How to play League of Legends – a LoL beginner’s guide

Five tips to make starting out in League of Legends a lot less daunting, and much more fun, by choosing champions you like and explaining how minions work

League of Legends guide

From the outside looking in, MOBAs are daunting and mighty confusing, and yet the way players go on about them makes them sound like a great deal of fun. You must be missing out on something. After all, we’re talking about some of the most popular PC games ever. It’s about time you climbed that fence: claw your way up the M of ‘MOBA’, skip across the O and the B, then slide down the slant of the A into unknown territory.

You finally made it – it’s time to give a MOBA a go. Fancy a bit of League of Legends, perhaps? Well, you really don’t want to end up like me, playing your first ever game of LoL on a professional stage, against experts in the game, and with absolutely no idea what to do at all. Trust me.

So, with help from my one-time coach from that horrible day, star caster Aaron “Medic” Chamberlain, here are five LoL tips you should follow as you head into your first terrifying game. Hopefully, you’ll become a better player if you read closely and take heed of the following advice.

Minions and allied League of Legends champions are chasing a team of enemies as an ally fires a spread shot.

Play what you love

Picking your first champion can be an intimidating process. There are over 130 different options to go for, and it’s easy to get lost in the menu, wasting loads of time looking, browsing, names and abilities flying past your eyes, when you could be playing.

Read more: The best League of Legends champions for beginners

You need to forget about the pressure and just go with what you enjoy best, and see how it goes. Going for a champion that looks cool is a good enough reason to pick for your first games.

Medic, says: “Play what you love. There’s no perfect pick, find a champion you love and get involved! Have fun with the game, the skill will come later.”

Many League of Legends champions squaring off, using magic, guns, and weapons.

Pick a role

Perhaps another way of helping you choose your champion is for you to first pick a role that best suits your playstyle from other games. Are you an aggressive attacker? Do you like to stand back and support your team?

League is great fun alone but with a couple of friends you can try out new strategies

Aaron "Medic" Chamberlain

LoL caster

There are multiple roles to fulfil in LoL and choosing one that fits your own playstyle could be a way for you to learn the game a bit quicker. As Medic explains: “There are five roles in League of Legends. The Top Lane is for the bruisers, the fighters, the people who want to keep on brawling. Junglers are the shot-callers, the conductors of the action.

“Mid Laners are the most mixed roles, from assassins to mages – anything can fit. The Bot Lane is a duo. A marksman firing from the backline and their support, a healer, peeling off all around the perfect player. Can you guess which role I main?”

Lots of League of Legends hooded minions in blue and purple cloaks, clashing together in combat by a torch. One of them is in a steel tank.

How to deal with Minions

Time to lol

Time to lol

If you think your first game of League of Legends is bad, wait until you hear my story - it involves an arena, a stage, professional players, and an embarrassing result. Yep, the first time I played League of Legends was on the professional stage in Berlin.

Read more

Minions may seem like ineffective little bots that are just sent your way like lambs to the slaughter, and that’s exactly what they are. However, you have to learn how to kill them in the most effective way to gain the upper hand on your opponent and get as much gold as possible. To do this, you have to land the killing blow on a minion – being the one to actually kill it – with what’s known as a last hit.

Medic says: “Learn how to last hit. Minions only give you gold if you get the last shot on them. Getting more gold than your opponents will get you more items and more power!”

A game of League of Legends in progress with Garen swirling his sword as an ally is shown to be slain.

Practice

There’s no need to jump head first into the deep end if you don’t fancy instantly getting beaten and learning absolutely nothing in the process. Instead, you can use a different arena in which you can feel out different heroes, see which one you like best and get the hang of the vital last hit.

Medic says: “Mess around in ARAMs. ARAM is faster and less stressful than summoner’s rift. You get a random champ so you can experiment and find one you love.”

ARAM stands for All Random All Mid. It’s still PvP but it simplifies everything – everyone is assigned a random champion (All Random) and there’s only one lane to play on (All Mid). This gives you a chance to experiment with different characters without having to master all the intricacies of a full LoL game.

Allies in a League of Legends game firing a big laser onto the enemy team, landing hits on multiple targets.

Don’t do it alone

Every game is more fun with friends and League of Legends is no different. It’s a lot easier to stick with something you’re struggling in if you’ve got some buddies right there with you offering support.

Want to try more? Here are the best MOBAs

It’s how Medic himself first got into LoL back when he was at university, as he’d play with his new friends and folks he knew from back home, too. Just look at him now!

The man himself, says: “Grab a couple of mates. League is great fun alone but with a couple of friends you can try out new strategies and team comps that are will blow your opponents away.”

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