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Dota 2 now has gamepad support, alongside new event mode and battle pass

Getting ready for Steam Deck

Dota 2 has a new event mode and battle pass. Aghanim from last year's Aghanim's Labyrinth event has returned, and this time a "multiverse-melding mishap" has split him into several doppelgängers players must rescue. The event mode is free, but it arrives alongside a new battle pass that'll cost money to enter.

More strangely, today's update also introduces experimental gamepad support.

"From choosing your hero to smashing an Ancient, you can battle your way to victory in Dota by plugging in any PC controller that allows Steam Input (including PS/XBOX/Switch Pro Controllers and more) and steering your hero into the fray," reads the announcement.

Cover image for YouTube videoC.P.U. F.R.I.E.N.D.S. | Mystery Steam Reviews (Video Games With AI Companions)

Every hero should work on a controller, but it's an experimental feature and "still evolving", say Valve. They've also posted a controller FAQ that explains how to enable the support and how it works.

Valve have been making changes to some of their older games recently seemingly to prepare them for next year's release of the Steam Deck. Half-Life 2, for example, received a beta branch update that added support for new resolutions, a scalable UI, and a Vulkan renderer that will make it more compatible with Steam Deck's Linux operating system. Given that Steam will label games based on their compatibility with the Deck, I imagine Valve want their own games to tick all the boxes - and that means working with anaologue sticks and X/Y/A/B buttons as Dota 2 now does.

You can also read more about the free event and new battle pass at its microsite. Fourteen of the game's roster of heroes can enter Aghanim's labyrinth, with new powers unlocked as you play. The battle pass, which you can buy into for $7.49, will grant rewards including a Mirana persona from the Dota: Dragon's Blood anime.

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Graham Smith

Deputy Editorial Director

Rock Paper Shotgun's former editor-in-chief and current corporate dad. Also, he continues to write evening news posts for some reason.