league-client-update

Riot Games has announced the start of the League of Legends Client Cleanup Campaign. This attempt to fix the client will be a project lasting the entire year. Riot is looking forward to an improved client, and they have a detailed plan for this effort.

In an official developer’s blog post, Riot discusses what they have coming up. “Over the next six months or so we’ll ship a number of changes and improvements to the League client’s backend infrastructure.” They go on to list a few specific targets to reach their goal. First is the client bootstrap time. Second is the champion select lock-in time. Both of these client performance metrics are in dire need of fixing.

Bootstrap times

Riot Games continues by discussing the long-term issues that plenty of users have complained about. “The client is not in great shape. It’s got too many bugs, too much lag (especially in champ select), and a whole host of issues like memory leaks, crashes, freezes, and on and on.”

Riot has implemented a few tools in the client in the past year that greatly helped them understand what bugs to fix and how. These tools measured how long it took for the client to boot up. Most importantly, it gave them the goal of bringing the boot time down to 15 seconds.

Lock-in response times

The company also kept track of how long it takes for users to lock-in a champion during Champion Select. They compared results between the 9.22 and 10.2 patches. Luckily, lock-in times have improved over the past year. Of course, this doesn’t take into account how the speed of some players’ machines or their connection, so it is a general estimation of lock-in times.

champ select percentile

Riot Games

Some of the times varied depending on ping, and there is a separate chart indicating this information. For example, median players have experienced decent lock-in times at 300 milliseconds. The 70th percentile of players have experienced response times of 450 milliseconds. Overall, these measurements are not good enough for Riot, and they plan to work on improving it.

Riot Games

Future fixes

Riot has a few plans up their sleeves to help us enjoy League of Legends bug- and lag-free. They list two target goals they have for these aspects of the client:

  1. We want to lower bootstrap time to about 15 seconds, even for 90th percentile players. That’s between three and four times faster, compared to where it’s at now.
  2. We want to get champ select lock-in response times down to around 100ms for 90th percentile players. That’s about eight times faster than today.

They do also mention a few faults within the client that prevent it from working properly. First, there are too many plugins being used in the client. There is also a misuse of their Javascript framework (called Ember). Most of these plugins help manage the clients’ friends list, notifications, and collections tab. As they cut down on the plugins, they hope to find fewer bugs and inefficiencies within those features.

Unnecessary plugins

Additionally, the number of apps being created during champ select is the reason why it is so laggy. “The longer you play League in a single session, the more these apps pile up on top of each other […] This problem is compounded by the fact that most of the actions you take during champ select rely on communication with our servers, adding latency to every interaction.”

Riot plans to combat this issue by reworking the way data is passed between the server and the client. This will remove plenty of unnecessary plugins and inputs that contribute to the bad client experience.

The developer expects the start of this project to take around six months to complete. Until then, they will continue to take criticism and feedback for their client.

What are your personal experiences with League of Legends‘ champ select? Do you find it to work slower than you’d like? Let us know in the comment section below.

Carly Soba
Digital artist, bunny mom, and avid League of Legends fan. I write about all sorts of things, mostly esports business deals, investments, and game coverage. I'm passionate about helping professional women succeed in the esports industry. Catch me on Twitter: @carlysoba