I have been playing League of Legends since last summer, so close to a year now. Not every single day, but I have managed to get myself to Summoner level 30 and I do play pretty regularly. My humble beginnings and journey to the cap have brought me insight, and I would like to share some tips with you now. These tips are mostly aimed at new players, but veterans alike might pick up a new tidbit that they hadn’t read elsewhere. I am going to assume if you are reading this that you understand what a MOBA is, and you understand how DOTA style games work, so I won’t be discussing anything that basic. So let us begin.
The first thing to remember when playing League of Legends, is that it is a highly skill-based game, but these skills are acquired through practice. When you first start out, you WILL die. Often. If you manage to keep your kill-death ratio positive, you are doing something right, but don’t think that it is the only part of the game that matters. Everyone who plays competitive PvP games knows the desire to have more kills than deaths, and more kills than the rest of your team. In LoL, kills do matter, but so do deaths, and there are different reasons why they matter as opposed to say, a first-person shooter. Kills net you gold and experience, which you then use to gain levels in each individual round, and use to buy items which improve your champion. So yes, getting kills is a priority because it will cause you to become “fed”, and once you are you can shred your opponents. But, getting kills needs to be safe, and not a trade-off. If you get a kill, but also die, then the effect counter-balances itself with the opponent. If you get a kill but you and your team-mate die, the enemy came away with the advantage. The kill-death ratio is less important when playing a tank champion as well, as your focus is to keep your team-mates alive, not get kills. Assists net experience and gold as well, and a tank will often times go negative on the kill count but have numerous assists.
So, practice makes perfect. Learning to zone/lane/jungle/last-hit/team-fight all comes with time. Figuring out your play style and which champion you like best is all up to you, but once you find a champion you like, here are some suggestions, this is what I do. When I want to start playing a new champion because I’m bored with the ones I have been playing, I do some research first. Two websites you should bookmark ASAP are MOBAFire and LeagueCraft. These sites have tons of guides on each champion, that includes rune/mastery builds along with item builds while in-game. If you’re new to the game you won’t have many runes or mastery points, but it will give you an idea what to items to use and what benefits that champ the most. After getting an idea of what your chosen champ can do, the first thing to try in-game is a bot match. Don’t queue up for PvP matches when it’s your first time playing a champion, because that just ruins everyone else’s experience. Play against bots every time you want to try out a new champ, a new build, or just for fun. Once you have a few bot matches under your belt and have figured out a build you like, then feel free to queue up some PvP matches, and do your best. Again, don’t expect to be phenomenal right off the bat, and don’t be worried about getting owned by high level summoners. The matchmaking system works pretty good at keeping you matched up with summoners of your level.
Another awesome tool for learning more about the game is the League Replays program. It’s like Fraps or any other recording software, but it uses less system resources and records the games automatically. The custom format of the files are much smaller than other softwares as well, so you won’t take up a lot of hard drive space. Once you have recorded a game, you can go back and watch how you did, and how your team mates did, which in turn can give you a bunch of valuable data. Watching yourself after the fact can give perspective on mistakes you made and what you can do differently the next time you play. If you do really well, you can even share the replays on the website.
Finally, don’t be a douche. There are so many trolls on the internet it’s ridiculous, and you would have to be living under a rock to have avoided them thus far. Try not to be one of those trolls. Riot came up with an ingenious way to keep trolls in check, and it’s called “The Summoner’s Code”. It’s a basic outline about how to not be a troll while playing the game, sort of like “The Golden Rule”; do unto others and all that. Moreover, it’s not Riot who controls the outcome of violators of the code, it’s other players, which is pretty awesome if I do say so myself. Once you reach summoner level 30, you are allowed to become a member of “The Tribunal”, which is basically a committee that decides the fate of those who have broken the code. There are many different reasons why people get reported, and when they are reported those cases go to the Tribunal. Then a member logs in and decides whether or not the offense was punishable or pardonable. I have been participating in this for about a month now, because I feel that it really does help the overall health of the game, keeping trolls out and the good-natured players in. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that we all have moments where we “rage”, but it’s still best to keep these things to ourselves rather than in the chat logs. Just remember to follow the code as best you can, and follow my suggestions so that you don’t get reported for “intentionally feeding” because you decided to play a champ for the first time in PvP.