Micro and Macro in League of Legends – The Ultimate Guide

While League of Legends’ charm comes from the champions and their unique abilities to make flashy plays, there are actually is a hidden mechanic that transcends that and will always lead to a win. These things are called the Micro and Macro parts of the game. Understanding how each champion reacts or counters every other champion is one important aspect that you should learn. Knowing how to play the game with every bit of information available is also another aspect that can hugely impact on your win rate. 

I know we all love to practice a champion and make flashy plays with them so we can post it on social media or simply brag it to our friends, but there is a larger factor that you should consider and this is what pro players do. After all, winning the game with very low KDA is much better than having the highest kills but losing. These are the terms that you should consider learning and diving deeper in and we will discuss them in this article. So without further ado, let’s get right into it.

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What is Micro or Macro in League of Legends?

As I said, there are much bigger things to consider on League of Legends than simply making flashy plays. But these are terms not many of you know, so let’s get started on what macro or micro really is. In League, the skills of a player can be divided into two categories, Macro and Micro, with Micro coming from the word small. 

It refers to all the little things you can do as an individual player that can impact you and yourself alone. The more common term for this is mechanics. These are the typical things you do with a champion you know like what minion you should dash on while playing Yasuo, how those dashes will help you achieve the most kills without dying, and using it to outplay other players. 

Or one of my favorites as a Riven main, mastering her animation cancels can be a tricky thing to do but if you manage to pull it off, you can make really amazing plays with her. An example of this is seeing a champion with half health, as Riven, hide in a bush and activate your ultimate, then prepare to cast your combo. Start by casting your E so you can cast your other skills with animation cancels, then use your 2nd R cast so the projectile travels as you engage the enemy, then flash and use your W + Gore drinker and Q. 

This is important to sequence perfectly because if you don’t you will have buffer times and the combo won’t work, this is also neat because you get to burst the enemy and they won’t be able to react even if they have a Zhonya’s or Trynda’s ult.  Some other things to consider in Micro are the sidesteps you do to avoid dying or chase champions more efficiently, landing skill shots, or simply knowing the sequence to your spells to pull off impressive combos. 

There are also advanced things that you can do in a Micro mechanic like timing the spell shield on Morgana to deny the crowd control of another champion, using Mikael’s on a champion right before the CC hits on your allies so the animation and cast time of the active item hits a millisecond after the CC hits your ally, making it so they were never stunned at all. 

Like I said there are many things that you can do with your Micro knowledge and that depends on what champion you are playing or how fast you react, in simple words, these are the things that you can instantly do as a player with the champion that you are playing. But you can only get so far with Micro mechanics and that is why you also need to practice your Macro knowledge. 

In Macro, it means larger overall, and is about the bigger picture. It’s the strategy side of things and determines how much you understand the game, some may even call it game sense but in League of Legends, it is widely known as Macro. A lot of players know that the Macro part of the game comes in mid to late game and how well you impact the entire map and not just your lane with your opponent. 

This mechanic is why pro players are at the top of the game, this is what they practice the most with their teammates and yes, doing this requires teamwork. While Macro depends on the performance of the team, there are still things that you can do as an individual to win the game using Macro knowledge alone. Jungle pathing, wave management, where to ward, where to deward, when and where to roam, all of that, and many more fall under Macro. It is basically anything where you use strategies and tactics to outmaneuver your opponents. 

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Understanding Micro And How to Get Good at it?

Like how we defined Micro above, it is something that you can do as an individual player and that means practice, and lots of it. Micro or mechanics is the very reason why the practice tool was implemented, you can practice your Micro in this mode and it will hugely make an impact on your performance while in-game. Unlike Macro, in Micro all you have to think about is yourself and how you will get that sweet KDA or how you will outplay your opponent. 

In the practice tool, there are dummies that you can place anywhere in the map-making you practice different scenarios. Things like practicing different Lee Sin combos or what I mentioned above about the Riven fast combo. You can practice those in here instead of playing a game, this way, you won’t get in the way of your teammates wanting to win. 

Understanding Macro and How to Get Good at it?

While practicing Micro takes lots and lots of time in the practice tool, the same can be said with Macro, yes you can do some of your practices in practice tool but not all of them. Some of the things that you can do in practice tool are wave management, observe your pushing techniques. 

Observe how the wave reacts and how the minion wave moves when you kill one melee minion, or if you kill all caster minions. All of these will impact how the wave will push towards the enemy tower or how you will freeze the lane minions so you can farm for free while zoning your enemies away from minion exp and gold.

Another thing that you can practice in practice tools is the jungle timers and jungle clear speeds. The jungle role is the one that relies heavily on your Macro or game knowledge, there are lots to consider like how fast your champion will clear the entire red side camp, the jungle timers are also shown in the scoreboard to know when to reset just before calling a regroup play and plan to take a major objective like baron or the dragon. 

Jungle pathing is knowing what to clear so that afterward, you can gank the nearest ally you have. Or simply as take a path in the jungle where clearing the final camp would lead you to the nearest objective. 

While it is easy to know about all of this and become a walking encyclopedia of League of Legends knowledge, but to be actually good at macro, you have to know how to connect all of this knowledge together and make sense out of it. You need to understand that while some of the Macro part of the game can be done easily without considering the outcome, most of them needs planning and communication with your team. 

First, you have to consider the team composition of both sides, this is the very first thing that you can do and it can be as early as in the picks and ban phase of the game. Another is how you will counter said team composition and counter play is a huge factor to consider to win a game. 

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Different Macro for Each Lane in Every Phase

  • Early game macro for top-laners

Wave management and taking the hp advantage is a huge thing to consider in the laning phase of top lane. You don’t have to roam and help other laners if they are far away, only react if they are near your lane because once you leave it and your opponent gets an exp and wave advantage over you, it will be very hard to bounce back

  • Mid to late game macro for top laners

This is the part where you consider having the tower advantage over your opponent because this will allow you to roam or teleport to other lanes and help your team. The top laners job is to get really strong or get really tank to be useful in the mid to late game. 

  • Early game macro for junglers

Focus on power farming if you are a late-game champion like Master Yi and focus on clearing your camps as fast as you can, track your enemy jungler as well so that you’ll know if you can invade their jungle and take some of their camps. If you are a champion with good CC and mobility abilities like Zac, then clear one part of a camp and focus on ganking other lanes once you reach level 3. Another big thing to consider here is pathing, you have to decide which side of the map you will start and that depends on the champion that you are using. 

  • Mid to late game macro for junglers

This is the time for you to focus on the larger side of the game and these are the objectives. You can view objective timers in the scoreboard and make a plan even if the timer is still 30 seconds away.

  • Early game macro for mid laners

Mid lane is where the player really needs to consider wave management because this is what will determine who can roam to their allies more often. Mid laners have the best access to all lanes even the jungle and is the one expected to help every other lane. 

  • Mid to late game macro for mid laners

Roaming is still the name of the game for mid laners and you should be the one-shot calling that is why most team captains in pro play are mid laners like Faker. 

  • Early game macro for ADC’s

The job of an ADC is to get stronger so they can deal massive damage in the mid to late game, you will achieve this by focusing on your CS and doing it as perfectly as you can, and at the same time zoning your enemies away so you will have more exp and cs than them.

  • Mid to late game macro for ADC’s

Positioning and being the damage and winning condition of your team. Focus on staying alive while dishing the most damage.

  • Early game macro for supports

Supports are also huge factors in the game as they are also very reliant on Macro, focus on your ward placements either to prevent ganks for your ADC or help your jungler track the opposing jungler. You can also roam but you need to know if your ADC has the capability to clear waves fast and play weakside. 

  • Mid to late game macro for supports

Late game means most of the enemies will be targeting your ADC and you have to do everything you can to peel your ADC and keep them away from harm. 

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These two factors are the very reason why pro players are getting paid to play to the game, they know how to win games and not just achieve high KDA. If you want Worlds or MSI events of League of Legends, you will notice that players never prioritize kills and instead use the macro to win games. 

They kill dragons that have permanent buffs instead of finding solo kills. If you wish to climb the ranked ladder, these are the things that you should be practicing, micro knowledge can be easily practiced while you play any game while improving your Macro. 

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