Following in the League of Legends theme I got going here this week, I offer up this handy guide of 10 things every seasoned or aspiring player, needs to know, if they do not already. These are in no particular order.
1. Deaths > Everything else.
Everybody HATES to die right? The answer is yes, getting killed will cause a number of side effects such as, rage, high blood pressure, and a recession of your massive E-Peen. Side effects that I believe everyone would like to experience as little as possible. In league of legends when you die you not only put yourself behind, you give whoever killed you a good amount of gold. The other team getting gold from killing you will only make them stronger, which in turn will put more pressure on your team. Simply put, think ahead and be very aware of the situation, such as where all the enemy heroes are, before you commit for a kill. Having some sort of escape mechanic, as many heroes do, is extremely useful for getting out of the fray once you get that delicious kill. There is also the summoner ability “Flash” which teleports your champion a short distance instantly. Feel free to use this if your desired champion does not have an escape mechanic of its own.
This doesn’t mean get the fastest boots there available. It means don’t spend a lot of time doing nothing, here is a nice list of some things I find waste a lot of time, with a simple explanation of each.
- Afking for nothing – pretty simple, most gamers understand that there is a real life outside of League, but there are very few things that call for a random afk. These are pretty much limited to; somebody being dead, baby/child issues, and medical emergencies.
- Always going back to base. – It takes approx 20-30 seconds or more to get back to your lane, dependent upon where the creeps are. That is quite a long time, and every time you have to run back you lose possible gold/xp from the minions you would otherwise be killing. This puts you and your team behind a bit, which is not favorable ever, for obvious reasons.
- Don’t stand in the fountain too long. – I see people doing this all the time, chillin in the fountain seemingly afk for an obscene amount of time. when asked why they respond with something like, “I’m figuring out which items I should use”. Another common response will be, “I’m planning out my items for later.” This wastes time, know this stuff before you go into the game. Learn to update your items on the fly depending on what you need. ie. if the other team has more than 3 ap characters you may want to get a bit of magic resist, even if you wouldn’t usually get it.
- “AMG I’m flippin out, where should I go?” – I sort of feel this one is pretty obvious, but basically, don’t always be running around the map for nothing, unless you have a purpose. These include things like ganking, jungle farming, buff acquisition, or if someone wants you to cover their lane so they can recall to buy/heal. Generally, you want to stay in your lane until you are ready to start pushing as a team.
3. Know the map layout.
This is extremely important for obvious reasons, but also for some not so obvious ones. Knowing every choke point, bush, and creep camp for whichever map you choose to play will put you at a rather large advantage over other players who may not be aware. Trust me, if the fields of justice are familiar, you will be one step ahead. Here’s a map that shows the more common pathways people take, highlighted in blue.
4. Map Control.
I can not express how much of an advantage good map control gives your team. Having good map control, your team will know how the other team is moving and you will be able to prepare as necessary. This is also a great way to take advantage of lone players and gank the shit out of em. 😉 Things like wards, or champions who have their own ward-like abilities, such as teemo, nidalee, caitlyn, and a few others are extreme advantages. Excellent places to ward the map are those choke points and commonly traveled areas, such as certain creep camps, or the river/in between lanes. Here is an absolutely excellent guide to placing wards around the map, I encourage everyone to give it a quick read.
5. Be prepared to play at least a few heroes.
This is especially true for ranked games, in ranked game 4 champions are banned from the game before anyone picks their own. Having at least 3 or 4 heroes that you know well will make you a more rounded player and asset to your team. You should also try to spread your expertise across all types of champions, tank, nuke, assassin, jungle, and of course support. Make sure to also have appropriate rune pages, masteries, and summoner abilities before you hit the “lock in” button! 🙂
6. Know what your role is and stick to it.
Going along with the above point, this shines especially true for support heroes. You can’t pick a support hero such as janna or Sona and expect to go 30/0 that game. instead of thinking only about getting kills, try thinking about how you can make your teammates(preferably your carry(s)) get kills. The only time this doesn’t hold true is for jungle characters, can’t jungle the whole game and do nothing right? But seriously, If everyone on your team knows their role and sticks to it, I guarantee your team will be better off, especially if you have a good team composition. More on team composition at a later date.
7. Don’t just lane, lane properly.
Laning properly can almost be called an art form. Watching somebody play who is very experienced with their champion laning is very elegant, yet intense at the same time. While you lane there are a number of things you should be thinking about. These include, but not are not limited to; last hitting, keeping an eye on missing enemy champions on the map, calling mia, and watching your own positioning in the lane to make sure you won’t get ganked, or demolished by a scion stun that came out of the bush next to you. It is also extremely important to know what abilities your opponent has so you may react properly to them. Try to stay in your lane as long as possible to rack up as much gold/xp as you can. this will give you a rather large edge over your laning opponent.
8. Last hit!
I see a lot of people who just run up and auto attack their opposing creeps. I find that a lot of people do this nearly 100% of the time. They seem to think that’s how it’s meant to be done. This is not the case, what you really want is whats called “last hits”. The term refers to making sure you get the killing blow on a minion, because when you do, you are rewarded with a little bit of gold. Usually, when you are just auto attacking creeps, you will get some last hits. This will reward you with a bit of gold, just not nearly as much if you focused on getting those killing blows.
Don’t be a loner! This game is a team effort, and almost always requires at least some teamwork to win. I have noticed a massive difference in games I play where my team communicates well, and the games where we don’t. If you and your teammates are calling mia every time an enemy is missing(not visible on the map display), it is less likely for a teammate to unknowingly get ganked. I will mention however that every player for themselves should be keeping an eye on the map to watch for ganks. Having said that, we are all human and forget sometimes, so having reliable teammates that will warn you when someone is missing is invaluable.
10. The summoner’s Code.
This may not seem like it pertains to gameplay much, but in actuality it is one of the more important aspects of this game, or any action-rpg. Bashing on your teammates when they make a mistake, saying things like, “Wow your horrible” or “Go play the tutorial again, lmao” while usually pretty entertaining will get you absolutely no where. Instead of curb stomping your teammate into the street corner, say something like “hey man, please don’t over extend yourself like that or you will get horribly ganked again by their whole team.” Another thing I see happen too often, which I admittedly sometimes do myself, is blame someone on your team for your death. While this can help you feel better about that stupid mistake you just made which got yourself and possibly a few other teammates die. It is absolutely detrimental to your teams moral. Don’t forget my first point, Deaths > Everything else, you are responsible for your own champions life and the actions you take, not your teammates.
With a learning curve as steep as a game like this has, doing so will not help your team push for victory. Remember everyone is on a different skill level, and you have to work with them to win, as much as it sucks sometimes. Here is a link to the Summoner’s Code on the League of Legends website, I urge everyone who is reading this to also take a look at it. I believe following their tips will provide a much more enjoyable, while still very intense game experience.
Lastly, thanks for reading, and I really hope this helped some of you out there possibly skip ahead of that extremely steep learning curve a bit. Above all else, remember to have fun. See you in-game!