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League of Legends jungle changes give you your own Pokemon

League of Legends jungle changes in the 2023 preseason will let players roam between the MOBA's lanes with an adorable new evolving pet, Riot have revealed

League of Legends jungle changes let you have cute pets: A monster with multiple eyes that looks like a purple, spiny work roars and spews venom as warriors attack it in a chasm

Some much-needed League of Legends jungle changes will be implemented as part of the MOBA‘s 2023 preseason update. The highlight are the three new pets that players will be able to meander through the jungle with, each of which provides a brand new buff. Oh, and did we mention they evolve? It’s basically Pokemon but more violent.

Entitled ‘avatars,’ these adorable little critters are part of Riot’s initiative to make the jungle slightly less scary. As any League player knows, diving into the the realm between the lanes is a pretty daunting process, as it works entirely differently and your laners are very likely to flame you for… well, anything and everything.

“We’re making some pretty major changes to the jungle,” senior product manager Patrick Noonan says. “This year part of the focus is specifically on getting players who don’t currently play jungle to have a new and exciting experience.”

The complex web of jungle specific items has been trimmed down a bit, replaced by these adorable animal companions. Each of them grant different buffs and are leveled up using treats (adorable, right?) that are granted from slaying enemy champions and killing monsters.

For those worried that they won’t be able to accrue enough snacks for their new friend, you’ll also accumulate treats over time to ensure you don’t fall drastically behind.

But yes, onto the important stuff; what avatars are there. They don’t have specific names yet (although Noonan informed our sister site, The Loadout that the fox has internally been called “Foxy McCloudFox”), but here’s what to expect.

  • Cat: aggressive option – provides slows and extra damage
  • Fox: mobility option – increases speed and utility
  • Salamander: defensive option – increases shield and tenacity

League of Legends jungle changes give you your own Pokemon: Concept art of a green salamander, red cat, and blue fox

Players can also make use of a new jungle pathing recommendation system, where Riot AI will tell you the best way to path based on higher tier players.

Camps will also have a shorter leash range to stop some junglers being able to plough ahead simply based on their kit, and a new “patience bar” is being added to let you see how far you can trail from the camp before the vicious wildlife gets bored and decides to head home.

It goes without saying that these changes are some of the biggest we’ve seen in some time. As someone who has a slightly guilty obsession with Evelynn, I have always wanted to play jungle but have always been terrified of the associated responsibility. The recommended pathing system is a godsend for newer junglers like me, and these new pets really make me want to take that Coven Evelynn skin out for a spin – after all, who doesn’t want their own Pokemon-style companion?

For now we’ll have to make do with the League of Legends patch 12.18 changes, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for preseason. What isn’t exciting, though, is checking out how much you’ve spent on League of Legends – that’s just painful.