League of Legends revolves around items. After you select your runes and summoner spells, your primary method of getting stronger is buying items at the shop. Located in the fountain of your base, the shop offers a wide selection of purchases that grant handy stat boosts, useful passive effects, or even game-changing abilities. Every player has 6 item slots and 1 trinket slot, and getting the right combination of items is a vital component of the League of Legends gameplay.
At the beginning of the match, every player gets 500 gold they can use to buy basic items for laning or jungling. As the game goes on, players earn more gold by last-hitting computer-controlled minions, killing enemy champions, and securing objectives, which opens up stronger itemization options. Since items directly affect champions’ stats and power levels, a team with more gold on its side will always have more tools to close out the game. And that’s a very useful thing to know if you’re betting on LoL esports matches.
Most purchases in League of Legends don’t exist in a vacuum and can be combined into other items. You can do that by buying the necessary components and paying a small fee to turn them into a stronger item at your shop. With that, LoL items can be divided into:
- Basic items. Don’t require any other items to be purchased.
- Advanced items. Include a basic item and a combination fee.
- Legendary items. Include at least one advanced item and a combination fee.
- Mythical items. Include at least one legendary item and a combination fee.
The lower you go down this list, the more powerful the items get. Of course, as long as you have the gold to pay for the components and the combination fee of a mythical item, nothing is stopping you from buying it right away, but since these items are expensive, it’s usually more convenient to buy them in parts. This approach allows you to get some much-needed stat boosts while working towards your desired purchase.
Trinkets and Consumables
Trinkets are a special type of items. For one, they occupy their own item slot that can’t be used for other purchases. As for their purpose, trinkets are minor items that can be acquired free of charge to help you place wards and control vision around the map.
Consumables also stand out from other items. For starters, most consumables can be stacked, meaning you can carry multiple copies of the same consumable in one item slot. You can also activate your consumable (for example, drink a Health Potion), which either completely removes it from your inventory or—in some cases—depletes its charges. In the latter scenario, the item will still remain in your inventory even if you completely run out of charges.
Item Passives and Actives
In addition to stat boosts, many League of Legends items have passives and actives. These are unique effects that can significantly alter your playstyle. As the name indicates, passives are always running without needing any player input. Think of these as permanent buffs to your champion. Notable passives include moment speed bonuses, protective auras, damage reduction, or even revival upon death.
Actives require players to click on the item icon or press a hotkey to unleash them on the battlefield. These are best compared to extra spells that players can add to their arsenal. Actives are usually more impactful than passives since they can grant you access to damage abilities, crowd control removals, or even short-term invulnerability.
Finally, both passives and actives can be unique. This means that even if you buy a copy of the item with a passive (or active) effect, you will still only be able to use it once. Due to this concept, buying item duplicates is usually a bad strategy, and most LoL players seek to build a combination of actives and passives that complement each other.
Professional players spend countless hours theory-crafting the best items for every champion. Each item presents new opportunities. Opportunities to increase your damage, boost your survivability, or otherwise gain an edge over your opponents. And considering the huge number of items in League of Legends, all players can arrive at a build that’s suitable for their playstyles.