Posted by: innerfire | July 21, 2011

League of Legends for Beginners

So, life has been hectic. I’ve missed this blog, and all the wonderful things we came up with here, so I’m giving it another try. While I no longer play Warcraft, I’m still intensely interested in gaming as a whole, especially the new breed of free-to-play games. Since school doesn’t start for a while, I don’t see a reason I can’t get a head-start on returning.

So, what is Inner Fire playing? Right now, League of Legends. LoL (yeah, really) is a multiplayer co-op RTS. If you ever played Defense of the Ancients, this will be very similar – some of the same team, and same general gameplay. You have champions, each with their own playstyle, fighting for control of a field and the death of your enemies (AI or players.)

The learning curve on this is pretty high, so let’s start with a quick tutorial. Don’t worry, about 3-5 games in and you’ll get it.

Once you’ve gotten through the very-basic tutorial you’re ready to go fight stuff. WAIT! Go to where it says Play, then make a Custom 3 v 3 game. If you don’t have two other friends playing, just add in bots. You want a custom game for your first two or three fights to learn what Champions you like and how they play. Anything smaller than 3 v 3 and you won’t get to fight other champions enough. You NEED this to learn how to harass, how to last hit enemies, how to push or freeze lanes.

There are a lot of terms and glossaries out there – I’m just going to go over what you need to know to play, not things like ‘qq’.

Basic Glossary of Terms:

Tank – Able to withstand high amounts of damage/abuse. Should be leading the charge against other champions and keeping them off squishies.
Tanky DPS – A class that is more damage oriented than a regular tank, but still able to handle abuse. If you’re the heavy in your lane, you better be protecting the others. Otherwise, kill stuff. Think old Fury Warriors from WoW.
Carry – Weak in the beginning, strong at the end – enough to ‘carry’ a team to a win by getting heavy champion kills. Should be farming xp and gold through early and some-mid game.
Pusher – Pushes lanes hard, takes towers and kills minions. Often overlaps with other roles.
Early, Mid, Late Game – So, your champion levels from 1-18, so early is 1-6 or so (6 is when you first get your Ultimate), mid is 7-12, and late is 12-18. Some champions shine early, others later – know your abilities in comparison to other champions.
DPS – Champions designed for sustained DPS. Often, but not always, gear dependent (example: Ashe)
Support – Healing, battlefield control, buffs and debuffs. A good Support is absolutely critical.
Burst – also ‘mages’, these are meant to explode an opponent then relatively weak until their cooldowns allow another burst.
Jungler – Designed to go kill stuff in the jungles. They’re important for getting gold, exp, team buffs from mobs in the jungle, and preventing the other team from getting said rewards. Usually tanky DPS in a pinch.
Runes – Out-of-game buffs that can be bought in the store and placed in slots (gained per level), that affect all champions using that rune list.
Lanes – the roads with turrets on them you need to kill.
Masteries – Talent trees for LoL.
Champions – The characters you play. Get good at one of each class – Tank, DPS, Support, Burst/mage, and Utility (junglers or tanky DPS usually) rather than just one character, since you never know what you’ll be expected to play in a match, and poor balance kills teams.
Last Hit – In order to get gold, you need to last hit the minions. Gold is good! You also want to prevent the other team from getting gold/exp from killing your minions through Zone Control, but also be careful not to push the minions too far from your tower (and thus safety) before you’re ready.

Ashe the Frost Archer

Each week, there are set champions available for everyone for free, and you can save up IP (game money) to buy new champions. As a new player, you have enough to buy one of the cheap champions, but don’t feel pressured to. Ashe or kayle are very much worth it. Further, Ashe, Shen, Garen, Maokai, Nasus, Nunu, Soraka, Master Yi, Taric, Tristana are all excellent, fun, and easy to learn. When you first get a character, whether it’s free this week or you bought them, go check out a build guide on Solomid or Leaguecraft. By reading how a champion is basically played, how their abilites work and what ‘builds’ will help you play them best and most importantly, you’ll avoid the initial ‘suck’ period while you’re learning a champion for the first time which could potentially ruin your new purchase.

Play all the free champions available each week as well, and at least 2-3 times – you need to learn their skills so you can counter them, and you want to learn which ones you like before you buy. Additionally, different champions will teach you different skills – Annie teaches ranges and zones of control, Teemo teaches map awareness, etc.

Final Advice: AVOID DYING AT ALL COSTS. First thing in battle is buy an item appropriate to the character (usually the suggested ones are fine, and give you an idea of your focus) and health potions. Each time you die, you’re off the field and giving exp to the other team. Don’t be a feeder! <3



  1. It’s alive!

    I’ve been picking up League over the last few weeks too, though unfortunately I’ve graduated past your target demographic with this. Still, good post!

    • I’ve actually got an intermediate guide written up which I’ll post in a bit, wanted to work out any kinks in it so it’s accurate.

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