Skins in League of Legends are aesthetic customizations to champions that offer non-existent gameplay benefits. Truly only there for the visual impact, it’s understandable to be skeptical when shelling around $15 for a Legendary skin that doesn’t even make you a better player. However, that’s not the reason why skins exist.
Reason 1: Making your Favorite Champion Pretty
Skins are really only in the game to make the game a bit more beautiful. However, to many players who absolutely love a specific champion, skins are a way to make your favorite champion prettier than everyone else in the game.
Skins make your champion sparkle more when you execute their basic combos, and they also leave an impression on your enemies after you kill them. If you die, as they say, at least you died looking dashing and fine. Clocking in many hours using only the same champion can be quite a bore, and skins add a bit of spice to those games.
Perhaps you love that specific splash art of Crystal Rose Swain where he looks so gentlemanly in that white suit. Or the sight of a half-naked Pool Party Sett and the ever-sultry Spirit Blossom Ahri makes you feel… things.
Maybe you absolutely adore the extra anime-like addition on the upper corner of the screen when Battle Academia Caitlyn casts her Ultimate, or the dark blanket of Dark Cosmic Jhin’s Curtain Call covering a teamfight just gives you that almost celestial power over everyone else.
Simply speaking, for many players, the reason for buying skins is that they simply look cool. If you love the game and/or the champion that much, sometimes that reason is enough to make skins worth it.
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Reason 2: Reconceptualization of Champions
Champions in League of Legends are individual characters in the world of Runeterra, with stories written about them and interacting with other characters as if they are part of one big narrative. If you are a big lore junkie, then you might be very invested in the role each character plays in the story of Runeterra and how their looks and playstyle reflect it.
However, some skins, especially skin lines, reimagine champions into something different. Whether it be part of a specific timeline in canon lore or an alternate universe, skins provide more than just visual impact but also bits of stories that you might enjoy.
Some skin lines like the Ruined and Sentinels of Light skinline are part of canon lore, indicating plot progression in the story of Runeterra. Then there’s also the K/DA alternate universe, which is completely separate from the original lore and reimagines what if League of Legends champions debuted as pop idols. Things like the Cats versus Dogs skinline also just straight up exist to be pure fun for the players.
Skins like these make your champion feel alive. They are characters with personalities and traits that stay constant even if you throw them into a different universe.
Reason 3: Better Quality of Skins
Riot Games has been ramping up the quality of their skins lately, and they have come a long way. Before, their bland splash arts were decent at best. Even some of their early skins have been horrendous or traumatizing for players (looking at you, pre-update Lollipoppy).
Thankfully, Riot Games has been hard at work to improve their skins. Their recent Legendary skins actually look pretty cool, even if you don’t like the champion. The PROJECT skinline definitely feels like a dystopian futuristic skinline, with fancy cyborg effects on everyone. Even their 2021 April Fools’ Day skins, the Space Groove skins, look fantastic and capture the feel of funky space and cybernetic dogs and cats really well.
There will be more skins in the future, and no doubt they will be as good, if not better, than the current skins. These skins looking good in terms of special effects can be quite a good reason to buy them.
Are Skins Worth It?
So, the answer to the question: although it can be highly subjective, the general consensus is that skins are pretty much worth it. If you love the champion and the game, you will go to lengths for them to look cool and pretty, and skins do just that. The joy of seeing your character looking better than everyone else easily compensates for the monetary value of these skins.