Basics: League of Legends

6 things to know before your first match

League of Legends is one of the most popular games in the world. With over 100 million active monthly players, its fame is continuously attracting new gamers and fans. If you are interested in starting to play League or perhaps you only want to understand the game dynamics, there here is a simple, short, and useful guide for beginners.

The first thing you should know is that League of Legends is a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena), based on strategy and teamwork, where teams two of 5 compete against each other. Seen from the outside, League of Legends can seem very complicated.

Although the goal is straightforward – to capture and destroy the enemy’s base, the number of playable champions, the purchasable perks, as well as the five different positions can seem daunting to first-timers. There are also several maps, but the one used in esports competitions is called ‘Summoners Rift.’

Match Objectives

Compared to other games, some League matches could be eternal, but the typical game lasts between 20 to 40 minutes. Each team has a base, where you can find the Nexus. The Nexus allows the player to control the champions. The objective, then, is to destroy your opponents’ Nexus and protect yours.

The map is mirrored diagonally, where each lane is defended by three turrets and one inhibitor, while the nexus itself is guarded by a pair of turrets (there are a total of 11 turrets throughout the map). Between these lanes, there is the Jungle, which is neutral ground and is home to monsters and potentially deadly creatures. The ultimate goal is to level up, dominate the map, and destroy the enemy’s base.

Champions

League of Legends has over 140 playable Champions

League of Legends has over a hundred different playable champions, each one with their own unique story, playing style, and different abilities. Some champions are better attacking from a distance, others are better in melee fighting, and some are bigger and more capable of taking and inflicting damage. Because of this, some champions are better than others at certain positions.

All players start with their champion at level 1, choosing one of the three basic skills that the character has. In addition to the innate abilities (that define the champions’ playing style), the champions also have basic abilities and ultimate abilities.

The basic skills are intrinsic to and of the champion, meaning that it is not necessary to spend XP to improve or learn them: they improve with the champions level. The ultimate skills, in contrast, can be unlocked at Level 6 and are viewed as the champion’s most powerful, useful and defining skills.

In a more detailed way, to learn skills or improve them, we have to improve our experience level. The experience can be gained by killing minions and monsters, destroying enemy fortifications, and slaying or killing enemy champions.

The goal is to continuously level up so that we are not at a level or experience disadvantage when facing the enemy. An easy strategy to stack up is to take protection under the turrets and grab the experience from the waves of minions.

Positions and Roles

The Five Positions: Jungle, Top Lane, Mid Lane, ADCarry, Support

Throughout your first experiences as a summoner (player), having a specific or dominant position is not very important. But as you level up and start competing more actively, knowing how to play and dominate a particular position is essential. In total there are five positions, each with a specified range in the map.

The Top Laner patrols and controls the upper lane of the map; The Jungler surveys and loots the Jungle; The Midlaner dominates the middle lane; The AD Carry (ADC) and Support usually command the bottom lane. Naturally, some champions are more suitable than others in a specific position. Ideally, all team members should work in symphony to level up, kill enemies, and seize the nexus.

Typically, the ADC does the most amount of damage but is very agile and fragile, which is why it always has the Support by its side, protecting it and helping it get enemy kills. Likewise, The Top Laner is usually a heavy bruiser, tank champion.

Items, Perks, and Equipment

In general, the more experienced a champion is, the stronger and more powerful are its abilities. Both items and equipment can considerably enhance the attributes of our hero. In general, any champion can buy any object, but not all objects are useful for all champions.

For example, a champion who does most of his damage with critical strikes will have to buy items that improve his life steal and attack speed. Or if our champions are more adept on doing massive damage, the ideal option would be to purchase items that enhance the cooldown reduction or increase ability power. During the first games, the game usually recommends the best options.

All of the objects available in the store can be purchased with the gold collected from the map as well from the killed minions, monster, and enemies. Those who give the last shot obtain the gold. So, make sure that your attack is the one actually killing the minions or enemy. The enemy champions also provide a lot of gold.

The Jungle: Neutral Territory

The Jungle is the neutral area that unites the three different lanes and where different monsters live, that will only attack us if we do it first. The jungle is an excellent area to move and ambush rivals. The Jungle is also the home of both the Dragon and the Baron Nashor, which are dangerous monsters that provide massive bonuses and advantages to the teams that defeat them.

The Jungle is also where the majority of the gold and experience can be gained. As a result, the Jungler is of unique and strategic importance throughout the game. He/she maintains a good vision around both the Dragon and the Baron and can support the Midlane champion throughout the match. In other words, having proper control of the Jungle helps your team control the most strategic points of the map and improve the forward momentum needed to win matches.

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