How to fix the ‘Searching for Dota 2 Game Coordinator’ error?

Let's not search for an eternity.

Image via Valve

On a normal day, queueing up for a Dota 2 match shouldn’t take any longer than a few seconds. Once you press the Play button and start finding a match, you can always expect to hear the sweet sound of the Accept button appearing on your screen.

That Play button may not always be green, however. When it’s red, you’ll need to clear your low-priority games and when it’s gray, you won’t even be able to play Dota 2

The unclickable Play button will often be accompanied with the “Searching for Dota 2 Game Coordinator” error. If the game’s desperately searching for the Dota 2 Game Coordinator, chances are it’ll be down due to a server-related problem.

It doesn’t always have to be a server problem, though. There will also be occurrences where your home connection will be the cause of the error, and there are a few methods you can try out to troubleshoot your connection. Before moving on with any of them, you’ll want to check if the servers are up or down since nothing you’ll do will help you get back into the game if the servers are down for all the players.

Here’s how you can fix the “Searching for Dota 2 Game Coordinator” error in Dota 2.

Check Steam’s server status

Whenever Steam goes down, so does Dota 2. Considering Steam hosts many titles and has to manage a decently sized player base across countless different games, there will be times the servers won’t be able to keep up with the demand. This generally happens whenever a large title on Steam pushes out a new content patch, attracting new and returning players.

For a general look at what’s going on with Steam and its services, you can check out xPaw’s steamstat.us. This tool allows players to monitor everything in Steam’s database, including all the game servers and coordinators. 

The “Searching for Dota 2 Game Coordinator” error can also appear due to local servers going down, and steamstat.us helps you find out whether your local server is down or not. If your local servers are down, you should still be able to play by selecting a different server with a higher ping.

Check community-driven sources

If the servers are up, but you’re still experiencing coordinator errors, it’ll be a decent idea to check in with the community. In cases where the servers are just starting to go down, sites like steamstat.us may not be able to detect the issues right away.

Community hubs like Reddit and Downdetector, a server status website that relies on user feedback, will allow you to see if everything is working fine. Considering the type of problem that’s causing the “Searching for Dota 2 Game Coordinator” error to appear, there may be alternative solutions you can try out. Community members often share the solution methods that work out for them under threads opened for the most recent errors, making community-driven sources excellent stops to drop by when you can’t get into Dota 2.

Restart your router

In cases where servers are doing just fine and there are no community members reporting the error, you may need to troubleshoot your home connection.

Hiccups that may have occurred due to your internet service provider (ISP) can also cause the error to appear. A simple router restart should be enough in most cases to fix any routing problems. When you restart your router, you’ll be assigned a new route to your ISP and also Dota 2’s game servers. If you were just unlucky with your first connection, the error should likely disappear in your second try.

Change your DNS address

A DNS server that’s acting up can cause similar errors to the “Searching for Dota 2 Game Coordinator.” By default, most players use the default DNS servers of their ISP, and they can get overloaded during prime hours. 

The best way to troubleshoot a DNS address will be using a different one. Try out one of the commercially available DNS addresses like Google or OpenDNS. If a new DNS fixes the error for you, you’ll need to continue using it for at least a couple of hours more until your default DNS address gets fixed.

Try out a different connection

One of the best ways to troubleshoot your home connection will be using an entirely different one.

You can simply turn on the mobile hotspot feature of your mobile phone to check your connection. Connect your cellular data with your PC and see if you can log into Dota 2. If everything works just fine with your mobile data, you may need to call your ISP to see everything is working fine with your connection.

Your ISP will be able to run a diagnostic and let you know of alternative troubleshooting methods that you can try.

Send a ticket to Valve

If you still can’t play Dota 2 after troubleshooting your home network when the servers are up and running, your only option will be contacting Valve.

Send them a ticket on Steam and explain the troubleshooting steps you’ve tried out so far. In most cases, they should get back to you within one or two days after investigating the error for your case.