If you play DOTA 2 on a mobile hotspot or an installed mobile broadband internet connection, you probably monitor your data use to avoid unexpected fees or throttled internet speeds. While gaming with a monthly data cap can be a challenge, there are ways to play the game without draining your monthly data allowance.
By adjusting your game settings and being smart about game downloads, patches, and updates, you can enjoy uninterrupted DOTA 2 all month long. Before you make any changes, however, you need to know how much data you’re already using to play, download, and update your game.
You use 50-100 MB of data playing a game of DOTA 2
On different forums, gamers say that they use between 50 and 100 MB of data per 30- to 40-minute game of DOTA 2. This means that, to use 1 GB of mobile data, you’d need to play between 10 and 20 games of DOTA 2.
The amount of data you use each game will depend on your game settings and the game mode you play in. To find out exactly how much you’re using, check your data usage with your carrier (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile) before and after a gaming session or use a free traffic monitoring application like Netlimiter to track your bandwidth usage while you play.
What if you track your data use and discover you’re using too much? It’s easy to reduce your DOTA 2 data use quickly by adjusting your network settings. Just navigate to “Settings” > “Options” > “Advanced” > “Network Quality” and select “I have a low end network.” This setting will cut your data use approximately in half.
As a general rule, any other settings that speed up your game will also save you data. To quickly decrease your data use, choose the “Fastest” preset settings in DOTA 2.
You use 9 GB of data downloading DOTA 2
While it’s pretty hard to use a lot of data playing DOTA 2, it isn’t hard to use a lot of data downloading the game onto your computer. Right now, for example, the Microsoft Windows download size is hovering around 9 GB. Also, the size of the download is constantly increasing as Valve Corporation adds more patches and updates to the game.
If you’re using a laptop to play DOTA 2, connect to public WiFi (in, for example, a library) before you download the game. It’ll take you at least a few days to eat through most data plans playing DOTA 2, but it’ll only take you a few hours to eat through your data plan if you’re downloading the game over mobile broadband.
You use 100+ MB of data updating DOTA 2 every couple weeks
Valve Corporation updates DOTA 2 every couple weeks. Minor DOTA 2 patches are usually 100+ MB in size, while major updates are 1+ GB. Because Valve publishes so many updates, they can eat away at your data in sometimes unexpected ways. If you’re trying to use less data, turn off auto-updates and, instead, connect to public WiFi to download patches and updates.
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