Battle Pass 101: A Noob's Guide

Vignesh Raghuram

13o, May, 2018
Dota 2, in essence, is a free-to-play game, which of course means that Valve doesn’t sell copies of the game to turn a profit. So how does Valve make money? The game is supported by microtransactions, and in-game cosmetics sales are not only popular but incredibly lucrative for Valve.

But Valve doesn’t just make money off of shiny pixelated hats and glowing digital pants. In early 2013, Valve began selling Compendium, which is perhaps best described as “seasonal event DLC.” This has now evolved into the Battle Pass of today.
What is a Battle Pass? And how does it work?

For just under $10, players can purchase a Battle Pass. Your Battle Pass Level starts at one, and you level it up by completing Quests, Daily Challenges, Achievements, and a variety of other tasks. Each time you level up your Battle Pass, you unlock a reward, which are usually exclusive cosmetics (Called Immortals which are usually untradable/unsellable for 12 months).

If you’re interested in professional Dota 2, a Battle Pass also lets you make live predictions about matches during the Major. If you make enough correct predictions, you’ll earn lots of points, getting you closer to unlocking the next piece of digital loot.
What is an Immortal?

Immortals are usually items you obtain from Treasure Chests in the Battle pass and generally include custom ability icons, effects, and animations. Immortal items drop into your inventory with a 12-month trade/market restrictions. They can only be obtained during the event, or from other players after the event has finished.
What are Battle Pass Levels?

While just buying the Battle Pass gives you a few treasures, player cards, couriers. You need to get yourselves to certain levels to unlock more and more Battle Pass rewards. For this, you either need to spend some money to purchase Battle Pass levels or just play a ton of Dota 2.
What is Rylai’s Battle Blessing?

Battle Passes typically have a gambling element associated with them. TI8’s Battle Pass features a mini-game (Rylai's Battle Blessing) where players can spin a roulette-type wheel to win items (Including Arcanas, Immortals, and couriers)
What are Tokens and What do you do with them?

You can also bet Tokens on the outcome of your own matches. Players are given 1000 Tokens every week, and you can wager 50, 100, or 250 Tokens on any game of Dota. Wagering is available in ranked, turbo, mutation and unranked modes. Once the game is over, players can also “tip” a teammate 50 Tokens. It feels good to give your dirt-poor position 5 Dazzle a reward for their trouble.
What is the Compendium?

The compendium is a section of the Battle Pass dedicated towards Dota 2 esports, particularly The International 8. It is a one-stop shop which displays everything you need to know about The International 8. The Teams invited, talent invited, brackets are just some of the many information you will eventually find here.

You can also choose your picks for The International 8’s All-Star game, collect player cards, and play fantasy league to earn extra Battle Pass levels.

25% of each Dollar you spend on a Battle Pass goes toward the annual TI prizepool. The compendium also lets you keep track of this via its Prizepool tracker.
What is the Arcana Vote?

Every year, as part of the Battle Pass, Valve lets fans vote on which hero should receive the next Arcana. But the voting process is quite top heavy, as the higher your Battle Pass level, the more votes you get to cast for your favorite heroes.
What is the Underhollow?

The Underhollow is Valve's latest custom game bundled alongside the Battle Pass. Valve started this tradition with 'Siltbreaker' a Dota 2 Co-op RPG styled game which was met with wide praise. This time, however, it seems a little more like a frenzy. And by a frenzy, we mean a battle. And by a battle, we mean a Battle Royale.

While the actual game is yet to be released, it appears like we’re getting a Battle Royale game mode within the Dota 2 client. And it does sound like the Dota 2 of Battle Royales, given the implications of an RPG Battle Royale game mode.
We break this down further HERE
Why should you buy a Battle Pass?

If you play Dota 2 regularly, it’s nice to receive some exclusive items–the different terrain, and different music is always a nice change of pace. The prediction system can be either fun or frustrating, and most of that depends on how often your games are ruined by feeders. The cavern crawl in the Battle Pass is the closest Dota 2 will ever have to an official “campaign,” and give you some interesting challenges to complete. Several of the quests are usually borderline impossible, but, for the most part, these are a nice way to spice things up a bit if you’re getting bored of your regular playstyle.