"League of Legends" Mac client is back! After being shut down in 2011, Riot Games has reintroduced the Mac client for "LoL," giving content-starved Mac gamers the chance to get in on the most popular game in the world. Riot Games Steve "Udyr" Mieczkowski confirmed the news in a blog post yesterday:

I'm pleased to report that the long-awaited (fabled? mythical?) League of Legends Mac client is almost ready, and it's heading into open beta soonTM.

And by soonTM, I mean that it's available right now on the Public Beta Environment. Open beta, which will allow anyone to access the live servers on Macs, will follow after we're confident in the results from the PBE test.

To make this happen, we've been hard at work: Riot engineers re-wrote a lot of the underlying game engine so that both PC and Mac platforms share the same code base and assets. This means Mac players will receive all future features, bug fixes, and new content at the same time as PC users.

So, how do Mac gamers get in on the action? First, download the Mac PBE client by clicking here. Then it's just a simple matter of following the installer instructions, downloading the necessary patches and logging in.

After that, what next?

I'm definitely going to be getting in on the action this weekend. I have a Mac and have been wanting to get into "LoL" for personal and professional reasons. A few of my colleagues play the game and always tell me how awesome it is, and as a gaming writer, I feel like I'm shirking my duties by not spending any time with this game. So, for all my fellow noobs out there, here's a compilation of "beginner's guide" stuff from the "LoL" website and Game Informer. Let's take this journey together, shall we?

First, the tutorial video from "LoL."

Next, a video about how to move around and do the basics, like use abilities.

Your First Game

Once you have completed the tutorial, it will be beneficial for you to see how these mechanics work in an actual games of "League of Legends." To start your first match, press the "Play" button again. Since this is your first game, you should probably host a practice game, where you will be able to add computer controlled players called "Bots". Bots have adjustable difficulty levels, and will provide a more predictable gameplay experience while you are still getting acquainted with the basics. Sometimes, you might not be able to play a practice game with just yourself and bots. If this is the case, bring a few friends along or find a game with similar players!

  1. To begin the a Practice Game, left click on the "Play" button on the top of the PVP.net client.
  2. From the play menu, select the "Practice Game" selection in the bottom left.
  3. Notice that you arrive at a list of practice games. To host your own, press the "Create Game" button.
  4. Name your game whatever you wish by filling in the "Name" field.
  5. Now, password protect your game by filling in the "Password" field to prevent other players from joining.
  6. Click "Create Game" to enter your game's lobby.
  7. From here you can add your bots. From the drop downs on either team, select the bots that you would like to be your teammates, then create the enemy team. To get the most relevant experience, fill both teams completely.
  8. When you have finished populating your game, press the "Start Game" button.
  9. Note that in order to earn Experience and Influence Points, both teams must have an equal number of players (or bots).

Once your match has begun, you will arrive at the "Champion Select" screen, where you will have 90 seconds to prepare for battle!

Champion Selection

Once you arrive at "Champion Select," your first order of business will be to select the champion you wish to summon. League of Legends offers a wide array of different champion types to choose from, ranging from durable, close combat champions, to fragile, long range heroes, to powerful images with high damage spells. If you would like to know more about the abilities of a certain champion, click the small icon within the champion's portrait to view information about them. Just remember you only have a minute and a half to finish your selection. You can also view this information at your leisure by clicking the "View Summoner Profile" button in the upper right of your PvP.net client and selecting the "Champions" tab, or by visiting the League of Legends community site.

Simply left-click on the champion you wish to summon. You may change your selection up until you hit the "Lock In" button.

Summoner Spells

In the next screen you may choose your summoner spells. Summoner spells allow you to assist your champion (or, in some cases, your teammate's champion) in various ways. There are many spells to choose from; but choose wisely because you may only bring two of these into battle. Choose your Summoner Spells by clicking on one of the "Spells" icons in the center of the screen, then clicking on the two Summoner Spells you wish to use.

  • Tip: Try to imagine which summoner abilities would be best suited to both your team and your champion. For example, if you are playing a support champion you may want to pick up the Heal spell for the synergy it offers with your champion's existing abilities

Runes

The next screen is where you select your rune book page. For more information on your rune book, you can visit the Summoner information page. From here you may choose which of your previously generated rune pages you feel will most benefit your chosen champion. While you cannot change your rune book pages at "Champion Select," you can select from one of your presets. Click the drop-down under "Runes & Masteries" and select the rune page you want to use. Hover your mouse over any rune page to display a summary of benefits provided by the rune page.

  • Tip: Even if you are unsure of how you want to build your character, you should always select a rune page before entering the game. Runes can only benefit your character, and are never detrimental.

Getting Started

Once you have selected your champion, summoner spells, and rune page, you are placed into a team chat. If there were players in your game, you could use this time to discuss strategies and champion selections with your teammates before the game starts. For now, just wait patiently until the timer runs down.

After the timer has run out for champion selection, its time for the champions to take their places on the Field of Justice.

After loading, you and your teammates start out on the summoner platform. Next to the summoner platform you will find the shop. Here you can choose your first items to bring with you onto the battlefield. To access the shop, right click the shop keeper or press the "P" key.

Starting out you have 475 gold to spend. As the game progresses and you generate more gold you will be able to return here to buy additional equipment. If you are unsure of what to buy, you may wish to refer to the suggested items in the bar at the upper right hand corner of the shop interface.

  • Tip: If you find that you are having trouble staying alive, items that increase health regeneration make excellent choices for keeping your health high in the early game. In many cases, these items can be upgraded later on to form even more powerful items for you to use. Alternatively, potions can provide an affordable method of healing early on.

Champion Abilities

Every champion has five abilities at his disposal over the course of the game. The first three abilities are your champion's standard abilities and area available starting at level 1. The fourth ability, or ultimate ability, becomes available for you to choose at level 6. This is typically a very powerful ability, often with a longer cool down. The fifth ability is always a passive ability. This ability is free, and always active.

At level one, and at each level thereafter, your champion receives one ability point. When you have ability points available to distribute, you will see a plus sign above each of your available abilities. Left clicking on the plus sign above a specific ability unlocks the next rank of that ability. Your first three abilities have a maximum rank of 5, and your ultimate ability has a maximum rank of 3.

  • Tip: If you are trying out a new character, try not to place all your ability points in a single ability first. Unlocking at least one rank of another ability earlier in the game will allow you to make use of a more diverse repertoire of different tactics when confronted with an enemy.

Choosing a Lane

Once you have chosen your initial ability and items, it is time for you to choose a lane. Since you are just starting out, try to choose a lane with a partner. Deep within the enemy base, near their summoner platform, lies their nexus. Victory is achieved through the destruction of the enemy team's nexus. Guarding the nexus are several turrets that are placed at even intervals in separate lanes. You have to push your way through these lanes in order to reach the enemy nexus. In each lane, however, you will undoubtedly run into the opposing champions and their minions. A minion wave is a group of computer controlled warriors that spawn from your nexus to assist your assault on the enemy base. The minions, however, are relatively weak on their own, and will need your assistance in order to deal with the enemy champions.

  • Tip: Striking the killing blow on a minion gives you extra gold to spend on items. This is referred to as the "last hit."

Pushing a Lane

In addition to the enemy minions and champions, there are the turrets to contend with. Turrets will defend against oncoming minion waves and champions. While trying to push forward into your enemies' territory, you will have to destroy these turrets in order for your army to continue its assault. Your creeps will not be able to pass any further up a lane until the closest turret to them is destroyed.

It is unwise, however, to attack a turret unassisted by your minions. These turrets can do massive damage to even the mightiest of champions. Make sure you have either a minion wave or another allied champions with you before you think about launching an attack on a turret.

  • Tip: Dividing your territory from the enemy's is a river. Once you have crossed into enemy territory, be careful! There are many places in which enemy players can lie in ambush!

Brush

You may also notice that scattered throughout the Field of Justice are patches of tall grass. These areas provide you with stealth, making you invisible to enemy minions and champions who are not also in the brush. These areas come in handy often, allowing you to set up ambushes, or to quickly escape and hide when it is necessary.

  • Tip: If you wish to remain completely invisible to nearby enemies, don't attack while in the grass. Attacking from within the grass will give away your position to nearby enemies.

Inhibitors

When you reach the opposing team's base you will notice a small structure right behind the perimeter turret. This structure is called an inhibitor. An enemy inhibitor prevents your nexus from spawning super minions in the corresponding lane. Super creeps are especially durable creeps capable of dealing a large amount of damage. Just a few of these can spell serious trouble for a team's defenses, making the enemy inhibitor an important strategic target.

  • Tip: It is a good idea not to waste too much time pushing into the enemies base after destroying an inhibitor. A destroyed inhibitor will respawn after a time, once again preventing your nexus from creating super creeps until you are able to destroy that inhibitor again!

The Nexus

The final threat contained within an enemy's base is the nexus. The nexus is the most important structure on the battlefield, and is the source of the enemy's minion armies. Because it is so important, the nexus is defended by the enemy team's two most powerful turrets. Make sure you have a strong minion army with you before you think about engaging the enemy's nexus. However, if you manage to destroy the enemy nexus, their backbone of their war machine will be broken, and you will be declared victorious.

  • Tip: Unlike other turrets on the map, the turrets near the nexus regenerate slowly if they are damaged but not fully destroyed.

Miscellaneous Tips

  • For people just starting out, I would suggest picking a character, any character that appeals to you, and playing that character until you start to feel more secure about how the game works and the different champions function. Some good ones to consider player right of the bat would be: Garen, Ashe, Alistar, Shen, Annie,
  • Standing in a bush will hide you from enemies outside the bush, provided they haven't put a ward (an item that grants vision) in the same bush.
  • Boots are useful items to get early since they increase your movement speed, allowing you to successfully chase down enemies or escape.
  • When you are first starting out, buying items can be a bit overwhelming. Stick with the recommended items suggested by the game until you feel more comfortable experimenting.
  • Vision on the map is important. Knowing when an enemy is coming will save your life. Buy wards.
  • Pay attention to the mini-map. You could save a teammate in danger or avoid a trap.
  • There is a mute function in game. Press tab and click the little speech bubble next to the champion you wish to silence.
  • If you are playing a support, try not to kill minions. AD carries need to get a lot of gold in order to be effective. Supports don't.
  • It is better to lose a tank or a support than an AD carry or an AP mid.
  • Though everyone should buy at least one or two wards to place around the map, the support should be buying wards all the time to place everywhere.
  • Positive communication with your team is key. Big comebacks can be made through persistence and good humor.
  • Be courteous to other players. Just because you are frustrated or others are frustrated with you doesn't mean you should devolve to the level of civility found in YouTube comments.