Some of the monsters in the jungle, like the dragon, must be tackled as a group

As you win and lose games, your account gains levels, unlocking new summoner spells and Mastery Points that can be customized to grant your champions stat boots. Finishing games also grants Influence Points (IP), which can be spent to unlock new champions or purchase runes that give your champions a slight edge over opponents. Masteries and runes only become truly important at higher levels of play.

Before you do anything, play the tutorial. As bland as it is, it will help you figure out the basics. After the tutorial, look at the champions that are available for free. Every week Riot Games rotates their free champions. The champions that aren’t free can be unlocked with points earned by playing the game. Go to your summoner profile from the main page and click champions. Champions that you don’t own will be grayed out and the free champions of the week will be colored in and have a small exclamation point on them. If you click on them, the game will show you their abilities, general stats, difficulty to play, and what they are good at doing. Find two or three that appeal to you and figure out what role they are best suited to play. Once you have your champions and your role in mind, you are set to play a game of League of Legends. 

When you first put in your champion, talk with your teammates. Try and be nice and figure out who everyone will be playing and what positions they will be taking. Remember, communication is key. This is a team game and you all need to work together to win. Be open with people about your skill with the game, and most people will try and help you learn and improve your game.

Wards are vitally important. They grant vision on the map wherever they are placed for three minutes. 

Miscellaneous Tips

  • For people just starting out, I would suggest picking a character, any character that appeals to you, and playing that character until you start to feel more secure about how the game works and the different champions function. Some good ones to consider player right of the bat would be: Garen, Ashe, Alistar, Shen, Annie, 
  • Standing in a bush will hide you from enemies outside the bush, provided they haven’t put a ward (an item that grants vision) in the same bush. 
  • Boots are useful items to get early since they increase your movement speed, allowing you to successfully chase down enemies or escape.
  • When you are first starting out, buying items can be a bit overwhelming. Stick with the recommended items suggested by the game until you feel more comfortable experimenting.
  • Vision on the map is important. Knowing when an enemy is coming will save your life. Buy wards.
  • Pay attention to the mini-map. You could save a teammate in danger or avoid a trap.
  • There is a mute function in game. Press tab and click the little speech bubble next to the champion you wish to silence.
  • If you are playing a support, try not to kill minions. AD carries need to get a lot of gold in order to be effective. Supports don’t.
  • It is better to lose a tank or a support than an AD carry or an AP mid. 
  • Though everyone should buy at least one or two wards to place around the map, the support should be buying wards all the time to place everywhere.
  • Positive communication with your team is key. Big comebacks can be made through persistence and good humor.
  • Be courteous to other players. Just because you are frustrated or others are frustrated with you doesn’t mean you should devolve to the level of civility found in YouTube comments.

Being hit by a tower repeatedly will lead to a quick death for all but the hardiest of champions


  • Bot - bottom lane
  • Mid – middle lane
  • Leash – hitting a jungle monster to help a jungler kill it faster. Be sure to let the jungler get the last hit.
  • Farm – minion/monster kills
  • CS – another term for minion/monster kills
  • MR - Magic resist
  • Last hitting – the process by which you let minions attack each other and only attack to kill the minion. This is the most efficient way of farming and keeps the minion waves in relatively the same place if done properly.
  • Gank – a gank is when another champion, usually the jungler, comes into a lane to kill an enemy champion.
  • AP – “ability power,” the stat that determines how much magic damage a champion does
  • AD – “attack damage,” the stat that determines how much physical damage a champion inflicts
  • Carry – a character that is capable of putting out a lot of damage relatively quickly. The downside of a carry is that they are usually very easy to kill.
  • Squishy – a term for champions that are very easy to kill
  • B – a term to notify teammates that you are going back to base or that they should fall back
  • Buff – a buff is a temporary increase to a champion’s stats like attack damage, ability power, or mana regeneration. The term usually applies to blue and red buffs gained by killing the stone golem and lizard elder, respectively.
  • Drag – short for dragon, a powerful monster that gives everyone on the team gold and experience when killed.
  • Baron – one of the jungle monsters is known as Baron Nasher. It is an incredibly tough beast that usually can’t be safely killed until later in the course of a game. Killing it gives everyone on the team experience, gold, and a powerful buff that increases all stats.

Hopefully with this as a starting point, you won’t feel as lost when you begin playing League of Legends. For players looking for new or better item builds or new strategies, try perusing MOBAfire or