Is Arcane canon? The answer is complicated

By Nicholas James


Mar 19, 2023

Reading time: 2 min

Arcane was the hit League of Legends animated adaptation on Netflix that released in 2021, and fans have been loving the intricate storyline and action. But is what happens in Arcane canon?

League of Legends canon stands in an awkward place in the current day, and Arcane is a big part of that. With the animated show being by far Riot Games’ most successful effort in telling stories inside Runeterra, one would think its story was canon.

However, as things stand right now, the answer to whether or not Arcane is canon is more complicated than most League of Legends fans might think.

Is Arcane canon?

The simple answer, as unhelpful as it may seem, is that Arcane is sort of canon and sort of not. League of Legends’ main canon universe version of Runeterra exists only within the game itself. This isn’t entirely useful, as League of Legends’ gameplay has nothing to do with the story of the world or its characters.

By its nature as a MOBA, all 140 League of Legends characters have to be in a somewhat static state. All are required to be alive and well enough to do battle on Summoner’s Rift, even though their escapades on the rift themselves aren’t canon at all.

Arcane’s story has several notable differences from the normal canon of League of Legends, though it shares many more similarities. Some of these include Caitlyn’s reasons for joining the Enforcers, the origins of Hextech technology, the state of Piltover and Zaun, and more.

Arcane is currently canon only to itself, though Riot Games seems to be looking for ways to slowly turn the official League of Legends lore into the same as Arcane. Give it a few years and Arcane will likely be the official story, as Riot makes changes like turning the Brackern, once the source of Hextech, into elementalists with Skarner’s rework.

This would open up Arcane’s version of Hextech technology to be the officially supported one, taking another step toward Arcane being 100% official. In short, Arcane isn’t fully canon just yet, but Riot is working on it.


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