Welcome to our League of Legends Beginner Guide, where you will learn the absolute basics of this wonderful game. You will also find information that will be useful even if you’ve reached ranked Solo Queue games. Under each recommendation, we've also provided some information on how they play, covered the most important abilities, and explained what you can learn about the game by playing each one. That should help you narrow your focus down even further.
Ashe - Marksman
Marksman champions are the ranged damage dealers of League of Legends. They usually hang around near the back of the pack, whittling down targets from a distance while being protected by a beefier frontline. Ashe is a simple hero with a straightforward skillset, and she uses her bow to ping arrows at foes from afar - and clear minions - with ease.
A weakness of Marksman champions, though, is that they are susceptible to being jumped on by melee attackers. Ashe is great at mitigating this threat though thanks to her Frost Shot, which can slow opponents and allow you to maintain your distance. This will give you some breathing room if it’s your first time playing in the role.
Ashe is also an excellent starter hero as she encourages you to think about vision from an early stage, courtesy of her Hawkshot ability. This allows you to scout anywhere on the map to see what your opponents are up to, or if they’re moving in to attack you – all extremely useful information so as to give your team better control over the match.
Caitlyn - Marksman
Caitlyn is another excellent champion for beginners as she has one of the furthest attack ranges of any hero in the game, allowing you to play from further back and from more safety. Her abilities aren’t too complicated to get to grips with either, so you can focus on mastering your movement, positioning and gold farming from an early stage – all vital parts of playing a marksman successfully.
Again, you’ll have to watch for champions who are able to dive or quickly close the gap in order to get to you. As an escape mechanism though, you have 90 Caliber Net. This slows any targets hit and knocks Caitlyn back, so you can put even greater distance between yourself and your attacker. It’s even better if you can lead them into a Yordle Snap Trap and temporarily root them to the spot so you can land some free hits.
Her Headshot passive skill takes full advantage of both of these abilities, dealing bonus damage to anyone under their effects, while also doubling your attack range against those targets. It’s a fantastic bonus to help you play more comfortably during your first few games of League of Legends.
Annie - Mage
Mages are the burst damage dealers of League of Legends. Unlike Marksmen, their attack damage is weak, but made up for by some seriously lethal ability power. They thrive when focusing down weaker single targets quickly to give you an immediate advantage in fights.
If that playstyle appeals to you, then Annie is a champion you might want to try first. For starters, her abilities are all easy to understand: she has two direct damage spells, a protective shield and, er, a giant flaming bear that crushes her foes.
What Annie will also teach you as a newcomer to the game, though, is how to cycle your abilities as a Mage so you get the most efficiency out of them. This is all centred around Annie’s Pyromania passive, which makes her next offensive spell briefly stun the target after four prior spell casts. That means, for example, if you cast Disintegrate four times, her next offensive spell will be given an added stun.
Setting this up in advance can turn Annie from a mildly annoying fireball flinger to an immensely destructive force in fights. If you start an engagement with an ability that stuns your target, you and your allies can easily follow up with a barrage of attacks that will wipe them out in a flash – and that’s what being a Mage is all about.
Rammus - Tank
Being a Tank in League of Legends comes with a lot of responsibility: you’re often expected to be the one to initiate fights, then soak up the damage and distract opponents so your damage dealers can eliminate enemies without worry. For new players, Rammus makes that job a whole lot easier.
Not only does he have a vast health pool, a hefty amount of armour and some serious magic resistance to absorb attacks, but he also has abilities that can boost these defensive powers even further. Defensive Ball Curl does exactly this, while also dealing damage back to anyone who attacks him, making them think twice about picking a fight with you.
With Rammus, though, sometimes your opponents won’t even have a choice whether they want to hit you or not. Powerball allows you to accelerate towards enemies at speed with a satisfying thud and you can follow that up with a Frenzying Taunt to force them to attack you for a brief duration. As a Tank, this will teach you to pick out and isolate key targets for your teammates to focus down.
Garen - Fighter
When not in the Jungle – a position we wouldn’t recommend for beginners – Fighters often find themselves alone in top lane for the early game in League of Legends. Playing solo against another player during those opening minutes is all about who can eke out the smallest advantages, gaining extra gold and experience while being careful not to push too far forwards and get killed as a result.
Garen is an excellent champion to choose to learn how to master this tense back-and-forth as a new player. Not only is he naturally quite tough, but he also has a set of skills that combine healing, escapes and wave clear. Combined these skills allow him to thrive alone in the top lane.
A major part of that survivability is his passive trait Perseverance, which allows him to regenerate a percentage of his health each second if he hasn’t been recently struck by an enemy attack or ability. This means if you and your adversary get into a little scrap, you can just hang back as Garen for a short while to quickly restore your health.
Meanwhile, your opponent may be forced to use a potion or retreat back to base if they feel they’re at risk. What does that mean for you? A much easier time earning experience and gathering gold to put you in the lead.
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