League of Legends emotes set “to slap even harder” with Riot rework

League of Legends emotes are set for an overhaul as Riot Games says it is working on expanding the communication system with future updates for its MOBA game

League of Legends emotes - cartoon artwork of Graves taking off his sunglasses to reveal another pair of sunglasses

League of Legends emotes are one of the most useful and fun ways to communicate with other players in the MOBA game, letting you add a little flair to your gameplay. They’re a great way to encourage your friends and wind up your foes, as well as celebrate key moments in a match. It seems like they might be getting better soon, too, as Riot Games says it is “actively looking at the emote system” as it plans an overhaul to expand its implementation.

League of Legends design lead Jordan Checkman answered a comment on the LoL Reddit about the possibility of expanding emotes. He says that emotes are currently “in discovery,” meaning that the team is actively determining what it likes about the system and what things it wants to change, along with what the team’s current capabilities are to make those adjustments.

“Expanding the emote wheel is kind of a given conceptually,” Checkman says, “but in the worst case expanding from the current five to the intended nine increases the number of unique emotes the game has to load by forty.” This number might increase even further, he continues, if additional event triggers are added to the current automatic ones of ‘start game,’ ‘first blood,’ ‘ace,’ and ‘win.’

Obviously this means the game would require more memory usage. Checkman explains, “We manage the memory on League pretty tightly because we operate on a wide variety of machines around the world.” However, he adds that a recent internal audit of emotes has “found ways to reduce their size without reduction in quality,” which might free up some space for such considerations.

“In the meantime we’re also looking at better ways to manage your emotes, what we’d need to create multiple emote pages, and some other improvements we like for the system,” Checkman notes. He closes by saying, “We aren’t going to deliver it all right away, but we’re also not unaware that there are wayyyy more emotes than ways to use them. The designer working on this is awesome and I have every confidence emotes are going to slap even harder eventually.”

Along with being exciting news about LoL emotes, the post is also a good example of the improved communication with the community promised in a League of Legends apology video following disappointment around the 2023 season start cinematic.

Checkman says, “I always feel like the community in general isn’t super interested in what is standing between them and the stuff they want,” so he tries to strike a balance between educating players about the challenges of development and keeping fans in the loop, while making sure not to spoil surprises, overpromise on features, or make too many excuses. He also notes that he has to look after his own mental health, as “people have been pretty rude to me before.”

Check out all the League of Legends Prime Gaming rewards if you want some bonus RP to grab yourself another emote for the collection. If you’re now wondering, ‘How much have I spent on League of Legends,’ we have the answer for you. After that, perhaps a look through the best free games on PC might be in order to take your mind off things.