3 Jul 2011

How to get better at League of Legends

Since I have played LoL for a year now, plus DotA and HoN before that; I believe I am appropriately seasoned to write a guide with tips and hints on how to get better at the game. If you have reached a point where you are having trouble improving, reading this will definitely help you. Even advanced players could pick up a trick or two, so give it a browse.

There is no secret to becoming a good player. If I were asked what was the biggest factor to being a boss at League of Legends, I would say it's situational awareness. Why? Because if you are observing most of the map and reacting to who you are laning against and their abilities, taking advantage of that information is incredibly easy. How? By watching the map you are nearly ungankable, you can see when enemy champions aren't in their lanes without relying on teammates. If you know the opposing teams moves and more importantly, their limits; you can maximise your potential chances at earning kills and lane dominance. Even though it sounds fairly simple, easier said than done.

The best way to develop situational awareness is through experience. In the beginning you will die and feed the enemy team, there's no way to avoid that. But after a few matches, you'll start to do better, buy some items and maybe get a kill or two. Once your account has reached level 10 you will be a wise and worldly player, venturing optimistically into the blind pick trap. There you shall be devoured by the trolls and wolves. Advanced players will spit on your pathetic selection of 5 Champions and tear you a new one using a character with spells you've never seen. Although this stage is frustrating, it won't be long before you are doing the same thing to scrubs with glee.

For those of you who don't want to blunder their way through every game by trial and error like me, here is the list of hints and tips that you should take into consideration if you want to maximise how much better you get when you play.

  • Early in your LoL career, it's probably a good idea to play the same character several times until you get good at it, rinse and repeat. It will allow you to become more familiar with the items, Champions, and general flow of the game without being overwhelmed.
  • Last hitting is a vital aspect of the game, don't think you can ever slack on farming gold or you're just giving the enemy team a better chance. Same thing applies to denying. Many people don't use their lane control to deny the enemy team experience and gold. That's plain retarded.
  • If the enemy lane is controlling you and denying you experience and gold, don't panic or get yourself killed. Try to keep yourself in experience range, and when the creeps eventually reach your tower, suck up those last hits like Cartman on KFC. Call for a gank, and wait for them to slip up so you can regain control.
  • Never get brave. Know what you and your lanemate are capable of, don't tower dive or commit unless you are at least 80% assured of victory. Always check the map before starting a gank. If you get interrupted it could turn nasty.
  • Don't die. No seriously, dying will screw you and your team and lead to a loss. When you do meet an untimely demise, think about why you died and how you could prevent it next time. Always be cautious, don't wander into a trap you could have avoided by simply sitting at the tower.
  • Read some champion guides in your spare time, it helps more than you think to know every character intimately. You can learn to play a new champion much faster if you read a guide beforehand, you will also be able to counter them more effectively.
  • If you have recording software, re-watching old games is an excellent way to review your mistakes and learn from them.
  • Picking for your team is something you should do in ranked, most of the time in normal games people choose whatever they want.
  • Try looking at the map every 5-10 seconds for an entire game. It's difficult to do while playing, but once you get the hang of it see how many times it'll save you.
  • A good rule of thumb is to act cautiously as if you are always alone. Don't let your team lull you into a false sense of security. Just because your lane partner is pushing, doesn't mean it's safe for you to push as well. They may have flash or an escape.
  • Cautious play can lead to you missing out on some kill opportunities at first, but after some practice, you will know when it's the time to be offensive or defensive. 
  • Wards are your best friend. Not your lanemate, wards. Wards. Wards. Use them sparingly, and respect them.

I hope this guide provides you with what you need to get better. As I have already mentioned, the key way to get better at League of Legends is to play more. Find some friends, play with them. Harass some mexicans, play some more.

If you're looking for other guides, you can find them here.

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