Oftentimes, a lot of us are guilty of being caught up in kills. After all, it’s an exhilarating feeling. There are few things more satisfying in-game than outplaying your opponent. An exception of course… is winning. Kills don’t necessarily equate to a win. In fact, a lot of the time, what happens during the early stages of the game give you a glimpse into how the game is actually going to go. We’ve mentioned it many times before, the laning phase is one of the most important parts of the game.
You could say that the game starts during the champion selection phase, but the laning phase is where you get your first taste of the game by butting heads with your opponent. So why is farming so important? While your skills as a player are a big factor with the outcome of the game, so is farm. This is especially true for AD carries because they’re generally more dependent on items compared to the other roles. By the time late game comes around, they’re often the ones teammates turn to during clashes due to the raw damage they can pump out. All that being said, we’re going to take a look at how you can improve your early game farming. Let’s begin.
You may also want to check out: AFK farming in LoL
Mind Your Minions
Minions are the key to most things in the early game, so it should come as no surprise to know that they are what you need to primarily focus on when in lane. In the early game especially, sometimes just farming is better than going for a potentially risky kill attempt. It’s much safer and ensures you get the gold, which is particularly useful for champions that scale well into the late game.
No one really wants to do math, so let’s make it simpler by just looking at averages. In a perfect world, 10 cs per minute would do you well. Even in an imperfect world, it is stellar! The problem is simply… It’s unrealistic. There are too many factors that get in the way of you achieving that number, most notably enemy lane kill potential, zoning, and poke power. You’ll want to hit maybe the 7-8 mark per minute.
Yes, we know map awareness is important, but we can’t reiterate this enough. This ties in with being aware of minions and it might seem obvious, but you must be aware of where champions are in the map as well. We don’t just mean enemy champions due to a possible gank attempt, but where your allied champions are as well. This gives you information to make decisions such as, should I push this lane out? Should I just farm neutral camps instead? Do I need to freeze the lane? Factors like these matter even more when the first turrets fall, as it makes every succeeding turret more dangerous due to how far you are from your own turret in case things go south.
To make it easier to understand, let’s have an example. You just destroyed the first turret. You see the enemy top laner go against your team’s top laner. You look at the bot lane and see the enemy support holding their turret. The enemy mid laner is defending the 2nd turret, and the enemy jungler and ADC is missing. In a situation like this, it’s almost always better to avoid pushing out the lane, as this puts you at risk, even if you think you have the surrounding area warded. It’s not going to do much good seeing them coming if you have to walk a long distance to your turret. Freezing the lane is also good for farming because you can CS and fall back to your turret if needed.
A good way to improve farming is to make better use of your time. This means constantly looking at your opportunity cost, or what you could’ve done if you weren’t doing something else. An example of this is knowing when to siege. A siege basically refers to that stand-off you have with the enemy team, often involving multiple champions from both sides. It’s when one team tries to take the turret while the other defends it. Assuming both sides are even, the defending team usually has the advantage, even when slightly outnumbered. Again, this is generally speaking. Some champions excel at pushing and defending, so your mileage may vary.
When faced with such a scenario, it can be good to explore your options, especially with tier 2 turrets. Are all of the enemy champions there defending? Are there any safe lanes to farm from? If not, maybe taking the enemy neutral camps would be better. Either way, nothing can be gained from the siege. Perhaps you’d be doing something more productive elsewhere. Constantly thinking like this develops how well you make snap decisions and optimizes the productivity level you make during the match.
Farm vs. Clash
Still falling under the opportunity cost umbrella, you and your team need to know when to farm and when to clash. A common mistake in lower elos is that when they see an ally get picked off, instinct tells them to jump in. While that may be considered brave, going in 1 by 1 is seldom the answer, especially when you’re at a major disadvantage. Especially when a key allied champion is dead, it may be better to farm instead. There’s no shame in it, so long as you’re being proactive and not just leaving your teammates to fend for themselves while you afk farm for 30 minutes, but that’s an entirely different thing. Don’t think of it as running away. Think of it as a tactical retreat.
As with most things, there’s a silver lining. Having a teammate picked off provides you with very useful information, that being: the enemy team positions. This can clue you in as to where you should be farming safely. On the other side of the coin, this can also help you and your team force a clash if you know you’re at an advantage. You can do this by doing the aforementioned siege, hunting, or simply contesting objectives like the Rift Herald.
You should also read: Is AFK farming bad?
Don’t Get Triggered
This part is easier said than done. Believe me, I know. This is more of a psychological factor. Whatever the reason, being triggered happens to the best of us. It can cause simple mistakes, and you may find yourself struggling with things you would otherwise be able to do with relative ease. You also have to consider that being triggered can cause toxic behavior, and we all know that toxic behavior has the potential to be infectious.
There are some simple ways to avoid this. While League of Legends is a team-game, sometimes it’s just better to mute a player, especially when they’re spamming the in-game chat. This can oftentimes save you the headache and allow you to focus on the game more. You know what they say: Out of sight, out of mind.
While there were a lot of tips and theory crafting involved with this, nothing really beats practice and experience. Playing enough to develop a sense of what you should be doing helps a lot, and practicing last hits is also important. Knowing when to either trade in an attempt to bully your opponent out of lane or simply passively CS is important too. At the end of the day, it’s important to have fun, mind the gold, and know your champion well. Things like cast animations, how much damage you have in the early game, and having access to spammable skills as a tool for farming can only come from experience.
Also check out our ADC peeling guide.