League of Legends is one of the most popular games in video game history, with over 100 million players getting on monthly. That insane number only seems to keep growing, courtesy of the game’s never-ending lifespan which is as strong as ever even after 13 years. That much time has seen a tremendous amount of change and evolution, both within League and outside of it.
The video game market is growing at a rapid pace, surpassing the expectations of anyone daring to make a prediction. It is only natural, then, that a newcomer to the industry might find themselves confused and wondering what to play. Most of the market share is swarmed by low-quality, free-to-play games.
While League is certainly free-to-play, I would argue against it being low quality. And that’s basically the whole gist of this article – should you, or not, play League of Legends? Is it a bad game? What are its pros and cons? So much will be asked (and answered) in this article that I have to advise reading to the end.
Due do the comprehensive nature of the thing, it is going to be a longer one. But, nevertheless, it is a question long withstanding among dozens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of players worldwide. Thus, it is natural for us to give an answer to it, no matter how long.
All right, without further ado, let’s begin!
Why not open up with the good stuff, eh? League of Legends has a huge amount of stuff that is exceptionally well made and designed. It’s a great product that shouldn’t be scuffed at so easily. So, let’s see the better side of it.
It’s a solid game
League of Legends got its popularity primarily from being DOTA’s direct successor. However, it’s not what kept people playing. Drawing them in initially does take a good sales pitch, but it’s the game’s design that sees those players stay for a while. Some of them never even left, myself being one such case.
The MOBA design was taken to a new level – simple, yet highly complex. They took the burden of mechanical hell in DOTA and refined it to create an incredibly effective system of systems, a core design philosophy that remains to this day. Though Riot has seemingly taken a different path recently, it is undoubtedly the core tenant of League of Legends all throughout.
The overall design of the game is fantastic, with characters and Champions all unique in their own regard. The lore, music, art – everything surrounding the world of Runterra breathes creativity and innovation. I am almost certain you will love every aspect of it, especially the music which is surely among the best in the gaming industry.
A single entry on an article this big isn’t enough to describe the thoughtful core design behind League, but take my word for it. Fire up the game and see for yourself just how nice and slick everything is. Before we get into the bad, you might as well enjoy the bright side.
This one goes without saying. League of Legends is intoxicatingly fun (something we will get in when we get to the bad, but keep reading to find that out). It can hook you in and keep you sitting, glued to your screen for hours on end. It’s a source of constant entertainment that is sure to have you addicted to it in no time.
Each match is something different, and no two games will be identical. The sheer uncertainty of what awaits you in the next one will keep you clicking the Play Now button over and over and over again. Once you get into those matches, something always goes south, and figuring out how to emerge on top of every new situation is as fun as it gets.
I don’t even want to mention the number of Champions in the game, whose diversity will keep you fresh for God knows how long. It would be hundreds of games before you got to experience each one of them. Hell, people stick to a single one for so long, or even longer. Imagine just how much time it’d take to deeply dive into all of the possible options.
So much depth and content are there ready for the taking, and the ever-changing nature of the game always keeps you on edge. Fun is the best part of League of Legends, and it without a doubt is a fun game.
If there ever was a game with a sense of community, it’s League of Legends. I’ve already stated at the beginning – over 100 million players tune in monthly to experience what the Summoner’s Rift has to offer. Each game will see you meeting new allies, and enemies, that you could later team up with and even make friends.
I’ve met several people on League whom I’m friends with even to this day, and those are some of my favorite relationships. The online community isn’t always welcoming, but is sure a beautiful place once you get situated. Don’t get me wrong, the game certainly has a bad side in this regard, too (we’ll talk more on that later) but I think the good outweighs it.
It’s a multiplayer game, meaning that you will never feel lonely or bored in that regard. Playing solo can be just as fun as it is with friends, and while I’m on the topic of playing with friends – let’s get into that right now.
Good with friends
League of Legends, like any other good multiplayer game, is the best when played with friends. Whether it’s you and a friend going up in duo queue, or full stacking in a Flex match – there’s no comparison to League when it comes to playing with friends. The tactics, strategies, and combos you could make while playing with friends are bound to be so fun that you’ll hardly be able to stop playing.
People often like to compare League in this aspect to other MOBAs or multiplayer games. I don’t think it’s a fair comparison, to the others of course. You see, I’ve played my fair share of CS, DOTA, and everything else. While they are all good in their own right, something about League keeps bringing me back to play with my friends for hours on end, through day and night.
No matter what position you play, or how you play it, your whole experience will be enhanced by having a friend joining the fray. So much so, in fact, that people often stop solo queueing altogether after having played seriously with a friend. I genuinely believe that League offers the best duo queue experience out of all multiplayer games. The flex stacking does sometimes backfire, but it’s also nice.
Nothing in gaming beats the climb in League of Legends. It’s an insane experience, and I don’t mean that as an emphasis. It’s absolutely bat-sh*t insane. It goes from the worst thing ever, to something incredible in a single match. The fluctuation between frustration and dopamine rushes is actually so addicting that I cannot even stress it through words.
I guess this may be true for any game that has a ladder in it. The striving for being the greatest, or among the greats, is something that will keep any man going. However, it can be an excruciatingly frustrating thing that hinders the way you play. Though, we’re still in the good part, so I won’t go deeper into that right now.
By the time you enter Platinum and above, you start seeing League of Legends for what it truly is – a magnificent, tactically and mechanically complex multiplayer game that requires a ton of brainpower. When you start playing with people that are highly skilled and know what they’re doing, there’s no game parallel to League of Legends.
That will take some time, pain, and effort – but I am sure you can do it, if you gave it a try.
Okay, now that the praise is all over, we can get into the ranting part. You probably saw this coming the moment you opened up the article. And, of course, this game drives everyone mad to the max, including me. Thus, I have to exert that madness onto articles like this, and hopefully give you a much better insight.
League of Legends is 13 years old. It’s almost old enough to be in high school. This means that the formula, the design, though they may be good, are incredibly outdated. There have been so many games releasing over the years that have done the same, or offered a newer, better experience. We will get into more detail about competitors later, but it is important to note that League is not alone in this world. Not anymore, at least.
The most of its popularity came from it being one of a kind, a breath of fresh air for the MOBA genre. It was, quite literally, genre-defining. So much so that it inspired VALVe to create DOTA 2, League’s biggest competitor to date.
But it still doesn’t help it being, and often feeling, old. Only so many games of the same thing can be played, and while variations in matches are good enough to keep you going – it does get stale eventually. This old, unchanging concept of a tri-lane MOBA is slowly fading away, despite the high player counts.
It’s been steadily declining in the west due to the obsessive pandering towards particular groups, China being the primary one. Everything caters to them, and not the core player base of old that just wants their game back. Age is certainly showing for League, at least in the eyes of western players, and it continues to make them feel old, too. I know it does it to me, too frequently.
I know I praised the community side of League of Legends above, but I would be saying the half-truth if I left toxicity out of the mix. You see, while League can be one of the best games to make friends and new allies, it’s also one of the worst. The lower levels and ranks are a cesspool of toxicity, bad behavior, overall a-holes, and everything in between.
It’s like a swamp from the Souls series, where every step only leads to more poison and toxicity, eventually becoming fatal. While no one has died from experiencing toxic players, it certainly will bring you to the brink of jumping out of your window. Powering through that is part of the experience and the grind is real, as some people are so unapologetically toxic that I cannot even explain it.
Also read: 5 Most Toxic League of Legends Players
The fun is great, but having too much of it can cause addiction. Video game addiction is a serious thing, especially among free-to-play titles. Games like League, CSGO, Valorant, Fortnite, etc. all offer an insanely addicting gameplay loop that bring you back constantly. If you are susceptible to video game addiction, playing League in any large quantity is a big no, no.
I speak from honest and personal experience. I’ve been around League for 10 years now, and I’ve seen myself break away and “quit” several times. However, I kept coming back, and no matter what I did – it always seemed to happen. Thus, I have to highly advise avoiding League of Legends if video game addiction is in any way, shape, or form a problem in your life.
Trust me. Having some fun with a game isn’t worth the risk of getting addicted. There is only so much the body and mind can take, and keeping yourself good and healthy is most important.
Can be boring solo
My tangent on playing with friends wasn’t unwarranted. I hate playing solo games. I know I said the solo experience can be just as good – and it can, but it gets stale after a while. Communicating with random people can be tedious, especially if you get dealt the wrong hand. Some will just refuse to be cooperative, and teamplay becomes non-existent.
Having a friend as a factor there means that you always have someone to rely on. The solo experience is too much of a dice roll. If you’re scared of dropping down a rank, or losing LP, you’ll certainly just quit the game because playing solo will strike fear in your heart. Relying only on yourself and luck is never a good thing, thus the game does sometimes weigh too heavy for solo players.
I’ve stopped playing solo for a while. I only did it to improve my individual skills, and for no other reason whatsoever. Your friends are your best bet for playing this game for actual fun and not addiction. Trust me on this one, lads and lasses.
There’s dozens and hundreds of games that have released over the years that far surpassed League. For years now, several trends have come and gone that have completely squashed League on the international gaming market. Games of other genres, like Call of Duty, PUBG, and Fortnite continuously beat League in concurrent player count.
There’re so many games out there for you to explore other than League. It’s a difficult game, incredibly challenging to get into, and even more so to be good at. Frustrating as it is, it’s probably better to explore alternative games, perhaps in some other genre. Thousands upon thousands of undiscovered titles lie waiting for you in the corners of the Steam store, and why bother on something free when a few bucks can give you more?
The alternatives are one of the main reasons for League’s downfall in the west, as there is a huge migration of players happening as we speak. People are moving on to Valorant and similar endeavors that are new, have a sharp team of designers behind them, and seek to offer a fresh experience. League’s age, complexity, and everything else, make it disadvantaged on the market right now.
Maybe it’ll change, maybe not – we will just have to wait and see.
There’s always something in between the yes and no. That would be the maybe, and it’s very simple.
Just give it a try.
It’s as simple as that. You will never know if you like a game or not without giving it an actual try. Reading articles like this does help in discovering some of the details, but your own experience with the game is what will bring the ultimate judgement. Never listen to what others tell you of anything, just make sure your own thoughts and experiences speak for themselves.
League of Legends might not be the game for you, or it might be the best thing you’ve ever played. Until you’ve done it yourself, you cannot really know the answer, and thus you will just have to give it a try. I know it’ll be tedious, but give it time and see what happens.
League of Legends is a game that is situated among thousands of others on the market. Players will often pose themselves with the question – should I play it? Well, I hope this article gave you half the answer, with you having the other half already.
I hope you’ve found this article informative and fun to read, and I wish you all the best on the Summoner’s Rift!