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Guideception: A Guide to Guidecrafting

41 1 15,682
by TormentedTurnip updated March 1, 2015

Smite God:

Build Guide Discussion 32 More Guides
Tap Mouse over an item or ability icon for detailed info


Howdy folks, my name is Dr. Paco. But you don't have to be so formal with me, just call me "mister Turnip-sama-senpai-sensei-san-sama" (that's my way of saying that I don't, in fact, have a doctorate degree). What I do have, however, is a fair amount of experience with guidecrafting. Hopefully what's written here will help anyone that's inexperienced in the art of "guidification."

If you'd like to check out my other guides, I have ones for:

The Arena Game Mode

Keep in mind that most of my guides are oriented towards playing in the Arena, but hopefully they can be useful for Conquest as well as the other game modes, too.

What Makes a Good Guide?

A good guide, above all else, needs to provide correct information. No matter how in-depth and sexy it is, it will still be bad if the information itself is bad. However, good content alone does not make a good guide. It still needs to be coherent, formatted well, and ordered logically. Delving directly into roaming without even covering the laning phases, only to follow up with a random chapter for matchups, for example, makes it much harder for the reader to process the information well. Likewise, mking al ur sentcs w/ poor grammar strukture and speling w/ no puncatuashun and nevr using speelchek or revising ur work maks it incredbly difcult 4 the reeder 2 understand wat ur trieing 2 explane nd if u nevr pause 2 clarfy a point and just keep ramblin an r rearlly repettve thn the reedr jst getgs completly lost oh nd 1 lst thng PLZ UPVOT.

A guide does not need to go amazingly in-depth. The more comprehensive, the better, but most people are generally looking for what to build (and why to build it), how to use a god's skills effectively, and how a god's gameplay changes as the game progresses. That said, putting a respectable amount of effort into it to cover the majority of what you'll be doing during a game certainly increases its quality.

In my opinion, a guide's features are as follows:

  • Contains good, valid material (and enough of it).
  • Is logically structured and formatted well.
  • Has coherent, grammatically correct explanations.
  • Gives credits to anyone who helped with it.

  • Embeds videos to help model your explanations.
  • Has entertaining content. Sure, it's a guide. A guide to a game. Have fun with it.
  • Contains enough BBCoding to help with presentation, but not so much that it ends up ruining it.

No Bueno
  • Lore. pls no


Any guide worth its salt is going to visually separate different trains of thought. Make it easy for your reader, and make use of the already-implemented Chapter Builder. Depending on the god and game mode, certain topics gain and lose importance. For example, it's not important (and kind of impossible) to cover "the laning phase" when discussing a god in Arena, and instead it's better to focus on, say, if and how the god can effectively and efficiently kill minions while still contributing to teamfights.

In my opinion, a guide's chapters are as follows:

  • An overview of the god's strengths and weaknesses.
  • An explanation of when and how to use every skill.
  • Arguments for why every item from the, hopefully multiple, build(s) is/are chosen.
  • A general, suggested playstyle and how it changes as the game progresses.
  • Credits given to anyone who helped with it.

  • An introduction of yourself.
  • A match-ups section, especially against commonly picked and strong enemies.
  • How you coordinate with your team.
  • Proof of pwnage.
  • What to do if you fall behind.
  • Summary and Conclusion.
  • Lore (just kidding, pls no).
  • Why Pieface is a Yankee bastard and why Raventhor should change his name to RavenRadish.

These are not the end all, be all of every possible chapter (especially the last two); there are plenty of different chapters that you can come up with to make your guide unique.


Proper formatting is essential for a guide to be considered good. BBCoding might not technically be necessary, but it's an incredibly easy way to format your guide, and even the simplest of codes make it possible to emphasize important material. Let's face it: most of us have the attention spans of a goldfish. And even if someone does manage to muster through an entire guide without BBCoding, they won't be able to retain every single tidbit of information they learned. It's therefore best to give salience and vividness to the most important information, and there's no better way to do that than with BBCoding.

I don't want this to turn into a guide about BBCoding, so instead I'll simply provide a link to my BBCoding guide. I encourage you to finish reading this guide before looking into it, though, because format still takes second place to content.


Make sure to save often, and always check your work. Fun fact: this guide had 154 views when it was first published, and they were all my own. In all those views, I found a multitude and spelling and grammatical errors as well as formatting mistakes. In addition, there were several times when I had to rephrase my statements in order to provide better clarity.

My personal rule of thumb is that if a guide does not have, at the very least, twenty-five views when it's published, then it will not have been properly revised and my expectations for it are low.


Special Characters

Be careful around using using these. No, I'm not being elitist in saying that you should only use native English letters. But unless you take the proper steps, you will only end up frustrating yourself when trying to maintain your guide. Why, you ask? Well, for instance, take the following sentence:

"Señor Paco es el mejor de todos."

Yes, it's certainly true. But pretend I have just updated the guide and forgotten to re-enter the "ñ" The result would be this:

"Se�or Paco es el mejor de todos."

Now imagine you wrote an entire guide in, say, Spanish, with a multitude of special characters and you want to update it for a minor change to him in the latest patchnotes. It will become impossible to read.

Fortunately, there's a simple workaround to this, and it's especially easy if you have the guide formatted into one chapter using a custom table of contents. Simply copy and paste all of your coding and text into a word document, and then copy it back over into the guide whenever you update it.


If you're going to use any form of coding, it's best to keep related concepts, notions, and ideas visually similar (or intentionally contrasting). For example, I have a personal categorization system where I color items yellow, actives orange, skills pink, and gods themselves the default blue. Another, more common, example would be coloring a god's strengths and weaknesses green and red, respectively. If you randomly switched the colors up, it would take much more effort for the reader to sort everything out in their mind.

Maintaining the Guide

As time progresses, the game changes. It's therefore important to keep a guide updated to the present, or else the content becomes outdated and useless. Remember: the most important part about the guide is the validity of its content.

When you save your guide, it is only updated for yourself, so make sure to hit the Publish button when you're done making all of your changes. Who could possibly make that mistake, you ask? Definitely not me, no way! I totally never only updated for myself during the early stages of my first guide!

A section near the end to place a log of all of your improvements and changes is also a great idea if you plan on regularly updating your guide, as it will help your readers easily find your new information without having to completely reread the guide every time.

Naming the Guide

More than simply attracting the reader to the guide with an interesting title, it should reflect the content of the guide. I don't want to see "A Comprehensive Guide to Neith in the Duo Lane" as a title for a build and skillsequence of Midlaning with Ao Kuang. An extreme example, yes, but you get the picture.

I also recommend that you don't simply put "(NOW UPDATED!)" in the title like many users here do. "(Updated for 'X' patch)," sure, but it's pretty funny seeing a "recently updated" guide for a Magical Guan Yu, for example.

I also happen to have a soft spot for alliterations *nudgenudgewinkwink*

Conclusion, Credits, and Changelog

Well, that was short and sweet, wasn't it? Again, a guide doesn't need to be a dissertation in order to be good. Otherwise, nobody would write them - you'd get a much better return rate for your work by receiving a Ph.D. than a few upvotes.

Hopefully what I've written above will help you construct your very own, quality guide.


BestMinionEver suggested a brief explanation of how to name your guide.

My own guides have been influenced by users such as Piederman, Subzero008, BestMinionEver, Sanguis, and, to a lesser extent, countless others. I want to thank all of you for making really great guides of your own.


First Winter 2014

Fall 2014

First inter Winter 2015

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DucksRock (41) | April 18, 2016 12:56pm

always update your guides, oh yeah and focused voidstone is great on agni. jk. but update the agni guide.

he's not in this site anymore.
Emperor Warlord (1) | April 18, 2016 12:24pm
always update your guides, oh yeah and focused voidstone is great on agni. jk. but update the agni guide.
Emperor Warlord (1) | April 18, 2016 12:20pm
this might be a dumb question, but how do you add pics to the guide?
deathdevil (1) | October 20, 2015 10:48am
1+ from me

Thanks for this info. I'm really excited to start my own guide for Hades. I just need to get lil more exp. and maybe i need to get to know to coding too... i'm not an expert :D I will use this guide in the future. Thanks
Desdicato (2) | March 10, 2015 8:16am
But you should have a doctorate so it isn't entirely a misrepresentation to imply your theoretical scholastic standing. Love this guide, read it way back in the day and even though I don't write guides it's somehow helpful to me as a player. I guess it narrows the focus on what I should be looking for when I can't quite put my foot on what's missing with my game play with a particular god (run on sentence much? case in point as to why I don't write guides :)). Cheers. upvote obv
taurthos | June 10, 2014 4:01am
+1 wow
DrPinkies | April 28, 2014 9:05am
So #1 rule is to include lore with excessive BBcoding? got it. time to make my first guide! ;)

festive1 (14) | April 3, 2014 12:20am
Thank you very much! I'm going to possibly start on my own guide soon, so this a Great Help!

p.s. I like guides with cool BBCode.........................not.
DroboBrandegee (2) | February 12, 2014 10:07am
Thanks turnip, that would be pretty helpful for me :) By the way I did not add a lore section in my guide, I don't like dieing xD
TormentedTurnip (96) | February 10, 2014 4:54pm
Negative reinforcement always works best, I say! Boy you done best be cleanin' up that there section real fast like, 'fer somethin' bayad happens.
Read (1) | February 10, 2014 11:45am
I guess I should remove my lore section as I don't want to die....
TormentedTurnip (96) | February 7, 2014 11:28am
Thanks for the positive feedback. Be sure to check out my guide to BBCoding when I do finally finish it, there will be templates in there for you to copy and paste into your guide. :)
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