Abilities are the unique champion and summoner skills that can be applied in game. Every champion has four active abilities and the player may choose two more summoner abilities to use before each game for a total of six different abilities per player to be used in each game.
Every champion has five unique abilities. Four of these abilities can be purchased using ability points, and the fifth is a passive ability that the champion begins the session with. One ability point is granted to every champion at the start of a game, and another point is earned by each champion every time they level up. A champion can level up individual abilities by spending subsequent ability points in those abilities which they have already learned.
Some abilities can also be improved by increasing a champion’s ability power or cooldown reduction.
Normal Ability: Normal abilities are the three abilities that appear furthest to the left side of the player’s UI and which are set to the hotkeys Q, W, and E. Normal abilities are available to be learned at level one and have five possible levels of power. A normal ability’s level cannot exceed one half of the champion’s level rounded up. In other words, a level 5 Champion can have, at most, a normal ability with a level of 3.
Ultimate Ability: The fourth champion ability placed to the right of the other three with the default hotkey R is considered an ultimate ability. These abilities cannot be learned until champion level 6 and cannot be increased in level until champion levels 11 and 16. These abilities are generally more powerful than the other three normal abilities and often have increased cost and cooldown to match.
Summoner spells are chosen in Champion Select before the start of the game. Each player is allowed two summoner spells chosen from a list of spells determined by the player’s summoner level. These summoner spells can be used in game to aid the player’s champion in various ways. Unlike champion abilities, summoner spells do not level up and do not change throughout the course of the game; once the game starts, summoner spells are locked. They also do not have any cost.
Abilities have certain attributes that determine how they are used in game. These attributes include range, area, cost, cooldown, and effect.
Range: The range of a specific ability determines how far away a target can be and still take the effect of the ability. This range can often be seen by placing the mouse over the ability; a range indicator will appear on screen showing the possible cast range.
Area: Some abilities can affect more than one unit at the same time. There are various ways in which this can take place, but many abilities have an area of effect indicator that can be placed at a location to show the area the ability will affect. One type of area of effect is a circle. Circular areas of effect are often used for abilities that can be cast at a range. Cone shaped area of effects, on the other hand, are often used for Abilities that are cast from the position of the champion casting the ability. There are various other forms of multi-target spells.
Cost: Most abilities, but not all, have a specific cost associated with them. Some abilities cost mana, others cost health, and others have some champion specific cost. In order for an ability to be used, the champion must pay the ability's cost. If a champion does not have a sufficient amount of the required unit of cost, the spell cannot be cast. Summoner spells generally have no cost.
Cooldown: Abilities can only be used a certain number of times in a given time frame, they have a cooldown, or a period for which the ability is unavailable for cast. Some abilities have very short cooldowns, under a second even, and can be used very often. Other abilities have much longer cooldowns and can only be used once every few minutes.
Abilities can have a wide range of differing effects on their targets, these are detailed below.
Effects are the results of various abilities, buffs, spells, and items in the game. They refer to alterations to the basic state of units. There are many different types of effects in the game and understanding them is an essential part of playing League of Legends.
- Armor: Armor is generally a statistic in the game which mitigates the physical damage that a unit receives. Some abilities, items, and monster buffs have effects which increase or decrease a unit’s armor.
- Attack Speed: Attack speed is generally a statistic in the game which increases the rate at which a unit attacks. Some abilities and items have effects which increase or decrease a unit’s attack speed.
- Damage: Damage is generally a statistic in the game which determines how many hit points a unit deducts from its target when attacking. Some abilities have effects which deal damage to units directly, while some abilities, items, and buffs have effects which increase or decrease the amount of damage a unit inflicts.
- Fear: Fear effects cause their target to lose control and move randomly for the duration of the effect.
- Gold: Champions accumulate gold continuously over the course of the game and in lumps by killing units. Some items, abilities, and masteries have effects which cause Champions to gain gold more quickly.
- Grab: Grab effects will pull a unit in the direction of the unit instigating the Grab effect.
- Heal: Heal effects cause a unit to regenerate hit points. Some heal effects regenerate this health immediately, while others (heal over times) regenerate the health incrementally over a set duration. Some items also have effects which mitigate the amount that a heal ability benefits the units it affects.
- Invulnerability: Invulnerability effects protect units from all incoming damage. They do not protect units from other effects.
- Knockback: Knockback effects will propel a unit in the opposite direction as the source of the knockback effect.
- Lifesteal: Lifesteal is an effect which causes a Champion with the ability to heal a percentage of the damage that he inflicts on enemies.
- Regenerate: Regenerate is an effect which causes a unit to replenish health and/or mana at an accelerated rate.
- Resurrect: Resurrect is an effect which causes a dead Champion to come back to life either without or prior to the completion of a death timer.
- Silence: Silence is an effect which prohibits units from using abilities or spells.
- Slow: Slow is an effect which reduces a unit’s movement speed.
- Stealth: Stealth is an effect which conceals a unit from enemy units unless they have the ability to see stealthed units.
- Stun: Stun is an effect which causes a unit to be unable to move or use any abilities or spells for a brief duration. It will also cancel many spells and abilities if they are in the process of being cast.