When you start to play League of Legends, you are introduced to a short tutorial. In it, the game shows you how your champion, other champions, minions, and towers work. Yet, it falls short for most of the players, as it doesn’t explain items, runes, summoner spells, types of damage… As such, LOL players have two options: play the game as much as they can or look for guides online. You’re probably here looking for the second one, so here are 10 League of Legends tips and tricks for beginners.
Stick with a champion or two at first
When you start playing League everything can get overwhelming pretty fast. You have to learn how to move, attack, dodge, survive, how to buy the correct items… So, learning how to play more than one champion at the beginning is very tough. Each champion’s set is different in every way, and they have different strengths and weaknesses. There are players that have been trying to completely master a champion for years, don’t expect to get them in a day.
So, it is better if you try a bunch of champions and continue playing the ones that you have the most fun with. I’d suggest you try the champions that are free on rotation, which changes every week. This way, you can try 16 different champions and look for the perfect fit. Also, new accounts have 11 different free champions to choose from (until they reach level 11). Finally, if you fancy ARAM, there are another 65 different free-to-play champions for you to try in the game mode.
Don’t overcomplicate: copy your runes and items online
At the start, League of Legends has too many in-game characteristics that are confusing. So, you don’t need to add more by trying to understand which runes (a kind of specific buffs for your champion that you can choose from before the game starts) and items are appropriate for every situation. You can try, but it will surely confuse you a lot. What is AD (attack damage)? What is AP (ability power)? Can I build this on my champion? Which runes do I choose?
There are just too many options and too little explanation. That is why this League of Legends tip is about keeping it simple. Then, while you learn what each rune and item does and when you can build it, I suggest you use a third-party app or website to get your runes and items. You just have to search for the name of the champion you will play + “runes” or “items” and copy them. Some very good options are Mobafire, Mobalytics, and my personal favorite, U.GG. It is even easier if you have an app downloaded. It runs in the background and lets you import your runes automatically. Some also show which items to build, which abilities to max first…
Don’t give too much thought to roles
Roles in LOL are important, but when everyone is starting to play the game, they are somewhat irrelevant. Everyone plays what they want in the role they want and just tries to learn. You can’t even play jungle properly until level 9, which is when you unlock smite (the needed summoner spell for the role). As you can’t play jungle, instead of the usual 2 players bot, 1 mid, 1 top, and 1 jungle, you have 2 players bot, 1 mid, and 2 top.
In summary, everything’s chaos, and everyone is trying to play their own game. There are no proper rules other than trying not to die and trying to win. Then, do that! Don’t think too much about “oh, but this champion is supposed to go in toplane, not midlane”; just play what you fancy and have fun doing so.
Don’t punish yourself too much for dying
Up until this point, the League of Legends tips have focused on making things easier for you, but from now on, things are going to get tougher. These tips are for players that want to heavily improve in the game, not just to have it easier.
In LOL you are going to die a lot, especially at the beginning. And you’d be forgiven to think “well, that’s bad, if I die I lose”, well yes but no. You see, in most video games, dying means losing, but not in League. You can win a game even if you end up with a score of 2 (kills)/18 (deaths)/5 (assists); you just have to see what TheBausffs does (don’t try it at home though). So, yeah, don’t be too hard on yourself if you die a few times under the enemy tower; but also don’t purposefully run to the enemy’s base and kill yourself, you’ll get a bunch of insults and bans.
You will get the hang of it while you play, but you want to be in the space between “disconnected” and “inting” (making bad plays and killing yourself as much as possible on purpose). Although it is hard to find, especially when you get the hang of a champion and limit-test your way into a 0/10 score.
Try to focus on objectives
One of the best and hardest League of Legend tips in this guide. As said before, you don’t win games just by killing enemies, you need objectives. Now, what are objectives? Well, objectives are important strategic points on the map. This includes towers, inhibitors, the nexus, and jungle camps like Drakes, Rift Herald, and Baron Nashor. These are the ones that win you the games (especially the nexus, which if you destroy you literally win).
So, yeah, you guessed it, the goal is to destroy the enemy’s nexus. For that, you need to destroy the towers and inhibitors that stand before it first. The other objectives exist to ease your way into it:
- Baron Nashor buffs you and your minions to deal more damage to towers, inhibitors, and nexus.
- Rift Herald charges onto towers, inhibitors, and nexus and deals a ton of damage to them.
- Drakes buff your stats (such as resistances or damage) so you have an easier time fighting and destroying objectives.
Of course, if you are able to ace the enemy team, you will have an easier time destroying objectives. Yet, you can do so without ever killing an enemy. In the end, whoever destroys the nexus first wins, even if they have inted for 40 minutes.
Watch experienced players play
One of the best ways to improve in LOL is to watch better players actually play the game. Experienced players know their way into the game, so they can teach you a thing or two. But don’t just copy them, implement them into your gameplay. Think, why are they doing this? Why are they putting a ward there? Why did they walk there instead of here? Little details like those matter and some might win you a bunch of games. Then, implement these ideas in your gameplay and you will start to see very good results.
This is especially significant and efficient if you watch better players who play your champions. They will probably show specific tricks, weird builds, strategies, and tutorials that are mostly unknown. That way, you can start to play said champions to their max potential.
(Video by ACE Ezreal)
This video is a good example of what I’m talking about, as the player discloses important info about the champion while they play it. The video may not be a guide, but he explains tricks and says why he does most of the things he does.
Now we are getting serious. League of Legends has a lot of customizable options in its menus, and a lot of them can generate advantages for you. The problem is the game never walks you through them, so let’s check some options that can help you improve your gameplay.
Optimization LOL tip: activate player-attack move click
Every player and every champion in the game needs to auto attack (AA) properly, sometimes it is your main source of damage. Yet, if you do not bind this option you need to aim at something with the mouse and then auto attack. If activated, you’ll only need to press a key and then move. This increases your damage output and allows you to move (and dodge) easily in between auto-attacks. Also, mastering this is a must-have for any ADC (AD carry) player, so you’ll want to start learning as early as possible. To activate it head to “settings” → “hotkeys” → scroll down to “player movement” and bind any key you want to the “player attack move click” option. Now, every time you press it your champion will AA the closest enemy, while you are free to move the champion to reposition better.
Optimization LOL tip: activate timestamps
When an enemy uses an important summoner spell (special abilities with long cooldowns that are chosen before the game), it is important to keep track of it. That way, you’ll be able to know when they will have it up again and play around it. You can easily do this with timestamps, as they show the time of your pings on the chat. So, when the enemy uses a summoner spell, press tab and click it on the champion who used it. Then, to check it, scroll upwards and see how much time has passed. For this to work, you need to know the cooldowns of summoner spells (which might take you a while). Yet, it is a lot easier than going in blind. In order to activate it, go to “settings” → “interface” → then scroll down all the way to “chat” and click on “show timestamps”.
Optimization LOL tip: turn on quick cast
Quick cast is a bit weirder than the last ones, but it basically speeds up the time in which your abilities “go out”. If you don’t have this option activated, your abilities will show with an indicator when you click them, but they will not activate. For it, you’d have to click again. With quick cast, you only have to click once! And you can even keep the indicator for specific abilities you find hard to land. To activate quick cast go to “options” → “hotkeys” → “quick cast all”. If you want to use quick cast with indicators go to “options” → “hotkeys” → scroll down to find “abilities and summoner spells” → then scroll to “quick cast with indicator” and select with hotkeys you will align with which abilities.
Optimization LOL tip: unlock your camera
This is one of the hardest League of Legends tips to get used to, but one of the best. When you play the tutorial in LOL you can’t unlock your camera, even if you try. It’s very easy to get used to it. However, this can handicap you later on. A lot of things are constantly happening around the map, and you need to check them. Especially if you have a global ability (one that covers the whole map) that can turn around the fight in your favor. Yet, this is difficult to do with a locked camera. So, the earlier you unlock yours, the easiest it will be to check the map later on. To unlock your camera you can press “Y” in-game (the button to toggle camera lock). If you want to change it, simply head to camera control, placed in the “hotkeys” section of the “options” menu.
Learn how to farm and control waves properly
In LOL you can get ahead of an enemy in three ways: in gold, in XP, and in objectives. Well, farming is the main source of the first two and is essential to get the third. It is one of the most important aspects of the whole game. If you know how to farm and control waves, you can easily win every laning phase (the state of the game at first, when the players are separated in lanes) and get priority for every objective.
(Video by ProGuides Challenger League of Legends guides)
Of course, farming is different with every champion, but there are some common tips that apply to most champions in the game:
- Try to last-hit (give the killing strike to a minion) using everything you have in your arsenal. Use both auto attacks and abilities to farm as much as possible. Sometimes you can even use low cooldown ultimate such as Lux’s or Miss Fortune’s to effectively farm a wave quickly.
- Try to farm the waves outside of your tower range. Farming under towers is pretty difficult and even unpredictable. To avoid that you can either hard push (push as fast as possible) so that your wave crushes on the enemy’s tower or freeze. Freezing takes place when both minion waves have the same number of minions of each class (ranged, melee and canon).
- A good rule of thumb for when you don’t know what to do is to always try to crash your wave into the enemy’s tower. In the worst cases (you die), the enemy’s wave will be pushing towards you, so you’ll have available farm when you respawn. In the best of cases, you can go help your jungler, get platings or poke the enemy to death.
Try and learn from your mistakes
This League of Legends tip might sound too basic, but it can arguably be the most important of them all. Most often than not, LOL matches are decided by mistakes. It is more common for a team to commit various mistakes than a player pulling off a 1v9. So, in case you make mistakes, try to learn from them. Think “What did I do wrong?”, “How could I have improved in that play?” Then work on the things you think need improving. If you keep doing this in your games, you will improve a lot faster and end up choosing correctly unconsciously.
Read everything that has a definition
The last League of Legends tip, and probably the most tedious, is to read. To properly play the game you need to know what each part of the game does. This includes champion abilities, items, runes, summoner spells, monsters… If you read your champion’s abilities before actually playing, you will know what each key does, so you will use them as best as you can.
This applies to everything in the game. If you know the enemy’s abilities, you know how to play against them; if you know what an item does, you will know when (and when not) you have to build it. This way, you will be able to understand the game to the max. Also, this will allow you to save time when playing, as you will retain the information you gained. Less time to think about what a champion does = more time to think about how to beat them.