Free Arcanas are on the table.
Skins are a great way to freshen up your favorite Dota 2 hero, but they rarely come for free. There are hundreds of options for the most popular heroes, and quite a few sets sell for just a few pennies on the Steam Market. Still, there’s nothing quite like getting them for free. Valve has added several ways to get complimentary cosmetics, and we’ve compiled every method available.
If you are a new Dota 2 player looking to stock up on skins, here’s every method for how to get free skins.
How do drops work in Dota 2?
Dota 2 has a drops system that grants free skins to every player regularly. After every match, players have a small chance of getting an item drop. These drops vary wildly, with a massive drop list that includes treasures, sets, and individual items. Many high-tier items like Dota Plus exclusives and Immortals aren’t available, but it's possible to get a ton of different sets from this system.
In fact, it is possible to get Dota 2’s highest rarity skins for free from drops. Arcanas represent the most prestigious makeovers for heroes, and all non-Battle Pass-exclusive Arcanas are on the list. If you love Legion Commander, Terrorblade, Crystal Maiden, or any other hero with an Arcana, there’s a chance to get one after every game.
Notably, items from the drop system are not tradable or marketable. You cannot flip a free Arcana for a nice payday, but it is possible to gift them to another account free of charge.
Other ways to get free Dota 2 skins
In addition to the drops system, Dota 2 has three other built-in ways to get free skins.
In Game Tutorial
The first is the in-game tutorial. Dota 2’s introductory system is kind of a joke, but there are a few reasons to go through it. One is the small assortment of free skins that are awarded for completing each section. There’s nothing too flashy, but completing the tutorial will grant full sets for Sniper, Axe, Death Prophet, Sven, Witch Doctor, and more. It even grants a ward skin, custom courier, and Axe Announcer Pack.
The second and most consistent method is the Shard Shop. This is Dota 2’s in-game store, and it uses shards as a currency. Shards are rewards for hero challenges, guild accomplishments, and battle reports. Shards can exchanged for full hero sets, and there are some very flashy options up for sale. It takes a while to earn the shards, but the shop is a straightforward way to get the free Dota 2 skins you want.
Lastly, Dota 2 occasionally puts on events that let players grab some free skins. The 2023 Frostivus update gave players a bunch of free stickers, emoticons, and loading screens with a ward skin as the final reward. These types of events are rare, and Valve is generally stingy with rewards. Still, if you’re determined to get some drip for the lowest price possible, they’re a great way to occasionally meet your goal.