Get a head start by improving during Preseason
League of Legends is a game of wits and skill – whether you’re a casual player, a well-rounded veteran, or somewhere in between, there are always things that you can improve on to give yourself the best chance to play to your potential. Building good habits which help you focus and play optimally can go a long way in helping you climb more efficiently throughout a season.
In this Mobalytics guide by PicklePants, we will discuss how you can streamline your own gameplay: visually and mechanically to perform at a higher level required to climb the ranks. Although you can’t officially rank up during the Preseason, it’s still a great opportunity to get better as a player.
By removing aspects of the game that do not give you an advantage and the ones that can leave you at a disadvantage, you will see yourself being more focused on what is happening in the game. We will also discuss how you can improve your own gameplay by changing your keybindings and in-game settings to become a more efficient player. Unfortunately, if you love your in-game aesthetics, this guide may not be for you…maybe.
1. Learn how to use quick cast
Split-second decisions and actions make a huge difference in a game with as many variables as League of Legends. On average, every champion has six abilities (if you count summoner spells) – multiply that by ten total players, and you have sixty things you have to keep track of.
For our first tip, we recommend that you have all of your abilities and Summoner Spells on quick cast. Having your abilities on quick cast will allow you to use them in quick succession and in a more effective way. This is because it will reduce the number of keys you have to press as well as reduce the downtime in between your abilities.
Regular casting is great for learning the game and I highly recommend that you use it when you start out. Once you understand your abilities, the way to move forward is by utilizing the quick cast. I understand the argument for wanting to know the range of your abilities to make sure that you able to hit them, however, I feel that if you attempt to use quick cast in its entirety, you will understand why players favor this instead and why it is, in my opinion, a superior choice.
There are many benefits to using quick cast and we will discuss a few of them shortly. For the most part, it improves your efficiency as a player and allows you to react quicker. The following video by TacticsOfTheLeague is slightly old, but it demonstrates exactly what we mean:
Many champions have combos that need to be mastered in order to get the most damage out in the shortest amount of time. If you do not make use of quick cast, it will take you longer to do the exact same combo compared to some else who uses it. For example, a simple QWE combo on your favorite champion could take up to twice as long to do.
As suggested, you will be able to deal more damage in the long run because you will be able to use all of your abilities in one swift movement and not have to waste time by pressing additional keys. The slight downtime and infrequency of your abilities may give the enemy an opportunity to escape or dodge some of your damage. This is no truer than when you’re playing a difficult champion who has a plethora of amazing combos like Riven who relies heavily on short trades and animation canceling.
Another reason why I believe that quick cast should be used is that it will make you a better player as a whole. By understanding what the range is of every champion’s abilities, you will naturally pick up by touch and feel, what abilities should hit you and which ones will not. Having this knowledge is mostly developed over time by just playing the game and it’s one of the more valuable skills open to a player. Not only will you have a higher success rate at hitting your own abilities, but you will also be to dodge whatever the enemy throws at you.
This is a really good way of streamlining your gameplay and I highly recommend that you try it out for yourself. I have everything on quick cast as standard, but I do have normal cost on shift Q, W, E, and R. This way I can line up my skillshots if I am waiting in a bush or if I am unsure of the range of an ability.
2. Limit in-game distractions
If you are somebody who tilts easily, or who lets silly things get to you, you may benefit from these simple tricks to prevent you from being distracted in game. Before you do this, this is going to take out a huge portion of what some people enjoy in League of Legends – so this section may not be for everyone.
When you think about streamlining your gameplay, you may think about what can let you focus on the game as much as possible. I feel that this is a fantastic section to add because it prevents you from getting tilted by the enemy.
Remove enemy emotes
The suggestion is that you remove all of the enemies names, disable all emoticons, and mastery skill, and potentially doing the same for your own team. When I first heard that emoticons were coming to League of Legends – I was not looking forward to it. This was because I didn’t want it turning into another fiesta game where somebody justs spams their emotes like Fortnite with their dance moves.
Since then, my mind has changed and I now use this to my advantage as a sort of mental warfare. For me, I have disabled and removed the enemy’s ability to spam their emotes and mastery while keeping my own available. I have done this because I found myself getting frustrated when getting “outplayed” by an opponent who subsequently flashed an emote or mastery.
Try it out yourself, you can sometimes bait an opponent into being more aggressive or tunnel visioning onto you if you hit them with a well-timed and well-chosen emote. It’s slightly unethical but hey, Riot put them in as part of the game. Now, don’t go overboard with this to the point where you distract yourself. Here’s my personal arsenal:
Remove summoner names
I read a lot about people suffering from ranked anxiety if they know that their friend or a popular player is on the enemy team. You can counter this issue by removing nameplates for both teams off the leaderboard as well as in-game. This way you don’t know who’s who – you won’t know if that Lee Sin is Dardoch or Michelle from accounting, you’ll just have to play to the context of the actual game.
It’s a mind hack that works to help keep you focused on the champions and what they do. Now, if you find that you also get distracted by your teammates, stick around for our next good habit.
3. Mute all or hide the chat
The chat is a great way of communicating with your team by telling them information that can help you win the game. Unfortunately, it is not always utilized like this as many players decide to use the chat as a way to vent anger and spread their toxicity. If somebody is being toxic, you should completely remove them from the game by muting and ignoring what they say to you. There is no point trying to reason or talk to them as it can result in you not playing to your full potential and it may get you banned.
Some players, our Challenger Coach Moriarty included, like to use another mental trick in which you mute everyone and pretend that they are bots. No matter what you tell a bot, it won’t make them play better. If a bot is feeding, you can’t do much except control what you can and do your best with what you have.
Ignoring and muting them will allow you to keep up in farm and experience as you will not be missing out on anything if you decide to reply to them. You’ll also be able to keep a cool and level head in-game that will prevent you from tilting. At the end of the day, the chat should only be used in a way that can benefit your team.
If somebody is distracting you, you need to remove the distraction before it spawns into a major issue. It may seem like we are blowing this out of proportion and to some extent, perhaps we are. Some players may be more resistance than others! However, this situation is more common than it should be. If you are being distracted in-game by the chat, you will end up playing worse. The enemy may not be having this issue which means that they can focus on winning the game while you are having a rap session in chat.
4. Make your rune pages in advance
Rune pages are incredibly important in League of Legends. Without a decent rune setup, you will find it difficult to be able to win the game if your opponents have optimal builds and play well. If you stick to a few champions, you should create pages dedicated for each of them which can save you some time researching and changing them in the lobby. The Rune page tool can be quite temperamental and sometimes, it decides not to work when you most need it.
Never is this truer than when you are trying to set it up before the game starts. This is why I recommend that you have dedicated Rune pages made prior to getting into queue. Having a look at sites such as the Mobalytics Summoner Profile match history and creating a Rune page dedicated for your champion will save you a lot of time down the road.
You can save time and energy (as well as a little bit of stress) by making sure you have pre-made Rune pages locked and loaded before the game starts.
We’ve all seen streamers with generic or abstract rune pages. This may work for some of you, but if you’re trying to build good habits, make sure you label your rune pages correctly to reduce the likelihood of a mishap before a match.
5. Limit IRL (real-life) distractions
When it comes to streamlining your gameplay, any little thing that can distract you should be removed or disabled. Playing ranked, everything is on the line and you need to have your focus completely on the game in order for you to play to your full potential and with an optimal mindset. We’ve already touched upon distractions earlier, such as the use of emotes and mastery spam. Our final suggestion as a good habit is to remove things that may distract you from playing the game in real life.
Before a ranked match, you should consider your environment. Is your desk tidy? Will you be distracted by other computer screens, cell phones, or tablets?
It’s pretty obvious that it isn’t the best idea to queue up for ranked if you’re in the middle of an argument with your significant other or you’re expecting food to be delivered. There is enough you have to worry about in-game, everything on top of that is an additional level of brainpower and focus that you give up.
Sure, sometimes your internet might go down or you may have an emergency that you have to attend to, don’t feel too bad about those ones. The whole point here is to control what you can so you can give your in-game self the best shot to play your best.
Thanks for reading! What are some good habits that you practice to help you play to your best? Let us know in the comments below. As always, you can find Picklepants in our Discord if you have any questions.