What Apex Legends Doesn't Tell You: Essential Tips For Becoming A Champion
By Matt Espineli and Phil Hornshaw on
Apex Legends brings a bunch of enhancements to the battle royale formula made super popular by PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite. In Apex, ammunition is color-coded with its guns, to make identifying what bullets you need easier. Attachments are added to your guns automatically if they fit, and if you swap out one gun for another, the attachments go with it. Each area on the map tells you how good the loot is when you arrive, so you can plan your movements more carefully. But while Apex Legends is full of useful improvements to what we've seen in battle royale games up to now, there's a lot the game doesn't tell you about how things work and some of your capabilities.
We've compiled several tips below to help you better understand some of the hidden basics of Apex Legends. We've also got some insight to offer on important habits to build in order to increase your chances of survival. For more guides, be sure to check back often as we put up more in the days ahead. In addition, we've also covered in detail how the game's monetization works.
In our Apex Legends review, GameSpot editor Phil Hornshaw gave the game a 9/10 and said: "Apex Legends is a mix of smart shooter ideas that makes for a competitive, team-based game that gets at all the best parts of battle royale while addressing a lot of the weaknesses. Respawn's intense focus on team play makes Apex more than just a worthy addition to the genre; it's an indicator of where battle royale should go in the future."
How do you feel about Apex Legends? Got any useful tips that you don't see here? Let us know in the comments below!
Pay Attention to the Squad Chatter
The lines your team's characters say aren't just mid-match filler. Rather, they impart useful information, such as notifying you when your squad is drifting apart or is too far from the ring. Pay particular attention when you have Wraith on your team, as she can inform your squad if there are enemies hidden behind a closed door or if another team has seen you. If you're playing Wraith, make sure to listen to what she has to say when she starts muttering; it means she's picking up info about your surroundings, but you'll need to hit the button prompted on your screen to share it with your teammates.
Find Hidden Apex Pack Robots
Hiding in various buildings around the map are robots that look like Apex Packs, the loot boxes you can open between matches. You'll usually hear them before you see them, as they make little chirping sounds. You'll want to track these suckers down, as they always contain high-tier loot--either purple or yellow, depending on their color. Look for the bots in corners and out-of-the-way places, like out of sight on top of objects. We recommend meleeing them, just so you don't alert nearby enemies or waste ammo.
Replay the Tutorial
If you ever need a safe place to test out weapons and practice maneuvers, you're free to replay the game's tutorial at any time. You'll still need to work through Bloodhound's prompts about movement, firing weapons, and pinging stuff, but once you've done that, you're free to mess around in the training area as much as you want. You'll find every gun there, including Legendary tier weapons, like the Kaber and the Mastiff shotgun, and it's a great place to get a sense of how bullets drop over long distances when fired from various weapons. Unfortunately, there aren't any attachments to practice with in the tutorial.
Executions Look Cool, But Leave You Vulnerable
Knocking down a player but not finishing them can be a big liability, since it gives your enemies a chance to revive their cohorts and return to full strength. You can finish downed opponents off by shooting or meleeing them, but if you want to do it with some style, walk up to an enemy and hit the prompted button to do an execution. Just know that pulling an execution is a massive liability--every time you do one, you're completely vulnerable. Pushing the execution button starts a lengthy animation that can't be canceled, and while it's running, you can't control your character. That means anybody who's around can walk up and blast you, including the teammates of your victim. Conversely, interrupting an execution can save a teammate's life and snag you an easy kill.
Ultimate Accelerators Benefit Lifeline The Most
While Ultimate Accelerators are handy, they're especially useful for Lifeline. Her Ultimate ability, which calls in an orbital care package with three pieces of useful loot, is one of the only ones in the game where you don't need to wait for a combat situation to use it. While other characters, like Gibraltar or Bloodhound, will mostly hold their Ultimates until they get into fights, Lifeline can call down care packages during the downtime between battles--so giving her whatever Accelerators you find along the way can get your team more care packages, more often.
Use Pings To Call For Ammo And Attachments
The ping system isn't just for marking enemy locations or showing teammates weapons--it's actually extremely robust and can be used in a lot of different situations. If you hold the button down, you can call up a wheel of pings, including telling teammates where you plan to attack or what you see in the distance. Open up your inventory menu for even more options; you can ping the slots for armor you're missing, to ask for specific types of ammo, or to ask teammates to keep an eye out for weapon attachments. It's particularly useful when you're hunting for a scope to go on your favorite sniper rifle.
You Can Kick Down Doors--Or Blow Them Open
Just because a squad closes a door between you and them doesn't mean they're protected. In fact, you can use doors to your advantage when breaching a location and taking on a team. Hitting the melee button as you approach a door will kick it open, which can stun people too close on the other side. Explosives, on the other hand, can blow some doors open altogether, filling a room with smoke and disorienting whoever's on the other side.
Legendary Tier (Yellow) Loot Has Special Perks
Loot marked in yellow (as opposed to white, blue, and purple) is the best in Apex Legends, but that's not just because a yellow body shield has more charge than a purple or blue one. Most yellow-tier loot also has special perks attached to it. For instance, a yellow body shield will come with the Executioner perk, which fully recharges it if you manage to kill an enemy using an Execution move. A yellow down shield, meanwhile, will include a perk that lets you revive yourself one time, without the need of a teammate to do it for you. Be sure to check your yellow defensive gear for its extra capabilities, and don't forget them when an opportunity comes to use them.
Use Balloons To Re-Deploy (Or Escape)
Those balloons floating around the map have a use: you can zipline up them to get enough height to re-activate the jetpack you use to glide down to the map when you first start a match. Mind, you won't get terribly far, and you'll be vulnerable while you zip up to the top of a balloon, but in a sticky situation or when you're running from the encroaching ring, redeploying can be a handy way to escape.
All Characters Move The Same
The characters of Apex Legends are all a little different, and some have animations that suggest they're lighter and nimbler, while others are heavier and more plodding. Although Apex Legends gives the sense that some characters might move more slowly than others, it's just a trick of the presentation. No matter what character you choose, they're all capable of the same movements: their walking and running speeds are the same, their jump heights are the same, and they can climb walls of the same height. You can run a little faster if you holster your weapons, and certain perks make some characters quicker (like Bangalore).
Sniper Scopes Will Help You Deal With Bullet Drop
Shoot at anyone who's more than 100 meters away, and you're going to have to contend with bullet drop. At long ranges, gravity drops your shots, which can make it tough to land those key sniper headshots that might otherwise take out an opponent before they know what hit them. You don't have to just guess at how much bullets will drop or learn to anticipate it, though--sniper scopes will do the work for you. On many scopes, you'll see two things: a counter to one side that tells you the range of whatever you're aiming at, and a series of dots below the reticule with numbered markings. Use each of the reticules under the first to adjust for bullet drop: at 200 meters, line up your shot using the dot marked "2"; at 300, use the "3", and so on.
You Can Block Doorways When You're Down
Usually when you get knocked down in Apex Legends, it's a mad dash to get out of harm's way so your teammates can revive you before you're knocked out of the match. But you're not completely useless when you're crawling around trying not to bleed to death--it's possible to still help your team if you're quick, smart, and lucky. Other players can't walk through downed characters, whether they're on your team or against you, which means you can prevent an enemy player from moving in certain ways in chokepoint situations. For instance, if you're behind an opponent who's trying to retreat from the rest of your team, you can crawl into the doorway they want to use, blocking them from using it. Catch somebody in a corner and you can use your broken body to prevent them from strafing while your teammates finish them off. Even if you are eliminated, your loot box can also act as an obstruction.
While we've discovered a lot of nuances in our time with Apex Legends, we still have a lot of questions--like whether you can send Mirage decoys through Wraith portals, or whether falling can ever actually kill you (spoiler: it can). Check out our Apex Legends Mythbusting list as we search for answers.