What are gaming’s 3 M’s?
I help coach in a bunch of different competitive video games for mostly intro level players. One of the first things I do is explain that there are three key parts to gameplay in all competitive games, and they all start with M.
These are called Micro, Macro, and Meta.
Micro and Macro are prefixes that mean small and large respectively. We can take them to mean the small picture vs the big picture or the battle vs the war.
The third is Meta, which means self referential. In our specific terms, it refers to the game within the game. However, is also a backronym for Most Effective Tactic Available. This basically means the Macro strategy that prevails over all others, but it is important because these strategies are patch based and often only built via high-rank player consensus. People often experiment with other off-meta Macro strategies in order to beat the current Meta.
What is Micro in League of Legends?
We can think of Micro in simple terms as taking two players with identical champions, and making them fight it out. The one who comes away the champion has better Micro.
Again, but in other terms – If we play a mirror matchup, and I win – I had better Micro. This includes things like
- Animation cancels
- Auto attack resets
- Auto cancels
- Last hitting
- So much more!*
*I’m sure there are more I didn’t list – help me out in the comments below.
Micro doesn’t only apply to 1v1 mirror fights only, as these techniques can all be applied in fights with multiple summoners and different champions – but there isn’t much Macro in a mirror matchup, so almost anything you can think of there is Micro.
What is Macro in League of Legends?
This is a much harder term to understand, as there are so many things that go into Macro. It is basically any game decision that isn’t based around Micro.
But this is a guide about what Macro is – so I’ll do my best.
Imagine if league was turned into a game where you could only see the map. Whenever two champions got close together, they would automatically fight by rolling a dice. Having more gold or 2v1 would make your dice rolls much stronger. Macro is being good at this kind of game.
In other terms, Macro is being good at moving resources around the map to increase your chance at winning. Examples!
- Managing minion waves
- Neutral objectives
- Jungler tracking
- Map awareness
- Objective pressure
- Champion picks
- and so much more*
*Again I’m sure there are more I didn’t list – help me out in the comments below!
What is Meta in League of Legends?
While implementation of Micro never really changes (aside from Champion and Item reworks), Macro strategies can change all the time. The current best way to play Macro today will certainly not be the best way to play in 6 months!
Meta is what is the accepted best way to play the Macro game currently.
It is important to note accepted because things that differ from the accepted Meta can be seen as playing the Macro game sub-optimally. People often get quite upset when they think you’re already messing up the game before it starts by picking a Non-Meta champion, or even one that differs from their accepted Meta.
Lots of games have things like Meta, even Chess – that hasn’t had any rules change in over a century!
Examples of different League of Legends Metas over the years – Top Lane Meta, Bot Lane Meta, Tank Meta, Assassin Meta, Funnel Meta, and so many more. Don’t worry too much about learning previous Metas as the only one that matters is the current Meta and the upcoming one. In order to learn about the current Meta look for tier lists from popular high-ranked players.
Also, don’t feel like you have to learn the entire Meta from scratch every time there is a new patch. Most of the time, only a small part of the Meta shifts so keeping up with the patch notes each week will help you stay on board.