Game Terms: League of Legends

The following is a brief glossary of terms used in our other articles discussing the gameplay, terminology, and meta of League of Legends. If there are terms or concepts you would like us to discuss please leave a comment below and we will write about it.

Abilities (noun): Actions that can be taken using mana or energy, that typically trigger a cooldown. Abilities can be offensive, defensive, and / or utilitarian. Likewise they can be passive meaning they do not need to be triggered manually or active meaning their use must be triggered by the player.

Ad (noun): Attack Damage, a champion’s value of damage dealt by a unit or ability scaling off of items with AD. Auto-attacks scale off of AD.

Adc (noun): Attack Damage Carry, a role whose primary focus is to take down high value targets and objectives. Their damage output against objectives such as structures and jungle monsters is the highest of any other class. Also see Glass cannon.

Afk (adverb): Away from keyboard is a term indicating a player is not present for gameplay, it can serve to mean momentarily away or when the player has left a match entirely.

Ap (noun): Ability Power, a champion’s value of damage dealt by a unit or ability scaling off of items with AP. Many abilities with AoE or bonus damage will contain some AP scaling.

AoE (noun): Area of Effect serves to express both the area within which an ability takes effect as well as the type of ability it is. It stands to denote an ability which impacts an area as opposed to a specific target.

Auto attack (noun / verb): An auto attack or basic attack is the act of attacking an enemy at a consistent rate while they are within range. AAs trigger automatically after attack clicking an enemy target. This is the focus of AD champions’ damage output.

Bot (noun): A computer or AI opponent. Also shorthand for bottom lane.

Buff (noun): A temporary or permanent modifiers that increase a player’s combat strength. I.e. Their Q ability grants them an additional +100 hp for 7 seconds.

Build (noun): A planned order of items to purchase and skills to upgrade for the course of a match to create the most powerful unit. Besides playstyle this is the main avenue for self expression and personal choice for the player.

Camp (verb): The act of staying hidden close to a lane in order attempt to gank an enemy frequently.

Cc (verb): Crowd control, cc abilities focus on limiting the movement of enemy units by slowing, snaring, stunning, lifting, and knocking back an enemy against their will.

Cooldown (noun): A duration of time before an ability, passive or active, can be triggered again after being used.

Counter (noun / verb): A counter is any ability, attribute, or playstyle the serves to capitalize on an enemy’s weaknesses. I.e. “Lux has a snare but Gangplank can counter the snare by eating an orange negating all ccs” When a player faces their most challenging counter they are “hard countered.”

Crash (verb): To crash a lane or location is to converge on an area where a player’s teammate’s are getting attacked by an increasing number of enemies and need help. This is the defensive response to a gank.

Dc’d (verb): To Dc means to disconnect, this is unintentional and understood to be dueto technical problems; it is a legitimate excuse for not being able to participate in a match.

DoT (noun): Damage over Time, damage whose total is applied over a set period of time. I.e. “The ability does 100 AP damage over five second.”

Early game (noun): The early game is the phase of a match where teams focus on sizing up their opponents, becoming established in their lanes (see laning phase) and determining the pace of the match.

Experience (noun): Experience is a resource acquired through being present for and / or participating in combat. After acquiring a set amount of experience the player levels up, unlocking skill points which can be used to advance their abilities.

Farm (verb): To farm is to last hit minions or monsters in order to gain their gold and experience. Farming is the most consistent way to harvest gold in order to purchase items and complete the player’s build. As such it, as opposed to kills, is the focus of the laning phase.

Fed (adjective): The state of having such a large gold and / or experience advantage over an enemy that the unit poses a major threat.

Feed (verb): The act of being careless or irresponsible and dying repeatedly to an enemy, granting them a gold and experience advantage.

Fighter (noun): A class of champion which balances damage output and survivability. Typically seen in Top lane.

Gank (verb): To ambush an enemy in an attempt to catch them off guard and kill them. To gank for someone can either be to set up a kill for a teammate or to kill a teammate’s opponent if they are too strong to be killed by the teammate alone. Ganking is a fundamental part of the jungler’s responsibility.

Gap closer (noun): An ability which allows the player to cover a certain amount of distance faster than if they were simply on foot. They are used to both chase down enemies and escape.

gg (noun): Good game, an acknowledgment at the end of a match. Also expressed as Gg wp or good game well played, used as a nod to the other player[s] performance.

Glass cannon (noun): A unit who focuses on dealing a high amount of damage but in turn has low survivability.

Hp (noun): Hit points, or life, hp represents how much damage a unit can take before dying.

Inhibitor (noun): A regenerating base structure that produces minion waves. It is a core objective when pushing a enemy team into a defensive position.

Initiate (noun): An initiate is an ability such as a cc that is used to start a teamfight or engagement.

Invade (verb): To rush to the enemies’ jungle in order to ambush the enemy jungler and their teammates for an early kill or to steal their buff.

Jungle (noun): The space between lanes inhabited by neutral monster camps which grant gold and experience, some also apply buffs. It is the farming territory of the jungler.

Jungler (noun): A class of champion who roams the map gaining power through clearing neutral monster camps and ganking for their teammates. Their objective is to control the jungle and to crash lanes. This role as opposed to other lanes can be played by any class depending on the champion’s kit.

KDA (noun): Kills Deaths Assists, kda is shorthand for the player’s score and contribution to the team. It’s totals are appraised as being positive or negative; i.e. Someone with 3 kills, 3 deaths, and 2 assists was net positive, whereas a player with 1 kill, 10 deaths, and 1 assists was net negative.

Kit (noun): A champion’s kit is a way of describing their skill set. It is composed of a passive ability, three standard abilities and an ultimate ability. With slight variations depending on if the champion has other forms or states.

Ks (verb): Kill stealing is the act of maliciously taking the final hit and kill credit from a teammate who had done the majority of the work taking down an enemy.

Lane (noun): The direct objective paths leading from one base to the other, featuring turret defenses. According to the meta Top lane is for fighters, Mid lane for mages, and Bot lane for adc and support.

Lane bully (noun): A champion whose kit includes several pokes or ccs which can be used to annoy their enemy or otherwise disrupt their ability to efficiently farm during the laning phase.

Laning phase (noun): The early to mid game period of the match during which players focus on experience gain and farming.

Late game (noun): The final phases of the match when players have reached their full builds and combat strength and their ability to scale or grow in power is negligible.

Mage (noun): A class of champion who focuses on high burst damage through the use of abilities. Their damage scales off of AP.

Mana (noun): Mana, and energy, represent resources that are used to perform abilities. Mana typically regenerates at a fixed rate over time or through side effects of other abilities, where as energy is often generated through being incombat or using abilities.

Melee (noun): A small attack radius / range categorized as close quarters combat.

Meta (noun): The accepted structure of the game that is enforced by the community itself; the roles, champions, builds, and playstyles that represent the optimal way to play the game successfully.

Mid game (noun): The transitional phase of the match where players have enough combat strength to sustain prolonged fights and, when teamfights and the taking of objectives starts to become the focus of gameplay.

Minion (noun): AI allied units which are spawned from the nexus and inhibitors. They march from one base to the other attacking all enemy units and structures in their path.

MOBA (noun): Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, the genre of game which League of Legends falls into.

Monster (noun): Neutral AI units within the jungle spawned from camps. They remain passive until attacked. Some apply a buff after being killed.

Nexus (noun): The core objective within an enemy’s base, when one is destroyed the match ends.

Off-tank (noun): An off-tank is any player that has the capacity to serve as a tank when there is already an established tank champion within the team. I.e. Dr. Mundo in top lane is the team’s tank, but if he is not present for a teamfight Nunu the jungler or Leona the support can serve as an Off-tank.

Pealing (verb): The act of using a cc ability to pull an enemy off of a teammate in order to protect them.

Pet (noun): An allied unit that may be spawned by a champion in order to aid them in combat. Some may be controlled by the player while others are autonomous.

Poke (verb): An attack whose goal is to whittle down an enemy over time and / or provoke the enemy. Typically a ranged attack.

Ranged (noun):  A large attack radius / range categorized as  distanced combat.

Recall (verb): To return to base to restore hp and mana or to buy an item, also stated simply as “back” or “b” since it is the hotkey to recall.

Resistances (noun): A defensive value that determines how much of a type of damage AP or Ad is negated before hitting the player.

Respawn (verb): The process of returning to active play after dying.

Rotate (verb): To switch lane opponents in order to compensate for hard counters.

Rush (verb): The act of skipping past the natural progression of an item build to obtain an expensive item due to its conditional advantage in a specific match. I.e. Ashe rushed B.F. Sword due to her early advantage to maintain her lane dominance.

Skill shot (noun): An ability which requires manually targeting an enemy and leading them in order to land an ability.

Spawn (verb): To emerge from a set point, or spawn point. Typically referring to the locations where AI units such as jungle monsters will appear and when.

Squishy (adjective): A unit which is highly susceptible to damage, or has relatively low resistances and or hp. See Glass cannon and ADC.

Support (noun): A class of champion that focuses on assisting their teammates with utility, map information, protecting squishy teammates, and controlling enemy movements with ccs.

Tank (noun): A class of champion who focuses on taking a lot of damage and surviving. Their kits include taunts, health regeneration, and initiates.

Taunt (noun): An ability that forces an enemy unit to attack the casting champion with auto attacks for a set duration of time.

Tower dive (verb): The calculated risk of taking direct hits from a Turret / Tower in order to kill an enemy.

True Damage (noun): A damage value that is not negated by resistances.

Turret / Tower (noun): A defensive base structure and objective used for protection in fights and to ward off minion waves.

Ult (noun): The ultimate ability that is unique to a champion granting them with an advantage through increased offensive, defensive, or utilitarian capabilities.



Andrew Mantilla is a ludologist and video game journalist for Play Professor.  You can check out more of his content on Facebook, and Instagram.

4 Comments Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s