How to Spend Gold Efficiently in LoL



Tue 2nd Feb 2021 - 5:52pm

The Item Shop is where you will be spending your hard-earned gold in League of Legends, whether you got it from minions, champions, jungle monsters, or enemy turrets. Every role in the game earns gold, and it will be the main influencer on your team's victory throughout the game. Besides earning it from killable units, every champion will passively generate approximately 20 gold per 10 seconds starting at the 2 minute marker. Support items will increase this passive gold generation since they do not focus on last-hitting minions or clearing jungle camps. Other units that grant gold upon last-hitting are wards, both stealth wards and control wards, as well as champion summons, like Zyra's plants or Shaco's boxes. Turret plating will grant extra gold when destroyed, but this plating will expire at the 14 minute marker. Additionally, the first turret to be destroyed will grant that team extra gold.

Killing champions has its own specific breakdown, for example, the first champion slain will award the participants in extra gold, and killing streaks will raise a bounty on the champion, making them worth additional gold when slain. A champion with no kills and no deaths is worth 300 gold, as well as a champion with a single kill and no new deaths. When a champion has a two-kill streak, they are worth 450 gold upon death. This amount increases with each additional kill in the streak, three kills raising the bounty to 600, then an additional 100 gold bounty is added with each consecutive kill after three. A killing streak can only be broken when the champion is slain, and keep in mind that assists will only receive 150 gold no matter what the bounty is set to. There are also "death streaks", per se, that decrease the champion's gold value with each consecutive death. When a champion has died once, their gold value is dropped to 274. This value drops to 220 after two deaths, 176 after three, 140 after four, 112 after five, and finally, it drops to 100 gold for six and higher consecutive deaths. Basically, farming an enemy champion for easy kills will eventually be less valuable than a wave of minions, however, their value will be reset to the base 300 gold if that champion happens to gain their own kill.

A few champions have their own unique ways of earning some extra gold. Some examples are Draven's passive, League of Draven, that allows him to earn gold based off of his Adoration stacks, Senna receiving gold whenever she collects the fallen Mist Wraiths from dead enemy units, and Skarner's Crystal Spires that grant gold when capturing them. Other than champions, the runes Future's Market and Triumph also increase your overall gold intake throughout the game.

As far as minion gold goes, the amount that minions give increases gradually over the course of the game. At the start of the game, a wave of minions grants an average of 125 gold, assuming the entire wave is last-hit. At the 15 minute marker, this gold increase to 147, then at 17:15 it increases to 150, and at the 25 minute marker it increases to 195. These waves consist of three melee minions, three caster minions, and every third wave will also include a siege minion. It is important to note that after 15 minutes, every second wave will spawn a siege minion, and from the 25 minute marker and on, every single wave will spawn a siege minion.

Early Game Spending

At the start of the game, every champion starts with 500 gold. The items you buy here depend on your role and your champion, but most champions will either grab a Doran's item, jungle item, or support item, along with a couple potions. Alternatively, some champions only start with the Corrupting Potion and some junglers may pick up a Refillable Potion. Either way, you will start your lane with just a small portion of your desired inventory, and you will want to spend your gold wisely from here on out to maximize value. No matter what role or champion you are playing, you never want to stay in lane with too much gold, and you never want to return to base with too little gold. In order to avoid this, be sure to go back and spend gold after winning a big team fight and try not to lose too much health by getting out poked by your enemy laner. If you find yourself way too low on resources to stay in lane, it is still a good idea to try and recall and regenerate, even if you do not have much gold, so that you are not an easy target for your enemies.

If you get an easy double kill bot lane, for example, but have not recalled to spend the gold, you are technically still even with your enemy laners, (or maybe behind, depending on if they were able to spend their money for an item), and this can leave you extremely vulnerable if they immediately try to engage on you. The best course of action in this situation is to secure your kill(s), finish your current minion wave, and begin returning to base in the safety of your turret. You will now be able to return to lane with brand new items and you can keep up with your advantage against your enemy laner.

In some instances, you may not have an easy chance to return to base and buy, especially if the enemy has Teleported back into lane to re-engage with you, or if their allies were able to rotate to stop you after you secured your kills. Keep in mind during these scenarios that you have not spent your gold earned through your recent kills yet, and therefore, are not any stronger than you were a few moments ago. This can quickly lead to an easy shut down that can either allow your enemy to catch up with you, or even surpass you and take your advantage. 

Now, if you cannot buy an item when you return to base, whether you were killed or otherwise forced out of your lane, you will want to return to lane as quickly as you can, and try to catch up with the time you lost in base. Another way to optimize this down time is to view the shop while you are recalling, so that you know exactly what to buy when you arrive in base, allowing you to hurry back to lane with the least amount of time wasted as possible. Keep in mind that you should always recall in a safe area away from the enemy's vision or under the safety of a turret so that your recall is not interrupted.

When playing the jungler, ideally, you do not want to return to base if you have jungle camps spawned and ready. It is easy for junglers to miss their camp rotation when they are distracted by ganks or big objectives like Dragon or Rift Herald, but you will start to fall behind in gold if you slack off on clearing your entire jungle path, especially if you were not able to successfully gank or secure an objective. Of course, you will still want to recall and spend gold if an objective is about to spawn (usually within about 40 seconds), so that you can be ready to engage in a possible fight. This remains true for all champions and roles, as you want to be full on resources and ready with your items to secure objectives and win team fights. 

Spending Throughout the Game

No matter what role you are in, it is important to know what your power spikes are in terms of items. For example, grabbing Noonquiver as an ADC as quickly as possible will give you a huge boost to minion clearing and damage dealing in general, which is a great power spike after getting some early kills. Upgrading to your Mythic item will also be a huge power spike, as it usually completely changes how your champion performs in lane and fights. Keep in mind that you never want to be building two different items at the same time, you want to build one item at a time by purchasing all of that item's components and eventually upgrading them. This will make your item upgrades efficient and meaningful, since having a bunch of halves of items will not be as effective as a fully upgraded and functional item. In most situations, you will want to build your Mythic item first, however, you may want to get your upgraded boots first, or at least, your base boots. Either way, you want to make sure you upgrade your boots at least after finishing your Mythic item, since every other champion will have boots at this point, making them faster than you if you have not built yours.

You want to make sure you are buying the right item at all times, since selling the item after leaving the shop will not give you the full cost back. If you have not left the shop yet, you can always undo your purchase if you bought something incorrect. As mentioned before, power spikes are still present mid to late game, and if you are sitting on excess gold that could easily finish one of your items, be sure to recall and spend your gold before engaging in an important team fight, especially since fights this late in the game can be the determining factor in your team's victory.

Another way to gain a power spike before a big fight is to grab an Elixir to boost your champion's stats. For example, if you are close to securing the final Dragon for Dragon Soul and the fight is going to be close, you can grab an Elixir when you go to reset in base. In most cases, you do not want to buy an elixir if you have not completed all of your items, but if an important fight is about to happen and you cannot upgrade an item but have enough for an elixir, it is still worth it to get a quick power spike to turn the fight in your favor.

Another tip to remember throughout the game is the purchasing of Control Wards. Everyone in the game should be buying one, even if you are not the support, since vision is one of the most important features in the game. Try to always leave at least one slot in your inventory open as long as you can so you can drop a Control Ward on an area of interest. Keep in mind that you can only place one Control Ward at a time per player, so you do not need to keep multiple Control Wards in your inventory at a time.


Gold is a constant factor in your game play and ultimately determines how the game will go. Being behind in gold will make it harder and harder to win team fights and secure objectives, so focus on farming up minions if you cannot get champion kills. Be sure to always know of your power spikes when it comes to items and remember to spend your gold after a successful fight so that you can maintain your advantage. Being smart and decisive when spending gold will be an important skill to pick up, as it will help you maximize your game play and take home the win.