It’s 2018 and League of Legends is still all the rage in multiplayer online battle arena gaming. It just keeps getting better. But with the so many characters (champions) to choose from and a huge and oftentimes critical community, the game can be intimidating for new people to get into. We’re here to change that. Here are 7 tips on how to start playing League of Legends.
- Know the map – As a beginner, your teammates don’t expect you to formulate a strategy or have a good technique, but they do expect you to know the basics of the map.
Summoner’s Rift is composed of three lanes. You have the top, middle and bottom lanes. On the bottom left and top right corners of the map are the team bases. Your role on the team is determined by the champion you selected and the part of the map you start on:
Top: The Top-laner is usually played by Tanks or Bruisers. These are characters who can take or deal a lot of damage (or both).
Mid: Mid-laners usually have solid Ability Power, or AP for short. Mages and Assassins do well as Mids.
Jungler: Junglers don’t have an assigned lane. They start out clearing the jungle of monsters. Later they drop into any of the three lanes to help their teammates by killing unsuspecting enemies. This is called ganking.
ADC: Assigned to the bottom lane together with the Support, the ADC starts the game by farming minions, leveling up, and buying items that will increase their attack damage.
Support: The Support’s main role is to keep the ADC alive, assist them in killing, and provide visibility for the team.
- Know your hotkeys – You may think that only pros use the hotkeys all the time, but there’s no going around it: a keystroke is faster than clicking on an icon on the screen. The sooner you learn them the better your game experience will be. The main ones you ought to learn are the following:
Q, W, E, R: Your four main abilities.
Ctrl + Q,W,E,R: Level up that ability (without having to click the little plus sign with your cursor)
Alt + Q,W,E,R: Casts spell/ability on yourself (if possible)
Shift + Q,W,E,R: Casts spell/ability at your cursor (if possible)
F, D: Your two Summoner Spells
S: Stop whatever it is you’re doing. Useful to prevent yourself from auto-attacking minions.
1-6: Your items. You only need to press these if a specific item has an active ability.
Spacebar: Centers the camera on your champion. Very useful during team battles when things get super hectic visually.
G: Send pings to your teammates.
Y: Locks/unlocks camera on champion.
B: Recall (takes you back to base)
P: Opens up shop window (use to check prices on items when you’re away from the base)
Tab: Opens up stats page for current game.
- Pick one role and get good at it – With so many champions to choose from, coupled with the different roles you can take, it’s easy to just freeze up and not start at all. Just pick a role. Stick to playing that role for several hours, days or even weeks, and you’ll master that role and become a more competitive player.
- Know the League language – This works in the same fashion as hotkeys.Well, mostly. It’s easier to say or type in “CC” than it is to say or spell out “Crowd Control.” This is also the language of the community so it pays to familiarise yourself with some of the commonly used terms:
CS: “Creep score.” The amount of minions you’ve killed in a game.
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 or drake, is a powerful monster in Summoner’s Rift. When your team kills a dragon, you receive a bonus base on the dragon killed.
Gank: Technically an abbreviation for “gang kill.” Basically, a gank is a surprise attack that makes the ones doing the ganking suddenly outnumber the opponents who are being ganked. Whenever a jungler jumps into a lane to help the teammates there kill their opponents, they’re performing a gank.
Wave clear: A champion’s ability to kill an entire wave of enemy minions in one fell swoop or very quickly.
Bait: Luring an opponent into a trap, usually by tricking them into thinking you’re weak, isolated, or both.
Kiting: Running away from an opponent while simultaneously dealing damage to them.
OOM: “Out of mana.” A good excuse to fend off accusations such as “Why the hell didn’t you 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.
MR: Magic resist.
Leash: A method used to help junglers by attacking monsters in the jungle to chip away at their health and/or distract them while leaving the final kill for the jungler teammate.
For a more exhaustive list, please go he re.
- Control Your Emotions – “Control, control, you must learn control.” These wise words from a green midget may have been spoken a long time ago, but they certainly apply to League of Legends. Letting your emotions get the better of you is counterproductive. It will cloud your judgement, ruin your game, and probably your day as well.
- Devote time to playing the game – Of course it’s just a game! A really fun and satisfying one if you dedicate ample time to learning it (it’s even a full-time job for some!). As with any activity, serious or otherwise, you don’t get good at playing League of Legends overnight.
A matc h typically takes about an hour or so. During that time make sure you rid yourself of any distractions (your mobile, the tv, etc.) because looking away for even a few seconds can spell the difference between losing and winning the game.
- Develop a thick skin – You have to understand that people online act way more different than they do face to face. It’s far more easier to say nasty things to someone when he’s hundreds of miles away. Don’t let them get to you. Press mute, or report abusive players.
That’s it, ladies and gents! Practise these seven tips and we can almost guarantee that you’ll be lost in the fun and camaraderie of League of Legends in no time.
For a full, up-to-date beginner’s guide to playing League of Legends, please go here