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11 Quick Tips to Improving Your Game

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YurdleTheTurtle

Senior Member

05-27-2013

Hello there. I'm a fellow League player who's been playing for a couple of years now. I've written a bunch of guides, one of which is my Beginner's Guide to Ranked Games (part 1) (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?p=13963210#post13963210) (Part 2) (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?p=28408491#post28408491).

As someone who managed to rise up the ranks to Silver 1 (Edit: Got promoted to Gold), I've been learning, understanding, and generally becoming more aware of mistakes and improvements many players can make. Here's a quick list without too much explanation (I hope) on some things players can do to improve their game.

1. Turn off all chat
One of the greatest correlations I found in winning more games was turning off all chat. All chat basically only exists as a way to trash talk opponents. As of result, it is incredibly distracting, can be harmful as it makes it difficult to read chat history for objective timers and important information, and serves as a catalyst for bad behaviour.

With all chat off, you reduce distractions and allow yourself to focus on the game.

2. Don’t rage, don’t be a jerk, don’t be negative, don’t blame
Another correlation I found was that in the vast majority of games, the losing team tends to have players arguing and insulting each other, while the winning team more often than not has players complementing and giving each other virtual high-fives.

The fact is, negativity, rage, blame, they all lead to a quicker demise. If you're to improve your game, you have to realize it's a team game, and teams get along better when they're working together, not pulling themselves apart.

Be polite, be positive, and focus on the present, not on mistakes.

3. Be flexible with roles, and compromise during champion select when necessary. Communication > pick order > call order.

Riot officially endorses (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=3449932) pick order over call order, with emphasis on communication first.

In champion select, don't use this an excuse. Be flexible with roles, communicate, and pick accordingly to everyone's best/desired roles. Don't simply pick a role just because you're ahead in pick order. Communication first, pick order as a last resort.

4. Use champions you are experienced with. Don’t pick “counters” or “strong picks” just because they’re available.
This is something I definitely saw a lot of as I played over time. A lot of players get the idea that you have to pick a 'strong' champion vs an opponent's champion at all times. This is not always true.

For example, Anivia is my favourite mid laner. I play her frequently in mid lane if I have to. There has been multiple times where opponents chose "counters" to her, such as Diana and Fizz. I recall in those matches I still won lane (or came back to help win game) despite being "countered" simply because the other players were not as experienced with those champions.

In the end, player skill has higher precedence over champion choice. Use champions you're experienced with in ranked, and play normals to gain more experience with a wider variety of champions.

5. Actually learn and understand all roles, especially jungle and support. Too often players do not know enough about these roles and blame them for no reason, or play poorly when forced into these
This is a big one. You should learn all roles before going into ranked, especially the least 2 favourites, jungler and support.

There's two reasons: One, someone has to play those roles. Better it be a person who is experienced than not. Two, understanding other roles gives you an insight edge when playing the game. By knowing how solo lanes work, you can understand where they'll go, when they roam. By understanding jungler, you can understand where they'll be, opportune times to counter jungle, where to ward, etc. Similar things for support.

The big thing I want to point out is that the jungler is frequently misunderstood. A lot of times they get a lot of blame for not doing enough, when players don't realize all the subtle details.

For example, when a jungler is behind, it can be dangerous for them to attempt ganking all the time. Junglers also frequently get counter jungled by their own teammates, such as losing wraith camps. This and other things can only truly be understood by learning all roles.

As a side note, I rose in ranks by learning to jungle and support. The lane positions are almost always taken, so I compromised and learned these the best. The result is not only improving my game, but also knowledge that the whole "you have to play as a carry to win" is completely false.

6. Buy wards, doesn’t matter what role you’re playing.
Quit blaming the support. Everyone needs to buy wards, doesn't matter what role they're playing. You can also use wards to completely protect other lanes - for example, mid lanes can ward their nearby ramp entrance, and bot lane can ward the tri bush/river. The result is both entrances with vision, so if a jungler attempts to sneak in, they will be seen.

7. Don’t give up so quickly.
Many games result in an unnecessarily quick surrender.

A couple of examples where I've had ranked wins from not giving up were when we had a Graves with Smite, and another game where our Vayne was AFK for 6 levels (S/he came back when the enemy ADC was level 6).

Both of those games, I got a ranked win from. It would be too easy to simply surrender when it feels like things are going downhill, but remember that League is a strategy game. There are ways to capitalize on enemy mistakes and make a comeback.

8. Adapt to all situations.
Adapt your runes, masteries, and items to all situations. Items are especially important, as I've seen players be too adamant about their builds. Sometimes you can't simply build straight into the most expensive items. Sometimes you can't just simply ignore defence.

More importantly, your items should be reactive to your games as opposed to always being the same thing just because you can. For example, as Anivia, I start with 2 wards when I know they have a jungler that is strong at early ganks, like Lee Sin. Later on, my build differs depending on how things are going (Ex. Rod of Ages for tough lanes, Tear of the Goddess for easy lane, etc.)

9. “Farm” (creep kills) is just as important as kills.
A champion kill is worth about 13 creep kills. Even if your lane is basically a stalemate, coming out ahead in farm can be just like killing multiple champions in terms of gold.

Farm is quite important, so you can't ignore it too much. Don't get too greedy for kills.

10. Have fun. The game should be played as an entertainment outlet, as a way to relieve stress and bring happiness to yourself.
Ultimately, nearly all of us play this game to have fun. So why not actually have fun? Understandably, things can get frustrating from time to time, so take a step back and realize it's not so bad. You'll come out better in the end and improve your game because you're improving your psychological well-being.

Realize you can't win every game and that there are human beings behind each champion.

11. Give smart casting a try!
Smart casting was also something that helped me out greatly, as I used to play for a long time with normal casting.

Smart casting basically reduces the amount of input required to cast spells. For example, instead of having to select the ability and then click on an enemy, you simply highlight the enemy, and press-and-release the key to launch the ability.

It sounds minor, but it becomes massively useful as you rise up the ranks and reaction times become increasingly important. It also makes playing certain champions much easier, although I noticed improvements for all champions regardless.

Change can be a scary, tough thing to deal with. But just try it. Give smart casting a whirl, and try to get used to it. Efficiency is a way to improving your mechanics, and improved mechanics means improving your overall game.

Don't feel like you have to copy pros too. Ultimately play with what makes you feel comfortable. For example, I smart cast abilities but do not smart cast with items.


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Zerglinglol

Senior Member

05-27-2013

Some very sound advice in this thread, nice post. I haven't finished my placement matches but from playing with mostly bronze/silver/gold I think your advice would help most of them ~

Quote:
YurdleTheTurtle:

I've been learning, understanding, and generally becoming more aware of mistakes and improvements many players can make.

This is most players problem tbh. I have friends who aren't aware when they make mistakes and because of that I doubt they'll ever get out of bronze >< You can't improve if you don't know what you did wrong.

Quote:
YurdleTheTurtle:
1. Turn off all chat
[/B]One of the greatest correlations I found in winning more games was turning off all chat. All chat basically only exists as a way to trash talk opponents. As of result, it is incredibly distracting, can be harmful as it makes it difficult to read chat history for objective timers and important information, and serves as a catalyst for bad behaviour.

With all chat off, you reduce distractions and allow yourself to focus on the game.

I'll agree and disagree with this. It is nice when you don't have to see nasty trash talk by opponents who get cocky, etc, BUT I've seen plenty of games with friendly /all talk. For instance, I'll comment in all chat if an opponent makes a great play, etc.

Quote:
YurdleTheTurtle:
2. Don’t rage, don’t be a jerk, don’t be negative, don’t blame
Another correlation I found was that in the vast majority of games, the losing team tends to have players arguing and insulting each other, while the winning team more often than not has players complementing and giving each other virtual high-fives.

Well but the reality is that winning team would be doing the blaming if they were losing. I very rarely see lost games without insults, whining, etc. For the most part I try not to be one of those guys but when your mid lane is 0/3 at 6 minutes it's hard to not say something

Quote:
YurdleTheTurtle:
3. Be flexible with roles, and compromise during champion select when necessary. Communication > pick order > call order.

Riot officially endorses (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=3449932) pick order over call order, with emphasis on communication first.

In champion select, don't use this an excuse. Be flexible with roles, communicate, and pick accordingly to everyone's best/desired roles. Don't simply pick a role just because you're ahead in pick order. Communication first, pick order as a last resort.

Agreed. Lack of communication during champ selection drives me NUTS. And people who will only play one role need to learn other roles. Personally I'll fill, but I wish others would fill also. It's kinda ridiculous how quick people are to spam "mid, top" right when they enter the chat screen.

Quote:
YurdleTheTurtle:
4. Use champions you are experienced with. Don’t pick “counters” or “strong picks” just because they’re available.
This is something I definitely saw a lot of on my rise to Silver 1. A lot of players get the idea that you have to pick a strong champion vs an opponent's champion at all times. This is not always true.

In the end, player skill has higher precedence over champion choice. Use champions you're experienced with in ranked, and play normals to gain more experience with a wider variety of champions.

This is some of the best advice you could give to a bronze player, or shoot, even some silver players. I can't tell you how many times I've landed in a game with myself or someone else making a champ pick that's outside of the "pro meta" and immediately someone *****es about your selection. And funny enough 9/10 times, the guy who *****ed about your champ choice is the one holding your team back.

One major issue I've seen is that many lower level players think they understand the pro meta and they think at lower levels it needs to be followed. For instance, in one of my first placement matches I decided to go Taric jungle, which is something I'm very good at. Two of the people during champ select cried a river but guess what? 15 minutes into the match they were eating their words :P At least one of them had the decency to admit he was wrong.

Quote:
YurdleTheTurtle:
5. Actually learn and understand all roles, especially jungle and support. Too often players do not know enough about these roles and blame them for no reason, or play poorly when forced into these
This is a big one. You should learn all roles before going into ranked, especially the least 2 favourites, jungler and support.

There's two reasons: One, someone has to play those roles. Better it be a person who is experienced than not. Two, understanding other roles gives you an insight edge when playing the game. By knowing how solo lanes work, you can understand where they'll go, when they roam. By understanding jungler, you can understand where they'll be, opportune times to counter jungle, where to ward, etc. Similar things for support.

The big thing I want to point out is that the jungler is frequently misunderstood. A lot of times they get a lot of blame for not doing enough, when players don't realize all the subtle details.

Very good points. I fill as jungle or support also so I've experienced all of this >< Many people don't understand when a jungle gank will be effective, or when the jungler really can't make a play on a lane. All too often I'll see my lane pushing hard in a lane they aren't even dominating, then get ganked/killed by the jungler and suddenly it's my fault. But this goes back to not pushing your lane as a carry, and having your river warded.

Quote:
YurdleTheTurtle:
6. Buy wards, doesn’t matter what role you’re playing.
Quit blaming the support. Everyone needs to buy wards, doesn't matter what role they're playing. You can also use wards to completely protect other lanes - for example, mid lanes can ward their nearby ramp entrance, and bot lane can ward the tri bush/river. The result is both entrances with vision, so if a jungler attempts to sneak in, they will be seen.

Yup, so annoying when a carry complains because there aren't enough wards up. It's everyone's job to ward(except maybe the ADC, but I buy a ward or two as ADC anyway) so if you're complaining about lack of wards and don't have any wards up it's really your fault. That said, when I'm jungling and I see one of my lanes without a ward I'll make a point to ward it when I head there for a gank.

Quote:
YurdleTheTurtle:
7. Don’t give up so quickly.
Many games result in an unnecessarily quick surrender.

A couple of examples where I've had ranked wins from not giving up were when we had a Graves with Smite, and another game where our Vayne was AFK for 6 levels (S/he came back when the enemy ADC was level 6).

Both of those games, I got a ranked win from. It would be too easy to simply surrender when it feels like things are going downhill, but remember that League is a strategy game. There are ways to capitalize on enemy mistakes and make a comeback.

This really just depends on the situation. I've had a couple games where I tried surrendering too early and we won, but what I realized recently is that it just depends where your/their kills are. Even if they're ahead 8 kills, if most of those kills aren't with their carries then you're probably okay.

Quote:
YurdleTheTurtle:
9. “Farm” (creep kills) is just as important as kills.
A champion kill is worth about 13 creep kills. Even if your lane is basically a stalemate, coming out ahead in farm can be just like killing multiple champions in terms of gold.

Farm is quite important, so you can't ignore it too much. Don't get too greedy for kills.

I didn't know 13 cs is worth a kill, good to know. To elaborate on this point about not getting too greedy for kills, that's the main mistake I see in my games. One of my team's laners will be trading inefficiently then think he can go in for a duel, then wonders why he lost. When I'm laning top or mid I rarely if ever duel straight up. I'll trade when I can, but if you farm some decent cs and don't feed your opponent, you'll either be neutral or helping your team come the mid-late game. Giving up an early kill or two in lane is a good way to lose your team the game

Quote:
YurdleTheTurtle:
Realize you can't win every game and that there are human beings behind each champion.

Anyone under diamond/challenger is probably winning ~45-60% of their games. As you said, you can't win every game, especially if you aren't the best.

Quote:
YurdleTheTurtle:
Don't feel like you have to copy pros too. Ultimately play with what makes you feel comfortable.

This is a GREAT piece of advice. As with the bronzies who think they know the pro meta, just because you watch their games it doesn't mean you know how to play. Nor do you need to copy them. It certainly doesn't hurt to watch some of their tricks and build orders, but you also have to realize that just because it works in diamond that doesn't mean it'll work in bronze/silver. For some reason when I was around level 20 I got somewhat obsessed with Ziggs and since I fill in games I was running Ziggs as support. I can't tell you how much rage/anger this was met with since it doesn't fill the "pro meta," but guess what? Ziggs support has been one of my highest win %s. Why? Because I'm really, really good with Ziggs. But it's funny that in every loss when I played Ziggs it was mass blame on me afterwards. Very common bronze/silver mistake, blaming people for not following pro meta.

And a tip for you ADCs out there...if your support doesn't have a heal and/or you don't have lifesteal quints, you shouldn't be starting Dorans. It drives me nuts when I'm playing a non-heal support and my carry goes Dorans, then has to back 2 minutes in because he can't get healed up.

Anyway, all in all great guide. I'd recommend putting more emphasis on not feeding. When I go and play a lane I'm not used to such as top or middle, I focus almost exclusively on cs and not giving up kills in lane. You can't lose the game during the laning phase if your cs is decent and you aren't feeding


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YurdleTheTurtle

Senior Member

05-28-2013

Hey thanks for the detailed feedback!

-All chat: This is more of a benefit outweighs cost kind of thing. No doubt there will be occasions where chatting with opponents is a pleasant experience, but in ranked games, very frequently this is not the case. Even in the occasional game full of nice people, it's still distracting. For me, it's very important to see objective timers easily so I keep it off to prevent chat flooding.

-Actually, it's not difficult to not say something negative. Like I said, be polite and positive. If a player is doing badly, having other people repeatedly flame him/her does not help, and in fact may make things worse. A lot of players play worse when they get angry or depressed from doing poorly. So why add to the problem?

Other than that thanks for reading!


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NW iSTABpandas

Junior Member

11-17-2013

I actually just took a look at this post and i recently climbed out of bronze 5. I did everything that this post said and ill have to agree. My main role is jungle, but I never argued if I didn't get it. I played all roles according to what was available, with no questions asked. There was many times I had to support. Id say about 40% of the time i had to support, but it was actually a nice experience. little bit over 100 games I am now in silver 3. I got to silver 3 right before the season ended. I am going to spend the off season playing ranked games and try to improve my gameplay. Next season I at least want to get to gold 3 or higher. I wish luck to everyone who is trying to get out of bronze. I spent most of my time in the promotion from bronze 1 to silver 5.


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Zeune42

Member

11-17-2013

11, 9, 8 , 7 , 6, 5, 2, 1 are the best ones


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