How to Play LoL: Know your role

New players can have a tough time learning how to play LoL. If you're new and looking to get a head start on the other lowbies or feel you need to get a better grasp on the game, check out this League of Legends guide.

League of Legends seems much more complicated than it really is, and new players can have a tough time getting into it. If you’re new and looking to get a head start on the other lowbies or feel you need to get a better grasp on the game, this multi-part LoL guide is going to cover almost everything you need to get on the road to being a competent player. Keep in mind that this guide is for beginners, and as such isn’t going to cover the more complicated aspects of the game.

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The first in this LoL guide series is going to focus on champion roles. Every champ has a role they excel in, and being aware of the responsibilities of each role is a huge part of wrapping your head around the game and becoming a better player.

 

Knowing champion roles goes hand in hand with picking a strong team composition, and team comp can mean just as much as player skill. Without well-rounded composition, your team is going to be lacking in their damage, initiation, crowd control (stuns, slows, silences, etc.), or general utility. Stacking too much of one role is a recipe for disaster. You can’t expect a team of AD carries to do well because they all need tons of gold to be effective. In that same vein, you can’t expect a team of tanks or supports to do well because their skill kits are not focused around carrying games.

 

AD Carry

 

An AD carry can be more of a liability than anything during the early stages of a match, but having one on your team is a necessity to provide heavy sustained damage via auto attacks past the 35 minute mark. Before they get nice and fed off of minions or champions, they primarily stick to farming in bot lane with the help of a support.

 

After playing Farmville in bot for 20 to 25 minutes, a carry is going to have the much more exciting task of melting the enemy team via auto attacks. Right clicking on something is easy enough, but an AD carry needs to constantly be aware of their position in relation to their team mates and the enemy team in order to stay safe. A good carry player knows how to farm well and how to position themselves in teamfights.

 

Support

 

A team’s support carries their team’s AD carry on their shoulders through early to mid game until they are sufficiently farmed and fed. Traditional supports like Soraka, Sona, and Janna are focus mainly on aiding their team throughout the game, while aggressive supports like Blitzcrank or Leona are geared more towards setting up kills and initiating in and out of the laning phase. Technically any champion with utility or CC can be played as a support as long as they focus on helping/protecting their carry and avoid taking farm.

 

It should be noted that a support’s biggest responsiblity is to ward, and they are expected to put purchasing wards on a higher priority than working on their build. A support will usually be under-geared and relied on for the utility of their abilities more than anything else in team fights.

 

AP Carry

 

AP carries are LoL’s primary source of magic damage, and as such they rely on their abilities to take down opponents instead of auto attacks. Because their abilities have base damage, they do not need to be farmed to do heavy damage in the early to middle stages of a match and they only get stronger as they get their items. With that said, their damage is not sustained and as such an AD carry will provide far more damage late game.

 

An AP carry’s place in the meta is mid lane. The openness of mid lane and the general mid game (There’s no pattern here, I swear.) strength of these casters makes them excellent gankers. It’s not uncommon for an AP carry to wander their way down to bot lane for a free kill or two.

 

Tank

 

Unlike the two roles mentioned above, a tank’s ideal lane is going to vary depending on the champion itself. Some are more appropriate in top lane (Malphite, Shen), while others in the jungle (Amumu) or as a support (Blitzcrank, Leona).

 

A tank’s job in LoL is complex. They have three  responsibilities: initiate, soak damage, and peel. A tank needs to be able to initiate on the enemy team to ensure you have the advantage. They also need to be disruptive enough to keep at least some of the enemy focus on them instead of the squishies they’re trying to protect. If their carries being targeted, they need to be able to stun, taunt, or otherwise peel threats off while their carries reposition themselves. It sounds simple, but in an actual game it can be hard to initiate properly or to protect the rest of your team.

 

Tanky DPS

 

The term “tanky DPS” implies that a champion can take a beating while dishing one out, and that’s exactly what they can do. These heavy duty damage dealers don’t need a support to farm effectively, which is why solo top is tanky DPS territory — though most of them can jungle as well.

 

Most of these champions have strong early and mid games. Unlike AP carries with their strong mid games, most tanky DPS champions spend the vast majority of their early and mid games farming and dueling the enemy solo top unless they are jungling.

 

The exact roles of these champions past the laning phase vary from one to the other, with some being more on the tanky side than the DPS side or vice versa.

 

Assassin/Anti-carry

 

Assassin or anti-carry champions are high in damage and mobility, while usually only being able to take a few hits before exploding into little bits of confetti. Party confetti. For the enemy team. Because no one likes having to deal with a fed assassin.

 

There are not a great deal of assassins in League of Legends, but the few in the game are exceptional at 1v1ing. Assassin champions can be found in the jungle, mid lane, or top lane depending on the champion itself.The real drawback to most of these champs is that they bring very little to teamfights. They can pick off stragglers or finish off the enemy AD carry before they can be effecive, but they shouldn’t actively get involved in risky team fights. This makes them less useful as the game goes on and teamfights become more frequent.

 

A team composition following the metagame will be as follows, with only one of any single champion type:

 

Solo top – Tanky DPS, assassin, or tank

Solo mid – AP carry or assassin

Jungle – Tanky DPS, assassin, or tank

Bot lane – Support and an AD carry

 

Learning the roles and responsibilities of your champions is one of the first and biggest steps towards getting better at League of Legends. After the bare basics you will learn what exactly a team is going to expect from you, and how you can fulfill your role on a team effectively. You can only make use of what you’re going to learn from this and the following LoL guide series with experience. So learn and practice! Only with those and time will you become a better player.

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Author
Ashley Shankle
Ashley's been with GameSkinny since the start, and is a certified loot goblin. Has a crippling Darktide problem, 500 hours on only Ogryn (hidden level over 300). Currently playing Darktide, GTFO, RoRR, Palworld, and Immortal Life.