How to be a good ADC in League of Legends

How to be a good ADC in League of Legends

League of Legends is the type of game where creating slight advantages allows you to snowball into a victory. The more skills and concepts you can master, the more likely you will consistently find yourself in winning positions. Whether through superior mechanical skills, an unsurmountable gold advantage, or clever macro play, ADCs can take a game into their own hands and carry their team into a win.  

Here are a few things you should work on if you want to be the best ADC you can be.


Although chasing kills in lane can be very tempting, you must remember that last-hitting minions will be your primary source of income throughout the game. To put this into perspective, getting the killing blow on 15 minions nets you around 300 gold, the same amount of gold as getting one kill.

The top players can consistently maintain an average of 10 CS per minute. Throughout a 30-minute game, that is the equivalent of dropping 20 kills and acquiring approximately 6000 gold. That’s enough to almost buy three complete items without even having to kill an opponent!

If you can farm better than your opponent, you’ll have the gold and experience necessary to level up and get your items quicker. This will give you a massive power advantage throughout the game that you can leverage into scoring important kills, securing objectives, and eventually winning the game.

One of the most efficient ways to master CSing is to launch a custom game and practice last-hitting waves using only your auto attacks. If you want to make it as hard as possible to get the best practice, you can use a ranged champion with low physical damage like Vladimir. Once you can perfectly collect waves, you’ll be well on your way toward maximizing gold income in your real games.

The true challenge will come from trying to CS perfectly under pressure from your lane opponents. With enough games under your belt, you’ll also be able to master this.


Kiting refers to the action of attacking while repositioning to keep your distance from the opponent, and it is essential if you want to become a proficient ADC player. In some of your games, you might have noticed that the enemy ADC can send out attacks while weaving in and out of your range before you can retaliate. Players that can do this have mastered the art of kiting.

Learning to properly kite will allow you to dish out your damage while staying on the move, significantly increasing your chances of dodging skill shots and winning any given encounter. You probably want to develop this skill further if you frequently get hit by abilities during duels.

There is no shortcut to learning how to kite. You will have to spend time memorizing by heart the animation times and range of your champion’s auto-attacks and abilities.

Something that makes kiting easier for a lot of players is binding a key to the Attack Move Click setting. This will grant you an additional button you can press that will auto-attack the nearest champion in the area you clicked. You’ll be able to move and auto-attack without accidentally canceling your attacks.


Let me paint you a few pictures.

You overstep a couple of pixels, and the enemy Leona is latching on to you, stunning you and enabling her Samira to delete you and send you back to base.

You walk into a bush to lay a ward down, and your screen goes gray before you even have time to process what happened.

You step forward to get one more auto-attack off and get blown up by a barrage of skillshots.

Does this sound familiar? If you’ve spent more than a few hours playing ADC, you have probably put yourself in situations like this due to poor positioning. As one of the squishiest roles in the game, ADCs are heavily punished for committing tiny mistakes in their play. Since you’re often the primary damage dealer of any team, it’s your responsibility to make sure you’re not leaving your teammates in a vulnerable position by getting picked off early in a fight.

Being able to position correctly at all times requires a large amount of game knowledge. The only way you can reliably know how far to stand from any given champion is to know the range and hitboxes of all their abilities, which requires you to be familiar with over 150 different kits just to know the minimum safe distance in a team fight.

Wave management

Learning when and how to shove, slow push, and freeze a wave is a potent tool to have in your arsenal. Mastering wave management will enable you to consistently put your opponents in disadvantageous positions where you get to determine how the lane plays out. Let’s briefly go over these concepts.

Shoving the wave means you and your support use as much firepower as possible to quickly get the wave under the enemy’s turret. This is usually done to acquire turret plating, give you a window to rotate to fight for neutral objectives, get a favorable recall for items, or grant your support an opportunity to make a play by roaming. It will also force your opponents to stay farming under their turret or lose out on all the gold and experience from the minions.

Slow pushing is slightly more complicated to pull off than other concepts here. The basic idea is that by strategically thinning out the wave, you can slowly build up a massive wave that will slowly make its way to the enemy’s turret. It’s a very effective tool that can help you coordinate a turret dive or pressure your opponent into staying under the turret.

Freezing allows you to make the wave stop in front of your turret just outside of its attack range. You can usually execute a freeze whenever your enemy’s wave is larger than yours, so it’s relatively common for opponents who don’t know about wave management to hand you a freezing opportunity without even realizing it. Not only does this make it very safe for you to farm, but it also forces the opponent to overextend and make themselves vulnerable to ganks. Having the wave frozen against you is one of the most disadvantageous positions you could find yourself in.

While this is just a brief overview of wave management, it should give you a general idea of how much pressure you can apply simply by knowing how to interact with minion waves. Check out our How to Slow Push and Freeze Lane guide in League of Legends to learn more.

Adapt your play according to the matchup

If you want to master the ADC role, you’re going to have to get used to adapting your playstyle depending on who your support is and the champions your enemies locked in.

You might love going all in at level 2 with a Pyke or Leona, but if you find yourself laning with a Yuumi, you might have to reconsider whether or not you’ll have the firepower to pull off a play like that. It might be better to be a bit more passive and wait for a gank from your jungler or make a play at level 6 with your ultimate abilities.

Similarly, the enemies’ picks might restrict how the lane plays out for you. For example, going against champions like Lulu or Karma makes it way harder to trade since they can constantly shield their ADC and ensure they come out on top for every trade. This would require you to play smarter to bait out their abilities and make windows of opportunity where you can deal damage without it being blocked.

There are hundreds of thousands of unique bot lane matchups, and every single one will play slightly differently. Recognizing what you’re up against is crucial for staying competitive in all of your games.

Expand your champion pool

A lot of players only enjoy playing one champ, and while that’s perfectly fine for the most part, you should recognize that the enemy team might ban or pick your champion before you. In situations like this, you want to ensure that you can still play someone else effectively and remain an asset to your team.

At the very least, you should be comfortable with three champions. One can be your main champion, another should be someone who does well against your main in case it gets picked by the enemy, and a third just in case neither of the previous options are available.

Following this should give you enough flexibility to perform no matter what comfortably.


While League of Legends is primarily a game where the more skilled player comes out on top, that doesn’t mean you can’t hedge the odds in your favor through an intelligent counter pick.

For instance, if you see that the enemy team has locked in Alistar and Samira, you should expect that they want to engage you hard and fast to burst you down. An excellent way to counter this would be to lock in Ezreal since he can farm from far away with Mystic Shot and use his Arcane Shift to blink away from danger. You still need to know how to play Ezreal if you want to pull this off, but your odds of surviving are way higher than you would have if you were playing a less mobile champion like Kog’Maw.

Item build

Many players fall into the habit of building the same items every game regardless of the enemy compositions. It would be best if you avoided this, as many items in the Shop can counter specific teams and playstyles.

For instance, if the enemy has a lot of tanky champions, you would want to build Lord Dominik’s Regards since that will give you Armor Penetration and up to 15% extra damage against enemies with higher health than you.

Or, if you keep dying to abilities that use Ability Power, you should consider investing in an item like Wit’s End or Maw of Malmortius. These grant you extra survivability through Magic Resistance while still providing bonuses to your Attack Damage.

There’s always a way in which you can adapt to the needs of any match.

Track enemy summoner spells

This one is relatively easy to implement and will help your team make more informed decisions. Tracking the enemy summoner spells requires you to open the scoreboard and click on the enemy spells to tell your team that the enemies have used them.

If you burn the enemy ADC’s Flash and ping that to your Jungler, they’ll know that a gank is more likely to succeed if they come to Bot lane, and they can even use their own Flash to secure the kill.

Information like this is invaluable for your success.

Recovering from losing lane

Just because you fell behind during the laning phase doesn’t mean you’re out of the game for good. Players tend to throw their advantage pretty frequently, so as long as you keep farming and helping your team when they need you, you should have an opportunity to turn the game’s tide in your favor.

Stay positive and keep playing your game to the best of your ability. Every game serves as good practice regardless of whether you win or lose. Being a good player is all about performance, no matter the circumstances you find yourself in.

I hope these tips have helped you understand some concepts you can work on to become a better ADC player.

Good luck in your games!

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