League of Legends (LoL) is a game created by Riot Games, and is one of the most popular games of this generation. We have created this beginner guide to help you learn more about the basics of the game.
League of Legends is a ‘MOBA’ type of game, standing for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. The main ‘level’ for the game is a 5v5 game mode on the ‘Summoner’s Rift’. The two sides of the map are labelled as Blue, and Purple side, where Blue is the bottom left and Purple is the top right side.
Around the map, there are bushes in different locations. Unless your team has a ward inside the bush, you can’t see inside of it, meaning it is very dangerous to walk right in without checking if an enemy is in there. They can be used to set up traps to an unsuspecting enemy champion if used properly.
How to win a LoL game
The objective of the game is to destroy the enemy Nexus. To do this, you must first destroy the 2 nexus turrets guarding it. To destroy these, you must destroy at least 1 inhibitor, and to destroy an inhibitor you must destroy all 3 turrets in that lane. Turrets do not respawn when destroyed, but the nexus, nexus turrets and inhibitor turrets regain Health points over time.
In addition to allowing you to destroy the nexus turrets, when an inhibitor is destroyed the minions in that lane gain health as well as a Super Minion, replacing the Siege Minion in that lane, meaning that the Minions will naturally push into the enemy base over time, as they are stronger than the opposing minions.
In each game, the 5 players choose a champion from a pool of 126, with more champions being released regularly. The players aim to fill the 5 roles across the map, which are;
Top lane: This lane has 1 player per team, usually a tanky/bruiser type of champion who’s main focus is to absorb damage and provide utility to the team
Jungle: A niche role whose job is to defeat the neutral camps that lie between lanes, as well as provide ganks to get their laners ahead or support to the lanes that need help. The jungler is also used to secure neutral objectives, as they commonly take the Smite summoner spell.
Mid Lane: This is the lane where many mages or attack damage casters go, as it is in the centre of the map it can influence both side lanes as well as controls a lot of movement in the map due to the towers in the lane.
Bot Lane: 2 players from each team fill this position and it’s broken down into two roles:
ADC: Also known as the Attack Damage Carry, a ranged champion whose job is to deal as much damage as possible in fights, many a game is put onto the shoulders of the ADC in order to win.
Support: A good support is meant to do one of two things, protect the ADC or whoever is the most important member of the team, or engage for the team providing enough utility to allow their team to beat the other team in a fight. A support isn’t meant to deal the most damage, or tank the most, they’re meant for protection or initiation, but can turn the tide of a battle just as well as the other 4 members.
General LoL Play
As the game progresses, each player gains money (Gold) over time, as well as extra gold when they ‘Last-hit’ an enemy minion, which means to score the killing blow on the minion. (As shown in the picture)
This gold can then be used to buy various items, from ones increasing your health or resistances, your attack damage or ability power, or ones which give useful new abilities like removing all debuff’s from your champion once used. Different champions build different items and choosing one item over another can change how a game plays out.
Different sets of champions also may require different play styles as a team, for example, a set of champions with good team fight abilities, such as Orianna’s Command: Shockwave, and Malphite’s Unstoppable Force, may want to group as a team and push down one lane in order to destroy turrets. However, other champions want to ‘splitpush’ that is to push other lanes as they have a quick way of getting back to a fight, champions like this include Shen with his ultimate which teleports him to a friendly champion, or a champion with the summoner spell, Teleport.
Each champion has 1 Passive and 4 Abilities, which are predetermined by the champion you choose. You can also pick 2 Summoner spells, which provide useful abilities on long cooldowns which can provide a quick escape, or turn the tide of a teamfight.
Each player can take two summoner spells for use throughout the game, the current accessible summoner spells that are available to use are:
Flash: Teleports your champion a short distance towards your cursor. Useful for quick escapes or initiations.
Heal: Restores health based on your champion level and gives a 30% move speed bonus
Barrier: Shields your champion based on your level.
Clairvoyance: Reveals a small area on the map for 5 seconds.
Clarity: Restores 40% of maximum mana to you and nearby allies.
Cleanse: Removes all debuffs and lowers incoming disable durations by 65% for 3 seconds.
Exhaust: Reduces an enemy’s move and attack speed by 30%, armour and magic resist by 10 and damage dealt by 40% for 2.5 seconds.
Ghost: Increases move speed by 27% for 10 seconds.
Ignite: Deals damage over time based on your champion’s level and applies grevious wounds.
Smite: Deals true damage based on champion level to a non-allied minion, monster or pet. Can hold two charges, refreshing at 1 charge per 75 seconds. Smite is a necessary summoner spell for junglers as it greatly increases their ability to clinch objectives and survive in the jungle.
Teleport: After a 3.5 second channel, teleports your champion to an allied structure, ward or minion.
Runes and Masteries
Runes and masteries are pages in which you can adapt your stats before the game begins. You can have up to 20 rune/mastery pages, meaning they allow you to be more adaptable. Runes are mainly used for more base stats on your champions, where masteries have 3 trees; Offence, Defence and Utility. These range from giving more damage, giving health and resistances, or move speed, mana regeneration or gold income.
With the gold gained by last hitting (or otherwise) champions can buy items from the shop, which is only available in each teams base. From here, there are many different items which are obtainable, meaning that players can adapt what they buy to the situation, whether they want to get more damage, tankiness or maybe a utility item. Items are incredibly important as they power up your champion, meaning that your team will be more likely to win if you build the correct items.
There are 2 main neutral objectives on the map as well
Dragon is situated in the bottom river, and each time one team slays the dragon, they gain a permanent buff, up to 5. The 5th buff only lasts for 180 seconds, or until your champion dies, but can be reacquired by getting the next dragon.
Dragon’s Might: +6% Attack Damage and Ability Power
Dragon’s Wrath: +15% damage to towers and buildings
Dragon’s Flight: +5% movement speed
Dragon’s Dominance: +15% damage to minions and monsters
Aspect of the dragon: Doubles all previous bonuses and all attacks burn for 150 true damage over 5 seconds
The Baron Nashor is an Epic monster which is very difficult to kill. A whole team is needed and they must have enough damage, and sustain to kill it. Whoever scores the killing blow gains the Hand of Baron buff for their whole team, which lasts for 3 minutes.This buff does many things:
Grants 40 Attack Damage and Ability Power (scaling with game time)
Grants an improved recall, reducing the time from 8 seconds to 4 seconds.
It also buffs nearby allied minions, giving increased movement speed, damage, damage reduction as well as increases the range of Siege Minions, meaning they out range turrets, which allows for lots of damage to be done.
The Hand of Baron buff greatly swings a game if a losing team manages to claim the buff, as it can allow them to destroy various towers, potentially swinging the gold lead back into their favour. However if a winning team gets this buff, then if can allow them to swiftly close out the game in a safer manner.
Gank: A gank is where an allied champion comes into your lane to make an attempt of killing the enemy laner, in order to get you ahead of the enemy laner, or to help you if you’re behind.
Teamfight: A teamfight is a scenario where multiple members of each team duke it out in order to claim control over an objective, or to gain gold by killing the enemy champions.
Splitpush: Splitpushing is a strategy where 1 (or more) champions push a side lane to create pressure, where the rest of the team pushes mid. This forces the enemy team to either engage on the weakened team in midlane, or to face the splitpusher, and potentially lose objectives in the midlane.
Tanky: To be tanky is to be difficult to kill. Whether you have lots of HP, Armour or Magic resist, the enemy champions deal little damage to you making it hard to kill you.
Grevious Wounds: This is a debuff which reduces all healing by 50%.
Armour: Armour is a stat that each champion has, and it reduces the amount of physical damage, from either basic attacks or some spells. The more armour you have the higher your resistance to physical damage.
Magic Resist: This is also a stat each champion has, this however reduces the amount of magical damage, from spells they take. As with armour the more magic resist the less damage you take.
True Damage: This is damage that cannot be modified by resistances, so can be extremely powerful.