I'm sure everyone has had this issue at some point. Outleveling your lane enemy is usually the difference between life and death. So the question is when to hit the recall button. Interested in all lanes, all roles. For example, Support: hit recall when you have 620 gold to get that Philosopher's Stone.
The amount you return to fountain should always be minimized
You'll notice an experienced player returns to fountain much less often than a newer player. Less time at the fountain means more income.
We can break down the logic into periods of the game:
High level goals of laning phase:
Try to return after pushing your lane.
Make sure your opponent can't shove the lane and cause you to lose CS at the tower while you're returning
Try to return ONLY after you've saved enough to actually purchase something
What's the point to returning to heal, if you could have waited one more wave and purchased a big item to help?
Return if you need additional health or wards
This is tricky. Unless you feel like you're in absolute danger of dying to an attack or gank from the jungler then you do not need to go back.
High level goals of Mid game:
Don't just back if you're low on health or mana
Even if you're low on health, if you're knowledgeable of the enemy and have map awareness, you can still farm and gain gold until you have enough for an item. This is especially true if you have life steal.
Playing a mage with low mana? Knowing blue is up in 15 seconds can save you a trip and valuable time.
Don't back when you know an objective is close
I know you're dying to finish your Infinity Edge, but what's it worth when you're back at base and your team just died at dragon?
If you find yourself in a position where you can get significantly stronger, ask your team to stall an objective while you purchase. Make sure you have vision of the objective before backing.
High level goals of late game:
Be sure to back with your team, or when you don’t put them at risk
I've seen a lot of games lost from one poor initiation late game. If you're not with your team, you increase the chance of having your team killed without you. Back when you feel you're not going to place your team in a position when you're at base, and they're getting caught.
Know timers for objectives
If baron is up in 10 seconds and the enemy knows you're backing, you better believe they're going to start baron knowing they have an advantage. As I mentioned earlier, if you MUST back, let your team know to stall, and do NOT let the other team know you're backing.
That's just the tip of the iceberg, honestly. It all comes down to intuition. Best of luck
I will start with general laning. A guideline you really can't go wrong with is to buy when your laning opponent buys (or within a reasonable amount of time after). It is essential to keep up with your opponent in items and consumables (wards and pots). If you choose not to buy after your opponent does and he returns with items, you could end up in a sticky spot in terms of losing CS, being zoned, or even killed.
Supports should generally go back when their carries go back. This is to prevent a pattern where only one of you is in lane at certain points. If this happens, that one player will get completely zoned by a good opposing lane. Supports should also go back when at risk of being bursted down (common sense) and during some situations such as no wards + no information on enemy jungler (meaning your carry cannot CS safely).
Since an answer that covers every champion in every lane is beyond my
There's a lot of variables here. The basic goal is to wait until you can pick up a core item for your role without risking enemy champ free farming, lane partner dying or losing your tower.
If you are low enough to be killed you clearly don't have a choice - that aside, before leaving you should ask yourself -
depends, if i lane i go back when i kill their lane and push the creeps to their turret to deny them xp and possibly reset the lane. Or when you see they backed and are ahead of you in items, in which its not good to stay in lane as you dont want to put yourself behind. As in the jungle, i recall after i farm the jungle enough to but my gp5 or first item, possibly after the first or second gank to keep my lane presence on the map. but you are right to push their creeps and take their jungle to be ahead, deny your lane opponent xp and such.