DoTA 2 Skins and Cosmetic Items Explained

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dota 2 skin categories, dota2 cosmetic items, dota2 Equipment, dota2 skins, HUD skins

DoTA 2 Skins and Cosmetic Items Explained

Posted on May 26, 15 at 9:49 am / No comments  

What are Dota2 skins and how do they improve your gaming experience? Where can you find great Dota2 skins? How much do they cost?


As a regular Dota 2 player, you’re probably up to date with what skins are, what they are used for, and what they can do during the game. But if you are just getting started with Dota 2, or you simply want to find out more about Dota 2 skins, then this article is definitely for you.

Items versus Skins

Just like Counter Strike, Team Fortress, or Warframe, you can also purchase items and skins for Dota 2.

There are 2 types of items: cosmetic items and power boosting items. Skins are part of the first category, as they have a purely visually enhancing role; skins do not affect the abilities and powers of Heroes.

Did you know? Contributions to Dota 2’s development consistently come from sources outside the main development team.


What are power boosting items? They give Heroes enhanced abilities and functions so they can perform better during a battle. Power/Ability enhancing items are not tied to a particular Hero, therefore you must pay increased attention when choosing your items. Some items won’t work on some Heroes, while other items can be combined for improved results. In short, these items provide additional benefits to Heroes that the leveling up process cannot.

Tip: A Hero can have a maximum of 6 items in his Inventory, and a maximum of 6 items in his Stash. If you get more items, they will be automatically dropped in the fountain.

Dota 2 Skins You Can’t Miss

There are a lot of skins to choose from in Dota 2. This is part of the game’s charm, and a lot of players go above and beyond to personalize their Dota 2 experience. Skins don’t interfere with the mechanics of the game, they are purely decorative.

Did you know? You can buy user-created skins in the Steam Workshop. They are only put out for sale if they have been approved by Valve.

1.      Equipment Skins

This skins type is used to change the way a Hero looks, from their clothes to the way their weapons are designed. While these skins do not alter the Heroes’ powers, they can definitely give your hero a fiercer look.

You can choose from:

  • Skin sets
  • Weapons
  • Head accessories
  • Armors
  • Belts
  • Misc.

Cosmetic Items by Hero. Click on the image to enlarge.

2.      Couriers

As the name suggests, the Couriers are items that take the form of a donkey / flying donkey. Their main responsibility is to carry your items to and from your base. Animal Couriers and Flying Couriers are considered Consumable Items.

You can also customize your courier in the loadout screen. You can equip the Couriers with specific visual elements. Once again, these elements do not influence the way the Courier performs. However, there are some Unusual Couriers which come with a special effect. The effect can be either Ethereal Gem or Prismatic Gem.

Custom Couriers are classified in 5 categories: Rare, Mythical, Legendary, Immortal, Ancient.


Custom Couriers in DoTA2. Click image to enlarge.

3.      Announcers

This collection of cosmetic items is a bit different, because it does not change the way a Hero or a player looks. What it does is it changes the voice of the Announcer with explosive commentaries, unruly humor, or a drunken Pirate Captain. There are a lot of Announcers items to choose from – can you decide which voice is your favourite?

4.      Custom Wards

Are you getting bored with the way your wards look? With Custom Wards you can change the appearance of your Observer Wards and Sentry Wards.

Did you know? Items such as skins are the main source of income for Dota2. Creators selling their items on the Steam Market receive a percentage of sales. In 2013 the income for an average contributor was $15k per year.

5.      HUD Skins

This skins category is a bit special, as it allows you to change how the heads up display looks. What’s even better about this skins category is that it can be equipped by other players in the same match.

There are more DoTA 2 skins that invite you to fully personalise your gaming experience:

  • Music
  • Emoticons
  • Mouse cursors
  • Weather effects
  • Blink effects
  • Teleport effects
  • Custom base items
  • Taunta
  • Multikill banners
  • Loading screens

…and more


Cosmetic Effects options for DoTA2. Click image to enlarge.

Skin Categories: Rarity & Quality

Items and skins in Dota2 are usually categorized into Rarity. The rarer the item, the more valuable it is. Some players spend a lot of money on their items; there are even Dota 2 skins that cost a big-ticket. Depending on their rarity, items are classified as:

  • Common
  • Uncommon
  • Rare
  • Mythical
  • Legendary

Did you know? Initially, DoTA was used as an acronym from Defense of The Ancients. Multiple versions of the same game were produced, but Dota Allstars was the most popular Dota version. Dota Allstars was the game that inspired the development of Dota 2.

When discussing the Quality of an item or a Dota2 skin, there are 4 categories it can fall into. Normal items are the most widespread, while genuine items are… well, highest in QUALITY. The 4 Quality types are:

  • Normal
  • Inscribed
  • Heroic
  • Genuine

Quality can be altered by Gems.

Did you know? DoTA emerged in 2003, and Dota 2 was officially released in 2013. The creator of the most popular version of DoTA retired in 2005, only 2 years after the game’s launch. By 2008, DoTA was already one of the most prominent electronic sports titles.

What is the Steam Market?


A concept for DoTA2 Skins. You can find more skins on the Steam Market.

As mentioned before, you can buy and sell skins and items forDota 2 in the Steam Market. The Steam Market also commercializes items for Counter Strike, Primal Carnage,Warframe, Team Fortress, The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, Robot Roller, and more. The Dota2 skins you purchase from cannot be re-sold earlier than 1 week from the moment of the purchase.


When you make your first purchase in the market you will pay real money. After that, as you earn more money, you will be allowed to use it to purchase other items or skins. You cannot withdraw your money to your card or use it in any way other than buying and selling on the Steam Market.

This is one great drawback of the Steam Market system, because the money you earn stays on the website, whether you are an Items Creator or an Items Buyer.

What are your solutions for solving this problem on Steam Market? Do you think that a new payment system that allows withdrawals to PayPal (for example) would be a good idea? Why / why not?

Just leave your comments below and let’s see how we can change it together!