I love Apex Legends, even when I get 30 bad games in a row. The combination of cool characters and tight gunplay means that I'm usually getting a round or two in every day, if not more. It's probably one of my favorite games ever, but outside of a few friends, not many people I know play it often.
It makes sense - Battle Royales are already intimidating, and as time goes on, more and more Legends, weapons, and so on get added to the game. So I figured I'd try and help out with that by making this guide to playing Apex Legends! Now I'm not a Diamond player or anything, (I wouldn't know actually, I've never done ranked hehe) but I can certainly hold my own. In fact, the fact that my aim is mid but I still get wins is good, because it means you can too! So let's get you started - you'll be complaining about Fragments in World's Edge and Octane Hot-droppers in no time!
Fine Mint, I'm in. Where do I start?
First! Do the tutorial you get when you first boot up. Once that's done, go to the firing range. I know it's tempting to jump into the game right away (and hey if you wanna do that go ahead! I'm not your mom) but I find that it's a lot less intimidating when you've figured out the weapons and how the game feels.
Get into the range, pick up some weapons and shoot some targets! Determine which ones you like. Run around with a few of the legends and try out their abilities. Read the tooltips for all the loot you can pick up and what it all does. You're not going to remember all of this, which is fine! A lot of your improvement will come with time. But it doesn't hurt to get an edge by checking it out. Even I tend to warm up in the firing range before I jump into the game now and then, especially when I haven't played in a while.
You can also have the dummies fight back if you want some live training! They're nothing compared to the 360-no-scoping freaks you'll eventually meet online, but they're great for learning how to shoot and move at a moving target that's shooting back - which is, you know, the whole game at its core. You can learn how to do that here!
Okay, now can I play?
The nice thing about Apex is that there's an Arenas mode now! I highly recommend newbies go here first, because it's effectively trial by fire. In Battle Royale you can get out of firefights by basically playing Metal Gear Outlands and stealthing it out, but it will give you bad habits - or no habits at all - when it comes to time to actually start popping off. Arenas removes most of that from the picture, forcing you to figure out your guns and how to fight against an enemy squad. You'll immediately start building some skill here and it'll definitely help you enjoy the game more overall! Best of all, the rounds are pretty quick, so you can get a lot of practice in in a small amount of time.
Before, I was okay at Apex, but once Arenas came out, that's when I started to get good.
I now know how to shooty-go-blam. Can we do BR Now?
You are ready!
Battle Royale is the most complicated aspect of Apex, so I've split my tips out into sections, with more info for each. First up!
How to Drop
Dropping in Apex is an art in and of itself. You might not want to drop yourself the first couple times you go into BR, but when you do, there's a couple things to think about! First, if you're dropping somewhere that's relatively near, try to leave the drop ship when the area is 500m away. This allows you to basically point directly towards your landing point without having to maneuver by slowing down and speeding up to get extra air. This is important because you want to drop as quickly as possible, especially if you're going to a busy Point of Interest.
If you're not dropmaster there's still some stuff to consider! If there aren't a lot of squads landing with you, separate from your Squad as you approach the POI so that you're not stepping on each other's toes while you're looting. If there's lots of people, stick close, just in case you can't find a gun on drop and need some back-up punching people to death. You will probably die on drop a few times, but the beauty of BRs, as I've always said, is that it's incredibly fast to dust yourself off and try again. Go in expecting you probably won't win, and you'll be in a good spot!
When to hit the next Ring
The ring is scary when you're new to Apex, but if you think about it too much it'll take over your brain like a parasite and you'll lose your sense of strategy. I promise the ring isn't that big of a deal, especially at the start of a match. The first two rings do barely any damage to you, so don't let it preoccupy you. By the third ring, you'll want to be cautious, and after that, you prooobably don't want it touching you at all unless you're a movement god.
If you've touched down and the ring is far off, don't feel the need to get moving until it's about 45-30 seconds away from you, or less if you have a Valk on your team (more on characters later). From there, keep an eye on where the ring will be next while you're looting.
All that said, do worry about the ring if you're in combat. Don't get so bloodlusted that you prolong an engagement and the ring wipes you out because you're not paying attention. If it doesn't look like things are gonna end one way or the other, get moving and pray your teammates follow (they probably won't).
Don't forget to ping!
Information is key in BRs, and Apex's ping system is key to information. With a tap, you can tell people where to go next, ping ammo for your pals, double-tap to ping enemy locations, and more. Ping liberally! Let your teammates know what's going on and hopefully they'll do so in kind. Big brain tip: if you're firing at an enemy, double tap every once and a while to let your squad know where they are as you're firing. They can reposition as needed and help you out.
That said, don't ping spam, especially when you're downed. It can be more distracting than helpful. Only ping enemies then when they've changed positions or are in the middle of reviving someone.
Use the environment
Apex is all about movement! You never want to get caught in a stationary gunfight. Always be moving so that your enemy has to guess your position. If you get hit, switch from cover. Move to higher ground if someone's about to rush you so you can attack from above. Remember your slide, so that you can move towards other cover faster. If you're trying to push on a squad, don't go straight - try and flank them by moving on either side. It's easy to to forget that you have lots of options, so keep an eye on your surroundings and find the best angles to bamboozle your enemy or make a quick escape. Big brain tip 2: if you're on a controller, make R3 your crouch/slide button, so you can slide or crouch spam while shooting at the same time!
Most importantly: never engage in a fight without cover!!! Seriously, this happens so often and I can't understand it! Do not engage if you don't have at least a third of your screen available as cover that you can duck back into to reload and cover your hurt box as you get shot at. I am begging you to remember this, it will make every fight 100x times easier.
When to push
It's important to not charge in guns blazing at a bad time, but it's important to not be a coward either. Pushing at the right moment can be the difference between wiping a squad or holding an L. The hope is that your team will communicate with you on when to move up on a squad, but let's just assume they won't, because the Apex player base can be...well...
Anyways, you want to make sure that you know where all 3 enemies in a squad are before you begin a push - you don't want to get jumped. If you've cracked an enemy's shield, that's your cue to get in there before they have a chance to heal back up. You can ping that you're going to move up and attack, so do that before you begin the charge. If your squad knows what's up, they'll be right behind you to mop up that first squad member with a down.
Subsequently, if you've been cracked, don't try and outplay the enemy! If they're mid-distance or further, hang back and use cover to shield up. Ask a team member to cover you while you do.
Last thing: if you're fighting a team with a LIfeline, take her out first before you push, especially at mid-distance, so that she can't revive anyone when you jump in.
Who Should I Play?
Good question! My immediate answer is whoever you think looks cool/cute/hot, but I know that's not always useful, so let's just go through the whole cast!
Hot lesbian lady! She can fly around and shoot missiles, and her ult lets her shoot her squad into the sky, like a mobile jump tower. She's very balanced and not bad for beginners, but focus on using her jets to get in and out of the environment - stay too long up there and you'll get shot out the sky.
A great character for beginners! Her passive means that you'll start moving super fast if you're getting shot at, which can be a life saver when you need to move to cover. Her smoke grenades can help you escape or obscure the enemy's vision, and her ult can pin your enemy down or give you time to reposition. She's great!
Secretly OP but don't tell Respawn I said that! They're a tracking Legend that can see footprints, blood and left-over gunfire to find enemies. They can scan the area ahead of them to show tracks and hidden enemies! In a game where info is key, this is a great ability! Lastly, their ult lets them scan pretty much every 4 seconds, makes you move faster, and keeps a constant highlight on their prey. I literally can't think of anything bad to say about them!
Used to be much scarier but not so much now! He drops gas canisters around to poison enemies, and his ult does the same, but bigger. He's...okay, for beginners. If you like to turtle and bunker down in BR, you'll like him, probably.
Cute guy with a drone that can scan enemies! He's better than I think people say he is, but very hard to use! If you pick him, don't stay glued in drone mode or you'll get shot while you're using it, heh. Park the drone in corners of walls like a security camera, or fly around to distract enemies while your squad closes in on them. Pro tip! The drone can pick up player banners and can instantly respawn your squad members instead of taking about 7 seconds. Very useful, don't forget!
Who needs guns when you have grenades! He can carry two stacks of grenades, and shoots them out of his robot arm, which lets him be more accurate and get them out faster. His tactical is also a grenade that does lots of damage, and his ultimate can trap enemies in a ring of fire, making them highlighted. Pretty balanced imho, and a blast in arenas.
Best legend in the game? Mayhaps! Gibby is great if you're a beginner, because his shield can block incoming fire while you're shooting, and his protective dome can save you or your pals while you rez them or shield up. He's also fortified, meaning he's harder to kill because he's so beefy. Lastly, his defensive bombardment ult is CHUNKY and can do soooo much damage to enemies, even downing them if out in the open. A solid pick!
Hot scientist mommy! She has a gravity lift that can help her shoot upwards and outwards, letting her get around real easy to get the jump on enemies. Her ult is a black hole that pulls enemies in and reveals their position. Pair up with a fuse and rain down a bunch of grenades! Great choice for beginners.
Cute healer lady! She can use a bot to revive a teammate, leaving her hands free to keep fighting. Her drone can also heal you and your squad! Her ult drops a care package with guaranteed high-quality loot, which can be pretty helpful in BR, but also reveals your position to an extent. Not bad for beginners, or people who like to be WHM in FFXIV, but note that people will hunt you down so you don't rez anyone, hah.
My queen! My boo! Love of my life! Loba is much better than I think people give her credit for, especially in BR. She can see high-quality loot through walls, and her ult is a fast-recharging black market boutique that lets you pick up two items in a radius, as well as as much ammo as you want. Her tactical is her jump drive, which you can use to teleport into cover, for new angles, or to get running. She can kit up a team in an instant, and in my opinion is a good choice for beginners so they don't spend too much time looting and more time shooting.
Class clown! He can create decoys to bamboozle the enemy, and remote control them to move them around. If an enemy shoots one, they'll get marked on the map, kinda like Bloodhound. His ult brings out like 6 decoys, useful to distract enemies or make an escape. A pretty advanced character that'd wait on using before trying!
For the sweats! His tact is a stim that lets him move fast at the cost of health, but his passive lets him recover his health over time. His launch pad lets him and his squad jump around to escape or ambush enemies. Good for any skill level, just don't leave your team behind!
Used to be top tier, but he's still good! Cute robo with a grappling hook that lets him swing around. His ult is a zipline that he can create to let the whole squad move around. Another one I'd say is advanced, especially because his hook takes a bit to get used to.
Was bad up until a few days before this post goes out! She can throw up cover walls which block shots and buff up yours and your teams. She gets a passive that makes her better with LMGs like the Spitfire. Her minigun is her ult, and she can pull it out to run around and rip into people. A gremlin with style, but be sure to not get locked down under cover.
Edgy boi. He can climb up walls super fast like a freaky spider, which can be useful in a pinch! His tactical is a grenade that disables enemy abilities if they touch it. HIs ult is a totem that basically gives your team a second life, bringing them back to the totem if you're downed with half health. Pretty good, and not a bad beginner choice.
I mean. She's cute. Buuut she's not in a good spot. She makes electric fences, and has an ult that can intercept grenades and ults like Bangalore's and Gibraltar's. But beyond that, she needs a buff, and I absolutely would not recommend her for a beginner.
The original sweat! But not as much as before, to be honest. Her tact lets her phase out, letting her run around without getting shot at, all while having a bit of a speed boost. Her ult is the same, but it leaves behind a two-portal that you and your squad can use to move back and forth for about a minute. She's still pretty good and a good movement legend, so I'd say she's a solid beginner pick.
The newest legend! He can see get a general indication of enemies based on the sound they're making. His tactical is a beam that can then highlight them for a bit of time, similar to Bloodhound, but whilst also showing how much HP and shields they have. his ult creates a big circle that captures the footsteps and position of any enemies making sound as well. He's super good, and not a bad pick for beginners, but don't let the sound indicators distract you from, you know, actually playing.
Alright! That's my guide on playing Apex Legends. There's more than I could ever cover in a single guide, but I hope this can kickstart you into trying it out. And if you do, let me know! Maybe we can get in there and die together! :D