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League of Legends Beginner’s Guide – Learning the basics

League of Legends is a daunting game for any new player that wants to try their hand at it. Let’s take a look at the basics of the game to get your started.

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We’ll be covering normal Summoners Rift games for now but it has to be said League of Legends has a lot of different game modes to try. Most of these basics and mechanics will transfer over in most of these different game modes, except for Teamfight Tactics, which provides a whole new experience entirely.

The big picture

Two teams of five people choose their champions and enter Summoner’s Rift, a playing field made up of three big lanes up top, down the middle and on the bottom. In between these lanes you’ll find a big Jungle, which features monsters that hand out certain power-ups. The lanes are patrolled by minions, which serve as a source of gold for the champions and can help you out when sieging or fighting. Each team has their own base, where you’ll find the Nexus of your team protected by two turrets. Both teams set out to destroy each other’s Nexus to end the game.

Things are made a little more difficult by Turrets, which help out in defending against the enemy, but they can be destroyed. Each lane features two turrets, with one additional turret just within your base. The latter one protects your Inhibitor, which each team has three of. Destroying an enemy inhibitor will result in you summoning additional stronger minions, which walk through the lane every 35 seconds.

Choosing champions

To start things out before entering a match, you’ll have to choose the champion you’ll be playing on Summoner’s Rift. League of Legends assigns a class to each one of their champions, as each individual champion has a different skill set and (wildly) different base stats. These classes are Controller, Fighter, Mage, Marksman, Slayer and Tank. Note that most champions fall in between these classes and there’s no restriction on playing them in any way you want.

So be sure to try a type of champion you like, Tanks tend to be quite forgiving at first, and familiarize yourself with it. A lot of the mechanics you learn will transfer over, but succeeding with different champions requires a lot of knowledge and quite often a different style of play. The professional League of Legends scene has also evolved to the point where champions are designed for certain assignments in lane, which we’ll get into next.

Choosing your lane

Players will then choose the lane they’ll be playing in. The most common, and accepted composition is one player moving to top lane, one in the mid lane, two in the bottom lane and a champion that roams in the jungle and supports the others. Most often this means specific types of champions will move to a lane which suits them.

The top lane most often features more tanky champions with a lot of armor and HP, while the mid lane often harbors hard-hitting and controlling magic users. In the bot lane an attack-damage oriented marksman is placed next to a supportive champion. The jungle is more of a wild card, but most often the focus is on champions who are great at helping out other laners or those who can kill the monsters in the jungle the quickest.

Last-hitting or jungling

Well you’ve arrived at your lane, what to do now? Well, the main objective is to knock down all turrets to reach the enemy base and finish the game, while keeping your opponents at bay. Remember those minions running around? If you score the last hit on them, you’ll receive a share of gold. This gold can be used to buy items to make your champion more powerful or items that make you more useful in a fight in other ways. These items can be bought in the store of your own base.

We could write an entire guide on jungling as it’s probably the most difficult and daunting role to a new League of Legends players. Basically you’ll be taking down the monsters within the jungle and try to provide support to your teammates by ‘ganking’ their lane. This means entering their lane from the jungle and kill (or threaten) the enemy to give your teammates more space and more gold.

The learning game

That’s it for the absolute basics you need to know when just entering the game. There’s a lot more to be said about jungling, objectives on the map and the later stages of the game, but we’ll save those for another time. For now, focus on last-hitting and trying to find a champion that fits you well.

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Image Credit: Riot Games