I was under the impression that all skins are only related to appearance, but came across this mention of Kog'Maw's Lion Dance which actually modifies the skill behaviour. Does this affect anything besides the visuals (as in damage, proc effects, projectile speed etc.), and if so which other skins affect the actual gameplay?

There is also a post on skins with sunglasses interact with Leona's ability, are there other such hidden factors that are common across skins? (say, frostfire skins resist more ice damage or something)

A generic way to easily identify these skins when browsing champions on the LoL site would also be very helpful.

  • 2
    The thing about the sunglasses is a so called a "Hidden Passive". Those are really minor buffs/debuffs or just eastereggs within the game. They should have no real impact on the in-game mechanics. If you want to know more about them read here: leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Hidden_passive
    – Toby
    Commented Jul 23, 2012 at 8:06
  • @Toby: Thanks for link; and it may be just insignificant (until someone survives with 1hp? ;) but I was surprised to hear of skins actually having non-cosmetic effects, and want to know what else they affect.
    – Alok
    Commented Jul 23, 2012 at 9:10
  • There is a psycological effects ! for example Twisted fate "Jack of Hearts" will have natural taunt on Alistar cause a bull naturaly attacks the red color. And when you see an entire team wearing skins they have a psycological ascendant : Team with skin = win :-D
    – Hystic
    Commented Jul 23, 2012 at 9:41
  • Related: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/27663/…
    – dpatchery
    Commented Jul 23, 2012 at 15:50

5 Answers 5


As mentioned, the only thing skins change is the appearence. No stats are affected nor supposed to be. If they were, people would fully classify lol to be a pay2win game, which few does at the moment.

One thing to note though, is that some skins can change the appearence of their spells. I've noticed some times that the abilities are actually harder to spot by the eye on certain skins.

An example is Pulsefire Ezreal, whom in my opinion is harder to track some of his abilities on. His skill shots gets a bit harder to see exactly where the hit area is.

I can aswell imagine Frostfire Annie and her abilities to be a bit more hidden during the winter version of Summoners Rift.

A clear difference is the Nocturne original and Nocturne halloween skin. The Nocturne halloween skin's Shadow ability almost cuts through your eyes due to its strong colors. It might appear to be a bad thing, but can be useful to drag attention with when you're going tanky with him.

But basicly, the only thing skins might improve your gameplay with is visual advantage to a low extent, and the feeling that you must win because, hey, you got a skin !

It seems as if Singed's poison had been purple all along. Never mind this case:

For example Surfer Singed (used to) have an other color on his Poison Trail. It was purple, and it has harder to spot than the normal green one. I noticed enemies running into my purple poison sometimes because it was quite hidden in the brown ground. That is however altered now since they increased the visuals on his poison and made it green for all skins.

  • +1 for the note on color schemes being harder to spot, an interesting point to keep in mind for appearance-only skins
    – Alok
    Commented Jul 23, 2012 at 9:03
  • Accepted this for the insight on skin color schemes, Fluttershy's answer is also helpful as well.
    – Alok
    Commented Jul 23, 2012 at 18:09
  • 1
    (Regular) Singed had purple poison too, don't know why you think Surfer Singed was any different. Commented Jul 23, 2012 at 23:37
  • Incorrect, as currently worded. As others have noted, some skins (such as Surfer Singed) do actually have a (very small) impact on the game in the form of a hidden passive. Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 1:47
  • Sorry about the Singed part. Have been playing Surfer Singed for so long, I asumed his Purple bottle gave purple poison, and normal Singed's green bottle gave green poison. Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 8:37

Skins have absolutely no effect on your damage output/resistance, attack/projectile/movement speed, or on-hit effects.

In a nutshell, all a skin does is change the appearance of your champion. There are some cases (Legendary skins, for example) where the skin will have a more significant effect on your champion. This can come in the form of skills looking different while keeping their original effects, champion voices changing, or the way your character walks.

Some (but not all) examples:

  • Frostfire Annie - Blue flames instead of orange.
  • Gentleman Cho'gath - A more civilized English accent, as well as some altered dialogue
  • Woad Ashe - Different movement animation (still maintaining default movement speed)

Currently, the only champion whose skin affects other champions (in addition to his own appearance) is Pulsefire Ezreal. However, even this is a minor change, changing the enemy champions'/minions' death animations.

The case that you mentioned regarding Sunglasses wearing champions in relation to Leona is a rare case. Off the top of my head, it is the only case (I could be wrong, though), and even then the damage reduction is utterly minuscule.

For additional reference, the Skin Spotlights channel on YouTube has a fairly comprehensive list of videos showing various and many champion skins.

  • I've heard that Pulsefire Ezreal also has a hidden passive in the form of adding a +1 to his movement rate (not +1 to Movement Speed like with boots, but +1 to the overall movement rate). Which, as you say, might be trivial, but still game-affecting.
    – asteri
    Commented Jul 23, 2012 at 14:42

Zombie brand has a slower aa animation but he puts his hands up when enemies ie in bush are near and vandal brand has a faster animation btw the changed animations actually effect aa speed but it is unaccounted for but it is worth noting

  • Do you have a source for this? I Think he has a different one but it's not slower.
    – Jutschge
    Commented Apr 5, 2014 at 9:47

The Game did at one point in the load screen tips state that skins with shades did in fact lower damage from Leona by 1


Actually the accepted answer is not totally true. Ingame champions are not the same with another appearance applied. They are programmatically different champions. it means that it can have unexpected differences on a champion with different skins. It's not the wanted behaviour, but it happens :

Jarvan IV commando had reduced damages on his AA passive

Nidalee had increased Q damage with her snow skin

Also I think a Tryndamere skin made his ult on CD and inefficient if a champion hit him at the moment he use ult. To be confirmed.

But all this to say that at a programmation level, champion skins are different entities.

  • 2
    any reference for this claim?
    – Ciacciu
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 16:37
  • saw that a while ago across League forums, so I'm sorry I have not a clue how to find this back. you should find it on Google.
    – Alex
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 16:41
  • This sounds familiar to me too and I thought from patch notes but scanned several back to 5.15 and only saw mentions of VFX. I would +1 with a ref.
    – joedragons
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 22:16

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