So I just started out playing League of Legends. I've got a friend who plays and we started up a bot game so that I could learn the basic commands.

It wasn't pretty.

The bots basically slaughtered us. I eventually ended the match with 3 kills, 17 deaths, and two assists. My friend, of course, did better, but she couldn't tell me what she was doing or why she was doing it. Which makes it hard to know what I need to be learning.

The first thing a new Left 4 Dead player should try to learn is effective communication with teammates. The first thing a new TF2 player should try to learn is what situations each class excels in and which each class in vulnerable in. But League of Legends has cash management, character management, runes, item builds, not to mention tactics once on the field...it's hard to know where to start.

What's the first thing a new League of Legends player should try to learn?

9 Answers 9


Map Awareness

Riot has garnered some pretty effective videos with their Video Tutorial contest (Links posted below). As a beginner, you want to primarily focus on making sure you don't get ambushed by the other team (called a "gank"). While some of this involves Map Awareness, you also need to learn to not overextend, as well as keeping an eye on the enemies you're fighting in your lane. If you cannot see one or both of the enemies in your lane, let your teammates know!

Last Hitting

Killing minions and enemy players nets you gold to buy items. However, if you don't land the killing blow on an enemy minion, you will get ZERO gold, even if you've done most of the damage to it.

The faster you kill enemy minions, the faster the minions reach the enemy tower, which will make quick work of all non-cannon minions. It's better to keep the minion fights as close to the middle as you can; you only need to finish off the minion to get gold from it -- see if you can limit yourself to only attacking minions when you will kill them!

Tower Aggro

The enemy towers are dangerous. They have lots of health, armor, and a powerful attack that can quickly decimate low-level heroes. It's important, then, to know how the turret picks its target.

Enemy towers will always target allied minions first, switching to champions only if there are no longer any allied minions around. The exception to this is if you deal damage to an enemy champion, in which case the tower will immediately switch to the damaging champion, shooting at them until they die or move out of range.

Let me repeat that: If you deal damage to an enemy champion within range of the tower, it will immediately start shooting at you: You do not want this. Be very careful when attacking the enemy at their own tower.

Recommended Viewing

Four of these videos are a result of the Valoran Video Contest held by Riot Games, and are quick, 1-minute videos touching on just the basics (which seems exactly what you're looking for). The fifth video is made by Shurelia, an employee of Riot Games, and goes much more in-depth into what "Zoning" is, and how to take advantage of it.

  • Very good answer, also aditionally you can find guides on the following sites:
    – WeGi
    Commented Feb 22, 2011 at 9:58
  • 1
    link - A Lot of Charakter Builds, so you know which items and runes to buy and how to play a certain charakter.
    – WeGi
    Commented Feb 22, 2011 at 9:59
  • link Also a a lot of Charakter builds and also strategy guides and gameplay tactics. (Sorry for the three Comments, pressed Enter at the wrong time)
    – WeGi
    Commented Feb 22, 2011 at 10:00
  • +1 for map awareness. So so so many people have none, and it loses games.
    – theorise
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 16:02
  • I would add: watching out for dives to this list
    – tzenes
    Commented Feb 26, 2011 at 23:19

Don't Die (aka Don't Feed)

First and most important rule in League of Legends is to not die, or at least, not die easily out of a team fight.

Your death cause a lot of troubles to you and your team. While you are dead and waiting to respawn:

  1. You don't acquire experience for minions kills.
  2. You don't acquire gold from last hitting minions.
  3. You leave your lane and risk to lose the tower (early-mid game)
  4. Your team is disadvantaged in team fight due to inferior number (mid-later game)

In order to avoid dying easily remember that your towers are nice friends especially in early game; move near them, while recovering health/mana.

If you spare some gold buy a couple of wards in the first teleport back to your base and put them in the bushes to avoid being easily ganked (attacked by an enemy coming from mid or another lane and basically attacking you from where you dont expect them to attack you from).

In addition, I just found this guide that I think is good to read for a beginner: 10 things every League of Legends player should known.

  • 4
    Dieing and feeding are two very different things. Understanding the difference is important, but it's not the first thing a n00blet should learn.
    – zzzzBov
    Commented Mar 3, 2011 at 16:41
  • @zzzzBov Of course feeding in the "title" is a little provocative and in fact I explained better my concept in the answer's content. It happened at least once to every player that started playing LoL to be called "feeder", and these are my 2 cents to avoid it. More times you get killed in a early-game more frustrating will become the mid-late game. And when you are low in equip and your level is 3-4 less then other players for sure there is nothing you can learn in that game about ganking, team fight, map control and so on because you are useless at that point.
    – Drake
    Commented Mar 4, 2011 at 11:34
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    it's important to be able to distinguish fights where you die from fights where you die after taking a bunch of enemies out with you. If you know you're gonna kill one of the enemy champs and possibly another, it might just be worth it if you die (tower dive finishing kills can be this way). But as I said, it's not the first thing a new player should learn, which is what the question is after.
    – zzzzBov
    Commented Mar 4, 2011 at 16:44
  • I fail soooo hard at this it's not funny.
    – badp
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 17:19
  • 1
    @badp LoL is a frustrating game many times, even for players with 1000 and more games played. But it gives also a lot of satisfaction when things go how you would.
    – Drake
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 23:23


Actually, this is basically true for just about any team-based game - if you're in the right place, you're helpful regardless of how unskilled you are as a player. If you're in the wrong place, you're either contributing nothing, or getting butchered by the enemy team, and this is true regardless of your individual skill level.

With regards to LoL specifically, my suggestion would be to find a good, general purpose build, then print it out and tape it to your monitor. Follow that build exactly, every game. It won't be optimal, but it will be "good enough" and let you basically ignore that part of the game and focus on learning the important stuff. Like positioning. Then once you're comfortable with that, you can start to investigate different builds.

  • Thanks for the suggestion about the build - that's exactly what I think I'll do.
    – Steve V.
    Commented Feb 23, 2011 at 13:42
  • 1
    There is no such thing as a "general purpose build" in LoL that fits all champions. AT THE LEAST you need a different build for each of the main roles - AD, AP, Fighter. There are plenty of build sites for LoL - use them! As for positioning I agree completely.
    – Daniel P
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 7:10
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    I would add that the "Recommended Items" that each champion has listed in the shop by default are usually not too bad if you're just starting out. They may not be optimal or "meta" but they usually synergize at least a little with the champion's kit.
    – Mage Xy
    Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 19:37

Pushing wins games

Pushing is what wins games, not killing. Killing just makes the job of pushing easier. It is perfectly possible to push with the entire enemy not dying once.

I pick Sivir a fair amount and get called a noob, people queue jump. Ok she offers a lot less than a lot of champions in team fights, but she had great escape mechanisms and unrivalled pushing.

Always make sure your team has some sort of pusher. A good technique is to backdoor. Just tell your team to be defensive during a team fight, so it is 4v5 (and a tower on your side) whilst you teleport up to an enemy tower, and later in the game, its probably going to fall VERY quickly. Make sure you don't overpush and flee if you see the enemy coming back to gank you.

Pushing also gives you map control, towers are a defensive checkpoint and champions won't want to push too far in fear of getting ganked.


When team fights start you need to co-ordinate and know who to focus and when. There is no point focusing a tank, at all. There is no point focusing a Tryndamere at the start of the fight, less hp = more damage. Focus on the vulnerable damage dealers (carries). Worry about the others later.

  • 7
    +1 for pushing wins games. Most people I've played with don't understand: turrets > kills. I had a game last night were the score at the end was 10-56 and we won because the other team couldn't figure out how to push.
    – zzzzBov
    Commented Mar 3, 2011 at 16:38

My first word of advice would be to play with bots for a while, probably the first thirty or so games. They are generally regarded as 'scrub' games so there isn't much pressure, fortunately.

You'll learn tactics as you play. The primers:

  1. Try not to die.
  2. If you're a beginner, follow builds left to right. I try to buy cheaper things rather than saving for later if I die or have to go back to base.
  3. Last hits (i.e. killing blows) on minions are very important.
  4. Team composition is important! Learn the characters' strengths AND weaknesses so you can both play better as them and so you'll know what to expect when playing against them. At least try playing different types so you know how they function.
  5. Early game should focus more on minion kills and mid game is when the gloves come off and you should start getting aggressive. Turrets hurt a lot early game, but as the game goes on, they become less of an obstacle. Respect the turret.

If you're stuck on what to do with runes and masteries, find your favorite champion on Mobafire and go from there. You can learn a lot about runes, masteries, and strategies for those champions on mobafire. You may want to go with a more defenseive build, and then change it as you go on. More expensive runes are not necessarily better. Each champ has strengths and weaknesses; it's often a good idea to build runes that best compliment your favorite champion.

When playing against bots, don't be afraid to try new champs and strategies! It can be scary at first, but don't be afraid. Feel free to play the tutorials a few times if you are still unfamiliar with the controls.

LoL is one of those "easy to learn, impossible to master" games. Good luck, and have fun!


I would recommend a few things, in combination or individually.

First, The 100 Game Challenge. Developed by the kids over at lowelo.com, the 100 game challenge is a bit of a struggle but if you can get through it can take your game to a new level. They can explain it best over at their site, but I'll give you a quick rundown. Essentially, the 100 game challenge is precisely what it sounds like: 100 games with the same champion, with each block of 25 games focusing on a different aspect of the game.

Games 1 - 25, you focus on last hitting. The goal is not to win the game, or to win your lane, or even not to die. Your only focus is learning precisely when your champion of choice can take advantage of a minion that's about to die.

Games 26 - 50, the goal is item build. Again, victory is not your primary goal. Play around with itemization. While mobafire//lolpros guides can be an excellent place to start, it's important that you not allow them to be the be-all and end-all of your item strategy. To that end, try as many different builds as you can -- a different one each game is ideal. Do your best to figure out what items are so effective they're must-buys, which items are good in some situations and not others, and which you should avoid entirely.

Games 51 - 75 focus on teamfighting. The broad strokes are the same as above, do your best to focus on teamfighting, using the last-hitting skills you built over the first 25 games to build the items from the next set, without beating yourself up too much over your failures. Personally, I find the initiation to be the most important part of teamfighting (with my champion, when should I initiate? Who are my best targets? Should I initiate at all, or leave it up to the Malphite?) but positioning and focus are also vital. For ADCs, teamfights are more about knowing who to hit with what when, whereas for mids keeping yourself safe is usually paramount, and most tops have to worry a bit more about keeping their allies safe than dealing damage.

The final set of games, 76 - 100, is just putting it all together. By now you should have a good picture of what you're meant to be doing during each phase of the game, and during this set start exploring higher concepts, such as what your strong and weak matchups are, your overall style of play, and the other ineffable sorts of things that none the less matter quite a bit in League.

While the benefits of the 100 Game Challenge are manyfold, one of the most important things I took away from it is that you are the most important aspect of your success or failure. While you can absolutely get carried to victory on the shoulders of stronger team members, and get dragged down by wumblers, over a long enough time frame the only constant is you. Focus in on one portion of the game at a time, and it becomes much more digestible.

Unfortunately, the 100 Game Challenge only really works for Top, ADC, and Support. Lowelo has talked about putting out similar things for junglers and supports, but as of this writing they haven't.

Secondly, play Ezreal. He might not be the very best champion, and he might not mesh particularly well with your personal style, but I'm a big believer in newbies playing at least 10 or 20 games with him. Why? Every single one of his abilities is a skillshot, that is, an ability that fires in a particular path, not according to a specific target. Not every champion has a skillshot in their kit, but the vast majority of them have at least one. Forcing yourself to play a champion where you have very little choice but to get good at skillshots can have a dramatic effect on your ability to actually land the dang things.

Finally, Read. A lot. I said above you shouldn't rely too heavily on Mobafire for your exact loadouts, and I stand by that, but they can be extremely useful for a number of reasons. Most guides have the subject's skills laid out in plain English rather than the rather dense and opaque language that Riot tends to use, as well as including some nice bits about how those skills are used. Likewise, most guides have some portion of the text dedicated to why the items highlighted in the guide are used. It can be very useful to have an understanding not only of what champions actually do, but how they are most frequently played.

In addition to Mobafire, lowelo.com, reignofgaming.net, and Riot's website have pretty frequent and comprehensive breakdowns of existing mechanics, as well as upcoming ones.

Good luck!


Hmm for beginners here is my crazy logic. Play bots and play singed, run in to fights and die, a lot! after you do this, you will start figuring it his "limit" so you can eventually start getting out of the fight alive. learn how much damage things do and how what will kill you, you start to say, ok I was ignited, and I have so much health, but I know for a fact Im going to live. This is how I started playing.

Once you start to get this down, try and play matches where don't die, if you do die, don't worry about it whatever, this is just a goal to try and reach.

Logic behind the madness: I've seen too many people play way too passive, as in not even farming because they are scared, its stupid. there are so many reasons why this isn't good. So I guess if I could put it in a term it would be "smart aggressive," well not so much aggressive but you want to be there, and not just sit under tower and /d.

Anyways I hope this is helpful.


I have some suggestions after you have done those tutorials:

Finding a position in team that is best for you:

There are 5 positions each game, ADC (physical damage carry), APC (magic damage carry) PS: definition of carry is here, support, topliner, jungler, each of them served different purpose and being critical during some period of time.

(1) ADC: essential at later game (after 20 mins) since its items are built up. Usually go botline with supporter, require a very good farming skills (such as Last Hit, and Lining). Usually, if a game lost because of the lack of damage later than 30 mins. It is totally ADC's fault. Player's recommanded skills: good Last Hit skill (trying to aim to get 100 CS (Creeps Slain) in 10 mins), good lining (knowing when to haress enemy, when to fallback for jungler's gank while make CS AMAP (as much as possible)), good communication with supporter (this is very critical difference between a good player and a bad player. In addition, if ADC and supporter can't communicate well, you lose half of the lining).

(2) APC: Ability Power Carrier. The role is essential at 15-30 mins, the main DPS dealer at this period. If you lose game at this period, fault maybe this role. The lining usually very aggrosive in middle since it is the shortest line and jungler are easy to gank bcz of the bushes around. Usually, you will need blue buffs from 2nd blue buff spawmed. Player's recommanded skills: good Last Hit skill & spell casting (you are not only use normal damage to CS anymore, you may use some spells to cs.), map awareness (bcz the junglers can punch your face badly), good communication with jungler (if you can force enemy recall, you get advantage, if you killed them with jungler and not die, the line is about to be yours.), knowing what to do on 15-30mins team fight.

(3) topliner: it is a essential role at time starting with first team fight, because it must be either good tank, or good DPS at later game, and not easy to die. Why? Because the top line is the long line while you only have 1 person on top. So, you must be tanky somehow. Junglers love topline, and usually topliner are OP if they get enough item, kind of like a tanker with DPS just lower than main ADC. Player's recommanded skills: good Last Hit skill, GREAT solo lining skills (as I known off, usually it is the breaking point of a team if topline winning, and since they solo, they fight quiet often and dead often too.), GREAT communication with both jungler and mid-liner (usually ADC) (Bcz you are the equally easiest to be haressed by jungler, even they can gank you. So you will need someone to protect you, who is the jungler and wards you put in bush.)

(4) jungler: it is a early role, it supposed to have not much gold in game unless it ganked well. The first 20 mins if your team lost advantages without lining problems, that must be jungler's fault. Junglers supposed to make the team gainning advantage, or at least not let opponent side gainning advantages. Player's recommanded skills: Extremely good at map awareness (so many of them such as which line used flash, buffer time, mobs spawn pattern, the posistion of enemy's jungler, line absent, etc.), great communicator (gank success or not is all based on communication). For me, it seems like the hardest role...

(5) supporter: This is a role that controls the vision on whole map, and keeps an eye on ADC. If your team lose bcz of ambush on bot half of the map at beginning, or anywhere later game, it is supporter's fault. You will never get many kills, and always bodyguard for carriers, but you will get supported by gainning money items and do not need to stand in front while team fight. While the botline's advantage is all based on you supporters.

  • APC = Ability Power Carry
    – T J
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 11:47
  • 1
    Suggesting 10 mins at least 120 CS to newbies is WAY overkill. I've seen pros admitting they don't get that CS in most matches. Half of that is good for a newbie.
    – T J
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 11:51
  • 1
    Now I learned that Bronze = 40 CS/min
    – windsound
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 15:43
  • 1
    Silver = 60 CS/min Gold = 80 CS/min
    – windsound
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 15:44
  • 1
    You meant /10minute :)
    – T J
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 15:46

The understanding that many of the strategies you read about and learn will change based on the "level" (ELO, which even non Ranked players have, but it remains hidden) you are playing at. E.g., pushing does win games, but as you get up against better and better competition knowing when to push is critical. You can't just put the pedal to the metal willy nilly. zzzzBov's experience wouldn't happen at higher ELOs, because a team will know how to push.

Also, you need to learn to accept failure. You have to get familiar with dozens and dozens of champions - not just to play them but to understand how to face them (if you ever have trouble against someone, play them a few times when they come up in the free rotation). You need to keep adding new tactics to your repertoire as you level. You need to understand that at the end of the day an individual lane matchup (like many things, this is more true at higher ELOs) is a pretty huge determiner in the outcome of that lane (yes, Jarvan is a great champ. Going 1v2 versus two ranged characters is still very likely to go badly for you, even though Jarvan 1v1 against a ranged AD in a lane will usually go poorly for the ranged AD).

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