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Routes that focus and guide movement in a game.

Movement in games often provide players with choices of where to move. Laning occurs when players and other agents in a game need to, or are strongly encourage to, move in a pre-set limited number of routes than make gameplay more predictable.


Laning as a concept was developed in MOBA Games such as Defense of the Ancients and League of Legends.

Using the pattern

Laning is a way of restricting Movement in games, especially in the designs of Levels, which primarily tends to affect a game's Startgame. The typical use of Laning assumes movement from both direction from opposed forces which, with MOBA Games as the originating example, which modifies how Enemies need to be considered and may motivate the use of Scouting. Designing for Laning in a game consists of making several routes to one area, in practice by either making several routes that are Transport Routes between the same areas or making several routes that are Flanking Routes to each other. The design of Laning is heavily influenced by the presence of Bases at the beginning and end of lanes as well as if the lanes are the only ways to move between them (i.e. the design can be influenced by Inaccessible Areas).

While Laning can be considered without use of Units, the pattern is very often used to not only provide various routes for the Avatars controlled by players but also for Units (under the players' control or not). Likewise, the lanes may the only or normal routes to use for some game elements (typically Units) while others (typically Avatars) may take other routes although these may be slower or contain challenges.


The existence of Laning typically creates Choke Points, either in the lanes themselves or where they end. How players act upon the designs of Laning typically constitutes the Startgame phase of a game instance. How to handle the choices presented in games with Laning motivate both Tactical and Strategic Planning.


Can Instantiate

Choke Points, Scouting, Startgame, Strategic Planning, Tactical Planning

Can Modulate

Levels, Movement, Units

Can Be Instantiated By

Flanking Routes, Transport Routes

Can Be Modulated By

Bases, Inaccessible Areas

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



New pattern created in this wiki.