League of Legends isn’t a typical game and thus the need for a League Of Legends Beginners Game Guide. If you’re interested in playing, you might start to feel overwhelmed by the ridiculous amount of information you’re suddenly expected to have at your fingertips. Don’t panic. Follow these guidelines as you begin your long and exciting journey to level 30 (and beyond!) in League of Legends and you’ll be just fine.
League Of Legends Beginners Game Guide: The First 5 Levels
Don’t fret about specific characters and positions.
You have to get to level 5 in your League of Legends player profile in order to access the majority of its gameplay options. This includes player-vs.-player games. Everything you do before that point only serves to help you get your feet on the ground, so don’t stress yourself trying to figure out what character, or what position you’re best suited for. The only thing you should focus on is: trying out different characters to see what feels best for you. Do you like melee champions? Or ranged ones? Mages or assassins? These are the sorts questions you should be asking yourself at the very beginning.
League Of Legends Beginners Game Guide: Map Positions
Understand the basics of the map and different positions.
In order to talk with your teammates, you need to know what you should actually say. You don’t need to become an expert overnight, but a good place to start learning the core League vocabulary is by familiarizing yourself with the general structure of Summoner’s Rift and the positions one can play on it. Here’s the map:
It’s comprised of three lanes—top, middle, and bottom. The area in-between the lanes is the jungle. Team bases are located on the bottom left and top right corners of the map. Your position on the team is determined both by the champion you choose to play as and the specific part of the map you choose to begin the game on. Here are the five main positions that’ll come up in conversation on your way to level 30:
Mid: Like top, except for the middle lane. Mid-laners are usually champions with solid ability power, or AP for short.
Jungle: The one champion who doesn’t have an assigned lane. Instead, junglers move around the jungle, killing the monsters inside and dropping into any of the three lanes to help their teammates by, say, assassinating an unsuspecting opponent.
Support: The other champion who plays on the bottom lane. Supports do lots of nice things like: keep ADCs alive, help them land kills, and place wards on the map to increase their team’s visibility.
Look at the mini-map every few seconds.
Map awareness is crucial for pretty much everything in League of Legends. Understanding what is going on in your immediate vicinity is obviously important, but you should keep track of important events that are taking place off-screen as well. If you don’t do this, you can easily be taken by surprise by an enemy you should’ve seen coming. Or miss out on an opportunity to help your team through a difficult fight nearby.
Try all the positions, but focus on one.
You don’t have to head into League with a fully-formed plan of action for how you’re going to spend your first 30 levels. But taking a scattershot approach to your first experiences with the game isn’t a great idea either. Playing a single position over and over again is the best way to learn about its finer details, which helps you improve your abilities in the game and makes it more fun to play.
Don’t get serious about jungling until level 20 (at least).
The one position I wouldn’t recommend starting out with in League is jungling. It’s a more specialized role than the other positions—one that requires specific skills, experience, champions, and in-game items. The first three of those only really come with time. As for the in-game items, you need to be at level 20 to gain access to them.
League Of Legends Beginners Game Guide: Using Champions
Find a few favorite champions and play a ton of games with them.
Similar to the team positions, the best way to learn up on a specific champion is to play five, ten, even twenty games with them at a time.
Keep trying new champions, too.
There is so much stuff in League of Legends at this point that you’re not going to be able to experience all of it at once. That doesn’t mean you need to play the game with blinders on, though. At least once or twice a week, you should try out a character you’ve never played as before—say, one that’s on the free champion rotation that week. I’ve found it particularly handy to keep trying out different champions for a single position as they appear on the free rotation.
Try to use champion’s abilities in more than one way.
A cool thing you’ll start to discover with enough time and practice is that champion’s abilities are often very useful in totally different ways depending on the situation you’re faced with. Caitlin’s E move, for instance, shoots a net from her rifle that slows down an enemy target. Just as importantly, however, the shot has a powerful kick that knocks Cait backwards. This makes it an incredibly effective tool for making an escape from a tense situation.
League Of Legends Beginners Game Guide: Shortcuts And Tips
Memorize these hotkeys.
There are a few keystrokes that you should have stored up in your muscle memory by the time you make it to level 30 in League. Here are the main ones:
Alt + Q,W,E,R: Casts spell/ability on yourself (if possible)
F, D: Your two Summoner Spells
S: Stop whatever it is you’re doing. Useful to prevent yourself from auto-attacking minions.
Spacebar: Centers the camera on your champion. Very useful during team battles when things get super hectic visually.
G: Send pings to your teammates.
B: Recall (teleport back to base)
Tab: Opens up stats page for current game.
League Of Legends Beginners Game Guide: Team Chat
Start learning the League language.
Learning to play League of Legends is as much a mechanical process as it is a cultural one. You have to acclimate yourself to the game’s community. One of the main ways you do this is by familiarizing yourself with its unique lexicon. Here are some key terms you’ll see pop up a lot:
CC: Crowd control. Abilities that limit enemy champions’ ability to participate in fights—any move that temporarily stuns, roots, blinds, or disarms a target, for instance.
Drag: Short for dragon, a big scary monster that you often want to kill with the help of your team in order to receive valuable bonuses. If someone types “drag?” they’re usually asking if you can come help them kill the dragon.
OOM: “Out of mana.” Often typed as an excuse to prevent some imminent accusation like: “WHY THE FUCK DIDN’T YOU JUST FIRE YOUR ULT?!?!?!”
KS: “Kill-steal,” dealing the killing blow, and thus getting credit for a kill that someone else did all the hard work for.
The list goes on and on. The only way to become fluent in League’s language is to keep playing the game and eventually learn to recognize the moments when you encounter something new and unfamiliar. Which leads to my next point…
League Of Legends Beginners Game Guide: Connecting With The Player Community
Don’t be afraid to tell people you’re new.
MOBAs often get a bad rap for being full of jerk players. But a lot of League of Legends players actually enjoy the process of teaching newcomers about the game. Don’t be scared to ask people questions. Informing your team that you’re still in the process of figuring the game out can go a long way.
Communicate with your teammates.
You don’t have to become friends with every person you encounter in League of Legends. You probably won’t, either! But that doesn’t mean you can’t communicate with your teammates effectively. Make sure to always call out your desired position during the pre-game team-building phase. If nobody else is saying anything, strike up a conversation with your allies about how you all want to approach the oncoming game. Some people may be unresponsive and just go about their business. There’s nothing you can really do about that other than to try and lead by example.
Download a few voice-chat programs.
League doesn’t have any built-in voice feature, so you’ll have to look elsewhere for this once you start playing with friends. The usual suspects are: Skype, Curse Voice, Teamspeak, and Mumble.
Use ARAM and co-op to test out new stuff.
League’s “All Random, All Mid” is the closest thing the game
has to a “for fun” mode because a) you’re randomly assigned a champion for each game, b) you can only buy items and potions when you die, and c) it’s played on a one-lane map that sparks non-stop team battles from the very beginning. It also has a magical snowball ability that you’re not allowed to use outside of ARAM. Games against bots, meanwhile, are much easier than player-vs.-player ones; people tend to take things much less seriously in these two game modes. This makes them ideal stomping grounds whenever you want to test out something you’re not quite sure how to use yet.
Triple-check every piece of advice you get.
When you first start playing League of Legends, it’ll feel like you know absolutely nothing and everyone else is an expert at the game. It might be true that you know nothing about League. But I’m going to let you in on an important secret: a lot of people you will come across in League have no idea what they’re talking about. So if someone starts yelling at you to buy thornmail in the middle of a game? Well, you can listen to them in the moment if you feel like it. But once the game is done, make sure to cross-check your teammate’s advice to make sure it actually makes sense.
League Of Legends Beginners Game Guide: Item Usage
Plan out the items you’re going to buy before a game starts.
Champion build guides are pretty much shopping lists that are tailored to a specific position and play style. As you become increasingly comfortable with League’s gameplay and the nuances of your favorite champions, you should start to figure out more of this stuff on your own.
League Of Legends Beginners Game Guide: Co-op
Play with friends. The right kind of friends.
League is a lot more fun when you’re playing with people you know. But not all League of Legends friends are created equally. If you’re just starting out, joining games with a friend who’s been binging on League since its beta will land you in matches with people far more experienced than you. That’s not very fun, and can end up annoying your teammates if you keep dying. So when you start talking to your fellow gamers about jumping into League, make sure that you find people who are both patient and willing to play at a more…basic level than they might be used to. Some people even create alternate “smurf” accounts for this very purpose.
League Of Legends Beginners Game Guide: It Takes Time!
Make sure you can stay at your desk for a whole game.
Rid yourself of possible distractions—i.e., anything that would make you leave your desk or look away from your computer—before you get dropped into Summoner’s Rift. Put your phone on silent, run to the bathroom, and make sure any cats you might have are a safe distance from your keyboard. Don’t start a game if you know you have to leave for work (or school, or a date, or any life event) in the next hour. In general: just don’t go AFK unless you absolutely have to. Doing so might incur penalties like temporary suspensions from the game. It’s also very disrespectful to your teammates.
Try to stay alive as long as possible.
Death works in a cruel way in League of Legends. Whenever you die, the opponents who killed you get a chunk of gold and experience—assets that make them more powerful. At the same time, death forces you to sit through extended cooldowns that block you from leveling up, getting more gold and better gear, or really doing anything remotely useful. These cooldowns get longer and longer as the game goes on and you keep dying, so don’t treat death lightly. Retreat is almost always a better option than heading into some sticky situation you don’t think you’re going to survive. If you notice that you’re starting to feed an opponent, you should try to nip it in the bud as fast as you can. Ask your teammates for help. Stay as far away from the fed opponent as possible while farming from a safe distance. Once you have enough money, go back to your base and buy gear that will help you deal with that specific enemy.
League Of Legends Beginners Game Guide: Learn From Your Mistakes
Whenever you die, try to figure out why.
No matter what, you’re going to die a lot in League of Legends, especially in your earliest games. You’re just going to have to accept that. What you should start trying to do, however, is controlling how you respond to your character’s many deaths. Whenever you are confused by who or what killed you, click on the “death recap” option that pops up on-screen and really think about how you can avoid that death repeating itself.
If you follow this League Of Legends Beginners Game Guide you can elevate your game into higher levels of play and start to use advanced techniques not covered in this League Of Legends Beginners Game Guide.