OP - The Basics
2nd - PENTAKILL!
3rd - Currently Open Contests/One-Time Events
League of Legends (popularly known as LoL) is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game created by Riot Games.
You play as a summoner that controls a champion and takes them into battle with and against other summoners and their respective champions. During games, your champion will level up, get gold for better equipment and hopefully destroy the enemy nexus. Outside of games, your summoner level will rise. This will unlock new runes to enhance champion stats, bestow mastery points for further champion customization and goodies like avatars. At max level you can then compete in ranked matches and/or judge player behavior in what is called the Tribunal.
New Player Guide
1. Make an account: NAEU (West)EU (Nordic & East) It is worth noting that referring new players has perks, so I would ask for a referral link in the thread rather than a vanilla account.
2. Download the client: Right here The official Mac client is in beta - download it today!
3. Play the tutorials! New User Guide
The game can be a bit overwhelming, and I highly suggest you play the tutorials OR find someone willing to do a few vs. AI games with you.
4. Join the "Penny Arcade" Chat Channel to find helpful people and people to escape solo queue with! Click the little double speech bubble looking thing at the bottom right of your screen. Click the + speech bubble right above it. Type in "Penny Arcade" and introduce yourself. Not everyone you see in the thread will be there, as not everyone plays on the same server. You can ask these people how to play champions, we pretty much have someone who plays each champion.
5. Play vs. People
Do it, damn you. As said above, the AI is not going to give you the legitimate LoL experience. You don't want to hit your 20s solely from bot matches.
6. Get yer free champs. Subscribe to Riot's Youtube and get a free Alistar skin! Includes the champion! Free Tristana if you're into the Facebook thing. Promo skins always include the champion if you never bought it.
The Dos and Don'ts of LoL
1. Don't buy champions randomly!
LoL has two currencies: Riot Points (RP), which are bought with real money, and Influence Points (IP) which are earned solely by playing games. Champions can be bought with both, but every week there will be ten free champions to play with. Play these champs instead. Get a feel for each type of champion and see which you find more fun. It's far better to do this as opposed to buying a champ randomly and ultimately being unhappy with it. Also, (it's rumored) you can get ONE refund opportunity for (I believe I read) up to 3 RP purchases. After that, it's your own fault for spending RP.
2. Don't buy Tier 2 Runes.
They are pretty much a waste of IP. Buy Tier 1 and save up for Tier 3. Or, if you're baller like Hargaad, don't even buy Tier 1. Wait to hit level 30, then buy all the Tier 3 runes you need.
3. Do queue with friends.
Playing with randoms is a crapshoot, and playing with a Taric or two can put the odds in your favor. Play complementary champs and request feedback on how you did in each game (even if you won). Likewise, you can offer advice to others you saw having trouble in a polite manner (because if you aren't polite, you're likely to get flamed).
4. Do learn the champions
When a new rotation occurs, it is wise to play a few games with each champ. Knowing what each champ is capable of will be useful even if you hate how they play and never intend on using them. For example, Karthus has a skill that does damage to every enemy champion, regardless of location! If you know this, then you can be a jerk and take Soraka.
5. Do read guides.
There are multiple ways to play a champion. This combination of skills, runes, masteries and items is called a "build" and are the general strategies for any champion. The recommended items in the game store are not always accurate, and the order you level skills can have a big impact on how the early stages of the game play out. Sites like Mobafire and Solomid offer builds for just about every champion. It's cookie-cutter, but a great foundation for new people. Once you learn the ins and outs, you can tweak a build to better serve your playstyles or as a reaction to enemy or ally players.
6. Do be polite and do report
Sometimes people will suck or do shit wrong. It's a game, so try to keep that in mind when things get a little unhinged. If you insult or yell at people, even if they DID do something wrong, you're likely going to get that person defensive and things break down. Instead of focusing on the game, you focus on hurling insults at each. Stay calm, and politely offer advice when needed. And yet, people are jerks. It happens. Simply /mute them and quietly report them after the game. Taking their bait is probably what they want you to do. Do not give them the satisfaction! Keep your cool.
7. Buy skins
Having a skin for a character is a great way to say "Hey I'm fucking awesome with this champion so get the fuck out of my way." If your team is using more skins than your enemy team, you basically have already won. If you're playing as , you've won the awesome award.
1. Do not be aggressive
There will be a serious urge to want to kill enemy champs. Resist! Death is an all-around loss: your opponents get more cash and experience, you miss out on experience and your lane risks getting pushed. If you set-up a kill and fail, do not continue chasing. In many cases, you will just die to a tower or get ganked. While later on you will learn when to take risks, early in your career it's best to be less aggressive and just let the other guy get away.
2. Do not focus on KDR
Your kill-death-ratio is not the end-all of your value. It is possible to lose despite having a serious kill advantage over the enemy team! Certain champions, once getting the right items, can be unstoppable murder machines. Even if you do kill them a lot, if they reach this threshold, it's possible for a dramatic reversal to occur. It is far more important to support your team's objectives: push towers, protect your own towers from being pushed and keep your team informed of enemy activity. It is far better to have a modest KDR and win, than be the team killer and lose.
3. Do watch the minimap and your enemy
Enemy locations are important! In your low-level games you will likely have two champs tops lane, one mid and two bottom (in later level games, one from top will be off "jungling," so top will have just one champ). If a player in YOUR lane is missing, let the team know. The player might just be heading back to base to buy items, or they could be trying to jump your friend in another lane. And mention when they came back to your lane! But this doesn't mean you should rely wholly on team recon. Watch the minimap yourself for enemy locations in other lanes whenever you can. People aren't perfect, and sometimes that warning comes a bit too late. Another set of eyes is always useful.
4. Do buy wards.
Wards are items that grant you vision of an area for 180 seconds. They are, without a doubt, one of the best purchases you will make. You can plop them along the river and have advance warning of ganks. They'll grant you vision of the brush. They'll alert you of enemy attempts on big-reward neutral monsters like the dragon or baron. If you attack them in the middle of something like that, you could mob up their entire team. Or maybe you are aware of a gank attempt on you. You could alert a nearby friend, bait the ganker in and turn the tables. Buy wards. BUY. WARDS.
5. Do buy wards.
Wards are items that grant you vision of an area for 180 seconds. They are, without a doubt, one of the best purchases you will make. You can plop them along the river and have advance warning of ganks. They'll grant you vision of the brush. They'll alert you of enemy attempts on big reward neutral monsters like the dragon or baron. If you attack them in the middle of something like that, you could mob up their entire team. Or maybe you are aware of a gank attempt on you. You could alert a nearby friend, bait the ganker in and turn the tables. Buy wards. BUY. WARDS. Yes, I posted this twice. It is that important.
6. Do something.
So you just wiped the enemy team out. Hooray! But...what are you doing now? Did you just go back to your respective lanes and farm? Incorrect! You now have precious map control, and should be taking advantage of it. Gather up as a team and take out a tower. Head to the dragon and get a clean kill. Steal enemy creeps (especially their blue and red buffs). You can always check the status of both teams by pressing tab. If multiple enemies are waiting on respawn, then you need to press that advantage.
7. Don't just wait around all day when you're in a position to win.
8. Do buy wards.
Seriously, kids. If Hargaad can do it, so can you. I know you have 75 gold just laying around sometimes. Don't feed us with your bullshit of, "But I need to save for x item!" No! Fuck you, and your high horse. If you don't buy wards, and you die a lot, nobody on your team is going to be able to save you from a beefed up (whatever) lane. Consequences will never be the same!
Meet the Team
Like any group activity, stuff is usually broken down into roles. It's worth noting that champions don't always fit neatly in categories. A champion's role in the team may depend on what build has been chosen, and sometimes you may fill several roles depending on the group composition. When picking champions, it's a good idea to see what people are doing and fill in any holes.
1. The Carry: If your team is a car, then the carry is the engine. It's what makes the team function. The carry, when doing its job, will be able to easily destroy the whole team. But, just like an engine is useless without any other parts of your car, the carry relies on its team to get the gold necessary to buy the items needed to kill swathes of enemies. Early on, carries tend to be more vulnerable and weaker than other champs. LOTS of people pick carry in random, because it's the star character that generally gets all the kills. One of the reasons Caitlyn is so great is that she can carry a team since her AS ratios are amazing and she can easily carry and dominate fools.
2. The Tank: Following the car metaphor, the tank is your steering. It'll guide the team into battle, and in many cases will be the one starting the fights. Tanks are there to absorb damage and lock down the most dangerous champions on the enemy team so you can position yourselves to win the fight. Some tanks do this with CC, whereas other tanks have some damage and will soften up the enemy team instead. Tanks still tend to need the rest of their team to back them up. Rammus is probably the most boss at doing all of this, and with zazz.
3. The Support: I guess support are your tires or something? Maybe the AC. Either, support help the team out with buffs and generally shields or healing. Healers tend to assist the carry by allowing the carry to stay in the lane longer through said healing or shields. Unlike, well, just about everyone else, Support don't rely so much on gear and thus will purposefully AVOID getting last hits so that their lane partner can farm gold faster. Because of their reduced need of gold, support should also be buying and placing wards when needed. It's worth noting that EVERYONE should generally buy wards, but as a support you can afford to take the financial hit. FEW people pick support in random due to how hard it is to influence games. You have to be very proactive to make up for bad teammates as a carry. Veigar commonly supports the enemy team to their graves.
4. The Jungler: Jungling is a more advanced concept, and you won't see it until higher summoner levels. This is due to runes and masteries allowing for more efficient jungling. It is still possible on a few champs, even at Summoner Level 1, but very uncommon. As the name implies, the jungler sits in the jungle and kills neutral creeps. This benefits your team by creating a second solo lane (top lane), resulting in more experience and gold for your team as a whole. Once the jungler hits a certain gear/level point, they look for opportunities to gank enemies. This is generally done via strong CC abilities, such as Warwick's ultimate or Nunu's slow coupled with his speed buff. Skills such as these will enable the jungler's teammate in that lane to easily assist with the kill. When not ganking, the jungler will return to the jungle regularly to keep up in terms of gold and experience. Due to their roaming, the jungler has plenty of opportunities to place wards for its teammates.
This is a very simple guide! There are other roles in teams, but this is a rough outline of the basics. Roles can easily overlap, and a champion can fill more than one role! Experiment and see what works and what doesn't.