(Pocket-lint) - A selection of tips and tricks for new players to Apex Legends. Simple tips to give you the gaming edge.
- What is Apex Legends? The free to play Battle Royale for PS4, Xbox One and PC explained
- Best PC games to buy: Fantastic games to add to your collection
Essential things to know and basic tips
There are a few things worth knowing before you dive in, even the basics can make a big difference:
There is no fall damage
Use this knowledge to your advantage by getting the height advantage on enemies, then jumping down to evade danger.
Balloons give you a boost
There are various hot-air balloons scattered around the map. Climbing up these balloons allows you to jump off and glide across open ground to another location. This is a great way to get quickly across the map or out of danger.
Close-quarters battle is inevitable
Battle Royale games nearly always end in a short-range, close-quarter battle. It's a good idea to find a shotgun or short-range weapon that can quickly deal a lot of damage if you want to win.
Don't engage unless you have to
Winning isn't all about kills. If you want to survive, it's actually better to avoid getting into fights unless you really have to. Shooting just attracts attention. Not just from the people you're shooting at, but from nearby enemies too. Stealth is a better way to win. Hide, avoid shooting and keep inside the ring to avoid death.
Kick in the doors
You can surprise the enemy by kicking open doors or even destroying them by using melee or blowing them up with explosions.
Sliding is faster
Apex Legends has a slide mechanic that you can use to slide along floors. You can use this to go downhill quickly. Combine it with jumping to create a jump slide and you can move more quickly than just sprinting.
Faster without guns out
You can move more quickly with your gun holstered. Put it away by pressing Y on Xbox One, triangle on PS4 or by tapping 3 on PC.
Now it's time to get stuck into the game.
Planning your landing
Getting into the game, you spawn inside the dropship and are assigned a jumpmaster. This is one member of the squad who is chosen as the leader.
Everyone is bound to the jumpmaster during the deployment stage. He or she decides when the team will jump and where, but everyone can have a say in where to go by putting a marker on a certain area of the map. The jumpmaster has the final say though.
You'll need to learn the map to work out where the best places are to land and where to avoid. When starting out it's a good idea to stay on the ship as long as possible and land near the outskirts of the island or the outer reaches. There will be fewer enemies and less risk allowing you to ease into the game.
The supply ship is risky
During the landing stage (or before you leave the ship) you'll notice a small ship flying about the map. This is the supply ship. Landing on it while it's in flight is a good way to get your hands on high tier loot. It's also often full of enemy teams doing the same and so a very risky landing place.
You can jump off without taking fall damage though, so there's always the option of grabbing gear and running.
The Hot Zone
As well as the supply ship there's also a "Hot Zone" located on the map. This is a randomly generated area of the map marked by a blue circle.
This Hot Zone has high-quality loot and weaponry up for grabs. It's a hotspot for enemy activity but you'll also earn bonus experience points for killing enemy players in this zone so it's worthwhile trying when you're a bit more experienced.
Understanding the loot
Apex Legends has a similar loot system to other Battle Royale games. There are different sorts of loot and goodies scattered around the map for you to pick up.
Different locations offer varying levels of gear - some locations offer high-tier, high-value weapons and armour. These locations are often hotspots for enemy activity as well though. Landing in them is risky and you'll need to be prepared for a fight almost instantly.
The hierarchy of the loot tier system is shown by colours:
- Grey is common loot
- Blue is rare loot
- Purple is epic loot
- Gold is legendary
This colour system applies to everything from weapon attachments to helmets. It's worth noting that legendary gear also comes with perks. A gold helmet, for example, gives you an ability cooldown reduction, gold body armour allows you to refill your armour after finishing a downed enemy, etc.
At a glance, you can also see the type of ammo based on colour:
- Brown or orange for light rounds
- Red for shotgun shells
- Blue for heavy ammo
- Green for energy ammo
Ammo, weapons and armour are mostly located inside buildings - upstairs, downstairs and scattered all about. You can also find supply bins littered around the map. These are white and red cylinders with markings on them that help them stand out.
They often come in threes - the perfect amount for each of your squad mates - so keep an eye out for them and let your friends know when you see them.
You may also come across what looks like Apex Boxes (little triangular containers on robot legs) throughout the match. These look the same as the containers you get when you level up and get a reward at the end of the match. Shoot these to destroy them and get more loot.
Another obvious way to get good loot is to kill enemies. Downed baddies will drop loot crates containing their gear. These enemy crates are also highlighted in various loot colours to let you know which is the most valuable in terms of gear.
There are a number of supply drops that fall on the map over time. These are like spacecraft modules that crash land after hurtling from the skies above like a gift from the Gods. They offer good loot, but they're also a magnet for enemies as they're hardly subtle.
One of the characters (Lifeline) can also call in a supply drop with three items in it. This drop can be called into any spot on the map and contains three items that can be shared among the squad. There's a chance of high-level gear contained within, but calling it in can also tell enemy teams where you are.
Managing your loot
Opening inventory allows you to see the gear you're carrying and managing what you have. Like elsewhere, the quality of what you're carrying is shown in colours so you know what's good and what can be dropped to save space.
No Entry symbols on any of the gear you are carrying means it won't work with the weapons you have an is just taking up space unnecessarily. Check this and let your squad know what you've got in case you have something they need.
The game is pretty clever in that it will stop you from picking up an attachment for your weapon that's a lesser version of what you already have. However, you may find that although the quality might be better, the type might not be what you want.
A blue sniper scope might be preferable to a purple short range sight on a long range rifle, for example. So you'll need to be aware of what you're grabbing. The game will make you to press and hold a button to force a choice it doesn't think you should make, but that's up to your personal preference.
Moving in the right direction
The majority of Battle Royale games work on the same premise. There's an ever-shrinking ring which pushes teams closer and closer together as time ticks down. Anyone caught outside that ring will inevitably die a slow death.
It's important to keep an eye on the mini-map in the top left corner to see where the ring is and where you need to go. You can alert your team by voice comms or by pinging them to let them know where to head.
The top of the screen also has a compass that can be used to call out the direction of travel as well as the location of enemies, loot or other areas of interest.
Keep the team moving towards the ring. Once there it can pay to stay at the inner edges because in most cases you won't find enemies coming out of the danger zone - while if you head to the middle of the ring you could be entirely surrounded. Think backs to the wall.
It's worth listening out for audio cues from characters. As the ring closes you'll hear teammates say when it's doing so and even say when you're inside it or not.
Get the height advantage
As with Fortnite and other shooters, having the height advantage can give you the upper hand over your enemies.
There is no wall-running in Apex Legends, but you can jump and climb higher than you might realise. Sprint towards a wall, structure or ledge at high speed, look up and push forward as you jump and you'll be able to climb up. Another trick is to open a door and use that to climb up to higher spots that are otherwise inaccessible.
Working well as a team
There are numerous ways to work well as a team. Ensuring everyone has good gear and is ready for battle is just as important as preparing yourself.
Stay close and share the loot
Victory in any squad-based Battle Royale game depends on the team sticking together and surviving. If you split away from your teammates in search of better loot then you risk bumping into multiple enemies at once with your team being too far away to help. Death is inevitable, then your team is one player down and less likely to win.
Sticking close to your teammates is essential, but moving too close will resort in less loot. It's a careful balance of looting for goodies without straying too far.
Use comms to talk to your team. If you know they have a certain weapon you can let them know if you find ammo for it. You can also open your inventory system to drop weapons and ammo you've found for them to pick up.
This is useful if you've managed to find weapons but squad mates haven't. Better everyone has a gun than you hoard them all to yourself and lose the battle.
Pinging important locations and items
You can use the ping system to help your teammates.
The game has a mechanic that allows you to highlight/ping things of interest. This means you can tell your buddies where enemies are or when you've found particularly good gear or supplies they might like.
On PC looking at an area and pressing F will put a marker down to say enemies have been seen in that location. Middle mouse button, meanwhile, either suggests where the team should go or points to items of interest such as supply crates, weapons or ammo.
On console, pressing and holding a ping button will give you access to a wheel that allows you to choose the right kind of ping and reply.
This system allows you to move across the map as a well-oiled unit. It also gives a visual representation of enemy threats as an aid to combat which works more effectively over and above calling out locations via the compass.
The ping system works well as an alternative to using voice comms, but it's even more effective when used in combination with talking. It's all very well saying "there's heavy ammo over here" but being able to highlight the spot too gets your squadmates there quicker.
When under attack, highlighting enemy locations can draw fire from your team to the right place to ensure you win the battle.
Rescuing your teammates
Even the best of players will get downed. There are a few things worth knowing that can help you rescue your friends or help them save you.
When downed, you can still ping enemies and let your team know where they are. This will help them kill the enemy before attempting to rescue you - rather than falling into the trap of trying to save you only to get killed themselves.
Certain Legends are better at rescuing injured teammates than others. For example, both Gibraltar and Lifeline can deploy shields to protect friendly characters as they're being revived.
Injured teammates that have been knocked down are still vulnerable. If they're shot at while they're waiting to be revived they can still be killed. If killed they can only be brought back into the battle using the respawn station.
Use this knowledge to your advantage. If you manage to knock an enemy down, keep attacking until they're completely dead. Don't allow the enemy any time to save their friends, then you'll have fewer threats to deal with. Alternatively, wait for someone to come to revive them then get twice the kills!
Saving dead squadmates
If your team fails to revive a fallen team member and they die, but you manage to survive the battle, you can still bring them back. All you need is to get their banner from their crate (that appears where they died).
You have a limited time (around 90 seconds) to get the banner. You can see a timer around the icon representing their character above their crate. If you don't get there in time it's game over for that character until the end of their match.
If you make it in time, take their banner to a green respawn location. You'll then able to call them back into the battle. This can be risky as it takes time to do and it exposes you to danger as you do so. It is worth the effort though as it will help keep the team at full strength.
Teammates who have been brought back to the battlefield won't have any weapons when they return. You can solve this issue by dropping one of your weapons for them to take temporarily until you can find more gear or by returning to where they died in the first place to loot their own crate.
It's worth noting that teammates saved this way will come in via a small dropship. That ship may give your position away as it comes in. You can also use this to your advantage against the enemy - if you see a ship, track its movements to kill an enemy that has returned to the battle with no weapons or an underpowered squad with one less member.
Playing to your character's strengths
Apex Legends has a number of characters with their own special abilities, when starting out it makes sense to play with each character and get a feel for their abilities and strengths. It's also good to learn to choose a character which complements your team.
Each member of the squad takes turns to select their character before the start of the game, you cannot use the same character as someone else so you may need to learn to play with more than one.
Every Legend has both a tactical move and an ultimate move as well. Ultimates are subject to cooldowns to prevent them being overused and you can see a timer which lets you know when they can be used again.
The characters skills are split like this:
- Bloodhound - tracking abilities that include the skill to reveal enemy locations through walls, smoke etc and to see enemy footprints in the local area.
- Gibraltar - can deploy a dome of protection that acts as a temporary shield to deflect enemy fire. He can also call in a bombardment airstrike on a specific area to deal out damage to the enemy.
- Caustic - uses toxic gas traps and nox gas grenades. He also has the ability to see enemies that have been covered in the gas in the local area.
- Lifeline - a medic who can deploy a healing drone to give the team a health boost, put out a small shield while reviving fallen comrades and call in a care package to give the team some extra gear.
- Bangalore - can sprint more quickly under fire, shoot a smoke launcher to reduce enemy visibility and call in an air strike to deal death on the enemy.
- Wraith - can manipulate spacetime to open portals she can travel between. She can also go invisible for a short period of time and highlight enemies for the squad.
- Pathfinder - has a grappling hook that allows him to get around the map quickly, dashing from place to place. He can hack survey beacons to find where the next ring is going to be. He can also deploy a zipline that all the team can use. You can travel both up and down this zipline meaning it can be used to get to higher places as well as zipping out of danger.
- Mirage - can deploy various holographic devices to deceive the enemy and make the team seem bigger than it actually is.
In our view Lifeline is the best choice for beginners as she has the ability to heal herself and the team with the healing drone. This means you can theoretically survive longer, but you can also be useful to your team and not feel like a complete noob.
Beating the enemy
Although we'd say avoiding firefights is a good way to survive and win, if you do get into a scrap it's worth getting the upper hand quickly.
Each character has 100 health points as standard. Armour adds extra and if an enemy has the best armour equipped they can have a maximum of 200 health points.
Each time you hit an enemy you'll see a coloured number pop up which shows how much damage you've done. This numbers colour also shows the type of armour they're wearing:
- Purple - level 3
- Blue - level 2
- White - level 1
If you shoot an enemy and see red numbers it means they have no armour so they'll be the easiest to kill.
Obviously, if you give them time to hide they may heal or repair their shields, but seeing the numbers gives you an idea of how close you are to victory.
We mentioned earlier that if you manage to down an enemy you can kill them completely by continuing to shoot. An alternative is to get close and use a "finisher" - this is a finishing move where your character will perform an animation to finish off the enemy with a melee kill. It does expose you to momentary danger though as you can't use your weapon to defend against other enemies.
To perform a finishing move, sidle up to the enemy and press E on PC, X on Xbox One or square on PS4 to execute.
It's worth noting that finishing moves can be interrupted. If you see teammates about to be killed this way, shoot the enemy who's attempting to finish them to interrupt it.
Before the game starts, you'll see one squad chosen as the "champion squad" - this includes one player who was the highest ranking player from the previous game. This champion also represents a valuable kill for your team, if you can eliminate them you'll get a bonus 500 experience points for doing so.
Scoping out your enemies
Sniper scopes can be used for a variety of things as well as seeing enemies at long range - ping them to identify threats to everyone, even if you aren't going to shoot.
#ApexLegends pro tip: the ranging marks on EVERY fullscreen (sniper) optic will ALWAYS be accurate for the rifle you're using. Watch the mil dots reshuffle in realtime as you aim far up or down. Use the rangefinder and line up the right tick mark to tag those long range headshots— Sean Slayback (@slaypiece) 7 February 2019
Sniper scopes also have rangefinders that let you know how far out an enemy is. These can be used to suss out your shot and make sure it hits. They can also be used to let your team know how far away people are.
Any great tips we missed? Let us know in the comments.