League of Legends Guide

Items and Gold

Every Summoner will acquire gold while playing a game mode in League of Legends. Gold is used to buy items that improve your Champion’s stats, give temporary boosts and abilities, and alter the vision around the map. Just like Champion levels, items and gold will reset at the end of the game, so don’t start hoarding cash thinking you can use it next time!

There are six slots for items and one slot for a ward or trinket. These are displayed to the right of a Summoner’s abilities in the info box at the bottom of the screen. All items are attached to number keys 1-7, with 4 being specifically set to the ward or trinket.

Gold will naturally accumulate as you play the game. Earn more gold by destroying structures, or killing champions, monsters, and minions. If you get the last hit that kills an enemy unit or destroys a structure, you will earn even more gold than simply assisting.

To open the items shop in League of Legends, click on the Merchant in your base or click the gold in your summary box. In Summoner’s Rift and Twisted Treeline, items can be purchased anytime you return to base and are near the shop, or if you were killed and are currently respawning. In ARAM, items can only be purchased as long as you don’t move off the spawn platform, or if you were killed and are currently respawning.

Since Wards and Trinkets have their own slot, they are easy to separate from all other items. However, some items have other restrictions or notes that new players should know. There are a number of potions and elixirs that can be purchased from the shop, and they will be gone forever once they are used – these are often called “consumables.”

Additionally, players can only purchase one set of boots, even though different boots give different bonuses. Any other items don’t rely on the image or name. If your Summoner uses a bow and arrow, you can purchase an item with a picture of a sword and gain the exact same boosts. Those images and the names of items are merely for show. Read the item descriptions for unique, active, and passive abilities.

Although the majority of items work naturally, there are a handful of items that must be activated from the item menu. These items often give a temporary boost or activate an ability. Either click the item’s picture or press the number key assigned to the item to use it. Items can be rearranged by drag and dropping into a different slot. Furthermore, there are a small set of items that can be charged after a certain requirement. An example is the Archangel’s Staff transforming into Seraph’s Embrace at a certain mana level.

Item Boosts

All Items are split into various categories depending on who you ask. If we were to look only at the possible boosts, all items will fall under one of the categories from the table below.

Attack Damage Increases your Champion's physical attack damage.
Ability Power Increases your Champion's magical ability power.
Armor Adds physical armor to your Champion, reducing damage from physical attacks.
Magic Resist Adds magical armor to your Champion, reducing damage from magical abilities.
Armor Penetration Allows your Champion's damage to penetrate the enemy Champion's physical armor.
Magic Penetration Allows your Champion's damage to penetrate the enemy Champion's magical armor.
Attack Speed Allows Champions to use physical and basic attacks faster than normal.
Cooldown Reduction Reduces the cooldown time of abilities (Q, W, E, R), allowing Champions to use abilities more often.
Critical Strike Chance Increases the chance of landing a critical strike.
Life Steal Takes a percentage of life from your enemy and fills your Champion's health meter..
Mana Increase the amount of Mana for your Champion.
Mana Regeneration Allows your Champion to regenerate mana quicker.
Movement Speed Allows your Champion to walk and run faster.
Vision Allows your team to see an area of the map, even if it was normally covered in the fog of war.
Gold Income Increase the amount of gold you earn.
Consumables One-time use items that give some sort of boost, health increase, or mana increase.

Upgrading Items

While all items can be purchased with gold, some items are too expensive to buy early in-game. It’ll take some time to acquire enough gold to get just one great item. The way around this is to buy weaker, cheaper items that can be upgraded into better items.

If an item can be upgraded into a better one, a build pathway will appear in the best item’s window. Additionally, boxes of the build paths will appear above the weaker item’s window. Click one of these boxes to view the upgrade path. Buying items in steps won’t increase the overall cost of the weapon.

It’s best to start off by looking at the recommended section of the item shop. Once you get used to the format, feel free to search the item list and experiment with new builds. Item lists can be built from the main menu under collection, but you must own the Champion first.