Saturday, August 25, 2012

Technical Support : Maintaining League of Legends

If you have been playing League of Legends for a while, you may have run into a few instances where the game fails to launch or loads slowly. The solutions to most of those problems can be found here, but today we're going to be discussing how to properly maintain your League of Legends installation to prevent these sorts of bugs from happening.

Proper Maintenance
League of Legends frequently updates, which can cause a lot of fragmentation and a fairly high chance for corrupted files. This is not bad programming or anything like that, it's just basically how Windows works. In fact, LoL uses some pre-existing Windows programs to help it run. The most important of which is Adobe AIR.

AIR is the platform for the LoL Launcher. Think of it as a sort of browser. Keeping it up to date with the latest version can help prevent many launcher related issues. There is a method to determine which version of Adobe AIR that is currently installed in your system ( found here ), but it's just as simple to go to the web site below and install the latest version.

Download Adobe AIR Installer

Other Software
Fragmentation. This has been the bane of Windows for a millennium (or almost 30 years). The way to combat this is through defragmentation utility programs. There is one that ships with Windows, but there are a lot better alternatives. Two of my favorites are:

Advanced System Care, or ASC for short, is made by IOBit, and is a suite of repair and maintenance programs for your entire computer. It can help fix more than just League of Legends, and is extremely easy to use. You can use the free version to scan your system once a week, or buy the pro version to allow it to run in the background and perform automated services for you as well as giving you access to a few more programs in its Toolbox to configure your internet for maximum speed.

Defraggler comes from Piriform, the developers of CCleaner. Defraggler is sleek and a bit faster than ASC. It also allows you to target a single folder for defrag by right clicking the folder and selecting the option in the drop down menu. On top of that, the free version won't hound you to upgrade it like ASC free sometimes will. The pro version comes with a year of tech support and automated updates, but if you're going to go that route, spring for the package deal with CCleaner Professional to get the most out of your purchase.

Game Booster is a subset of ASC. This is deceptively more advanced than the last two programs. It has five main functions:
  • Boosting - What the program is most known for. Using this before starting a game can be a huge help to many people. However, with great power comes great responsibility. Everytime you boost, it shuts down background services and defragments your ram. When you end your boost, it restarts the services. This has a tendency to restart programs that you don't want to reopen, like iTunes. Extended use also appears to have a negative impact on the system, so don't use this feature unless you know how to customize your services.
  • Defragging - When it first installs, it creates a catalogue of all of the games on your computer. This allows you to boost and launch a program with a click, but also to defrag specific installations, like Defraggler can.
  • Tweaking - The functionality of this feature is similar to what the main ASC program offers as part of the scan. It checks system settings to make sure they're optimized, and checks virtual memory settings. Run this once, and again whenever Game Booster updates.
  • Checking Drivers - Game Booster can check to make sure that all of your drivers are up to date, which is important, but this is another feature that needs to be handled with care. If you bought your computer from Dell, HP, etc. use their support site to download the latest drivers for your system instead. A lot of the time, those companies use proprietary drivers in their machines which may not be detected properly by Game Booster.
  • Diagnose - This is extremely useful if you run into any major errors. This won't fix the problem, but it will create a detailed log of your system that you can copy and paste to tech forums. This will provide almost all of the information that tech support will need, regarding your system configuration. For League of Legends, there are separate log files that will also need to be uploaded when using the forums. Details about where to find those are here.
You can find Game Booster in the Toolbox tab of ASC, or download it separate for free.

Download Advanced System Care

Download Defraggler

Download Game Booster

At the top of the League of Legends Launcher is a button that looks like two gears. Click that and it should open a tiny window within your window with an option for Repair. Repair checks all of your League of Legend files against the most current files on the server. It will locate corrupt files that can cause a lot of the major issues. It's mainly used for taking care of issues without having to reinstall the entire program, but it doesn't hurt to run this once a month when you're heading to bed or work. Most often, it's not going to find any issues, but even that can help maintain your own piece of mind.

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