Currently there are 5 different game modes: Classic (Summoner’s Rift), Classic(Twisted Treeline), Dominion(Crystal Scar), ARAM(Howling Abyss) and Custom (Any map of the above as designated by the () ).
Classic/Summoner’s Rift – This is where you’ll be playing the majority of your games. It is the 5v5 map and can be played in 5v5 solo/duo queue ranked, 5v5 team ranked, 5v5 normal blind match, 5v5 normal draft pick, and now in Team Builder. Let’s break that down even further:
Ranked matches can be played after you hit level 30 and have at least 16 champions (16 because 6 are banned and you need to account for the 4 that will be picked on your team and the 5 from the other, as well as one for yourself.) I’ll talk a lot more about ranked later so don’t worry too much about it for now.
Normal Blind matches are predominantly what you’ll be playing right now. You queue up by yourself, or with friends, and you pick a roll but you don’t get to see what the enemy picks are until you start the game. In this mode it is important to recognize the significance of call order. If someone wants to play something and they call it before you it is considered their right to have that role. Breaking the meta and going double top or duo jungle can be fun, but do that in a 5 premade or in team builder where people will accept it. Don’t ruin someone else’s experience for the sake of your own. It can ruin the fun for some people and in some cases, is reason to be banned.
Team Builder matches are also blind pick, however, you pick your role before you enter the queue. This enables you to always be guaranteed a certain role/lane. It’s nice if you’re trying to practice something specific, but it lacks in that it usually takes a bit longer to get into game.
Normal Draft matches are considered a practice for ranked matches. They follow the same style that ranked matches do except they don’t effect your ranked standings. In this case the first person gets to ban 3 champions per team. It also works off of what is called ‘Pick Order.’ The first summoner gets to choose their role first and it works all the way til the last. Sorry if you’re stuck in last and someone before you calls mid first, that’s just how that works.
Classic/Twisted Treeline – This is the 3v3 map and has only two lanes. You can do ranked team matches in twisted treeline but not solo/duo ranked games.
Dominion/Crystal Scar – This is another 5v5 map that is circular. The objective is to go around and capture turrets and keep your team’s points. This is only available as a normal match.
ARAM/Howling Abyss – This is a one lane game mode in which your champion is selected for you at random. I personally play this mode when I want to just fool around or I am a little more restricted on time as the game time is usually a bit shorter than regular games. This is also only available in normal play.
Custom mode/Any map – Custom mode is a great for many different possibilities. Maybe you want to practice skills or last hitting. Maybe you have a 9 other people and you all want to do a 5v5 versus each other. Customs are good for many different things so use it often.