Riot experimenting with items, meta champions, potential ‘pets’ in 2023 changes to League’s jungle position

Riot is making an effort to "lessen the barrier for entry" for prospective junglers.

Image via Riot Games

Riot Games has published a developer update detailing some of the early changes coming to the jungle role in League of Legends. Some iteration of these updates and alterations are expected to go live when the 2023 preseason patch drops later this year. 

One of the most important factors Riot addressed in today’s developer update was the discrepancy in the way the jungle position is played at the highest levels of competitive League in comparison to everyday solo queue games. Specifically, Riot is making it a priority to “lessen [the] barrier for entry” when it comes to game knowledge and strategies surrounding the jungle. Additionally, Riot addressed how the jungle meta is drastically different in pro play than it is on the ranked ladder. 

“Right now in League, it’s not realistic to expect a ton of different characters to be viable at the highest levels of play because a lot of them simply can’t optimize their clears enough to stand up with the rest,” Riot said in today’s dev update.  

With that in mind, Riot is experimenting with the way junglers communicate with their teammates, the way jungle items are built, as well as the way players path through the jungle. The developers even hinted at adding “aids” for jungle pathing in the future. Riot wants to make life easier for junglers, making the position more accessible for newer players who want to jump into the role, while still keeping the experience engaging for seasoned vets. 

“The goal here is absolutely not to ‘dumb down’ the jungle or remove the ability to show off your jungle knowledge, but to make sure that jungle is complex in the right places,” Riot said. 

The biggest change coming to the jungle is the introduction of “pets.” These pets will follow you around Summoner’s Rift and assist you in clearing camps and claiming neutral objectives. The more you do in the jungle, the stronger your pet becomes. Eventually, your pet will be strong enough to boost your champion’s strength. No official word on how these pets will change gameplay at the jungle position is set in stone just yet, but players can expect to find out more details about the jungle’s newest addition prior to the preseason. 

Riot also plans to address other parts of the jungle position’s core gameplay aspects, including the impact of the Scuttle Crab, the frequency of cross-map invades, and the necessity of the jungler in taking down epic monsters. 

While there aren’t many concrete gameplay changes put forward by the League team just yet, today’s update provided players with a strong amount of ideas that the devs have floated around. League’s preseason patches traditionally launch in November, so there’s still plenty of time for more information regarding the jungle changes to come out.