OK, Help Me Get Into League Of Legends

We all have our gaming blindspots. Genres or series we don't know as much, or play as much, as we would maybe like to. Even those of us paid to be around them all day can't play everything. For years I've been content to let one of my biggest - DotA games - slide. I play more than enough games as it is, I'd say, if I ever needed an excuse.

Well, no more. I'm getting proactive this year, pulling myself up by my bootstraps, letting Crusader Kings II and FIFA rest for a while and will be plunging headfirst into the world of League of Legends.

The only catch is, well, I'm about as fresh as virgin snow. So some help would be appreciated.

Seeing as the game has been around for years (and the "genre" even longer), and has such a fiercely competitive scene, I'm a little anxious. I'm also not the type to just go find a FAQ or something, because that's terribly impersonal.

So I'm going to ask for your help instead. What are some genuinely useful tips for a newcomer? One who, for a little guidance, prefers to smash people in the face himself rather than sit back and cast spells like a coward? I'm thinking of the best paths, items, maps, stuff like that.

And if you don't have any tips for a newcomer, then even shouting out with your favourite stuff will be helpful!


    There's really only one piece of advice that I can offer to a newcomer of the MOBA genre: try to avoid dying as much as possible.

    For more advanced tips, I expect there will be more than a few people stepping in any moment now.

      You willing to pay for characters Luke? Or is that considered basically cheating? http://www.kotaku.com.au/2012/04/battlefield-3-dlc-lets-you-pay-to-cheat-basically/

    Play with Friends, many friends, dont die, avoid tower hits, last hit minion's, thats about it, oh and always call missing players.

    Buy the digital edition, it comes with a lot of champions.
    Get good at a Tank and off-Tank, Melee Fighter, Range Fighter, and Magic user.
    Don't bother buying low level runes.
    The game doesn't start to level 30. Start buying level 3 runes at this point.
    Check out Mobafire for builds its the 'league of legends bible'

    It's an awesome game mate, one of those games that you will play flat out for days then leave it alone for a month. But you always come crawling back.

      Don't use Mobafire, use Solomid!

        So much this, avoid mobafire like the plague the guides tend to be rubbish. If you need to learn builds etc go to solomid.

    I picked it up around a year ago in a lull of game releases.
    Its pretty forgiving to new comers. I believe their is a match making system that makes sure players are matched with other of similar skill.

    I didnt play it for very long (got kinda repetative) but was good fun for a while.

    First thing to do is only read the forum if your up for a good loling.

    Seconed, in a normal game, pick a champ you like rather than what the team needs. Normals are not ranked, and don't actully matter out side of the 'Having fun' thing. :)

    Third, ALWAYS hit no to surender, even if you are about to loss. Its just bad manners.

    Froth, Experiment with items on your champ. Unlike DOTA or HoN, LOL champs can be played a few differnt ways most of the time. You will, however, still get the silly people who think there is only 1 way to play champs.

    And finaly, always say BG at the end of a game. As everyone knows, BG means Best Game.

      Don't forget, insult the opponents if they gank you, something along the lines of "Haha, 2v1, you needed 2 of you to kill 1 of me?"

        Don't forget them calling you a noob because you run away from ganks because you put a ward down.

          Don't buy wards, that will slow down your item build. You should just beg / demand your team buy them instead and put them near your lane

        I'd have to disagree with all your points while there is no real need to play meta picking the wrong hero or picking a hero the team absolutely doesn't need ruins everyone elses fun

        When a game can be lost in the first 10 minutes with a truly idiotic team. Having to waste the next 20+ minutes waiting for them to beat you isn't fun

    Well, looks like we'll have an article about League of Legend's community in a week or so.

      LoL dose not have a community. It has a lot of whiners who think that paying money makes them importent, and a few good players.

        I'm fairly certain that was the point of the original comment.
        Not having played LoL, or indeed any games from that genre, I'm also intrigued by this article, and will be following it for some time yet.

        I'm assuming LoL follows the "freemium" construct, as opposed to one-time purchases such as DotA?

          LoL's structure is actually quite good you can buy all the champions with the in game currency you get for victories or you can spend actual money. You can use actual money to unlock skins for your character to make them look different in game.

            Wards? Where we're going, we don't need wards!

            Thanks for the heads up mate, I'll definitely be looking into getting this game, most likely this evening.

            In addition to this, Runes can ONLY be purchased with IP that you earn from actually playing games, so people can't dominate with a full set of runes right from the get-go. Then again, a good rune page doesn't make much difference unless you're a pretty good player ot begin with.

          Purchases unlock Champions permanently (rather than weekly rotating roster), Skins and boosts (in order to gain in game currency faster). There is no real way to pay to win in this game.

          And yes, my comment was jest at the community because Luke is bound to get trolls 80% of his games when starting at the bottom.

            I must say, that last part has raised some alarms, though I dare say I shouldn't be surprised... any multiplayer game with anonymity between users will devolve into a communal cesspool given enough ineptitude, and time.

            I guess I'm just making up excuses again for not getting into it though, right?

              Yeah its quite alarming if you are new to the game, not exactly a nice welcome. The bots do make it somewhat easier on you, but they don't help when it comes to proper PvP.

              Best thing to do is find some people to play with.

                The best bit is playing with people from Kotaku! We are forgiving to all :)


    This comment has been reported for inappropriate content and is awaiting review.

      What is this, high school?
      I've reported this crap.

        This comment has been reported for inappropriate content and is awaiting review.


            learn how to use a href...
            willy wonka meme troll

                Bite me you bastards. Luke can't write an article to save his life so he just republishes the US one's so he doesn't have to do any work. Unlike some of us who work for a living all Luke does it rehash shit that's already been written or done by someone else.

                  Isn't most things in life just rehashing or doing things that other people have already done?

                  You're coming off sad and almost jealous. If you don't like his articles, ignore them.

                  Or are you one of those types that has to protest everything you don't like?

                  As I said previously, I don't mind his articles - they tend to be short and great for when I've got a few minutes to spare to get an update on something. Not everyone is a valiant keyboard warrior like yourself that needs to spread hate.

                  And I'm not going to bite you, it seems like you might have rabies.

      I like Luke's articles, the shorter ones are great during the day when I'm at work and have a minute or so to read something and an article like this is good - I've been wanting to get into LoL as well but the community just seems so aggressive.

      This comic speaks to my perspective of the game: http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2011/06/29

        Cheesus, do you have a website with A+ quality journalism? I would like to visit it some time.

        You will lose when you start playing against other players.
        I started playing LoL at the insistence of a friend, so my first game was a PvP game and I didn't play against bots for the first few months. Bot fights will lull you into a false sense of security, but they can be good to learn how a champions abilities work - both apart and how they synergise with each other.

        Again: you will lose; so make each loss a learning experience. Play matches and watch replays - both whole matches and youtube vids will be useful. It'll become easier to deconstruct your own plays the more you get to know the game.

    1. Pick a few champions you like. Make sure they are of different archetypes (You'll want at least 1 Tank, 1 AD and 1 AP champion)

    2. Play Coop vs AI matches until you are comfortable with all 4 characters. I cannot stress this point enough. Every time I buy a new champ, I test them in 3-4 Coop v AI matches first, to make sure I understand them. If you see someone going in to a PvP match saying "This is my first time playing this champ", 9 times out of ten, they will feed, because they don't understand the champ.

    3. Go to Solomid.net (IMHO better than Mobafire), find a well ranked build guide, read it from top to bottom (don't just look at items and masteries). See what they are saying about how the champ plays. Even two champions of the same archetype will play very differently.

    A few pieces of advice when in game:
    The best skill you can learn is how to last hit, reliably, with each champion. You only get gold for killing minions if your hit is the one that kills it. At the same time, you are safest under your own tower. As such, you want to kill minions without seriously increasing the rate at which minions are killed. The solution: Land 1 hit per minion, and make it the kill shot. Figure out how much damage your hits do to minions, and practice last hitting.
    Killing a champion is worth ~10-15 creeps, and creeps are much easier to kill.

    Secondly, Staying Alive > Killing Opponents. Always focus on your own survival, unless you have a guaranteed kill of a champion who is worth more than you.

    Third, this is a team game. Rely on your teammates, and expect enemies to do the same. Don't chase an opponent into fog of war unless you know where the other 4 are at that time.

    Fourth, if you're doing REALLY terribly (say, 0 kill, 10 deaths), you will give opponents very little gold when you die. At that point, focus on clearing objectives. Kill their jungle creeps, take out turrets, etc. If you die, they get bugger all. You're basically a kamikaze a that point.

      What this guy said.
      Also, Master Yi might be a good champion for you if you want to hit people in the face - cheap and easy to get the hang of.

        Was gonna suggest Master Yi. Maybe Garen too.

    Playing as a team is the most important part of LoL and I think 90% of the fun of playing it. Queueing up a game at low level will miss this entirely. Playing with 2-4 other players who can introduce you the team roles and make the calls about positioning and strategy make learning this game are really great experience. I have been playing for about 2 months and can absolutely recommend playing a ranged champ (ashe or misfortune) with a support on vent as a really good way to learn.

    1) Save in game money for buying a champion called volibear
    2) Buy Volibear
    3) Play all games as Volibear
    4) If you get heckled for playing Volibear type into chat "IMA BEAR"
    5) Profit

    I don't know, I found it really hard to get into this game.
    Because there is no black character that I can relate to.

      But there are literally tonnes of your type ones so you are okay on that front.lol

      Yeah, I found the lack of a crocodile hunter, dropbear and gay stockman really put me off that game.

      Karma is black

    Advice for a newcomer: Don't EVER play MOBA's. They have the worst communities of any genre on the planet. You'll find maybe a few reasonable people and that's about it. 99.9% of the time, you'll want to put your fist through the monitor because every jerk in the genre talks to you like shit and thinks he/she's king of the world.

    It's just not worth the headache ><

      Or you could you know ignore it. I enjoy the genre even if some of the people are terrible. Just gotta play in teams with friends it makes the game much more enjoyable.

        I agree. Friends make the whole game so much better. You don't get community assholes on your own team raging at you.

          Good thing about LoL is that you can click the ignore button. If someone's really being an ass, then just ignore. Then you can play in troll-free bliss.

          That said, I find LoL not so bad - every few games there's a douche, but generally not too bad.

      ummm COD?

    1. Go in AI before you go in normal mode to learn your summoners skills.
    2. Do NOT tower dive!!! Let THEM tower dive you and watch as the tower give you kills.
    3. Map awareness. Ward the bushes in your river to avoid ganks (do not overextend to avoid this too)
    4. If you're going to feed, bait for your team. However feeding in general is just bad.
    6. Kills don't win games, pushing tower does.

    LoL is awesome, hope you have fun <3

    The best thing you can have for starting out LOL is a friend or friends who are just as or close to as new to it as you and who will also voice chat with you. Seriously I wouldn't have gotten nearly as far into LoL if I didn't have one of my friends playing with me while we chatted on skype, we figured stuff out together, started out bad together, ignored the angry better players together and got better at it together. Tried playing DOTA2 a couple of times and just couldn't deal with learning the new things by myself.

      I second this, it is much more enjoyable played with friends.

    Downloaded LoL a few months ago.

    First game: one of our team members kept suiciding purposely into the enemy, making it 4v5 (well, not to mention the additional income the other team received).

    Second game: chat filled with various insults, and despite being second highest scorer, I was declared noob, fag, etc.

    Third ga-- uninstalled.

    I would recommend this if you're serious: http://learntheleague.com/
    It's 20 bucks, but worth every cent, and it has all the beginner's help you need. It's also written by Ciderhelm; you know, the guy who made tankspot.

      Yay! Also, follow Ciderhelm on YouTube (author of learntheleague) - he gives good playthroughs and really good advice for how to play particular champs.

    Morgana OP! Seriously though... Don't die, don't buy runes until 21 and find a character whose style of play you enjoy. Another thing I haven't seen mentioned is start with ranged, preferably AD. Also always read the top MOBA guides for each character. They make a world of difference.

    ^ These above comments for sure!! Most of what I'm saying has probably been said already, but here's my 2 cents.

    Just having friends to play with can give you a dramatic improvement on your win ratio if you care about that sort of thing. Sometimes it's hard to get better alone because people won't give you any constructive criticism at times... But at least with a friend you can help each other improve at a much better rate. A lot of basic things in this game have somewhat high skill cap (IE: Getting 95%+ last hits by 20 minutes is not something your average player can do, but you can learn with dedication, or improving your map awareness while still last hitting!). If you share tricks you learn with your friends you will go a long way.

    If you're going to play solo, you should probably stick to bots for a good while, they aren't very good for teaching you the more important bits of play, but they will get you to level 5 ~ 10 and buy you some of the basic 450 ip Champions to learn. After that you can just jump into PvP,

    I also highly recommend you abuse Win of the Day, even if you just do a quick 20 minute bot match daily, you're going to need all the IP you can get early if you don't intend to buy Riot points.

    And as a last note, don't religiously view just one site; Mobafire, Solomid, Leaguecraft or Lolpro (And the dozens other I've probably missed). All of them have good guides AND bad guides. In this game you need to think for yourself and a guide won't always give you situational advice on item purchases, but they will help you learn tricks with Champions.

    TLDR: If you learn to analyze how you play, you shouldn't ever really have trouble getting better at this game and getting into it. If you have friends this will go by quicker. Don't be afraid to try new things all the time too! (Just not necessarily AD Zilean in a PvP match)

    Don't feed is the biggest tip and all you really need to know to begin with.
    The game is based on leveling up and the quickest and easiest way to level is getting kills. Feeding is dying a lot which allows an enemy champ to level and get more kills which snowballs.
    As opposed to some other games, dealing a big chunk of damage and dying doesn't really help so if you think you might be in danger of dying back off and retreat to your towers.

    The three things that will see the largest gain to do:

    1: learn to last hit minions like a boss. This is by far the single most important aspect to master early. Auto attacking a wave is bad not only because you will miss the killing blows and not make as uch gold, but because it pushes the minion wave toward the enemy tower, which brings me to point 2

    2: Play defensively. Don't chase people into enemy areas unless you know where thier team mates are. Try to let the enemy push thier minion waves toward your tower, this stops the other team organising ganks on you, and makes it a LOT easier to set up a gank on them. If you are close to death, don't hang around, even under your towers. Generally, don't rush into any fight unless you have some sense of map awareness, which brings me to the last thing.

    3: Buy wards. Lots of them. Some good places to put them are the 'tri path' area near the dragon and baron, the outer brush on the top and bottom lanes, the brush opposite the opponents red or blue buff npc's. Generally anywhere that you expect the other team will abuse.

    Wards are also good for dropping into brush in a lane if the other team is harassing from it.

    Doing only those 3 things will make you a better player than over half of the level 30 population.

    watch the champion spotlights videos posted by riot games on their website, they are really well done and are the best source of quick practical usefull information about the champions of your choice and LoL game-play in general, if I where you I'd set some time aside and watch them all.

    Great game, probably the best dota to start on, look at all the champions and pick ones who's abilities you think appeal to you, as previously stated mobafire is your bible when you start out, its a great way to get a handle on the item store. As for ingame strategies i would suggest looking at some youtube guides, if you wanna listen to some good commentary/guides my personal favourite is a guy on youtube called sp4zie, http://www.youtube.com/user/Sp4zie, maybe start on some bot matches as they are a lot easier, and the more you play the better you will become.

    Learn how the other champions function...ALL OF THEM.
    The more you know about what certain champs can do, the better you are at working together with them as a team, or how to counter, avoid, and deal with them during fights.

    Obviously the basic mechanics of the game is learning how to use the skills o f the champion you chose and learning how to last hit minions efficiently. However, prioritising what and when to do something at any given time is what wins you games. The "losing" team can easily win the match by prioritising objectives efficiently. I.E. Which enemy to focus first? When to group up and take a tower? When to defend? Buying items in based on situation. When to take baron? etc etc.

    Damn so many replies beat me to it!

    Flicked through everyone else s advice briefly but in case someone didn't mention these points:
    - Play against some bots a few times to get the champion mechanics down first , everyone hates that guy who picks a champ he cant play and then feeds :(
    - Find a nice item build/guide from the number of sites mentioned
    - Try not to get too serious , don't try to meta game before you've learnt how to play properly. No point warding (Other than river)/counter jungling/etc. if you cant control the situation.
    - Play more passively : Farm minions , harass them if you can without getting hurt , dont chase kills too far and don't fight them under their tower unless you know their skills.
    - Learn champs abilities! At least try to learn their ultimate's at first because they can change the course of any fight.
    - Start getting some map awareness , nothing sucks more than getting ganked from other lanes because no one called MIA.
    - Have fun :) its much more beneficial to your gaming when you dont RQ over first death!

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