Although it’s working off a free-to-play model, Dota 2 will not be a pay-to-win game, says Valve.

Instead, all heroes will be free, and the game will be funded by money gathered from the sale of cosmetic items that don’t affect gameplay.

Several items are already available for purchase in the game’s official store, including a USD$39.99 (around NZD$51) early access pass.

The emphasis on cosmetic items would serve a dual purpose for the development team, said Valve.

“As we’ve explored cosmetic customization for heroes, we’ve been finding that we can use it to broaden our lore, and expand on the characters,” said a post on its official blog.

“We’ve received a lot of positive responses to the unique hero voices in the game, and the window they give you into each hero’s personality. We think this will be another avenue where we can expand in that direction.”

Dota 2 is due for free-to-play release via Steam later this year.