What Happens If You Go AFK in League of Legends: Punishments, Timer & LP

Riot Games has recently completely updated the AFK punishments and systems for their game League of Legends. Many players are now wondering what will happen to them when they AFK.

What happens if you AFK in LoL? When you AFK during a match, Riot Games will provide you with incremental punishments based on prior offences starting with a 5-minute lockout and a 2 LP loss all the way up to a 14-day lockout and an 8 LP loss. You will also automatically lose the match in which you AFKed regardless of if your team actually won or not.

Let’s look at exactly what are the specific punishments for AFKing, what qualifies as an AFK, will you get banned for going AFK and if quitting a League of Legends match qualifies as an AFK. We will also touch on things such as if you lose less LP for having an AFK and what happens if you only AFK once.

How the AFK Punishment System Works

The AFK punishment system provides players with account lockouts and LP loss penalties based on the number of times a player consecutively AFKs. The game incorporates a tiered ranking system to determine the severity of the time and LP penalty the player received in each specific instance.

This is to prevent punishing accident AFKs while harshing punishing players who do it repetitively and are involved in intentional game-ruining behavior.

Below is a table containing all the tiers League of Legends AFK penalties include:

 

AFK Timer Penalty AFK LP Loss Penalty
Tier 1 5 min lockout -2 LP + Match Auto-Loss
Tier 2 30 min lockout -3 LP + Match Auto-Loss
Tier 3 14 day lockout -5 LP + Match Auto-Loss
Tier 4 N/A -6 LP + Match Auto-Loss
Tier 5 N/A -8 LP + Match Auto-Loss

It’s important to note that the tiering for the time penalty and LP loss penalty aren’t linked. Meaning you could get a tier 5 punishment for LP while getting a tier 1 punishment for a time penalty. That is because the timer penalty affects all game modes while the LP loss penalty only affects Ranked Solo/Duo and Ranked Flex game modes.

Additionally, the LP penalty tier increments by 1 per each AFK you perform in ranked while decreasing by 1 per each game you don’t AFK. The same doesn’t apply to time penalties. Instead, the time penalty tier increments by 1 per AFK but requires several games to revert back a tier.

Riot Games hasn’t publically mentioned how many games it takes to reset, but their exact words were:

When players AFK or leave games they increase their penalty tier and when they play games without AFK they will slowly decrease it back towards 0.

It’s safe to assume that it’s harder to go down from tier 2 to tier 1 than it is from tier 3 to tier 2 just based on the harshness of a 14 day lockout versus a 30 minute lockout. Clearly, Riot wants to ensure they aren’t giving a 14 day lockout to someone who has internet problems or electrical issues.

What is AFK in League of Legends?

An AFK in LoL stands for Away From Keyboard, which represents a status where a player is either non-interactive in the game for a minimum of 5 minutes or has actively disconnected from the game server.

Disconnecting from the game server could include actively clicking the “Quit” or “Logout” button on the game client, having an internet disconnection or having your PC shutdown.

League of Legends doesn’t discern the difference. This is to prevent people from taking advantage of any discernment. For example, if LoL gave a lessen punishment to players who disconnect due to internet problems, a problematic player can abuse that by disconnecting the ethernet from his PC whenever he fails like AFKing.

This is exactly why Riot Games incorporated less harsh punishments for initial convictions but drastically increases the punishment for consistent convictions.

Under the same light, players who have internet issues and accidentally went AFK last game will now need to think twice before queueing up without complete certainty that the internet issue is no longer present. If not, they could lock themselves out for 14 days due to the uncertainty of their internet situation.

It’s worth noting that even after a player actively quits the game, if the game doesn’t continue to be played out for the 5 minutes since the player disconnected, that player will not be punished for going AFK and their AFK tier ranking will be unaffected.

The video above would not count as an AFK as the game wouldn’t register it as such due to it not falling under the conductions.

In fact, if anything their AFK tier ranking may go down as that game will be constituted as a fully played out game.

How Does Your AFK Penalty Increase?

AFK penalties increase based on the number of games you AFK and decrease based on the number of games you don’t AFK in. Each AFK increases your tiered punishment by 1, however not AFKing only slightly decreases the punishment tier.

This excludes the LP’s tiered punishment, which increases by 1 tier per AFK but directly decreases the tier by not AFKing. The LP tier system only goes down through ranked games, but the lockout penalties are affected by all game modes.

This means Riot Games provide a lot of ability to AFK assuming you just don’t do it consecutively to avoid a 14 day lockout and a -8 LP loss in addition to the auto loss.

Furthermore, this system prevents players from AFKing in a ranked game mode, plays full normal game mode matches and returns to ranked to AFK as their LP loss penalty tier remains consistent.

With that all said, one should still be very careful of AFKing too much, especially after receiving a 30 min lockout. Previously, the highest AFK punishment was 15 min at tier 3. But, if you AFK after tier 2, there is a chance that your account is unusable for 14 consecutive days.

That is a massive change, but evidently the way you increase and decrease your AFK punishments has been altered and Riot Games is ensuring systems that can help players who unintentionally AFK not be punished as hard.

These currently are kept hidden as per continual testing and to possibly avoid abuse of these mechanics.

Do You Lose Less LP if You have an AFK?

As of patch 10.24, teams that have an AFK will now receive LP loss mitigation between 1 to 6 LP at the end of a match. This will be communicated on the client post-game. Additionally, teams can surrender the match 3 minutes into the match if a player immediately AFKed, resulting in the same LP loss mitigation. 

AFKing actually helps your team by reducing the LP they lose. I don’t recommend you do it, because what’s the point, especially considering the new harsher penalties for AFKing.

That said, the team with an AFK upon a loss will lose 3 to 5 less LP at the end of the match and will see a little annotation on the client to communicate the adjusted LP.

If a team with an AFK wins, they don’t receive any additional LP or any LP mitigation in the subsequent match.

This only affects if a team loss with their AFK. The AFK also had to occur at least 5-10 minutes from the time the team lost their match. If the AFK occurs within 5 minutes of the game’s conclusion, no mitigation points would be provided and the AFKing player will not receive a punishment.

Can You Get Banned for Being AFK in League?

No, you won’t ever get banned for being AFK in League. Instead, you will receive temporary lockouts up to 14 days, LP losses up to 8 and auto-losses for matches that you AFKed. No player under any circumstance will ever be permanently banned solely for going AFK.

Rest assured, you can go AFK as much as you need to without getting permanently banned. Bans are only a response breaking the League of Legends Terms of Server (ToS). The most common offence that violates the ToS and results in a ban is offensive language and inappropriate behavior.

Going AFK itself is not conducive enough to have a player banned. Instead, going AFK after breaking the ToS through intentional feeding, griefing or using inappropriate language can result in a temporary or permanent ban.

If you are considering AFKing, which isn’t recommended, be sure to take account of all you have done in that game prior to the point of AFKing. AFKing will in fact make it more likely you do receive a ban if done in conjunction with another negative action.

This is because AFKing in of itself can’t be deciphered whether it was intentional or accidental. Even if it was intentional, at worst a player will get a 14 day lockout. But the banning comes into play when players not only are AFKing but are now doing additional things that go beyond the AFK behavioral system.

Can You Get Banned for Leaving One Game?

No, you won’t get banned for leaving one game. Leaving one game will result in a 5 minute lockout, an auto-loss of the match and a 2 LP loss if it’s a ranked game mode. Additionally, the next time you log in to your account, Riot Games will present you with a popup informing you not to AFK in the future.

If you are leaving one game for the first time ever, Riot Games goes exceptionally easy on you. There is no need to worry about getting banned.

In fact, you won’t get banned regardless of how many times you leave the game as we mentioned above.

As long as you aren’t doing other toxic behavior or violating the ToS in any way, your first leave will not result in a banning of your account.

What Happens If You Leave Too Many League Games?

Leaving too many league games will result in a 14 day lockout that prevents the account from being used to play the game again in 14 days. This can be mitigated down to a 30 min lockout for AFKing by playing at least 3 consecutive games without leaving the game prematurely. 

With this new harsher punishment system, you are recommended not to leave too many games. Doing so will result in a 14 day lockout. If you leave too many ranked games specifically, you will also lose up to 8 LP per AFK in addition to an auto-loss of the game you left.

Also, the 3 consecutive games to reduce the lockout isn’t a perfect number, it’s simply a guess based on what makes logical sense. I cannot guarantee that’s the exact number of games nor is it safe to assume that there is a base number of guaranteed games.

What I can say, is that I know for a fact that you must not AFK for at least 3 games to reduce your lockout. It could be upwards of 5 to 15 games, but 3 is the bare minimum.

Does Quitting League Count as Going AFK?

Quitting League mid-game counts as going AFK only when the game doesn’t conclude in the next 5 minutes. A player can AFK or be unresponsive for up to 5 minutes and not be classified as AFK by the Leaverbuster punishment system. 

Assuming you AFK for longer than 5 minutes or the game takes longer to conclude the game, you will be qualified as AFK for leaving and you will be punished accordingly.

What matters is when you do it, not how. It doesn’t matter if you leave the game through the client, AFK by literally leaving your keyboard or disconnect your internet. The duration of the game played and the duration of the game remaining matters.

What Happens If You Quit League?

If you quit League prematurely before the conclusion of a game, you will be classified as AFK and will receive an auto-loss, a lockout timer and LP loss as punishment. Leaving multiple league games prematurely will result in greater punishments.

Leaving a single game or two isn’t too big of a problem, the thing is only when you leave multiple games where the issues arise. As mentioned above, for each match you leave prematurely and consecutively increases the tier from which your punishment arises.

Leaving 1 game may give you a 5 min lockout timer and a 2 LP loss, but leaving 3 consecutive games will result in a 14 day lockout timer and a 5 LP loss.