Farming minions is the single most important method for gaining gold in League of Legends. All you need to do is get the last hit on a minion, and you’ll watch your coin pouch begin to stack.
Looking for more LoL tips and tricks? Click to view all our League of Legends guides.
That said, last-hitting minions is the easy part. The hard part is making sure you stay on pace with other players in your game (and hopefully, ahead of them). The way to achieve this? By earning a good CS per minute.
What Is CS?
“CS” is an acronym meaning “creep score.” A player’s CS refers to how many minions and jungle monsters they’ve killed throughout the game.
For everyone other than the jungler, CS is going to come almost exclusively from killing minions. On the flip side, Jungler CS comes primarily through killing jungle camps, and maybe the occasional minion or two. In short, CS represents a player’s gold income via minion and/or monster kills.
What Is Considered a Good CS Per Minute?
Calculating a good CS per minute depends on a number of factors. The major ones are the player’s rank and role. For players in the Iron to Silver range, a solid CS would be around 6–7 CS per minute. From Gold to Platinum, 8 CS/min is a good goal to hit. In higher ranks, players typically want to be closer to 10 CS/min, if possible.
In terms of CS by role, it doesn’t change all that much. In general, ADC is the role that cares the most about CS, especially in the late game. Top and Mid Lane want to farm as much as possible through lane phase, but don’t need quite as much late (although they still need to stay on pace). Jungler CS will almost always be lower than everyone else’s since there are fewer jungle monsters than lane minions, but their CS is worth more gold.
At around ten minutes, the average non-jungle player should have somewhere between 60 and 80 CS. At twenty minutes, you should aim for 120–160. The rate does go down a bit after that, but you should try your best to stay on pace with this trajectory.
Farming by Lane
Each lane comes with its own difficulties in terms of farming CS. Since each lane contains different types of characters, I’m going to split this section into multiple groups.
Top Lane: Farming as a top lane Champion is fairly easy. Against tanks, the best strategy is to go for your farm when they’re not on top of the lane, since they’ll try to force you back. If you’re ranged, you’ll want to push them up against their tower; if not, it’ll probably be more of a stalemate in the middle. Against brawlers, it all depends on how aggressively they’re playing. You probably want to let the wave push up closer to your tower against brawlers. This won’t be so hard since they’ll typically clear their wave quickly and allow theirs to push.
Mid Lane: Farming in the mid lane is hard to predict. Against burst mages, the main thing to watch out for is them trying to burst you as you farm. Wait until they use abilities on their wave before getting close (if you need to). Assassins will want to do something similar to mages, but their burst will require them to be on top of you as well. So farming against assassins depends entirely on who you’re playing. One thing to also watch out for is your enemy laner’s roams. If they leave lane and you don’t follow, that’s a great chance to focus on CS and catch up on any you might have missed.
ADC: Achieving a good CS per minute as an ADC is fairly straightforward. You want to get as much CS as possible since your gold is so important, but you do also have to watch out for two enemies at the same time. This presents a challenge in most scenarios, but since you’re ranged you’ll be able to stand back further and still farm. If it gets really tough, you can always let enemies push your wave and catch it under tower. Farming under tower on ADC isn’t too hard, so this is always a reliable strategy.
Jungle: Farming in the jungle is very complicated, so I’m not going to go into too detail about it here. All you need to know in general is that to get CS in the jungle, you have to kill jungle monsters. There’s obviously a lot more to it than that, but it would need to be covered in its own separate article.
Good CS Per Minute: Improving Your CS
One of the best ways to improve your CS is to start tracking your performance. A tool like OP.GG is a great place to get started. Navigate to the site, select your region such as North America (NA), and then enter your Summoner name. The site will calculate your score for you and you’ll find your CS per minute.
When trying to improve your CS, the first thing you need to do is start actively focusing on farming. It’s easy to zone out or focus only on your enemy laners, but you need to avoid it in early game, as this is where farming is the most important and most difficult.
Keeping your focus on farming while also keeping note of enemies isn’t easy all the time, but it’s essential. Once you start doing this, you’ll immediately see your average CS begin going up.
I also recommend checking your stats frequently to see how you’re doing in games and figure out where you need to improve. Also try to learn your enemies’ patterns. It shouldn’t take too long in a game to figure out how your opponent is going to try to play, so make note of that. It’ll let you know how you need to adjust your farming strategy from the beginning.
Become a High Grounder
Farming and keeping a good CS per minute is no easy feat, especially for newer players. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been playing for years, it’s never a bad idea to practice farming and try to improve. We hope you enjoyed out LoL CS guide — be sure to leave a comment if you have any further tips.