Ok I downloaded the game and logged in. What the hell do I do?
You should choose a champion.
Know that there are SEVERAL types of champions...
Do you like to be up in the fray? Beating on people's faces? Then you want to be a BRUISER.
Riven, Garen, Udyr, and Shyvana are all pretty easy bruisers to play.
Bruisers go to the TOP lane.
Do you like MAGIC? Do you like melting faces with SPELLS? Be an APC. (Ability Power carry)
Ryze, Annie, Brand, and Ziggs are all pretty easy APC champions to play.
APC champions go to the MIDDLE lane.
Do you like to shoot stuff from a distance? Bows? Guns? Throwing knives? You want an ADC (Attack damage carry)
Caitlyn, Ashe, Tristana, and Graves are all pretty easy ADC champions.
ADC champions go BOTTOM lane with a SUPPORT.
Do you like to heal people? Help your friends? Keep your team fighting against all odds? You want a DEFENSIVE support.
Nami, Soraka, Taric, and Sona are pretty easy defensive supports.
Supports go to the BOTTOM lane.
Do you like helping your team, but prefer to do some damage instead of healing? You want an OFFENSIVE support.
Lux, Nidalee, Zilean, and Leona are pretty easy offensive supports.
Supports go to the BOTTOM lane.
Do you like to remain hidden? Jump out of NOWHERE? Rack up kills like rambo? You want a GANKING JUNGLER.
Warwick, Nocturne, Tryndamere, and Jax are all pretty easy ganking junglers.
Junglers don't go to a lane! Junglers stay in the jungle.
Do you like to be the X-factor? The guy always changing the tides of fights unexpectedly? Then you want a TANK JUNGLER.
Nautilus, Rammus, Sejuani, and Hecarim are pretty easy TANK JUNGLERS.
Junglers don't go to a lane! Junglers stay in the jungle.
Ok I kinda know what champion I wanna play... now what?
You should READ ABOUT YOUR CHAMPION briefly.
I'm not saying spend hours and hours doing research, but at LEAST get an idea of what they can do. Here's how to do this:
-In League of Legends, click the icon next to the orange store icon. Looks like a silhouette of a person.
-Make sure Primary Role is set to "all" and Availability is set to "availble".
These are all the champions YOU CAN PLAY. It will change weekly. This is a combination of all the champions you OWN plus all the champions which are FREE.
If your champion isn't here, you can't play that champion unless you buy them. To buy champions, play games to earn Influence Points. This is the number appearing next to the crossed swords in the top right corner of your game window.
You can buy champions in the store (the orange button).
Now... Assuming the champion you want to play is available to you, click on that champion to see its skins, lore, abilities, and some tips/tactics. You can even watch a short video about the ability if you like.
Make sure you read each ability CAREFULLY so you know what each does when it comes time to use them.
Read the tips as well, because usually there is some pretty cool information in there. For instance, if you play Annie and don't do any reading, you might have a hard time farming if you have no idea that Disintegrate refunds it's mana cost if you kill something with it. Makes it very useful to farm with.
Ok, now I know a bit ABOUT the champion I wanna play... Now what?
You sort of need to know what ITEMS are good on your champion.
Once you get into a game, you can press P to use the store.
Use the gold you've gained to build items to make your champion stronger. It is a good idea to try to buy items every time you end up back in your base.
The first thing you need to do is know what statistics your champion scales well with.
By scaling, I mean what makes your champion stronger as the game progresses. Is it ability power? attack damage? health? magic resist? armor? attack speed?
This can be difficult to determine, so I'll teach you how to know.
One way to know is once you're in a game, roll your mouse over any of your champion's damaging skills. It will say that it does X amount of damage +X amount of damage. Usually in the start of the game, the +X will be zero.
If that +X is Green, your damage will increase with ability power.
If that +X is Red, your damage will increase with attack damage.
That is the fastest way to know "on the fly" what will make you more powerful... but sometimes it is more complicated than that. Some champions don't just scale with AP or AD. They scale with things like mana, health, armor, or magic resist.
That is why it is a good idea to a little bit further research BEFORE you get into a game.
You can type in "http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/CHAMPIONNAME" in your internet broweser's address bar to learn what your champion scales well with, replacing CHAMPIONNAME with the name of your champion.
For instance... search for Vladimir.
Vladimir, or "Vlad" as he's typically known, scales with bonus health. The more health you put on him, the more damage some of his spells do. He also scales well with AP. So on Vladimir, you want a good mix of health items and AP items- For instance, Rylai's Crystal Scepter or Rod of Ages.
You usually want to build items on your champion that compliment the statistics they scale well with.
I THOROUGHLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO EXPERIMENT WITH DIFFERENT ITEMS and to not look up any guides on how to build your champion. There exist guides on the internet on how to specifically build each champion to maximize their efficiency... Do not read them, do not follow them.
Why? Because building items on your champion YOURSELF will teach you over time what each of the items in the game do, and what items are available. It will also teach you what items build into which other items and give you a MUCH better memory of the game's store.
If you just build your champion off of a guide consistently, you'll never learn what possibilities may be available to you. There are THOUSANDS of ways to build any particular champion- each guide is only ONE way to build them. And while it may be accepted as the BEST way to build that champion, it may not be the way that works FOR YOU.
Ok I have a good idea how my champion scales... Now what?
You need to know how to farm.
LITERALLY NOTHING ELSE IN THE GAME, NO OTHER SINGLE SKILL IN THE ENTIRETY OF LEAGUE OF LEGENDS, NOTHING AT ALL IS AS IMPORTANT AS KNOWING HOW TO FARM.
If you feel that you don't know how to farm, you need to practice. Ask yourself right now: Do I know how to farm well? Can I farm confidently?
If the answer is no, or even if the answer is "I don't even know what farming is", then follow the steps below. I'm gonna make the font bigger in this section because it's ******* IMPORTANT.
READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY, DESPITE THE LENGTH.
Firstly, let's discuss the term "CS". CS is short for creep score or creeps slain. A creep is a slang term for a minion or monster. In this game, minions pour out of both teams' bases. They meet in the middle of the map and fight each other.
They actually do this in such a way that they will finish each other off just in time for the next wave of minions to meet in the exact same spot. So theoretically, if you never kill any of them and the enemy team never kills any of yours, they'll just eternally meet in the middle.
Now.... if you kill one of the enemy's minions yours obviously outnumber the enemy's. So what happens then? Your minions push to the enemy's side of the map because your minions are stronger in number and overwhelm the enemy minions. The more enemy minions you kill, the more your minions push to the enemy side of the map. This is called "Pushing a lane".
Why is this important? The enemy team has a tower in their lane once you get so far towards their side of the map. This tower can and WILL kill you. The only catch is that this tower is dumb. very dumb. It shoots the first thing it sees and doesn't do much other planning. So if the first thing it sees is a minion, it shoots the minion and then proceeds to keep shooting other minions until it is out of minions. THEN it will shoot you. So the entire time it is shooting minions, you can damage it freely without it shooting you. That is how you take enemy towers off the map. Once a tower is down, you can push the lane even further until you're ultimately putting damage onto the enemy nexus, which is how you win the game.
So why would you not want to push a lane as HARD as humanly possible, as FAST as you possibly can?
Well because of enemy junglers and the rest of the enemy team, that's why. Unfortunately, the map has 3 lanes and a dense jungle. If you notice, right in the middle of the map there is a river, and you can't see down that river. If you push the lane far enough, that river is now BETWEEN you and your only escape back to the safety of your tower. Pushing past the river is a good way to get ambushed by someone else on the enemy team.
Likewise, once you push down the first tower on the map, in order to get to the second one you'll have to cross a point where the enemy's jungle lets out into the lane behind you AS WELL as having that river between you and your escape. That's a good way to get ambushed, or "Ganked". Gank is slang for ambush. The further you push a lane, the higher chance you have of getting ambushed unexpectedly. By the way, ambushing is the jungler's job. It is his purpose in the game. So if you're thinking "I would see one of the other lane players leave their post on my map"... yes, that is true. But you'll never see the jungler coming because he doesn't play in any of the lanes. He remains hidden and is always looking for somebody to ambush.
This is why you don't want to just be continually attacking the enemy minions. If you do, you'll push the lane very hard and very fast... which will leave you vulnerable.
So the best thing to do is think about the math. If these minions are left to their own devices, they will "freeze" at the river. Each new wave will meet in exactly the same spot in the middle of the map. The less you disturb that, the less they move in either direction. This ideally leaves the minions lined up with the middle of the river and therefore in a safe location to farm them. You still have an escape route if you need one this way.
Now... you may or may not know this, but minions will grant you gold if you land the killing blow on them. If a minion kills another minion you don't get any gold. If you kill a minion, yo get the gold. Gold buys items. Items make you stronger. Being stronger makes you die less and kill more easily. So you want as much gold as you can possibly get and therefore you want to kill as many minions as possible.
So by now you're probably pulling your hair out, right? Kill them, don't kill them, but get gold... SO DO I KILL THEM OR DON'T I? MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!
Yes. You do.
Let YOUR minions do all the work until the enemy minion is JUST about to die, and then land the final blow on it. This disrupts the balance of minions as little as possible and since all you're doing is timing the last hit on the minion, substantially decreases the chance of one of your own minions killing it instead, denying you gold.
You want to get the last hits on minions, not attack them until they die. If you're in front of a minion wave attacking and attacking and attacking and attacking... you are wrong. You are also very likely to be getting much less gold than the person you are against, and you are therefore losing.
So now I know how to get gold from minions without getting ambushed.... Now
Practice makes perfect.
You should repeat this until you can get at least 7 cs per minute of the game. 7 CS per minute is a good "beginner level" farm amount. The goal is 100 CS per 10 minutes. 100 CS per 10 minutes is considered a good farm rate, but nobody expects that of you yet.
Create a custom game.
-Select custom game->Classic->click create game.
-Select summoner's rift
-Add a random password like gbjhds8df7dbeb... just press a bunch of random keys.
-Click create game
-Click start game
There is nobody in the game besides you.
So choose a champion, any champion, it really doesn't matter at all. If you want to learn to farm with ranged champions, choose a ranged one. If you want to learn to farm with melee champions, choose a melee one.
Once you're in game, you're not allowed to buy any items or use any skills.
Once minions spawn, start counting. See how many enemy minions you can slay in a row without any of them dying to your allied minions. Not a single one. If an enemy minion dies to your minions, you start your count over. You should only MISS an enemy minion ONCE for every 8 you successfully slay.
These are guidelines as a beginner. You shouldn't miss ANY in reality... but you're new, so you're still learning. Factually, if you're in the lane near enemy minions, your allied minions shouldn't be allowed to kill ANY of them. Pretty intense huh? You'll get there in due time.
Play to 10 minutes. If you don't have 70 minions slain, you've failed. Exit the match and try again until you can do it.
It may seem tedious or boring, but it is one of the most efficient ways to make you a better player faster than you ever thought possible. Additionally, you won't even have to think about farming, it will just come automatically to you.
So now I can farm like a BaWsS, now what, Riftborne?
Now we add the other variables.
You may have noticed that you aren't alone in most games, unlike farm practice.
Once you can comfortably farm, you should learn how to harass the enemy. Harassing is acting purposely in such a way that punishes the enemy for farming. Basically, you want to make life harder for the enemy. When they come in for a last-hit, smack them with something. Anything, really. Once you hit them, back off immediately to avoid a counterattack and go back to farming.
This is known as "Poking" in the game. That's the term we veterans use for it.
You need to learn good positioning in order to be an effective poker. The idea is that you want to be able to damage the enemy without being damaged yourself. Being that the two of you probably have similar ranges if you're in a lane together, this can be tricky.
Moving around constantly in lane does two things for you. It makes you unpredictable, and it also keeps you from attacking minions until you're ready. If you're not right clicking enough to where you worry about wearing out your mouse buttons, you probably aren't clicking enough.
The object would be to move around randomly while waiting for a last hit, so the enemy can't really predict where you're going. If they happen to step within range of an attack, they also can't anticipate your attack based on the direction you're moving because you AREN'T moving in a consistent direction.
What would be easier to avoid? Someone walking up to you un-obstructed with a gun in their hand? Or someone walking on the other side of the street that shoots at you with their gun still in their pocket from behind a mailbox?
Don't make what you're ABOUT TO DO obvious to the enemy with your motions. Be a total spaz. Be someone that they worry about the mental integrity of. Run in circles. Pace back and forth. Move up and down the lane. Do whatever you can to mask your intentions.
Whatever it takes to enable you to safely damage the enemy and get out of their range before they have a chance to react, do it.
If you are successful, you'll literally scare the enemy into losing farm. They'll keep their distance because you be cray cray, and miss CS as their minions destroy yours. Sometimes all it takes is a quick right-click attack. Sometimes you don't even have to use your abilities to poke the enemy. Auto attacks (thats what we call your right-click attacks) may not hurt much, but they're free, they're fast, and they don't cost anything.
Obviously abilities do more damage most of the time, but they also cost mana usually. Save your abilities for when you have a REALLY clear shot at the enemy and you might be able to get MULTIPLE abilities squeezed off on an enemy as WELL as some auto attacks. Save your abilities for REALLY good opportunities. For those quick knee-jerk "only a second to act" pokes... use auto attacks.
So what if they don't get scared, and they start beating back on me?
That's called a trade. That's both players standing their ground.
You can win a trade or lose a trade, it all depends on what information you can gather while it's happening. You should look for 5 pieces of information, and know them at all times.
1.) Are they doing more damage than you are per attack?
2.) How many abilities have they used?
3.) Do they have a potion running?
4.) Are they ahead of you in level?
5.) Are they ahead of you in build?
1.) Watch how much damage they're doing to you versus how much you're doing to them (basically, whose life is going down further, faster?) If you're losing the trade, do what you can to get out of it.
2.) Most champions in the game only have 4 abilities. So if you see them burn 3 of their abilities on you and they still have one... and you're at over half of your health and still have all of your abilities... chances are that the enemy has bit off more than they can chew. It's just like counting bullets in a firefight. Know what the enemy has left to throw at you and you'll have a good idea what they might do in the next few seconds of the fight.
For instance, if they burn Q, E, W on you, and they're over level 6, and you're almost dead... they still have their ultimate, and you need to run. Like now. Like 5 minutes ago.
3.)Look for green swirly glowy dots around the enemy champion. If you see them, the enemy champion has a potion running, and is regaining life slowly. So fundamentally, you're doing less damage to them than they can do to you. NOT a good situation for a trade. You'll probably lose. Back off and wait for the potion to stop.
4.)An enemy which is ahead of you in levels has higher statistics than you do. More health, more damage, more everything pretty much. They're stronger than you. Unless you have a few more kills than they do and a bit more farm than they do, don't even try and fight them. Farm until you catch up in levels.
5.)An enemy which is behind you in levels but ahead of you in build can still beat you. For instance, you have more health than he does and more damage than he does... but what if he has a Vampiric Scepter and you don't yet? He can leech back life on every hit. You can't. He'll outlast you in a fight. You'd lose.
THAT IS WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW THE ITEMS IN THE GAME, AND WHY YOU SHOULDN'T USE GUIDES. Just because guides have told you to build an item doesn't mean you've read what it does or understand what it does. Choosing items yourself teaches you what items have which qualities, since you have to understand them to know whether or not you want them. Over time, you'll simply memorize all of it.
Aaaaand.... what do I do in a losing/winning trade?
Better known as CC in this game. Slows, stuns, fears, roots, snares... all of it. It's considered CC.
If you're losing a fight, there aren't many champions in the game who have absolutely NO form of CC to use. Use your CC on the enemy and RUN. It will help create a gap between you and the enemy. At low levels, you should always be taking Ghost as a summoner spell. Ideally, you'd use your CC on the enemy and you'd hit your button for Ghost and get out of dodge. Get to safety. Usually "safety" means your tower, and once you get there you'll want to get behind it. If you're almost dead with no means to recover, you'll want to recall (press "b") to your base to heal and then head back to your lane. If you have some way to recover (life steal, potions, a support who can heal you) then you'll want to take a moment to recover before engaging again.
If you're winning a fight, the enemy will try to run. You'll want to use your CC to stop them from running in this case. Do not use Ghost unless you strongly feel you won't get the kill unless you use it. You want to try and save Ghost for escaping.
If the enemy pulls you too close to their tower while they try to escape, you need to disengage. Going under an enemy tower is like adding 2-3 opponents to the fight. Its a spectacular way to make sure of your own failure. You'll just have to try again next time.
What summoner spells should I take?
If you'd like some extra CC, feel free to grab Exhaust as a summoner spell.
If you find that the enemy is always getting away with a microscopic sliver of health, grab Ignite as a summoner spell.
If you feel you're always getting screwed over by enemy CC, grab Cleanse as a summoner spell.
If you feel that you're always getting dominated in lane, grab Barrier as a summoner spell.
Never grab Heal as a summoner spell. Barrier does heal's job better. Unless you're a support...
Never grab Clarity as a summoner spell. You need to learn to manage your mana without it, and you need an escape ( Flash or Ghost) and something to help you win trades ( Ignite, Barrier, Exhaust). Unless you're a support...
If you're a support... Heal and clarity are viable options at lower levels, but at higher levels you'll probably want Flash and Exhaust.
As a jungler, ALWAYS TAKE Smite. Always. No exceptions, no matter what.
Ok so the game has gone on for a while and now I have no idea where I shoul
The game has 3 phases.
Lane Phase: Everyone is in their own lanes. Not much wandering going on at all. Almost every fight at this stage is 1v1 or 2v1. The only "visitor" anyone really sees is the enemy jungler.
Essentially in this phase, players are trying to get gold together in any way they can.
What you do in this phase: Do your thing, try and take the enemy's first tower. Try not to get ganked. Kill as many minions as you can, get as much gold as you can. Picking up kills is a huge help if you can pull it off, but try to stay in your lane.
Rally Phase or Mid-Game phase (whichever you wanna call it): People are starting to cross into other lanes, Junglers are becoming more and more present and starting to come out of the jungle, teams are making attempts on dragons and secondary towers. Lots of dueling and 2v2 and 3v2 (if the jungler gets involved) fights. Middle laner is often seen top and bottom.
Essentially in this phase, both teams are rallying for control of the map, trying to get a foothold on a way to siege the enemy base. One team is usually beating the other team pretty hard, thus resulting in one team defending and one team attacking.
GAMES ARE TYPICALLY WON IN THE RALLY PHASE. If the rally phase goes too long, you'll enter late game. Late game is "anybody's game".
What you do in this phase: Try to keep all of the lanes pushed out at least to the river. Take dragon if you can get your team to help you. If you see a lane of yours getting pushed hard, go help it. If you see your team pushing hard on an enemy tower, try and help them push down the tower. Keep tabs on every enemy player on the map and warn your allies if they're about to run into an ambush. Don't push too far out if you don't know where the enemy is. Wards can help you remain safe.
Encourage your support to start warding high-traffic areas in the jungle.
Teamfight Phase or Late-Game Phase (whatever): The entire map is fair game, vision becomes critical to victory, ambushes happen everywhere, and fights tend to be 3-5 versus 3-5 rather than duels or 2v2 fights. Baron becomes a viable way to gain an advantage and control of baron's area becomes a strategic concern. All lanes on both teams are prone to heavy pushing.
A team which was on the verge of losing has recovered enough to get out of their base, and is pissed.
What you do in this phase: Same as the other phases, but it is critical to stay close to your team at all times. As tightly packed as you all can be. A teamfight can break out at ANY time, and if that fight is 4v5 because you're missing, you could cost your team the game.
HOW TO KNOW WHERE TO GO NEXT
Your lane will always be YOUR lane. Regardless of how long the game has gone on. If your lane is handled and in good shape, your job is to help the lane next to you.
If you're middle, this means top AND bottom.
If you're Bottom, this means middle lane and the lower half of your jungle and dragon.
If you're top, this means middle lane and the upper half of your jungle and baron.
Once the enemy puts pressure back on your lane, it's your job to recover it with whatever help is available on the map.
If you're bottom, the jungler and middle lane can help you if they're free.
If you're top, the jungler and middle lane can help you if they're free.
If you're middle, the jungler and either other lane can help if they're free.
If you're the jungler, the lane closest to you should be helping to you, depending on where you are.
Just look at your minimap and see where/how you can help your neighbors. Bottom typically shouldn't go top and top typically shouldn't go bottom... unless ALL of the action is top or bottom lane and there's no reason to be in your bottom or top lane.
For instance... if bottom is pushed all the way out past the river and there are 4-5 people attacking top lane... bottom should go middle and hold middle while the middle lane goes top, and only continue towards top lane if they are truly needed. The reverse is true for top lane.
What else can you tell me?
Go here if you'd like more advanced tips.
I wrote this guide for beginner friends of mine. I don't plan on styling it any further. Please don't bug me about it.