League of Legends Adaptive Force Explained.


Since League of Legends Update 8.23, your champions can get bonus damage to magical or physical damage based on something called Adaptive Force.

Alongside adaptive force, League of Legends also added the following extra stats: cooldown reduction, additional defense, adaptive damage, and bonus attack speed.

These additional stats have quickly become staples in creating the most impressive characters possible.

However, many League of Legends players are confused about Adaptive Force. What is it? And how does it work? In this article, I’ve done my best to explain both.

If you are ready to learn about League of Legends’ adaptive force do in more detail and how to make the most of it, keep reading!

League of Legends Adaptive Force Meaning Explained

Adaptive force grants a bonus to your Attack Damage or Ability Power of the champion, but what does that even mean?

Adaptive Force is a champion stat that grants your champion either Ability Power (AP) or Attack Damage (AD), depending on what bonus attack/ability you’re currently building to give you an even stronger boost.

Now, how does the system decide what to give the bonus to?

Well, it is simple. If your character has a higher attack damage score and a low ability power score, you will get a bonus to attack damage.

Vice versa, if your ability power is higher and your attack damage is lower, then you will receive a bonus to your attack damage.

It all depends on how you build your character and whether or not you focus on attack damage or ability power.

Notice that AP/AD granted by passive effects usually doesn’t count when LoL decides what bonus is awarded (except for a few exceptions).

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How does League of Legends Adaptive Force work?  

Now let’s take a look at how Adaptive Force works. When can you use it? And what is the actual bonus you receive when selecting runes with adaptive force?

You can select runes from the second rune path to increase your Adaptive Force when setting up in League of Legends. Typically, this bonus is around +9. More on this later.

Every point of adaptive force equals 1 point of Ability Power (AP) and 0.6 points of Attack Damage (AD). So clearly, you will benefit more from the adaptive force with an AP build than an AD build.

Let’s take this example:

You play Ashe, the icy archer known for sending her foes in the bottom lane, fleeing in terror. If you were to use the runes Eyeball Collection and Conqueror and then build her as an AD character, you would receive a max bonus of +46 to your AD, depending on your level.

Now, what if, instead, you want to play her as an AP champion and focus on maximizing the power of her skills? Using the same runes above, depending on your level, you could receive a max bonus of +64 AP. 

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However, there are specific ways to increase your adaptive force, which I talk about below. Using them, you can improve your AP and AD bonus beyond just the basic runes.

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Increasing your Adaptive Force

Your runes are set, and you are ready to dominate your foes in your matches, making them weep as you defeat them over and over.

But you feel your adaptive force is lacking and want to increase it, making your champion stronger than ever.

How do you do it?

Mainly through your selection of runes and being around the magical cat Yuumi.

The runes you can use to increase your adaptive force are:

  • Ghost Poro
  • Gathering Storm
  • Conqueror 
  • Absolute Focus
  • Waterwalking
  • Zombie Ward
  • Eyeball Collection

Besides the above runes, and Yuumi’s ability to bolster your might, you can also gain a bonus to your adaptive force by defeating the Infernal Drake.

After defeating the Infernal Drake, you and your entire team will gain the Dragon Soul buff. It provides either +22.5% to your AP or +13.5% to your AD permanently. 

Note: After version 9.23, the Pilfered Potion of Rouge is no longer available in League of Legends. It increases your adaptive force, but you can only increase it via runes.

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Tips for choosing Runes for Adaptive Force

Here is a quick note for selecting runes from your rune pages for your champions, adaptive force or not.

You can choose five paths when creating a rune set (aka rune tree). They are Precision, Inspiration, Resolve, Domination, and Sorcery.

You can select a primary and a secondary rune path per the rune page you create. 

The primary path comes with a keystone rune and three lesser rune shards.

Secondary paths only come with two lesser rune shards.

Keystone runes are the most powerful runes on your rune page and provide the highest bonus to your champion.

Lesser runes provide smaller bonuses. 

Adaptive Force & Adaptive Damage keystones:

  • Conqueror
  • Electrocute
  • Predator
  • Press the Attack
  • Summon Aery
  • Arcane Comet
  • Dark Harvest

Adaptive Force & Adaptive Damage lesser rune shards

  • Zombie Ward
  • Ghost Poro
  • Gathering Storm
  • Absolute Focus
  • Waterwalking
  • Eyeball Collection
  • Shield Bash

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Taking a Quick Look at Adaptive Damage

Another thing you may hear about when looking into adaptive force is adaptive damage. Now, adaptive damage typically goes hand in hand with adaptive force, but it refers more to the type of damage affected by adaptive force. 

When you play an AP character, you get bonus magic damage or adaptive damage. Likewise, the bonus is applied to your physical attack damage when playing an AD-focused character.

If your AD and AP are zero or equal to one another, the bonus you receive is based on your character’s base type. 

You can also increase adaptive damage with different runes from those used to increase adaptive force. So by combining the different sets of runes, you can create a mighty AP or AD character.

It will take some time to do the proper research, but it will be well worth it. 

The runes used for adaptive damage are:

  • Electrocute
  • Predator
  • Press the Attack
  • Shield Bash
  • Arcane Comet
  • Dark Harvest
  • Summon Aery

Why Does Adaptive Force Matter?

If you are still wondering, after reading all that, why adaptive force even matters, this section is for you.

Now, yes, there are hundreds, even thousands, of different combinations you can choose when optimizing your champion. You can select dozens of runes, and the best runes depend on your game style. 

However, adaptive force runes apply to every character. Your play style does not matter; it does not matter if you use an AP or an AD character.

When you use adaptive force runes, you instantly gain bonuses to your physical or magic damage. So the adaptive force modifier can be the difference between securing a kill or letting an enemy champion escape in the early game. 

So, next time you create a rune set for one of your champions, add those adaptive force runes. They can make a huge difference and help you start winning more games, especially if you are struggling in the lower ranks.

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Adaptive Force is a champion statistic that grants your champion either Ability Power (AP) or Attack Damage (AD), depending on what bonus attack/ability the champion currently has the most.

In other words, Adaptive Force adapts to how your champions deal damage.

If you’re building a champion with Attack Damage (non-magical physical damage) as the primary basic attacks, you’ll get additional attack damage based on your current amount of bonus attack damage.

However, if you’re building a character primarily using Ability Power (magical damage), you’ll get bonus AP.

The amount of the Adaptive Force bonus isn’t the same for AP and AD, though.

If you’re building a champion with primarily Adaptive Power, you’ll get one bonus point for each AP you have. However, if you’re building a champion with primarily Adaptive Damage, you’ll get 0.6 bonus points for each AD you have.

  • 1 Adaptive Force = 1 Adaptive Power
  • 1 Adaptive force = 0.6 Adaptive Damage

So if you’re building a champion that has more Adaptive Power, with an Adaptive Force of 9, you’ll get a +9 bonus to Adaptive Power.

But if you’re building a champion with more Adaptive Damage, who has an Adaptive Force of 9, you’ll get a bonus of 5.4 AD because of (9 * 0.6 AD) = 5.4 AD.

If your champion has an equal amount of AP and AD, your bonus depends on the champion.

Adaptive force is one of the best additions to League of Legends and can significantly affect your gameplay. If you use it right, it’ll stack up, so you can deal a lot of damage.

It is something to pay attention to increase your win rate and not see yourself struggling much more in your games.

If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, check out some of my other articles, like this one, on leveling up quickly. Until next time, happy gaming!


How Does Yuumi Increase an Ally’s Adaptive Force?

Yuumi increases adaptive force by using the ability, You and Me! When she is attached to an allied champion and uses You and Me!, both receive a percentage of either AP or AD, depending on the character’s use. There is no cooldown for the ability, and it remains permanently on while she is attached.

However, if Yuumi unattaches, she must wait a short time before reusing it. While attached to an allied champion, Yuumi can’t be targeted except by turrets and inbound missiles. No wonder, Yuumi is one of the most popular support champions.

What is the Difference Between AP and AD?

AP refers to your ability power and increases spell damage, ability damage, and spell vamp, and is reduced by magic resist. AD increases your physical damage, attack speed, auto attack damage, and lifesteal. 

Is Adaptive Force Better for AP or AD?

Adaptive force is good for both AP and AD, but if you want to metagame it as much as possible, you receive a higher AP bonus from adaptive force. However, you should focus more on the champion you play and whether they favor AP or AD. 

Does Adaptive Force Switch Between AP or AD In-game?

Yes, adaptive force will switch between increasing your AD or AP depending on how you build your character. Let’s say you start the game by focusing on AP. The bonus from adaptive force will be applied to your AP. Now, if you switch to AD in the mid-game and it is higher than your AP, the adaptive force bonus will apply to your AD instead of your AP.

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Jan has played video games since the early 1980s. He loves getting immersed in video games as a way to take his mind off stuff when the outside world gets too scary. A lifelong gamer, the big interest led to a job as a lecturer on game sound at the University of Copenhagen and several written articles on video games for magazines.

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