Losing a Dota 2 match should be a learning experience to every player in the team, but sadly it’s more likely a source of irritation and misery. Even in a pub game, when you do something so simple yet devastating to your team’s chances of winning the match, at least one player will likely torment you about it. “Learn to play,” “uninstall Dota 2,” and so on. But instead of being the focus of hatred and disappointment, you have the choice to keep that aspect of Dota 2 from your desire to just play and enjoy. This guide will teach you how to play privately and hide your profile from cyberbullies.
Why Hide your Dota 2 Profile
I’ve already stated above that losing can be frustrating, but there are also some other reasons why a player would ever want to keep his information away from prying eyes. For instance, we Dota 2 veterans cannot deny the fact that beginners are often blamed for the defeat of his team. As such, some players would check profiles at the beginning of a match, sniff out anyone new to the game, and call them noobs and such and such. Those with a relatively higher number of match losses may also be shameful for having such a record and would prefer to hide this fact instead of being poked fun at for it. While your losses and abandons aren’t explicitly displayed in your profile, one can have a rough estimate of it through your player level, number of wins, and other things.
How to Hide your Dota 2 Profile
By default, player stats are now set to private, and anyone trying to view a private profile will receive this in-game message: This user has marked their profile as private.” This change in Dota 2 has been implemented for the very reason of preventing people from flaming on new players. If your stats are public though, others will be able to see your level, your recent games, number of commendations (which could be used as basis if you’re a friendly), and number of wins. There are even external parties that accumulate data from public profiles to create their own player records. I found mine at DotaBuff simply by using the term “conanhughes Dota 2” on Google Search.
To check if your profile can be viewed by everyone else and not just your friends, open the Dota 2 settings via the gear button at the upper-left corner of the interface. Proceed to the Options tab. The two relevant settings there are Hide Dota & Steam Profile (when checked, your Dota & Steam Profile will not be accessible by anyone but your friends) and Expose Public Match Data (when checked, exposes match data from your public games to third party entities) checkboxes.
Update: Skip this paragraph and the screenshot below, as they are now outdated. To determine if whether your profile is private or public, simply go to the Dota 2 settings (accessible through that small gear button at the upper-left corner of the game interface). Proceed to the Game tab and General submenu. Two important options are there for privacy. One is Share Match History (share your public matchmaking game history with external third parties). I found out this was enabled on my account, that’s why DotaBuff had recent information about me. The other one is Profile Privacy (toggling this setting will hide your Dota 2 and Steam profiles from other players).
Other Ways to Play Privately
Profile privacy may not be enough for those who just really want to play instead of being ridiculed all the time. If you get bullied during the game itself, you may want to mute players. Simply open the in-game sliding Scoreboard (default key is the backtick or `), find the offending player, and click the sound icon next to his name. Note that this blocks all voice and text communications, both of which are most of the time important for teamwork and winning the game. If all the player does is to trash-talk you though, go ahead and mute him.
It’s also not recommended to use any part of your real name in your Steam account name and profile name. Also don’t use any of your real photos. It doesn’t happen often, but there are instances when bullies would go to great lengths just to find you and intimidate you in person. So don’t give them clues to your whereabouts. Dota 2 happens to be their only way of life, a sad fact when it’s just really a game.
Your gaming skills and play style aren’t the only possible things to be blamed at, so be sure your Internet connection and computer don’t cause Dota 2 lag and performance issues.
If you think about it, sharing your stats to the world can be a fun thing. For me, it gives me some sense of accomplishment that I have some stats to brag about. In the end, though, there are indubitably players out there who are far better than me. They may be professionals or just some random pub gamer, some of which won’t hesitate—if ever they learn that their records fare better than yours—to tell you that you suck. It’s really up to you if you want to make your profile private so as to keep yourself from being targeted by trolls and cyberbullies.