Old habits die hard, as they say. In League of Legends, this can be doubly true! We’re each a product of our habits, both good and bad. Unfortunately, some LoL players find themselves enabling troublesome habits far too long, until they’re deeply ingrained. Although small improvements seem trifling, staying consistent is the difficult part. Many players find themselves practicing ideal habits like watching at the minimap one game, but then in the next they completely neglect everything they just worked on.
Below are some habits that any player can incorporate into their gameplay to improve. Focus on one at a time, and force yourself to stay consistent until you perform it without thinking. Practice makes perfect!
#1: Ping Summoner Spells
When an enemy champion uses their Summoner Spell, quickly hit Tab to open up the Scoreboard and ping the corresponding Summoner Spell for everyone on your team to acknowledge.
Enemy mid laner just used Flash? Ping the Flash Summoner Spell, and let your jungler know that a gank on them will be easier. This ties naturally into timing Summoner Spells (discussed in my previous article here).
Learning and practicing this technique is possible on your own, but truly making it a habit is a great goal to bring up with your coach! Just using this simple function of pinging Summoner Spells naturally encourages teamwork. You can make a note using the in-game chat while alerting your allies to opportunities and dangers simultaneously.
You can also say a lot by, for example, pinging a Summoner Spell used followed by an assistance ping. It saves you time and energy compared to typing, letting you focus on the upcoming play or creep wave instead. Ask your coach about additional tips and tricks you can use with pings. This technique merely scratches the surface!
#2: Use Your Trinket
Your trinket is a tool, and a handy one at that! Try to use the trinket whenever it’s appropriate, and if you have yellow trinkets, never let it reach two charges. This will ensure you’re always providing beneficial vision around the map, as the yellow trinket can’t have more than two charges. Remember to use the red trinket to sweep for wards at common warding spots. Use the blue trinket to scout dangerous areas from afar!
Remember that these tools are there to aid you. Vision is one of the most important factors in any game of League of Legends – heed these words! Take advantage by using your trinket whenever strategically possible.
#3: Purchase Control Wards (and Place Them)
Control Wards are not just for the support role. It’s great when everyone pitches in to buy a few throughout the game!
It is smart to have a spare item slot open for Control Wards to drop around the map at key locations, regardless of your role. Remember- vision wins games. Vision control is thus necessary to maintain as a team.
#4: Keep Your Mouse Near Your Champion
It is easier to maneuver your champion when you have the mouse hovering closer to them. This lets you react more quickly and keep better control of your champ’s location. The effect is to make skill-shots easier to dodge and let you position in a smoother, more deliberate manner!
Have you ever wondered how pro players pull off those fancy side steps? Do they always seem to position perfectly at all times? This technique is subtle, but its impact during a match can be amazing.
#5: Hotkey Leveling Skills
This one is super important! Make it a habit to level up your skills by hotkey. You can do this by pressing Ctrl plus the corresponding skill you’d like to level up, for example Ctrl-R.
This will ensure you can be quick on the draw and instantly make use of your additional skill point in the middle of those crazy level 6 fights!
#6: Keep Aware of the Minimap
The minimap is your friend. Don’t ignore it. Love it!
Besides providing a handy overview of the terrain, the minimap provides you with valuable information constantly: the location of your allies, visible enemies, and more. Teaching yourself to pay attention to the minimap throughout a match is arguably the most important thing to master as a player!
With all the other things to watch on the screen (especially when things get hectic), a player’s eyes can neglect the usual trips to the minimap. It’s understandable how challenging it is to peek down at the corner of your screen from time to time!
Still, like other facets of the game, building this habit of glancing down at the minimap AND processing the information at a moment’s notice is remarkably useful. And like any other skill or technique, it takes practice.
If you ask a seasoned player how often they peek down at the minimap during a game, it’s no surprise many will tell you “constantly” is their answer.
#7: Communication Sets Up Success
League of Legends is a team game!. And to be part of a team, you naturally need to communicate and coordinate with your teammates – whether they’re complete strangers or your best friends.
Remember that flame is lame. Focus on positive, relevant communication. The absolute worst thing you can do is destroy team morale. The best teamwork always comes from multiple minds working together as one – not divided, as enemies among allies!
#8: Fountain Shop Efficiently
Good preparation means being ready for anything. In League of Legends, knowing what items to build and when to build them matters. The items you choose can completely change the course of a game – for better or worse. With this in mind, doing some pregame research is necessary.
Be sure to ask your coach about core item builds (as well as variations for other situations) based on the champion / role you happen to play. The key here is to avoid “experimenting” with item builds until you understand the base strategies first.
You should never need to spend an excessive amount of time in the fountain, pondering about which items you need. Ideally, you want to work your way up to doing everything automatically! By understanding your core builds and variations, you’ll cut your downtime at the fountain. Eventually, item purchases become second nature!
Habits for Success
These are just a few of the most important habits a League player can develop to improve their game. Though there are many others that can be helpful, I believe that these particular ones are the best to develop from the ground up. If you can get these habits down, then you’ll have an excellent foundation to build upon. You can’t – and shouldn’t – try to master all of these at once. As a coach, I tell my students to focus on ONE thing at a time until you can get everything individually down on a consistent basis. Consistency matters. Every little bit helps. Think of each habit as a technique that can improve your play as a whole. Keep an eye out for more of my articles this week! And thanks for reading!