How does of League of Legends work?



My girlfriend plays League and whilst from just listening to her play I have a vague understanding of the game, I still don’t really get it. I’ve asked her but she’s absolutely awful at explaining things.

Some questions that have sprung to mind whilst listening / watching her play: what’s a lane? what’s mana? how do you win/lose? ~~why does this game make her so angry?~~

I’m also not much of a gamer so please dumb it down as much as possible – I’m just a clueless boyfriend that wants to enjoy his girlfriend’s interests.

In: Other

The main League of Legends is a team of 5 people trying to defend their base while trying to destroy the other base.

There are 3 paths between the bases called lanes.

So usually the team divides up which players are in charge of guarding/attacking on each lane(path)

Each person is playing as a different character with special abilities/attacks. Most of these require mana (magic) to use. If they run out of mana points, they have to recharge before they can cast more abilities/spells.

It’s a game in a genre called MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena). Essentially, the game pits 2 teams of 5 players against eachother. The goal of the game is to destroy the enemy base (nexus). Each team’s nexus will spawn uncontrollable ai units (called minions or creeps) that travel down 1 of 3 pre-determined paths (called lanes) towards the enemy team’s nexus. Destroying the nexus is very difficult in the early stages of the game.

Each player controls a character (champion) that has unique abilities. In order to gain an advantage over your opponents, you can kill enemy minions (which gives you gold) and be near enemy minions when they die (which gives you experience points) in lane. You can use gold to buy better items which basically boost your champion’s stats and make them stronger. Experience is used to level up your champion, giving them access to new and upgraded abilities (again, making them stronger). A lot of these abilities cost resources to use (e.g. mana – magic points that regenerate over time). Once you feel your team has a big enough advantage over your opponents, you can group together with your teammates and try to accomplish objectives which will bring you closer to winning the game. This is probably the part that makes her angry. LoL is a team game, and a lot of people have difficulty communicating properly and working together as a team.

It’s so nice of you to take some interest!!

League of Legends is sort of like capture the flag. Two teams of 5 are put on a map, and each team has a base. Your goal is to push into the other team’s base and destroy their nexus to win. There are three lanes that connect one base to the other (and different types of characters do better in different lanes, but that’s a whole other story).

But you can’t just run straight into the base, because it’s protected by a bunch of turrets that will easily kill you before you can kill the nexus. Also, the players from the other team will try and kill you too. So what you need to do is kill minions (weak NPCs that just run down each lane until they get killed), which give you gold and make you stronger. The turrets also will attack minions before attacking you, which gives you time to destroy the turrets without taking damage.

Each player controls a character (champion) that has abilities and attacks which they can use to kill minions and players on the other team. The abilities use mana, so you can’t just spam stuff. If you die, you have to wait anywhere from 15-60+ seconds to respawn, which allows the other team more time to destroy your turrets and nexus without you being able to defend it.

In league, the goal is to destroy the enemy’s big building at the far end of the map. A.I. controlled Minions spawn automatically and march down 3 lanes towards the nexus. This happens at either end of the map though, so without intervention the minions will meet in the middle to fight each other until they die.

The way to win is by ‘pushing’ your team’s minions all the way down a lane to the enemy’s big building and kill it, while defending against the other team’s attempt to do the same. By pushing I mean kill enemy minions and the towers which are smaller buildings spaced out in each lane that deal damage to minions and champions alike.

Each champion has 3 different abilities plus a stronger ability called an ultimate. Their abilities make each champion unique. Some are good at pushing lanes. Some are good at killing other champions. Some are good at protecting allies.

Mana is a resource some champions have that is consumed by using abilities and slowly regenerates after. It’s a way of forcing some champions to ration out use of their abilities or end up manaless without a way to use their abilities for a while.

>Whats a lane

The map is split into 3 lanes with turrets placed along the lanes. Imagine a square with a diagonal line going through it. The top L of the square is one lane, the diagonal line is another, and the bottom L of the square is the 3rd lane. The map is then cut diagonally the other way splitting the map into opposing halves.

>Whats mana

A resource that you use to cast abilities. Some characters dont need mana to function as much as others, Some characters dont even have mana in the first place instead using some other resource.

>How do you win/lose

Each lane has 3 towers/turrets in them. Destroying a all of these towers in a lane will give you access to your opponents base, where you gain access to two more towers guarding the opponents “nexus”. Once you destroy these last two towers you can attack the nexus. Dealing enough damage to destroy the enemies nexus wins the game.

Overall the objective of the game is to gain enough of an advantage over your enemy to push down their towers and take the nexus. You do this through killing enemies minions for gold which allows you to buy items upgrading your champion, Taking neutral objectives around the map that confers buffs, and gaining ground y directly fighting your and killing them so they cant defend their base.

Goal of the game:

To destroy the enemy Nexus


Condition to attack the Nexus:

1. destroy all towers on one lane
2. destroy the now unlocked inhibitor
3. destroy the unlocked towers protecting the nexus
4. now attack the nexus


Problems in achieving that:

* enemy team can attack you
* towers deal very high damage
* enemy minions attack you


How to avoid the problems:

* gather more resources than the enemies to outscale them
* get buffs from wild monsters
* outnumber the enemy with strategic positioning
* use your minions to tank the towers damage for you


How to gather resources:

* every unit gives money when you kill it (monster/minion/champion/towers)
* minions/champions give experience to nearby enemy champions on dying
* monsters give experience upon killing them

How to spend resources:

* spend money at the shop to buy better items and improve your champion
* spend money to buy utility like potions to regain health
* experience gives levels that give you access to/improve your abilities
* the important ones here being 2/3/6/11/16 usually
* 2/3 give you your two other regular abilities which are a big advantage
* 6/11/16 let you level your ultimate, usually your strongest ability by far


From here strategies evolved to best accomplish these goes on the way to destroy the enemy nexus. They vary slightly depending on the characters chosen, but generally there is something called the “meta”, which is the best known way to go.

The game is broadly described in three phases, early-, mid- and late-game.


You stay on your assigned lane and try to get as much money and experience from killing minions, while skirmishing with your opposing player. Killing them does give you quite the advantage as they are worth a lot of money, but the risks are also high, rather focus on the minions and only go for the kill if there is a good opportunity.


mid-game starts as soon as the first towers fall and players have time to leave their lane. That is, because now the enemy needs much longer to push their minions under the tower to essentially deny your team killing them and getting their xp+gold, since they are further away now.

Now strategic movement puts pressure on different lanes to either catch other champions, destroy towers or secure other objectives, like dragon and baron.


Late-game starts when all players have good equipment and are high level. Now resources lose importance, due to champions not being able to use them anymore. Now objectives are the most important goal.

The higher level a champion is the longer is their respawn time. So killing a high-level champion is worth your while because they will take up to 80 seconds to respawn. Destroying inhibitors will spawn an extremely strong minion on that lane, so the lane will push itself and needs defending by a champion. Dragon buff basically becomes stronger every time the dragon is killed, so in the late game dragon buffs are extremely valuable.

So the team focuses on objectives and picking single enemy champions until one team either gets a good entry or feels strong enough to initiate a team fight. On winning a team fight the possible surviving champions are not strong enough to defend the base and the winning team can heavily attack.

Lose enough of the base and you lose the game.

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