League of Legends Game Modes: What Can You Play in LoL? | RiftFeed
An introduction to all the different game modes league of legends has to offer

League of Legends Game Modes: What Can You Play in LoL?

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URF Mode
League of Legends Game mode: URF | © Riot Games

Summoner's Rift, ranked, ARAM, all of those are terms we as LoL players are familiar with, but are there any more games you can play? We take a look at all the League of Legends game modes that are currently available, as well as rotating ones you can enjoy every now and again. 

From different PvPs to various ways of practicing your champion, League of Legends has many ways for you to enjoy their game in the League of Legends client. Ever since LoL came out in 2009, several game modes have been released and some of were later removed. Here you will get an overview of every game mode League of Legends currently has to offer and some of the games that appears in Riot's featured game mode rotation. 

League of Legends Game Modes - How Many Are There?

The League of Legends game modes, can be put into different categories. First, we have the the constant PvP games. These are games that are constantly available to play and are not part of the Featured Game Rotation. League of Legends also comes with different practice modes where you can practice your champions either against bots or working with a dummy. Lastly, we have the featured game mode rotation. Here, you can find games that Riot Games tested out before, but later decided were too much effort to uphold. Some of these games can now be found in the Featured Game Mode Rotation. But that is enough for now. Let's look at the game we know and love and which games it has to offer.

Normal Game

Summoner's Rift
Normal games takes place on the Summoner's Rift | © Riot Games

The Normal game mode is a 5v5 mode on the Summoner's Rift where both teams compete to destroy the enemies' nexus. The game lasts around 20-40 minutes and does not end before either of the nexuses are destroyed or when a team decides to surrender.

You can play a normal game with up to four premades or choose to play alone. If you decide to play alone, you will be matched with four random players with the same skill level as yourself.

After a game, you will be rewarded with a certain amount of XP, depending on how long a game lasts and if you won. On average, you can expect to earn around 200 XP when winning a 30-minute game and about 170 XP when you lose.

There are two different types of normal games in League of Legends - Draft Pick and Blind Pick. The two game types do not differentiate in-game but have a different setup for the pick and ban phase.

Draft Pick

In Draft Pick, every player gets a role assigned to them, and everyone takes turns banning and choosing their champions. Banning certain champions can be crucial for how the game develops, and you can make sure to remove Yuumi. To play Draft Pick, you must be level 10 and have 20 champions available

There are four phases in a Draft Pick. First, you have the Pick Intent phase, where everyone selects the champion they intend to play. Secondly, you have the Ban Phase. In Ban Phase, everyone bans one champion each – please ban Viego

Following the Ban phase, you have the Pick Phase. Here, players take turns choosing which champion to play. The team playing on the blue side gets to pick the first champion, and then the red side team chooses two champions. This goes on until everyone has selected their champion.

Last but not least comes the Finalization Phase. This phase is where you prepare for the upcoming match by choosing your runes and summoner spells. 

Blind Pick

In Blind Pick, no roles are assigned to the players, and you cannot ban champions. Usually, players write which role they want to play in the chat, and if there is a specific role you intend to play, you should be quick because it is first come, first served. You can play blind pick once you have reached level 3.

Ranked Mode

League of Legends
League of Legends Ranks | © Riot Games

The Ranked Game Mode in League of Legends is played on Summoner's Rift and is precisely like a Normal game. The only difference is that ranked takes place in a competitive queue. Here, you will have the possibility to climb your way up the ladder and compete amongst the best of the best. There are nine different ranks in League of Legends - Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger.

If you are new to ranked or a new season just started, you must play ten provisional matches, aka "promos". These matches decide which rank you will belong to. After your promos, you rank up by gaining League Points (LP). If you lose a game, you lose LP, and you gain LP through winning your matches. For a more in-depth description of the ranked system, check out:

Only Draft Pick is available in Ranked, which means that everyone is assigned a role and has to take turns picking and banning champions.

In a normal ranked game, you either play alone (Solo Queue) or with one more person (Duo Queue). If you are good enough to get to master or higher, you have to start playing alone. This rule came into the game in season 11 to avoid giving duo players an advantage.

If you want to play ranked with all your friends, another option is the flex queue. The Flex queue has its own competitive queue, which means you can have one rank assigned to you in solo/duo queue that differs from your flex queue rank.

Both Ranked Solo/Duo and Flex queue will be available for you to play once you have reached level 30 and own at least 20 champions.

ARAM 

Howling Abyss
ARAM only has one lane | © Riot Games

ARAM stands for "All Random All Mid", which pretty much sums up the game mode. To explain a bit further, the game mode ARAM is played on the single-lane map Howling Abyss. It is a 5v5 game where you win the game by destroying the enemy nexus. In champion select, you will not be able to choose your champion yourself but will be assigned a random champion from the ones you own or from the current free rotation. You can also swap champions amongst your teammates.

In ARAM, it is not possible to go back to base to buy items or heal up. You only get to buy items once you have died and respawned.

In terms of healing, there are some options for you. On each side of the map, you will find two healing relics - one outer relic and one inner relic. Taking a healing relic restores some of your missing health and mana. The inner relics spawn at 2:30, whereas the outer one spawns at 1:45. Once a relic is taken, it takes 90 seconds to respawn

Teamfight Tactics

Teamfight Tacticts
LoL Game Mode - Teamfight Tactics | © Riot Games

Teamfight Tactics (TFT) is one or Riot's newer addition to the game. It is very different from the normal League of Legends game, but consists of a lot of the same champions and monsters. Teamfight Tactics is PvP strategy game where the goal is to draft the best team.

A full match consist of ten players, where every player meets for 1v1 matches until only one player remains. The 1v1 battle happens automatically, which means that during battle phase, you can sit down and watch. The way you win is through drafting the best team from a champion pool  shared amongst all the players in the game. 

You can strengthen your team by providing them with different items. In order to win, it is important to take battle formation and gold income into account. There are several ways to win the game, and because of the varied champion pool in each map you have to be able to adjust you play-style to stand against your opponents. 

During the game, you don't play any of the champions, butas a little legend. The little legend is in charge of buying champions, equipping them with items, and positioning the champions to optimise your composition.

Co-op vs. AI

League of Legends Group
Co-op vs AI is a great way to learn the game | © Riot Games

Co-op vs. AI is a game mode similar to the League of Legends Normal game mode, but instead of playing against five other players, your team play against bots. The game mode is played on Summoner's Rift and has three different difficulties, Intro, Beginner, and Intermediate.

The amount of XP gained each match varies depending on a player's level and how much time they have played in a day.

  • Level 1-9: Grant 100% XP.
  • Level 10-19: Grant 90% XP.
  • Level 20-29: Grant 80% XP (65% after 180 minutes each day).
  • Level 30: Grant 75% XP (55% after 180 minutes each day).

Co-op vs. AI can be queued up with up to four other people, and you are free to choose whichever champion you own or from the ones in the weekly champion rotation.

Custom Game

A custom game can either be played on the Summoner's Rift or on Howling Abyss. You can choose to play with or against other bots and players. Custom games are perfect for when you want to try stuff out or if you just want to have some fun playing against your friends.

Tutorial

The League of Legends Tutorial's current format was introduced in season Eight and is there to teach newer players about the basics of League of Legends. The whole tutorial consists of three smaller tutorials, and each tutorial rewards you with 150 XP when completed. In addition, when all three steps are finished, you gain a capsule with 3000 blue essence, which you can use to buy champions. Here are the different steps: 

Step 1: Welcome to League

The first step in the tutorial places you on a slightly modified Summoner's Rift, where you can only play in the middle lane. This step lets you try out some of the different champions, either Miss Fortune, Brand, Darius, Lux, or Master Yi, and destroy the enemy turret.

Step 2: Power Up

Power Up is the second part of the tutorial. Here you learn how to level up your champion and abilities and how to move around.

Step 3: Shop for Gear

The third and last part of the tutorial teaches you how to buy items from the game's shopkeeper. It also teaches you how to farm gold by killing monsters, minions, and champions.

Looking for other ways to learn how to play League of Legends? Learn how to outscale your enemy with these picks.

Practice Tool

Practice Tool allows you to try out different champions and test out their combos. The game mode can only be played on Summoners Rift, and you have to play alone. In Practice Tool, you have the ability to enable different cheats, which are all listed below.

Player commands

Game state commands

Jungle commands
Auto-refresh cooldownsEnable/Disable turrets invulnerableRespawn jungle
Auto-refresh HPDisable/enable turret fireSpawn Dragon (can choose dragon type)
Auto-refresh mana, energy, rage, etcDisable/enable minions
Add goldFast forward 30 seconds in-game
Level upReset game
Lock level to current XP levelSpawn enemy target dummy
Teleport to targetSpawn allied target dummy
ReviveRemove all spawned target dummies

League of Legends Game Modes - Rotating Game Modes

 ARURF

URF
League of Legends game mode: ARURF | © Riot Games

ARURF is part of the featured game mode rotation, which aren't constantly available. The name stands for All Random Ultra Rapid Fire" and is played on Summoner's Rift. The game mode was first introduced on April Fools Day, and came back on League of Legends 10th anniversary. Before, the game used to just be called "URF", but because some champions were way too overpowered and ended up being banned every game, Riot decided to make the game mode, similar to ARAM, where you are assigned a random champion. The game is in some ways similar to a normal game on the summoners rift, but in other ways, it is very different. What makes URF so great is the buff all the players recieve called "The Awesome Buff of Awesomely Awesome Buffing":

  • Mana and Energy cost reduced by 100%
  • Health costs reduced by 50%
  • 300+ Ability haste, summoner spell haste, item haste increase 
  • 25% tenacity
  • 60+ bonus movement speed
  • Bonus attack speed is multiplied by 1.5 for melee and 2 for ranged champions
  • Additional 25% damage on critical strikes

These buffs, makes every ability, champion and basic attack much more powerful and the game is very fast paced. Because of the fact that you have NO mana and Energy costs, you can spam your abilities non-stop.

One for All

One for All was first introduced in 2013 and is now a part of the featured game mode rotation. The game is pretty much the same as a normal game, but everyone on the same team has to play the same champion. The champion select in One for All called a Vote Pick. In Vote pick, everyone bans a champion each and then select the champion they wish to play. 

Once each player has chosen a champion they want to play, the client picks one of the champions chosen by the team. The chances of having your champion picked, depends on how many times your champion was chosen by your team. For example, if four of your teammates pick Yuumi and you pick Pyke, Yuumi has an 80% chance of being picked, whereas Pyke has a 20% chance. 

Ultimate Spellbook

Ultimate Spellbook is also one of the games not constantly available, but you can sometimes find on the featured game mode rotation. The game mode is very similar to a normal game except that each player gets to choose an additional ultimate as their summoner spell. Their selection is between four random ultimates in the game and the mission is to try to find ultimates that can fit to your champion (my personal favourite is Nautilus with Ahri ultimate) and then, eventually, win the game. The ultimate you select can be used before level six and has an initial cooldown of 135 second.

League of Legends - Nexus Blitz

Nexus Blitz Map
LoL Game Mode: Nexus Blitz | © Riot Games

Nexus Blitz is one of the experimental game modes Riot Games came out with and is now also a part of the game mode featured rotation. The game is meant to have a shorter duration than a normal game and has its own special map. 

The map consists of two lanes and a divided jungle. On each side of the map are the two team's bases. The end goal of the game is similar to a normal game, where you have to destroy the enemy's nexus. Besides difference in lane and jungle, the role assignment is also different from a normal game. The two roles you can choose from are Jungle and Lane. In total, a team consist of two junglers and three laners. 

 

The game mode also offers some fun mini games that the players have to do during the game to earn powerful rewards helping your team to victory. Some of the mini games includes URF Deathmatch, Loot Teemo, various types of Bardle Royale, Scuttle Racing and Sudden Death.

Can We Expect More Featured Game Modes?

Right now, the main games in the featured game mode composition consists of ARURF, One for All, Nexus Blitz and Ultimate Spellbook. Even though we have seen other game modes come to light, like Ascension, Black Market Brawlers and Dark Star, the Riot developers doubt they will have a comeback because these games takes a lot of resources to uphold and they believe these games are more fitting as a one-time thing.