What Is This?
Ever been in a game where everyone seems mad at you, just because you died a bunch of times? Or when you try to kill an enemy, but for some inconceivable reason, you keep getting killed (and more quickly each time)? Maybe your minimap is always lit with your teammates pinging your position, and then another position, as if they are trying to tell you something, but you continue to attack those easy, little monsters in front of you because at least those can't kill you?
If so, you are probably a newbie. Don't worry, there's no shame in it. We were all newbies at one point or another. Whether it is because you just got into the beta or you've only played Ryze until level 30, and are trying to branch out, being a newbie is no crime in itself, if you have the willingness to pull yourself out of this status. This guide seeks to provide you with the means to do so.
Why Does It Matter?
It's just a practice game on a beta, right? So why should you care? Imagine that you are playing a pick up game of 5 v 5 basketball. One person comes on your team, and insists on taking the ball each time and throwing it directly at the other team. It doesn't REALLY matter in the grander scheme of the universe, but it gets frustrating, ESPECIALLY for your teammates. In much the same way, you jumping into a game with no idea how to stay alive ruins the fun for your teammates, and makes the game frustrating for others. Out of consideration, and also to really get the most out of your LOL experience, you should learn the basics of staying alive.
How Do I Start?
I am going to assume that you know how to install the game, sign in, and get into at least a practice game. Note: If you are one of those aforementioned level 30 newbies, be sure to fill out your Masteries, and get Runes as well. These will provide a small edge in the challenges ahead.
Now, when you are in a practice game, you should be able to see the levels of all other players arrayed against you. If you find that all of the players except for you are high level, my recommendation is to simply pick another game. The play level will probably be fast and intense, and they may not have patience to help you survive. You don't have to do this, but, it will help you learn better if you start out with a low level or mixed level game. I recommend the same if it is a team of 5 level 30's on the other team, while your team consists of only 1s and 2s. I am not a levelist, but if your team consists entirely of newbies, you won't learn as much.
DO NOT just switch to the side with the most level 30s on it. This is pretty poor form, and can potentially make people switch sides, etc. creating an unbalanced game.
Riot has created a great champion selection interface, so take advantage of it. You can see the difficulty level of each champion, so pick accordingly. As much as it pains me to do so, I would recommend characters like Ryze, Master Yi, Jax, and Ashe for newer players. You can find guides for these characters on this forum, and they are easier to use to start out. Champions like Warwick, Fiddlesticks, Teemo, etc., who require a specific strategy to play may look easy to play, but I recommend saving these for when you are more experienced.
Early Game Prepping
Yay! Now we are ready to get started. When you start out, you should notice a little monster in a shop to the top right or left of the spawn point. This is the store - make sure to click on this first whenever you start the game! Once you click on it, you should see a list of categories on the left, a more in depth menu on the right, and some colorful icons right above the right hand menu. These icons are recommended items for your champion picked by Riot games, and I would recommend using these for your first few games.
Take a look at these items, and see what they give you. Do they provide you with health? Do they give you extra damage? Maybe some ability power (AP)? If the majority of items give you a certain statistic, it will give you a good idea of what strategy to use with this default build. Just don't forget to go to the Consumables category and pick up one or two health potions - these will help you stay in the lane.
Now look at your skills at the bottom left side of the screen. These should have descriptions when you mouse over them. Skill builds vary depending on the character, but a good rule of thumb is to balance the mana cost with benefit of the skill. If it costs a great deal of mana, the skill is probably not a good idea for early game, since you don't have that much mana to start out with! Also, an absolute amount of damage/healing is better than a percentage early in the game, since everyone's health is so low. Look at different guides on the forums for more info. Now you are ready to start laning!
Rule number 1: THOSE TOWERS ARE STRONG. If you read nothing else in this guide, take note of this. If you get hit a couple of times by those towers early in the game, you are as good as dead. That said, you can try to draw the enemy closer to your tower, which makes it slightly safer for you to get experience. One thing to do is to only attack the creeps when they are about to die. When you see that red bar shrink to about 1 millimeter or less, then you can start to attack an enemy. Otherwise, since you don't get anything, stay back and play safe.
Rule number 2: Help your partner. If you have a lane partner that knows what he/she is doing, follow their directions. If they mark an enemy (if the enemy has a crosshair above their heads they are marked) help them attack the enemy. If they get attacked, attack champion who is attacking him. Helping your lane partner survive will make sure that the enemy doesn't get too powerful. Don't just think about saving your butt, or attacking creeps for money; LOL is a team game, so protecting/helping your teammates is a very high priority.
Rule number 3: The grass is not your friend. See the patches of grass at the top and bottom parts of the map. More likely than not, an enemy is hiding in there, just waiting to pounce and get a first blood off of you. Since you are a newbie, don't try any fancy moves to flush them out of the grass. Play carefully, play conservatively, and keep a healthy distance between you and that grass. If they come out of the grass, run, flash, ghostwalk as quickly as you can back to your tower. Note: Rule 3 is subservient to Rule 2 - if your partner knows what he/she is doing and asks you to follow into the grass, do it.
Rule number 4: Stick to your lane. I know, I know, lots of people are running around, trying to jungle and gank, etc. But that's not for you at least until level 6-7. You are a new player, you are here to learn, to help your teammates, and most importantly, to NOT DIE. So, farm steadily, hug the tower, and only leave if you are getting killed consistently, need to buy something, or a teammate desperate cries out for help (even then, leave it to the other guys on the team if possible).
Did you follow directions? Did you survive (more or less) until level 6-7? Great! (If not, please reread previous sections). Now you should have your ultimate skill (the R default hotkey). Now is the time to be very careful. The enemy will be going around trying to kill your champions. You can continue to stay in your lane if it looks like there are skirmishes going on at other parts of the map. But, if all of a sudden, you don't see any enemies on the minimap, it's time to draw back.
Don't attack with your creeps past the first enemy tower yet...there are plenty of monsters to kill before you get there. Play safe, stay on your half of the map, and kill some neutral creeps in the areas between the lanes.
Now is also the time when you want to put more and more of your focus on instructions from your teammates. Those glowing dots that appear on the map? They are explicit directions, to focus on a certain enemy or to go to a certain location. It is in YOUR BEST INTEREST to follow them. Your team is setting up champion kills, warning you of missing champions out to kill you, and giving directions about towers to defend. The teamplay of the game is REALLY important here.
Also, try to stick with a buddy during this stage of the game. One champion wandering around by himself/herself is an invitation to get killed. STICK WITH YOUR TEAM, FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS, AND PAY ATTENTION TO THE MINIMAP.
Mid to Late Game
Okay, so you've survived okay up to this point, and maybe have even gotten a few kills/assists. Now the main point of the game is to start pushing down those towers. Again, follow directions, stick with your team, and keep an eye on the minimap. Also, try to spot patterns in the way people attack, and the way your team counters these attacks.
IMPORTANT TIP: When you are attacking a group of enemy creeps, the enemy can see you. They know for sure where you are. If you see one guy sitting by himself using up mana and health, doesn't it seem like a tempting target? Therefore, never do this for more than a little bit, and NEVER far on the enemy side of the map. Stick with your team!
Since every game is different, there are no set rules to follow per se. HOWEVER, watch the minimap, and listen to directions from your team.
Great, so you didn't feed so much, your team didn't get steamrolled, and this is turning into a pretty exciting match! Late game has so many permutations that it is again hard to come up with set rules for the newbie. One important difference though, is that ganks are less important than pushes at this stage. That is, if 3 or more members of your team are pushing down a certain lane, stick with them and attack the towers.
Unless the enemy is about to go rush into your base (and the three inhibitors inside the base), don't rush off to kill an enemy just to get the kill. Your team needs you, whether it is your damage, your health, or your magic power. I cannot stress this enough: who cares if you get an extra 200 gold if your team gets wiped out and the enemy destroys your base. Err on the side of sticking with your team, because if your team survives, you can always go back and deal with lone enemy heroes later.
These are just some tips and advice to follow. They are meant to keep you alive, so you can actually enjoy the game. Every game is different, so be adaptable, learn from your mistakes, and most importantly, have fun!
TOWERS HURT BAD
LISTEN TO DIRECTIONS
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