If you’re a Battle Pass owner sick of the Role Queue, or just want something new to do on your own or with a couple of friends, Valve has come up with a new mini-game that’s actually a lot of fun — and can earn you battle points.
The Underhollow was released mid-June for all Battle Pass owners, regardless of level, and gives opportunities to level up your Pass. However, even if you’re not chasing points, it’s a great way to spend 15 to 20 minutes of your time. It’s pretty much an RPG Battle Royale, or Dota 2 if it were a Battle Royale all along. (Maybe there’s a WC3 custom game that was like this?)
While it’s pretty easy to get used to the game, you may need some help along the way. After all, there are a few dozen rooms you can stumble on and some new items to pick up. We’re here to help you get the hang of it.
How does Underhollow work?
Now’s the time to journey into the Underhollow yourself to risk Roshan’s wrath and battle through and eight-team dungeon clash filled with monsters, traps and more. Navigate the treacherous caverns with your team to earn the gold and XP needed to destroy your opponents — you’ll have to step carefully and work together for any chance to be the last team standing.
For those able to outlast their enemies, or bold enough to claim the Roshefort wheel, an influx of Battle Points awaits.
—Official in-game description of Underhollow
Once everyone has connected to the game, you’re placed on a team of three (yourself and two others). Everyone is given an opportunity to choose a potential ban from the full hero roster, and you can pick any hero in the roster from there. (Any.)
From there, you’ll land in a spawn zone with a shop to pick up starting items with. If you can’t afford much now, don’t worry — there are more shops through the map.
The map is procedurally-generated, with the rooms you’ll encounter being different every time you step into the Underhollow. You need to fight (or navigate) your way through these rooms to pick up gold, items and experience... and cheese. If you slip up and die, your teammates get a chance to channel to revive you, and you’ll come back with half HP and Mana.
You will almost certainly find another team along the way. Once they’re dead, click and channel on their grave to fully “eliminate” them, and you’ll earn some gold and items. However, beware — they, too, can revive their teammates if you aren’t keen enough to their actions.
Last team standing wins.
How can I earn Battle Points?
Great news for below-par Dota 2 players: You don’t need to actually win Underhollow, or even kill one enemy, to start racking up Battle Points. There’s a chance that you’ll get a few if you complete one room! But, of course, getting further — and wiping out other players — will earn you better rewards.
Here’s how you can grab Battle Points:
- Cheese Slices — Cheese wedges will appear randomly throughout the game, rewarding you with 25 Battle Points and gold.
- Roshefort — There can only be one Roshefort, instantly rewarding the finder with 300 BP.
- Eliminating enemies — Each elimination gives you a nice 30 BP.
- Winning — Easy enough, it gives 750. You have a one-in-eight chance, kinda, so why not keep trying?
Are there any new items to use? Or can’t?
Yes! But you won’t see most of them until you defeat at least one room and claim the chest.
Of course, there’s still certainly cool stuff to be found, and they even give you one up-front. Here’s what you can grab:
- Cheese (see above section)
- Escape Potion — Gives invisibility for 15 seconds, broken by actions (including resurrection). In your inventory on game start
- Stick o’ Dynamite — A four-second time bomb, dealing 1000 damage to anyone standing nearby. Great for blasting doors or enemies.
- Experience Tome — Instead of buying it, you can find it on the battlefield.
- Health/Mana Potions — Simply walking over one of these restores a nifty 40% max health or 25% max mana.
- Book of Strength/Agility/Intelligence — Instantly rewards +3 of the attribute.
- Caged Menace — A Lifestealer in a crate. Surprise! This isn’t actually good. You have to beat him up to get rid of him.
On the other hand, there are some Shop items you can’t buy in this mode. They are as follows:
- Courier/Flying Courier
- Town Portal Scroll
- Bottle (There’s no “fountain” anyway, so...)
- Smoke of Deceit
- Tome of Knowledge (spawns in chests/crates)
- Helm of the Dominator
- Hand of Midas
- Heart of Tarrasque
And there’s no Roshan to be seen, so you can’t find any Aegis of the Immortals. Your teammates can, of course, revive you anyway.
If you need any purchasable item at anytime, you can just slip
What rooms may I encounter?
As you flee your starting point and move deeper into the Underhollow, you’ll encounter a slew of foes — not just other players, but from Underhollow dwellers as well. Each room provides a variety of challenges, whether NPCs or traps laid by Roshan or the Underhollow itself.
Worse, you may never have it worked out perfectly: they’re all randomly generated each game, with only consistency in placement by difficulty.
Speaking of, there are four “difficulties” of rooms, according to Valve, with difficulty corresponding to how deep you’ve gone into the Underhollow.
Here are all the rooms, separated by difficulty and depth:
We’ll start with ones you may see throughout the map. These don’t actually have “enemies,” but they can mess up your team if you walk in unwittingly.
Slice of your Life
A bunch of giant swinging blades instantly kill you if you walk into them. Don’t do that.
Now Listen Carefully
Techies mines are laid out invisibly throughout the room; there will be more the further in you are in the Underhollow. Like the title says, listen carefully to hear if they’re going off and back away quickly if (and when) you trigger one.
A Killing Frost
In theory, this room is pretty easy. You just need to avoid drawing the aggro of the Chain Frost, summoned by an invulnerable Lich (who doesn’t do anything else except start the Chain Frost). The Chain Frost bounces around some poles in the room, and if it comes and bounces onto you, it has a chance of going to either your teammates or another pole.
If you get hit and you’re trying to book it out, be careful — as you exit, it’ll behave like a normal Chain frost. This means you can move from your teammates to prevent it from sticking around.
Exort Trionis [?]
This room hasn’t been on the map as frequently lately. Essentially, four Carls just throw Sunstrike at you over and over. It’s hilarious, but in a really sad way, because it freaking hurts.
Outer Ring - Difficulty 1
Bite-sized Anti-Mages are here to menace you, as if the one who doesn’t know how to last hit in your pubs wasn’t enough. And unfortunately, like the real deal, they do have Blink and Mana Break — and even Mana Void for one unlucky player. If the Mana Break has got you down, don’t despair — upon death, some of these Anti-Mages will drop Mana Potions that instantly restore your team’s mana so you can get right back at the rest of them.
If you’re on the front lines, don’t hesitate on dropping your AOE or chain spells to knock these guys out before all your mana vanishes anyway. You’ll get it back. Promise.
A Mess of Zombies
It’s pretty much just a mess of zombies coming after you. That’s really it. They’ll follow you out of the room, too. Albeit, slowly.
The Mucktown Mob
There’s an odd mix of characters in this one: the Eimermole Worker is a pretty typical creep spawn, but the Eimermole Taskmaster is basically a mole with Bristleback’s Nasal Goo and Quill Spray. With enough speed and damage, you should be fine.
This one’s pretty unusual. Instead of spawned enemies, you have a “Troll Camp” in the center of the room. It seems harmless, and technically, it is... until you start attacking it. With each attack, one small Troll spawns; left unchecked, your team can get overwhelmed before you even know what’s going on.
The good news is, once that’s done and over with, you can grab the Treasure Chest without killing all the trolls. Use this as a quick boost as you wipe out the rest of the Trolls.
The best strategy I’ve seen is to put the person with the most right-click damage on the Camp, then have everyone else wipe out the Trolls, including using AOE spells.
In this room, you get two big Vipers and a bunch of little Viperlings. While all are annoying, the good news is, it doesn’t appear like any of them have their toxic, life-draining passive. However, the larger Vipers still have Nethertoxin, which can hurt a great deal, so be careful!
Spirit Breakers [?]
Like the Sunstrike room, this particular room hasn’t been seen much lately, but it may rise again, so keep an eye out. Much like the Anti-Mages, they’re just little Spirit Breakers with a Charge per. (Which, if we’re being real, might be why Valve is hesitant to use it again.)
Second Ring - Difficulty 2
Ranged creeps usually don’t hurt, but don’t let that drop your guard. These creeps shoot out slow-moving fireballs that actually pack a disturbing punch. That means they’re easy to dodge, but if you don’t, you’ll be suffering pretty hard.
Hate Sniper? Hate a Sniper with a Mask of Madness? God, we’re so sorry, that’s literally what this room is. At least he’s the only thing in this room. But seriously, ow.
Realm of the Elder Fae
As if Dark Willow isn’t broken enough in pubs, her infamous Bramble Maze is being put to menacing use in Underhollow. Her auto-attacks are kind of painful on their own, but top that with a painful Bramble Maze summon and you’ve got a struggle. Plus, small Night Stalker-looking creeps will attack you as well, so try to keep track of your health.
The Wailing Chamber
The good news is, this room should be familiar to anyone that spends a lot of their pub games in the jungle, as these are basically just the same ghosts. Unfortunately, that means they also slow your movement. But that’s really it.
The other real kicker about this room is that you need to be within the spawn area of each ghost to attack/spawn it. If you move too far, they’ll despawn, though they’ll reappear with the same HP you left them at.
Third Ring - Difficulty 3
Take Your Mud Lumps
Possibly the entire point of this room is that looks are deceiving. Mud Golems are annoying enough when they break off and cause more work in your pub matches, but these ones FREAKING HURT. The Medium AND Small “Splitters” each do 95 damage per hit, each. I have see MANY teammates and entire teams wiped by this room. I’m not joking. Heed this warning.
Kill off one Golem at a time, then kill the small ones, then move onto the next one. Don’t let all of them break apart at once, or you’ll be ruined by the sheer DPS.
The main attraction of this room is — as the title implies — the rolling Pangoliers that will stun you if you happen to fall in their path. They’re not spell-proof, so you can easily stun or spell them into oblivion.
The cute side-enemies here are called “Omniminiknight,” a pun worth the $10 asking price for the Battle Price on its own. They aren’t much harm, but, like, any enemy, they’re a nuisance.
Featuring a Black Hole-spamming Enigma and a few auto-attacking jungle creeps, this room definitely requires a bit of tactics to over come. Namely, try to attack Enigma as far away from your teammates as possible (which may be difficult with multiple melee players).
Knights of Ostarion
These Wraith Kings aren’t actually terribly difficult on their own. However, they have one main catch: all four need to be dead or respawning SIMULTANEOUSLY in order to complete the room. It’s a tricky situation, but when all four go down, it’s completely satisfying. Mind their health bars, and you can pull this off fine.
Innermost Rings - Difficulty 4
It’s worth noting: these are essentially giant versions of heroes, with a few core items. Just so we don’t get redundant here.
Leader of the Pack
It’s Lycan. He has 11,000 HP, a BKB, a Desolator and a Satanic. And he can still summon Wolves, except they hurt more. Fantastic.
Protector of the Red Mountain
This is like Team Liquid’s Gh- became a boss room. A huge Earthshaker hangs out here and uses all of his abilities as if he has Aghanim’s Scepter. It’s pretty painful, and plenty of runs have ended here.
Anyone who played Siltbreaker will recognize the attacks of these two Ogres. The first attack, mostly effective against any teammates nearby, is a jumping attack that does heavy damage to nearby enemies. Otherwise, he reaches over and smashes you from a much further distance.
Lord of Oblivion
This Pugna, like the other bosses, has his full selection of active abilities that can hurt when left unmanaged. However, he does stay in the middle of the room the entire time, so you can at least psyche out the NPC by getting him from all angles.