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League of Legends Decision Making Guide

Updated on July 16, 2014

When we are playing League of Legends or even watching professionals play what is it that separates good players from the extremely spectacular ones? Well, a lot of it boils down to decision making. Making constant good and effective decisions are what wins games and is a key element in being a successful League of Legends player. Everyone always asks what is the secret to gaining rank and becoming a better player and decision making is a great place to start.

Decision Making in a Nutshell

Decision making in League of Legends is basically the choices that you make and generally there are several options to choose from which can be repetitively confusing. The majority of what makes a good decision verse a bad one is the reasoning and effectiveness behind the decision. Anyone can make a decision in the heat of the moment and everyone does, great players however, have a lot of thought behind the decisions they make and have the proper objective in mind.

Making decisions should always be about furthering your lead, denying the enemy, and ultimately leading to the destruction of the enemy nexus. Here is the kicker. Two decisions could be both good decisions to make at the same time. Good decision making implies knowing there are options and picking the best possible option. This is vital to understand if you want to be a good League of Legends player. Going for Baron and getting some turrets may both be good decisions to make, but the important question to ask is "what will be the best option in helping my team win the game."

Establishing Good Decision Making Involves Failure

No one starts playing League and instantly knows the perfect choices to make. Even the professional players usually have one person that calls the shots and they usually have massive amounts of games and experience. Even the most seasoned pro players were noobs at one point making the same mistakes that everyone makes. They have failed multiple times and made bad calls just like everyone else has. They have however, learned from their mistakes in order to have superior game knowledge and become one of the top players in the world.

The key point I want to make here is that you are going to make mistakes and bad decisions. It is a part of life and is the learning process. The main trick to getting better is realizing when you have mad these mistakes and taking accountability for your actions and choices. When sometimes goes wrong and a bad decision is made, realize it, learn from it, and move on. Doing this will greatly increase the rate at which your decisions get better and soon you will be making proper calls. Proper and intuitive calls are key aspect in winning games and carrying your team. Being a leader for your team is something that every team needs in order to close out games. The problem is a lot of the time players make bad plays and it is just as important that you can recognize bad calls as well as make good ones.

Tips for getting better at making decisions in League of Legends

  • Watch good players and professionals and notice what they do. Make not of when they go for turrets, barons, and dragons. Professional teams make decisions based on limiting risk. They are able to make constant good and effective decisions that mount up to a great lead and advantage. One must have patience and wait for ideal conditions to take a lead. Being impatient is going to lead to reckless and dangerous plays that can play out sometimes, but will generally lead to mistakes.
  • Learn, learn, learn from your mistakes. Like I said, mistakes happen a lot and the best thing to do is to learn as much as you can from making them. This will reduce your chances of making them again and allow you to make the right ones. Don't get discouraged when you make them or blame your team for making them. Just realize that it happens and it is a part of learning and getting better.

Recognizing Bad Calls

Bad calls are made all the time and the most important in stopping something from going terribly wrong and losing the game, is seeing when a bad play is called and suggesting an alternative option. Do not patronize other players for making the wrong decisions. They may think Baron is a good play because they haven't had a bad experience going for it in the same situation. Respect other players opinions and shift to an alternative plan gracefully. There is way too much negativity and ego in League of Legends and the more you can avoid these pitfalls the more successful of a player you will be. Attitude is a whole different guide and we will get into that later. The main point is to see bad calls, usually the only detrimental ones are going to be at the end of the game, and avoid them.

Common Bad Calls

  • Going for baron with low health teammates and the enemy jungler still alive. When making Baron calls you have to know how much damage that baron does and how tanky your team member is that is going to be taking a majority of it. A good rule is to look at the time. Early Barons are extremely, extremely risky and doing a baron too soon can easily lead to events that will lose you the game. Try to go for nashor when the enemy jungler is dead and you feel confident fighting the enemy team while tanking baron damage.
  • Overstaying and pushing turrets. It is super easy to get cocky when you are winning and pushing the enemy in, but this is where a lot of mistakes happen. Players do not realize that early in the game death times are extremely short and an opponent that you just killed can easy be back in 20 seconds with full hit points. Knowing your team comp and your position in the game is vital when you are pushing on the enemy.

Know Your Decision Making Level

If you are a newer player and you do not have much experience making calls and knowing the right things to do, don't worry about it. Know that you are this player and do everything you can to learn how to get better. I was just like you 4 years ago when is just started playing this game. Realize that making bad, uneducated calls is bad and will not help your team. Let other players try to make the plays and study which ones work and which ones don't. This is how you get really good at making calls. If you can't tell if you are a good decision maker, a good way to find out is to examine how your decisions play out. If your decisions are mostly good and help your team win the game then you are on the right path. If you are finding that decisions made are leading to baron steals, and losing leads then an important thing to do is work on getting better.

Know Your Team Composition and Power Spikes

A key when you are making decisions is knowing what your team composition is good and bad at. Some compositions and champions are really good at split pushing and dividing up the enemy team. These team compositions are not as good as fighting straight 5v5 brawls. Good players pick for their team composition, but they also stick to champions and roles that they know how to play. Never pick a champion that is unfamiliar just because it would work well with a team compassion. The champion you decide to play is one of the first and most important decisions you are going to make when you play a game of League of Legends and you have to put thought into every choice you make. Pick champions that you are good with and that fit with what your team is trying to do. In solo queue team fighting champions are generally the most popular and have the most amount of success. This is because most players are not experienced at playing alternative compositions and it is a lot easy to play a team fighting composition. The key to winning games is knowing what the enemy team is trying to do and countering it with either a better composition, or a composition that can avoid their strengths and exploit their weaknesses.

Power Spikes

Each team composition has different points in the game where it is the most effective. For instance, some compositions are slow to start but have great team fighting later in the game. It is important to know when a composition is good and use it to the fullest when operating at a power spike. Everyone has a different play style and has different ways that they enjoy playing the game. I personally love late game champions. It is good for me to know that even if I have a little trouble late game that I can always come back and have more of an impact in the later stages of the game. Some players like to dominate their lane and try to win the game by shutting down the enemy player and being a menace. Personally I do not like this style as well, but it is important that you find out what works best for you. Just as important is that you know what you champion is good at and when you have advantages. Playing a late game champion super aggressively early is going to ruin your strategy and just create problems.

What do you think the best way to get better at decision making in LoL?

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A couple decision making questions

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    • profile image

      Hunter Foust 

      3 years ago from Big Sandy, TN

      Overall great advice, I wish this had been around back when I started playing. I will certainly recommend this guide to any new players I run across. The only thing I questioned was the second quiz question. While being behind and needing farm is a great reason to split push, it's useful in other situations too. I feel split pushing can be a great option if you are overly "fed" to gain ground whilst your team threatens an objective. At the very least you draw attention weakening the defense on the side of the rest of your team. I realize that it may not be true in all situations but I think it is in most. Regardless, you did a great job. Keep up the good work!

    • passthejelly profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Passarelli 

      4 years ago from Lakewood Colorado

      Glad you found it useful. :)

    • Devin Meys profile image


      4 years ago from United States

      Good advice, I'm a huge fan of league and I enjoyed reading.


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