League of Legends Beginner Guide - Comprehensive Guide for New Players
Welcome to our League of Legends Beginner Guide, where you will learn the absolute basics of this wonderful game. You will also find information that will be useful even if you’ve reached ranked Solo Queue games. Somewhere in this guide, you will find links to our other League of Legends guides that will be useful to you, no matter how experienced you are, so you can pander to your friends with pure LoL Knowledge.
Riot Games receives more and more recognition, even after such a giant that is League of Legends. Three additional games are coming out, and people who haven’t played LoL yet might try it. One day or another. And this guide, will generally be for those people, but Intermediate players below Diamond rank will still find something useful in this guide, and our other League of Legends guides as well. Brace yourselves, as we're about to start this one. Let's start some extra reading. Also, feel free to jump to any part of our guide using our table of contents.
Table of Contents Menu:
League of Legends - What is it?
League of Legends is a MOBA game. MOBA stands for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. This term was invented by Riot Games, creators of LoL. However, they weren’t first in creating this type of game. In fact, the first MOBA game was “Aeon of Strife” - a modification for widely popular Starcraft.
In the game, there are two teams, consisting of 3 or 5 players in a classic setting, that battle each other on a symmetrical map. The map itself is in the shape of a square, with both teams’ bases placed in the far corners of the map. Bases are connected by three clear pathways and a maze-like jungle in between. Players clash against each other, kill waves of constantly spawning minions, with a clear aim of destroying the enemy base.
Each player controls a unique champion. Each champion has a particular set of skills and statistics that they can use to advance their strategy of winning the game as a team. Players will level up their champions, and build various items on them to play to their strengths. There is also a special item slot for something called trinket, and it's used for warding, counter-warding, and things like that.
The main reason why this game still feels fresh, even after 10 years of its existence, is that it evolves each year. League of Legends has its seasons, and from season to season, Riot Games makes some changes in mechanics. Map Changes, different monsters hidden in the jungle, additional items, and item changes. Not only that, the game is being updated continuously. LoL was released with a roster of a little bit over 40 champions for players to choose from. After 10 years, there are exactly 145 champions available in the game, each feeling fresh and unique.
Thanks to the games nature, and a huge diversity of players and their playstyles, neither match feels familiar. Each match, each game, will be different, offering new experiences, new enemy players to kill, and new win conditions of finishing the game, hopefully - with a victory screen sending you off to the post-game lobby.
Basically, if you like lots of PvE mixed with a constant threat of PvP. It's a very complicated game, but after a hundred games or so, you will do most things automatically.
League of Legends Map - Summoner’s Rift
Summoner’s Rift is a seemingly crystal clear map, with easy access to both bases, placed in the far corners of the square-shaped playground. Nothing further from the truth.
While the map itself looks simple, there are some things that you should know about, so you can see what you will have to deal with. And since you will spend a lot of time on this map, we should help you so that you can feel comfortable in your environment. It will significantly improve your battle prowess, making you more prone to take calculated, yet risky plays. So take a good look, cuz you will be watching this square in-game for a very long time.
There are two teams in a game, the blue team, and the red team. Blue team has its base in the bottom left corner, while the red team has a base in the top right corner. One of these bases has to fall, either by the Enemy Nexus destruction or by one team surrendering.
Three pathways are connecting these two bases - top lane, mid lane, and bot lane.
Each lane is protected by immobile structures that can be neutralized (destroyed), and by waves of minions, that are constantly deploying themselves to each lane in small waves.
Structures on the map
Nexus - The main building of each team. It spawns waves of minions in short intervals, making them more powerful for each in-game passing minute. It’s protected by two towers. Also, it’s the finish line for both teams. Destroy this structure, and the game will end. You cannot damage the Nexus if its turrets are alive.
Inhibitor - A structure similar to a Nexus, but considerably smaller. It stands at the entrance of the base. It’s still essential for the benefits of destroying it. Destroying it will enhance your minion waves by adding in a Super Minion to each one. It’s the only structure that will “rebuild” itself after it gets destroyed, removing Super Minions from the incoming waves, but it takes some time. You can’t damage the inhibitor if its turret is alive.
Turret/Tower - They protect the Nexus, the Inhibitor, and every lane. Two towers are defending the Nexus, one Tower for each Inhibitor, and Two additional Towers in each lane for every team. These towers will target and attack the closest enemy, be it a minion or a champion. However, if enemy champion damages a player that is under their Tower, as long as the opponent is in Tower’s range - it will target that champion.
Fountain & Shop - A structure at the far end of the base. That’s where champions will spawn at the beginning of the game, after their recall, or after their death. It’s connected to a shop, so that’s also where you will purchase your items for the gold you’ve acquired. It can’t be destroyed. There’s also a unique Turret - the Nexus Obelisk, that will deal 1,000 true damage every 0.5 seconds to the enemy targets who dare to step on the fountain.
George of the Jungle
The jungle is everything on the map that is not in the lanes or the bases. The jungle is a mystery for all players that don’t have a vision on it. The Fog of War covers every place in the jungle. Unless you have wards or a champion that provides vision through his presence in the jungle, you won’t see anything.
The jungle itself is also symmetrically divided, just like the whole map. Although symmetry might not be the right word, it’s more of a reflection. It’s divided by a river, that goes exactly through the middle of the map. Each side of the jungle has six jungle camps with monsters that provide a significant amount of EXP and Gold. More of that, there are two special camps - Blue Sentinel (Blue) & Red Brambleback (Red) - that provide buffs that enhancing sustain, damage dealt, or battle prowess.
There are an additional four monsters - two Scuttle Crabs that roam the river, and two Epic Monsters (there are seven kinds of them) that you will find on the river.
Scuttle Crabs don’t retaliate when attacked, so they are fairly easy to kill, especially when you manage to hard CC them, as your damage will increase. When killed - they will take a spot in the middle of the river, granting vision and short movement speed to the team that dealt the last blow, as long as they pass through the zone.
When it comes to epic monsters, there are three epic monsters, and one of them has five types, that are purely randomized each game.
Rift Herald - Monster found in the Baron Pit that appears at a fixed time. It has a considerable amount of health that can be quickly reduced by hitting the eye at its back when it pops out.
Killing this monster will result in it dropping its eye, which is free for a pickup for 40 seconds, as long as it's picked up by a member of the team that killed Rift Herald. After 40 seconds, if not picked up - it will disappear.
A person who managed to pick up the Eye of the Herald will be granted a 4-minute buff + item use. The buff is simple - your champion has an Empowered Recall, significantly reducing the time needed to reach the base by a recall. When it comes to the item use - after you use the Eye of the Herald, you will enter a channeling animation. After one second, a Rift Herald will spawn, and it will go to the closest lane to push with minions. It will prepare a charge when in the proximity of the tower, dealing a massive amount of true damage to the structure. Depending on Rift Herald’s HP, a charge will deal with either 1500 flat damage or 40% of Herald’s current Health, whichever is higher.
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Dragon - There are five types of dragons in the game currently. Each provides a good amount of Gold and EXP, with an addition of some quite decent buff that will increase the statistics of the members of the team that manages to slay the dragon (or steal it). The first dragon will spawn when the timer hits the 5-minute mark. The Dragon stays there until killed, and when slain, another one will respawn after 5 minutes. One type of Dragon can spawn only three times at max. After the 35 minute mark, a unique Dragon will spawn, and it will respawn 6 minutes after death.
Dragons have unique stats, properties, and buffs that they will grant to the team that manages to slay them.
These are the dragons that will show up on the map.
Infernal Drake - Fire Dragon, that deals Area of Effect damage. It’s relatively easy to kill, as it doesn’t deal much damage. Killing this dragon will grant you a bonus % AD or AP. It’s a perfect Dragon for scaling champions that have great AP or AD Ratios. Someone like Veigar or Jhin will cherish the memories of a having three infernal drakes.
Mountain Drake - Low Damage, and High Resistances, the tankiest Drake of all. Killing it will grant you tankiness. A great addition to all tanks, even better for those who scale off of resistances like Malphite, Ornn, or Taric.
Ocean Drake - This one deals a lot of damage and slows the target’s movement speed by a significant amount. This drake will be a huge problem to do solo, especially when enemy team spots you, as you won’t be able to escape without any movement abilities or flash reliably. It gives a health regen similar to the Doran's Shield passive. Fantastic for sieging and poking team comps, and for champions that go for quick fights, and can regenerate to max HP easily through time.
Cloud Drake - has decent damage, low resistances, arguably one of the hardest to do solo because of high attack speed. Killing it will give you an ultimate cooldown reduction.
Elder Drake - is the most powerful dragon that will require several champions to take down most of the time. It also grants the fighting buff. Opponents that you are dealing with damage will be executed once their HP reaches a certain threshold. You will want to force fights when you get the buff from this Drake.
Baron Nashor - a mighty creature from the void. It resides in the Baron Pit in the river. It’s easy to kill it as a team, but it will take some time. Fighting over killing Baron is a very common thing that will happen in close to every game because the buff for killing it is just too good.
Baron deals a lot of damage and is tanky. You will need either a lot of on-hit Health shred or a tank. It spawns at the 20 minutes mark, in a place of the Rift Herald. After its death, it will respawn every six minutes.
Hand of Baron, the buff Baron grants, rewards possessors with Attack Damage and Ability Power increase. It is an enhancement meant for pushing. Each champion with this buff (those who were alive while their team downed the Baron) will also have:
- Empowered Recall,
- Allied minions around their characters will be much stronger, gaining massive damage reductions from towers and champions, additional attack range, increased damage to turrets, and better combat stats, leading to more damage, and monstrous threat generated by each wave with this buff.
Jungle Flora - Know Your Plants
Jungle monsters are not the only living things in the forest. There are also living plants that you will be able to use to your advantage. They don’t provide gold, experience, buffs, but their utility might save your life, make jungling, and laning a little bit less stressful. They can help you secure objectives (mainly neutral objectives).
The Blast Cone
Red plant found in the jungle in six spots on the map, three for each side. One set of plants near blue buff that can blast you towards the river, or the river bush near the outer lane (topside for Blue team, botside for Red team), one set between the base and Red buff, and one last set of plants near red buffs that can blast you to the respective Epic Monster pit.
The blast cone is an Area of Effect plant that will send anyone in its vicinity flying when hit. It is an excellent way of hopping through walls, reaching Epic Monsters and jungle camps more efficiently, for running away, chasing, or setting up unexpected original ganks.
Be careful with it, as sometimes one Blast Cone explosion, can send your teammates flying straight towards the enemy team, leading to an unavoidable doom.
Smashing this plant will send a wave towards your desired direction (direction of your auto-attack). This wave will unveil what is hidden behind the Fog of War, revealing champions, enemy wards, and monsters. It will be used to provide safety, so you don’t have to face check certain areas, remove vision, check for certain camps, etc.
Wards and units will be revealed for 12 seconds, with champions being visible.
Do not underestimate this plant. Depriving your enemies of vision around crucial objectives or lanes will enable you to unleash your big guns without them noticing. Even making some opponents paranoid about receiving a gank, making them less prone towards making risky plays.
Another scenario - the enemy team is doing Baron, you don’t have wards to put, as you already have your Sweeper equipped. Hit the Scryer’s Bloom and catch them red-handed safely.
A plant appearing in damp areas, meaning - walls along the river. The first batch spawns between 5:00 and 6:30. It takes between 5:30, or 7:00 for taken Honeyfruit to spawn again, and there are maybe only two Honeyfruits on one half of the river.
Each spawn drops five fruits on the ground. Walking over it will heal a champion by 3.5% maximum health or 14-116 (based on level), depending on which type will heal more health points. There’s also some mana restore. Also, picking up fruit will slow a champion by 35% for 0.25 seconds.
The use is simple, destroy the batch, pick up fruits when low on HP, and continue to hack away — used by junglers and laners. You can also sneakily use this to slow down chasing enemies. While risky, it can make a difference in a dire situation.
Minions - your main Resource
Champions need gold and experience so they can improve their stats, provide pore utility for their team, and have their battle prowess increased. And this is where Minions come into play.
They come in waves. Each basic wave, starting when the game timer hits 1:05, will consist of three melee minions and three caster minions, sending a wave every 30 seconds to every lane, up until the end of the match. Every third wave, Pre 20 Minutes, will spawn an additional Siege minion, that will grant more gold, tanking the damage from towers more reliably. Between 20 and 35 minutes into the game, Siege minion will spawn each second wave. And after 35 minutes, each wave will spawn a Siege minion. Every 90 seconds, minions will be somewhat empowered, gaining some attack and health points.
Waves will change when the inhibitor gets destroyed. The team that destroyed the inhibitor will spawn a Super Minion on the lane, where the inhibitor is down. These minions are very tanky, deal a lot of damage to structures, and they will spawn in every wave, as long as the inhibitor is down. If every inhibitor is destroyed on one side, a demolition team will send out two super minions in each wave for each lane. Most of the time, it leaves the enemy team helpless, as six Super Minions can really mess you up if you can’t kill them quickly enough. It is often referred to as "7 v 5", as it takes two champions to deal with the Supers.
Minions will be your main source of income, whether it comes to experience or gold. But you will have to work for it. When it comes to experience - you can be in the vicinity to a dying enemy minion - you will get the experience no problem. However, when it comes to gold, you will have to deal a killing blow to them to gain it. Gaining gold will be your main focus during the Laning Phase, as you will need it to buy items, which will enable you to reach Item Power spikes. It’s crucial to maintain a stable number of CS (Creep Score/Farm), so you can purchase your items early. Top players will consistently hit 10cs/1 minute in the game. And professional esports athletes will go even beyond that.
Your friendly minions will allow you to take down enemy objectives. Turrets will always prioritize minions, as long as you don’t deal damage to enemy champions. Also, if the tower is not attacking anything, and you come up to it in front of your minions, you will be targeted immediately. But the ways of the wave management - you will learn it from another guide.
Champions - Tools of Mass Destruction
In League of Legends, you don’t create your character. Currently, there are close to 150 champions in the roster, and you will be able to choose them for a match, provided that you have them on your account. Champions are not free. You will have to play League of Legends a lot to unlock every hero in the game. Some are inexpensive; for some, you will have to save for fifty or so games.
Some will be simple to play. Some will have an incredibly high skill-ceiling, forcing the player to take their time with a specific champion, so they can even learn the basics that make a champion what it is. With some of them, you might even spend hundreds of games before you can reach a champion mastery. And once you have a feeling that you’ve reached the peak of your champion, some guy from the other part of the will find an advanced mechanic for your champion, that will open up new possibilities that you will have to learn.
Every player should know everything about the capabilities of their little pocket tool of mass destruction. Each champion is based on similar principles, with some addons, and slight adjustments here and there.
Auto-Attacks & Abilities
Every champion has basic attacks and abilities at their disposal. Autos will be fired by clicking on an enemy or a neutral target, with the same button that corresponds to moving your champion (default RMB). You can click just once. Your champion will keep attacking that target until it dies, closing the distance when your target gets out of reach.
Basic Attacks can be canceled by initiating movement, casting a spell, or by enemy target becoming untargetable or invulnerable. Some attacks can even reach the target, allowing you to cancel the ending animation, allowing you to follow your enemy quickly, so you don’t lose the distance. Some abilities will even work as an auto-attack reset, enabling you to immediately use another basic attack, as a part of a skill, or with an attack that will occur after using a skill. Thanks to this mechanic, you can make your auto attacks considerably faster than your Attack Speed allows them to be.
There are also Abilities. Each champion has a Passive Ability and Four generally Active abilities. Abilities can be cast by pressing Q, W, E, or R. Every champion has a purely unique set of skills. One champion will have a single-target on-click root, another one will have a long-range skill shot, and someone else will teleport to the other side of the map, or cast a circle full of damage and slowing crowd control with a global range. Knowing how abilities work, mechanics, interactions, cooldowns is a vast knowledge, but learning it will pay off tenfold.
An ability can be Active, toggled, or passive. A used ability has a cooldown - a well-know term of a period, in which the ability can’t be recast for some seconds in a match. A toggled ability can be on and off, with different effects. A passive ability will be running all the time (e. g. Teemo’s E or Vi’s W).
Most abilities have a base value and a scaling value. The base value of the ability is fixed, and it changes with points put into it while leveling up. The scaling value is based on your stats - Attack Damage, Ability Power, Health, etc.
Some items have a so-called “Active” that might provide you with an AoE slow that is amazing for chase down tanks, AoE shield for supports, or a personal movement speed boost. These item abilities will be activated from your inventory.
Also, almost every champion has something known as Ultimate Ability. Most of the time (with few exceptions), it will be the strongest spell of a character, with a long cooldown, that will make a considerable difference in fights. This ability becomes active after you put points into it at level 6, 11, and 16. There are also champion skins, yet they are purely cosmetical, and you can purchase them for real money from league of legends (league) store, or get them by playing.
Each character in the game has some kind of base stats that are unique. Most of the time, champion stats will fit the idea of a character. A Caster Mage will have a low amount of armor, Marksman will have a decent amount of Attack Damage and Attack Speed, and tanks will have a lot of Health Points, Armor, and Magic Resist. These statistics also have a specific amount of points per level, making XP valuable. Champion basic stats present themselves as follows:
Health Points - Green bar above your character, the amount of damage that you can take before you die
Resource Points - Blue, Red, Yellow, or no Bar. These will most of the time, represent your resources, that you can spend to cast your abilities. Some champions use mana, some use rage, some energy, and there are even those who don’t use any resource. They are free to cast their abilities as they please, being restricted only by cooldowns. Every resource has its properties.
Mana is plentiful, but it has to regenerate, and it’s easy to spend it all quickly. Mana doesn’t regenerate fast without the right items, runes, and/or Blue Buff.
Energy is not a vast resource, but it regenerates fast, and most energy champions have a way of generating it with some attacks.
Rage is generated by attacking and using abilities. These abilities will also spend Rage after a certain Rage threshold, empowering them, adding new capabilities, and more damage.
And resourceless champions can cast their abilities without spending anything, and they are limited only by cooldowns. The only exceptions are Vladimir and Dr. Mundo, as they use Health Points to cast spells.
Attack Damage - classic physical damage stat that adds damage to your auto-attacks. Depending on a champion, it can also increase the damage dealt by abilities.
Ability Power - magical damage increase. It makes abilities more powerful, as long as your abilities scale with AP.
Armor - reduces physical damage taken. It's a natural counter to Attack Damage, basic attacks, and abilities that deal physical damage.
Magic Resist - reduces magical damage taken from abilities that deal magic damage.
Attack Speed - this stat corresponds to the speed of your basic attacks, sometimes it might scale with the speed of your abilities, especially when the ability is used as an addition to a basic attack, or if it's an auto-attack reset.
Critical Strike Chance - a chance for your basic attacks (or abilities that activate on-hit) to deal double the damage. There’s also an item that increases the damage dealt by critical strikes.
Cooldown Reduction - reduces ability cooldowns by a percentage. 40% CDR is the cap unless you have a rune that increases it by 5%.
Movement Speed - basically determines how fast you move, and how fast dashes are for some champions.
There are also special stats that you will gain only by purchasing specific items. For example, Lethality, Armor Penetration, and Magic Penetration. Compelling stats, and with some exceptions - no champion will have these in their kit.
Lethality - this is a scaling stat that ignores your opponent’s armor by a specified amount at the max level. What we mean by that, is that you might have 18 lethalities, but that will be the amount ignored at maximum level 18. At lower levels, it will scale-down, so enemies won’t fight you as if they had 0 armor, at level 10. Very powerful when stacked, especially on AD Casters (champions that have abilities stacking with AD, and dealing with physical damage).
Armor Penetration - a percentage of armor points that you will ignore when attacking a champion. It’s a perfect solution against tanks. Taking away 30% of armor won't hurt your enemy when they have 60 armor. However, when your enemy has over 300 Armor - the percentage reduction will hurt big-time.
Magic Penetration - this reduction can be either flat or percentage, depending on items that you build. Similar mechanics, as its Physical Counterpart, with an exception that flat Magic Penetration does not scale, and will be the same at level 5 and level 18.
Increasing Champion Stats
Throughout the game, you will work on increasing your champion stats so that they can complement the ability kit. Champion stats can be increased by gaining levels and purchasing items.
You will gain stats as the game progresses through leveling up. The experience will slowly build up. Your Level 1 will slowly but surely increase towards Level 18, which is the peak level in a League of Legends match. Each level will increase your basic stats, increasing Health, Health Regeneration, Mana, Mana Regeneration, Attack Damage, Attack Speed, Armor, and Magic Resistance. Unfortunately, Ability Power, Cooldown Reduction, Lethality, and Critical Strike Chance have to be taken from either runes or items.
Also, with level-ups, you will be able to put points into your abilities, which will increase their base stats, reduce cooldown, lower or increase costs, providing you with more utility and combat prowess. It means that if you are not a direct counter to an enemy champion, and they are two levels above you - it might be a bad idea to engage in them. They have higher stats, their abilities most likely hit much harder, and it can end up badly for you, further increasing the level gap.
An increase in statistics of ability will be entirely dependant on the ability itself. Each champion has a different kit, and to balance everything - every skill has its properties. For example, scaling mage won’t have a lot of base damage in their abilities, but their ability scaling will be so high, that you can expect them to become crazily powerful by the end of the game. Another example would be with a long-range ability. They may hit hard in the beginning, but long travel time, the need for channeling skills, and low scaling is a huge drawback that you will be able to exploit to your advantage.
Statistics from Items
There are also items. You will be able to purchase components of more significant items, to then - mix them up to get top-tier items that have unique properties. If you’ve got the funds, you can purchase those big pieces of the gear immediately, but the best items in the game cost 3000+ Gold. And it’s not worth it to stay in lane with 3000 gold in your pocket, as you might be ignoring your power spikes - moments in which your champion can be super powerful.
Of course, base stats will be increased as you level up, and you should always purchase items that will play into your strengths. For example, someone like Zed, who is an AD caster, with the main objective of winning the game by snowballing and executing high priority targets, should build towards AD, Lethality, and Armor Penetration. On the other hand, someone like unsafe long-range poking Xerath will want to go for some AP, Magic Pen, %Magic Pen, and some items for survival like Zhonya and Banshee’s Veil. There are multiple ways of building your champion, and the most optimal builds and tips can be found on the Internet already.
Statistics from Runes
Before the game starts - every champion will be able to choose two rune trees that will enhance their playstyle. There are five rune trees, each with a set of keystones and minor runes. You will be able to mix two of those trees, choosing one keystone, five minor runes, and three immediate stats, enabling you to boost your power, utility, offensive, or defensive capabilities.
We’ve created a giant guide for runes, which explains in detail - every possible choice of runes. We’ve described which Keystones and rune sets suit which champions, and more. Get to know a champion that you would like to try, check out our runes, and craft your own set of additional stats and effects.
There are also Summoner Spells. Each player can choose a set of two spells, that will be used during the game. Each Spell can be used multiple times. After each use - Spell will go on a cooldown that can be lowered only by possessing Ionian Boots of Lucidity (10%), and Cosmic Insight rune (5%). Here’s a list of Summoner Spells available for players. Keep in mind that most of those have Summoner Level requirement:
Heal (240 s) - The caster heals himself and one ally that is the closest one to the caster’s cursor. However, if there’s no one close to the cursor, Heal will target the most wounded champion. Targets will be healed for 90-345 (based on level) health points, also granting a 30% bonus movement speed for 1 second. Champions affected by this Spell are marked for 35 seconds, lowering the amount of heal from any additional Heal Summoner Spell casts. It’s an excellent Summoner Spell that will be most useful at lanes where there are two champions per team. Marksmen will go for this Spell 90% of the time.
Ghost (180 s) - Your champion will gain increased movement speed for 10 seconds. The amount of movement speed gained depends on the level, starting from a 28% increase to 45%. This spell also grants ghosting status to your champion, allowing it to move through units without collision - no more minion blocks. Movement Speed is not immediate, and it will accelerate for the first 2 seconds. It will be taken mostly on champions that slow themselves to unleash powerful abilities or those who have a high potential of being kited. Most notably, Darius and Vladimir.
Barrier (180 s) - Cast an immediate shield on yourself that will block 115-455 (based on level) damage. Lasts 2 seconds. Great against engage champions. It is mostly used on mid lane, for those champions that have little to no kill pressure. Also used when they want to survive and scale up as the game progresses.
Exhaust (210 s) - Exhaust a targeted enemy champion, slowing their movement speed by 30%, and reducing damage dealt by 40% for 2.5 seconds. A fabulous spell that will be used to counter burst-damage-oriented champions. Perfect against Zed, Rengar, Talon, or Katarina, best rune against burst damage champions in general. It will be used on Supports, Mid laners, even on some Top laners (Top Kassadin has this Spell as his core, combined with unsealed spellbook).
Clarity (240 s) - Restores 50% Maximum Mana to you and 25% to your allies as long as they are close enough to you (600 units). No one uses this rune. With natural mana regeneration and 2x Blue Buff on the map - there’s no point in taking this spell.
Flash (300 s) - Blinks your champion a short distance towards the pointed direction. Your champion will move 400 units. There’s even a possibility of blinking for a longer distance if you aim it correctly through the wall. Unfortunately - some walls will be too thick, or you will be standing too far from it, and the Flash distance will be significantly reduced. It’s the most critical Summoner Spell, that will be taken on every champion in every game, with some minor exceptions (Shaco, Hecarim, and Darius will very often ignore this spell’s existence). There’s close to no reason not to pick this spell, as it allows you to go for more risky plays, avoid ganks, set up more potent ganks, and to save yourself when nothing else works. Invest your money into flash. It will save you countless matches.
Teleport (360 s) - After a 4-second channeling, your champion will be teleported to your desired location. You will be only able to teleport to your team’s wards, your turrets, and minions. There are also Champion units that will be used for Teleporting, Zyra’s plants, Heimerdinger’s Turrets, etc. Great Summoner Spell, if you’re going for tempo plays, ensuring the most efficient in wave clearing and map positioning. You can also join skirmishes, go for a TP-gank, and react to enemy team’s movements with ease. Push one side of the map - the enemy team comes - predict that and teleport to the other side to take some valuable objectives. Simple as that. Fabulous Spell for Top laners.
Smite (15 s / 90 s) - Deal 390-1000 true damage (based on level) to the targeted monster, enemy minion, or champion’s pet. Using smite on Large Monsters will also restore 70 + 10% of your maximum health. It’s a must-have for Junglers, as it allows junglers to purchase jungle items, finish camps faster, and secure Neutral Objectives more reliably and safely, and to keep themselves healthy while jungling.
Cleanse (210 s) - Removes all disables and Crowd Control off of you (excluding Suppression and Airborne) and grants you 65% tenacity for 3 seconds. Great situational Summoner Spell if there are a lot of champions in the enemy team that will be able to stun you for a considerable amount of time.
Ignite (180 s) - Ignite an enemy champion with a true damage burn that will deal 70-410 (based on level) damage over 5 seconds. This spell also applies Grievous Wounds - reducing healing received by 40% and granting true sight. It’s a fantastic Summoner Spell that will be used to have kill pressure and snowball with kills through the game. Every Assassin will take this spell to increase the kill potential in and outside of the lane.
With over 140 champions in the game, it’s tough to specify which champion will be your main, meaning - which one will you play and try to master. To make it easier, it’s best to talk about roles that are in the game. As we mentioned in the Summoner’s Rift section - the map is divided into three lanes, with the jungle in between. Since there are five roles in each team, somewhere near the end of season one, players invented a team formation that was the most efficient in terms of team-based gameplay. One guy at the top, one in the jungle, one in the middle, and two pals at the bottom for each team. Since then, items, mechanics, and new champions were designed with this formation in mind. Almost ten years later - it is still the primary formation, and any other playstyle that goes beyond that is considered inefficient and not worth anyone’s time. Worth a report.
There are five roles: Toplane, Jungle, Midlane, Marksman, and Support. Arguably, you can pick any champion into any position, but some heroes will do a poor job, while others will crush on a role easily, just because they were designed for it.
You can commit hundreds of hours to learn a lane, and it might turn out that it is not exactly what you were looking for. It is why we will give you a short overview for each lane, so you know what you can expect, what you will have to learn, so you know what you are getting into.
Top lane - Lone Wolves
Hide before you get chadded out of existence. North of the LOL World. Top of the line. Top lane is the most lonely role in the game. Top laners rarely move around the map in comparison to other lanes, unless it comes to grouping up, advanced macro play, or aiding your jungler on their playground when enemies show up during counter jungling.
This lane is all about trading, farming, and getting strong enough to dominate your side of the map. In Season 9 top lane has the least impact on the game, but if you know what you are doing, you will create immense pressure. If you manage to be stronger than your enemy, you will pull a lot of attention from the opposing team, which will most likely end up with enemy team visiting your zone of control more often. Which is a good thing, as it makes the other side of the map less guarded, allowing your team to create an advantage on the other lane.
Even though you don’t have a lot of impact in the game, there are high 1v1 stakes. A top laner that wins can create a map and objective pressure, especially when you are someone that can consistently win 1v2 encounters, as that forces more enemies to come. In that case, your job will be to pull enemies towards you, and survive each encounter, so you don’t lose momentum. Cause every second spent dead, is one second less of pressure, and you can’t afford that on Toplane. Sort of.
It’s a great lane if you want to learn to duel, control the wave and to use your power spikes. You will not only learn how to manage yourself in melee matchups, but you will also have a chance of learning how to play melee vs. ranged, so you don’t die, you know how to mitigate the damage of harass and poke, so don’t lose too many resources. There’s a lot of risks involved, and as your skill level goes up and you reach higher ranks, it gets tougher and tougher. Especially when you notice that knowing you and your enemy is not enough and that you have to learn how to manage the wave of minions, this will be crucial if you want to learn split push. And you will have to learn it at some points, as it’s a very valuable tactic that will still be relevant even at the highest level of play. And of course - if things go dire, you will have to learn how to switch your gameplan in a matter of seconds completely, so you can be effective for your team. It’s also one of the most satisfying lanes to play, as scaling into being able to 1v4 as Riven, Illaoi, Darius, Garen, or Tryndamere is a wonderful feeling.
Jungle - Leading the Team
Jungling is like a different game-mode, different style. Being a jungler is being a team leader that leads his teammates by example and ganking. Arguably the most complicated role in the game, as to do everything properly, you have to know your matchups, matchups of your teammates, know how to clear, how to predict enemy jungler movement, and of course - how to gank properly. There are even more things. It’s impossible to list them all, as jungling is very complex, you will learn this after a few miscalled tactics. We do not recommend this role for the newest players, as concepts tied to this gameplay can be quite overwhelming in the beginning.
There are lots of responsibilities that you will have on your shoulders for each game. And if you dare not to do even a single thing - you risk being flamed by your team. You can be perfect in your jungling, do the camps efficiently, create pressure on the map, gank lanes, counter jungle your enemy. You can get your drake stolen once, or your bot lane gets babysit by the enemy jungle - question marks on your position will ring on the minimap faster than you can mute them.
With that being said, not to scare you away from this wonderful position - it offers a lot of freedom. You will move around the map to your liking. You can gank every lane that you want, clear vision, make risky plays, invade enemy jungler. You can dictate the pace of the game if you are skilled enough to do so. Learning your personal skills and gaining knowledge in the jungle will not be enough at the highest level of play. You will have to know a lot of things about jungle itself, and champions that can jungle, so you can track your enemy through the Fog of War. With that, you will be able to specify an estimated time of an incoming gank from the enemy jungler and send a warning to your team in time.
It’s hard to specify which responsibility is the most important. There are lots of Junglers that add some variables and freshness to billions of possible scenarios in a single game of League of Legends. A jungler like Evelynn will opt to rush level 6, and then snowball through the early-mid game, so she can carry her team as a scaling assassin that remains strong in every stage of the game. On the other hand, Lee Sin will try to dominate early game, either making himself stronger to assassinate high-value targets or make his team stronger so he can insec high-value targets into his squad to secure team fights. It’s common for an insec-style Lee Sin to have low damage at the end of the game, but very high team-value.
If you want to be the Team Leader, that pursues being the pillar of a team that makes everyone else stronger and more efficient - you should seek jungling. If you are responsible, and you are willing to gain as much knowledge as possible about the game, its mechanics, and macro-play - you can become a fantastic jungler. A jungler that will be easily able to fill any holes in their team’s strategy, macro, and playstyles.
Midlane - Mr. Worldwide
Top-Tier Lane for those who like to move around the map in the early and mid-game, yet prefer normal laning instead of jungling Being a mid laner is not an easy task. You are in the middle of the map, so you have easy access to every zone on the map. And since you are laning, you also have to play your lane right. Unlike Top and Bot, you will move around the map a lot, even during the laning phase, to try and spread the advantage across the map.
Midlane is the shortest lane you can select in League of Legends. Wave management is still essential, but less impactful, as minions won’t have enough space to build something serious and threatening.
It’s an incredibly impactful role in all stages of play. AP Mages are crazily powerful, with a lot of items to choose from to impact the game in various ways, at different stages of the game. Some champions will have a colossal power spike after building one major item, especially Katarina or Akali, with their Hextech Gunblade. Some will have to scale into 3-item power spikes that will turn the tables of the game if they aren’t too far behind in it.
Every mid laner should know how to widen the advantage across the entire map. One of the best strategies of winning the early game and claiming some quick objectives is following the jungler. And we do not mean this literally. You should see where potential fights are going to happen. Friendly Nidalee steps into the enemy jungle early on? She can deal a lot of damage solo, but if she needs some help, you should try to match your opponent, or be one step ahead. 100% gank on the bottom lane? Feel free to go with your jungler, especially if you can provide some serious Crowd Control, damage, execute, or chase down for your teammates. With that being said - you should be careful, as it’s not always the best choice to follow. Here’s what this means.
Being there for your team 100% of the time is not the best idea for a single reason. When you commit, trying to do everything for the team - you will easily forget about yourself. Of course, your team might get a little bit stronger, but you will become dead weight. You don’t want to leave your team with a useless mid laner, that has the potential to deal the most damage in the game (statistically games that end below 30 minutes have AP mid laners with the most damage done). And due to the current early-mid meta, and quick gameplay - mid laners are absolute kings of dealing damage. Unless something goes wrong and ADCs are given time to scale up. So don’t put yourself in situations, which might help others, but will put you behind. And that’s how the next crucial thing comes up.
You will have to know the value of proper wave clearing. It works in both ways. You will have to learn when you can leave your lane, and when you shouldn’t follow your enemy laner, and stay and farm. A single minion wave holds considerable value. Missing even one wave might hurt you, putting your enemy above you in levels and gold. It is why you should have your priorities straight. Don’t leave your lane, when enemy minions are building up to crash on your tower in half a minute. Don’t follow your enemy when there are two waves under your tower. Instead - clear the wave so your minions can crash on the tower and bounce back towards you in a minute or two. This way, you can minimize your minion losses, so even if your roam didn’t succeed, you wouldn’t lose too many resources. Moreover, when your enemy goes for a roam around the map, you can punish them by quickly pushing in. This way, they will lose EXP and Gold, which can put you ahead of them.
Losing this lane can be devastating for the entire team. A strong enemy that can get to every place on the map quickly, the enemy that can stomp you under the tower - will dominate the game easily, unless your team does something about it. So there’s a lot of responsibility on this lane as well. But it’s worth it. Second to Jungler - this is a fantastic role for leading your team with damage, callouts, roams, ganks, and vision control. If you believe in yourself enough to lead the team together with your jungle, this lane will be amazing for you. And man does it feel good to obliterate people 15 minutes in 100-0 if you are ahead with the right champion. As with some - you will have to wait for some serious 3-4 item power spikes, remember?
ADC - Nuclear Bomb on a Timer
ADCs - also known as Marksmen - are mostly physical damage-oriented long-range carries based around hard-hitting basic attacks, with a lot of critical strike chance and attack speed. This role starts slowly, but as the game keeps getting longer - at three items - these guys wreak havoc on their enemies. It is also the only role paired up on the same lane with a Support that will be described after the ADC section.
Laning phase for this role may be boring, but it can also turn fun or dangerous in a matter of seconds. Every Marksman will want to focus on building up their gold by farming. Of course, there will be some time when Botlane wants to advance their strategy and engage on the enemy in short trades, all-in engages, or constant and relentless poking. There are lots of fights happening on the lane, similarly to Top Lane, but the stakes are even higher. The reason being - a strong ADC will take objectives like Towers and Epic Monsters faster than anyone in the team during the midgame. Of course, as long as they are ahead or even with their bot lane enemies.
A lot of people say, is that Supports are there to carry the early game so that Marksmen can carry the whole game. And it’s true. Because most of the time - Supports will be the ones who will dictate the pace of the early laning phase. And that’s easily noticeable when you look at what happens when certain supports are on the lane. Let’s pair up Caitlyn with different supports. Leona will opt to be as aggressive as possible, engaging immediately after hitting Level 2, similarly to Morgana. Caitlyn will follow with her traps to deal some damage with headshots. Karma will or Vel’koz will unleash their poking game to wear off enemies, Caitlyn will max Q and cast some pokes as well. Take Soraka or Janna - pure farming lane with some occasional trades that will occur when shields or heals are up. Something different would happen with supports for Ashe for example. It's better explained in our special ADC Macro Guide.
Some ADCs will easily initiate fights, as well. It’s ubiquitous for Draven, Tristana, or Kalista to just come up to the enemy and go ham on them with their damage potential. In this kind of scenario, Supports will try to balance out the lane by providing trading potential, healing, shielding, or hard-engaging.
After the laning phase, ADC will move around the map a lot. Taking objectives, setting up skirmishes, and keeping up with farming will be the priority in the midgame. At this point, Marksmen are generally crazily powerful here. They can even compete against strong mid laners, but it will take some advanced movement, like kiting (moving and attacking right outside their reach while dodging skill shots), and playing the range-game.
When ADC’s reach their full builds, they will be able to dominate the game. They will wear off enemies from range, shred tanks of their Health Points and dignity, carrying the game easily if they’ve got skills and team to protect them from harm. They will also be experts at taking objectives, with their consistent damage output. So if you like being a growing force, a player that will become the most valuable asset for their team the longer the game lasts, then this role is absolutely for you.
Support - carry your carries
Prepare for a couple of co-op sessions. That's what you've chosen trying out this role. This role appears to be the most boring one in the game, especially in the beginning. Heal your teammates, shield them, protect them from danger, don’t steal minions, follow your carries, deal close to no damage, focus on being the absolute team player that takes nothing for themselves, end up buying items that don't deal damage.
Nothing further from the truth. Support can be a fascinating role that will bring the most out of their teammates. But with so many Support champions available in the game, there are plenty of playstyles to choose from. There are champions who heal, shield, engage, hard-engage, disengage, deal damage with pokes, set up kills, or scale up to be the carry of the team. There are even supports that will be an absolute beast in teamfights.
Most of the time, you will spend your time with your carries. Most notably - Marksmen, like every game, will head towards bottom lane with them to ensure that they can get the most out of their laning phase. Do everything so they can farm safely, protect them from danger, be present in the lane. And if your matchup allows you to do something more - feel free to engage on your enemies. Any scenario in which you end up with much more health after a trade will put you ahead. Your ADC will be able to farm without effort, and your enemies will have to risk their lives to take the farm from incoming minion waves, especially when you are a poking or hard-engage support.
After the laning phase, you will work on advancing your vision line according to taken objectives. There's no place for a random plan. If one turret is open, you will ward the enemy jungle around it, so you can go safely beyond that, while also being able to see enemies incoming, so your team can head back before an unwanted teamfight happens. You will follow your carries, being the main source of utility, Crowd control, or both. It will depend entirely on your champion. Walk around the map with your Marksman, Jungler, or Midlaner. Find lone targets, clear vision, set up your vision, set up kills that will lead you into taking objectives that will bring you closer to ultimately winning the game.
As the game heads towards the late game - your role will entirely depend on your champion. Fiddlesticks will try to flank around the team and engage with his Crowstorm. Soraka will focus on keeping their team alive while silencing major targets. Leona or Nautilus will stay at the frontlines trying to hard-engage on a mispositioned enemy. Pyke will be the ultimate kill stealing machine that will also set up kills while making enemies paranoid if he’s fed enough thanks to his extra burst. He also hands out money to an ally character assists him in ultimate kills. Someone like Janna will disrupt enemies, give shields that increase Attack Damage, and disengage when the current situation needs it. When it comes to Senna, she’s a 2nd ADC with enormous heals, shields, and damage, that also provides utility, and she can assassinate targets from a range at 80-100 soul stacks. Buying both AD and support items is a fantastic idea.
It can all be condensed to one thing. Carry your ADC’s early game, and fight for their rights of farming, so they can carry your team through the mid and late game.
End of reading. It is the end of our League of Legends Beginners Guide. Make sure to check out our other guides, some of them already mentioned in this guide, and share them with your pals. Check our Advanced Macro Guide, Macro Guides for all Lanes, Rune Guide, Bot Synergy guide, and more! Or just watch a random youtube video about LoL for the same purpose. Join us on Summoner’s Rift one day. Just make sure that you’ve read all of the above so that we can play on the common ground. Pass it on to your friends and neighborhood scrubs if you love our content, and maybe you will bring a new user in! See you on the Rift, Summoner!