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How League of Legends Determines the Drop-Rate of Key Fragments

When was the last time that you asked why your League of Legends games are not dropping enough key fragments? Chances are that it was quite recent.

In a recent post on the Nexus, systems designer Riot Socrates explained just how the system works. We do know that players require three key fragments to forge a single key in order to unlock Hextech chests for random cosmetic rewards. However, the drop-rate for key fragments is based on a prescribed rule-set that balances several factors, including randomness and luck.

Here are the basic rules to how League of Legends determines the drop-rate of key fragments:

  • Key fragments are only dropped from wins.
  • Key fragments drop-rates work off of a per player cyclical reset timer, similar to chests. Higher drop-rates are slightly front-loaded and gradually slow based on the total number of key fragments you’ve received in a cycle until the reset.
  • It’s possible to earn 4 keys (12 fragments) in a 4-week period. This matches the number of chests players can get.
  • There is a bad-luck protection rule that puts a maximum number of wins between key fragment drops.
  • Players get a small drop chance bonus if they were in a premade game.

From a personal observation, the decaying cyclical reset timer also seems to cover account activity and champions in play. Spamming matches one after another, and swapping between the same champions appear to see a low drop-rate for key fragments. While this could be false, but resuming activity after a couple of days of break and playing with new champions drop key fragments more regularly.

Riot Games believes that there is room for improvement and perhaps a future update could see players getting access to more free content. However, there definitely needs to be a threshold so that the company can still keep its earnings within limit of spending on the betterment of League of Legends.

There are certain possibilities for how the Hextech crafting system can be involved, but now is not the right time for Riot Games to be sharing those details.