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A Beginner’s Guide to Playing League of Legends

by: Milawe ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Learn all the basic tips and strategies for winning in the new MMORTS known as League of Legends. Play for free and still be great by using this walkthrough that explains how to win early. Knowing LoL basics will help you beat the other team.

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    Introduction to League of Legends (LoL) - MMORPG / MMORTS

    League of Legends is an massively multiplayer online real time strategy game or an MMORTS. Players run a champion character and fight alongside minions to destroy enemy towers in order to capture their base. They work along with four other champions to accomplish this mission. The game is free to play but operates with micro-transactions, allowing players to unlock champions and skins.

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    Logging on

    Simply download the client from the League of Legends homepage. The download may take some time for people with slower connections. Once the game is downloaded, simply install it, run it, and hit play. Wait for all the patches to be updated, and then get ready to play the tutorial. The tutorial is much, much shorter than a real game, but it teaches players the basics of how to operate their champion, use abilities, attack, and level.

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    Picking A Champion

    champions   Picking the appropriate champion is the first step in playing League of Legends. Some are much easier to master than play than others, but the ones that are harder to play have a greater impact on the game. Ashe is a good champion to learn on simply because she does relatively decent damage, can stay at range, and has an excellent stun to help her get away or to help her kill another champion. She also levels relatively quickly due to her Volley power. Blitz is also excellent to learn on since he takes a great deal of damage and is capable of some excellent DPS as well. Either way, pick a champion and feel free to enter a practice game. Keep in mind, however, that picking a champion occurs in whatever order players click and choose their champions. That means that two players may go into a game wanting to play Ashe, but only one player will get to do so. The system is first-come-first-serve, so pick champions quickly.

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    Picking Spells

    LoL Spells   Each player can pick two spells that can be cast for no mana. These spells can be used in addition to the four abilities that each champion possesses, but these spells will not increase in level. As the players’ accounts level, more and more spells become available, but for any single game, a player may only choose two spells total. Use them wisely.


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    Laning and Leveling in League of Legends (LoL)

    In LoL, laning refers to picking one of the three lands on the board and leveling up on the minions. Simply pick a lane and defend it while leveling up on the champions available. This is standard operating procedure for almost all the characters. Stay close to the tower for added protection. If an opposing champion targets a player while that player is near his own tower, the tower will pick that opposing champion as its primary target. Players often kill opposing players who make this mistake. Thus, when pushing a tower with a champion, players must be very careful not to target any defending champions unless they mean to do so. Performing a quick strike on a tower defender and running away before the tower can react is also a valid tactic to use. If there is an Ashe on the board, she usually solos the middle the lane while the others duo the top and bottom lanes. Warwick, however, can level by running through the jungle and killing the NPCs located there. This is not a strategy to be used by beginners because it actually does take a bit of practice.

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    Gear Builds in League of Legends (LoL)

    Building gear is another extremely important part of leveling. Gear can add to damage, prevent damage, and even swallow spells. Knowing what kind of damage a champion does is also vital to learning to play well, and learning what roles each character can play also plays a part in gear buying strategy. This not not something that can be explained easily in a beginner's guide, so please see our advanced guides on the subject. For beginners, feel free to go with the suggested list found at the shop.

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    Killing Other Players

    Killing other players often takes quite a bit of strategy and practice. Learning the basic powers of the champions is the key to doing well. Not only do players have to learn the powers of their chosen champions, they also have to learn the powers of their opposing champions. This knowledge really only comes via practice or reading forums. Each champion has an Ultimate power which is bound to the R button. This is usually the champion’s most powerful attack and can consists of a nuke plus stun, a grab plus stun, or even a global heal to all allies. These Ultimate powers are often called “ults" by LoL players, and combining champion ults can often lead to a devastating kill.

    Killing players is excellent fun and can provide an exciting thrill. The object of the game, however, is not killing players but conquering the enemy base. Thus, taking down towers is the way to win the game.

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    Spending Mastery Points

    masterypoints   Mastery points come when a player’s account levels. Each time a player plays a game, he or she earns experience points (XP) and influence points (IP). Experience points allow the account itself to level up, and thus, giving the player more mastery points to spend. Mastery points can be spent in one of three trees: offense, defense and utility. They can be redistributed endlessly, so do not be afraid to try different combinations. Simply hit the “Return Points" button in order to free up all mastery points, and then “Save Focus" when all the points have been spent.

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    Practice, Practice, Practice is vital to success in this MMORTS

    League of Legends is a game that can only be mastered through practice, much like any other real-time strategy game. Even the best players sometimes lose when they come up against a better strategy or a better team. Practice games occur frequently and can be created with bots (computer controlled character) or with other players. The best time to try something new is in a practice game rather than a normal game, so players should practice new champions in practice games.

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