The Summoner’s Rift is the main battlefield in League of Legends. It has three lanes, neutral monsters, and turrets to halt the opposite team’s progress. The rule of the arena is simple: destroy the enemy’s defensive structure until you reach the enemy’s Nexus.
You can use anything within the arena that can serve your objective. This includes capturing the Rift Herald, hiding in the brushes, using the jungle’s layout to your advantage, and clearing camps to earn gold. Most of them change with every patch but the core concept remains. Here is everything you need to know about the Summoner’s Rift.
The core elements of the game serve the identity of League of Legends as a competitive multiplayer. It includes the three lanes that connect the two bases as well as the structures that inhibit them. The jungle camps are also part of the game’s identity but they can be overhauled into something unrecognizable unlike the following elements:
The three lanes of the Summoner’s Rift are what distinguishes the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) genre. Each one is known for their position such as top, middle, and bottom lanes respectively. The top lane is also known as the ‘Baron Lane’ because it is closest to Baron Nashor’s camp while the bottom lane is the ‘Dragon Lane’ because it’s close to the dragons’ camp.
The structures in the game consist of turrets, inhibitors, and the Nexus. All of these structures make up the layers of defences for both bases. The inner layers consist of the Nexus and two tier-1 turrets. Inhibitors are placed near the three entrances of both bases and each one is guarded by a tier-2 turret.
The weakest layer of defence is the outer towers which are close to the centre of the three lanes between the two bases. There is another layer of defence between this and the turrets that guards the inhibitors. Each turret is just as strong as the others within the same layer but each layer that is farther from the Nexus is subsequently weaker.
The goal is to destroy the opponent’s Nexus but the only way to get there is to destroy every structure that blocks each lane. Even if the outer layer is the weakest structure, its damage becomes increasingly stronger with every hit against a champion. This makes it impossible for any champion to take one down alone so everyone has to rely on the minions.
Minions are the non-player soldiers that march into battle and fight the first enemy that they meet on the lane. They spawn every 30 seconds with new sets of different minion classes. Melee and caster minions are present in every wave. The former has a higher defence but lower offense while the latter has the opposite status.
Siege minions will appear every other wave. These are the most effective minions to tear down turrets for a while and they will begin to spawn in pairs after the first 25 minutes of the game. Siege minions are replaced by super minions which appear once the enemy inhibitor is destroyed. They are very effective at tearing down the inner turrets but they are high priority targets so they are often the first to fall once they are within enemy firing range.
The jungle consists of monsters that won’t fight unless provoked. They are a jungler’s main source of income until the match is near its conclusion. Until then, its camps have to fear several roaming champions who are trying to make their way to the other lanes.
The jungle has had a lot of changes over the years. It contains several constants such as the placements of the camps but its denizens are often reworked in major updates. The most consistent out of all of them are the red and blue camps that junglers often contest for.
Blue and red camps refer to the monsters that give its slayer a temporary boon. The blue buff gives faster mana and health regeneration while the red buff inflicts additional True Damage to the wielder’s target. Their positions are permanent in the map and moving them will only confuse long-time players.
Although they are not subject to changes themselves, they are affected by whatever happens in the game. The most notable of which are the reshaping landscape where its walls vanish as the match reaches a certain time limit
The Baron Nashor and dragon are neutral monsters that players can defeat to grant a boon for their allies. Defeating the Baron Nashor grants the slayer and their allies the Hand of Baron buff. Allied minions near the carrier of this boon gain movement speed and resistance to slow effects. The speed boost grows stronger with each allied champion present so the team can push the lane faster.
The Baron Nashor only appears in the 20-minute mark of the game. Until then, its nest is inhabited by the Rift Herald, a giant beetle-like creature from the void. Defeating it makes it a captured creature that the slayer can unleash on any of the three lanes. It will ram the nearest turret and harm all champions and minions on the way. It will prioritize the turret in range but it will fight enemy minions first if it can’t reach the next structure.
The dragon’s camp changes inhabitants randomly but they start with drakes in the first few minutes of the game. Unlike the Baron Nashor and blue/red monsters, the dragons are subject to major revisions over time.
The latest change is the inclusion of the Hextech and Chemtech dragons which are inspired by Piltover and Zaun respectively. Besides the two new dragons, the camp can be inhabited by one of the four elemental drakes or elemental elder dragons. The buff that a team can gain from slaying them depends on the element of the dragon.
Unlike the other maps of League of Legends, the Summoner’s Rift does not appear in Runeterra nor does it have any implications in the world’s story. Its concept was that it is an arena built by mages known as ‘Summoners’ who call upon the greatest warriors of Runeterra to settle their war in a game. This story has been scrapped and the Summoner’s Rift only serves as a non-canon arena for the League of Legends.