I noticed that when i hover my mouse over gold a pop-up comes up and in it there are: "Reliable Gold", "Unreliable Gold" and of course the amount of gold it takes to revive if you're dead at that moment.

What exactly is unreliable gold, and why is it in the game? I'd like as much info i can get about this.

  • 1
    It's in the game to reward aggression. If you kill someone and then die, before the change you would lose a big chunk of the gold you just earned for the kill. Now you keep it, because it's reliable gold.
    – Decency
    Commented Apr 27, 2013 at 18:41
  • I've always wondered about this, but kept forgetting to look up. So thanks for this question.
    – BlaXpirit
    Commented Apr 27, 2013 at 19:14

1 Answer 1


Outdated answer

This is explained nicely on the Gold page of Dota 2 Wiki:

Gold can be split into two categories:

  • Reliable gold – Any bounty you get from hero kills, Roshan, and global gold from towers is added to your reliable gold pool.
  • Unreliable gold – Everything else (creep kills, neutrals, etc).

The difference between the two (except from how each is earned) is how each one is spent:

  • Dying can only take away gold from your unreliable gold pool and not from your reliable gold.
  • Buying items uses up your unreliable gold first before using your reliable gold.
  • Buyback uses reliable gold first.

In the end you still have a fixed amount of total gold (you just add the two together).

The purpose of having these two categories is to encourage ganking and tower kills that accumulate the reliable gold pool, which is gold that cannot be lost from dying.

I tried to "research" this further by killing different things in a practice game.

You get reliable gold for killing an enemy hero. For killing Roshan everyone on your team gets 200 reliable gold. If an enemy tower is destroyed, everyone on your team gets reliable gold (and you get additional unreliable gold if you got the last hit on it).

Killing creeps or the courier gives you only unreliable gold.

At the start of the game you get unreliable gold, and then 1 unreliable gold every 0.6 seconds.

Abilities that give gold (thanks to Samthere for mentioning them):

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    Also, bonus gold abilities: Hand of Midas (reliable), Bounty Hunter's Track (reliable), Doom's Devour (unreliable), Alchemist's Greevil's Greed (unreliable).
    – Samthere
    Commented Apr 29, 2013 at 10:35
  • Is killing the Courier also reliable gold (like a hero kill) ? I haven't found any clarification on it.
    – Holger
    Commented Apr 29, 2013 at 14:24
  • @Holger I've heard killing the courier gives unreliable gold - I don't know for sure if your allies get reliable or unreliable when you kill the courier, but it would make sense if it was all unreliable, as I don't think the game cares who killed it.
    – Samthere
    Commented May 14, 2013 at 12:53
  • @Samthere It's in the answer – _
    – BlaXpirit
    Commented May 14, 2013 at 12:54
  • 1
    @BlaXpirit So it is :P As a note, you actually get 1.25 gold per second (or more accurately 1 gold every 0.8 seconds). :)
    – Samthere
    Commented May 14, 2013 at 14:57

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