This is the Beginner's Guide Project Page for League of Legends, the first game of Riot Games Inc. It covers the basics of the game, starting before the creation of an account.

Installing the game

Creating an account

In order to download the game you need to create a free account in the League of Legends website. Do so in 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.

Downloading the game

After creating an account you are redirected to a page where you can download the game. Click the 'Download Game' button. Alternatively click here to download the game. Follow the instructions on the screen and be patient. League of Legends is a large program, so it might take a long time to download, depending on your internet speed. When the download finishes, follow the instructions on the screen to install the game.

Login
Updating the game

Once the installation is completed, run the game. The game displays a screen with a picture related to some current champion or event, a login form, and a progress bar that indicates that the game is being updated. Downloading and installing the update might take a while. You can wait until the update is completed or you can login straight away. To do so, enter the information that you used to create your account.

Picking a Summoner name

Once you login a dialog pops up asking you to pick a summoner name. In the world of League of Legends you play the role of a summoner that summons champions to battle in the fields of justice. Your summoner name is the name that other people will see (as opposed to your account name). Your summoner name can be changed, but doing so costs a lot of money, so choose it wisely! In order to start playing, you also need to pick an icon. Unlike summoner names, icons can be changed for free at any time by clicking them in the top right corner of the game client.

Your Summoner

"Summoner" is the players in-game avatar. Each is defined by a summoner 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. Gaining experience (EXP) eventually lead to a level up, while Blue Essences (Blue Essence BE) are the game currency used to unlock champions. Blue Essences are obtained by disenchanting champion fragments in Champion Capsules, that are obtained while leveling up. The First Win of the Day mission also grants some Blue Essence BE. There is no summoner level cap.

The Game Client

In League of Legends, each match is independant of every other match, meaning that you will not directly gain progress from playing a match. You will earn experience when upon playing games. Your summoner progress which can be viewed in the client. In the client, you can see your level or ranking, owned champions, match history, you can also chat with other summoners, and more. The specific options will be detailed below.

Home Page

"Play" menu

The default page you land in when you log in. On the top left, you should see the blue "Play" button. Using it, you may pick the desired mode and enter a queue in case of a matched game, look for a game manually using the custom game feature, or even train by playing the tutorials.

Social menu

On the right menu, your summoner basic information is being presented: icon, summoner name, custom message, and notifications. You can also see your club, if you have one, your list of friends, and list of people you recently played with. At the bottom right of the client you can see three buttons: your messages, your missions, and "Report a Bug". The current version of the game is also shown at the bottom right of the client.

Client

Game Client

Amount of RP/BE

You can see your amount of currency next to the social menu. The left number indicates your amount of Riot Points (RP RP), and the right Blue Essences (Blue Essence BE). You can use Riot Points and Influence Points in the store. A more insightful information about your summoner can be seen by clicking on the "Profile" button.

Home Page

On the home page, in the "Overview" tab, you may see current events, and most recent champion or skin released. On the top right part of the home page, a "Free Champion Rotation" can be clicked to show currently free champions. The champion rotation occurs every week, usually on the begining of the week. The "News" tab shows all news, and future changes planned. The "Patch Notes" tab shows you the lastest patch information.

Summoner Profile

You can access to your profile information by clicking "Profile" in the top part of the home page.

Collection

You can also see all the champions, skins, emotes, runes, summoner's spells, and item sets you have in the "Collection" tab in the top part of the home page.

Summoner Profile

Profile

Summoner Profile

Your profile is separated in differents tabs. The "Overview" tab shows your current summoner level, your currently activated expericence boosts, if your First win of the day is available (which upon winning a normal match grants a bonus of Blue Essence 50 and 400 XP), your ARAM rerolls, and the number of available Hextech Crafting chests you can obtain. In the "Overview" tab you can also see your current Honor level for this season, your most mastered champion, and your current rank in ranked games (which are only available from summoner level 30).

The "Match History" tab shows your last 20 played matches, with, eventually, the option to download a Replay a the game, so you can watch it again. This tab also shows some stats, based on the last 20 played matches: your 3 most played champion, and what type of champion you most play.

The "Ranked" tab, is only available at level 30, and shows your league information.

The "Clubs" tab shows information about the clubs you're in, like who's the Owner, Officer or Member of the club, and when they joined the club.

The "Highlights" tab shows all the Highlights you made by pressing the red button while in a Replay. You can watch the Highlight while in the client or directly from your computer, by clicking on the "Show Highlight in file browser" button, and the playing the .webm file.

Collection

Collection

Champion collection

Your Collection is also separated into different tabs. The "Champions" tab shows all the champions in the game. You can search for a specific champion by typing their name in the search bar. You can also filter champions based on if you have them, or by other criterions, such as their role. You also have the option to sort the champions by alphabetical order, by highest mastery, or by most recently played.

Skins

Skin tab

The "Skins" tab shows all the champion skins you have. Here you can sort all of your champion skins by sets, tier, purchase date, release date, champion mastery.

Emotes Loadout

Emote Loadout

The "Emotes" tab shows all the emotes your have. Emotes are expressive images primarily used as cosmetic flares. Emotes typically present champions with popular expressed emotions. Emotes can be obtained on The Store with RP RP while some others can be obtained with events or missions.

The Timeless (Preset)

Example of Preset Rune page

The "Runes" tab shows your rune pages. You can create two rune pages by default, and there are five default rune pages that cannot be edited. You can buy additional rune pages at the Store for Blue Essence BE or RP RP. Runes are split into five Paths: Precision icon Precision, Domination icon Domination, Sorcery icon Sorcery, Resolve icon Resolve, and Inspiration icon Inspiration. There is 12 runes per path, for a total of 60 runes; all 60 runes are all available at summoner level one. A rune set is a primary path and a secondary path. You cannot select the same path twice. You can select 4 runes from your primary path and 2 runes from your secondary path. Runes increase your champion's stats and give them unique effects.

Spells

Spell tab

The "Spells" tab shows all Summoner spell, the summoner level needed to unlock them, and their effect. Summoner spells are powerful abilities that can be used in-game. You may pick your spells only during champion selection. In-game, those spells carry a high cooldown, but powerful abilities since the champion normally does not carry those.

Items

Items tab

The "Items" tab shows all the item sets you have created, and the default recommended item sets. You can create, modify and delete item sets freely. Once in a game, with the specified champion and map, your custom item set will show up. The point of item sets is to waste less time in the shop searching for the items you want.


Loot/Hextech Crafting

Loot - Hextech Crafting

Loot - Hextech Crafting

This page shows you all the materials, champion shards, skin shards, ward skin shards and summoner icon shards that you currently have. You can obtain chests, keys, capsules, and more through The Store, or by playing the game and receiving Honor rewards. Chests can be obtain by playing a game with a score of S- or more (either you or one of your teammate) on a champion that didn't grant you a chest before. Some game-events can reward you with special currency that can buy their own exclusive skins, icons, etc.

On this page you can also manage your level 5 mastery or more champions. Upon reaching level 5 mastery on a champion, you will unlock Mastery 6 tokens for this champion. To earn such a token, you'll need to play a matchmade game with a score of S- or more. Once you have two tokens, you can purchase your level 6 mastery by consuming Blue Essence 3250 Blue Essences and your 2 tokens. For champion mastery 7, you'll need to repeat this process but with a score of S or more, with 3 tokens, and Blue Essence 3900 Blue Essences.

The Store

Store

The Store

The League of Legends Store allows summoners to purchase additional options through Riot Points (RP RP) and Blue Essences (Blue Essence BE). Riot Points must be bought using real money, while Blue Essences are earned by leveling up.

  • Champions can be unlocked either by spending RP RP or Blue Essence BE.
  • Champion skins are alternate looks for champions that can be unlocked by RP only, but does not alter gameplay.
  • Boosts to Experience gain over a period can be purchased by RP only.
  • Hextech Crafting items can be purchased by RP, and some of them by BE.
  • Ward skins are alternate looks for wards that can be unlocked by RP only, but does not alter gameplay.
  • Summoner icons are cosmetic elements that can be bought through RP (on some rare occasions BE).
  • The Gifting Center can be used to purchase champions and skins to your mates using RP only.

Gameplay

Every match of League of Legends starts from scratch, and the result of one will not effect the next or the previous one.

Champions

There are 139 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 champion rotation. Each week 14 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.

Starting a Game

In the client, press the blue '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 Selection

On this screen, a summoner is able to pick his game setup. This includes his champion, summoner spells, runes. 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 he has any).

Champ select

Champion Selection

The selection screen is split into three parts:

  • On the edges, there are the summoners from each team. You are 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 left. 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.

Match Progress

Summoners Rift Lanes

Summoner's Rift

The goal of each match is to destroy the opposing team's Nexus. It is done 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.

In game

Laning

"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, wards 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 (Rocket Grab Rocket Grab, Fling Fling) and stun (Shield of Daybreak Shield of Daybreak, Gold Card Gold Card) skills are invaluable during the laning phase due to the widespread use of Flash Flash 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.

The alternative to laning is jungling, where a champion avoids the scripted AI paths and kills neutral monsters in either their own or the opponents' jungle. Jungling should be avoided until you reach level 10, which unlocks the summoner spell Smite Smite which is necessary for the biggest part of champions. And even if you have unlocked Smite Smite, you shouldn't go jungling without following a specific route. So remember, jungling in League of Legends is not easy, you shouldn't take it lightly, otherwise you risk getting killed by jungle monsters all the time.

Items

It is highly recommended that newer players buy the "Recommended Items". Items in League of Legends are something that takes a lot of time to understand. Until you understand how the champion statistics work and for what purpose a certain item is built, you should definitely follow the "Recommended Items" build.

Ganking

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

"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" (killing blow), 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.

Jungling

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, Dragon Dragon and Baron Nashor Baron Nashor (Vilemaw Vilemaw on Twisted Treeline) 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. For more information on jungling and for tips on how to jungle better, please visit the Jungling page.

Turrets

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 100 gold. Destroying the first turret of the game will reward all nearby champions with a huge 300 gold, so losing the first turret is going to be a big deal.

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 (HeimerdingerSquare Heimerdinger or SingedSquare Singed, for example) while others possess strong abilities which allow them to deal heavy damage to turrets (NasusSquare Nasus or Xin ZhaoSquare Xin Zhao, 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

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.

Nexus

The Nexus is the giant floating crystal in center of each team's base (top-right or bottom-left), located just in front of the fountain. 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 destroyed your enemy's nexus, 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 fountain to heal, so do your best to direct all attention to the Nexus itself if you desire a speedy victory.

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".

End Game

End game screen

End Game Screen

The End Game Screen recaps the situation of all champions in the game when the game ended. It shows summoner's spells, champion selected, items bought, kill/death/assist, creep score, and gold. Additional informations can be found the "Advanced Details" tab. On the top-right corner, a replay download button is available, allowing you to download the replay of the played game.

Additionally, the End Game Screen shows how much mastery point you've earned with this game on the champion you played and the grade you got (going from D- to S+). You can also see how much experience you've gained, and the Honors other players gave you.

Useful Terminology

Mia or SS
Missing in Action or missing, a term used when an enemy champion is not longer in their lane. Usually brought alongside a "?" ping. This helps to prevent allied champions from being ganked.
Death Lotus AoE
AoE is a term used to mean Area of Effect. A good example is AmumuSquare Amumu's ultimate, Curse of the Sad Mummy Curse of the Sad Mummy, which has an AoE, meaning instead of hitting one target, it will effect multiple targets within the AoE range.
CC
CC is a common abbreviation used for crowd control. An example of crowd control is AniviaSquare Anivia's Glacial Storm Glacial Storm, which slows enemies inside an AoE.
Proc
Proc is a word used to mean special procedure, used in LoL with an item such as Phage item Phage which grants a movement speed boost upon attacking or killing an enemy. This is considered a proc.
Top icon Top
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.
Jungle icon Jungle
Jungle is a term used to refer to the part of the map that is inbetween the differents lanes. The jungle contains neutral monsters that can be killed be either teams.
Middle icon Mid
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.
Bottom icon Bot
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.
Support icon Support
Support is a term used to refer to a role: the support role. The support is alongside the bottom lane carry, and has to protect him.

Additional information

The Summoner's Code is a guideline of healthy and productive behavior when playing, and describes how a responsible and sportsmanlike player acts.