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The Beginner's Guide to Heroes of Newerth

By Simba - 16th July 2009 - 23:01 PM

This is our old Beginner's Guide and it's outdated. For the new up-to-date comprehensive guide visit The Heroes of Newerth Beginner's Guide.


Alright, so you've acquired your Heroes of Newerth beta key through whatever means you've deemed necessary (coercion no doubt!) and you're now ready to hop right into the beta and lose your first game, extremely painfully! While that does sounds like a really solid plan and all, there is a smarter way to go about playing your first game. Hopefully it won't involve pissing off nine other players as you crash and burn your entire team single-handedly.

Without further adieu or poor attempts at humor, I present to you the Noob's Guide to Newerth! Here we will cover all the basic things a greenhorn like yourself absolutely needs to know before you can hope to succeed in a game and hopefully show you how to learn your way to the top.

Heroes of Newerth, 101


I'll start by touching on a few basic terms you'll run across in this guide, these forums and in player chat:
  • Hero: The main unit controlled by the player and the other players.
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Hero Magebane
  • Creep: A creep is an AI controlled unit. "Lane" creeps are creeps that patrol down one of the three lanes while "Neutral" creeps are those you will find scattered in the forests.
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From left: Legion siege, ranged and melee creep, Hellbourne siege, ranged and melee creep
  • Lane: There are 3 lanes in a map - the Top, Middle and Bottom. There should never really be more than two heroes in a single lane unless one team is 'ganking' or 'pushing'. There are three Towers per lane.
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3 lanes shown on the mini-map
  • Ganking: The act of ambushing an opposing player.
  • Pushing: The act of attempting to destroy enemy towers.
  • Defensive Towers: Usually just called Towers. Killing the enemies' towers gives your team a large gold bonus and gets you closer to their throne.
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Hellbourne tower (left) and Legion tower (right)
  • Throne: If this building dies, you win!... or lose, depending on which one just bit the dirt. It's a large structure, flanked by two Towers and located right in front of the Healing Fountain.
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Hellbourne throne (left) and Legion throne (right)
  • Healing Fountain: This is the place where you start out at the beginning of the game. You will heal rapidly while standing in the waters.
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Legion (left) and Hellbourne (right)
  • Shop: It's where you buy items. There is one located right next to your healing fountain and another four 'hidden' shops around the map. You will see them as white squares on your minimap. Certain items can only be purchased from these shops.
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Top row - shops on Legion side: main, hidden and outpost
Bottom row - shops on Hellbourne side: main, hidden and outpost
  • Barracks: There are two types of Barracks - Ranged Barracks and Melee Barracks. You will see one set of them at the end of each lane. If you destroy your enemy's ranged barracks, more powerful ranged creeps will spawn. Likewise, if you destroy the melee barracks, more powerful melee creeps will spawn.
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Legion barracks: Melee (left) and Ranged (right)

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Hellbourne barracks: Melee (left) and Ranged (right)

The main goal of the game is to destroy the opposing team's Throne. There are many ways to do this. Your entire team can push in one or all of the lanes and then let the creeps finish them off, slowly whittle them down or - if a hero gets powerful enough - he can charge in and simply destroy it himself. If all three lanes are pushed and all six barracks destroyed, extremely powerful creeps will begin spawning. At this point, the game is almost completely over as the creeps are simply too powerful to stop and they make short work of any heroes or towers that may get in their way.

Until you're competent enough to craft your own starting builds and customize them however you want, I recomend you buy two sets of Runes of Blight, one Health Potion and at least one Mana Potion. All of these can be found in the Supplies shop. Finish off your remaining gold with a Pretenders Crown and then as many Minor Totems as you can afford or carry. You should be able to afford at least one of each.

Lesson One: Last-Hitting and Denying.


This is quite possibly the most important aspect of gameplay. Last-Hitting and Denying are used to describe the act of using your hero to always achieve the last hit, or 'killing blow', on an enemy or allied lane creep. "Why would I want to kill my team's creeps?" you may ask. Well the answer is simple. Creeps give gold and experience. So when you kill or "deny" an allied creep, not only does your opponent get 0 gold - as he might have had he killed the creep - but he only recieves 1/3 of the experience for that creep. A skilled "laner" can easily out-level and out-farm his opponents.

Lesson Two: Playing intelligently.


At this point, you know what to do in a lane against the only constant factors in the game, the Creeps. But what about those pesky heroes? Well you don't really know what every enemy hero does do you? The best thing you can do until you get a basic understanding of every hero is to stand back and play defensively. Try not to make yourself look like a juicy steak for the hungry lions of the opposing team. Communicate with your allies. Ask them your questions: "What does this guy do? What does your hero do? What is the best skill build for my hero? What is the best item build for my hero?" and so on. If you don't know, it's better to ask and receive a helpful answer than give your teammates a nasty surprise when you turn up with the definitive word in fail, now in a handy hero form.

Lesson Three: Reading makes you smart.


There is a wealth of information to learn. While it may not seem like fun, I recommend you start a game with just you in it and take your time to read all of the hero descriptions, then choose the hero that most interests you. Once you get in the game, take a few minutes to read all of the item descriptions and learn where they actually are and what they do. You won't have time to read them during an actual game. You might also choose to take this time to practice your last-hitting and denying abilities.

Conclusion: Practice makes perfect!


If at first you don't succeed, try try again! Don't make me keep listing cliches please. You can't realistically expect to be a superawesomepro Heroes of Newerth player by your 10th game but keep chugging along. Shrug off those "NOOB!"s, "OMG U SUK"s and "LERN TOO PLAY"s and keep getting better!

(Oh, and once you do get really good - be sure to go back and beat the snot out of everyone who talked smack to you!)