Dota 2 items, also known as cosmetics, are modifications to the looks of the heroes’ models. Dota 2 cosmetic items shouldn’t, however, be mixed up with in-game items bought at different shops throughout each particular game. The cosmetic Dota 2 items can NOT be bought during a game of Dota 2 but there are some other ways to get them in your Steam Dota 2 inventory.
The easiest way to get new Dota 2 items is to just play the game. There are numerous occasions to get new cosmetic items. First of all, after each matchmaking game, each player that took part in the game has a small chance to receive either an individual item or the whole set. The biggest factor for the quality and abundance of these drops is the time played in Dota 2 via matchmaking. Thus, the more you play the better your chances for a good quality drop which can translate to real cash - after all, you can sell Dota 2 items for real money. It is worth mentioning that the win/loss ratio has no impact on the drop chance, neither has the individual performance during the matchmaking game.
There are also other ways to get Dota 2 items. For example, some events have cosmetics as rewards for the participating players. You have also a chance to get a heroic item while spectating a tournament game, as during any game with over 100 viewers these Dota 2 heroic items can be given to a randomly chosen player. There are also gift tools - items that when used by one of the players during a match or by someone in spectator mode gift a random player with items.
However, there are some restrictions when it comes to Dota 2 items. Firstly, you can get only items from the Drop List which means not every item in the game nor in one specific category may be dropped in every situation. Some come as standalone equipment pieces, other as bundles or treasures. Moreover, players that decide to abandon a particular game won’t receive any items. Likewise, players in Low Priority queue, as well as those that have their Steam account, locked, suspended or VAC banned are ineligible for drops. Lastly, Immortal tier items never drop.