How to Play Dota 2 in Offline Mode

Dota 2 is a MOBA game that requires you to have a good internet connection. You can play online with people from different countries, and your ping will be decent as long as you stay on a server from your region or a region close to you. 

But what if you need to play Dota 2 in offline mode because you have a really slow internet connection or because your internet is down and you can’t connect to your Steam account? In such scenarios, you need to understand what your options are.

Ideally, you should play offline only when you choose to and not out of necessity. But if you’ve put in one of those unpleasant situations where you need to improvise, the good news is that you can play Dota 2 offline and not just with AI bots.

Ways of Playing Dota 2 Offline

Play Dota 2 in Offline Mode

The most obvious way of playing Dota without being able to connect to the Steam client because you’ve lost connection to the internet is to do it by yourself, allied with 4 bots against 5 other bots. But this is hardly enjoyable. If you’ve been playing the game long enough, the bots will feel quite weak and won’t challenge you.

As you probably know, Dota 2 bots can have multiple difficulty levels, ranging from passive to unfair. But because it’s such a complex game, unfair bots aren’t exactly unfair. They’re simply stronger than the ones you’re allied with. Plus, the draft puts you at a slight disadvantage. Other than that, there won’t be anything stopping you from getting a rampage or going 30-0.

This is the reason why few people play Dota offline willingly, against bots. In other games, such as chess, even the strongest players are afraid to compete against AI because it’s a lot stronger than humans. But in Dota 2, we don’t have access to those kinds of training partners. They exist, but they’re out of the community’s reach.

Given that it only has one map, Dota against bots gets boring fast for any player whose rank is above Herald. Even if you play in the mid lane. A practice match against clueless bots may give you a bit of hero practice, but that’s about it. So what’s the alternative? Playing on LAN with your friends. However, that’s a bit tricky.

How to Set Up Your LAN Games in Dota 2

Play Dota 2 in Offline Mode
Play Dota 2 in Offline Mode

As a player, you’d want Valve Corporation to give you an easy way of playing LAN Dota 2 matches. But it doesn’t.

When you play Dota 2 without internet, one thing that you need to do is to start Steam in offline mode. Ideally, you should have a desktop shortcut for Dota 2. This would eliminate the need to find the game in the Steam menu. An alternative is to find your installation folder (or destination folder) and run it from there.

The first step of the process is to discover your IP address and port number. You can find these inside your ipconfig file. Search for it on your PC by opening the command prompt. It’s the IPV4 address.

After you’ve opened the Steam client in offline mode, go to Library, right-click on Dota 2 and click on “Set Launch Options.” After that, type in -console and press the Ok button.

When inside the game, open your Command Console and type in these commands:

sv_lan 1

sv_cheats 1

dota_force_gamemode 1

Your LAN friends must connect using your IP address:port number. So make sure you give them the connect IP and the port.

Keep in mind that when you play LAN matches, you cannot play ranked. You can only play custom games.

Posted by
William Westerlund

William is an author, editor, and an avid gamer with over 10.000 hours in CS:GO (Counter-Strike 2). He also enjoys playing Rust, Dota 2, and TF2 but never became a top 1% player in any of those games.