Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Playing League of Legends | RiftFeed
In the, 13 years, of League of Legends history, there has never been a proper in-game tutorial.

Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Playing League of Legends

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Singed
The first designed LoL champion, ever | © Riot Games

If you've only just installed League of Legends, and played a few introductory games, you may feel as if you have no clue what is happening and what you're supposed to be doing. Don't worry, it's not you, the fault lies at the feet of the abysmal League of Legends tutorial.

The current League of Legends tutorial doesn't actually teach you anything useful when it comes to playing League of Legends. Especially if you've never played a MOBA game before. Actually, it even teaches some wrong habits that take players some time to shake off. So, we bring you the ultimate beginner's guide to playing LoL, to help you get started on your journey.

LoL Beginner Guide: League of Legends Fundamentals

League of Legends falls under the genre of games called MOBA. MOBA is an acronym for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, and as such is a game focused solely on PvP. That doesn't mean that said PvP takes many forms and, killing enemies is actually not the most important thing when playing LoL.

The Basics of MOBA Games

As we've said previously, League of Legends is a MOBA game. There are two things every MOBA game has in common. That is the main goal of the game, as well as the way to achieve that goal.

What is the Goal in League of Legends?

MOBA games in general, and thus League of Legends as well, follow a simple enough concept. Even though it's a fantasy game, and that may lead you to think of an MMO progression system, every League of Legends match is separate.

When you start a League of Legends match, your champion will start off at level one, regardless of your account's level. By earning experience in-game, as well as gold, you empower your champion by leveling their abilities and buying appropriate items.

Nexus
Destroying the Nexus also gives 50 gold, which you never get to spend | © Riot Games

The goal of every League of Legends match is to destroy the enemy Nexus, located on the other side of the map. Now, while your first thoughts may be to just kill the enemy over and over again, until you can safely blast to their Nexus, there is more strategy to it.

Farming minions and taking towers is a far more efficient strategy than chasing kills. After all, all of these give you gold as well. You may consider League of Legends as a very complicated game of chess. It doesn't if the enemy has a lot of figures on the board if you have their king in checkmate.

What are Minions Used for in League of Legends?

The thing you will see the most often, are little robed figures fighting each other. They spawn from each Nexus and killing them grants gold. In addition, the jungle, the area between lanes, which are the three roads found on the map, is full of creatures as well, which fulfill a similar purpose.

Minions
Though they aren't worth a lot of gold, it adds up | © Riot Games

The action of killing enemy minions is called farming and is the core tenant of League of Legends. This is done by waiting for your own minions to lower their health, and then dealing the killing blow to get the gold. This technique is known as "last-hitting", and is the first thing to master when starting to play League. After all, farming is the most reliable way of getting gold and experience to strengthen your champion.

Minions are also used to destroy enemy turrets. These structures are extremely durable, and deal a lot of damage to champions. So, when destroying turrets, you need minions to tank turret shots, so you can safely attack it.

Champion Fundamentals in League of Legends

Every League of Legends champion is designed to be unique. Most of them share the fact that they have three basic abilities and an ultimate available to them, as well as their normal attacks.

What Champion to Play in League of Legends?

When you're just starting out in League of Legends, you don't have a lot of champion options available to you. You must buy them, with the limited Blue Essence earned from playing games.

There are so many champions though, and all of them look interesting to play at first glance. That is because they are! Not all of them are beginner-friendly though. When choosing your champions, make sure to pick the simplest champions you can find.

Simple doesn't mean weak. It just means that its playstyle is straightforward, and there aren't some mechanics you must employ that, at a beginner's skill level, are impossible to do.

Annie
Annie is the best champion to learn how to farm with, along with other useful mechanics | © Riot Games

What are Roles in League of Legends?

League of Legends is a fantasy game, and every champion has their own class. Most have more than one class though, and roles are the easiest way to categorize champions.

The roles correspond to the lanes the champions are played in, and usually, follow a theme:

  • Top lane role - As the name says, these are the champions played in the top-most lane. They are self-sufficient champions, who fight at the frontline. If any LoL champion can be a radio boss, they are found in the top lane.
  • Jungle role - This is the role that is not played in a lane. Instead, these champions take on the creatures found in the forests between the lanes, and are the main driving force in a team's strategy. their job is to be where the enemy doesn't want them, nor expects them to appear at. It's also the hardest role to learn for a beginner.
  • Mid-lane role - As the name says, these are the champions played in the middle lane. They may vary, but their theme is one of overwhelming damage, that quickly eliminates enemies, either from a distance as a mage or from the shadows as an assassin.
  • Attack Damage Carry role - Also known as the ADC, this is the role played in the bottom lane. These champions are usually marksmen, that keep their distance from the enemy, and continuously pepper them with damage.
  • Support role - The support role plays alongside the ADC, in the bottom lane. They are the force multipliers, that provide their team with buffs, crowd control and general utility. These are the champions that make a good team, a great one.

League of Legends Items and Stats Basics

Now that you've picked a lane and a champion to play, and you've learned how to farm to gain gold, you need to know how to spend it. There are four basic League of Legends stats, that all players must know.

Attack Damage vs Armor

If the champion you've picked is focused on dealing damage to your opponents and does so via auto attacks rather than abilities, which is something all marksmen, some assassins, and top lane champions, do, then Attack Damage is your most important stat. It deals physical damage, and does so continuously as auto attacks have no cooldowns nor mana cost.

If the champion you've picked is meant to take damage and still remain standing, then Armor is the way to go to defend against Attack Damage, also known as AD.

Shop
Navigating the sop is a skill on its own | © Riot Games

Ability Power vs Magic Resistance

The counterpart to Attack Damage is Ability Power, which is used by champions that rely on their skills instead of their auto attacks. These are the mages of League of Legends.

To defend against them, tanks must buy items that grant Magic Resistance, as armor has no effect on magical damage that Ability Power dishes out.

How to Get Good at League of Legends?

If you've started playing the game just now, it's likely that you've seen League of Legends get played on a stream, and you want to take part in some high-level gameplay.

The short of it is, there is no way to get good at League of Legends quickly. In essence, when it comes to League of Legends, knowledge is power. There is a lot of content in the game accumulated over the years, and what we've covered can't even be described as the tip of the iceberg.

Mastering these basics, though, will give you a good foundation to start specializing in a certain role or champion. Just stay away from ranked games, even though you have fulfilled the requirements until you have a lot of experience under your belt.

After you've done so, the next step is to master one champion to its fullest. You can either main a champion, meaning you play it most often with some others as an alternative, or become an OTP, meaning you live and breathe that specific champion in League of Legends, and know it better than the people who designed it.