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Hextech Crafting guide: Chests, keys and how to get skins

Open chests for free skins and champions!

Hextech Crafting released into League of Legends about a year ago, but it is still pretty confusing. Using this (mostly) free loot system, even players who don’t spend any money on the game can get champion and ward skins pretty easily!


To get chests, you or somebody in your premade team has to get at least an S- on their champion.

Here’s the tricky bit — you can only earn one box per champion you own per season. If the Nidalee in your premade goes ham and gets an S while you’re playing Soraka, you have earned Soraka’s box and you can’t get any more boxes playing Soraka until the next season.

You can check if you’ve earned a box on that champion by hovering over them on your collections screen!

The number of boxes you can get a week caps at 4, but they refresh over time. You can check how many boxes you can win from your profile!

You can also buy boxes in the shop for RP.


Yes, you need keys to open the boxes. You get keys from being a good egg and for being honored in the new honor system! You can also get them for honoring other players.

Similarly to boxes, you can also buy keys from the shop, in bundles or alone.


Capsules are a little bit different. You still get them for free, but you get them from fulfilling special requirements.

Honor Capsules can be received randomly for being a good egg. They hold all the usual goods, but they typically come with a bundle of key fragments. They also have a chance to drop the rare Medieval Twitch or Grey Warwick skins as shards. You can only get a Honor Capsule if your honor level is at three or higher.

Riot Games

Leveling Capsules are rewarded every time you level and have goods worth a random amount of Blue Essence. This means you mainly get Champion Shards and Blue Essence from these capsules. You may also get milestone rewards, like Gemstones(!) and special emotes depending on what level you are.

You do not need keys to open Capsules.

Opening boxes

This is the fun part! When you have a key and a box, you can open it for loot. Inside you may find any of the following:

  • Champion shards
  • Skin shards
  • Ward skin shards
  • Blue and Orange Essence
  • Gemstones

Champion shards allow you to unlock champions for less BE. Using Blue Essence, you can unlock the champion permanently (for cheaper than buying them) or you can choose to rent the champion for a week for free. You can also disenchant it for more essence. They can also be crafted with Mastery Tokens to unlock Level 6 and 7 Champion Mastery.

Skin shards are similar! You can use Orange Essence to permanently unlock the skin, activate a rental or disenchant the skin into more Orange Essence. The more expensive a skin is, the more essence it costs.

Ward skin shards are the same as champion skin shards and they use Orange Essence as well.

Gemstones are rare drops that allow you to trade them in for a Masterwork box and key set or you can trade in 10 of them for a special skin, which brings us to the next part.

Hextech exclusives

Hextech Annie and Soulstealer Vayne, Dreadnova Darius, Lancer Zero Hecarim, Hextech Kog’Maw and Hextech Alistar are the exclusive champion skins we have so far. There’s also the swanky Hextech ward skin. The champion skins can only be obtained through one of three ways:

  1. Obtain 10 gemstones and roll them into the skin.
  2. Roll the skin out of a box.
  3. Re-roll 3 skin shards into a permanent skin and get the exclusive skin.

If you roll a Hextech exclusive skin out of a box, it will automatically become permanent. There’s no need to use your Orange Essence!

All three of these methods use an extremely high amount of luck, but that’s what makes these exclusive skins so rare and wonderful. During some events, special event-themed loot boxes are more likely to drop these skins!


“Wait, back up. You said something about re-rolling shards?” Yes, I did, dear reader. If you have any unwanted skin shards, you can re-roll three of the same type shards into one permanent shard.

You should note that you’re not guaranteed a skin for a champion you own. If you don’t own the champion, the permanent shard gets added to your loot inventory and you can re-roll it again if you’d like! Beware, though — if you own the champion that the re-rolled skin is for, it automatically gets added to your inventory. That means you don’t get to pick whether or not you actually keep this skin.

I personally recommend disenchanting any Epic tier or higher skin shards you get but do not want. That way, you have a whole ton of Orange Essence ready in case you do get a good skin that you want! Re-roll any 975 RP skins or less that you don’t want into permanent skins. Re-rolling Epic and Legendary skins is a big flush of that good OE.

Holiday and event crafting

During special League events, like Snowdown Showdown, there are special boxes available! Without going into it super deeply here, it just adds special small drops to the boxes that let you unlock more boxes or other special content. Lucky for you, we’ve made guides about these past events. Here’s some of the past events we’ve had:

Is it worth it?

If you are a free-to-play League player, then yes, obviously this is worth it. The question is if it’s worth buying boxes. This is debatable and solely RNG based, so if you like the thrill of opening boxes, go for it!

I threw down $25 worth of RP for boxes during the PROJECT box event and posted my results to help you decide. I’d recommend buying boxes only during events, if you’re going to spend money on crafting, since you can get other special things from the event boxes.