How to fix frequent Dota 2 issues

By: Ivan Jenic
5 minute read

Dota 2 is the most popular Steam games ever. It all started as an expansion for its bigger brother, Warcraft. Since then, the game’s player base is on an enormous rise, with millions of players online. With recent updates, Valve made Dota 2 even better, compatible with a higher range of configurations.

However, even though the game is highly praised for its optimization and performance, some technical issues may occur from time to time. We’ve prepared a list of the most common issues, with crashes and launching failures. Of course, with detailed explanations on how to fix them.

Dota 2: Common Issues, Start Failures, and Crashes

Unable to download install file from Steam

As Dota 2 is only obtainable trough Steam, multiple issues may occur. Even though there can be multiple reasons for that, most of them are related to the unstable connection. We listed a few solutions for this matter, so with the step-by-step elimination process, you can solve it:

  1. In order to download the game, Steam needs the HTTP connection. Disable any VPN or web proxy software on your PC, so the platform can function unrestricted.
  2. Check your system’s date and time. This is being overseen quite often, but it seems that wrong time and date can prevent Steam from downloading the game. Set it right!
  3. Try changing the Download Region. The reason for this is because your current region might be faulty at the time.
  4. Corrupted files in Steam installation folder can inflict this issue. To get rid of an interfering file, exit the Steam client, go to the Steam folder (default location is C:\Program Files), and then to userdata\<your accountID>\config. There, you should find the localconfig.vdf file. Delete it and restart the Steam client.

Common connectivity issues and troubleshooting

What is the core of technical issues in online multiplayer games? Yes, PC components may lose power, or software may go astray. But, the ruler of MMO’s misbehaving is the faulty internet connection. All that ports, firewalls and latency can prove as a big headache. Dota 2 is not an exception. So, we listed some of the general solutions regarding connectivity problems in this MMO:

  1. Connect your PC with a router trough wired connection. Wireless is not best option when it comes to online gaming.
  2. Some providers include multiple additional features in the router setup. The risky ones are Stateful inspection, Dynamic packet filtering, QoS (Quality of Service) and UPnP (Universal Plug and Play). Disable these features within your router.
  3. Look out for Firewall exception for Steam, Dota 2, and related processes. The firewall can block Steam features and prevent the connection with servers. Turning off the firewall is not advisable, but you can give it a try, as well.
  4. Check the Steam Server status here to be sure it is not being maintained or down.
  5. Disable any background applications that may interfere with the client. Most of the programs that use the internet connection can prevent login or disturb in-game performances. This is especially the case with antivirus/antimalware/antispyware programs.
  6. Scan your PC for viruses. System infections can corrupt the Steam client.
  7. Make sure your router ports are opened.

”Incomplete Installation” issues

Some users reported that after the installation process is finished, they get prompted with the ”Incomplete Installation” error. There are multiple reasons for this issue and we are presenting them bellow. We[ve already explored the most common “Incomplete Installation” error codes, so if this is your problem, check out our article.

Unable to achieve multiple connections to server from the same router

There is a probability that your router can’t manage multiple PCs at one remote address. This obstruction does have a workaround and we found some possible solutions. In order for multiple clients to function on a single router you have to follow these guidelines:

  • Each PC must have a different client port settings.
  • All respective PCs must have a unique MAC address.
  • Different PCs must have a unique Steam account with different game licenses registered to the account.
  • The router must be updated.

Additionally, you should change the Client Port in userconfig.cfg file. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Go to C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\< your user name>\Dota 2\dota\cfg
  2. If you already have userconfig.cfg in that location, open it with Notepad.
  3. In case you don’t, create New Document with Notepad and name it userconfig.cfg
  4. Open userconfig.cfg type this: client port 27XX. Here XX are the last two digits of the client port number. Acceptable values include 05 – 19 and 21 – 32.
  5. Save the document.

”Files unable to read/Files corrupted” Error

Sometimes due to viruses or other unwanted content, game files can get incomplete or corrupted. Steam implemented a great solution for this, with a built-in tool that checks for file integrity. To use this tool, do as following:

  1. Restart PC and open Steam client.
  2. Open Library.
  3. Right-click Dota 2.
  4. Click Properties.
  5. Select Local Files tab.
  6. Choose Verify integrity of game cache.
  7. The process execution time is proportional to the game size.
  8. If there is a corrupted file, Steam will highlight it.

Laptop with dual GPU malfunction

There are plenty of laptop configurations with two GPUs. Most of the time one is integrated Intel’s GPU with many variations. Other is probably a punchy AMD or nVidia. Onboard Intel is for standard use, while the other one is activated when some high graphical processes are involved. Like playing Dota 2, for example. The problem occurs when your SLI isn’t reaching to dedicated graphics when the game starts. There is a solution for this issue:

  1. Use AMD Catalyst or nVidia Control Panel.
  2. Find Manage 3D settings.
  3. In global settings set dedicated GPU as Preferred Graphic Processor.

However, sometimes AMD graphics can’t resolve the issue even after you change the settings. If the primary solution couldn’t settle your issue with AMD GPU, you should try out the modded driver. You can find it here. Have in mind that these are not official drivers.

Dota 2 crashes after pressing Start Game

If the game crashes at start, you have yourself a major problem. However, the solution for that is surprisingly easy:

  1. Go to Steam client Library.
  2. Right-click the Dota 2 and choose Properties.
  3. In the General tab open Set Launch Options.
  4. Type -nod3d9ex.
  5. Save and start Dota 2.

Dota 2 crashes while in the matchmaking queue

In some cases, the screen ratio (yeah, you wouldn’t expect that) can cause game crashes. To fix this, go to in-game Graphic Settings and change the screen ratio. Keep switching them until you find a working one.

This was our list of the most common issues in Dota 2. We gave our best to help you overcome your problems and enjoy the game, and all of its features undisturbed.

Have you encountered some other issues related to the game? Please share it with us in the comments section.


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