Respawn’s newest game is (surprise!) out today. Apex Legends is a battle royale set in Titanfall’s universe with more than a few tricks up its sleeve to make it stand out from the crowd. We got to play a lot of matches recently and have a few tips to help you understand the twists Legends brings to battle royale and how to use them to get ahead.
Play With Friends
As with most team-based modes in battle royale games, communication is key to success in Apex Legends. Arguably moreso given there’s no solo play option, which means having two other buds you know well and have on voice chat will do wonders for your planning. However, not all is lost if you end up playing with randos….
Use The Ping System Like Your Life Depends On It (Because It Does)
One of Apex Legends’ innovations in the battle royale genre is its ping/marking system. Similar to Battlefield’s marking system, you have a ping button you can use to note areas of interest, including bins to loot, signs of enemy activity (like open doors and looted canisters), and even temporarily mark foes for your teammates to see. It’s a simple, easy-to-use system that will probably save your team’s hide on more than one occasion.
Pick Your Character Carefully
Apex Legends is a character-focused experience as well as a battle royale, with every player in a squad able to pick characters (called legends) with powers. Using these powers in combination with one another can often be what leads your squad to victory, so communicate with your team during the legend select screen. Think of your squad as less of a group of commandos and more like characters in an RPG party.
It’s useful to have Wraith, who can dash around cloaked in invisibility and leave portals for teammates to instantly travel through, but is she worth having if it means giving up Lifeline the medic or Pathfinder, who can chart where the circle will close next? The calculated choices you make in that character select screen are just as important as the twitch-based ones you make once the guns start blazing.
In Case Of Emergency….
Apex Legends has an interesting drop system where one person decides where the squad is dropping and then handles piloting them to that spot. It’s usually in your best interest to stay together, but if you’re playing with randos and see your leader is foolishly steering you toward a place packed with danger, you can always break away with the tap of a button. This means taking on the rest of the opposing squads on your own, but it’s better than foolishly landing in the middle of a no-win scenario.
A Sniper Rifle Is Not Your Best Friend
A lot of battle royale matches ultimately come down to two figures on some plains armed with a sniper rifle, with the victor often being whoever has the best aim. Apex Legends’ map is much more interior-focused than Fortnite, Blackout, and PUBG. Flat, open space is surprisingly minimal, with most of the real estate dedicated to caverns, cliffs, apartment buildings, and complexes to hide you from sniper fire. That isn’t to say there are areas where sniper rifles aren’t handy, but don’t expect to dominate the match just because you come across one.
There is no fall damage. So if you need to make a quick getaway and the only escape is off a mountain cliff, go for it. There are no consequences.
Don’t Panic If No Weapons Are Around
Bad drops happen. However, Apex Legends is a bit more forgiving than your standard battle royale if you land in a location filled with no armor and weapons. The fewer number of players and squad focus, mean you usually have time to hit another locale or two to scrounge for weapons before an opposing team or the circle of doom descend.
Death Is (Maybe) Not The End
If you die in Apex Legends, there’s a slim chance you can come back. When a player perishes, a squadmate can grab their banner card and find one of the respawn vending machines littered throughout the map to bring them back. A couple of caveats to keep in mind: the dead player comes back into the game with no weapons or items, these respawn vending machines are often out in open, easy-to-see places, and it takes a whole five seconds of holding down a button to bring a player back. The five seconds is particularly brutal because it leaves you open to all sorts of nastiness, so you’ll need to make tough judgement calls from time to time about whether or not it’s worth the risk to revive a pal.
That’s A Nice Crown, Bud
At the beginning of every match, one player is shown off as the “champion,” usually a player who won the last match. Killing them will net you a nice bonus of 500 XP in the game’s cosmetic-driven progression system.
Forget About Foliage
A common tactic in battle royale is for players to go prone and hide amongst high grass as other players kill each other, slowly moving toward the center of wherever the circle is as the game goes on. While there is technically foliage in Apex Legends, it won’t save you. There’s no way to go prone, classes like Bloodhound can sniff you out, and certain gun optics can highlight your figure. You’re better off hiding in buildings or in caverns if you want to be sneaky.
For more on Apex Legends, check out our impressions and interview with Respawn.