|This guide is outdated. Please update this guide to reflect recent events or newly available information.|
Installing the game
First of all, create an account using the sign up page. The name you choose for your account will NOT be visible to others when you play. You choose the name that others see at a later point. After creating an account you are redirected to a page where you can download the game. Click the 'Download Game' button. Alternatively you can downloaded it here. Follow the instructions on the screen and be patient. League of Legends is a large program, so it can take a long time to download! When the download finishes, follow the instructions on the screen to install the game.
After a while, you should witness the 'League of Legends' launcher icon pop up in your chosen installation directory. Run it and let the game patch to the current date. As with the download itself, this may take quite a while, depending on your connection. After it is done, you may finally press the big and orange 'Play' button to open the PVP.net client. The screen that greets you will change from time to time as the login screen is updated with each new champion release and major event. Enter your account information that you registered with to login.
A window should pop up asking you to pick a summoner name - this is the name that people will recognize you for while playing. As it cannot be changed without a small transaction of money, you should choose this wisely! In order to start playing, you also need to pick an icon. Unlike the name, an icon can be freely changed at any time by clicking its picture in the top right corner.
"Summoner" is the players in-game avatar. Each is defined by a name and an icon. The summoner represents the persistent part of the game, as every match starts from scratch. With every battle you take part in, the summoner will gain Experience and Influence Points. Experience (EXP) are used to level up, while Influence Points (IP) are the game currency used to unlock champions and runes. Each level until 30, the summoner gains one mastery point and one rune slot.
The game client
Unlike other games, a match does not directly effect the next one and not being effected by the last one. The things that are, however, is your summoner progress which can be viewed in the client. In it, you can see your level or ranking, owned champions, chat with other summoners, match history and more. The specific options will be detailed below.
The default page you land in when you log in. On the top, you should see the big red "Play" button. Using it, you may pick the desired mode and enter a queue in case of a matched game or look for a game manually using the custom game feature. The game icon will be displayed on the left, and near it there is an information box in case of an error. It will mostly be empty.
On the right, your summoner basic information is being presented: icon, name, level progress and your amount of currency. The left number indicates your amount of Riot Points (RP), and the right Influence Points (IP). You can use those points in the store - the orange icon below your profile. A more insightful information about your summoner can be seen by clicking on the profile button. The last 2 ones are either lore, which hasn't been updated in a long while, or a basic help.
In the middle, you may see featured high rating matches, the latest news, newly released items and game related videos.
On the bottom, there are your communication methods. The first one is a friends tab, where you can chat with your friends, display a status message and manage your lists.
The second one displays chat rooms. The last tab is the notification center, where you can manage your requests.
The League of Legends Store allows summoners to purchase additional options through Riot Points (RP) and Influence Points (IP). Riot Points must be bought using real money, while Influence Points are earned by playing the game.
- Champions can be unlocked either by spending RP or IP.
- Skins are alternate looks for champions that can be unlocked by RP only, but does not alter gameplay.
- Boosts to IP and XP gain over a period can be purchased by RP only.
- Runes can be purchased by IP only.
- The Gifting Center can be used to purchase champions and skins to your mates using RP only.
Important information about your summoner can be found here. It displays your record of wins and special benchmarks as medals, that evolve as you gain progress. If the summoner plays Ranked games, his most played champions will also appear. Additionally, a small icon on the right should indicate if your First win of the day is available, which upon winning a normal match grants a bonus of 150 IP.
The "Leagues" will not show up unless the summoner plays Ranked games (those are not available until level 30). Once a summoner chooses the play those games, his rating on the ladder will appear.
In the match history tab you will able to see the 10 last games that have been played by the summoner. Information such as which champion has been played, score, game mode, items build and so will appear. If you'd like to learn a specific summoner his history tab is a good way to start.
This tab will feature the full champions list. Currently, there are 136 different champions, each with unique characteristics and abilities. Each champion is tagged with certain roles such as 'tank', 'fighter', 'mage' or 'support' to describe their play style.
In a match, each summoner controls a single champion from their available pool. An owned champion, one that you may summon, appears colored. At the start you will not have any champion, but do not worry - there is a Free week Champion rotation! Each week, beginning at Tuesday, 10 unique champions will be temporarily unlocked and marked with a sign near their portrait. That way, summoners are able to experience champions they are not familiar while not fully committing to them.
The tremendous amount of champions may be a little overwhelming at first, but the great selection allows each summoner or player find his own niche of playstyle.
Runes and Masteries
Both of those categories are in-game bonuses that can only be organized outside of it - which means that those are mainly playstyle and preference related. The bonuses may appear small at first but they stack up nicely. In a scenario, they may be the difference between life and death!
This system is a little bit more difficult to fully optimize. Runes are generally categorized into Marks (offensive), Seals (defensive), Glyphs (utility) and Quintessence (all-purpose). They are also grouped into 3 tiers of power ordered by the summoner's level. Runes can be unlocked with Influence Points only in the Store, and must be placed in the Runebook in order to be beneficial. The Runebook has limited number of slots for each rune type. The book has two pages, though more can be purchased, allowing several different rune setups to be available.It is generally recommended to avoid purchasing runes at all until you are more familiar with the game, else they may turn up as a waste of points.
The perks related system is grouped into three categories: Offensive, Defensive and Utility. You gain one point per level, which eventually stack up into 30 points. Masteries can be re-distributed freely in your summoner profile and during champion selection, so do not fear a single point mistake.
Summoner spells are powerful abilities that can be used in-game without a relation to your played champion. They are unlocked at certain levels, even though it does not hints their power. You may pick your spells only during champion selection, so choose carefully. In-game, those spells carry a high cooldown, but powerful abilities since the champion normally does not carry those.
You may configure those if you find yourself using a unique build a lot, and would like to have it ordered. Not much to explain, really.
Before the flood of information begins, each summoner needs to understand that each every match starts from a scratch, and the result of one will not effect the next or the previous one.
Starting a Game
In the client, press the red 'Play' button and select your desired game type. There are quite a lot modes to pick from, but it is recommended to stick to classic Co-op vs AI 5v5 Beginner matches until you get a good grip of the game. As you get into the game queue, the matchmaking system will look for other people in order to get enough players. When a match will be found, accept it in order to get into champion selection.
Champion SelectionOn this screen, a summoner is able to pick his game setup. This includes his champion, summoner spells, runes and masteries. After one is satisfied with his pick, he may lock in. Once a pick has been locked, he can no longer change his champion, but he may keep changing the other tabs and skins (if owned).
The selection screen is split into three parts:
- On the edges, there are the summoners from each team. There, it is able to see your team champions and spells picks, but not the enemy team ones. Once a summoner locks in his area will gray out.
- In the middle, there are the selections. The summoner's champion pool is displayed on the top, while the scale below shows the other choices, together with the 'Lock In' button.
- The chat is displayed at the bottom. There, a summoner can chat with his team before the match starts. Common uses include calling out roles, discussing a strategy about the upcoming game or just chatting for fun.
After everyone is ready, the selections window will close and the loading screen will open. There you will be able to see your enemies names, champions and summoner spells, and a loading progress. Once everyone finishes to load, the match starts.
The goal of each match is to destroy the opposing team's Nexus. It is done (except in the Dominion game mode) by destroying the previous buildings in that base. An example is provided on the map called "Summoner's Rift." It contains two bases in opposite edges of the map. There are three lanes connecting those bases, and an area called "The Jungle" in between them. Every thirty seconds a wave of minions will advance down those three lanes until they reach an enemy. In each lane there are three turrets for each side - powerful defensive structures that hit close enemies. To advance further down the lane, the most outer turret must be destroyed. After the third turret, each lane contains an inhibitor, which upon its destruction summons more powerful minions down that lane. After five minutes a broken inhibitor will respawn, and the stronger minions will stop spawning. While an inhibitor is down, the Nexus turrets can be accessed, and upon their destruction to eventually be able to take down the Nexus and win the game.
"Laning" is a phrase commonly referring to the starting phase of the game. The laning phase consists of one to two members selecting a "lane" (the pre-scripted path where your AI controlled minions path) in order to maximize experience gain among the team. During the laning phase players usually focus on gaining gold and experience through creep kills and slaying enemy champions. The laning phase is considered over when the outer turret of either team is taken, as it becomes dangerous to venture ("push") farther into enemy territory. It is at this time that it is generally considered beneficial to meet up with the rest of your team and help take their outer turrets.
During the initial laning phase, champions often use the brush to deceive players into feeling safe. Curious players often wander into brush to check for opposing champions. This can be dangerous and is not recommended unless you are willing to blow defensive summoner spells to survive a worst-case scenario. Alternatively, can be used to check the brush without putting yourself in danger.
Gaining first blood is a strong benefit to any champion as it's worth in gold is almost that of two champion kills. To maximize your chances of gaining first blood it is usually beneficial to balance your lanes out (using Summoner's Rift as a reference). If the option presents itself, it is strongly recommended that you ensure each lane has a ranged champion. Ranged champions can freely harass melee champions to prevent them from attacking creeps to gain gold. In general, melee champions are required to put themselves in compromising positions when they go in for creep kills, leaving them open to attacks from the enemy team.
Displacement (, ) and stun ( , ) skills are invaluable during the laning phase due to the widespread use of and the relatively narrow distance between the initial two turrets. With the lack of any stun or displacement your only hope for getting a kill during the laning phase is that the other team overextends and leaves themselves compromised enough for you to take advantage.
It is highly recommended that newer players take high regen/survivability starting items to help them stay in the lane and maximize gold/experience gained during this phase. Items like this includeand . Because of the increase in the values of mana regen in League of Legends in relation to other MOBAs, it is often recommended that ranged champions/mages pick up mana regen ( to let them cast spells more freely. Regardless of your item purchases, if you can afford a potion when you leave the base you should definitely bring one along.
Ganking is the term used when a group of champions ambush enemy champions. Ganks are usually orchestrated in brush as the laning champions let the enemies push further from their own turret, thus giving the enemies more distance to cover for an escape. Junglers tend to use ganking to their advantage because of their non-stop movement. After a turret is taken down, the champions that took out the turret commonly begin ganking other lanes; because sometimes, it is too dangerous to push to the next turret. If the champions were to push the lane anyway, they would need the durability and escape mechanisms to survive a potential gank.
"Minions" refers to the expendable units that each Nexus spawns and sends towards the enemy. They move on predetermined paths, and have the singular goal of destroying the nearest enemy minion, turret, inhibitor, and Nexus. Correct utilization of both your opponents' minions and your own is a major key to victory.
Minions primarily serve as your main source of Experience. Every enemy minion that dies will reward all nearby champions with a set amount of experience, split evenly amongst all allied champions in the area. Due to the fact that the experience is split amongst champions, it is advantageous to have champions split between all the lanes, so that they all receive experience at a decent rate and do not become underleveled as time goes on.
In addition to experience, enemy Minions can provide a large amount of Gold to champions. Every time a champion slays a minion by landing the "Last Hit," they will receive a small amount of gold, the amount of which is determined by the type of minion slain and the amount of time the match has gone on. If you carefully time your abilities and attacks in order to gain this gold, you can quickly afford powerful items from the shop.
Finally, one should utilize their own minions in order to further their own team objectives. While individually, a minion cannot accomplish very much, their numbers are great enough that when a champion helps them to "Push" to an enemy Structure, they can both deal a respectable amount of damage. In the laning phase, minions can also deal a decent amount of damage to enemy champions, but since there is currently no way to issue orders directly to minions, they aren't likely to directly attack your foe unless provoked or left with no other target.
In addition to each teams minions, there are a variety of neutral monsters that spawn in each teams' jungle area. These monsters can be slain for gold and experience, and several of the more powerful monsters can be slain in order to gain beneficial buffs. Additionally, Vilemaw, Dragon, and Baron Nashor can be slain to grant rewards to the entire team.
Naturally, making use of the buffs, gold, and experience available in your team's jungle is beneficial and can be a deciding factor in the outcome of the match. There are several ways to harvest these rewards for your team, but one of the most effective methods is to have a dedicated jungler who will spend the early game roaming about through the jungle and killing the monsters within. As this player will be spending much of his early time battling the statistically powerful neutral creeps, it is often recommended that a new player save learning to jungle for later once some runes and mastery points have been acquired. For more information on jungling and for tips on how to jungle better, please visit the Jungling page.
Turrets, occasionally referred to as Towers, are the main means of defense for each team's Nexus. They possess a high amount of health, armor, magic resist, attack damage, and are untargetable by many spells. Knowing this, it is best not to try to attack one by yourself. Due to the high strength of turrets, they also provide a relative safety-net from your foes. In order to reach the enemy's nexus, at least one lane's turrets must be completely destroyed, as well as the two Nexus Turrets.
Destroying enemy turrets is one of the main goals of the early phase of the game, and that goal becomes more prominent as time goes on. Successfully destroying a turret early on can be a very powerful move, as it will not only move you closer to the enemy nexus, but it will remove your foe's vision and map control for that area, and reward every member of your team, regardless of position or state, with 150 gold.
In general, the best way to destroy a turret is to clear out the enemy minions in a lane while you still have yours, and then have both you and your minions attack the turret, while the minions take the shots for you. Certain champions possess special abilities that help them to push lanes (or , for example) while others possess strong abilities which allow them to deal heavy damage to turrets ( or , for example). While it is certainly not necessary to have champions like these on your team, if you intend to have a strategy which revolves around pushing lanes, this can be beneficial.
Inhibitors serve as a secondary defense for each team's Nexus. When an opponent's inhibitor has been destroyed, your team will spawn a Super Minion in each minion wave for that lane. These Super Minions have dramatically increased health, armor, and damage, and almost guarantee that a lane will push further, or at least occupy one or more of the enemy team's champions.
Inhibitors cannot be damaged until all the turrets in its lane have been destroyed, so it can be considered a "Last Defense" of sorts. However, the inhibitor itself has no armor or magic resist and does not deal damage, so it is significantly easier to destroy without the help of a large minion wave. This being said, the inhibitor regenerates it's health over time, so it is often necessary to fully commit to destroying it when the chance is available. Finally, the inhibitor is the only structure in the game which can respawn once it's health has been depleted. So do your best to make additional progress after it has been destroyed, or the enemy team may be able to defend it long enough to prevent any additional damage to their base.
The Nexus is the giant floating crystal in center of each team's base, located just in front of the summoning circle. The goal of each match is to destroy your opponent's nexus while protecting your own.
In the Classic game mode, destroying the enemy team's nexus first requires the destruction of an entire lane of Turrets and Inhibitor, and the additional Nexus Turrets. After this has been accomplished, as long as one inhibitor is down, the Nexus itself can be attacked. When you have reduce your enemy's nexus to zero, the game will be over, and you shall be declared victorious. The Nexus does, however, regenerate health over time, and because it is directly next to your foe's Summoning Circle, they will almost always be able to defend it quickly, so it is best to either have a very large minion and superminion wave present, or to have multiple members of your team there attacking it. Keep in mind that harassing opponents around their Nexus will be largely ineffective, as they will most likely be able to walk into their Summoning Circle to heal, so do your best to direct all attention to the Nexus itself if you desire a speedy victory.
In the Dominion game mode, each team's Nexus is untargetable by the opposing team at all times. Instead, the enemy team's nexus takes damage when certain conditions are met, most notably, when you control of more Capture points than your opponent. The more of the 5 points on the map that you can control, the faster your opponent's nexus will take damage, though if both teams hold an equal number of points, neither nexus will take damage.
In both game modes, destroying the enemy's nexus requires cooperation and coordination from the whole team, and at times, sacrifices. If your death has brought your team inevitably closer to victory, feel free to inform your foes that it was "Worth it."
- Mia or SS
- Missing in Action or missing, a term used when an enemy champion is not longer in their lane. This helps to prevent allied champions from being ganked.
- AoE is a term used to mean Area of Effect. A good example is Amumu's Ultimate, Curse of The Sad Mummy, which has an AoE, meaning instead of hitting ONE target, it will effect multiple targets within the AoE attack range.
- CC is a common abbreviation used for Crowd Control. An example of crowd control is Anivia's Glacial Storm, which slows enemies inside an AoE.
- Proc is a word used to mean special procedure, used in LoL with an item such as phage. Phage has a movement speed boost upon attacking or killing an enemy. This is considered a proc.
- Top is a term used to refer to the top line on the map. Example: "Mia Top", This term means that the enemies that were on the top line now are missing.
- Mid is a term used to refer to the middle line. Example: "Mia Mid", This term means that the enemies that were on the Middle line now are missing.
- Bot is a term used to refer to the bottom line on the map. Example: "Mia Bot", This term means that the enemies that were on the Bottom line now are missing.
The Summoner's Code. is a guideline of healthy and productive behavior when playing, and describes how a responsible and sportsmanlike player acts.