Skin shards in League of Legends
Once you check your loot tab you may find those little shards hanging around, are they actual skins? Skin shards are a way to get skins without spending real-life money, before skin shards were a thing, the only way to get skins was with real-life money.
Shards by themselves don't make you able to use the skin, they allow you to make a decision, there are four possible things you can do with a skin shard(just click on it inside your loot tab to show these options):
- Upgrade it to a permanent skin: This will spend your precious orange essence to turn the shard into a permanent skin of the champion who the shard is for.
- Disenchant into essence: This will give you orange essence, it is useful for the same purpose, you turn some shards into orange essence and then use the essence to make permanent skins and so on
- Activate rental: This won't use any orange essence, but it will give you the skin for only 7 days.
- Re-roll into random skin permanent: This is a tricky one, you take three shards and re-roll them into a random permanent skin.
Should you re-roll skin shards?
The random skin permanent is tricky because you may get duplicate skins, and that will give you only the orange essence, so if you only have a few champions and a lot of skins, your chance of getting a duplicated skin will increase, making it a not so good option.
After a while playing and going through multiple events, you will end up with a fair amount of orange essence, so it becomes less of a problem if you are a totally free to play player, if you buy passes and maybe RP, then you can end spending more orange essence depending on what you buy, so those two kinds of players may have different priorities on shards versus orange essence.
Some players are very lucky when it comes to re-rolls, getting pretty good skins for free or for at least a way lower price than the actual skin price, but it starts to be less "profitable" once you have a lot of skins and not all the champions.
Unlocking as many champions as possible, or at least the ones you pretend to play the most is a very good thing to do before re-rolling if you are a patient person, but as we know, nothing stops you from doing it for the fun, the game is for entertainment after all!