League of Legends Arena – LoL’s newest mode explained

League of Legends Arena – LoL’s newest mode explained
Tom Bardwell Updated on by

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League of Legends Arena is the lastest in a long line of limited time modes heading to Riot Games’ obnoxiously popular MOBA this July. Put simply, it’s a Frankenstein’s monster-esque love child of Teamfight Tactics and Summoner’s Rift designed to get players into the action faster and serve up a slice of ‘truly wacky nonsense.’

We’ll walk you through all the gritty details of how League of Legends Arena works, covering Augments, maps, Cameos, the rules, and how each match will play out. If you haven’t already, check out the lowdown on the League of Legends 13.12 patch notes.

League of Legends Arena mode basics

Nothing beats a list, so here are the basics of LoL Arena mode:

  • Four teams of two players
  • Six initial rounds, then more if a victory hasn’t been decided
  • Round robin match-ups
  • Two phases for each round – Shop phase and Combat phase
  • Four maps
  • A constricting Ring of Fire that starts at 40 seconds 
  • Neutral Soul Fighter champions Cameos
  • Skill-modifying Augments that stack and can modify each other
  • Ranked system
  • Honourable exits

How to play League of Legends Arena mode

Each game starts with a blind pick and ban phase. Each player gets one ban then selects a champion. Mirror matchups are allowed but only across teams not in the same team. 

League of Legends Arena: Arena Shop Phase.

Buy Phase

From there, players are awarded gold and enter the Shop Phase where they can buy items or, depending on the phase, choose an Augment. Each Shop Phase lasts 45 seconds, or eight seconds once all players have purchased an item or chosen an Augment. Here’s how each buy phase plays out for each round: 

  • Round one – 1000 gold 
  • Round two – Augment 
  • Round three – 1000 gold 
  • Round four – 3000 gold 
  • Round five – Augment 
  • Round six – 3000 gold 
  • Subsequent rounds – repeat of rounds 4 to 6 until a team wins

Boots and starter items cost 1000 gold, while Legendaries and Mythics are priced at 3000 gold in League of Legends Arena. The shop only sells completed items, most of which are imported from Summoner’s Rift but tweaked for the new mode. Arena also features a few brand new items.

Starter items are substantially more powerful than those on Summoner’s Rift. The gold allocation and item stats are designed so that players have similar power levels at every stage of the game. You can also get additional gold – 350 gold for each enemy kill – which can be spent on Juices, one-round combat-boosting elixirs. We’ll touch on Augments lower down.

Combat Phase

With money spent and Augments chosen, it’s on to the League of Legends Arena Combat Phase. Each team of two players faces off against another team of two players, for a total of two simultaneous battles on one of four maps (more on those below).

Combat borrows the real-time fighting of Summoner’s Rift. Each team starts with 20 health, losing two health for the first defeat, rising gradually to eight lost health in the final round. Victory is achieved when both players on the opposing team die. When only three teams remain in later rounds, one is given a bye. Winners carry their health into the next round. Teams that reach zero health are eliminated and can leave the game to queue up for the next without penalties. 

Roughly 40 seconds into the Combat Phase, a Ring of Fire appears, reducing the size of the battlefield every ten seconds until the whole Arena is engulfed. Players caught in the ring take damage. From round four onward, there’s a chance for Soul Fighters Champions to make Cameos in each Combat Phase. More on this below.

During the Combat Phase, tenacity, movement speed, and slow resistance increase as players lose health. Additionally, players gain tenacity the more they are targetted of crowd control abilities.

League of Legends Arena: Arena Augment selection screen.


During the Shop Phase of round two and five, you’ll select an Augment from three options. These are similar to those in TFT, but much more powerful. There are over 60 Augments, separated into randomly assigned silver, gold, and prismatic tiers, each granting a unique buff that either combines with champion skills or gives players one of several unique spells called Active Augments. Some trigger automatically and certain Augments affect existing Augments for all manner of unique interactions and combos. During each Augment Shop Phase, players can choose to reroll their Augment selection, up to two times per game.


From round four onwards, there’s a chance that Soul Fighter Champions will make Cameos in the Combat Phase. These are described as ‘team-neutral and operate as battlefield hazards’, says Riot. They are designed to add a degree of uncertainty to the outcome of fights and to alter the flow of battle, positively and negatively. Here’s a breakdown of all the Cameos and what they do:

  • Evelynn: Grants all players camouflage.
  • Gwen: Occasionally protects the lowest health players with Hallowed Mist.
  • Jhin: Casts Curtain Call, alternate shots on each player.
  • Lux: Rotates a laser tripwire, casting Final Spark on any champion to trip it.
  • Naafiri: The pack patrols the arena, leaping on any champions they come across.
  • Pyke: Occasionally casts Phantom Undertow at the furthest player.
  • Samira: Combos off players crowd control; casts ultimate after doing so 6 times.
  • Sett: Can be attacked: casts Haymaker at the enemy of whoever last-hits.
  • Shaco: Continously places jack-in-the-boxes around the arena.
  • Viego: The first player to die instead becomes Viego for a time.
League of Legends Arena: Arena battlefield.

League of Legends Arena maps

Riot has created four brand new unique combat spaces (or maps) for Arena. They are all circular and feature a unique theme, size, and terrain density, the most striking of which is a new terrain type called Deep Water. It’s similar to bushes in that it’s solid terrain, except that it doesn’t block vision while still working as water. Alongside, Arena introduces a new plant, the Power Flower. Attacking a Power Flower grants a shield, heal, and cooldown reduction. Each flower has three charges.

Summoner Spells

Riot has opted to axe Runes and Summoner spells for Arena mode, except for Flash and a new spell dubbed Flee. To spice things up, certain Augments will swap out Flee for different, unique spells, called Active Augments. We don’t know the full slate of Active Augments, but Riot hinted at Zhonya’s Epiphany and Now You See Me, both engage-style spells designed to prompt all-in dives without the usual worry of a swift death.

Ranked League of Legends Arena

League of Legends Arena features its very own Ranked System that players can climb. It features five ranks, as below: 

  • Wood
  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Gladiator

Points are earned for placing in the top two teams of each game, and points are lost when placed in the bottom two teams. For the first five games, no points are lost for defeats to give players a chance to learn the ropes.

That about covers the new League of Legends Arena mode. It launches alongside the Soul Fighters event on July 20, 2023.