Updating the League of Legends Engine

Welcome to the gaming development

Due to recent news from the gaming world, it has come to my attention the condition of the League of Legends Engine. We all know that League of Legends officially got released on October 27, 2009. Since this day, there have been a lot of updates to keep the game alive and running. In the middle of the road, we saw an astonishing upgrade to the game graphics and lots of new champions. But, does the game engine has taken some refurbishing through these years? Well to be exact at this point, the answer is between yes and no. Wait, what?… Well you see, League of Legends doesn’t have a “single” gaming engine like the modern triple “A” games.


You can see it every time you load League of Legends on your PC. You double-click the icon, and the interface comes up. In it, you look at your friend list, the shop and the setup for what type of game you want to play. After the entire information is settled, and your teammates appear on your screen, you see another window that pops-out and starts to load the “main” game. In the main game is where the “magic” happens, the map loads in your computer, and the battle between champions takes its place. Now the part of the interface has been updated recently, the other part though, it hasn’t been changed for a long while. Is this good or bad? Well to be the judge of that, let’s start with some knowledge about gaming engines.

Gaming Engine

Gaming Engine

To dig more about this subject, we need to clarify how video games actually “work.” Every video game is like “mathematical equations” that happen too quickly and without you even notice about it. This math stuff appears to us in any fighting game out there. In this type of games, the goal is to reduce your opponent’s life bar to zero. Now the “trick” here is that we are dealing with “boxes.” Yeah, if you see the game in the eyes of a casual gamer, you only see the animated fighters punching the opponent until victory. But in the eyes of the programmer, they see boxes that move in a “2D plane” whenever you press a directional button. Or trigger some animations when you press the “ultimate special move.”

Now the engine can be represented in the boxes and the gaming mechanics, while the animations can be the additional content that makes the game appealing to anyone. Taking this example into consideration, we can associate one gaming engine as an “Engine Motor” in a car. It’s the core part of the automobile and the thing that keeps it running. If the engine starts to “feel old” by use, the best solution would be to buy another car with a different engine. There’s also the case that you want to use the same old motor engine with a different new gorgeous vehicle. Let’s say by displacing this essential part of a car between a Volkswagen Beetle and the latest Ferrari. Although it may be a complicated process to get things done, the result isn’t probably the best.

This last example may look a little out of context when it comes to gaming, but sadly, it is too relevant for any video game. If the gaming engine is too old, and you want to encircle it with the latest graphics out there, it’s highly probable that you encounter a lot of bugs in the process.

What are the elements that the gaming engine contains?

The Graphics

Gaming Graphics
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

This essential part of a gaming engine doesn’t relate to textures or animations. By the graphics part, we mean the “rendering engine” that creates the desired graphics for any game. Depending on the rendering engine that is present in any video game, there comes advantages/disadvantages that go with it. Some of them can easily generate astonishing “particles” or “lights” that makes the game “feel” a bit more realistic. But at the same time, they require a lot of the latest hardware to function correctly.

The League of Legends Engine as stated before is kind of peculiar. It’s custom-made, and you can easily see that it works at its best with this type of game. Some limitations resurface with every year that passes by though. These so-called limitations are visible with the “cartoonish” style and the low particle use. Which means that is purpose is not to emulate something like “realistic graphics,” but to create their visual style. Even though to some people it may look “dated” or dull, its advantages is that doesn’t require a powerful pc to obtain the full gaming experience.

What may happen if we get an update in this particular part of the game? Well, we already got one recently, the map has been improved to look better. The other thing that is still in progress is the update with every champion. Besides just placing more detailed textures, Riot is taking advantage of the update by creating new abilities the champion’s roster.

The Physics

Gaming Engine
Gaming Engine Physics

There have been lots of complications in the gaming world when it comes to this particular element. It’s hard to emulate the “gravity” that affects every single aspect that contains one video game. How does it the main character responds when it falls, or when it starts to run? Depends on what “laws” of physics the programmer wants to apply in their game. Some games want to be as realistic as possible by making gravity rules that are too similar to the ones we experience. Which means that your main character can jump as high as any human being, and gets hurt when it falls from a long distance. Other games though, try to break some laws to create compelling game mechanics — for example, the ability to jump twice or gain super speed when the main character jumps off a cliff.

This particular element is effortlessly present in the League of Legends Engine. Has you can experience every day, there are no jumping mechanics required. And when the champion dies and “falls” to the ground, there is nothing but one animation running. After the animation takes place, the champion is “erased” from the game until it respawns. When it comes to movement, it just represented with a stat for a champion or minion. The number only goes down or up depending on equipment or specific champions abilities. This type of approach helps to simplify the coding process and reduce unnecessary calculating operations. Which at the same time, reduces required hardware for it to run well.

The Controls

Gaming Engine
Keyboard and Mouse

Depending on the type of video game, the required controls change according to its needs. Some games require precision and timing, while others focus more on pressing the right button sequences. Another element to take into consideration is the dimensions, we all know that playing a #d game with a “2-axis directional control” instead of “analog sticks” kind of feel weird. Additionally, the focused console limits the type of controls you can have in any video game. The PC has compatibility to all the gamepads on the market, plus the keyboard plus mouse combo. While a particular gaming console only contains their predetermined peripherals. Being able to “port” any game from a console to another becomes a pain in the process, especially between a gaming console and the PC. Sometimes the mouse support is missing and is troublesome to navigate between any menu options.

All these elements are present in this part of the engine. The League of Legends Engine focuses on the PC which means that all the controls take the keyboard and mouse into consideration. This type of peripherals leads to precision in the champion’s abilities, and the option to “detach” yourself from your champion’s perspective. Giving free “Direction” of the camera in other parts of the map if needed.

After all these years, the keyboard and mouse seem to be “permanent” when it comes to their designs. The need for an update is this particular part of the gaming engine seems unnecessary. Unless Riot feels the need to “port” the game into another platform (like mobile gaming for example), there’s no need for a sudden change.

The Mechanics

Gaming Engine

These are the parts of any video game that differentiate it from the rest. Depending on the main focus on the game, either being a First Person Shooter (FPS) or MOBA; the goal is the same. The need to attract gamers with peculiar elements that make any video game fun and captivating. The success of a particular game can help any developer in creating a follow-up series that gather a fan base for their games. When coded right into the gaming engine, these mechanics can quickly move into a possible sequel. That’s why the first game of any franchise is focused more on having a stable gaming engine. While the sequels or “DLC” are focused on creating storytelling and more levels.

The genre of the MOBA games became constant once the League of Legends Engine became available to the public. The “three-lane” and main last building mechanics created a new genre for the gaming industry. Combined with the constant update of the champion’s roster and Riot got themselves a long lasting video game. Will there ever be the need for a League of Legends 2 in the future? At this point, an update looks uncertain. Due to the constant popularity of the game, the (still) growing player base, and the regular updates; this doesn’t seem to stop. But who knows, maybe with the never-ending rise of the technology, Riot may be obligated to develop a possible sequel.

The Multiplayer

Gaming Engine
Multiplayer Lan Party

Different aspects can help you in achieving a connection between multiple players in a single video game. The must cheap way of doing this is by creating a “Scoreboard” where people see the total points they have gathered in a video game task. For example, finishing a level in the shortest time possible. After you collect the score, people can compare their results and try to be the number one spot between their friends. Other ways and the more complicated ones are by placing different characters in a game that can be controlled by different players.

This connection doesn’t apply to the games which require that all the players need to be present in the same room. But to those that gather players from all around the World. In this case, there are two types of connections: Peer to peer, which means a direct link between players. The other way around is using a server to connect all the players and share the information. Both of them had their pros and cos. For example, peer to peer can create a swift “in-game” response. But if one of the players “lags out” the entire experience becomes troublesome.

The League of Legends Engine uses the later form of connection. That being between “server to player” transfer of data. This way of connection partially removes the problem of a “lagging player.” In this case, only the affected player gets the undesirable experience, while the other players look everything as usual. Likely being related to the actual Internet connection, this part doesn’t need an update unless the way we link different computers chance in the future.

The Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Gaming Engine
Artificial Intelligence

We have come a long way when it comes to programming possible human reactions in a game. In the beginning, we only saw enemies roaming between the game stages without reason. More than once we saw them suiciding on the cliffs and showing no emotions at it. Even though some games in the modern era keep this type of approach in these famous “zombie games.” Some other video games take this step forward. You can see some improvement where a game requires that you use a “stealth” approach. You need to think and have patience before making a move, or everything becomes too complicated to continue.

Single player games tend to have more work in this element. Since you’re the only human being in the game, the other “people” you tend to see in these games need to “act” real for immersion. If not, you may feel disconnected from everything that is happening in the game. In a matter of seconds, you begin to predict the NPC’s (non-player characters) “behavior.” Making everything more manageable for you. And probably reducing the gaming hours for a particular video game.

Since there is a combination between multiplayer and mindless “minions” in the League of Legends Engine, there’s not much programming to do here. You can see it in every match you play, where every minion moves in a predetermined path until it dies “fighting.” We already see some updates in this part with all the custom PvE (Player versus Everything) events where new creatures appear with unique abilities and also cool boss fights.

For more about League of Legends, check this out: 5 Things to Check when Buying a League of Legends Account

When does the Codding for the Game Engine Start?

With all that knowledge about the elements of the “gaming engines.” You may feel the urge to involve yourself in the gaming world industry. If so, before you start in this adventure, here are some things to consider about gaming engines. You may want to copy the way Riot created their League of Legends Engine or look for other alternatives over the Internet.

Free Gaming Engines

Gaming Engine
Unity Gaming Engine

Talking about all those possible changes, is it costly to change the entire engine for a video game? Well, it depends on how much you want to spend your resources or time in the development. If you ever think that someday you want to create a new game on the market, there are some things to consider. If you feel confident in your programming skills and want to make your video game from scratch, well you can opt for developing your gaming engine. The downside is that it requires a lot of time for it to work as intended. Just look back in this article and take a look at all those elements that are present in one gaming engine. You’ll probably need a moderate group of skilled programmers or some years if you want to make it by yourself.

The other option is to look for those free gaming engines out there over the Internet — something like Unity or Unreal engines. For these options, you already got the problematic part already codded for you, which means that you only need to look for the artistic part of any video games — for example, the textures or sound effects. These “free” engines also contain a market where you can obtain all the extra components. The only work needed is the assemble everything and make it work as intended. The downside though, is that you need a lot of capital to invest in the market for the best stuff. Additionally, these gaming engines take a “cut” from all the income that you would probably make by your video game.

The World of Codding

Gaming Engine

If you think that using all those “free gaming engines” may not be profitable for you, there are some alternatives out there. That can help you in creating the best engine out there. But before you start coding the first line of your new video game. You should consider what could be the best coding language to get the job done. This part can be the most sophisticated thing when it comes about starting the creation of a video game from zero.

There are lots of different coding languages out there with their various pros and cons. One of the can help you more in the graphics part, but another can be very helpful when you need to program multiplayer elements on a video game. That’s why Riot uses different programming techniques to get the best possible outcome. This type of coding process is recommendable to obtain a stable gaming engine, but you won’t be able to master all those different coding languages by yourself.

Having a group of coders with different masteries in multiple languages is a must for a personalized gaming engine. This approach, of course, applies if you want to compete against all those triple “A” video games in the market where you need a lot of engine elements in your game. But, if you’re taking the “indie” approach, you may want to start with a “simple but fun” game. Something that doesn’t need too much-complicated stuff programmed in your game. For example, a “side-scrolling” video game.

Engine Limitations

Gaming Engine
King of Fighters

Just like the coding languages out there, there are some limitations when a new gaming engine is already running. You can see it with all those famous franchises and their coding processes. For example, you can’t customize the same gaming engine from a “fighting game” and use it for a “racing game.” Even if you are considering this, the required coding for it to work properly would be too complicated and full of problems (the so-called “bugs”). In the end, you’ll probably end up with a different engine that may break when you’ll try to add more elements to the game, which means that a possible sequel is out of the picture. It would be advisable that you start a gaming engine from scratch.

There are other limitations to consider, especially if you want to try all those “free engines” out there. For example, using the Unity engine is probably best if you’re looking to create a “side-scrolling” game. In other words, this video game engine shines with all those “two-dimensional” games. On the other hand, if you may want to start with an FPS game, Unreal engine is your best bet. This other engine contains a lot more tools that work best in a “three-dimensional” environment.

Now if you’re wondering, which of those two gaming engines would work best for a MOBA-like type of video game? Well, this may be a tricky question to answer. Because you see, although the League of Legends Engine looks like a 3D game, actually is more like a 2D. There’s never one option to change the perspective of the camera, which means that the map environment doesn’t appear like a 3D video game. The champions, although with a fully 3D model, walk across a 2D plane. In other words, it would be like if you move a real action figure between an environment printed in a paper.

What happens when an Engine gets too old?

Gaming Engine
Gaming Bugs

After some of the gaming engines have made some fantastic debut video games and a couple of sequels, there comes the time to leave it behind. Yeah, it kind of feels “cold” (a little I guess), but it must is done to reduce possible complications. Some factors give the developers some signs when their current gaming engine is a thing from the past. One of these factors is the hardware limitations. Instead of needing new graphics cards or software, the game is just not compatible with the latest technology. For example, when the gaming engine requires an operating system that is no longer in the market.

Another factor is notable in the development process. The gaming engine requires a lot of updates to keep up with the latest gaming graphics and mechanics to the point that it becomes unstable. The bugs or glitches are easy to spot and recurrent. There’s probably more time spent on fixing the possible problems than creating new content for the video game. It doesn’t matter if the gaming engine is well coded and can still be a good starting point.

Besides the last two points, there’s another factor worth noting, which comes when one development team wants to change the image of their video game. Instead of using the same gaming engine, they start from scratch for a possible sequel. Even though it might take more time for development and money, there are lots of positive elements in taking this approach. With a new gaming engine, the development team has the option to add different gaming mechanics. For example, these unique aspects can improve the experience for their games like adding multiplayer for a sequel.

Bethesda debacle

Gaming Engine
Fallout 76

With the recent news about the “Fallout 76” things that are happening to Bethesda at the moment, we can have one example about old engines. If you’re able to see the recent reviews and thoughts about the game that surface across Youtube, you’ll get the idea. Within ten minutes of gameplay, people tend to experience not just one, but a couple of bugs. At first, there are the graphical aspects of the game that seems to stutter all the time. Besides that, there are constant problems with the computer AI, which gets stuck or doesn’t seem to work at all. Other issues emerge with the connectivity with the game server, from which appears not to be stable at all.

But why does this happens in a practically new game? Even though this is a well-respected gaming development team, this is unforgettable. Just like the second factor from the previous subject in this article, this engine feels too old. Video gaming engines like this require a lot of work to be stable, which means that this game wasn’t ready for launch. Plus, if they try to add new things (that usually is common for this type of games), there is a high chance that this engine is going to break even more.

What can be done to “improve” the state of the game? Pretty much there’s not much to do now. Bethesda already chose this gaming engine to this game, and there’s no turning back. Starting from scratch is not an option anymore, because it may require a couple of years and lots of resources. The game is already on the market, and their player base became established. Imagine if they give one announcement like: “Hello players, we want to change the gaming engine for the next couple of years. We appreciate if you remain patient with no further updates in a long time. Thanks.”

For more about League of Legends, check this out: The Art of Making a Comeback in League of Legends

League of Legends Engine(s)

Gaming Engine
League of Legends Old Graphics

The main difference that the League of Legends Engine has towards the others is that it has no name. Famous gaming engines like “Frostbite” or “Unity,” require a lot of coding from different languages to give the best performance. The other thing too about League of Legends is that this game is practically two programs in one (the main UI, and the game), both of the coded according to its needs.

Like the Bethesda debacle, this gaming engine is somewhat old. Almost all the recent updates that appear to game contain just calculation changes and new champions. There are virtually no impactful patches that can change the core of the game. This “problem” may look somehow wrong if you compare it to the gaming world, but remember that this is a MOBA. The addition of just one single champion can quickly change a lot of things within the game. Only by adding a couple of abilities, and there can be unusual new mechanics that can switch the income of the match. How many champions can the gaming engine hold? We don’t know. Probably this number is endless, but there’s still the chance that everything breaks and there’s nothing else in the future.

Whatever the case it may be. League of Legends still has a big player base that gives it support for more years to come. All the new champions (although overpowered at first), are most welcome to the roster. Plus, the simple mini-games that appear in the events tend to give different gaming experiences.

The Competence

Gaming Engine
Source 2

There are lots of new games that want to try the MOBA genre and change it a little bit. Due to their recent release, they tend to have new engines with more exciting gaming mechanics. Still, though, the number one obstacle to beat is the current player base that League of Legends possesses. One of the critical elements that accompany this type of genre is that they require a lot of knowledge to play well. All that knowledge about the different kinds of champions and their abilities need a lot of time to digest. Taking this into consideration, changing for a different game in this genre may feel tedious and overwhelming.

But, this line of thought can’t last forever. We still don’t know that the future may bring to us. There’s always that chance that a game would be a to combine the MOBA genre with something else. You know, what of those games and come out of nowhere and become number one (Fortnite, for example). The other thing to consider is the longevity of this gaming genre. You may see it with different types of games, like “Real-time Strategy” tend to have less success on the market these days.

If you compare the release date from all the MOBA games, League of Legends was one of the starting games from this genre (with the Warcraft 3 mod called “Dota” being the first). Although it may give some sense of privilege to some people, for others, this doesn’t look that good. Other MOBAs have come and go, “Dota 2” got a new engine with Source 2; and others although active, they are slowly dying. Even though League got a recent update to make their map a lot more stunning, the engine probably won’t last long. Don’t take this as lousy news; improvement always aims for the better.

When it’s time to change things up?

Gaming Engine
World of Warcraft

Different signs can tell any gaming developer that simple updates to their games aren’t cutting it anymore. For instance, and probably the best indicator for this “change,” is the player base. When the graph that shows how many constant players stay on your game keeps going down. The need for something innovating is required to stay alive. Some developers opt to “let it die,” which means that the work for a sequel could be more profitable. Other though, want to keep their only game running as much as possible due to its multiplayer features that keep their player base interested. That’s why Riot opts to stay the same League of Legends Engine running through all these years. Another example is World of Warcraft with its multiple expansions that aim to increase the lore of the game and implement new interesting gaming mechanics.

We aren’t sure about how differences the future may bring. Like previous examples from other “dead games” there’s always the possibility that future hardware or software make these games obsolete. We know that the “VR” thing is still in early development, but if somehow goes mainstream, may have the chance to shift the gaming world into something a lot different. The same can be feasible for a possible change in the controls; new things can change the way we require the keyboard and mouse. Another factor may be the surface of a better computing coding language that isn’t compatible with the current way programmers make their video games. And last but not least, the game engine cannot handle any more changes. No matter the updates, everything doesn’t seem to work like it used to.

What might we get with a new Engine?

Gaming Engine
League of Legends Odyssey

There are lots of positive outcomes that resurface when a new gaming engine hits the market. Due to its recent inception, it means that is compatible with all the latest hardware and software out there. In essence, this implicates that is more optimized and requires fewer updates to work as intended. Another plus is that there will be more stable if the gaming developer wants to add new exciting mechanics for their video game. Better graphics and more freedom are other advantages when a newly coded engine surfaces.

Taking all that into consideration, a new League of Legends Engine can only bring better innovate stuff to the existing game. For example, better graphics that can even make it a step forward and render everything in 3D. More flashy effects and probably give access to more responses to every champion available. There’s also the option to add better mini-games from the events. Some that may change a lot of gaming mechanics and let us play our well-known champions is a different way

The downside though comes with the requirements in the hardware area. Old laptops and ’90s probably won’t cut it anymore. But hey, if you’re a gamer, your PC probably is capable of running the latest triple “A” games on the market. Plus, if you want to stream your gaming experiences to gain some cash while doing it, the PC required may run anything new like butter. Multiplayer games always aim to be compatible with all the current computers while giving the best graphics available out there.

For more about League of Legends, check this out: Fastest Road to Platinum in LoL


Gaming Engine
Gaming Bugs

The video gaming world is always changing for the better. There are impressive new gaming mechanics and stunning graphics that keep the players always wanting more. The core of all is inevitably the game engine. If the base of the game is well coded, there can be a lot of versatility which creates more freedom for all those creative developers. With every year that passes by, there’s always something innovate that tend to enhance the gaming experience and make everything feel more “realistic.”

But just like any piece of software ever coded. The gaming engine has its proper life cycle. Developers try to keep it in “life support” by continuously adding some updates that tend to create more stability in the game. But there comes the time that is contra productive to keep their “zombie” in the closet.

Upgrading a gaming engine may be too costly and requires time for it to be ready. But these actualizations always aim for the better, and it creates a better income in the long run. The future is uncertain for the mixture that contains the League of Legends Engine; maybe someday we’ll get one announcement from Riot for a possible update.


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