Guide to Playing URF: League of Legends Game Modes

Playing the classing summoners rift game mode we all grew up to love can be one of the most familiar things in our lives today. Needless to say, too much of something can lead to the people getting easily tired of this traditional game mode from League of Legends. To make the game more interesting, Riot Games often releases temporary game modes to which add a little spice to the game we know and love. Of course, when you speak of game modes, none is more popular than URF.

Official URF teaser showing Ziggs going crazy with his bombs
Bring back URF!

What is URF?

Ultra Rapid Fire, or more commonly known as URF, is a League of Legends game mode first introduced on April’s Fools Day. The game mode features drastically reduced ability cooldowns, 100% ability cost reduction, and map timers being reduced a significant amount. Basically, this game mode lets you go nuts and barrage your opponent with skill without thinking too much on the competitive aspect of the game. Hence, this game mode has become one of the biggest memes in League of Legends history.

History of URF

Originally, URF was meant only as a one time game mode for April Fool’s Day 2014 (which was named as URF Day in honor of Urf, the manatee) but because of its popularity among League of Legends fans, the game mode has become a staple during the April Fool’s Event every year. This has even reached the point where the community demands for Riot Games to “bring back URF” outside the event period.

With URF becoming more popular, Riot Games decided that URF had to make sense even with its ridiculous nature. They tweaked the game to balance out certain summoner skills and abilities so that every champion may have a chance to shine in this game mode. Other features were also added in place of summoner skills which were removed for the sake of bringing more balance to the game.

URF Game Mechanics

The URF Champion Cannon revealed
Nothing’s easier than spamming your skills to victory.

Much like a regular game of League of Legends, Ultra Rapid Fire mode takes place in Summoner’s Rift, making use of the 5v5 3-Lane system. The match-making system functions the same way as that of a ranked game where you can pick and ban champions. It is also important to note that rotating game modes don’t usually affect your hidden MMR so you don’t have to take the game too seriously if you’re playing with people who are cool with just having fun.

Skills and Abilities

This game modes main feature, suggested in the name Ultra Rapid Fire, is the fact that players are given the royalty of being able to spam their skills throughout the game. Which is why it kind of sucks when you are given a champion with very little need to use skills such as marksmen or tanks. Nonetheless, you are given an 80% cooldown reduction to your skills and skills and abilities no longer expend mana or energy.

Summoner Skills

Summoner skills are also affected by the cooldown reduction, this means that you can free spam your summoner skills on cooldown. However, in this game mode, Teleport is removed due to the addition of the Champion Cannon. It is safe to say that there is no such thing as a misused flash in this game mode as the cooldown timers will come before you know it.

Champion Cannon

The champion cannon is probably the most unique feature of this game mode. It is a huge cannon placed behind the nexus which allows a player to be shot halfway through the map. Units which are shot from the cannon become unstoppable until they reach their designation. Players may not stay more than 10 seconds inside the cannon after which they are forced out.

Jungle Changes

Jungling is different from how it usually would be in a normal game of summoner’s rift. With the big boost in cooldown reduction and unlimited resources, there’s usually no need to pick up the blue sentinel as your first buff. In fact, jungling isn’t that necessary in this game mode at all because usually other players prefer to put two players in the top lane.

The smite cooldown is reduced significantly which makes it easier to get objectives earlier on in the game. Baron Nashor also replaces the Rift Herald by spawning on the 10-minute mark. Defeating the Baron will give you both the Hand of Baron buff and the Eye of the Herald drop.

Other Game Changes

Gold Income – this game mode accelerates the pace of the game by allowing gold income without the need for you to kill the minion yourself. Of course, killing minions will give more gold which is exactly why running duo lanes is more relevant.

Turret Plating – Turret platings will also drop earlier than in normal games. The plate health is also increased to 500-1500 depending on the plate level with the price per plate increased to 300 gold. Runes like Demolisher will not activate faster during this period and will still function as normal.

Surrendering – surrendering is also made easy in URF since you can now start a surrender vote at the 8 minute mark which requires an anonymous vote. On the 10 minute mark, you will only need a 4/5 vote to surrender the game.

Shielding and Healing – healing abilities have 50% less effectiveness at the start of the game which increases in effectiveness by 1% every 30 seconds. Shielding abilities are not affected directly except for the ratio it gives to bonus AD/AP of some champion abilities.

What is the main difference in playing URF compared to normal games?

A figure of Urf. the Manatee standing on the pedestal
Get URF’ed!

Like in most game modes, Ultra Rapid Fire is intended for the players to prioritize fun gameplay over the competitive aspect of the game. This is why factors such as hidden MMR are not directly affected on the results of a match in most game modes. Being able to give creative freedom to the players through the unlimited possibilities that the game mode offers allows for an entirely entertaining time.

In addition, the game mode allows you to completely disregard any rule that a normal League of Legends game has including things like lane roles, item builds, and in-depth strategies that will help you win games. The most important thing about playing an URF game is that you and other players have fun so it doesn’t matter who has the highest kills/deaths or if one of your teammates is inting for as long as that person is having fun.

Advanced Ultra Rapid Fire Strategies

all versions of elementalist lux firing off her q simultaneously
Aim to win even if other do not

Even though we suggest that players should prioritize having fun over strategizing game modes, people should still have the choice to know how to take an URF game seriously. URF isn’t simply set for you to brainlessly smash all your buttons hoping that you kill an enemy champion in the process. The ability to think which champions, strategies, and build will help you win the game can also turn out to be a fun activity.

Laning & Roles

In most games, laning and roles are completely disregarded to give way to mindless spamming and being able to overwhelm the enemy laner with the sheer amount of skills being thrown into the fray. Fortunately, a more organized lane lineup provides for a higher chance of defeating your enemies with ease.

Top Lane

Playing the top lane might prove to be the most difficult lane to play in Ultra Rapid Fire if your team chooses to have a jungler in the game. You’ll most likely be in a 1v2 to 1v3 situtation most of the time which will really suck. Playing high sustain champions that like to keep a distance such as Vladimir and Nasus can be very annoying to deal with as they almost never die in lane. Eventually, you’ll out level the opponents and you might be able to beat them in a 1v2 situation if you have your ultimate first.


Having a jungler gives you a great advantage during Ultra Rapid Fire games as you’ll have absolute domination over neutral objectives and jungle camps if your opponent doesn’t have a jungler. Choose champions with activated AoE abilities to easily clear your camps and move gank faster. Don’t be thrifty with your smite ability as it will give you more sustainability during your rotations.

Mid Lane

There’s really no difference in what goes on in the mid lane since players always like throwing their champion abilities at each other even in normal games anyway. Play whatever mage or assassin champion you like and duel it out with your enemy laner while ensuring that he/she won’t prove to be a problem for your other lane partners.

Bottom Lane

Obviously, there’s no better bottom laner in URF than Champion close up photo of Ezreal in ADC Tier List Ezreal because of his ability to spam skills endlessly. For the bottom lane, you can choose not to opt for a marksman but if you must, ability-based champions such as Kai’sa, Varus, and Senna are great choices to ensure that your enemy laners are having a hard time keeping up with the damage you’re dishing out.


Poke supports are really great in situations like these. Compliment your ADC’s aggressive playstyles by using champions such as Morgana, Lux, or Karma to continuously bully out the enemy lane with your poke damage. Hook champions such as Blitzcrank, Thresh, Pyke, and Nautilus can also be great but can prove to be double-edged swords against enemy laners who can burst you out.

Building Items

Prioritize items which give you more damage output than utility. Remember that you have no need for you to put stats such as mana and cooldown reduction on top of your item priority list. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t build items with these stats especially when they are key items to your build. Instead try to take into mind which item build should be bought first according to your champion.

Assigning Skill Points

You’re given free skill points at the beginning of the game so you should distribute your skill points to all your slots with the highest priority being your main damaging skills. Active skills have higher value since they can be spammed more during fights. Just make sure that the skill you are giving it to will help you win deal more damage not survive longer in battle (unless you’re playing a supportive role in the team).

Choosing Champions

Samsung Galaxy Skins in the snow
Which champions can spam harder?

As mentioned before, champions which have a high damage output through the continuous use of their abilities tend to be stronger in URF. Try to avoid very passive champions that 99% of the time don’t use their skills and abilities to deal damage. Pure tank champions are also boring to play but champions such as Ornn who can effectively deal damage using skills can prove to be a really great addition to the team.

It’s also wise to pick out a winning image before selecting your champions. Talking with your team about choosing certain champions who can follow-up with insane combos is not only fun to do, but can also be a smart thing. Make sure to listen to your teammates and don’t only thing about yourself when playing the game.

What’s the difference between URF and ARURF?

ARURF means All Random Ultra Rapid Fire which, as the name suggest, means your champions are given at random to you and there will be no pick and ban phase. You can choose to trade with another player or reroll your champion if you have enough tickets. There is a chance that you will be playing against a duplicated champion on the enemy team.

Is it wrong to tryhard in URF games?

No, it’s not. As mentioned, having fun is the top priority in playing game modes. So, if taking the game seriously brings you the most fun, that should be your focus in playing the game. What isn’t fun is bossing around other people to do what you want instead of letting them play the way they want to so if you must take it seriously, make sure the other players want to as well.

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