How To Improve Farming CS in LoL

Learning how to farm is the most basic skill that any MOBA player needs to master early on. Here are some tips on how to improve farming CS in LoL.

how to improve farming cs lol
how to improve farming cs lol

Getting a high creep score (CS) is the most basic skill that players need to master in MOBA games like League of Legends. Having a consistently high CS separates a good player from a bad one. However, we can’t expect every player to know how to master CSing from the get-go, so we’re going to teach you how to improve farming League of Legends minions in this guide.

Why Do You Need To Improve at Farming?

Before you learn how to farm minions, you need to understand why this is such an important task. As you might already know, gold is the most important thing in a League of Legends game. The champion with the most gold will be the most dangerous unit on Summoners Rift. That’s why killing enemy champions, taking down jungle monsters, taking down structures, and farming enemy minions are the primary objectives in the game.

Allied minions squaring off against enemy minions.

Farming CS is the best way to get gold, especially if you’re not a champion with a high chance of killing enemy champions. This is true for every lane, except for the Support Role, which is recommended to avoid farming enemy minions in the presence of an ally. There is no point in the game where you should stop farming minions, so it’s good to learn how to do this consistently.

How to Improve Farming CS

Learning how to farm minions requires a systematic approach and isn’t as simple as “just kill the creeps.” Attacking minions randomly without the proper information can be devastating to your creep score because it ultimately leads to players missing a few minions every wave. Even if it’s one or two minions per wave, missing the CS can ultimately lead to hundreds or thousands of gold wasted throughout the game.  Here are the things you need to learn about when learning how to CS:

Understanding Minion Types

The first step to getting good at farming CS is understanding each minion type. League of Legends has four three basic minions types and upgraded versions called “Super Minions” when they are empowered by the Baron Buff. Each minion requires a certain number of hits to kill, so you need to learn the differences in each minion.

Minion Type Health Gold Value How to Last Hit Minions Under Tower
Melee Minions Moderate 21 2 Tower Shorts, Followed by 1 Auto-Attack
Caster Minions Low 14 1 Auto-attack, 1 Tower Shot, 1 Auto-attack Again
Cannon Minions Very High 60-90 7 Tower Shots, Followed by 1 Auto-Attack

The gold value on each minion doesn’t mean there’s a higher target priority when farming. Remember that your primary objective when farming is to get EVERY minion on the wave or as many as possible. In the “How To Last Hit Minions Under Tower” column, this usually only applies in the early game when players haven’t bought any attack damage items yet. If you’re an AD champion, the attack pattern changes because your auto-attacks also deal a higher amount of damage. This chart applies to all lanes on Summoners Rift.

Using Items and Abilities to Clear the Wave

One of the most underutilized tactics in lower ELOs is using abilities and activated items to help clear minion waves. This is especially true if you’re using a good farming champion. While you might be conditioned to only use your abilities to harass the enemy, you should consider using them for last hitting minions or lowering their HP to make them more manageable. In fact, during the early game, you should almost always use your abilities solely to thin out the wave and last hit minions that are low on health.

League of Legends Website featuring Ryze's abilities.

Once you get used to using your abilities in thinning out the wave’s HP, you can learn how to harass the enemy while using your abilities to farm minions. That’s usually done by having minions in the direction of your projectile skill or inside the area-of-effect of that skill. In terms of activated abilities, we recommend using them only when they have low cooldowns, with items like Hextech Protobelt or Ironspike Whip (and its build paths) being good items to farm the wave.

Wave Management

Wave Management is a bit of an advanced tactic that will require a long time to master, so even if you’re in a lower ELO, this should be something you should learn about. Wave management refers to controlling the speed at which enemy minions move towards your tower. By manipulating the wave, you’ll be able to deny gold and experience from the enemy team or your opponent laner. Here are the different types of wave management:

Type Map Position How to Execute Purpose
Fast Push Any lane Kill all enemy melee minions, intentionally keep alive ranged minions Fast pushing allows your minions to die under the enemy turret before the enemy arrives.
Slow Push Any lane Kill all enemy ranged minions, intentionally keep alive melee minions Slow pushing builds up a large wave on your side so that they can siege enemy structures.
Freeze Just Outside Allied Turret Range Kill all enemy minions just until there is exactly the same number of melee minions on both sides and at least three more ranged minions than yours on the enemy side. Never deal damage to minions, only last hit those that die. Never let them get inside turret range. Freezing places you in a state where the enemy can’t gain gold and experience because they’ll always be in ranged to get killed by your champion. Only do this if your champion has the ability to defend the wave.

Wave management can be done from early game to late game, which is the primary strength of this tactic. High ELO players in Gold and above understand that properly managing the wave can break the state of the game and cause a team to win or lose. We suggest that you learn more about this by watching advanced videos or reading in-depth articles about it. You can also learn about Proxy Farming, which is an excellent way to farm CS in certain situations.

Should Support Champions Farm CS?

The answer depends on a number of things. For example, champions that start with the Relic Shield and Steel Shoulderguards should definitely farm minions (advisably, melee or cannon creeps) whenever those items have a charge. Support champions should also farm minions if there are no allied champions nearby because the extra gold can be helpful in those situations.

Janna channeling the power of the wind.

Similarly, Junglers should only farm jungle monsters but should help clear out waves when an allied champion is absent in their lane, and the wave is crashing towards their tower. Never take minions from a laner, especially in the mid and bot lanes, because those lanes require getting a lot of gold and experience. Unlike supports, junglers are eventually allowed to farm waves when the laning phase is over since they’ll need to catch up in gold and experience.