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How to farm in League of Legends
A brief guide to farming in League of Legends.
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If you play League of Legends, then there is a very high chance that you have heard of the term “farming”. Put simply, farming is the act and skill of accumulating wealth, which is measured by the in-game currency - gold.
One vital component to success in LoL that is often overlooked amongst the chaos of team fighting and bloodshed, is the peaceful act of farming. Your “farm” is measured by the gold you generate from destroying minions in game, and each type of minion gives a different amount of gold.
Minions are units comprising the principal force sent by the Nexus. They spawn from their Nexus periodically and advance toward the enemy Nexus along a designated route, automatically engaging any enemy unit or structure they encounter. They are AI controlled and increase in strength as the game progresses.
(Image Credit: League of Legends)
The acquisition of gold in League is one of the most underrated aspects of the game, and I say this because, with a MOBA game like LoL, it is usually the natural instinct that overcomes players to engage in fighting as much as possible, before considering the importance of the passive side of farming.
In other words, when we play video games that involve various characters and heroes who have unique and powerful abilities, the first thing we want to do is test how strong that character is, fighting and striving to accumulate as many kills as possible. After all, getting kills in any game that involves some form of combat is undeniably the most satisfying feeling from that game.
But once you begin to ascend the ranked leaderboard and start to think consciously in your games, the good players will understand the importance of farming and prioritize clean minion killing over farming champions. With champions kills, whilst it is true that you get more gold, it is not always guaranteed that you will get the kill.
Farming minions is the most reliable and stable way to generate income and accumulate gold, which is ultimately the indirect way to win games. Having more gold gives you the flexibility and capacity to buy more items, which in turn allows for your designated champion to become stronger.
If you were to take a look at the pros, one thing you will notice is that they consistently have high CS (creep scores), or good farm. Pro players have already reached the balance of knowing when to farm and when to support their teammates/engage in fights and skirmishes.
Up until the most recent years of competitive League of Legends, the pro scene was hugely dominated by a culture of playing games in a slow and steady fashion, where teams would spend a large chunk of the early-mid game farming in lane, and keeping fights to a minimum.
This style of play was introduced and popularized by the Koreans, who were at the pinnacle of pro LoL for many years. These years included the tyrannous reign of the SKT dynasty, who terrorized Summoner’s Rift with Faker and Co’s methodical approach to the game.
This was up until the Chinese teams took over with their hyper aggressive playstyle, which included less time allocated to peace in lane and much more time spent on early aggression, skirmishes and clashes. They managed to successfully change the conventional way for the game to be played, all whilst maintaining good levels of farm.
So, why are pros so good at farming? Well, the easiest answer to the question is that they strive to get every single last hit possible, and often consistently do. In the mind of a pro player, every minion that is visible on their screen is a walking sack of free gold which they must capitalize on.
In order to do this, you must learn to last hit minions to the best of your ability, as you can inflict as much damage onto the minion as you want, but if you do not deal the killing blow to the minion, then you will now be awarded with the gold for that minion.
This is why the art of last hitting is so important and is a whole other skill on its own. Each champion has its own stats of base damage/auto attack damage and therefore, will influence the art of farming and last hitting differently. Usually, it is easier to farm with melee champions as they tend to have stronger basic attacks, but it is still important to learn how strong they are for each champion.
The best way to do this is to use the practice tool and solely focus on farming minions, or you could play normal games and practice there. Regardless, if you want to climb and you play in a carry lane, such as Top, Mid, or ADC, then you must learn how to last hit minions effectively.
Raking up a healthy CS during your games is integral to becoming a better player, and farming is a subconscious skill that the best of players have already mastered.