A beginners' guide to playing League of Legends in Season 11
September 16 2021
We have all been there: the beginner's phase. A phase when everything is brand new to you, and the sheer amount of information is too much to handle. It is hard to imagine anyone would begin to play League of Legends now, but you chose it over Call of Duty or Fortnite, so I want you to take the torch.
You are here because you are on a mission to become better at League of Legends. You've come to the right place. This is a comprehensive guide aimed at new players to help them overcome the learning curve in League of Legends. This guide will go over micro, macro, game sense, and other concepts that new players often ignore.
If you are looking to improve at League of Legends and earn some money with G-loot, then dive into this feast of tips and tricks that will help you get better at League of Legends in season 11. Let's go straight into the first one.
Like in business, two things contribute greatly to success in LoL: the grand scheme things and the trivial matters. First, let's focus on the small details.
What is Micro?
Micro is the term that describes the gameplay that is happening right in front of you.
In League of Legends, Micro refers to the interactions between you and your champion. The more familiar you are with your champion, the better you play against the environment and everything that is coming at you.
Micro is the tiniest factor that makes the biggest difference between new players and veterans.
In a broader perspective, micro is all about the individual mechanics, reaction time, and champion mastery.
Improving your micro means putting in the hours to practice a certain mechanic or skill (such as farming). Beginners often prioritize micro because it is the most effective way to get better at League of Legends. However, getting better at micro isn't easy, so it can be time-consuming and tedious.
Here are 5 micro techniques that you should know:
Farming (or Last-hitting): scoring creeps for gold
Side-step: dodging skillshots
Kiting: maintaining distance with enemies
Tethering: pressuring lane opponents
Cooldown Timing: knowing when enemies can use spells again
Why is Micro Important?
Micro comes into play in the beginning phase of every match: the early game. In this phase, players are aiming to gain advantages over their opponents by any means necessary. This can be done by either out-farming or outplaying the opponents with mechanics. If you want to win the early game, what you do during it is very important.
Micro is also crucial in the mid-game. The mid-game is primarily about 2v2 and 2v3 combat. You may lose skirmishes and dragons if you cannot execute your champion smoothly.
There is a reason Irelia and Katarina players love late-game teamfights. It is a true display of pure mechanics and individual skills.
At this point, the screen is a whirlwind of abilities, skin effects, and spell particles flying around. Miss a beat, and you will catch yourself out of the fight instantly.
Those who have the micro to dance around enemies will be the one who gets out alive and winning.
How to Improve Micro
Micro can be greatly improved by prioritizing the following 4 steps:
1. First, work on farming
Last-hitting is a fundamental one that you must master first before moving on to other techniques. Gold gives you an advantage over your opponent because it grants you access to extra items.
2. Then, learn to side-step
Side-step allows you to dance around hard crowd control abilities that require accuracy. To learn how to side-step, you must predict enemies' spells and turn sideway to avoid getting hit.
3. If you can, try not to get hit
At this point, you should feel familiar controlling your character in and out of combat. This is when you move on to kiting and tethering. Tethering makes your movements smooth and unpredictable. Kiting allows you to stay away from dangerous enemies.
4. Still keeping up? Let's do math
You do not need to learn Cooldown Timing before any of the techniques above. While it is definitely important, it requires you to keep a mental note of the enemies' abilities, which can be overwhelming even for skillful players.
Now that the small details are out of the way, it is time to sit back and observe. Sometimes, we need to see the bigger picture.
What is Macro?
Macro gameplay involves the awareness of your team's winning conditions, strengths, and weaknesses. If micro is about the individual, macro is how well that individual fits into team goals to secure advantages over the enemy.
You can think of macro as playing chess. A good chess player will always try to predict his opponent's next moves and how to best play against them. He will position his chess pieces in a way that best serves his intention, and he will always have a backup plan for when things go south.
Why is Macro Important?
Good macro gameplay allows you to be in the right place and at the right time, creating pressure on the enemy team and forcing them to make decisions.
A player with insane micro may win lanes but struggle to close out matches. However, an average player with a good understanding of macro will always know how to play League of Legends in ways that favor his team. After all, League of Legends is a strategy-dominant game.
Good macro gameplay means you are always one step ahead of your opponents. What's else? macro is effective for those of us who are not blessed with inhuman reaction time or crazy spell rotations.
How to Improve Macro
Essentially, macro is just another gaming term for decision-making. To improve your ability to make informed decisions during matches, you have to make more decisions and prioritize making decisions. Try out these 4 tips to make your macro better.
1. Play easy champions
The answer is to play easy champions. Champions such as Annie, Cho Gath, and Garen are very straightforward with a high kill potential. If you are a new player, difficult champions will force you to focus on micro techniques instead of what is around you.
Harder champions require more mechanical skills to pull off plays than Annie could with just a button. Veteran players tend to dislike the idea of playing easy champs, but easy champs are in the game for new players to have fun.
Once you are familiar with making good decisions on the fly, you can then look into harder champions that fit your intended playstyle.
2. Find out your macro playstyle
You can be a split pusher to divert attention. Split-pushes force the enemies to react. If you are strong, the other team's strongest player has to match you. If that player responds to your split-pushing, you can choose to pressure him or rotate to help your team get objectives.
If you want to be a split-pusher, you need to be proactive and make the first moves.
Let's say you are a fan of a good teamfight. You can play heavy area-of-effect damage dealers, then save teleport until the fight happens to flank the opponents, cutting off their escape path.
As you can see, the idea of macro basically boils down to the way you play the game. No matter what play style you like, as long as you visualize it long enough, you will find a way to make it work.
3. Practice, practice, and more practice
If there is one ideal way to practice decision-making, I would recommend not being afraid of failure. After that, learn from your mistakes. As you gain more experience and knowledge about the game, you will become less prone to impulsive decisions.
4. Understand that there will be consequences
It can be hard to define macro because there are no true answers for making decisions. You make them based on your knowledge of the game, your awareness of the winning conditions, and the situation at hand. Each player sees the game differently.
If you make a decision, you should also consider the alternative consequences and put them into perspective. Learn from the consequences of your decision and grow as a player.
The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision.
III. Map Awareness
The easiest way you can improve on League of Legends is by working on your map awareness.
Why is Map Awareness Important?
Map awareness is an enabler for successful macro. By increasing your map awareness, you become aware of opponents' approximate location and the conditions of your allies. You will make more impactful decisions as a result of good map awareness.
For example, a high-ranked League of Legends player will always look to shove the lane and rotate to other lanes. A timely rotation will help the team secure kills that lead to securing objectives.
To ensure positive outcomes of every rotation, a player must read the state of the lane he is about to visit. They will decide their next moves based on two clues: how the allies are playing and how the enemy would react to the gank. That is when map awareness is important.
There is no better way to explain how much map awareness can improve your gameplay than a proper scenario, so here goes.
Your top laner's health is low, and the enemy top laner is pushing the minion waves into his tower. Your top laner is at a high risk of getting dived by the enemy if he wants to stay in his lane and absorb XP (experience points).
Now, as a mid-laner or jungler, being aware of this scenario is crucial. If you are in the position to counter an incoming dive, you should always rotate to help your top lane survive the dive and potentially turn it against the enemy. If the dive does not happen, you can either reset the wave or set up an easy gank.
Now, without map awareness, none of that happens. Therefore, you should always strive to get better at reading the map.
4 Tips to Get Better at Map Awareness
1. Press F1-F5 keys to see your allies
It would help if you only did this when there are no minions to last hit or when you are out of your opponent's range.
2. Notice your allies' portraits
The portraits located above the mini-map can show your allies' health bar and whether or not they have their ultimate ability. It is a neat HUD feature, so don't forget to use it!
3. Check your mini-map every 10 seconds
It would help if you made a habit to glance at your mini-map quickly and read the information it gives you. If you see two portraits are staying on top of one another, they could be fighting.
4. Look for specific things
When you examine the mini-map, you're searching for particular information, such as which lanes are being pushed, the location of opponents and allies, and the status of neutral objectives.
Back in season 3, the concept of fighter top, tank jungle, mage mid, and duo bot was not how people played League of Legends. Riot Games was a small game dev, so there was no definitive way to play League of Legends.
Back then, bruisers would go to bot lane with a support. The strategy was so effective, people would copy it, and it became a standard way to play the game. Then, Riot Games began to release squishy champions with tons of late-game damage.
However, there was a problem. These champions needed protection to survive the early phases, and there was no way they could match up with a tanker with high early damage.
To solve the problem, AD carries would go to bot lane, sacrifice the solo lane EXP and gold in exchange for protection from a support. Thus, a new meta was born, and people still use it nowadays.
What is Meta?
If you enjoy MOBAs or any competitive game, then you must be familiar with the Metagame. Metagame (or Meta) is a collection of most optimized tactics with the current stage of a game. New tactics emerge as the game updates its champions and items to keep the competition fresh and thriving.
This video by Exil explains the Metagame very well, so check it out if you are interested in knowing the historical changes of League of Legends:
Watch this: A complete history of top lane and the top lane meta.
How Does Meta Change?
League of Legends is an ever-changing game. The meta never stays; it evolves into something different.
In general, there are two influences that affect the way meta changes: direct influence and indirect influence.
Today, Riot Games has the ability to control how the meta shifts. A patch note every two weeks would alter the way champions and items perform. If a champion is overperforming and affecting the gameplay experience, the dev will nerf that champion directly. Direct changes are how Riot Games want to force a certain meta into action.
Indirect influence on the meta happens when tweaks on items and runes also affect other aspects of the game, such as champions or team comp. For example, Divine Surrender has been overperforming lately. In patch 11.13, Riot Games nerfed the item quite heavily, causing champions that synergize well with Divine Surrender, such as Ezreal and Wukong, to receive an indirect nerf. Their pickrate quickly dropped as pro teams substituted them with better picks.
How to Keep up With the Meta
1. Predict the meta
Often, the meta reflects the most favorable strategies for the time being. Think of meta like the stock market—you want to understand what will attract sellers and deter buyers. You need to observe the stock market every day to catch trends. Similarly, when it comes to meta, you need to analyze weekly patch notes to be aware of potential shifts.
2. Follow the competitive scene
Professional teams utilize meta to the very core. When they compete at a high level, each slight advantage counts. If all pro teams achieve the same mechanical skill and game sense, then they must rely on the most effective strategies to come out ahead.
By watching how the pros play the game, you may learn new concepts to apply to your gameplay. The commentary is also a good source of information.
Don't just watch, though. If you can, try to understand why those strategies are effective.
You should not pick up any niche strategy without first knowing its requirements.
Pro players do a lot of analysis when figuring out a niche strategy. Once decided, the entire team is on board with the tactic; they know exactly what to fill and how to eliminate the weak spot of that strategy.
You don't have that luxury in solo queue. Therefore, avoid picking up the strategy without knowing its requirements.
An exceptional League of Legend player is well-versed in micro, macro, map awareness, and meta. Those are exactly what this guide teaches you.
League of Legends is truly a fun game once you get past the learning curve. So if you are still hanging in there, try a little more and you will soon reap the fruit of your labor.
I hope you've learned a couple of things after reading this guide. If you wish to learn more, check out our blog section for other esports titles.
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