League of Legends – The Ultimate Beginners’ [Guide]

league of legends

League of Legends may seem like a DotA clone, but its complexities lie beyond that of an ordinary RPG/RTS Hybrid. This is a true online multiplayer game that takes in various MMO elements into the user account, where you can gain experience points, equip items, and allocate skill points that will carry over to actual gameplay. There are a lot of things to consider for beginners of this game, and this guide seeks to tackle as much of it as possible.

The unique thing about LoL is that the user account levels up as more games are played. While majority of this game’s determinants lie in the player’s skill, a level 30 player does have an advantage against a level 1 player. This may be seen as unfair for some, but that only makes people play harder and smarter as that advantage can still be overcome. The whole David-versus-Goliath thing is commonplace in League of Legends, so beginners shouldn’t be discouraged at all.

For the purposes of this particular guide, it is assumed that the readers are already familiar with the basic gameplay of DotA. While most guides are made for level 30 players with runes and skill points, this guide shall be for those who just played the tutorial missions and is apprehensive about playing their first ladder game.

Return to Top Basics

First thing you should do is decide on your first champion. While there is no such thing as the strongest champion, there are ones that are easier to learn for newbies. While it is better to try them all and see which one is best for your playing style, you might want to start with a ranged class champion as you can run to safety more easily. Later on, you may play melee champions and learn more about the flow of the game. Once you are prepared for it, you can then play more difficult mage characters that have low HP, but powerful abilities that can turn the tide of battle in a flash. Of course, it depends with each individual champion and the player’s playing style and tendencies. Find out what yours are to get the most of every game.

Study what your abilities and spells do. The combination’s of spells that you pick before the game can be one of the determining factors for winning, so make sure that you can make use of them as much as you can. As for abilities, there are characters that don’t need mana to use them. Some only deal with cooldown, like Garen and Katarina, while others use stamina, like Shen and Kennen. There are also special cases where abilities also make use of health points, like Vladimir and Tryndamere. All in all, there are a lot of complexities and variations to this, so you have to study them carefully. Later on, you’ll also have runes that you can equip to enhance your abilities. While you won’t need to worry about that yet, you might as well do your research since its one of the things that separates a high level account from a new account.

You must then learn more about the terminologies used in this game. Since it is a cooperative multiplayer game, teamwork is crucial and communication is fast paced due to the nature of the game. It helps to be a quick typist, but learning the jargon lets you get your point across with just a few letters. Stuff like ‘top’, ‘mid’, ‘bot’, ‘mia’, ‘jungle’, ‘push’, ‘feeder’, and so on is used in order to inform teammates of various battle conditions. Remember that the worst way to play this game is to be a lone wolf.

Return to Top Practice Games

You should try out your chosen champion by giving it a dry run. Play a few AI games and get used to your champion before you think of playing ladder games since handling your champion should be the least of your worries. Actual games’ main focus is on teamwork, so keep practicing if you feel like you’re not ready yet. Start a practice game and stack the odds against yourself by putting more bots in the other team. It is recommended to learn how to use the spells Exhaust and Heal first since they are both very useful spells during battle. Choosing a champion and your spells has a 90-second time limit, so be quick about it.

Since you have more bots on the other team, you may not get to win at all, so you can focus on learning the game. Spend a point on each skill for the first three levels and learn what you can about them. By level 6, you can get your ultimate skill and use it on the bots to see what it does. Remember to time the use of your ultimate skill since its cooldown is quite long.

Buy some items from the item shop to strengthen your champion. Aside from items that boost your attack, defense, and other stats, there are also consumables that can be bought for various effects. You can heal yourself, replenish mana, and do other cool stuff with consumables that can save your champion in times of great distress.

Much of this game is about learning where your limits are. Get a feel for how far you can safely push towards the enemy at a given time and keep yourself from getting hit by towers and being mobbed by enemy champions. Take note that attacking an enemy champion makes minions and towers target you, so be careful. Don’t worry too much about it though at first since you’ll be learning more about the game as you go along in your first few games.

One of the first big things you learn in this game is patience. Charging in headlong will only result in death, even if you’re chasing down an enemy with low HP. Take your time and learn to back off if things get too intense since this game is not just about how powerful your character is, but also how smart you are and how good your timing is. Players who die all the time are called “feeders” since they feed enemy champions and make them stronger as a result. Every death is painful for your team since your opponents will gain gold and momentum as a result. So whatever you do, don’t be a feeder.

There are a lot of other guides that list down various numbers and figures that can be helpful. Another part of learning the game is doing your research, so read up on the latest tips and tricks whenever you can. After that, play around three practice games to apply what you’ve learned. Three practice games is a good suggestion since it will put you at level 4 quickly, which will let you have Heal, Ghost, Cleanse, and Flash, which are some of the most useful spells in the game. The spell that you may want to avoid is Revive since it’s like giving yourself an excuse to die, which is never a good thing.

Practice games are all about learning to handle a new champion, but it will never teach you how human opponents play, so don’t get too confident once you start scoring aces in practice. Once you’ve gotten the hang of your chosen champion, it is time to play some actual games.

Return to Top First Actual Games

Once you’ve gotten some practice, you’d want to play against human opponents and get some experience. At this point, don’t worry so much about winning and just do it for the experience. Learn other people’s tendencies and playing patterns, as well as coordinating with your own team. During these games, do try to be nice to maximize your gameplay experience and not ruin others’ experience since it’s never good in the long run to be a trashtalker. Perhaps you’ll go up against someone who takes everything too seriously and throw him off his game enough to win, but you can’t rely on psychology alone to play well. At this point, just concentrate on improving your skills first.

Beginners tend to be a bit too limited in terms of champion selection. They tend to pick one or two and stick with it for a while, as is natural. What they then learn later on is that this could be a mistake, especially if their bread and butter are all of the same type. If ever you want to do this, make sure that you have one for each job, like a tank, mage, carry, etc. Don’t be that guy who messes up the team balance by being a stubborn jerk. Diversify your game as you go along to win more games in the long run.

Make good use of your summoner spells, especially ones like Exhaust and Flash. With quick use of hotkeys, you can escape the tightest of corners and force enemy champions to give you enough space. You may also want to get some good starter items, perhaps something to boost your defense or even go for a Philosopher’s Stone, which is formed by Meki Pendant and Regrowth Pendant for a total of 1115 gold. It lets you gain 5 gold every 10 seconds, which is a big thing. So if you want to get enough gold for those big items, this may be the ticket since you won’t be as good with last-hitting and farming just yet.

Start with a Regrowth Pendant to increase your health regeneration and give you some more breathing room. Upgrade the item later on once you do have the gold and continue to farm if you have the chance. Push your lane and stay safe as you wait for your gold to grow and let you buy better items. With that said, notify your team that you’re new so that they can adjust. Nothing is worse than a noob being picked on by veteran players. You can prevent this by working on your basics and providing tower pressure, maintaining the push, calling out MIAs, and keeping things going for your team.

For those who don’t know yet, MIA means what it does in real life, which is “missing in action”. Calling out an MIA means that you’re notifying your teammates about an enemy champion that was in your lane before, but is no longer there. Doing this warns teammates just in case that player is planning an ambush.

More on items, what makes League of Legends is that it actually shows you recommended items for your champion. This is good for beginners since you won’t have to ask too many questions. While you don’t know much about those items yet, just go for the recommended ones and you’ll eventually memorize them as you learn more about builds. Keep in mind that a few smaller items are usually better than just one big item, so plan out your purchases to maximize the bonuses.

The most important thing to do in any game is to stay alive. A death is a very big thing since it’s not just about being out of action for a certain, but it also gives gold and momentum to the opposing team. They can push better and buy better items as they kill more champions, so be conservative with your offense. You can only start really piling on the offense once your team is strong enough and chasing down enemy champions as a team. Don’t be a hero and go with your team as a cohesive unit. Remember that a dead champion can’t push, and that makes you useless.

Finally, just keep having fun. Losing and being berated by trashtalkers is a part of the game, so don’t let it discourage you. If you have friends who play the game, then play with them so that it can be more encouraging. Nothing is better than playing a game and having fun with friends.

Return to Top Game Phases

A game in LoL is composed of five main phases — champion selection, pre-laning, laning, ganking, and endgame. The first phase is more than just waiting for the game to start. Champion selection is about getting your team composition right and making sure that you won’t get severely smashed by the opposing team. This is when you should talk with your teammates and plan your overall strategy.

Pre-laning is basically that period between the start of the game and when minions have been spawned. This is when players decide which lane they’ll take. For 5v5 games, one of you will go solo, so your team has to get the right player to take that spot. This may also be when some would decide to jungle and such.

The majority of the game is the laning phase, which is basically doing what you can to push through your lane, take out the turrets, and get into the enemy team’s base. There are a lot of things to remember here, like last-hitting minions to get extra gold, hugging towers to stay safe from enemy champions, hiding in brush, and so on. This the phase where you’ll be deciding whether you should let your greed overcome you or not. Gold is your fuel, so you need as much of it as possible while trying to stay alive.

The ganking phase really isn’t a separate phase, but it does focus on a major part of the game. Ganking is basically another term for killing an opponent, but it is more specific to mobbing on a single guy. In LoL, there’s definitely strength in numbers, so you might want to run away if you go against a bigger group of attackers. There are various things that can happen in this phase, and that’s what makes this game fun.

Finally, the endgame is when a base is being overrun. Turrets are destroyed, inhibitors are taken down, and super minions are chipping at the nexus. The losing team can still be saved at this point if they have good composition and teamwork, taking out attackers and easing the pressure enough to fight back. Otherwise, it should be a matter of time before the nexus is destroyed or the losing team surrenders.

Return to Top Making Friends

This is quite a social game due to the cooperative factor. That’s why when you’ve played a few games with random teammates, several things come up. Random queueing makes for quick games, but shoddy team dynamics since you don’t really know your teammates. If you lose, it’s never really the fault of one person, but that of the whole team. It could be due to lag or bad team balance, so you can be guilt-free.

But that just shows that random teams aren’t entirely how this game is supposed to be played. Such games would have disagreeable people like leavers, feeders, or plain noobs who are worse than you are. While you can still win with a terrible team if things can be made to go your way, it can never compare to playing with people that you know. Playing LoL with friends means better communication, which means better results. Team chemistry goes a long way as you’ll have better composition and can coordinate strategies and tactics crucial to victory.

But even if you don’t know them personally, add into your friends list some players who seem to work well with you. These people can help you progress in the game better, so they’re somewhat like “tools”. Don’t be ashamed with yourself for thinking of them as such since that’s the nature of the game itself and other people play the same way. But if you happen to play with a group of friends that you personally know, then that’s even better. The best way to play LoL is in one room with four other friends since you won’t need to rely on chat at all.

Return to Top Additional Tips to Beginners

The most important thing in any game, including this one, is to stay relaxed and keep your cool while playing because nothing makes a game go bad like a hot temper. League of Legends is a very competitive game that tracks your performance at every turn, which means that everyone else playing are quite serious with it as well. If you feel like you can’t control your emotions, step back and give yourself a break. Once you’ve regrouped, review your mistakes and then you can play some more. A LoL game usually takes around twenty minutes to an hour, depending on the circumstances. That is quite a time investment, and you can put your energy and skills on the line when you’re feeling hot under the collar, just like with everything else in life.

No matter how competitive League of Legends is, it’s still just a game, no matter how many trashtalkers and douchebags try to ruin your day. The main objectives still to have fun playing. This guide is just saying that it’s way more fun if you’re winning.


About Avoiderdragon

I'm a freelance writer and a borderline hardcore gamer. I contribute game reviews and other content here in CheatMasters for my fellow gamers.
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