How to Play LoL: Last Hitting and Farming

If there's one thing to be said about League of Legends, it's that its matches are half farmfest and half teamfighting. Last hitting might not be exciting, but it's the bit of work you have to do for the pay off.

If there's one thing to be said about League of Legends, it's that its matches are half farmfest and half teamfighting. Last hitting might not be exciting, but it's the bit of work you have to do for the pay off.
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We’re going to focus a bit on farming this time around because getting gold is going to make you relevant through all stages of a match.

If you’re underfarmed you’re not going to be able to get the survivability or damage items that your champion needs and essentially become a liability to your team. You need to know about last hitting and making the use of jungle camps to get the most gold you can early to mid game in order to stay relevant and even dominate the enemy team.

Who Needs Farm?

Every champion needs gold, though some more so than others. AD carries are on the top of the list because they rely on their auto attacks, and without sufficient attack damage they’re not an actual threat.

Other roles also need farm, though they tend to have some sort of utility or ability damage to make them less item dependent. Many tanky DPS champions have gap closers, disables, or nukes to go along with their durability. AP carries have base damage on their abilities alongside scaling damage from their ability power. Tanks have initiations and durability. This isn’t to say that other roles do not need farm, but they can manage without the huge amount of farm an ADC needs.

Supports are the one role that usually does not require farm to be relevant from one phase of a match to another. When playing support, you are expected not to take any farm from your team. You invest in gold generating items (Heart of Gold, Philosopher’s Stone, Kage’s Lucky Pick) to make up for your lack of farm to fund your build and ward purchases.

What is Farming?

Farming isn’t the easiest concept for new players since League of Legends is a PVP game. New players would prefer to spend their time beating the enemy team up than working the land of the Fields of Justices for delicious and nutritious gold. In theory this would be fine since kills are profitable, but farming for a couple a minutes gives you more than the 300 gold you get from a kill.

Farming, in its simplest definition in this type of game, is killing minions for gold. You get gold from a minion kill only when you get the last hit, which is fairly obvious from the jangly noise and gold animation.

You can farm in-lane and in the jungle, depending on your champion choice and what lane you’re in. Someone on bot is going to rely on the minions in their lane for gold, while mid can wander to their jungle’s wraiths and top can wander to Purple’s double golems (risky business for the Blue top laner). A team’s jungler, of course, gets most of their farm in the jungle but may get some last hits in lane after a gank.

The trick to winning your lane is getting more farm than your lane opponent(s) and maybe getting a kill or two (or three or four or five). You always want to outfarm your lane opponent, which means learning the not-so-mystical art of last hitting without auto attacking.

Last Hitting, YEEAAAAH

There is only one sure fire way to make sure you kill an enemy creep and get the gold off of it, and that is to hit it right when it’s about to die to your minions. This is the most common method and is known as passive last hitting (there are other types, but we’re not going to focus on them here). When the two teams’ minions meet each other in lane and start hitting each other, you need to be focusing on moving around and harassing your opponent while you wait for the chance to get those valuable last hits.

Last hitting passively ensures two things:

  1. You will get every last hit as long as you’re not engaged with the enemy.
  2. Your lane won’t push out far enough to make you open for ganks.

Last hitting in this sense isn’t just about getting gold, but also about lane control — another critical factor in winning your lane. But again, not something we’re going to focus on here.

Every champion has their own attack animation and base attack damage, both of which being something you need to keep in mind when switching from one to the other so you can time your last hits properly. Some are simply better at it than others. For example, an ADC like Caitlyn will have an easier time last hitting while a caster like Anivia has trouble doing so with attacks.

If there’s one thing to be said about League of Legends, it’s that its matches are half farmfest and half teamfighting.

Last hitting might not be exciting, but it’s the bit of work you have to do for the pay off.

About the 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.