League of Legends is a very complex game, with over 140 different champions, multiple positions, and an ever-evolving meta. No matter your skill level, you can always improve. By following the simple guidelines below, you will improve your gameplay and rank up in League of Legends!
You will get better at League of Legends both by improving your technical skills (last hitting, kiting, etc…) and by improving your knowledge of the game (i.e. the meta, counter picks, synergies, map awareness, etc…). It’s easiest to start with improving your technical skills, so let’s start with that.
Important Skills to Master in LoL
1. Last Hitting
Being able to last hit and secure more creep score (CS) is the most important skill for inexperienced players to improve. Last hitting is more or less your only source of gold early on and will likely remain your best source of income throughout the game, so if you can’t secure at least as much CS as your opponents, you will fall behind and do poorly. Every 15 CS is worth approximately one kill. Learn how to last hit! Practice against bots if your last hit rate is low.
Don’t just focus on kills or mindlessly wandering around the map. If you don’t have a clear path to an objective or a kill, focus on getting more CS.
Here are some tips that will help you secure more CS in lane:
- If two or more minions are low on health, use an ability to secure both minion kills.
- If enemy minions are under your turret, consider how much damage the turret will do before you get off your next shot. Don’t lose CS to the turret. Hint: melee minions can usually be killed with one shot after two strikes from your turret.
- Prioritize the cannon and melee minions if you aren’t yet skilled enough to go after all the minions, as they are worth more.
- Don’t needlessly push your lane. Focus on getting the last hit, not every hit.
Here’s a pretty good video guide on how to improve your last hitting while farming from a safe location in lane: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFtr0De2444.
The premise behind kiting is very simple. Use the time between auto-attacks (or abilities) to run away from your opponents. This makes it harder for them to hit you, especially if you are a ranged champion and they are a melee champion. Timed right, you won’t lose any DPS while it will take longer for your opponent to close on you, reducing their damage output.
There are a couple of ways to kite, the most obvious is to: 1) right click your opponent to hit them, 2) right click away to run away, 3) right click your opponent to hit them, etc… This strategy isn’t very practical during real fights however, as you often will accidentally right click a lane minion or other champion when your trying to flee or engage, and it will screw everything up. The best method is to use SHIFT to attack the target closest to your curser instead of intentionally right clicking that target every time. Once you hit them with your auto-attack, release SHIFT and right click away to gain more distance and then repeat.
Check out this pro video (kiting starting at 18 seconds) to see how it’s done.
3. Warding and Flashing Over Walls
Warding is critical, and so is map awareness. It’s important to realize that you do not need to be on the same side of a wall in order to place a ward there. That can be confusing to new players, but it is a very important skill to scout your enemy from relative safety. I say relative safety as several champions can engage over walls, and all champions can potentially flash over the wall to engage you. For more warding tips, tricks, and advice, check out our in-depth warding guide.
Another skill to master is flashing over walls. Not all walls can be flashed over. Some obstacles are too thick, including some that you can ward over. Learning which walls can be used to quickly escape or engage over will help you improve your play as well. To learn which walls you can flash over, look at your flash range in game. If your flash range is at least half way through the wall, you can make it over the whole wall.
Here’s a good video to watch to improve this skill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=albJXlO6TdA.
Learn More About League of Legends
1. Understand the Current Meta
The “meta” describes the current “best” way to play the game given the state of nerfs/buffs and common matchups. When people say to stick with the meta, it’s usually best to do it, unless you’re more knowledgeable and creative than the whole League community, in which case, you definitely don’t need this guide :p. For the rest of us, sticking to what is considered to the current best strategy is going to help you rank up and get to higher tiers.
You may be wondering: “what is the current meta?” To understand the current meta, use tools, like MOBA Champion, which gathers data from millions of matches each week, analyzes it, and then summarizes what works and what doesn’t. On each champion’s page, you will find what champions work best as a team mate and what champion will best counter your foes. Additionally, you can find rune and item builds that have been proven to work best against different enemy team compositions.
The meta constantly evolves as patches change champion stats and as players learn to overcome “OP” champions. What has been working won’t necessarily work for you in your next matches. Stay on top of the meta to be at the top of your game.
2. Master A Champion
There are 140+ League of Legends champions, far too many to learn well. It is much better to master one champion before moving on to another than to be an average player with a handful of champions. Learn your chosen champion inside and out. Learn the timings and ranges of your abilities; understand what combo will maximize your damage output; practice your engages/disengages; and experiment with different builds against different kinds of enemies. After a good deal of practice, you will be a force to be reckoned with. While you should focus on maximizing your abilities with one champion, it is important to be able to anticipate how your enemies and teammates will play. Play at least a couple rounds with a variety of champions and/or watch some videos to get a basic understanding of how to play them. If you are unsure of what champion to start with, check out our guide to the best beginner champions.
3. Learn from Your Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes, even the pros. We can all improve. It’s difficult to see what you could do better in the chaos of a team fight. Definitely watch your recordings, especially your defeats to learn what you can do better. Don’t worry about fixing everything wrong you did. Focus on improving one aspect of your gameplay at a time. Once you’ve improved, look out for another area of improvement.
That’s it for now. Check back to find more guides and strategies. Have fun playing League of Legends!