Apex Legends' Vantage Guide: Abilities And Everything We Know About Season 14's New Legend
The survivalist sniper is now available in the Apex Games as part of Season 14. Here's everything we know about Apex's newest character.
Apex Legends' newest character, Vantage, joined the legend lineup alongside the launch of Season 14: Hunted. Although she's not the first airborne legend to join the Apex Games, she is the first character with a skillset and abilities built specifically for ranged combat, and she's seriously shaking up the meta.
Due to the unique nature of Vantage's abilities, she can be a bit tricky to master. But with some practice (and a bit of studying), you'll be zooming around Outlands and sniping freshly nerfed Valkyries out of the sky in no time. Though Apex Games may be rigged, following these tips will greatly increase your odds of bringing Vantage (and her furry little sidekick) into the winner's circle.
Use your ability arsenal
Vantage is one of the most powerful legends in the game, with her unorthodox abilities making her an absolute juggernaut on the battlefield. But those abilities are useless if you don't understand how they work or how best to take advantage of them.
Passive: Spotter's Lens
Aim down sights to scout with Vantage's eyepiece (both unarmed or with mid- to long-range scopes) and use a bullet drop indicator to see where shots will land. Vantage's eyepiece also identifies enemy legend names, what kind of shield they're wearing, how many members are in the squad, and how far away they are.
Tactical: Echo Relocation
Vantage can position her winged companion, Echo, and then launch herself towards him--an excellent way to quickly reach and maintain the high ground. Vantage must have a direct line of sight for Echo to launch.
Ultimate: Sniper's Mark
Vantage uses a custom sniper rifle which marks enemy squad members for 10 seconds after they've been hit. For Vantage, damage increases with successive hits. Vantage's entire squad also gets a damage bonus when hitting enemies who have been scanned with Sniper's Mark.
Vantage's abilities are useful in a multitude of situations, but they will also get you killed if you aren't careful. Adhere to the following guidelines when using Vantage's abilities, and make sure to watch your back when sniping--remember, you aren't the only Vantage on the map.
Park your pet wisely
Vantage's sidekick, a bat-like creature named Echo, allows her to quickly relocate to high ground and escape gunfights that have gone sideways. But as helpful as the little guy is, he can still be a danger to you if you aren't paying attention. Be sure not to forget about Echo--like Crypto's drone, he will hover wherever you sent him last, but unlike Crypto's artificial wingman, Echo cannot scan enemies and will not alert you to their presence. If your squad is not currently in an active firefight, either recall him, or reposition him closer to the ground, where enemies will be less likely to see him at a distance and attempt an ambush.
However, when your squad's in combat, use Echo all you want, and feel free to leave him hovering wherever you wish. Echo cannot be destroyed by enemies like Crypto's drone can, and Echo Relocation's rapid cooldown will allow you to escape from sticky situations quickly and frequently.
Make sure to also take advantage of your ability to double-jump while using Echo Relocation. The added boost can send you flying upwards of 45 meters across the map, and unlike Ash's Phase Dash and Wraith's Dimensional Rift abilities, enemies cannot follow your path.
Keeping Echo in your line of sight is obviously important, but if you ever find yourself low on health and struggling to escape, remember that you only need to be able to see Echo to reach him. If he's out of the way and you don't have time to reposition him, sometimes simply jumping upwards will allow you to catch sight of him and reach his location by using your tactical ability mid-jump.
Another thing to remember is that you don't need to wait for Echo to reach his location before you follow him. Aiming and holding down the tactical button instead of tapping it will instantly propel you forward right behind Echo. Parking him can be tricky at first, as the aiming mechanic is similar to both Loba's Jump Drive and Newcastle's drone shield, but a little practice in the Firing Range will help you get the hang of it.
Aim with caution
Sniper's Mark is an incredibly powerful ability, but be sure you're in a safe area with decent cover before you whip out Vantage's custom sniper and start aiming. Every time you look through those optics, a giant orange laser beam--similar to the one on Rampart's beloved minigun, Sheila--is projected across the map, broadcasting your location to anyone nearby. It's fine to have a peek, but if you're attempting to keep your team's location concealed, don't ADS until you hear or see an enemy.
Maintaining the high ground is obviously ideal in any sniping situation, but it is especially the case when using Sniper's Mark. Enemies below you are far less likely to notice the laser sights when you're aiming downward instead of horizontally. Try to position yourself somewhere that is both safe and has a decent view, and remember to keep an eye on the bullet drop indicator to ensure you land your shots.
Sniper's Mark is easily one of the most distinct abilities in the game. Most abilities are only active for a certain amount of time and require a cooldown period between uses, but Vantage's special sniper rifle will be charged and ready very shortly after the start of a match, and can be equipped as long as you want, even unloaded.
In place of a traditional cooldown period, Sniper's Mark has bullets that automatically reload--but they do so at a snail's pace, and Vantage's sniper can only hold five of them at once. Thankfully, this bullet-loading time frame can be drastically reduced by using Ultimate Accelerants.
The effectiveness of Ultimate Accelerant use when playing Vantage cannot be overstated. For Vantage, Ultimate Accelerants are effectively bullets, and each use will refill her sniper with two bullets. Ultimate Accelerants are incredibly useful, and anyone playing Vantage needs to have at least one on them at all times. They are absolutely vital for successfully surviving long battles with multiple squads--especially if you're prone to missing shots.
As Vantage, you can use re-deploy balloons and beacons frequently and fearlessly. Vantage's passive ability to scan enemy locations while skydiving helps her avoid accidentally landing on top of another team (or worse, two other teams). This ability is automatically triggered when jumping out of the dropship, using re-deploy balloons/beacons, and when following Valkyrie via her Skyward Dive ability. When dropping from the dropship, you can also see any enemies that may be behind you by looking at your minimap as you fly. Enemy teams flying near you will be marked with red arrows.
Another environmental feature you'll want to take advantage of are the Survey Beacons scattered around the game's maps. Vantage's Echo Relocation ability means she can easily and rapidly reach the elevated areas where Survey Beacons are located, and she can often do so faster than other legends with the ability to scan them. Keep an eye out for the Survey Beacon icons on your minimap, and don't be afraid to take the initiative and go for it whenever you find one, as they are often situated in locations that make excellent sniper nests.
Don't always use sniper rifles
This may seem a bit counterintuitive at first glance, but using Vantage's Sniper's Mark rifle as your only long-range weapon can greatly benefit your squad in many situations. As long as you have an Ultimate Accelerant on hand to keep Sniper's Mark loaded, not picking up an additional sniper rifle won't cause too many issues, and will instead free up space for a third weapon. This will allow Vantage to carry a shotgun or marksman weapon in addition to the typical automatic or semi-automatic close-range weapons players typically carry, giving her more varied gunplay options during tense firefights.
Vantage has a rock-solid skill set. In the right hands, she can easily dominate the battlefield and overcome third-party scenarios that would turn most legends into deathboxes. But if you're new to sniping or feeling unsure of yourself, just remember to keep cool and practice. The Apex Games may have an entire book of rules, but when playing as Vantage, you only need to follow one of them: survive.
With the best way to play Vantage out of the way, let's take a look at the character's backstory. Growing up on Pàgos, Vantage--real name Xiomara "Mara" Contrares--lived by one rule and one rule only: survive. While she's managed to do so thus far, she's not always great at following other rules, actively defying her mother's wishes in her episode of Stories from the Outlands by exploring the abandoned cargo ship G.D.S. Vantage. This results in Xiomara nearly dying, and her mother Xenia--who, it turns out, is a wanted criminal from Gaea--getting picked up by the authorities. While it's obvious Xiomara feels extremely guilty for the part she played in her mother's arrest, it's not clear if the 18-year-old legend has learned her lesson yet when it comes to following directions.
During her first Apex Games match, she stubbornly refuses to leave despite Fuse's objection to "a pup" joining the Games. While this comment could simply be referring to the fact that she's the youngest member on the legend squad, it may also be referencing her naïvte and lack of life experience due to her isolated upbringing.
While she does win her first Apex match, that's not necessarily proof that she's got what it takes to be a legend. While she did put her skills to good use during the match, it wouldn't matter if she hadn't--Fuse's team was always going to win that match, because it was rigged using the same algorithm discovered by Crypto in his episode of Stories from the Outlands. However it appears that Vantage out-shot Fuse, making her the winning team's champion--and likely upsetting anyone who placed their bet on Fuse being the champion.
In another rule-breaking incident, Vantage ignored a rule from the Official Apex Games Rulebook banning pets from the Games. Echo, the bat-like creature that saved Xiomara's life in her episode of Stories from the Outlands, has accompanied her to the games, but apparently no pets are allowed.
To be fair, Echo did attack a fellow competitor's eyebrows at Vantage's qualifier match, but still, this "no pets allowed" rule is a bit bizarre given the fact that Bloodhound's pet raven, Artur, has been a mainstay of the series since it launched in 2019.
Vantage seems to realize this, appealing the rule multiple times before finally being granted permission to bring Echo to the Apex Games.
Her mother is fascinating
Xiomara's mother, Xenia, is an enigmatic figure who spent years lying to her daughter about every detail of her past until Vantage finally uncovered the truth: Her mother is a wanted criminal who was the sole survivor of the crash of the G.D.S. Vantage, a cargo ship carrying prisoners to a detention facility.
After unintentionally outing her mother's identity, both women were picked up by the Gaean Space Authority.
Distress transmission incoming . . . pic.twitter.com/qKtyTA7BWJ— Apex Legends (@PlayApex) July 23, 2022
Since then, Xenia--whose crimes are unknown, though promotional material refers to her as "wrongly accused"--has been living in a prison while her daughter competes in the Apex Games in the hopes of bringing attention to her mother's case.
However, a closer look at the table where Xiomara and her mother have their visits reveals an interesting detail: Xenia is being held in the same prison as Mad Maggie, who is returned to a cell when she's not participating in the Apex Games.
The launch trailer contains a series of flashbacks to Vantage's visits with her mother. In one, she brings along a crudely crafted shiv, apparently ready to take on a whole prison's-worth of Syndicate guards armed with nothing but a sharp stick. But before Vantage can do anything unwise, Xenia snatches the makeshift weapon out of her daughter's hands, and the meeting ends.
But interestingly, the countdown leading up to the launch trailer's release (the same one that revealed the Games are actively being rigged) depicts a conversation between two prison guards that's interrupted when a prison riot breaks out. The most likely culprit, of course, is Mad Maggie--but it's possible she's not working alone. The scene in which Vantage's mother confiscates the shiv is clearly a flashback, while the conversation taking place between the guards in the pre-trailer countdown may take after Vantage's mother has obtained a weapon. This means it's possible the riot that interrupts the guards' conversation was caused by both Maggie and Xenia--or even Xenia herself, though at this stage in the game, it was likely Maggie acting on her own. Whatever the case, it's hard to deny that Xenia is every bit as interesting as her daughter Vantage, and the fact that she shares a prison with Mad Maggie will definitely come into play via future plot developments.
To learn more about the other legends' backgrounds, check out our complete Apex Legends character guide.
GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.