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Mar 5, 2015

Top 10 Tips for Climbing Ranked Ladder

Ever look at high level players and wonder how they got there? They started from the bottom and clawed their way up, just like the rest of us, through trial and error, grueling mental stress, and finely honed motor skills. But what are some soft skills that can help you climb?


League of Legends: The 5v5, action packed game with deep roots using a 1v1 chess ladder system (Elo). Since removed and replaced with a hidden "MMR" (matchmaking rating), the underlying concepts are the same:
  1. Win to gain MMR
  2. Lose and lose MMR
  3. Winning against better people gives you more MMR
  4. Losing against worse people reduces more MMR
So how do we maximize our winning and minimize our losing? Some of the tips you've likely heard below, while hopefully some of these tips will also help you on your way to conquering the ladder.

1. Never Take Winning Or Losing For Granted

In solo queue, no game is a definite win or a definite loss. 
Winning a single game will net you roughly the same as losing one game and winning two games
This means that no matter how bleak the odds, play it out. If it's really that bad, the enemy team will likely overrun your base soon enough.

2. Research Your Teammates

While researching the enemy team is of debatable usefulness, reaching your own team via a site like is absolutely vital to your climb. In order to maximize winning, allow your team to play at the maximum level. 

For example: You are a jungle and support main. Another person has a much higher support win rate and a sickeningly bad jungle win rate. Let that person support. Even if they do poorly, your team is still better off as a result, because that's as good as it gets.

Never expect your teammates to speak up.

3. Stick to Your Best Role

This might seem contradictory to the Tip #2, but it's actually very simple. If else nobody on your team specializes in your best role, play your best role. Oftentimes I see people say, well I'm pretty good at everything and I get bored...If your team was playing the best team in the world, who would you want to be? Be that role.

4. Ignore Losing Streaks

When you go on a losing spree, it's easy to say things like:

"I keep getting bad teammates"
"If I don't mid whoever else plays mid will feed"
"If I don't make plays nobody else will"
"Riot hates me"

Despite the fact that you may go on losing sprees from time to time, the key is to stick to your guns and play the game as you normally do. Don't feel forced to make plays or get demoralized. If you need to, take a break. Losing 10 games in a row doesn't mean you're definitely going to lose the 11th one. If you take that attitude into the game, bad things happen.

5. Pay Attention to Nerfs and Buffs

Riot guts champions from time to time. It's an inevitable part of the cycle of this game. Make sure you stay on top of things. If you want to follow along with the Solo Queue Tier List, it's an excellent start to seeing which champions are strong at the moment.

While you shouldn't always gravitate to the highest champions on the tier list, you'll want to take note if your favorite champion is quickly heading to the dumps, if you're continuously losing with them, then consider practicing up on a few new champions as well.

6. Nobody Is Immortal

This applies to both players themselves as well as fed champions on the team. Against players with seemingly impossible statistics, it's best to tread carefully, but don't be demoralized. Meanwhile, a fed enemy champion can still be slain 5v1 with turrets or if all else fails, the fountain.

If you happen to be "The Immortal" on the other hand, make sure you still fight with your team. If you travel alone, your team doesn't get assists or experience, even if you manage to take down 3 before they get you. Meanwhile, the enemy team gets your killing spree gold, a last whisper, a void staff, and suddenly you find yourself feeling awfully vulnerable.

This doesn't mean that the right split push for an objective can't win games, but never die for free.

7. Take Note of Player Arguments In Chat

If two players are fighting with each other in the champion selection lobby, it might not be grounds for dodging right away. However, if someone else dodges, I recommend not rejoining that queue for a few minutes until they enter champion select. To quickly tell, you can use, Once it says "That player is still selecting a champion", you'll know it's safe to jump back into queue.

8. Don't Let Team Compositions Get You Down

Despite popular belief, most people are playing to win. This means that even if your team composition looks like utter garbage compared to the enemy team, don't dodge just yet. The enemy team may simply get complacent.

Also, especially at lower Elos, players who are willing to play with complete trash team comps without complaining usually have the ability to carry themselves regardless, which is why they don't care. If you have 4 super troll champions on your team, who knows...maybe it's 4 challenger smurfs. 

Stick around and find out.

9. Upgrade Your Trinket at Level 9

Sneaky right? See how this is tip #9? Totally did that on purpose. Anyway, UPGRADE YOUR TRINKET AT LEVEL 9 PLEASE. The fact that Riot has reduced it to 250 gold makes it basically FREE. It's also super overpowered compared to anything else you could possibly get, so please. Take your free gift.

10. Use Smart Pings

Surprisingly, I found this really strange since I normally don't play on my smurf too often nowadays, but people at lower divisions don't seem to ping correctly. First of all, yes, there's a MIA ping. But if you know which direction enemies are coming from and traveling, ping 3 times in a line from the direction they're coming from through the path they're taking.

If they're moving rapidly, ping in a longer line, if they're moving slowly, ping a slightly shorter line.

It's much more obvious and allows your teammates to understand what's coming from where, and react accordingly. Pinging the same spot over and over doesn't really help and often makes people get bullied in lane.

On a similar note, if you push your lane and there's nothing else to do, feel free to step into the fog of war just to mess with their heads.

11. Have Fun

You thought #10 was going to be the big concluding tip that wrapped it all up, but surprise it's #11. This game is meant to have fun. Ranked certainly gets stressful, and you want to take the game seriously, but if you're getting too worked up after the game about something that's already done and over, you're going to burn out very quickly.

Keep calm and carry on!

Got more tips for climbing? Comment below!

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  1. Thank you, I knew about half of those and about half of those were new to me/needed refreshing memory. Good post.... the struggle is real.... elo climbing

  2. Pedro SoaresMarch 05, 2015

    Nice post. I think you could complement it with some sort of step by step plan like thinking on the champions, build to follow. For instance of you would lose all champions you have on your account, and you could retain at least lvl 30 and 6300 IP, what would you do? :)

  3. Pedro SoaresMarch 05, 2015

    And tell me something, how can I find my best role. Tbh I play ranked since season 3, but only a regular on 4. I didn't really played much top or mid. I would say I played more ADC than anything else, Jungle as second, and support even if I feel that I can't do much from there.

    How would you say I could find my best role? :-)

  4. CanadianBurnsMarch 05, 2015

    Fantastic article! I'm adding this one to the list of insightful and useful posts that I go through with the League of Legends team I coach!

  5. MasterOfMetalMarch 05, 2015

    take the one you enjoy most and get good at it, i personally could never find my "main" role but i did discover that i like mages with good poke or burst, so i usually just bring my magic to whatever lane calls, i don't think you can just find your best role i think you have to make a role your best

  6. MasterOfMetalMarch 05, 2015

    took ryze top right after his nerfs last season..... i learned number 5 the hard way

  7. You can effect the game greatly from any position. for example sapport, supporting. You can help your adc win the bot lane and rek the enemies

  8. Aaron K SmithMarch 05, 2015

    Sigh as they say you learn more when you lose than when you win, just gotta take it with a grain of salt and game on. Mildly dissapointing i know but it will keep you from raging hard. Keep a cool head and make better decisions.

  9. MrRogersRiftMarch 05, 2015

    12. Expect to win every game you play and go in with a positive attitude. 13. Place more value on what you learn from the game than the result.

  10. With every mistake you make you should learn from it. Why did i die and how can i avoid it. Take that into your next game. Also download a replay system. Someone like trick2g ccould be good to watch because he explains that you can even with'scrubs' on your team. You need to carry. If you lose its not your teammates fault. Look at what you could have done better

  11. Buy the 450ip champs, they are easy to master and are devastating at lower elo's. Annie, master yi for example

  12. BoltOfSpadesMarch 05, 2015

    I need motivation to actually get back into playing ranked.

  13. Steve MaddenMarch 05, 2015

    Nice Post, keep up the good work :)

  14. Jim PaponettiMarch 05, 2015

    Pray to Elo Gods

  15. ScarfedGaryBuseyMarch 05, 2015

    12. Unless you are a major top lane main, dont play it until you AT LEAST reach platinum. Top has always been a hard role to carry on due to the isolation it has from other lanes and being unable to affect it as much ahead as literally any other role, yes even support. People will not take into consideration that you are taking tport and will almost always not be able to set yourself up to get into prime spots to flank with it. Don't play tanks either if you are a top lane main in low elo, killing the enemy is how you win games, not eating their damage and expecting your team to capitalize on the fact 50% of their spells are being used onto you, going damage you can pressure their jungle, roam easier since you have damage to clear waves more often, prime yourself for even more kills, and have greater zoning otherwise. I followed these rules until I made it to plat, and after that I made it to diamond in about 1 month. NEVER EVER think you're in elo hell it never exists and is an excuse you're using to defend your play which always has something to improve on. Best of luck out there in climbing the league ladder.

  16. Sir JigglypuffMarch 05, 2015

    Last season i started in silver 1. I had a bad spree of 12 consecutives defeated games (s1 promo to s3). Then i went directly to plat. But i had to stop playing rankeds 2 weeks.

  17. Allexander Zawisza-PalikotMarch 05, 2015

    best tip: find booster

  18. I tried the pinging thing in my last game. I don't think that language is universal lol.

  19. Philippe MazzoneMarch 05, 2015

    I try to ping like this always

    But i think people just dont think it makes sense

    i remember a game against a LB in mid.. i had a bad time in lane, not feeding, and she was roaming a lot, to try to get what LBs want: kills.

    I ping MIA, then ping caution in a line to bot... they just didnt care, kept advanced in lane and, yes, double kill for LB... this happened 3 more times in this same game

  20. But doesn't dodging count as a loss anyways?

  21. Romao SabandarMarch 06, 2015

    I think another very important point is to build accordingly what your team lacks or depending on your (lane) opponent.

    More then often I see players following the LoLKing/Mobafire builds.


    A Riven vs. Darius. Darius should just build tanky imo if the lane goes even. Eventually you will scale much better and be a better front line for your team and make Riven useless.

    Same for Ahri vs. Zed I too often see the Ahri rush the Morello instead óf the Seeker.

    Or that a Maokai (vs. Lissandra) is rushing RoA while you're also playing a Kalista/Vayne + Master Yi. Imo you should rush armor > MR.

    But that's me :)

  22. Don't play after u lost 2-3 games, u'll be frustrated and u'll lose focus(Google being on tilt)

  23. ownagemobileMarch 06, 2015

    In a promo game it's a loss, but dodging is a -5 lp the first dodge and no MMR loss and 5 minute queue penalty.

    No MMR loss is important because this determines how fast you'll climb... For example your in bronze but you have 1600-1800 MMR because you dodge like every promo (hypothetical so bear with me). The system tries to make your rank match your MMR, so if you're bronze but have gold or diamond MMR you will gain almost 3x lp for wins as losses... Like maybe 30 lp per win and -10 per loss, and probably skip multiple divisions when you win promos until you get close to the MMR the system has you at

  24. ooXDmacXooMarch 06, 2015

    Dodging promos does not count as a loss FYI

  25. In my region server, a dodge will cost the player -3LP, and 5 minute queue. Consecutive dodges will have penalty queue time 20 mins or so.
    And if you are in a promo series, it will count as a loss.

  26. Nice tip, 100% agree.

  27. Tip: #12/ Objectives importance (beside Nexus):
    Inhibitor > Baron > Inner Turrets > Mid outer turret > Dragon > top/bot outer turrets > 1 kill

    Tip: #13/ When playing to win, playing safe yourself and put survival above "learning" or "fun". Your ally stuck 1v3? Don't attempt being the ass-saving hero unless you are 100% sure you'll survive that situation. Better take turret/drag or just some CS meanwhile...

  28. Learn how to play either urgot or poppy. Escape lower brackets because *I didn't even know that champion exists*.

  29. Another potential #12:

    If you say Hi to your team and you'Re greeted by two really unbearable people (like racists, people who immediately start off with *no, you're not on that position, I'll take that you fuck*, people that threaten to report you before you even said *hi*), dodge immediately. There are people no one wants to play with and dodging is ideal to avoid them.

  30. i really cant stress the tip #9 enough, please for the sake of the elo gods, just buy the damn ward upgrade. Our team will thank you forever

  31. Im really in a lose streak of 16 games... I guess it was 50/50 chance to win but I was wrong. I Achieved gold rank last season and in this one I got silver 3, droping to silver 4 soon. Thanks your guide is worthless to me, I follow every single rule but people don't care on winning or make objetives they keep blaming eachother.

  32. why is it that when i play im the only one upgrading the trinket, for get level 9 people never upgrade it?(im a support main)

  33. Same here, im jungle main and i barely see someone upgrading the trinket ward.. I'm playing in LAN btw.

  34. bzparkes .March 12, 2015

    Then the problem lies with you and not your team.

  35. bzparkes .March 12, 2015

    I main top and I agree with this. Was just shy of plat last season and the amount of people that take top over me without knowing how to play it can be frustrating sometimes. Fortunately I get top more often than not.

  36. bzparkes .March 12, 2015

    Some of those champs are devestating at higher elos too.

  37. this is most important part

  38. İ really like this tips i do most of them anyway

    btw i main adc on eune if anyone want to do add me ign aliselay

  39. It's a new update recently (450G -> 250G) and people are still not used to it (at least it is to me).
    But is a nice price now and when I remember it at lv9 or 10 I often upgrade the trinket .

  40. It's usually what people call ELO hell, when some of the team does not utilize the advantages and "throw the game".
    I would suggest that the team communicates more in chat and ping (not blame, though); but in reality people may defend themselves or ignore teammates - Unless the caller are carrying the game, with a nice attitude.

    So in such cases, if the person who makes the call is playing very well (like best KDA in team), and have a short explanation when pinging, the team may understand what's best for the team and win the game (sometimes it's a comeback, very satisfactory then).

  41. disqus_KSUaFULId6March 27, 2015

    Number 8 I wouldn't recommend... Like you stated everyone is playing to win. So the team with a great comp is obviously going to be at an advantage...

  42. Also if the team comps are extremely lopsided or there is an obvious troll I would just recommend dodging... It's better to lose 3lp vs 14-20lp if you've dodged already that day then just stick it through as best as possible.

  43. Bruce HarperMarch 31, 2015

    I'm really glad I found this website. I just got free riot points from here:

    You should check it out too, while it lasts!

  44. UndercoverMay 07, 2015

    You're crazy the Un-Normal broke the normal things, like the normal games..

  45. MarbleWolf GamingMay 17, 2015

    Excuse me, but if my statistics are correct, it is always a 50/50 chance to win. If you aren't winning, try a different role. Sometimes, the most surprising roles can be the best for you. I mained ADC mostly as Ashe and Sivir, and every once in a while I would have a good game where I carried the team. I thought I was the best at ADC. Then I looked at and realized that usually, it was the support that got me fed in those "great" games where I "Rekt". Every game where I was with less skilled players I couldn't do well. So, Sejuani was free one week, and I thought, hey, why not try a new role. Our team destroyed and I bought Sejuani. My win rate has gone from 45% to 65% maining Sejuani, Amumu, Lee Sin, and Cho'gath Jungle.


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