- To read about heroes that can start their game in the jungle, see Jungler
- To read about how to start your game in the jungle, see Jungling
The jungle (sometimes referred to as forest) is the wooded area between the lanes, and oftentimes refers specifically to the area between each side's easy and mid lane. The trees and relatively small pathways obscure heroes walking these areas from sight, making the area both dangerous to walk alone, and beneficial to setting up ganks. The most notable feature of the jungles is that they both house several creep camps. The creeps in these camps are neutral - they don't belong to either side.
Utilization of area
While the lanes are relatively wide and open, the jungle is full of narrow, winding pathways, as well as ramps and highgrounds. All of these features can be used for hiding, whether it's offensively or defensively.
When attempting a gank, the attackers usually don't wander into the lane. This will let the enemy know their whereabouts immediately, and they'll be instantly enabled to avoid being killed. Approaching the target area through the jungle will mean you can stay behind the trees to keep out of sight. Especially spells and abilities that can go through trees (such as Pudge's Hook and Keeper of the Light's Illuminate) can benefit from being casted out of sight.
Using the jungle's paths' nooks and crannies, it is a good place to flee from your enemies by juking and hiding behind trees - sometimes more so than running along a lane. Knowing the twists and turns by heart will help you navigate among the greenery.
- Main article: Warding
As mentioned, the jungle is a popular starting point for ganks. Hidden by the trees, people use that space to prepare and position themselves for a kill. Moving into the early mid-game, awareness of what's going on in your jungle becomes an important factor, and placing wards to keep an eye on any movement in and out of the area will help you react in time to the enemy moving in.
Utilization of creeps
- To read about the specific creepcamps, see: Jungle creeps
The jungle has several neutral creepcamps in it that have various uses. The most common ones are jungling, pulling and farming.
- Main article: Jungling
Jungling mainly refers to certain heroes ("Junglers") starting out their game not in a lane but in the jungle. Only certain heroes can pull this off, but some benefit greatly from it. The main reason for jungling is giving the team access to additional experience and gold - while gold and experience from the lane doesn't have to be pooled or split. The disadvantage of jungling is that, since you're alone in the woods, you're both susceptible and vulnerable to ganks.
- Main article: Pulling
To control the creepline, a player can aggro a neutral creepcamp that's close to the lane, and have them chase him into the lane. There, the neutral creeps can collide with your own creeps, kill them, and denying your opponents the experience and gold they would yield.
Later in the game, when your more farm-dependent heroes have the levels and items to quickly kill groups of creeps, they can use the neutral creeps to gain more gold. Enemy creepwaves only spawn once every 30 seconds, meaning that if you kill a wave in 10 seconds, you have another 20 seconds before you can engage the next one. This left-over time can be used to quickly kill some neutral creepcamps. The key item in this situation is the Battlefury. When equipped, all the damage dealt affects all the creeps in the camp, making farming much more efficient. When combined with mobility, you can quickly clear the camps before returning to the lane. The staple example of a hero that grabs some additional jungle farm is the Antimage with a Battlefury, who using his Blink ability can quickly skip from camp to camp to clear them before returning to the lane.
NOTE: Killing the creeps in the lane yields more gold than those in the jungle. With some exceptions, farming jungle should therefore only be an addition, never a substitute.
- Suicide: When you are low on hp, being chased by one or more enemies and are sure you'll die, you can run into a creepcamp and hope they kill you before the enemy does. You'll still be dead, but the opponents won't get the gold bounty.