League of Legends may be Asia’s most popular game, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to pick up and play. Especially for those who haven’t played MOBA games before, League of Legends can be quite confusing at first, and the community doesn’t tend to be particularly friendly to clueless noobies, so if you want to play, you’ll need to learn how.
I wrote a review of the lolguides.com Summoner School a few months ago, but that costs money. League of Legends is a free-to-play game, so why shouldn’t your learning materials be free, too?
In this post, I’ve collected some of the most useful free resources for learning and improving at League of Legends. We’ve got our favorite picks below, and then a list of additional resources at the bottom of the page.
Best of the Best
The absolute basics
The League of Legends game itself will run you through a couple basic tutorials before you can play a real game, but you may find it helpful to watch a video or two before you even start that to get some of the basics down. This video from the folks at IGN is a little slow to get going, but it’ll give you a great idea of the basics of the game.
Of course, the League of Legends scene is also full of jargon, and that can be difficult to follow. Thankfully the League of Legends wiki has a very thorough, easily searchable glossary.
Building your knowledge and skills
There are tons of resources out there to help you improve, but I think the best single thing you could do would be to watch the unswlolsec video lecture series. These videos are long, and they can be a little dry, but they are clear, and watching even one of them will likely help you improve your game. Here’s a list with a link to each video for your convenience.
- Basic Mechanics (Part 1)
- Basic Mechanics (Part 2)
- The Silver League
- Losing Games
- The Jungle
- Advanced Mechanics ADC Support
- Top Lane
- Mid Lane
- Solo Queue
- Comebacks and Carrying
- Ending Games (Part 1)
- Ending Games (Part 2)
- Venture Beyond Gold
As you’re looking to improve, you’ll probably often have specific questions you want to ask. The Summoner School subreddit on Reddit is the best place for this, as it is populated by lots of helpful people. There are also frequently Platinum- and Diamond-level players there who are willing to offer free mentoring, coaching, game critiques, and other similar services.
Learning specific champions and item builds
There are a ton of guide sites out there, but the best bet is solomid.net. Go there, find a popular guide for the champion you want to play (ideally one written by a respected pro player) and read it thoroughly. There are dozens for every champion so even if you want to try a non-meta pick, you can probably find a guide for it there.
If you want to learn more about champion synergies and good counter-picks for particular champions, championcounter.com is very helpful in breaking down who a champion is strong against, weak against, and works best with.
For the most up-to-date information on champion builds, you can check out Pro Builds, which automatically tracks League of Legends pros. Pick your champion, and then look at the builds and build orders for pros who have recently won games playing that champion.
Knowing your enemies
It can often be helpful after a game, particularly a game that went poorly, to look up your opponents so you can study their build, runes, and masteries to try and see how they beat you. OP.GG is the best site out there for this right now. Unfortunately, although they have plans to support Garena’s SEA servers in the future, they don’t at the moment. So if you’re playing on Garena servers, you’ll want to use LoLQuickFind instead.
Additional free resources
The links above should be more than enough to set you on the path to summoner success, but if you still need more…
- Another LoL terms glossary
- Standard rune and mastery pages – basic rune and mastery page templates for various roles in the game.
- Gen explains the meta – a great explanation of the basic League of Legends meta
- Twitch.tv – You can learn a lot watching the streams of some pros, as many of them will talk about what they’re doing and why as they stream. This links to the League of Legends page on twitch; from there check out who’s streaming at the moment, and follow streamers over time whose style you like and who play the same roles and champions you prefer.
- LOLReplay – Free software to record your games so you can watch them again later and review your play. Can be a bit buggy, but very useful.
- Guide to ward placement – warding is not just for supports!
- Teams of Legends – Good place to find teams or team members
- The Psychology of League of Legends – More important than you might think.
- Teamfind – Another resource for finding teams or players to play with.
- How to Improve Gameplay in Solo Queue
- Welcome to Supporting!
- Jungling 101
- Making Your Own Luck: Confessions of a Low-ELO Veteran
- Leaguecraft – Another source for free build guides for the various champions.
- MobaFire – Yet another site for builds and guides.
- The Great Atlas – Large, very informative infographics for some champions
- ChampionSelect – Another good resource for finding counter-picks.
Do you know of other great free resources for League of Legends players? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add anything that’s good to this list!