1. Rules and Tips
Welcome, summoners. Before I start off, let me just say that this game can be extremely hard. I play League of Legends and I will still play a game from time to time and think, this game can be pretty hard. To non-LoL’ers, this simple 5 on 5, online action and role-playing game is an easy concept: your team of 5 players take on an opposing team of 5 players and try to defeat them by using your character to kill the enemies in order to take over their base. However, LoL gamers know that there are so many other factors to account for that being an expert at this game is down to a science. So how do you work on becoming a better player? Just keep these basic tips in mind:
1) Be smart. Don’t rush into fights or start anything you can’t finish. Keep your eyes open.
2) Communication is key.
3) Adapting to your current game is a huge key in the difference between victory and defeat.
Since these are just the basic tips, I will elaborate more on these or any other related tips further in the article.
2. Communicate: We’re Not Telepaths
What do I mean by communicate? Well, imagine how hard it is to coordinate a fight or game play with your online teammates, who can literally be anywhere around the world, if you aren’t talking to them. How do you know what to do or when to do it? How do you or your teammates know when to initiate a fight if no one’s talking to each other? Whether you’re typing in the chat box or agreeing to add each other and make a call on Skype or Vent, just know that communication is important. If your jungling Amumu is nearby and you need a gank, just simply type in your request or ping the enemy champion. Your teammate needs to know what you want.
3. Short and Specific: All About the Main Points and Details
Now you know: communication is important. But are you getting your message across as clear and precise as possible? What I mean is, are you talking too much and using too many words? Think about it: with your right hand on the mouse and left hand on your keys, there’s not much time in between to chit chat with teammates unless you want to leave your champion standing still and being vulnerable to attacks. So when I say you need to communicate, I also mean you have to do it quick. By simply saying “fight” or “be careful”, the message is clear. Don’t be afraid to use one or two words in getting your message across; real LoL’ers will know what you mean. If you don’t need words to say something then just ping it; pinging the mini map will get your teammates’ attentions and they’ll know what you mean. You can show them what you mean with a few simple clicks; whether you’re trying to signal that an enemy is approaching or that they need to back off to avoid getting ganked.
4. Trolls and Ragers: What’s In An Audience?
Do you know who you’re playing with/against? Can you tell if you’re playing with younger kids or older teens? What if they’re overseas players? The reason I bring this up is because your audience (your team you’re talking to) can play a factor in this game. If you’re having a bad game and decide to talk trash and lash out at your teammates, they have reason to troll you and goof around even more. They also have reason to report you and get you banned from the game. I believe in courtesy and having enough respect as to not talk ill about anyone who doesn’t play as well as you would like them to. If your teammates are the ones who are trolling or griefing, then just simply ignore them. I’ve also had countless experiences with ragers; there’s no point in arguing with them and causing fights among your team. Just get the game over with and move on to the next one. Additionally, if you’re talking to overseas players then there’s a chance that they just won’t understand what you’re saying so you’d be wasting valuable game time by trying to continuously argue or haggle them.
5. Synchronize: Keeping Your Team With You
Now that you know what kind of teammates you have, you have an idea of whether or not those teammates are willing to cooperate in team fights or if they’re only worried about themselves and getting fed and having a nice score. However, if you’ve been blessed with good teammates, then chances are you’ll be participating in a lot of team fights. Why? Good teammates know when and how to initiate a fight. Just by reading the mini-map, they can tell by the positioning of his/her teammates whether or not it’s a good time to fight. Junglers are usually good at knowing whether a successful gank is possible or not.
But of course, you’re not always going to have sensible teammates. You might have a teammate who doesn’t have any map awareness, or a teammate who focuses on farming so much that he/she doesn’t pay attention to anything else that’s going on. That’s when you have to communicate and let them know what you’re planning on doing next. By synchronizing fights with a few clear messages or simple pings, your teammates are sure to know how to react and cooperate.
6. Be Balanced
Now that I’ve given you all these tips and things to keep in mind while playing, you must be wondering how you’re going to be able to keep it all straight. Well there’s a simple solution: keep a nice balance. I did stress about the importance of knowing how and when to initiate a team fight with your team, but it’s also important that you focus on yourself and farm. Money is important; you’re going to need to buy your core items if you want to be successful in killing your enemies and winning in team fights. Another thing that some players overlook is that if you don’t farm or you aren’t able to, then you’ll be very under leveled. When enemies see this, they’ll know to immediately go after you because if they’re a higher level then that’s a sure sign of a kill for them. Good players will know how to find a balance between constantly picking fights with enemy champions, or when to just settle down and farm up for gold.
Personally, I find balance by getting a feel for the rhythm of the game and relying on my teammates to signal me. By rhythm of the game, I mean how often the enemies are trying to gank, how often your jungler comes to gank, or how often fights are being initiated. If it’s a rather slow game and fights just aren’t happening, then farm up because that’s exactly what the enemies are doing. There are certain champions that rely heavily on farming because their item build is just so expensive (Think of Kog’Maw with an Infinity Edge, Blood Thirster, Phantom Dancer, and Banshee’s Veil). Or there are champions who need to farm up their skills because every use of that skill increases its base damage (Veigar’s Baleful Strike and Nasus’ Siphoning Strike). Finding a balance between farming and fighting goes a long way.
7. Know When To Talk and When Not To Talk
Yes, I have said that communication is important. But there are also situations in which you might not even have to talk at all. I’ve had games where one teammate steps up and takes command as our vocal leader. The leader would call all the shots: set up every play, ping teammates to let them know where to position themselves, and even suggest how to build their character. In games where someone else takes command as leader, then your job is easy: just pay attention to what’s going on and try not to lose in fights. As long as you finish your build and your entire team is participating in synchronized team fights or ganks, then victory shouldn’t be too hard.
In other situations it’s not that I didn’t have to talk because my team had a leader, it would be because my team was full of ragers and trash talkers. There’s no point in stooping down to their level and talk trash back and forth. You’re just wasting your time by doing all that typing when you should be out there farming. Besides, it’s not like you gain anything by arguing and fighting with your teammates.
8. Hey Hey Hey Don’t Be Afraid To Consult
I know, you thought this was a guide about being a better gamer. But part of being a gamer, and being a cooperative teammate, is being a willing learner. During a game if you’re not sure about what to do, then just ask your teammates for suggestions. Maybe they think you should just keep farming to finish your build. Maybe you need to be the one who initiates every team fight because you have better CC’s. Maybe you should stay in the back during team fights because you deliver the most damage. Never be afraid to ask what your team wants from you.
If you’re also experimenting with a few champions, then it’s fine to consult with your teammates as to what a good build for that champion is. I’m sure a few of your teammates have played your particular champion before and had success with a particular build. Or if your teammates are playing a champion and building certain items that are questionable, don’t be afraid to ask why they’re going with that build. I’m sure each and every player will have a reason to build certain items in certain games. Maybe Ashe wants to build a Wriggle’s Lantern because it gives her life steal and a free ward every three minutes. Or maybe your Garen is building an Infinity Edge because he’s going AD Garen. In order to be a player of the game, you also have to be a student of the game. Treat each match as a learning experience and take the time to hone your skills and learn from your teammates.
9. Know Your Enemy: Use Your Higher Brain
So far we’ve been thinking about team synchronization, balance between fights and farming, and learning from teammates. But there’s another key factor in League of Legends: being able to read your enemies. Obviously you’re not able to tell the future and know what’s going to happen next, but if you’re able to pick out any particular patterns that your enemies are doing then you might be able to predict what they’re going to do next. If the enemy jungler is coming out to gank you every five minutes then just stay close to your tower at every five minute mark. If the enemy lane is being pushed back and you’re beginning to over-extend, then you should know to back off because you’re in prime position to get ganked.
Another way to read the enemy is by looking at their builds. Does their team have more AP or AD? Are they building tanky? Is their carry stronger than your carry? This matters because according to their build, your team can find a way to counter it. If the enemy team is high in AP, then just build more magic resist. Or if the enemy team is high in AD, then build more armor. If their tanks or off-tanks are becoming really tanky, then just have your AD carry build items that will shred their defense and health (Madred’s, Black Cleaver, and Last Whisper are good examples of tank shredders). Knowing how to read your enemy and adjust to their game play is key in defeating them.
10. Don’t Be Afraid To Make Your Own Decisions: Try Something!
It might be overwhelming to consider all these tips I’ve given you and incorporating them into your gameplay. But don’t worry, just keep some of these tips in mind and work on it in each match you play. Maybe one game you’ll forget about communicating with your team, or the next game you didn’t read your enemies as well as you should have. But you’ll constantly be learning and after a few games these tips and guidelines will surely be embedded in your mind.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have guidelines but I’m not saying you should follow my tips word for word. My point is, just use my tips as starting points. Each match is unique: each player is different, and each champion is different. One thing this guide can’t provide is a player’s judgment. You have to be able to make your decisions and judgment calls as what to do in the match. Being able to adapt on the fly is what separates good players from ordinary players. Changing your build mid-game or switching up your positioning before a team fight can very well be the deciding factor in a victory or defeat.