Introduction: How to Play League of Legends

Following these instructions will inform you on how to begin playing League of Legends, basic mechanics of the game, and provide general tips on how to succeed. League of Legends is a free video game in the MOBA genre (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena). The general game is intended to be played 5v5, but other modes are also supported. League of Legends is one of the most popular video games in the world, with over 30 million players worldwide, and peak concurrent users as high as 5 million.

In order to play League of Legends, you'll need a:

-Computer (Windows or MAC)
-High-speed internet connection
-Keyboard and Mouse

Depending on the game type, each mode will require different amounts of time. They are as follows:

Summoner's Rift: 30-45 minutes
Twisted Treeline: 20-30 minutes
Dominion/Crystal Scar: 15-25 minutes
ARAM: 20-30 minutes

Step 1: Create Account

Go to the League of Legends website:, and make and start the game download. It will take awhile, so go ahead and make an account while you're waiting if you don't already have one.

Step 2: Install and Patch!

Install the game to completion. Once installed, open it up to begin patching. These patches are free updates, which add new content to the game. After the game is patched, click play, and the main game client will open.

Step 3: Log In

Log into your account using the information you used when you created your account. If this is your first time logging in, you'll be prompted to pick a "summoner name". This is the name that other players will see you as, and call you by, so ensure that it's appropriate, as inappropriate names aren't tolerated.

Step 4: Play the Tutorial

Play the tutorial. To do this, click on the large play button on the top of the screen. From here, click on tutorials, then the type of tutorial you'd like to play. Going through both tutorials is strongly encouraged, and ensures that you will have a proper grasp of the game.

Step 5: Prepare to Play

Now, it's time to play the game. If this is your first time, it would be wise to start off with playing against bots in Co-op vs. AI games. The pre-programmed bots are much easier than human players, so applying the basics you've learned in the tutorial can be done with less frustration. To start, click the large play button at the top of the screen, select "Co-op vs. AI", and then select the mode and difficulty you'd like.

Step 6: Pick a Champion

Once the matchmaking system finds a game for you, the fun begins. You'll be shown many, many different champions, but only some will be selectable. Each week, 10 champions will be available for free. Now, choose the champion you would like to play. Honestly, make your decision based on the one who looks the most fun to you - I mean, games are all about fun, right?

Step 7: View the Loading Screen

Once the loading screen opens up, you'll know the game is only mere moments ahead. After all players are loaded in, go ahead and move to one of the 3 lanes on the map. You can view your location on the map on the bottom right (or left, if you've changed the settings) corner of the screen. You'll want to make sure that none of the lanes are empty (ie: there is at least one champion in each of the lanes).

Step 8: Slay Minions!

Minions will spawn at around 1 minute, 30 seconds. You can view the timer at the top right corner. Other champions will now be in the same lane as you, as well as enemy minions. These minions are essential to your success. Each one not only gives you experience, but it also provides gold if you deliver the killing blow to it. This is called "last hitting", and is detrimental to success - practice definitely makes perfect here.

Step 9: Attack the Turret/Champions!

Attack enemy champions when you are safe to do so, to lower their health. Doing this is called "harassing", or "poking". You'll notice that there are turrets on both your side, as well as the enemies' as well. You'll want to make sure that you don't attack near the enemy turret, or it will shoot you repeatedly. Turrets hurt quite a bit early on, so ensure that you play in a safe manner. Once the enemy is low enough, go in for the kill, and hope you get it! Killing enemies will reward you with a large amount of gold.

Step 10: Spend Your Gold

Every once in awhile, you'll want to go "home", or back to the base in order to spend that hard-earned gold. Once back at base, click on the shopkeeper to open up the store. From here, you can see the very large list of items you can buy. Sticking to the "suggested" items is recommended to start. These items are usually the best you can get for your champion, so buying them is almost always the right choice.

Step 11: Finish the Game Up

Return to lane with your newly purchased items. You'll want to continue attacking and destroying the enemy turrets. There are 3 in total, with the last of them being called the "inhibitor turret". Destroying this will give you access to the enemies' inhibitor. When this is destroyed, "super minions" will spawn from your base. These minions have both significantly more health, and deal more damage.

Step 12: Win the Game!

Focus on pushing the middle lane's turrets, and eventually, inhibitor. After the inhibitor is destroyed here, you can begin taking out the enemy Nexus turrets. These are the two turrets right outside the large circular gem, called the Nexus. After these two turrets fall, and the enemy Nexus is destroyed, you'll win the game - congratulations!

Step 13: Ponder Your Score

The results screen will now be shown, displaying numerous statistics and data on how each champion/player performed in the game. You'll also see how much experience, and IP you have earned. IP can be used to purchase new champions. Once purchased, these champions are permanently unlocked, and can be played at any time! Experience will give you access  to additional perks such as new summoner spells and mastery points.

Step 14: Improve Your Skills!

Become a better player by reading champion guides on websites such as:

You can find guides on each of these sites for any champion you would like to play, as well as other guides for general tips and information about the game, masteries, and rune pages.

Step 15: Enjoy Playing and Have Fun!

Have fun playing, and good luck! If you have a bad game, don't let it discourage you. League of Legends is all about practice, and practice makes perfect.