenting is an excellent thing, and when playing versus A.I., there are no rules. You can play with five supports (probably) and still win.


This is the best thing about Heroes of the Storm, you can play one hero in several ways, and the outcome will be different every time. You can get more AoE damage with one build, sustain with other, while there is Varian, which can be tanky warrior or assassin.


What to do in first several games?

Remember, your previous experience (if there is any) in MOBA games can help you in just getting the basics of this game. That is why I’m writing this Heroes of the Storm beginners guide in the first place. So, here’s the answer to the question from heading.


Once you registered, downloaded and went through the tutorial in Heroes of the Storm, playing a few games is in order. First, check to see if there are any missions you can fulfill, to earn some gold for purchasing heroes. Since you will get only one free hero after finishing tutorial, the rest will be locked, and you’ll need to earn (or buy) gold to unlock them.


Luckily, there are free heroes available to try each week, so you can pick some of them to see if they suit you. Now, if you want to dedicate to a specific role, some heroes are in my opinion a bit more beginner-friendly. Of assassins, those would be Valla and Raynor, and the latter was my first HotS hero, which still has his place in my heart. When it comes to warriors, Leoric and Sonya are pretty decent choices to understand what the team expects of you. When it comes to specialists, I would recommend waiting for this role, until you get used to the game better.


Support is a tricky position to play, since you have to keep track of several factors at once, such as yours and allied health, the enemy hero(es), minimap, etc. However, if you prefer this role, take into consideration Li Li and Lucio. They are all-out supports, and if you wish some more damage-dealing, let me tell you that I LOVE Tyrande.


The game

Now, the objective of each map may differ so that you will have different goals, but there are some things which are in common for all of them. As I have mentioned, teamwork is the only way to win in this game. Therefore, the first rule would be: “Be a nice guy”. I don’t mean here that you should chat and meet people you played with, but don’t be aggressive and abusive.


“Stay safe” is rule number two, and my personal favorite. By this, I mean that you shouldn’t overextend in laning phase and rush blindly into the fray. Judge the risk and possible gain. For example, initiating team fight as a warrior at the moment when crucial abilities from your team are on cooldown will result in opposing team taking down at least one or two of your teammates, and you being called a noob.


Instead, use pings, chat or team speak, to see if the team is ready. If you initiate, and your team takes down two or three opponents, that’s a good trade, and can win the game. Watch for map objectives, and whether that be collecting doubloons, killing spiders to get help or killing an angel, just try to help.


A minimap is an essential tool, and if you haven’t, get used to it as soon as possible. In this way, you will track the overall presence of opposing heroes and will direct you on what to do. Use abilities and check bushes, vents and areas out of sight, to spot enemy heroes preparing to gank your lane. Even if you have a “boring” lane, without many takedowns, you did your job. If you lose sight of the opposing hero for more than three seconds, let your team know that he is missing.


Other tips and tricks

One thing you can use to your advantage is knowing that you are not alone in this game. Despite that some players will try to be abusive, many aren’t. I have met some brilliant people with good advice, and they helped me with tips when needed.


Eventually, YouTube is an excellent source of replays and channels, so use it as much as you like. Just see that videos are not too old or outdated.


In the end, if everything else fails, come back to this article, ask me a question in the comment section below, and I’ll help you without judging or blaming. After all, this is a game, and we should play to relax, not to stress even more.


I surely hope that you enjoyed this Heroes of the Storm beginners guide, and in case that I have missed something, please let me know.

About The Author

Sladjan Teodosin

True gamers never die. They just respawn.

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