Apex Legends Beginner's Guide: Tips For Surviving The Outlands
Becoming the Apex Champion isn’t easy, but we’ve got some tips to get you started.
Respawn's immensely popular battle royale game Apex Legends is a frenetic and challenging title that keeps millions of players busy each month with exciting new events, fresh characters to try, and plenty of loot to find and use. However, with so many changes since its original 2019 launch, the game can occasionally feel somewhat challenging for new players who may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of playable characters, massive loot pool, and chaotic experience of fighting alongside 60 other players. In this beginner’s guide for Apex Legends, we’ll hook you up with some tips that will help you master the art of dropping, looting, and slaying your way to becoming the last player standing.
Choose a legend that fits your playstyle
Apex Legends offers a variety of characters who each bring a unique playstyle. Finding a legend who best suits the way you enjoy playing shooters will make you a great asset to your team. Here are some non-exhaustive examples of each type:
Defensive characters protect their team by soaking up damage or blocking off areas. Two of these include Gibraltar, who has a gun shield that absorbs a small amount of incoming fire and a deployable bubble that can shield his team in messy situations, and Caustic, who is excellent at area denial by using deployable canisters that emit damaging gas when enemies approach them.
Meanwhile, Support characters like Lifeline and Loba can be very useful in niche scenarios. The former can deploy a bot to resurrect teammates while she continues to move and shoot, and the latter can use her ultimate ability to warp nearby items to her and her teammates within a specific radius.
Recon characters rank among the most played in the game because they’re regularly able to reveal enemy locations. Bloodhound, for instance, can emit a scan that shows an outline of their enemies to the entire team for a few seconds, while Valkyrie can use her ultimate ability to fly her team into the sky for a quick escape and then show enemy locations as she drops to a new location.
Lastly, Offensive characters are your straightforward run-and-gun types. Wraith is a very popular choice due to her ability to push in for big damage and then use her tactical ability to escape and reset the fight. There’s also Octane, who can gain a massive speed boost with his tactical ability or use his ultimate ability to drop a jump pad he and his teammates can use to quickly reach new heights.
Stick with your team
While extremely high-skill players can often drop in solo and drop entire squads without a helping hand, Apex Legends is ultimately a team game. You should always drop in the same general area as the rest of your squad and make good use of the minimap at the top of your screen to ensure you’re not straying too far from them. You always want to be close enough that you can rush to their side if they’re pushed by an enemy team.
Also, you’ll benefit greatly from communication with your teammates. You can ping items like heals or ammo for them or let them know where you’ve seen enemies lurking about. By constantly keeping each other abreast of things, you’ll be sure that you’re always prepared to work together when things start to get hairy.
Use your abilities wisely
When you’re in the middle of an engagement with an enemy squad, it may be a knee-jerk reaction to start using your abilities. However, most characters’ tactical and ultimate abilities have fairly lengthy cooldowns, so they’re valuable assets that need to be used at very specific moments. If you use your ability at the wrong time or without much thought of how it’s going to affect your team, you may be doing more harm than good.
Someone playing Gibraltar would want to hold onto his bubble shield until the precise moment that his team is caught out of cover and needs to pull off some heals, or perhaps as a way to shield himself and his team during movement from one cover to another. Meanwhile, a person playing Bangalore should mostly use her smoke as cover for an escape or to heal, but it’s not generally useful as a tactic in the middle of a teamfight, as this also reduces your teammates’ ability to see and properly engage the enemy.
Learning when and where to use your abilities comes with time and practice, of course. Even more, there are exceptions to any rule, and as you adapt to your character of choice, you may learn some unconventional ways to make the most out of your abilities.
Learn the map
This one is among the most important in terms of surviving to the final ring in Apex Legends. You’ll want to land everywhere on the map multiple times until you find a handful of spots that feel right for you. Then you’ll want to understand where the hottest spots are on that map so that you can figure out the best way to rotate out of your favorite spots to keep your encounter rates high.
As tempting as it is to get comfortable, though, it’s sometimes best to lean into being versatile. Once you’ve gotten the lay of the land, landing in spots that don’t play to you or your characters’ strengths can actually help you grow as a player by forcing you to adapt to new strategies. If you’re feeling extra confident, check out the next point below.
Hot zones have better loot but tougher opposition
A hot zone in Apex Legends is randomly chosen at the beginning of each match and denoted by a hard-to-miss blue light. This means that area will provide some high-tier loot that can give you an early leg up on your enemies. Getting that loot may prove problematic, but if you’re willing to take the chance, this can be a fun and risky endeavor.
Hot dropping will almost always mean that you’re vying for excellent loot against a hoard of other players who want it just as badly. Considering that battle royale games are somewhat luck-oriented at the drop, you run the risk of your enemies landing on the best gear and leaving you stuck fighting an uphill battle. On the other hand, you may land on a purple shield and your favorite gun and be ready to take on the world.
Manage your inventory wisely
Inventory management is a key component of preparing for fights in Apex Legends. Seeing as you start with a white backpack and limited space, you’ll have to prioritize. Do you want more ammo, some grenades, or a better selection of heals? Only you can decide that, but here’s a good rule of thumb:
If you have a standard backpack, aim to keep two stacks of ammo per gun, at least two shield batteries, eight shield cells, four syringes, and two medkits. If you’re running a shotgun, you can comfortably keep just one stack of ammo to free up a slot, and if you prefer keeping grenades in the early game, you could always drop a stack of shield cells for one.
As your inventory expands with larger backpacks, aim to collect as many shield batteries as you can comfortably fit and expand your ammo stock as much as possible for those messy endgame encounters where you may have limited time or options for restocking.
Don’t get greedy
When you’re engaged in a fight with an enemy squad and do a significant amount of damage, they’re often likely to attempt an escape for healing. It’s always hard to fight the urge to push them, but doing so without enough information could sometimes get you in trouble. Their teammates could be waiting around that corner to ambush you, so if you can’t be certain that you can get in and get the kill without going down yourself, it’s likely better to just communicate with your team and ensure you form a quick plan.
Use the Replicator
By opening supply bins or clicking on the glowing blue containers found around the map, you can earn crafting materials to be used in the Replicator. This exceptionally helpful machine can help you stay stocked up on ammo and healing items or provide you with special attachments that may not be in the ground loot pool on that day or week.
For 20 crafting materials, you can buy a shield battery or a stack of 60 ammo for each of your guns. Meanwhile, things like purple backpacks or high-end magazines may also be in the Replicator on any given day, so if you’re willing to save up some materials first, these goodies can offer a nice boon to your loadout.
Beware, however, that crafting can be seen and heard by any enemies that happen to be nearby, so it’s a bad idea to start up the machine if you think other teams could be lurking around the area.
Gold is best, gold is life
As you fight your way around the map in Apex Legends, you’ll find white, blue, and purple gear, each better than the tier before it. However, legendary gear is gold, and those shiny beauties always promise that you’re getting the best of the best of something.
While you may initially want all of the gold items for yourself, keep in mind that certain characters benefit from some of these items most. For instance, Lifeline’s hands-off resurrection means that she benefits most from a gold backpack so that she can keep fighting while getting you back in with a small bonus to shields and health. Meanwhile, someone with a powerful ultimate, such as Gibraltar or Bloodhound, may benefit most from a gold helmet’s fast ability recharge speeds.
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