League of Legends beginner guide: items

League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /
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Kindred. League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /

In our latest installment of our League of Legends beginner guide, we walk you through what items are and how to best use them.

Last time on our League of Legends guide for beginners, we discussed (in very lengthy terms) what it meant to lane. We discussed getting gold and experience, and how beneficial both of those resources are.

Today, we transition to talk about how to utilize one of those resources – gold – in order to buy items. For a quick refresher, you acquire gold by killing minions, getting kills, or taking towers. Once you earn enough gold, you’ll be able to spend it on one of several hundred items.

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One thing to note is that the shop is not just for buying items. It can also be used to sell unwanted items to make room for a better one or to refund an item you accidentally purchased (this must be done during the same trip to the shop though, once you have left the base the opportunity for a full refund will be gone!).

We’ll discuss the different types of items, what types of stats items can give, and item actives and passives. We’ll give a general breakdown of what items cost and which items should be built for which types of champions (generally). First, let’s start with the different types of items.

Types of Items

Although items are typically categorized by what type of stats they give to the user, when you first pull up the Item Shop (by default, this is done by pressing the “P” button) the items you see will be organized by cost. This makes sense, as item types are best categorized by how expensive they are and how many components they require.

Starter items are items that champions can buy with the initial 500 gold they are given from the moment they spawn onto Summoners Rift. They are typically items that give very cheap stats, but cannot be upgraded or combined into another more powerful items like basic items might. These starter items may also be specific to a role, granting the user extra gold even though they are not CSing (for supports) or extra experience from jungle monsters (for junglers).

Consumables cost 500 gold or less, like starter items, but do not give the purchaser extra stats or any benefit until they are activated and used. Each use consumes the item, removing it from the inventory (like a basic Healing Potion or Vision Ward) or reducing the number of charges it has available (like the Refillable Potion). Consumables also include Elixirs, which will give the user a passive benefit and stat boost, but only for a limited amount of time.

Basic items are the cheapest of items that can be a part of an upgraded item. They typically cost under 500 gold (like starter items) and do not require the purchaser to own any other component items to purchase. However, unlike starter items, basic items can be upgraded into more powerful items if combined with other basic items or advanced items.

However, there is also a subset of basic items called intermediate items. These items do not require any combination of basic items to purchase, but they are more expensive than the basic items. Typically, these items will cost between 800 and 1300 gold.

An advanced item, on the other hand, is the first type of upgraded item. It is made by combining basic and/or intermediate items to create one more powerful item. However, an advanced item can still be upgraded further into another item.

Such an item is called a finished item, which cannot be further upgraded. Typically, a finished item is made up of two or more advanced or intermediate items. Finished items are the only types of items in the game that have an active ability, and will also have a passive ability most of the time.