League of Legends Guide: How to Start and What is the Difference from Dota

If you want to play League of Legends after watching the Arcane series, you should stop here. Riot Games’ flagship game will take you at least 200 hours to at least begin to understand, especially if you haven’t tried playing other mobs.

By the way, if you want to know how LoL is beneficial for eSports players, click here.

So, let’s start our guide.


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On a square field there are lines along the edges of the map and a diagonal one. At their ends are nodes – the main buildings of the team’s base, which must be destroyed to win.

Each team consists of 5 players. At the beginning of the game, four champions go to the lane and one goes to farm in the jungle.

Besides living people, there are also creatures in the game – minions on the lines and in the forest. Minions are neutral, any player can defeat them to get gold and experience for killing them. If the minion is hit by two players at the same time, both of them will get experience, but only the one who inflicted fatal damage to it’ll get gold.

Game modes aren’t unlocked immediately – ranked mode is available only at level 30, a mode with a choice of champions when you buy 20 champions, and a flex ranked mode for a group of friends (a mode for playing with five, three and two). After completing the tutorial, only the normal mode with blind selection is available, in which you can compete against the same champions as your team.

Champions and their roles

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There are 140 champions in the league, but none of them are free. About 10 champions are obtained by completing the daily quests at the beginning of the game. The rest of the champions are sold for blue essence, but there is a way to save money – in the game there is 1 hextech chest for each level. From it shards of champions fall out, which helps to save 2-3 times when buying a character.

When you complete the three levels of the tutorial, you will receive a capsule with champions. In the first week of the game, you’ll get blue essence for buying champions, orange essence for making skins, and a guaranteed Miss Fortune at Waterloo skin.

If you have played other MOBAs, you’ll quickly figure out how it works. The top one is called “Top” – mostly tank characters (heroes with increased survivability) play there against bruiser characters (also with increased survivability, but they have more abilities and damage items). The middle area, also called the “middle”, is usually occupied by more active characters – mages and assassins. They do not have much health, but a huge amount of damage. At the bottom of the “bot” are characters with strong automatic attacks and their supporters – heroes with the ability to heal allies or with such abilities that can spoil the game for opponents (debuff spells, immobilization, etc.).

Ranged champions are focused on positional play. Their main task is to stand behind the back of denser heroes and deal damage. They are mainly mages and archers who are brought to the lower lane, as it is easiest for them to survive with supports. Not all mages feel comfortable on the bot, so this lane is mainly taken by 3-5 champions for the role of Carry (Ziggs, Swain, Serafina, Vex). Among the shooters for this role, Caitlin, Ash, and Miss Fortune are the easiest to master.

Among the support mages, there are two types: the support mage, who restores allies’ health and casts shields, and the initiator of the fight with control abilities. The easiest mages to learn are Nami and Saraka, while the initiators are Leona, Blitzcrank and Nautilus. Variations in the support game will help you figure out which champions you like in the future. Also, this is the only lane where you can play together – this will help you quickly establish interaction with the team.

The middle lane is the shortest, from here you can go to the other two lanes for kills. The middle lane is considered the strongest lane in the game and can be played by a variety of champions. The easiest mids to play are mages, as they deal a lot of damage and do not let the enemy get to them. It is best to start with Lux, Ahri and Veigar. Also, not only Mages can play Mid, but also Assassins and Bruzers can. Assassins are divided into AD (physical damage) and AP (magic damage). The AD Assassins are Talon, Shako, and Pike, and the AP Assassins are Ekko, Katarina, and Diana.

Bruisers can play in the middle and on top. Unlike Assassins, they do less damage, but are able to survive longer in fights. The best representatives of the Bruisers are Seth, Jax and Atrox.

They bring tanks to the top. Their task is to survive as much as possible in a fight and control the opponents. However, they do not have much damage. The easiest tanks are Orne, Yorick and Sion.

In addition to these four roles, there are also Rangers. Unlike Dota, the jungler role is much more important in the league. This position is used for farming, ganking and informing the team about the movements of other players. The Jungler watches as the opposing team comes in to kill Nashor (the most powerful servant on the map with valuable rewards for killing) and Dragons (no less powerful creatures), and must also come into the lane from time to time to help the team kill enemies. The easiest junglers are Master Yi, Nunu and Willump and Poppy.


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An important difference between the League and Dota is the system of runes and summoner spells. Runes help unleash the champion’s potential and flexibly adapt to any matchup in the game: more healing when using skills and automatic attacks, more damage, etc. Summoner spells are two additional active buttons (like skills) that can be used during the game. Among them: heal yourself and an ally, arson, purification of almost all types of control, and others.

The league uses an experience system for victories that add up to levels. For each level there’s a capsule with a champion or chest. As you level up, runes and spells are unlocked. The more you gain, the faster you unlock all the runes and the rune editor where you can customize them for yourself.

To begin with, there are 5 basic runes that average out to every type of champion in the game.

Sharpness: Perfection – for champions that are sharpened for auto attacks;

Mastery: Executioner – increased damage for assassins;

Affliction: Calamity – hits an area with a magic comet when using other skills;

Valor: Colossus – increases tank health for the rest of the game;

Inspiration: Timeless – control for supporters (and not only).

These are the average runes for each character type in the game. You can’t play in the jungle before level 12, as the summoner spell Punishment is unlocked after level 12. Punishment deals 350 damage and grows as you level up to 900. There are two types of punishment – Icy and Defiant. Icy slows and marks the enemy slightly, while Summoner sets enemies on fire. Punishment can be used not only against champions, but also against servants on lanes, forest monsters, dragons and Baron Nashor.

For each role, there’s a specific group of spells that are used most often.

  • The role of Carry – 99% of a hundred take Heal and Blink.
  • The role of Support is Incendiary and Blink, and in rare cases, Exhaustion.
  • Midlaners get Ignite/Teleport and Blink
  • Rangers always take Smite and Blink
  • Toppers take Teleport/Arson and Flash.

Other spells are used situationally.


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There are different items for each class and play style. They’re all bought with gold during the game and are divided into levels. The assistant in the game store will tell you which champion will have what better, and even a beginner will figure it out if he buys according to his tips.

Items are divided into epic, legendary and mythic. You can have only one mythical item that enhances the effect of the other items and at the same time has its own unique property.

Communication with the team

It’s enough for the player to watch the pings of others and report their actions to understand what’s happening on the map. For example, if you’re attacking a dragon, you can signal for the team’s help so that they show up and protect you from enemies while helping to finish off the dragon. At the same time, you can also talk to your friends via voice chat.

The league has an honor system. For a good game you get praise, which is converted into chests. There are only 5 levels – and the last level gives you a unique skin from the honor store.

If you leave the game before it’s over, the honor level drops. There are three levels of penalties for leaving early: a 5-minute ban, a 15-minute ban, and a 24-hour ban. This applies to all PvP modes. Education and training are still available.

Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with foreignspolicyi.org from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]gmai.com