I hear a lot of people talking about Elo, saying things like I need to "build my Elo" or my Elo is horrible.

What exactly is it and how does it affect me in a game, if at all? I watched a YouTube video last night and it was called 500 Elo streak but it really didn't make any sense at all. His kill-to-death ratio was not good at all, but he had assists and he said it went up… why?

Does it matter whether you win or lose or does it go off your score? Say I'm 6/2/15, but we lost. Will I gain Elo or lose it? Or if I was 2/10/3 but won the game would I gain or lose Elo?

  • FYI, the answers below talk about your Elo, but you won't actually be able to SEE yours in League of Legends until you're playing Ranked games at level 30. Normal games use Elo, but it's hidden from you since they're supposed to be less "serious".
    – lilserf
    Mar 25, 2012 at 6:14

3 Answers 3


An "Elo Rating" is a method games, usually Online Multiplayer games, use to separate stronger players from players who aren't as fortunate at the game. Using this method, League of Legends chooses who you will play with when you play the Ranked games with other players. To establish an elo rating, you need to play a few ranked game and after a while, you'll be able to see your rating in your profile and while waiting in some lobbies. League of Legends starts new player off at 1200 Elo. Winning, especially against high-Elo opponents, will increase your own Elo rating. Losing will make it drop. The best League of Legends players approach or surpass the 2000 Elo mark.

  • Oh wow so then is it based on wins or kill death assist minion kills? That's really cool so this is one of the ways players get onto teams like clg finatic and AAA?
    – conjim
    Mar 25, 2012 at 6:04
  • It's just based on wins/losses and the Elo of the other team.
    – lilserf
    Mar 25, 2012 at 6:13
  • Well I don't see how that's fair if I'm 20/3/5 but I lose because of my team how is that fair to me? Why should I lose elo?
    – conjim
    Mar 25, 2012 at 6:17
  • 2
    It's fair because K:D doesn't win games, killing the enemy fortress wins games. Your support who buys a bunch of wards isn't going to get 20 kills but on a good team he contributes just as much to the win as you do. In the long run, if you're losing frequently because of your team, it's probably not because of your team.
    – Decency
    Mar 25, 2012 at 7:21

Elo measures your effectiveness as a player. In ranked queues, for each game you win or lose, you gain or lose elo.

500 elo streak means he played a long streak of games and won enough to gain 500 elo.


Actually, its a rating system ported over to gaming and almost always fails. RIOT uses a highly tweaked version of it cause it straight across was very very poor to start with.

Check out the wikipedia page if ya want to know more about Elo and the method he made, here is a quote:

The Elo rating system is a method for calculating the relative skill levels of players in two-player games such as chess. It is named after its creator Arpad Elo, a Hungarian-born American physics professor. The Elo system was invented as an improved chess rating system, but today it is also used in many other games. It is also used as a rating system for multiplayer competition in a number of video games,1 and has been adapted to team sports including association football, American college football, basketball, and Major League Baseball.

Anywho, The name has stuck despite the rating system being tweaked and updated into its much more 50/50 win/loss ratio that the game has no a days. Overall this will not change your play style at all, it simply tries to pair you with a team that has an overall consistent ELO rating that you are about to face in the case of PvP matches. For Co-Op it matches you with people at roughly the same rating as you.

  • "almost always fails" and "very very poor" seem to be opinion without much backing them up here, not to mention being nearly offtopic
    – lilserf
    Mar 25, 2012 at 6:26
  • @lilserf Um, ELO rating, and the basis for the ranking system that RIOT uses are the same thing. They improved their system to no longer be a true ELO Rating system ... Well back before Season 1 went on actually. If you spend a bit of time searching the archives of their forums you will see it was a great cause of discomfort in the early days of LoL.
    – James
    Mar 25, 2012 at 6:53
  • Elo works extremely well, but it's designed for 1v1 game of chess. It needs to be tweaked a good bit when applied to team games, which earns it its bad reputation.
    – Decency
    Mar 25, 2012 at 7:20
  • @Decency Aye, that is as I recall one of the high level modifications they had done, to put together a team with individual ELOs within a range (usually a couple higher and a couple lower) and then grant the team itself and ELO to match up against another one. I do believe they added in quite a few more factors (damage done, damage received, even gold collected) but the overall contributing factor is still games won vs games lost.
    – James
    Mar 25, 2012 at 17:13
  • @James I realize that, my point was that the question didn't ask "how good is Riot's Elo system" or "how is it different from original chess Elo" or "how was it different during beta", it just asked what the heck Elo meant in a LoL context today.
    – lilserf
    Mar 25, 2012 at 20:57

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