In the popular title League of Legends, a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game, you and a team totaling 5 other players work together to defeat the enemy team with individual skill, tactics, and teamwork. Depending on how you play, you pick from a slew of epic heroes and champions and must get gold from minions within the rift, while battling the onslaught from enemy champions.
In League of Legends, there are plenty of ways to earn gold. However, out of the many ways, the most steady flow of income comes from the activity known as farming minions, or better known as CSing. But what exactly is CS? And how does it factor into your skill at the game? Here, we dive into what exactly CSing is, and how to CS better in League Of Legends.
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What Is CSing?
CS stands for Creep Score. It also stands for the number of minions that you have killed during that particular game. In League of Legends, CSing determines how much steady gold you are able to accumulate during the entirety of the game.
Your creep score translates into gold income, as each creep that you kill will earn you a certain amount of fixed gold. If you are able to last hit a minion, or get the killing blow, then you receive a certain amount of gold. This is the easiest, and most basic, way of being able to earn gold to buy items to power up your champion.
Every 30 seconds, a new creep wave appears. This creep wave contains up to 6 to 7 minions that you are able to farm. In a basic creep wave, there are 3 melee minions, and 3 caster minions.
There are three different types of common minions that will spawn within the game. These are the melee minions, the caster minions, and the cannon minions.
For the first 15 minutes, every third wave will include a cannon minion, worth a large amount of gold. After 15 minutes, every second wave will include a cannon minion. Then, at 24 minutes, a cannon minion will spawn with each wave, making every wave of minions a siege wave.
Throughout the entirety of the game, a melee minion kill will net you 21 gold per kill. A caster minion will net you 14 gold per kill. Finally, a siege minion will payout increasing amounts of gold depending on the time of the game. These increments are: 60 gold, 84, gold, and 90 gold.
How Do You CS?
The art of CSing comes in a few different forms. There is basic CSing, Intermediate CSing, and Advanced CSing. However, in all of these forms, the basics of wave information stay stagnant.
All three different types of CSing are important to your growth as a player, and you will inevitably end up in each one of these categories. However, there are a few tricks to getting better at a faster rate, as well as improving efficiently against your opponents.
The basic stage of CSing is the simple task of killing the minions during the laning phase. At this point, you have started to understand the basics of last hitting, as well as which minions you should be prioritizing. There is little to no understanding of wave management, and the gold income will be quite small until you learn to hit the creeps better.
Your main goal for this stage is just getting used to walking while you auto-attack. The concept known as orb-walking comes from constantly moving around while auto-attacking, instead of standing still waiting to prep another attack. Around this time, an average of 30-40 CS is not uncommon, even though that is drastically poor.
Intermediate CSing takes everything to the next level. Orb-walking should be much easier, with your enemies not being able to hit you as frequently. You should also be able to have a firm grasp of CS last hits, and the health threshold where your auto-attacks will execute the minions.
You should start taking trades back against your opponents and weaving the attack patterns to not disturb your CSing. You should also be attempting to start managing the waves and prepping the waves for certain situations. Understanding how to freeze a wave, as well as when to push the wave forward is just as important as landing the last hits on minions.
In the intermediate CSing level, you should be able to retain half to ¾ of your health bar through the laning phase, as well as executing approximately 50% to 60% of the minions that come into your lane.
After the intermediate level of CSing, you will move on to the advanced CSing style. This style of CSing encompasses CSing, as well as harassing and dominating the laning phase.
At this stage, you should understand the concept of last hitting down to a T, and should have sufficient practice with the champions you are playing as well. You should also have close to a 70-80% success rate with last hitting the minions.
At this level of CSing and laning, you should also have a strong handle on how to control the waves. Controlling the wave not only allows you to dictate when you get the minion kills, but also opens up the opportunity for punishing over-extensions by your enemy laner.
How To CS Better In League Of Legends
After all that jargon and information, you may be wondering, “How do I improve my Minion killing abilities?” Well, my friend, this can be done in a few simple steps. It all starts with understanding your lane opponents, as well as getting a firm grasp on the role of each lane specifically. There are 3 essentials when it comes to lane: Knowing your matchups, knowing your champions, and knowing your limits
For these notes, we will not be covering the jungle pathing, as that is not technically included within the laning phase minion farming.
Top Lane: Bruisers and Tanks
In the top lane, you are most likely to get a slew of tanks, bruisers, and other close-range fighters.
Because of this, understand that your main goal is to soak experience and gold. Trades with bruisers and tanks can be extremely uneven. As such, it is sometimes better to focus on just farming, without trading in lanes. You will almost always be in melee range. Because of this, understanding your matchups will be extremely important. Knowing if you have to hold off on trading damage, and when to farm hard, will be the key to your success.
Mid Lane: Mages, Bruisers, and Assassins
In the mid lane, it is vastly different than the top or bot lane. Since this lane has the most variety of potential champions, it is easier to categorize the types of champions you will play against into three generic sections: Mages, Assassins, and Bruisers.
If you are a Mage, such as Brand, Veigar, or Velkoz, you should be able to play more poke oriented against other mages. Trading health while auto-attacking minions will help you learn cooldowns and poke windows. However, if you are against Bruisers or assassins, look to push and clear the wave as quickly as possible. Use your abilities to continuously put pressure on your opponent to force them to stay in lane. The main goal at this point is to power farm and last hit with your auto-attacks and abilities, and not take damage from the enemy.
If you are playing a bruiser or assassin, such as Irelia, Zed, or Talon, look to let the wave crash into the tower or just before the tower. Focus on only last-hitting, as managing the wave will be more important. Making sure the wave is in the right spot for you to control if it pushes out allows you control of when you CS, as well as trading patterns against your opponent.
Bottom Lane: The Couple’s Lane
In the bottom lane, the primary Attack Damage Carry will be looking to CS the most. However, there are certain situations where you may not be CSing all of the minions outright.
If you are paired with a utility support, such as Nami, Janna, or Lulu, you will be taking all of the CS, or at least attempting to. These champions are there to help bolster and heal you. As such, feel free to sometimes take a trade that may not favor you, even if it means being able to collect a few more CS.
If you are paired with a tank/engage support, such as Alistar, Braum, Thresh, or Blitzcrank, then you will be sharing CS. This is because they most likely will be running an item known as Steel Shoulderguards or Relic Shield. Both of these items have an execution ability on their items that allow the support to execute the minions under a certain health percentage. To maximize the gold output of these items, look to let the champions that run these items execute either cannon minions, or melee minions, as both are worth more than caster minions.
Simple CS’ing Practice
Now, with you understanding what the important aspects are in CS’ing, it’s time to tackle the big hurdle: Actually CS’ing. To actually farm effectively, you should be hitting a healthy CS per 10 minutes as stated in the above sections. However, you should always be striving for higher, as a larger CS at 10 minutes means a larger gold income for you.
To help with this, there is a simple 3 step practice that you can do within the League of Legends’ game. This can be done in both an area known as the practice tool, or in a custom lobby you can set up for yourself. It can be done in about 30-minute increments each day. The three-step regimen is:
- Only Last Hitting
- Pushing the Wave
- Abilities/Last Hitting
In all of these exercises, your starting line base should be around 60 CS. After practicing this for some time, you should be able to comfortably do these without opponents, and sustain an 80-90 CS rate during the exercise.
Last Hitting Only
This is the first step in the CS’ing practice regimen. To perform this, go into a custom game lobby, and only add yourself in on either team 1 or team 2. From there, enter into the game, and pick your desired lane. Make sure to go to the appropriate lane as the champion you are wanting to practice. For instance, if you pick the bruiser Renekton, go towards the top lane. However, make sure to do so without any items at all. This is crucial.
From there, you are to attempt to only last hit every single minion that comes to your lane, without using abilities. The reason for this is so that you get a good baseline understanding at what health the minions need to be at to be able to successfully last hit them. With no items, and without using any abilities, this ensures that the only thing that is allowing you to kill the minions are the raw, base stats of your champion. Do this for 10 minutes, and then mark your creep score at that time.
Pushing The Wave
The next step is to do the same exercise for 10 minutes, but this time, using auto-attacks consistently. You will be trying to push the wave by constantly attacking the wave, without losing out on CS.
This will help to teach you how to manage weaving auto-attacks and helps you to focus on how many auto-attacks you can land before waiting for the minions to deal damage. Not only that, it will help you learn which minions are being focused, which will, in turn, allow you to not miss CS to minion damage.
Lastly, for another 10 minutes, you do the same exercise. However, this time you use everything at your disposal. Since you have the practice of only last hitting, using all of your abilities and items should make CS’ing a breeze.
This exercise will teach you the damage ratios at all points during the laning phase, and allow you to understand the damage output of your abilities and auto-attacks depending if you have items or not. You should have a significantly higher CS score in this exercise than with the past last hitting exercise.