Our League of Legends Best Champions for Beginners guide outlines the strongest heroes for new players to pick in 2020.
League of Legends is home to hundreds of Champions, and it's a roster that's only growing faster as the years go by. When you've just started out, the game doesn't really recommend anyone in particular, so it can be a daunting experience trying to learn the basics if you're not clued in on whose easy to play.
Make no mistake, anyone can play any Champion, but some are home to more complex mechanics than others. By this, we mean that their abilities play off one another in unique ways, or require pinpoint precision and timing. Often, it's the assassins and spellcasters, but there are a handful of truly complex Champions in every role.
So, we're avoiding them! Instead, we're going to highlight a decent number of Champions from each role who will be easy to play, but definitely don't slack in utility or power. They're going to help you learn League of Legends, and hopefully win you some games too.
Under each recommendation, we've also provided some information on how they play, covered the most important abilities, and explained what you can learn about the game by playing each one. That should help you narrow your focus down even further.
Ashe - Marksman
Marksman champions are the ranged damage dealers of League of Legends. They usually hang around near the back of the pack, whittling down targets from a distance while being protected by a beefier frontline. Ashe is a simple hero with a straightforward skillset, and she uses her bow to ping arrows at foes from afar - and clear minions - with ease.
A weakness of Marksman champions, though, is that they are susceptible to being jumped on by melee attackers. Ashe is great at mitigating this threat though thanks to her Frost Shot, which can slow opponents and allow you to maintain your distance. This will give you some breathing room if it’s your first time playing in the role.
Ashe is also an excellent starter hero as she encourages you to think about vision from an early stage, courtesy of her Hawkshot ability. This allows you to scout anywhere on the map to see what your opponents are up to, or if they’re moving in to attack you – all extremely useful information so as to give your team better control over the match.
Here's a handy video guide that explains the basics of playing Ashe, and should help you get to grips with the champion:
Caitlyn - Marksman
Caitlyn is another excellent champion for beginners as she has one of the furthest attack ranges of any hero in the game, allowing you to play from further back and from more safety. Her abilities aren’t too complicated to get to grips with either, so you can focus on mastering your movement, positioning and gold farming from an early stage – all vital parts of playing a marksman successfully.
Again, you’ll have to watch for champions who are able to dive or quickly close the gap in order to get to you. As an escape mechanism though, you have 90 Caliber Net. This slows any targets hit and knocks Caitlyn back, so you can put even greater distance between yourself and your attacker. It’s even better if you can lead them into a Yordle Snap Trap and temporarily root them to the spot so you can land some free hits.
Her Headshot passive skill takes full advantage of both of these abilities, dealing bonus damage to anyone under their effects, while also doubling your attack range against those targets. It’s a fantastic bonus to help you play more comfortably during your first few games of League of Legends.
Noxro's Caitlyn guide is an excellent resource for anyone struggling to get to grips with the champion. Give it a watch if you need more help:
Annie - Mage
Mages are the burst damage dealers of League of Legends. Unlike Marksmen, their attack damage is weak, but made up for by some seriously lethal ability power. They thrive when focusing down weaker single targets quickly to give you an immediate advantage in fights.
If that playstyle appeals to you, then Annie is a champion you might want to try first. For starters, her abilities are all easy to understand: she has two direct damage spells, a protective shield and, er, a giant flaming bear that crushes her foes.
What Annie will also teach you as a newcomer to the game, though, is how to cycle your abilities as a Mage so you get the most efficiency out of them. This is all centred around Annie’s Pyromania passive, which makes her next offensive spell briefly stun the target after four prior spell casts. That means, for example, if you cast Disintegrate four times, her next offensive spell will be given an added stun.
Setting this up in advance can turn Annie from a mildly annoying fireball flinger to an immensely destructive force in fights. If you start an engagement with an ability that stuns your target, you and your allies can easily follow up with a barrage of attacks that will wipe them out in a flash – and that’s what being a Mage is all about.
Here's another of Noxro's excellent champion guides, this time focusing on Annie:
More great League of Legends guides:
Rammus - Tank
Being a Tank in League of Legends comes with a lot of responsibility: you’re often expected to be the one to initiate fights, then soak up the damage and distract opponents so your damage dealers can eliminate enemies without worry. For new players, Rammus makes that job a whole lot easier.
Not only does he have a vast health pool, a hefty amount of armour and some serious magic resistance to absorb attacks, but he also has abilities that can boost these defensive powers even further. Defensive Ball Curl does exactly this, while also dealing damage back to anyone who attacks him, making them think twice about picking a fight with you.
With Rammus, though, sometimes your opponents won’t even have a choice whether they want to hit you or not. Powerball allows you to accelerate towards enemies at speed with a satisfying thud and you can follow that up with a Frenzying Taunt to force them to attack you for a brief duration. As a Tank, this will teach you to pick out and isolate key targets for your teammates to focus down.
It was produced back in Season 7, but we think there's still plenty of basics to learn by watching this video guide:
Dr. Mundo - Tank
Play it right and Dr. Mundo can transform into a practically unkillable menace. He’s got one of the highest health regeneration rates in the game, and his kit is purpose built for being in the midst of the battle. He’s also pretty simple to play, and a perfect starting point for budding Tanks.
Dr. Mundo’s a beefy lad, but he’s also able to dish out a surprising amount of damage with his Infected Cleavers. It’s his Burning Agony which is his bread and butter, though. This drains his health to reduce the duration of disables and deal continual damage to nearby enemies. Simply being present in the fight is enough - god, we love Mundo.
It might sound risky, draining your health and all, but that’s where his Ultimate, Sadism, comes into its own. This sacrifices a portion of his health for increased Movement Speed and drastically increased Health Regeneration. By drastically, they really do mean drastically. It allows you to stay in the fight for a ridiculously long time, which gives you ample chance to pick out weak enemies, or protect your damage dealers from being picked off.
Here's Foxdrop's video on how to play Dr. Mundo in the Jungle:
Garen - Fighter
When not in the Jungle – a position we wouldn’t recommend for beginners – Fighters often find themselves alone in top lane for the early game in League of Legends. Playing solo against another player during those opening minutes is all about who can eke out the smallest advantages, gaining extra gold and experience while being careful not to push too far forwards and get killed as a result.
Garen is an excellent champion to choose to learn how to master this tense back-and-forth as a new player. Not only is he naturally quite tough, but he also has a set of skills that combine healing, escapes and wave clear. Combined these skills allow him to thrive alone in the top lane.
A major part of that survivability is his passive trait Perseverance, which allows him to regenerate a percentage of his health each second if he hasn’t been recently struck by an enemy attack or ability. This means if you and your adversary get into a little scrap, you can just hang back as Garen for a short while to quickly restore your health.
Meanwhile, your opponent may be forced to use a potion or retreat back to base if they feel they’re at risk. What does that mean for you? A much easier time earning experience and gathering gold to put you in the lead.
Here's an interesting video which explains how to play Garen in Season 9, and should be accessible even for new players:
Wukong - Fighter
If getting right into the thick of a battle is your sort of play style - but Garen doesn’t sound right for you - then another Fighter worth considering is Wukong. The Monkey King is certainly more tricksy to play than The Might of Demacia, but that means you can have some fun toying with opponents.
Engaging as a melee hero is a scary prospect for new players, but Wukong has a number of skills to help allay those fears. The first is Stone Skin, a passive ability that grants him more Armor and Magic Resist for each nearby enemy champion, which should give you more confidence to enter the fray.
The second, Decoy, turns you invisible for a brief moment and gives you an option to escape if things get too hairy. Be careful how you use this, though, because more experienced players will be able to suss out which direction you’re heading in, and better prepare for a follow-up attack. On the flip-side, you can also consider using it to set up an ambush on an unsuspecting target: activate it early and creep up on them with an ally to secure an easy kill.
Here's another of Noxro's excellent video guides, this time tackling Wukong!
Amumu - Jungler
Jungling can be a daunting prospect and a steep learning curve for new players, so it’s best to take a Champion with a simple but highly effective kit. With this in mind, Amumu provides everything you could want from a Jungler and has some fun abilities to use too.
Amumu’s Q tosses out a bandage which stuns targets and pulls him towards them. This is great for engaging on enemies when you’re going for a gank and allows you to follow up with other abilities too.
As a sad mummy, you want to play the part while dishing out damage to enemies in the process. Press W and Amumu will start crying, which means any nearby enemies unfortunate enough to step in his puddle of tears will lose a percentage of their max Health each second and have their Curses refreshed. Simply activate this ability before you jump into a fight and you’ll deal damage without breaking a sweat - well, you’ll be crying, but you know...
While Amumu’s E is a little forgettable, his Ultimate can be a game-changer. It’s a huge area of effect spell which damages enemies and renders them unable to attack or move. So, the combo: Press W, land your Q, and hit R in the middle of a team - or on a single target - and you’ll usually secure a kill or two.
Foxdrop's guide on how to play Amumu is a great watch for those new to the game:
Soraka - Support
Support champions provide the backbone of any League of Legends team. They may not be the ones dealing all the damage or leading the charge into battle, but they often keep the team together with an array of useful skills and items. Whether it’s stuns, shields, healing or more, their importance cannot be understated.
If you’re trying out the Support role for the first time then Soraka is a sensible choice as she has access to abilities that cover the range of the class’ effectiveness in a match.
At the most basic level she has Astral Infusion, which allows her to sacrifice a portion of her health in order to heal an ally. As you’re often paired with a squishy Marksman or Mage in the early stages, this can be very useful for keeping them in the fight.
You can also disrupt your opponent’s with two of Soraka’s other skills. The first, Starcall, drops a falling star on your opponent, healing you a small amount and also slowing them, which can allow your teammates to follow up with some extra damage.
The other, Equinox, silences enemies in an area, preventing them from using abilities. If they stay in that zone for too long they are left rooted to the spot too, helpless to avoid more incoming damage. See, Supports aren’t just about preventing their allies from dying!
Finally, we're highlighting a video about Soraka that goes into a little more depth about playing her in a live match environment:
Leona - Support
If you’re new to the Support role, Leona is a good place to start. She provides strong presence in lane, decent utility and isn’t too tricky to play. When it comes to playing her well, it’s all about choosing the right time to engage. At first this can be difficult, but it’ll teach you the basics of decision-making in League which will stand you in good stead for the future.
Leona’s Q infuses her next basic attack with bonus magic damage, and it also briefly stuns her target. This is great for delivering a quick stun on an opponent who has drawn too close, and it’s also a brilliant follow tool with your other abilities.
Her W provides an increase in defense stats, and when it ends it’ll unleash a small explosion which will deal Magic Damage and prolong the duration of the effect. While it’s not an incredible ability, it’s one worth activating whenever you’re in the heat of battle.
It’s Leona’s E which defines her. It effectively turns her sword into a hook which she throws out. If it lands on an enemy it’ll stun them briefly and Leona will travel into them. It’s at this point you follow it up with Q to stun them further, and potentially even your Ultimate ability for more stuns. Pick the right time to jump in, or catch an enemy off guard and it’s unlikely they’ll make it out alive.
Finally, Leona’s R allows her to call down a beam of solar energy which deals damage to enemies in the area. Those in the centre of the area are stunned, while those on the outside are slowed. It’s fantastic for dropping on enemies in the midst of a teamfight to prevent them from dealing damage, and it can be the perfect tool for a clutch escape.
Why not check out HuzzyGames' video on how to play Leona? It makes for a good watch and should give you a better idea of how to play her well: