League of Legends guide to minions

They're a major resource in the game.

Jungler
Image via Riot Games

League of Legends is a complex game, and there are a lot of things to learn and master if you aim to become a professional player or just simply climb the ladder in solo queue. Managing and farming minions are major factors.

Minions are units that spawn for both teams in the game. They are sent periodically from their Nexus and spawn every 30 seconds. Every minion grants gold and experience to a champion that kills them (or is nearby in terms of experience). Therefore, minions are one of the main ways of collecting gold to buy items and level up. 

Luckily,  minions don’t have any special abilities, so they can’t hurt you much, except in the early game. During the laning phase, if an enemy stacks up a wave of minions, their damage could end up taking you down.

Minions begin spawning at 1:05 and will do so for the remainder of the game every 30 seconds.

All in all, minions are a pivotal part of League. Learning how they behave, how to last hit them, and how to play with them around the map is one of the first steps to understanding League’s macro. Here, we’re going to take you step-by-step through everything minion-related in the game. 

What are the different types of minions in League of Legends?

There are four types of minions in League—melee, caster, siege, and super minions. The first two types will spawn every wave, three each. They are the least dangerous minions, but they can still deal a considerable amount of damage when stacked. They are, however, easy to clear, and doing so just gets simpler with every minute of the game. Killing as many of them as possible is key since melee minions give you 21 gold, and caster minions grant you 14 gold. 

Siege Minions are a bit more complex. It has much higher damage than the melee and caster minions and doesn’t spawn as often. One siege minion spawns every three waves for the first 15 minutes. After that, until the 25-minute-mark, a siege minion will spawn every two waves. One will then spawn with every wave.

Siege minions are perfect at accelerating your push toward the enemy. You should also always try to take them down since each one is worth from 60 to 90 gold, which depends on the minute of the game. 

The last type of minion is super minions. They spawn only when you’ve taken down a certain enemy inhibitor. If you destroyed the one in the middle, super minions will spawn in your mid lane, and so on. They’re seen through the fog of war, deal much more damage than any other minion, and are much harder to kill since they can have up to 11,500 health. At the same time, they don’t gift you much more gold, since they also are worth 90 gold each. 

Still, once the enemy starts spawning super minions in a lane, you must give them attention. With the eye-watering damage they deal and the amount of health they have, they can’t be taken down by your own minions in most cases. And, once they get to the base, they will quickly tear down your structures.

Why are minions so valuable in League of Legends

Controlling minion waves and making decisions around them is important to perfect your strategy in League of Legends.

Minions are your main source of gold and experience, which are critical for you to buy items, level up, and grow throughout the game. Without these tools, you won’t do much on the battlefield.

Minions are also tremendous in forcing the enemy team to respond, especially when you have super minions. For example, if an opponent or two are heading to the bot lane to deal with a minion wave, it opens up the opportunity to quickly grab Baron Nashor or another objective on the other side of the map. In the end, you can either force it or go for an advantageous fight due to some players of the enemy team being busy clearing minions. 

Additionally, minions are key in pushing lanes on your own as well due to two crucial reasons. First of all, they take the turret aggro, unless you damage an enemy champion under the tower’s range. So they eat all the tower shots, allowing you to freely tear down enemy turrets, which is extra resourceful in the first 14 minutes of the game when you can farm tower plates, earning additional gold. 

If there is at least one of your minions nearby, turrets take higher damage, which is key in the late-game stages of the matches. Even if you’re a high level, have a tank in your team and a Baron Nashor buff, it’s still worth approaching opponents’ turrets with a minion wave.

And since we’ve mentioned Baron Nashor, you must know that minions also deal higher damage if an allied champion stationed nearby has the Baron buff on. Therefore, minions are important in speeding up your pushes around the map once you eliminate the epic monster. 

There are also some champions that directly benefit from minions killed near them, by collecting their souls, for example. For champions like Senna or Thresh, picking up stacks from dead minions is extremely important, and if you’re not around to grab stacks left by dead minions when playing champs like that, you will quickly fall behind.

A lot of new players think that it’s much more valuable to focus on killing enemy champions rather than minions. And while on paper that is true, since you gain 300 gold for eliminating enemies without a bounty (which rises as the enemies pick up more kills), beginners often focus on it too much and lose gold on minions.

Assuming you’re at the beginning of your game, in your first three waves you’ll face nine melee and caster minions each, and one siege minion. When you add up the gold they grant, you will receive 375 gold, much more than from killing a champion. Properly farming minions is just as valuable as eliminating opponents and it’s one of the main pillars of the game. If you don’t want to take our word for it, just watch one of the professional leagues and look at how much pros focus on not missing a single minion.