A review of the Garena LOL server (for Australian players)
I switched from NA to the Garena SEA LOL server a few months back. This is a look at the pros and cons as an English speaking Australian.
What is Garena?
Garena is a Singaporean based company that has servers for a number of games including LOL. They have made a deal with Riot to offer LOL, however unlike other servers it is not run or controlled by Riot. This is why you wont see it in the servers list when you run your standard LOL client. The standard Garena server for Australians is the Singapore and Malaysia one which I think is the best one to use. There are also some other SEA country specific servers which share the same accounts (and can be switched to at any time but I believe you need to redownload the client).
I live in Melbourne and have fibre optic (NBN) through internode/iiNet. The best possible ping I can get to NA is 169, however it can fluctuate badly at certain times. This didn't use to happen and I have heard it may be resolved. In any case, currently my average ping is about 185.
To the Garena server I get a very steady 95. However some cheaper ISPs route traffic via the US, so these players will get worse pings than NA. Melbourne is about as far as geographically possible from SEA (Singapore) so other cities in Australia should get similar or better pings.
The difference in ping makes a big difference. Less than 100 is about the threshold where ping is not THAT noticeable. I feel I can fight pretty evenly with someone with a 20 ping.
The lower ping does help you improve as you no longer have to factor it in for things like skill shots and really, it makes the game more fun.
Overall Pros when compared to NA:
- You can level to 30 quicker thanks to the newbie rewards which give you lots of XP and IP boosts. http://lolachievements.garena.com/newbie/
- I consider the skill level to be on average higher than NA. If you want to improve I find it easier since opponents are generally more skilled.
- Pretty much everyone speaks English on Garena. When I was NA (which might have changed), there were quite a few non-English speakers which sometimes made communication hard.
Overall Cons when compared to NA:
- You have to install the Garena plus messaging app and run it before you can run LOL
- There are less players (7000 or so ranked players), so at certain times you can have to wait to play. As an Australian this usually isn't as issue as the timezone is similar. Only early morning 8am - 10am Melbourne time might you have to wait about 6 or so minutes for a game.
- There are also few players leveling up from lvl 1, so you can have to wait up to 20 mins for a game before you get a few levels under your belt
- Dominion is completely dead on the server.
- TT is not dead, but you might wait an average of 5 mins for a game at peak times.
- The community is VERY toxic. The players tend to be very young and rude. Much more so than NA. You really need to be thick skinned to play on the server. The time you play does matter though. During working hours it is the worst but later at night or on weekends it can be ok.
- There is no tribunal. You can report the same as NA, however these reports go straight to the Garena staff. Given how players are constantly toxic I think it is rare that these reports do anything. Probably only in extreme cases.
- Although everyone speaks English, there are a few words here or there that are SEA English. They usually dont add much meaning, but you kind of need to get a feel for them.
- Even though the skill level of the server is high, I find them curiously behind in terms of the meta. For example, I got a lot of shit for banning Rengar pre-nerf when he was almost always picked or banned at high levels of play.
- You need to get to a quite a higher level in ranked before players will respect pick order over call order as compared to NA.
- Patches are delayed. The most I have seen is about a month delay which was for the pre s3 changes. Best case scenario might be a few days.
- You can't spectate random games like you can on NA.
- You cannot transfer accounts to the Garena server (anymore).
- There are much less sales
- You cant directly buy RP in the LOL client. You have to buy Garena Shells which can then be converted into RP. You also cant just put in any random credit card, but you will need a paypal account. (My credit card was banned on paypal for some reason, so I had to get a new one..). Overall prices are more or less equivalent to NA.
- Garena are pretty unresponsive as a company
I think playing on Garena is worth it for Australians (assuming your ISP is not routing you via the US before it reaches Garena) despite all the negatives. This is particularly the case if you want to improve as a lower ping does enable you to become a better player and make more complex plays. However, the community is a big downside and for me a lot of the time I wont play because I cant be bothered dealing with the stress. Particularly when I am not operating at 100% (tired/when im drinking) because I don't want to deal with the crap I will get if I lose lane.
In any case, it is definitely worth considering as an option for Australians.
submitted by BobbyTabless
So I got the Garena client to work....(to an extent)
EDIT: I Have gotten it to work completely, read edit 2 below.
So yesterday I made a thread on getting help on this subject but couldnt find anything. So I tried looking at the log files and after a few hours of looking at all the log files I found out this file called 2020-11-23T09-49-23_48_Riot Client.log which got created when i tried to directly launch riot client without garena. It showed the logo but I got an error saying I cant directly launch . this
was the files content. It was complaining about missing --garena-plus-token= So I changed the executable and made it point to drive_c/Garena/32771/Riotclient/RiotClientServices and in the arguments I put --garena-plus-token=hnfie234 with some random letters and sure enough the client opened here
is a picture (look at the regions if you dont believe it is garena) Now I am stuck in a situation similar to what happens when you launch lol without launchhelper script. It instantly fails to authorise. However the launchhelper script doesnt work in this case. I would consider this huge progress as every thread related to garena went nowhere and people just gave up after garena instantly said failed to launch game as if its not even trying. Atleast I know it might be possible. Anyways my guess is something is preventing garena from getting a launch token and a random token wont let you login. I am also going to try doing it on windows and getting the same plus token and using it on linux and see what happens. I will give an update on that later.
Edit: i tried a windows vm to get the correct garena-plus-token but all instances of garena plus token are replace with . I'm positive putting the correct token for your account will log you in as the image I put above isn't supposed to be possible. Garena directly puts you in the client and ther is no login involved. So my conclusion is something is preventing it from getting a token. I read somewhere that this login method is very similar to the new lol client. The new client login fails because of some port not opening up or something so you have freeze the process untill it loads. maybe doing the same thing on garena might get it to work.
EDIT 2 : I was right. putting in the right launch arguments will put you right into lol without garena. BUT.. This isn't for everyone and not very user friendly and is not a thing you have to do once and isn't worth the effort
DISCLAIMER: This method skips garena. So I don't know if this is bannable or not. Please try this at your own risk.
STEPS TO GET IT WORKING
You will need a windows VM(best option) or a dualboot. Download and install garena lol in windows. Then Download Process manager. Start process manager and then start garena lol. right click RiotClientServices and go to properties. copy the the text under command line and paste only the command in lutris arguments and point executable to Garena/Games/32771/Riot Client/Riot Client Services.exe. Click play and it should be working fine. Seems easy enough right?? That's what I thought too. Then I found out the token expires in 5 minutes. Yup you read that right. You have to do this every time you want to play. Once your in you can play as long as you want but to log in you need windows. Also I have only tested this on my machine would really appreciate other testers to confirm this works. Also as I mentioned above I believe the reason Garena isn't working due to the same reason the new client cant login. So maybe a launch script modified for Garena might work and is a much better option than the above but my bash skills are absolutely garbage and is upto someone who know better than me.
submitted by DartinBlaze448