In this article we are giving you the beginner guide of the most popular pc game League of Legends. You will get all the key information you need to know as a new player of this globally renowned multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game.
What is League of Legends?
League of Legends belongs to the MOBA genre of video games. MOBAs originated from strategy games – the first MOBA, Defense of the Ancients (DotA), was originally created as a game mode for the popular strategy game Warcraft 3, which also inspired the hit MMORPG World of Warcraft.
League of Legends was developed to refine some of the more complex mechanics of DotA and make the gameplay more accessible to a wider audience. Even so, League is still a highly challenging game to master. There are multiple different game modes in League of Legends, but for this guide we’ll focus on the most popular mode – 5v5 Summoner’s Rift.
In Summoner’s Rift, each team has 5 players and each player controls one Champion. There are currently over 140 Champions in League of Legends, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, abilities, and playstyles. No matter your preferred way to play, there is likely a Champion that will fit how you want to approach the game. The League Champion roster includes demons, angels, ninjas, assassins, archers, monsters, warriors, dragons, wizards, knights, monks, healers, pirates, the undead, and more.
Virtually any iconic character archetype is present in League, and each Champion has their own unique personality, relationships, goals, motivations, and backstory. The sheer number of Champions alone can be daunting for new players – there are over 140 choices! Each Champion has 5 abilities – 1 passive, 3 basic actives, and 1 ultimate. Learning all of this from scratch can definitely feel impossible.
Not to worry though, we have some tips to make digesting all this information much more manageable. To make Champions easier to categorize, you can break them down into 7 classes, which further divide into 13 subclasses based on playstyle. This greatly simplifies things – instead of trying to memorize 140 Champions, you just need to learn 7 classes. For example, rather than trying to discern the differences between Nautilus and Maokai, you just need to know they are both Vanguards, part of the Tank class.
In a 5v5 Summoner’s Rift match, each player controls one Champion and teams are comprised of five players. Each class of Champion fulfills a different role, so it’s important for players to work together to build a balanced team composition.
To use a sports analogy, you wouldn’t want a football team without any linebackers, nor would you want a team made up only of quarterbacks. Every position in football has its own strengths, weaknesses, and purpose – a good team needs a mix of all positions to achieve its goals. This is no different in League – you don’t want a team of only damage-dealers or only tanks. The ideal is a blend of both.
So we’ve covered Champions and how they can combine into a cohesive team. Before diving into actual gameplay, there are three more key elements to discuss: Runes, Summoner Spells, and Items. These topics are a bit more advanced, but we want to introduce them so you’re aware of how they influence the game.
Runes – There are over 60 Runes in League that each player selects 6 of before a match begins. Runes give unique bonuses that enhance a Champion’s strengths or shore up weaknesses. They allow for further customization and flexibility of playstyle. For example, a Darius with Resolve Runes will play differently than a Darius with Sorcery Runes.
Summoner Spells – 9 Summoner Spells are available on Summoner’s Rift and each player chooses 2 for their Champion. These are powerful abilities with long cooldowns like teleporting around the map, speed boosts, enemy slows, and more. The most common is Flash, valued for its versatility as an engage and escape tool. Most players will take Flash plus 1 other Spell based on team compositions.
Items – As Champions battle in-game, they earn gold. Back at base, gold can be spent to purchase items, of which there are over 100. Items provide stats and powerful passive effects, allowing Champions to hit harder, take more damage, boost allies, and more. Less expensive components build into more powerful end-game items.
Recap – League is a 5v5 matchup where:
- Each player chooses 1 of 140+ Champions
- Each player selects 6 out of 60+ Runes
- Each player picks 2 out of 9 Summoner Spells
- In-game, players choose from 100+ Items
When you consider all these factors, the number of possible combinations is massive! This allows for tons of strategic diversity in how the game can be played.
Now let’s get into the nitty gritty of how a standard Summoner’s Rift match actually flows from start to finish.
The two teams start on opposite sides of the map in their respective team bases where players choose their Champions, Runes, Summoner Spells, and initial Items while minions and jungle monsters spawn in. Players then head out to their lanes – top, middle, bottom, and jungle. The goal is to destroy the opposing team’s Nexus, which is guarded by turrets and inhibitors.
To destroy these enemy structures, your team will need to accrue gold and experience by killing minions, monsters, and enemy Champions. This gold is spent on Items to grow stronger. Gaining experience allows your Champion to level up and unlock new abilities. If your team kills an enemy Champion, they lose gold and experience.
As the match progresses, players group up for objectives like slaying epic monsters such as Elemental Drakes and the Baron Nashor. These provide team-wide buffs and bonuses. Teams will also make sieges into enemy territory, trying to destroy turrets and ultimately expose the enemy Nexus.
Teamfights break out over objectives and when groups of Champions collide on the map. Proper coordination and strategic positioning is crucial to winning these skirmishes. Teams try to bait out or waste enemy abilities then capitalize to take full 5v5 fights. The team who maneuvers better and leverages their Champions’ strengths usually comes out ahead.
Matches are won when one team is able to push into the enemy base and demolish their Nexus. This requires developing momentum through smart rotations, map control, timely sieges, successful ganks, and of course tactical prowess in teamfights.
There is so much strategic diversity in how a match can play out. Part of what makes League so compelling as a competitive game is how the flow of a match evolves based on team compositions, early game movements, skillful plays, and champion mastery. There are always new tactics and counters to discover!
This guide covers the basics of League of Legends, the world’s most popular PC game. With over 140 Champions, multiple maps and modes, and tons of items and abilities, League is a mammoth game but also extremely rewarding to master. Hopefully this overview gave you a solid understanding of League as someone new to the game!
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