How To Get Good At League of Legends (A Full Guide To Gaining Elo)

How do I hit a higher rank in League of Legends? Well, you have to get good at League of Legends. How do you get good at League of Legends? Well, this is what this article is all about. My name is Kevin, AKA Zhengfang, and I will give you my full guide on how to get good at League of Legends in this blog post.

How To Get Good At League of Legends

At its core, to get good at League of Legends, you need to improve different aspects of your game. Some of the fundamental elements include last hitting, wave management, map awareness, general mechanics, and more.

In this blog post, I will take you through some of the in-game mechanics you should work on and give you tips and tricks on how to improve those mechanics. Mechanics and game knowledge, however, are the fish. I can give you just the fish, or I can teach you how to fish.

Ultimately, to continuously improve and get good at anything, you need to learn how to improve. I want you to gain the ability to learn and improve at League of Legends and continuously improve after reading this article. That’s why the first thing I will focus on in this article is your mental. More specifically, you must understand the mental game of improvement.

Understanding The Mental Game

To get good at League of Legends, you must improve your ability to learn. I see so many hard stuck players who have thousands of games and stay the same rank for multiple seasons in a row. They’re not unlucky; they’re just not improving.

Why? They’re not playing the mental game correctly. Many hard stuck players go into games thinking, will I win this game? Did I coinflip good players on my team? They focus on getting lucky versus playing well. That’s quite unfortunate.

What people need to understand is that winning games is a product of being good at the game. Instead of focusing on winning every game, focus on improving your gameplay.

I used to be hard stuck Platinum for multiple seasons in a row. I just couldn’t get out. Last season (Season 10), I hit Diamond 3. This season (Season 11), I already hit Diamond 2 without many games.

The big thing I changed was my mentality. I went and came out of every game thinking, how can I play better? I always focused on learning something new over trying to win. I would always try different things in-game to see if I can get any advantages. For example, sometimes, I would experiment with pushing and freezing to improve my ability to not die while generating tons of pressure on the opponent. I would try to think about what makes our team comp or the enemy team comp strong and how we’re playing towards various win conditions.

Of course, I’m still trying to win the game. But instead of thinking about the LP gains or how I’m going to get to the next rank with my next win, I think about how my next game will improve my abilities as a player.

It would be best if you also thought about playing to the best of your abilities. Too many people get caught up in the result of winning. When those people lose, they get tilted. They start playing worse and continuously lose until they hit their autopilot rank where they can win without trying.

The change that pushed me out of Plat was focusing on playing my best every game. The only thing I care about is how I’m playing in the situation I’m in. As a result, I stopped tilting as much, and I began playing much better, which allowed me to climb up to Diamond.

By focusing on playing your best and improving, you will get better at League of Legends and win more games. That being said, it’s hard to know how to improve or play well if you don’t know what playing good consists of. That’s what I’ll be jumping into next.

Improve Your Basic League of Legends Skills

There are a lot of in-game skills to talk about. One article is not enough for me to talk about all the nitty-gritty things you can do in League of Legends. Plus, I don’t know everything myself. Sometimes various strategies are always changing. Something that might work as I’m writing this article might not be very relevant when you read this.

But there are a few fundamental League of Legends skills that have pretty much always been relevant to your skill as a League of Legends player. In this article, the skills I will talk about are last hitting, trading, wave management, and map awareness.

If you’re new to the game or your rank is somewhere between Iron and Gold, simply mastering your ability to last hit will allow you to win more games easily. Last hitting, or csing and farming, is the act of getting the killing blow on minions or monsters. When you kill minions or monsters, you get gold. If your ability to last hit is better than your opponent’s, you will get more money, have more money, and win fights. When you win fights, you get objectives. Then you win the game.

One way to practice last hitting is to go into the League of Legends practice tool and kill minions in a lane by yourself. You can start with no restrictions and see how you farm. If you’re looking pretty good (e.g., 8-10 cs per minute), look to add conditions. Some restrictions you can practice with are using only auto-attacks, auto-attacking with slow auto-attack champions such as Karthus, and adding a bot that you’re not allowed to attack. Another great way to practice last hitting is to one vs. one somebody.

Csing, when there are people potentially punishing you, is the most realistic situation you will go through, and thus, practicing in those situations will allow you to improve. Going into games and thinking about your csing is another easy way to enhance your cs ability. Additionally, I also like watching pro players csing and do my best to copy them, especially when it comes to csing under tower.

I will say that last hitting is a skill that pretty much applies exclusively to players in the top, mid, and bot lane role. As a jungler or a support, you won’t be csing minions as much since your strategies to make money are a little different.

The next skill to work on is your trading abilities. Trading is where you fight the enemy in lane. You’re trading hits with your opponent. My personal definition of trading, however, also extends much further. To me, trading is about exchanging different things with your opponents—for example, a minion for an auto-attack. Let me explain.

There’s an opportunity cost to every action you take in a game of League of Legends. If you’re auto-attacking a minion, you can’t be auto-attacking your opponent at the same time. You can’t be farming bot lane and top lane at the same time. To be good at League of Legends, you have to be good at trading. You have to continuously trade up until you destroy the enemy nexus.

Things that you can trade include your health, mana, towers, abilities, summoner spells, dragons, barons, and more. The better you get at League of Legends, the more complex trading becomes. Generally, however, you’re looking to put damage out without taking damage, generate gold by csing or other means without dying, and take objectives without losing your own objectives. The best tip I have is to always think about what your opponent can do in relation to what you can do.

Of course, I could and should be going into a lot of things, but that would make this article 100 times longer than it already is. That’s not an exaggeration. I could probably write an entire book about trading. If you would like to learn more, please check out other articles focused more on trading on Fireplocker. Spending time studying pro players will also help you a lot.

Wave management is the next topic I will talk about. Minion waves are super important in League of Legends. They pretty much determine everything you can and can’t do. The gold and experience minion waves contain are extremely valuable. By having strong wave management skills, you can deny and gain a lot of gold and experience. For this reason, the plays you can or can’t make rely heavily on where the minions are in the game.

For example, it is generally not worth it if a midlaner roams while minions are at his tower. Depending on the minion wave’s size, the gold and experience the midlaner will miss could be equal to a kill. Those minions are guaranteed while a kill from the roam is not.

By understanding the basics of wave management, you can manipulate minion waves to generate leads without getting any kills. Some of the basics of wave management you should understand are freezing, slow-pushing/stacking, and shoving.

Freezing is where you keep the minion waves in the same place by only last hitting when there are a few more enemy minions alive. Freezing is good to set your lane up for jungle ganks, staying safe from getting ganked, and denying cs from the enemy. The downside of freezing is that you have a lack of pressure on the opponent. The rest of your team is more likely to get ganked, and you might lose objectives if you freeze at the wrong time.

Slow-pushing, or stacking waves, is the default lane state when you have no enemy champions contesting the wave. By only last-hitting enemy minions when both waves start equal in size, your team’s minion wave will slowly push forward. Because your minion waves are slowly moving forward, you will eventually end up with multiple waves stacked into one.

Slow-pushing is excellent when you can force your opponent to lose the waves you stacked up or something of equivalent value. You can slow-push to set up objectives such as dragon or rift herald because it forces your opponents to choose between minion waves’ gold and experience versus the objective. In the same manner, if you don’t know where the jungler is, slow-pushing is also great because it’s hard for your laner to walk past a vast minion wave and follow up.

Stacking waves is also great if you’re setting up to dive your opponent or invade the enemy jungle. It will force your opponent to either give up the wave/jungle camps or die and give up the wave/jungle camps anyway. Of course, these tactics require a much more coordinated team to pull off, though.

The last tip I’ll give about wave management is shoving your wave. To shove your wave, you’re looking to kill the enemy minions as fast as possible. Shoving is usually done when you just killed or forced the enemy laner to back and when you need to move quickly to help your teammates. For example, if your bot lane and jungle are about to start fighting a dragon, as a midlaner, you should hard shove the wave so you can help your team. Shoving is all about denying little bits of gold and experience to gain small leads that add up.

Like some of the other topics I just discussed, you can see that wave management is a super big topic. I’ve only scratched the surface with this article. It’s up to you to learn more. Additionally, wave management is something all players should understand, even if you’re not the ones killing minions. If you’re a support or jungler, what you can do in a game depends on your ability to read each lane’s state.

If there’s a considerable number of minions under your midlaner’s tower, ganking at that time may not be your best option. However, if your midlaner is freezing the wave, then that’s a much better time to gank. If your bot and mid are pushed to the enemy tower, you can look to counter-gank, invade, or take dragon. Similarly, if your bot and mid are pushed in, don’t invade or take dragon.

Of course, there are always exceptions, but hopefully, this is a start for what you should be looking at to improve.

The last thing I want to talk about is map awareness. Along with map awareness, I will also speak about warding and vision control. Map awareness is a skill every League of Legends player needs to know to get good at League of Legends. You must know what’s happening in the game to make the best decisions for winning. Often, you can find all the information you’re getting about the game on your minimap.

By having good map awareness, you can evade ganks easily and set up fights with an excellent chance of winning. Have you ever engaged on your opponent and died because the enemy jungler seemingly came out of nowhere? This is what I’m talking about. If you have good map awareness, the chances of you dying to ganks decreases, and the opportunities to make good plays increases.

As you probably know, you can’t see everything on the map. This is where warding is extremely OP, especially in combination with deducing skills. The more vision you have of what the enemy team is doing, the easier it is to avoid their plays and make plays of your own. Similarly, if you deny the enemy team vision, then your plays will all suddenly become much more unexpected.

Of course, you can’t cover the map with your wards. This is where deducing becomes an essential skill. An experienced League player will know what the enemy is doing from what they’re not doing. Suppose you’re a bot laner. You and your support have set up vision throughout the enemy team’s entire bot lane jungle. You don’t see the enemy jungler or any jungle camps leftover. The enemy jungler is likely farming their top side jungle or preparing to gank top or mid lane.

As a bot laner, this is your chance to play aggressively on your opponent, knowing that you’re not threatened by a gank. If you’re a top laner, you might be looking to play safer or call for help from your jungler or mid laner.

Wow, that was a ton of content. And honestly, there’s even more that I have to cover. But I hope I’ve set up a couple of starting points for you to research into and practice.

To recap, look to improve your last hitting, trading, wave management, and map awareness skills. Another thing to look into that I didn’t mention is how to play the champions and lane that you want to play. These things are specific to each lane and champion, so I didn’t include it here, but crucial to getting good at League of Legends nonetheless. Make sure you check out other League of Legends guides here at Fireplocker!

Solo Queue VODs Are Your Best Friend

So I went through more than 1,000 words talking about all these various skills and things you should improve to get good at League of Legends. Admittedly, I haven’t shown you exactly how to get better at these multiple skills, so telling you to start practicing some of these skills right away is a little meaningless.

The best way to learn the skills and get better at League of Legends is to watch solo queue VODs, particularly those from high elo or professional players. Watch full gameplays and think about what the player you’re watching is doing. Then you should do your best to try and copy what they do in-game.

Watching better players play and copying them is my best strategy for improving. I can attribute each time I rose in the League of Legends ranks significantly to various players I watched.

I first got out of Bronze 5 to Silver 4 to Silver 2 (preseason 6) by watching a player called Anklespankin. In the next season, I went from Bronze 1 to Platinum 5 by watching a combination of Trick2G (my ways) and various guides on playing individual champions such as Master Yi. Then I stopped watching full gameplays and was hardstuck between Platinum and Gold for a couple of seasons.

Eventually, I realized that watching full gameplays from better players was how I improved so quickly before and started watching content from Uzi, Doublelift, and FSNx Saber. That’s how I got to Diamond in Season 10.

I will mention that it’s also vital to watch gameplay where the person playing explains what and why he/she is doing. Personally, content from Doublelift and Saber was helped me more than content from Uzi despite Uzi being recognized as one of the best ADC players in the world (don’t get me wrong, the other two players are good too).

Doublelift and Saber explained some of the things they were doing and helped me understand when I should copy their gameplay. If you do have the chance to watch high-level players explaining their play, I highly recommend you do so. You will improve so much faster.

Play To Win, Not To Not Lose

Play to win, not to not lose… isn’t that the same thing? Aren’t you winning by not losing?

Yes, that’s true. However, the mindset you should have is always to play to win. Playing to win means you’re playing proactively versus playing to not lose which is playing reactively.

Playing proactively doesn’t always mean you’re playing aggressively and starting every fight. My definition of playing proactively is setting up a plan to win the game and playing to that plan.

You always want to have a clear goal that you’re working towards and a strategy to achieve those goals. This is how you get good at League of Legends and win more games. By always having a plan and looking to play to clear win conditions, you’re always going to learn something. No matter if you win or lose, you can always go back and analyze what went wrong or right.

If you don’t have a game plan, it’s much more challenging to learn from your games. You can’t replicate luck.

Focus On Learning And Improving

As we’re concluding my guide explaining how to get good at League of Legends, I want to emphasize the importance of focusing on learning and improving one more time. If you’re going to get good at League of Legends and gain elo, you need to focus on the process of getting good at League of Legends.

I hope you enjoyed this article. It was quite a long article to write, and even after writing more than 3,000 words, I still haven’t covered much of anything. Let me know in the comment section what you would like me to dive deeper into, and I’ll do my best to get it out for you!

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