League of Legends Beginner’s Guide

By   /   Jan 16, 2012

Xan Hisam – League of Legends is a free-to-play online multiplayer game classified as a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) and quite similar to other games in the genre. In this starter guide we will walk you through the basics of the game to get you started.

Those familiar with the Warcraft 3 mod, ‘DotA’ or any other similar game can skip ‘The Basics’ part of this guide. The game now has 90 champions, 3 maps, and 2 different game modes. The content in League of Legends is continuously updated, with a new champion being added to the League almost once every 2 weeks.

The Basics

The gameplay in League of Legends is much like any other RTS game. However, instead of controlling a team, you control a single champion. Two teams of five (at max) player-controlled champions battle each other on different maps.

The objective of either team (in a normal game) is to destroy the enemy nexus while protecting theirs from being destroyed. Waves of AI-controlled minions spawn at regular intervals that mindlessly charge towards the enemy base and fight the first hostile they see, serving as cannon fodder for the player-controlled champions.

Killing these minions or enemy champions earns you gold and experience points. The gold earned can be used to buy better equipment for your champion while the experience points gained help you level up your character. Leveling up improves your champion’s stats and lets you upgrade your champion’s abilities.

Getting Started

To begin playing, you must first download the game client from the official site and register an account on the server of your choice. After the download finishes, install the game and run the client.

The launcher will check for and download any updates available. Once it finishes updating, click play. Log in using the account you registered a few steps back (make sure you have selected the correct region at the launcher).

League of Legends Tutorial

I suggest starting off with the in-game tutorial. It’s a good way to learn the controls and get a hang on some basic stuff. Once you’ve completed both the tutorials, you could start practicing in PvE by playing Co-Op vs. AI against beginner bots (recommended), or you could start playing normal games immediately. You should however have a look at all the champions and their abilities from the ‘Champions’ tab in your summoner profile before you begin a normal game.

This way, you’ll know what your enemies are capable of, and you’ll also be able to choose a champion for yourself that’s fitting to your play-style. I recommend practicing with a ranged character first if you have no previous experience in similar games.

League of Legends Hub

The PVP.net landing page acts as a hub for the game. From here, you can access various sections of the game and queue up for a match.

  1. The play button opens up the matchmaking screen. From here, you select your desired game type and map. Once done, hit ‘Match me with teammates’ to get queued or select ‘I will invite my own teammates’ to queue as a group with your friends.
  2. You can access the League of Legends marketplace with the store button. You can purchase champions, runes, skins and other various items using IP and/or RP.
  3. This button takes you to your profile. You can look at your stats, customize mastery and rune pages, view the game’s champions (champions you do not have are grayed out) and use the search tab to look at other summoner profiles.
  4. Pressing this button brings up the Journal of Justice.
  5. Opens up the in-game manual. Handy guide for learning the basics or reviewing them.
  6. Displays the amount of RP (Riot Points) you currently have.
  7. Displays the amount of IP (Influence Points) you currently have.
  8. Does not exist in the picture, (apparently, I suck at counting) SKIP.
  9. Your summoner name. The purple bar behind (blank if you’re at zero XP) your summoner name is the ‘XP’ (experience points) bar.
  10. This is your summoner display picture. You can click it to change the picture.
  11. This button returns you to the PVP.net Landing Page.
  12. Any notifications from Riot Games regarding service appear here.
  13. Opens the options screen for PVP.net (in-game options are separate and can only be accessed during a match)
  14. Clicking this button pops up the friend list.
  15. This button opens up the chat room tab. From here, you can create and/or join existing chat rooms.
  16. The notification tab is where game and chat invites can be viewed.

Champion Selection Screen

When queued, you will be taken to the champion selection screen after a match has been found. This is where you choose a champion and the loadout to be used in the following match.

  1. This is where you and your team’s champion selections show up, along with their summoner spells.
  2. Enemy champion selections are visible here (enemy champions are not visible in blind pick).
  3. The champion selection countdown. Once it reaches zero, all champion selections are automatically locked and cannot be changed. A champion is randomly selected for players who do not pick a champion before the timer hits zero.
  4. The ‘Champions’ tab shows all champions available to you. Champions with exclamation marks are champions that are free for the week (10 champions are available to everyone for a week and the lineup changes every week). Champions already picked by someone in your team are grayed out. In draft pick and ranked, champions picked by your enemies are grayed out as well.
  5. The runes and masteries tab lets you quickly choose a page from your saved runebook and mastery pages.
  6. The summoner spells tab shows your currently equipped summoner spells. Clicking on it lets you choose your desired spells from those available to you.
  7. The ‘Lock In’ button locks your champion selection. This takes you to the ‘Skins’ tab. Here, you can choose which champion skin you wish to use. You cannot change your champion once you have locked in.
  8. The team chat is where you can communicate with your team-mates during the champion selection phase.
  9. The search bar lets you filter champions by tags and names. Useful for quickly finding your champion.
  10. At the end of the countdown, another 20 second countdown begins to let you finalize your loadout decisions. Once this countdown reaches zero, the PVP.net lauchpad minimizes and the game client begins to load.

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