Everything you need to know to win games of League of Legends

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ChampAtog

Senior Member

01-04-2013

So lately I've seen a lot of guides lately, and a lot of talk about how to win your lane, how to gank, how to ward, and all of these things are important to winning your lane and getting kills in League of Legends, however none of these things are important to actually winning games of League.

This short guide will cover a few basic things; attitude, farming, pushing, surviving, cooperation, communication and the importance of information. Notice how kills and harassment aren't on this list. Harassment will be covered a little bit under surviving, but I don't see it as something you NEED in order to win games of LoL.

Attitude:
I'm not going to talk about not being negative in this section, nor am I going to tell you not to rage, nor am I going to tell you not to be a dick to your teammates. All of these things will hurt your chances of winning, but they are not things you do, they're things you avoid, and to be honest they should go without saying, your team is your team, play with them not against them. This section is more about the mentality of play, what matters and how to help your team.

One of the things I notice a lot in League games, especially when the game isn't going well, is players justifying their anger, and washing their hands of responsibility, by pointing out that their KD score is the best on the team, or that one member of the team (usually the support) is 0/8 or 0/10 while they're 5/5 or even 5/0. There's always a question I ask these players, 'What is the objective of League of Legends?'. Most of these players answer "To kill the enemy team"
"No, not at all. The objective of League of Legends is to destroy the enemy Nexus."
Your Kill/Death score does not represent your contribution to your team, in fact quite the opposite, the number of times you get a kill merely represent the number of times you got the last hit on an enemy champion, taking that gold from your teammates, and the number of times you die (in a game where you're not intentionally feeding or over-extending) represents the number of times you've given up your life to save your team, I'll go more into this when I cover surviving later on.
This is the first thing you need to keep in mind when playing LoL. You can't have an attitude that likens kills to wins. I've won more games than you'd believe while my team was WAY behind on kills, just the other day I won a game where my team went 29/47, and yesterday I won a game that, halfway in, my team was 12/30, but by the end of it we were 48/49. The reason we won the first game was because we outpushed our enemies, the reason we won the second was because we set up good teamfights. Neither of these things involve any one player being fed or having a high KD score, every single one of us went negative in both of those games.

Farming:
We all know gold is nice, it gets you items and makes you stronger, and the best way to get gold is to farm. Many people seem unaware of this, farming gets you more gold per unit time, and WAY more return for how low the risk is to get that farm. 3 minion waves (if you only miss one or two CS from that wave) is worth more gold than a champion kill, 5 minion waves is worth more than the 500 gold for a full shut down. Unless you're getting a kill more often than once every 3 waves, aren't dying in the process, and the person you're killing is getting kills (so their gold value doesn't depreciate) you're getting a much bigger advantage from farming than from killing your opponent. So, when farming, look at your AD, and the max HP of a melee and caster minion, then use the percent of the bar that's left to farm, taking your last hits as late as possible without missing is best, as this effectively freezes your lane, meaning you don't have to put yourself at risk in order to farm. If the enemy minion wave gets close to tower, continue to last hit, but try to get the enemy minion count low before your minion wave arrives (this will push their minions out of tower range without causing a big wave of your minions to show up). In general, until you have some AD built, letting tower hit a melee creep twice, then attacking it will get you the farm, attacking a caster creep once, then letting tower hit it, then attacking again will get you that CS. If your own minions are near the tower and attacking creeps this situation may change, but practice will get you used to it. If your opponent appears in a different lane, or was low enough that they backed, move on to pushing until they're back.

Pushing:
Pushing gets tower/inhibitor/nexus damage dealt, and also, in the early game, puts you ahead of your opponent in CS and experience. If your opponent roams or backs during the early game, start pushing hard (remembering to ward so you know when they're back). Any minion the tower kills while your opponent is gone is lost exp and gold for them. More importantly, you get free damage on their tower. Pushing is something to be careful about, and ideally you only want to do it when the lane you are pushing is either empty or outnumbered, otherwise you're giving your opponent easy CS and denying yourself safe CS (farming under tower is a little iffy, farming under enemy tower is really dangerous) and NEVER push without wards, I don't care if your opponent is across the map and you have a huge minion wave, if you don't have a ward, drop an AoE, let the minion wave do its work, and go back and get wards!
During the late game pushing gets a little different, but the same basic premises hold. Until the very late game, if the enemy team pushes with five players towards a tower, have your fastest pusher go push a lane while the rest defend. CC them under turret and try to keep them from taking turret, rather than trying to kill them. If you trade 0/0, save turret, and your pusher takes a turret, you came out on top. Even if you trade 0/1, save turret and your pusher takes a turret, you are gaining 750 gold to the enemies 500 tops, 300 average, AND you gain map control and security.
When you get to second tier turrets warding becomes even more important, especially when split-pushing or back-dooring (backdooring is going after the turret without minion backup, it's very dangerous, don't do it unless you're sure the enemy team is far away, because of warding, and you know you can survive turret and minions long enough). You should have all brush near you warded, and the wards placed such that they see areas where enemies may come from (so ward up a line along your lane in the enemy jungle), the wards may cost 150-300 gold, but tower's worth 750, and your life even more.

Surviving:
I've done a little bit of stressing this in the prior two sections, but it's definitely important enough to warrant its own section. Inevitably, at least once in every few games, someone's going to die, and then say, in all chat, "Worth it", they seem to need some sort of validation that they aren't bad, or to confirm to the enemy that "You didn't kill me, I killed myself". The proper response to this comment, if you respond at all is "Worth it because I said so in chat?". It is very, very rare for a death to be 'worth it', and when the player is good enough to judge whether or not a death is worth risking, they're usually confident enough in their skill that they don't feel the need to validate themselves in all chat.

Death is easy to avoid. One great step to this is taking Movement Speed quints on almost every champion. Three of my six rune pages use movement speed quints, one of them use armor quints, one uses MPen, and the last uses GP10. Note how, with the exception of GP10, which is for support and MPen which is for mid, both of which are very safe in terms of tendancy to have CC and, in the case of AP Mid, having a short lane, all of my quints are about staying alive? This is because not dying is better than dying and getting a kill in most if not all situations.

Another important thing to keep you alive is to treat every unknown as if it's in the worst possible situation for you. This is why trading 1/1 is worse than 0/0, You have to assume that the person you're trading 1/1 with is the worst player on the enemy team, at least in the moment you make the decision about whether or not they're worth your life to nullify, basically, work under the assumption that you being dead is worse for your team than them being dead is for their team. This concept only applies in solo situations. In teamfights, when tower is involved, or when you're keeping the enemy busy for a teammate this stops being true, because you're no longer trading 1/1, you're trading 1+situational advantage/1, situational advantage being something like losing a bruiser for a carry, taking a tower, saving a tower, keeping your carry alive to defend a turret, etc. and so it may be worth dying.

The most important part of staying alive, and I've said this in other sections, is warding. Every single time you back, buy at least one ward, no matter what role you're playing. I don't care if you're the ranged AD 'carry' or the support, even if you have one in your inventory. If you back, and advancing your build leaves at least 75g in your bank, buy a ward. I spend all of my leftover money on wards after building whatever I need at the time, is it overkill? Sometimes. Is it worth it? Always. You should be placing a ward in key locations (everywhere you're scared of enemies coming from) if you want to A) go past the center of river for any reason B) the enemy team is strong enough to dive you C) you're in the enemy jungle, vision of the enemy jungle is ALWAYS good to have, D) you're walking past an unwarded baron or dragon E) you're walking past an unwarded buff that's either up or may be up soon. And supports aren't the only ones who need pink wards. If you plan on setting a trap, pink ward where you plan on waiting, just in case, if you plan on walking past baron, pink ward just because you're in the area, same with dragon, if you're jungling, pink ward your favorite ganking spot. There is no excuse for dying because you didn't have vision. Knowing where the best wards spots are will come with practice, but knowing THAT you need to ward should be true of everyone. When in doubt, ward, when not in doubt, ward anyway, it will save your life far, far more often than the 75 gold will make a difference in a fight, and even if it doesn't save your life it tells when and how you can make risky plays without actually taking risks. This is THE most important paragraph of this guide, don't ignore it, and don't read it, make note of it, and then fail to buy wards. Do this every time, no matter how much you want that next item, buy wards instead of waiting for the gold, they'll serve you better 9 times out of 10. Wards should be your waifu, they should be your top priority, love them and they will be good to you! I can't stress this warding thing enough, this goes right into the importance of information section later as well, and I will be reiterating the importance of wards outside of just staying alive in that section too, so get used to it!

Cooperation:
Another important key to winning games is cooperation, this doesn't mean having your support die for you in laning phase, or having your jungler gank every time you ask. Cooperation involves pinging warnings, attacks and retreats, and, more importantly, LISTENING to those pings. If you hear that high pitched 'CHING!' sound stop what you're doing, back away from the enemy, and while you back away, look at your minimap. If the yellow dot is on you DO NOT under ANY CONDITIONS fight. I don't care if you think you can get a pentakill if your team goes in, I don't care if that KogMaw is so out of position you could nuke him dead in an instant, if your team pings a fallback you have no right to expect any support from them in a fight, and if you go in you are choosing your fate. Additionally, a fallback ping usually means one of your teammates noticed something you didn't, an incoming Lee Sin, a nocturne in ult range, a Shen just stepped into brush, a Kayle just got back to lane, or is casting Teleport, a fallback ping takes priority over your desire to get a kill, always. Yellow pings take priority over blue take priority over red, that's the order. If you see all three, fallback first, then look where the blue ping is to make sure there's nothing important there, maybe move towards it if it's in your retreat path or safe, or if your team is pinging a retreat in order to take an objective, go take it, then go attack the red ping.

Communication:
Communication ties in with cooperation, ping things you want, things you're afraid of, things that interest you, improve your words per minute so you can type short messages in chat when needed, and make sure, when reading these messages, you remember that people are trying to type quickly and may come off as being rude because of the brevity of their comments, but don't take offense, because it's more likely than not a result of them needing to be able to cast spells.

Importance of Information:
This is another very, very vital aspect of league of legends play. Information won't win you a game on its own, but without information you cannot win. Knowing where your enemies are is part of this, and so warding like crazy is always good, even if you're not pushing, knowing you can catch someone alone, even if they're in enemy jungle, can tip even losing games slowly in your favor. However, no amount of warding will help you if you're not looking at your minimap, the screen is not big enough to give you substantial warning about anything, that's why the minimap is there. Noting your minimap constantly will keep you safe, help you catch enemies off-guard, and help you protect and take objectives like baron and dragon, enemy jungle and towers. Looking at the minimap takes less than a second, as you should only be noting the location of the champion icons, and their color, not even what champion the icon represents, and what parts of the map are dark, then you can feel free to look back to the battle. You should do this, bare minimum, once every five seconds, even if you're in the middle of a fight, look at the minimap, it may seem like it'll turn the fight against you, but you only need to see if there's an incoming ally or enemy while fighting, that should take a fraction of a second and is WAY worth that fraction of a second of not seeing what the enemy is doing. This can also be timed (just dodged their skillshot? Check the minimap while you don't have to worry about dodging. Enemy is stunned for half a second? Plenty of time to check your minimap.) so that you take minimum risk for maximum reward even on that short flick of the eyes. Every single time you hear a ping, flick your eyes to your minimap and note where it is, even if you just checked and you hear spammed pings, someone may be making a line, or multiple people pinging different spots, it's always worth it to know, even if 4 people just all pinged dragon in sequence, at least you know you don't have any other pings to worry about, and your information about the locations of enemies is completely up to date.

Following all of these tips won't guarantee you a win, however, they are the most important steps to winning at league of legends. Don't let your enemies get you down if your KD score is negative, especially if you're outfarming them, and don't ever, EVER give up or surrender. The game isn't over until the nexus will be dead before a surrender goes through anyway. Surrendering, no matter how bleak the outlook is, is just throwing away a potential win. When you hit your true elo, you will win 50% of your games if you play your hardest, this guide won't help you win more games at your true Elo, however, this guide will help you INCREASE your true Elo by improving your play.

Good luck and have fun, may your wins be devastating and your losses enjoyable!


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GearRush

Junior Member

01-04-2013

There needs to be more posts like this; Focus more on the general team play and game mechanics intertwined with opponent feedback. As opposed to single characters.


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Ronyk

Senior Member

01-04-2013

+1 to the OP. I read every word of it, and there isn't a word I disagree with.


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iDpark

Senior Member

01-04-2013

I'll write a tl;dr.

Be positive, being a negative nancy won't help you win the game.
Farming is important, CS well and you gain an advantage over the enemy team that can turn into kills later.
Kill towers, they can allow you to counterjungle easier, roam and help other lanes. Additionally, you give your team global exp + Gold.might even turn into a free dragon later.
Don't die, by dying you deny yourself EXP + gold and give your opponent EXP + Gold. Little is better than none.
Buy wards, they save lives, secure objectives, and if you can kill someone out of position because you saw them with a ward, they might win you games.
Map awareness is important.
Be a team player. Being stubborn isn't fun for you or your teammates. Play the game to have fun and get along with other people.
Communicate, you will be able to prevent enemy team from snowballing. It can also allow you to snowball small leads, too.

Fer the love of god, play with sound, unlocked camera, and I highly recommend smartcasting.
I also skipped some tips the OP had in his post, go read his post.


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ChampAtog

Senior Member

01-04-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by iDpark View Post
I'll write a tl;dr.

Be positive, being a negative nancy won't help you win the game.
Farming is important, CS well and you gain an advantage over the enemy team that can turn into kills later.
Kill towers, they can allow you to counterjungle easier, roam and help other lanes. Additionally, you give your team global exp + Gold.might even turn into a free dragon later.
Don't die, by dying you deny yourself EXP + gold and give your opponent EXP + Gold. Little is better than none.
Buy wards, they save lives, secure objectives, and if you can kill someone out of position because you saw them with a ward, they might win you games.
Map awareness is important.
Be a team player. Being stubborn isn't fun for you or your teammates. Play the game to have fun and get along with other people.
Communicate, you will be able to prevent enemy team from snowballing. It can also allow you to snowball small leads, too.

Fer the love of god, play with sound, unlocked camera, and I highly recommend smartcasting.
I also skipped some tips the OP had in his post, go read his post.
Thanks for the summary, and the positive review. I didn't put a TL;DR on the guide because it's not the kind of thing that should be summarized. I wrote the guide very carefully, and tried very hard to make sure every sentence needed to be there, or at least had some reason to be there, and I feel like getting that TL;DR, at least in-post (by the time people read this far down they've probably read the guide) because it discourages careful reading, and reasons, at least I feel, are much more important then facts. I do really appreciate the TL;DR, just letting you know why there isn't one in there to begin with. Thanks for the support!