How to Play Top Lane in League of Legends

Want to know how to play top lane in League of Legends?

The top lane in League of Legends is often referred to as an island. Aside from being a long lane, this lane is also the farthest from The Spawn and Nexus. Top laners also often play solo during the lane phase and have a huge responsibility transitioning to the late game. 

Going top lane is also the closest thing you can get to a pure 1v1 in a 5-Man normal or ranked match. 

All this makes the top lane a very intimidating role for new League of Legends players. 

However, once you learn the ins and outs of it, you have the potential of carrying almost every match you join. With this, it’s crucial for new players to learn the top lane. It’s also the fastest way for you to master the fundamentals of the game. 

To help you out, we’ve decided to make a detailed guide on how to play the top lane in League of Legends. 

Let’s begin!

Champion Selection

The top lane is long, and don’t expect any ally champion to help you in the early stages. This means that most top laners usually choose tanky or high damage champions that can take advantage of the long lane to dominate enemies. 

The top lane also has a 1v1 nature, which gives you more champion choices than any other lane or role. 

Top Lane Champions

Although runes should be specific for one champion, summoner spells are a must for top laners.

For the split-push type of playstyle, you can use Ignite to pressure your opponent. However, most traditional top laners go with Flash and Teleport for mobility. 

Teleport is extremely handy for top laners as it allows you to get back to your lane faster after a recall or help your allies on the other lanes during team fights. 


Understanding your champion’s attack range is one of the critical elements to top lane damage trading. Although you can play it safe, expect your opponent to try and kill you during the early stages of the game. 

play top lane in League of Legends

The greater the gap in your attack range, the easier it is for you to exchange damage with your enemies. You’ll know what we’re talking about if you face a range champion while using a melee character. 

Ranged champions will simply have an advantage against melee during the early stages. 

If you ever had the opportunity to play range against a melee champion, use your attack range to prevent your enemy from farming minions. 


Auto attacks are only half the battle in League of Legends. If you want to excel in your lane, you must also account for your champion spells and abilities. When choosing a champion to play in the top lane, you must familiarize yourself with its cast range, cooldowns, and other mechanics. 

Like a longer attack range, spells with a longer cast range make it easier for you to harass and dominate opponents. 

play top lane in League of Legends

On the other hand, you should also consider the spell cooldowns of both the enemy champion and your hero. This way, you can anticipate when your enemy is going to use their abilities and when you can take advantage of your skills. 

You also have to keep in mind skills that cannot pass through minions. To land these spells, try to cast your ability as soon as the enemy minion in front of them dies. 

While all these damage exchanges take place, you should also remember to stack up your minion kills in lane. Remember that minion kills are much more important in the early game than dealing damage to your enemy. 

Lane Warding

Due to the nature of the top lane, warding is crucial to be safe. With the current patch, top laners should get a Warding Totem at around the 2:30 mark in the game. This is when the enemy jungler is done with the red and blue buff and could be planning to gank. 

You will want to place a ward in one of the bushes below your lane.

This will be the tri-bush if you’re on the blue side or the top river bush when you’re on the red side of the map. 

You’ll also want to buy Vision Wards whenever you can afford one. Throughout the early game, you want to place your wards close to your tower, ideally in the top river bush on the blue side and the tri-bush on the red side.

Aside from your safety, having Vision Wards on your lane also ensures that the enemy has no vision of your jungler. 

Summoner Spells 

As mentioned earlier, the standard spells for top laners are Flash and Ignite or Flash and Teleport. Flash offers the most versatility as it can be used offensively and defensively in your lane. 

You can use Flash to dive into your enemy or escape from opponents during ganks. 


Ignite should be used when you are in for an all-in battle. This means that you should only use it to secure a kill. Due to its long cooldown, you should not use Ignite to harass your enemies in the lane. 

It’s most effective as additional burst damage to surprise your enemies as you engage them. 


Teleports on League of Legends can be used in various ways. The most convenient use of it is to get back to your lane faster whenever you recall to The Spawn. Given how long the top lane is, walking your way back to the lane will consume a lot of time and cost you XP and Gold. 

On the other hand, teleport can also be used to move into another lane to aid your teammates when they get ganked by the enemy jungler or mid laner. You can also use it if you are planning a gank yourself. 

Pushing Lanes

The champion you pick will determine if you’re going to split-push in the late game or join your allies in team fights. 

Split-pushing, as the name suggests, gives you the option to split the attention of the enemy team. As the game progresses, you can start pushing the bottom lane as it’s the farthest lane from Baron. 

play top lane in League of Legends

This should allow your team to secure objectives faster if the enemy team sends more than one champion to stop your push. 

If the enemy team reacts to your split-push, you can go back to the top lane and continue what you’re doing. 

However, if your champion excels at team fights rather than pushing, you’ll have to group up with your team as the game transitions to the mid and late game. This is also where you can use teleport. 

play top lane in League of Legends

If you’re in the wrong lane when a fight breaks out, simply use teleport to rotate faster in the map. Otherwise, simply walk towards your team and plan your attack. 

Additional Tips

  • As you start playing, try various playstyles and champions to get a feel of what role you are most comfortable playing. If you love playing the top lane, identify the best champions that suit your taste. 
  • The best time to aggro your enemy is when one or more of your minions are about to die. This will force your opponent to decide whether to prioritize last hits or exchange blows with you. 
  • When playing top, try to push your wave up to the enemy’s first tower and sneak out to place a ward in the enemy jungle. This should allow you to track the enemy jungler and plan a gank if possible. 
  • Don’t hesitate to cancel your Teleport. If your team has already died from the gank or you feel that teleporting is not necessary simply cancel your spell. Canceling your Teleport also leaves a shorter cooldown period than using it. 

That’s it for our guide on how to play the top lane in League of Legends. We hope that this guide helped you familiarize yourself with the role. If you have further questions, let us know in the comment section, and we’ll do our best to help. 

Leave a Reply
Related Posts