5 Simple Steps To Get Good At League Of Legends, Or Any Game!
The basics of improving at anything is simple, but actually putting this into practice can be a daunting task. This guide breaks down the steps you need to take to improve your game play, climb Overwatch competitive mode to grand-master, climb the League of Legends ranked ladder to challenger or just improve at any game you play. This guide is still applicable even if you are just starting your journey into your placement matches.
In this guide I use League of Legends ranked mode and Overwatch competitive mode as primary examples of competitive online games.
Every player wants to know: "how to get good at League of Legends?" (for exmaple) or even worse, ask themselves the question "why am I not getting any better?". Feeling plateau'd in your progression can be extremely frustrating, which can be a downwards spiral as you go on tilt, but it is also very natural in everything we do.
Getting better at a games is the same as getting better at anything else in life, there are a few key elements that you need to consider. Read the follow steps, tips and tricks to find out how to get good at League of Legends.
1. Psychology and Physiology
Firstly, most of online gaming is about psychology. If you think about it, how much of the game is actually your ability to physically enact your input? The answer; a small portion.
I will liken this element to chess. The game is purely about tactics, strategy and out-thinking your opponent. This is also semi-true for online games. All games will be on a continuum of mechanical difficulty (e.g. CS:GO (counter strike) is more mechanical demanding than hearthstone). it would be false to pretend that there is no mechanical demand in online games; however it is important to understand that it will make up smaller amounts of your performance than you think.
I believe that gaming is 80% psychological (mental) and 20% physiological (physical).
The applicability of this fact is huge for your considerations in improving. Some days you will not be in peak psychological condition (dehydrated, tired, stressed etc) and this will impact psychology and therefore your ability in the game. This can affect your ability when playing in higher tension situations, such as Overwatch placement matches or League of Legends promotion series.
An easy step to take to improve your performance is to try and ensure that you are in the best frame of mind when you are playing and practising.
You can do this by:
- Sleeping sufficiently
- Drinking enough water
- Eating properly
- Take breaks
Not only will this generally improve your health and mood, it will help you think clearer and faster to give you the edge on the battlefield.
2. Fail, Often
Prepare to fail a few times along the way; failing is a key part of the learning process. You only fall so you can learn to get back up. Don't become negative, tilted or disillusioned if things aren't going your way right now. Instead try to think of what you can learn from your failures. Try to be consistent and stay the course and continue on your journey of continuous improvement.
It is okay to fail. You always learn more from failing or losing that you do from succeeding. Learn from your mistakes.
Realise that you are on a journey of continuous improvement. There will be hills and valleys along the way but ultimately you are always heading in the right direction. i thoroughly believe that this is one of the reasons that the east (Korea) has the edge over the likes of Europe and the US in modern competitive gaming. In my experience and through history (think Samurai from Japan) the east has a history of continuous improvement and this helps them to far exceed themselves and everyone else as gamers every year.
The other aspect of this it to disregard factors that you cannot control. This is particularly prevalent in Overwatch competitive mode or the League of Legends ranked ladder as you will often be matched with toxic or bad players. Ignore them, do your best and carry on. There is no reason to communicate or try to help these players. See what you can learn from a game where someone goes AFK and mentally move on quickly. This can be even more applicable in your Overwatch placement matches as tilting will have a largely negative effect.
3. Plan to Succeed
The next consideration is to plan ahead and set yourself excellent goals.
Goal setting is hugely important for many reasons. The key one being short term achievements. If you goal is to rise from Silver to Diamond then you need to set milestones along the way so that you don't lose faith in the process.
An easy way of setting good goals is to consider the following acronym SMART:
- Time based
When you set a goal make sure you are hitting each of the above parts to make sure that you are succeeding. It is easy to set a goal such as "become a pro mid-laner" but that is a dream rather than a goal. A goal would be: get to diamond tier within 3 months focusing on 3 main mid lane champions, with a sub goal of being in platinum tier within 1 month, through 20 hours of practise per week.
Once you have set a SMART goal, you need to consider the steps you are going to take to achieve that goal. For that you will need a training plan. It is important that you consider what you are willing to do to achieve your goal, whatever it may be.
To set up an excellent training programme, consider the acronym SPORT:
- Specific (be specific!)
- Progression (review your programme regularly)
- Overload (push yourself)
- Rest (ensure you take breaks)
- Tedium (keep it interesting, not repetitive)
For team based games focus on what you can control and improve these ares.
If you follow these steps it will ensure that your training programme is workable. It is important that you consider each point separately to give yourself the best chance of success. Remember that practice makes perfect!
4. Study Yourself
In order to improve you need to be critical of yourself. It is important that you look over your own performances and where you can improve. This is paramount to ensure that you aren't making the same mistakes that are always holding you back. If you really want to get good at League of Legends, you need to look inwardly.
A good tip, is to record your games and watch them back a couple of days later.
You will pick up on things that you didn't see before and be less emotional about your own mistakes. Try to ask better players to review your replays and see if they can provide some additional insights.
Watching your own plays back can be an excellent way to improve and give yourself a break way from practising at the same time.
You might also find it useful to run a SWOT analysis on yourself to help you plan to improve and progress:
Analyse each of these areas of your own training plan and game play separately. Bullet point a few for each area to give you perspective on what you really need to work on and avoid doing.
Strengths and weaknesses is obviously important. Try to focus on your weaknesses and build them up. You are only as strong as your weakest link.
Opportunities and threats should also be considered but are less obvious. Consider what opportunities you have to improve:
- Are there any competitions coming up that you can enter?
- Are there any professional players or coaches willing to help you?
What are the threats to you progression?
- Do you get very negative when things go badly?
- Do you struggle when playing in front of an audience or with other players?
Try to consider what other factors could affect your progression and improvement and try to work around them.
Plan ahead to overcome your challenges.
5. Learn From Others
In the modern age with so much information available online, there is no reason to go without!
With so much information about playing most games and roles it is easy to read up on guides, watch Youtube video or Twitch live streams. There is a wealth of information available on the internet right now, so make the most of it and study up.
I find watching pro player streams to be very effective for learning. Youtube tends to be edited for the most part to remove mistakes that the creator is making which can warp your perception of the reality of their skill.
So head over to twitch and watch pro players playing, pick up on their nuances and decision making to help improve your game.
Trying to get off of a plateau when your are trying to improve can be a frustrating thing to overcome. Try to remove the emotion from your gaming and focus objectively on your mistakes and what you can do to overcome them.
If you follow these steps, tips and tricks you will find a structured path to improving at anything you do in life.
Whether you are in your Overwatch placement matches or a GM player, Good luck out there!
If you are interested in what it takes to become a pro gamer, please see the article below for more information:
- Your Guide to Making Money Playing Games
This article explores what it really takes to become a professional gamer and make money playing games; using League of Legends, Starcraft 2 and CS:GO as the main examples.
© 2017 Kristian Howe