League of Legends Maps: A Fundamental Guide

Howling Abyss
(c/ Riot Games| © Riot Games

League of Legends used to have more maps than just two. Here is an overview of everything there is to know about the current and the past LoL maps. 

Summoners Rift This map is most often associated with League of Legends. It is the most well-known battle arena in any MOBA that has ever been created. This map has been around for more than a decade and many players love it.

Even though it may seem surprising, League of Legends has other maps, even if you’re not a hard-core ARAM player. To help you understand the LoL Map situation better, we looked at League of Legends gameplay. 

What Maps Are There in League of Legends

We are currently in the midst of two constantly available maps in League of Legends. The most popular map is Summoners Rift, It is where players go head-to-head during a 5v5. It is currently the only map you can play ranked on. You can also find the alternate map on the Howling Abyss

Summoner's Rift
c) Riot Games| © Riot Games

Summoner’s Rift 

The Summoner’s Rift is the main map in League of Legends. It is divided into three lanes: the top, middle and bottom. The lanes are where players start their game. Each lane is equipped with an inner and outer turrets that keep the enemy team off your side and protect your allies. 

Summoner’s Rift has five roles that you can take on.. Mid and top lane are 1v1 lanes, whereas the bot lane has two roles – the AD carry and support. Besides every lane being filled with a certain amount players, you can also find another role in the map’s jungle, namely the jungler role. Each role has its own champion, with a distinct distinction between the roles. 

Each team also has a Nexus in its base. The Nexus is the king if LoL was chess. However, it may be more useful. You can gain experience and gold by killing enemy minions. 

League of Legends requires you to kill enemy champions and destroy their towers until you reach the opposing Nexus. You win the game once that turret is destroyed. 

The Summoner’s Rift Jungle

As mentioned above, there is another role not located on any lanes. This is the one in the map’s rainforest. The jungle is made up of a top half and a bottom, which are related to the bot lane. The map has two sides that are mirrored: the red and blue. These are the “red side” refers to the nexus in the top right corner, while the “blue side” refers to the nexus in the bottom left corner.

There are many neutral monsters in the jungle that can give champions certain buffs. A buff that lasts a set amount of time will reward you for killing monsters like the blue and green buffs. This makes you slightly more powerful. Here is where the jungler role comes in. It is the junglers’ job to clear the jungle and to make their way to the different lanes to assist the laners in getting a kill on their opponents. 

Olaf was a jungle champion. Here is a video on how to counter it: 

A river divides the middle of the map. You can find some of the most powerful neutral monsters by crossing this river. Baron Nashor can be found on the upper half of the river. – the strongest neutral monster in the game. The Baron does not spawn before twenty minutes, and the team managing to slay the beast gains a powerful buff for a certain duration. 

The dragons spawn in the river’s bottom half. Similar to the Baron, the dragons have one of the strongest and most useful buffs in LoL. The buff is available to the entire team after killing a dragon. It doesn’t expire after a set period. At the moment, there are five different elemental dragons League of Legends Cloud, Hextech. Ocean, Infernal. and Mountain Dragon. Riot created the Chemtech Dragon earlier in the year. Later, it was decided that the disable button should be removed. Other than the elemental dragons (or “drake”), there are also The Elder Dragon is the last dragon.This is when one team has killed four elemental Dragons.

Elder Dragon
(c), Riot Games| © Riot Games

What is the Elemental Rift and how can it help me?

In 2019, Riot Games introduced the elemental Rift, which refers to the landscape in Summoner’s Rift changing – depending on which elemental dragon spawns. Let’s examine the different elemental dragons to help us understand how this works. 

  • Infernal Drake
  • Cloud Drake
  • Ocean Drake
  • Mountain Drake
  • Hextech Drake

The team will receive a buff for each elemental dragon that is slain. This buff lasts throughout the entire game. Although the first three dragons that spawn are random, the next drakes will be identical to the third. 

The spawning of Elemental Dragons will continue until four dragons are killed by one team.. The Elder Drake will be able to take the dragon pit once this has been accomplished. Slaying the Elder Dragon will, similar to the Baron give a short timed, but powerful, buff expiring after a couple of minutes.

The third dragon influences not only the other elemental dragons that are spawned during a game but also the terrain. These are the effects that every dragon has on the map. 


Dragon Esports Pro

Elemental Rift
Cloud Dragon Grants 7/14/21 / 28 percent slow resist speed and out-of–combat bonus movement Cloud Rift is a win current that creates win conditions in the jungle or dragon pit, which grant 20% speed.
Infernal Dragon Grants 6 / 12 / 18, / 24 Percent AD and AP The Infernal Rift enables you to view the entire map around the Dragon Pit and Jungle Camps by burning down the terrain and brush.
Ocean Dragon Each five second, 3 / 6, 9 / 12 % of the health that is missing is restored The Ocean Rift allows bushes to grow in both the jungle and the Dragon Pit. New Honeyfruit plants and puddles that can be used for Waterwalkers are also formed.
Mountain Dragon Grants 9/18 / 27/36 percent armor and MR The Mountain Rift creates additional walls around the jungle and dragon pit.
Hextech Dragon Grants 9 / 18 / 27 / 36 ability haste and 9 / 18 / 27 / 36 percent attack speed Hextech Drake transforms terrain to allow champions to swiftly travel between locations. Hexgates can be found across the map. Hexgates are activated using a short channel that can be interrupted by stuns, damage, or other effects. They then transport players quickly across the map to the Hexgate.

Summoner’s Rift Fog of War

Fog of War refers to the parts of the map you cannot see. The enemy side of the map is blacked out at the start of the game. You don’t know what’s happening there. The jungle on the Summoner’s Rift is also darkened, and players walking around only have vision in a certain radius around where they are walking. The Fog of War can be countered by placing wards in certain areas of the map. This can prevent enemy champions from ganking your lanes without you even knowing. 

Map Awareness is Critical

League of Legends requires you to be able to spot wards, and to have an excellent awareness of the jungle. Because you can always see situations your enemies are unaware of, good ward placement is key to a successful game. Placing the right wards contributes to evading ganks, which then again lets you stay in lane for a longer time, gaining more XP and gold. You will gain an advantage that could lead to you winning the game by gaining more XP and gold.

The Howling Abyss

Howling Abyss
(c/ Riot Games| © Riot Games

The Howling Abyss The second constant map in League of Legends. This map can be used to play ARAM (A Random All Mid), a particular gameplay mode. It only has one lane.. ARAM does not allow you to select which champion you want to play. Champ-select allows you to swap between your teammates and have up to two charges for re-rolls that you can use to assign another champion. 

Summoner’s Rift is not for you This map does not allow for you to return to your base to purchase items or to heal. You can only buy items after you’ve died. There are health relics available that can be picked up by players to restore their health and mana. One outer relic is available for each side, with one spawning at 1:15, and one inner at 2:30. After a relic has been taken, it takes 90 second to respawn. 

Freljord is home to the Howling Abyss. ARAM had an easter egg where you could listen for Lissandra’s 1-minute monologue.

The Howling Abyss does not have any wards. Instead, every player is provided with certain cookies, or poro snacks,  which they can feed to the different poros spread around the map. A poro, a tiny fuzzy creature from Freljord, is what you call a poro. If you play the Freljord champion, Braum, in the Howling Abyss and feed the poros with a cookie, they receive a mustache very similar to the champion’s mustache. 

Nexus Blitz

Nexus Blitz Map
LoL Map: Nexus Blitz | © Riot Games

League of Legends also offers the Nexus Blitz map which is used in the game mode Nexus Blitz. This game mode It only lasts 20 minutes You can have lots of fun while trying to kill the enemy Nexus. Each task has its own unique buff and rewards you with different abilities. 

The map was initially added in 2018, but was substantially improved when it was reintroduced in 2020. The map is not always accessible, but it’s available for brief periods. 

Why doesn’t League of Legends have more maps?

LoL used to have more than two maps. Riot Games made many players unhappy by a particular map. This map was the Twisted Treeline.

The Twisted Treeline was a map created for a 3v3 game mode and was the only other map where you could play ranked. The Twisted Treeline had a middle lane. This was different from the Summoner’s Rift. Instead, the jungle was in the middle. There was still a bot on each side, as well as a top-lane. This layout allowed for a different way of viewing the game, and required different strategies than the normal game mode. 

Another map that used to be a part of the League of Legends client but isn’t anymore was the Crystal Scar map was used for Dominion game mode. This map was made in 2011 and lasts for 5 years. It allowed players to practice real-world situations in which they have to defend a base.

Why was Twisted Treeline Deleted?

Twisted Treeline
(c) Riot Games| © Riot Games

The game mode provided players with another legitimate means to earn end-of season skins and rank up. Riot It was decided that it was time to end the 3v3 mode in 2019. The news disappointed many players, as it was a pretty popular game to play and it had grown a loyal fan base. 

Riot claimed that the game mode was no longer popular enough and that the map has become a place where bots can level up accounts. These are the reasons players now have only two maps.

Why was Dominion removed?

Dominion Map
(c) Riot Games| © Riot Games

Riot Games didn’t know the identity of League of Legends at the time the game mode was added to LoL. Developers thought that Dominion could assist new players in understanding the different mechanics needed for League.

Riot decided in 2016 to end the game mode and it would, from now on, serve as a short-term game mode, like URF, Ultimate Spellbook, One for All, and Nexus Blitz. Crystal Scar was therefore removed from the client.

Riot Games Will Add New Maps

One should never say never, but it is highly unlikely that Riot will more maps to League of Legends anytime soon. Throughout the years, different game modes and maps have been added to the game and then later turned into a short-duration game. 

Riot Games had stated that the Twisted treeline would be reintroduced into the game mode rotation. However, this has not happened.

Can We Expect Different Map Versions?

Riot Games has experimented before with map skins. The Summoner’s Rift transformed into a winter wonderland during Christmas. The baron even wore a Christmas hat. It is hard to create new maps, such as a Desert or Battlefield map, due to the Elemental Drake changes. The map changes during each game. Also, it is unlikely that we will see any new map versions anytime soon. This is what Summoner’s Rift looked like at Christmas 2016.

Maps in Other MOBA Games 

Riot Games’ Wild Rift

Riot Games’ mobile LoL version, Wild Rift by Riot Games, is nearly identical to Summoner’s Rift. While the mobile game is similar to the PC version, the Red Side of the Map is displayed on the phone. 

The top and bot lanes are no longer a concept. Instead, rRot decided to make the top to the baron and bot lane to reach the dragon lanes. Except for the Wild Rift’s flipped red side, there are no differences between the maps. 

The Dota 2 Map

The Dota 2 Map
c) Valve| © Valve

League of Legends’ original creators began by playing Dota, which isn’t hard to notice when you compare the Dota 2 map to Riot Games’ Summoner’s Rift.

Dota has towers that protect enemy champions, and a river that cuts through the map. However, Dota’s different sides are called different names. In Dota, the “blue side” is known as “Radiant” while the “red side” is the “Dire”.

You will find a monster in Dota’s Jungle, which is very similar to LoL Baron. The monster is called Roshan and it drops something called the Aegis, which buffs the team. 

There are even more similarities between Dota and League of Legends which probably come from the fact that League of Legends creators have a close relationship with the game.

Author: Eric Pomeroy
Passionate about Valorant, I started playing CSGO but switched to valorant looking at the characters and the play style. I own this website and have written the content myself.