Skip to main content

Valve introduces a number of anti-troll features for 'DotA 2' ranked play

Best Free to Play Games
Image used with permission by copyright holder
In an effort to cut back on the number of bots, players running troll or smurf accounts, and generally disruptive gamers, Valve has introduced a new barrier for entry to ranked DotA 2 play: A valid phone number. As of May 4, anyone wishing to play ranked games of the popular multiplayer online battle arena game will be required to furnish a unique phone number.

Cutting back on toxic and negative play within some of the world’s most popular games is one of the most difficult aspects of running them. Riot Games has famously taken many measures to do so with League of Legends over the years, and Valve has taken similar steps with DotA 2. Its latest measure, though, is rather different.

The idea behind the requirement of a phone number is to make it difficult for players to have more than one account. That means if they want to play in ranked matches, they will have to play as themselves. They can’t start new accounts to play against less-skilled players, can’t abuse people without consequences, and can’t deliberately feed or troll their teammates in a variety of other fashions.

That’s how it would play out in theory, but there will certainly be people who get around the system. Valve is acutely aware of that and has said it will not tolerate the use of fake phone numbers. That said, it knows that it can’t stop everyone; it simply wants to make the practice of running secondary or fake accounts more hassle than it’s worth.

“Our goal is to add just enough friction to this process that the number of players doing this will be noticeably reduced,” it said in a statement (via Ars). “Having more players using their primary accounts will have a positive effect on both ranked and unranked matchmaking.”

To give people some time to get used to the change, or acquire a valid phone number if they don’t have one, Valve has granted a two-week grace period. After May 4, however, players will need to have a phone number attached to their account to continue playing ranked matches.

Alongside this additional stipulation for ranked play, Valve also announced new, more strict penalties for those on the low-priority matchmaking queue reserved for rulebreakers. Anyone who repeatedly trolls other players — on their team or a rival team — will find themselves banned from ranked play entirely for set periods of time. Bans will start at a few hours, ranging up to four days for frequently troublesome players.

Valve has also added better detection for feeders — those who deliberately allow themselves to be killed in order to power up the enemy team — and will leverage stricter punishments for violators. Ranked matches have also been disabled for South Africa, India, and Dubai, where low populations made abuse more prevalent. Players there are encouraged to join other regional ranked queues.

Finally, updates to Solo Queue ranked play should pit gamers against others who aren’t playing with teammates they know, which should help those playing alone avoid being squashed by a well-organized enemy team.

Editors' Recommendations

Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
Will this year’s Call of Duty game be on Xbox Game Pass?
Key art for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War season 2.

Activision Blizzard, which is now owned by Microsoft, is gearing up to announce the next Call of Duty game soon and release it later this year. There's been one major point of contention ahead of this year's Call of Duty: Will it be on Xbox Game Pass at launch? A new report from The Wall Street Journal suggests that is the case.

Historically, Microsoft has added all its first-party games from Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda to Game Pass the day they launched. That applies to big AAA releases like Starfield, as well as more experimental titles like 2022's Pentiment and Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2, which releases next week. Microsoft's public messaging thus far has teased that 2024's new Call of Duty game, expected to be a continuation of the Black Ops subseries, will come to the Xbox Game Pass. That said, Microsoft has not officially confirmed it, so there have been conflicting reports on this actually being the case.

Read more
Is Helldivers 2 coming to Xbox?
A soldier in silhouette in Helldivers 2.

Helldivers 2 was a massive hit right out of the gate for developer Arrowhead Game Studios, and the game's popularity has only grown since its release in February of this year. Shedding the top-down perspective of the first Helldivers, this cooperative third-person shooter took the world by surprise by being equally hilarious, fun, and challenging. It demands everyone work together to overcome massive hordes of bugs while also dealing with the fact that one player's slipup could derail the whole mission in the most humorous fashion. It's a total riot, and it's not hard to see why.

However, players on Xbox haven't had an opportunity to join in on the fun, as the game is only available on PlayStation 5 and PC. Since so many modern games have timed exclusivity, you may be wondering if that's the case for Helldivers 2, and we've got the answer for you below.
Will Helldivers 2 ever come to Xbox?
It's very unlikely that Helldivers 2 will ever come to Xbox consoles. The primary reason for this is that Helldivers 2 is published by Sony Computer Entertainment, which is a direct competitor to Microsoft. Sony is known for being very protective of IPs and brands, meaning the company tends to keep its published games off of competing consoles.

Read more
Marvel’s Midnight Suns dev confirms romance options were never in the game
Magik after opening a portal for the first time in Marvel's Midnight Suns.

When Marvel's Midnight Suns was released in 2022, some were disappointed that players were unable to romance any of the superhero characters in the game. While players have wondered whether or not that was Marvel or Firaxis' decision, Midnight Suns' Creative Director Jake Solomon has now affirmed to Digital Trends in an interview that he truly never considered romance for the game.

"I’ve seen people say romance was a part of this, but it never was. I never even brought it up to Marvel because I couldn’t find a way," Solomon told Digital Trends as part of a wider discussion about his work on XCOM and Marvel's Midnight Suns, as well as the formation of Midsummer Studios. "I think the best way for romance to work is for the characters to respond to what the main character wants, right? I think it has to be like that, so it’s hard to mess with these really defined characters. They have these defined sexualities, and it would be hard to fulfill fantasies for all players in terms of what it is they want to do."

Read more