Eight Things I Wish I Knew Before Playing Apex Legends

Now that everyone's gotten accustomed to what the makers of Titanfall think a battle royale should look like, let's get down into the nitty gritty of being just a little bit better.

Between the advanced movement, comboing hero abilities, learning the nuances of the map and weaponry, there's a ton of detail about Apex Legends that doesn't become apparent until you've spent 20 or 30 hours with the game. So if you're looking to go a little deeper, or still wandering aimlessly around King's Canyon, here's 10 things that will help a ton.

Know what attachments you need

You've essentially got four classes of weapons in Apex Legends, dependent on the typo of ammo they use: light ammo (the orange icon with multiple bullets), heavy ammo (the green double bullets icon), shotguns (red ammo), and energy-based weapons (the lightning bolt).

Within each of those classes you'll have a mix of guns that are good for close, medium and long-range fights, although attachments can improve the recoil and handling of guns across the board. What's more important, however, is to know the types of guns you want, when it's time to upgrade, and whether it's worth holding onto that purple attachment for half the game just in case.

Take the image above. I'm rocking a Peacekeeper (shotgun) and a R-301 Carbine, a fully automatic rifle that uses light ammo. Because I only have a level two backpack, I'm a couple of notches away from full carrying capacity. If that wasn't the case, it would make more sense to hold onto the Skullpiercer (the purple skull), which only attaches to a Wingman (a heavy pistol, which I don't have) and the Selectfire Receiver, which can only be attached to the burst-fire Prowler.

If the Prowler isn't your kind of gun, or you're not willing to hold onto it long term, there's no reason to carry the Selectfire Receiver - ever. That's a slot that could go towards more shield cells, medpacks, extra ammo (just in case you pick up something sweeter) or even consumables like the Ultimate Accelerant.

Here's a list of every special attachment in the game, and what they're good for:

Turbocharger Faster spin-up time for Devotion LMG (Energy Weapon)
Skullpiercer Rifling Extra headshot damage (Longbow, Wingman Heavy Weapons)
Precision Choke Reduces the projectile spread (Peacekeeper Shotgun, Triple Take Energy Weapon)
Selectfire Receiver Allows Prowler to switch between firing modes (Heavy Weapon)

Other attachments, like barrel stabilisers and shotgun bolts, will automatically attach to weapons if they're compatible with your existing kit. The only instances where you might knowingly pick up an attachment that you can't use is if you plan on switching weapons later - like holding onto a variable 4x-8x scope because you're hoping to pick up a sniper down the road.

Press F for enemies

The game's ping system would make for a fantastic addition to any shooter, but there are ways to use it effectively and ways to freak out your entire squad. The easiest way to do the latter: accidentally pinging that an enemy is nearby, when you really wanted to say you were just looting an area, or that someone was nearby.

The simplest way is to have a couple of keyboard binds for the pings you need most frequently. By default, you can ping an enemy location by hitting F, which is faster and more effective than using the mousewheel - if your aim is off, the contextual system will ping the location, but not that the enemy is in the area. Pressing F - or using whatever bind is most comfortable - guarantees that everyone will get the right message.

I'd suggest going a step further and adding a bind to C (or CTRL, depending on which key you use for crouching/sliding) for the bind you use most often besides pinging locations. Three is generally enough to communicate all of the necessary info: the rest are generally things that you communicate outside of firefights.

Learn how to place Wraith's portals properly

Not like this, basically.

Wraith is one of the most popular characters, but her ultimate is also one of the most difficult to use in a firefight. How it works is this: when you activate your ultimate, Wraith sets a portal at the location where you were standing. The second press of your ultimate then sets the exit location, with your available range determined by the metre that appears at the top of your screen.

If you're in the middle of a fight and want to use the portal to get out of a tight corner, your best option is to use the portal first, then phase. This lets you drop the portal by your teammates while giving you some cover; if you try and phase first, you won't be able to activate your portal at all.

Beyond that, however, Wraith's portals are less useful in firefights and more handy for getting teammates closer to the circle. Portals last for 60 seconds after they're established, and it's a good tool for helping get back to the circle after you and your squad have raided the quieter exteriors of the map for rare gear.

Speaking of gear...

Learn where the good gear is

At the start of every game, Apex Legends basically outlines two points where you can expect an early fight: the Supply Ship, which has a range of epic and rare guns, armour and attachments, and a "hot zone". The hot zone is different every map, but it's basically a predetermined area with a higher concentration of good gear.

Outside of that, however, different areas of the map are always more likely to have better loot than others.

Water Treatment, for instance, is a good location where you can regularly grab good armour. The propensity of epic guns, like the Triple Take, isn't as high. But it's a typically safe location to land - you're never likely to see more than one squad there, at best - and you also have easy access to a couple of balloons which you can use to vault closer towards the ring if necessary. There's more buildings on the north east side of Water Treatment, so try and land there if it seems like you'll have company.

Other areas that are listed as "High Tier" loot spots: Thunderdome, the Bunker, The Pit, Airbase, Repulsor, Hydro Dam, Wetlands, Swamps, Relay and Artillery. The Swamps is not a great place to traverse, mind you - the buildings aren't as densely backed as a Airbase or the more industrial areas, so it will take you longer to get all the good loot you need.

Places like Relay and Artillery may also not be advisable depending on the path of the dropship: if it's flying directly over, you can guarantee a few squads will target those areas. But there will always be at least one or two high tier locations that aren't populated from the off, so as long as you know where they are, you can plan your drop more wisely.

Know how much damage the ring does

The ring in Apex Legends functions just like every other battle royale, but knowing just how much damage it will actually do - and therefore how much damage you need to heal through - can make a huge difference at the end of the game when it comes to positioning.

When the first round ends, you can comfortably outrun the ring with a combination of sliding and holstering your weapon without having to make a direct beeline for the circle. When the second round ends, you'll want to make sure you have a little bit of distance between yourself and the impending orange wall.

If you're caught outside of the wall, you can catch up provided you holster your weapon - but you'll have to run more directly at the ring to catch up. You can still heal most of the damage with syringes if you're a long way out, although your slower movement means you'll be relatively even by the time you catch up to the ring.

When it comes to the fourth ring, if you've got a notable distance to cover - say 100 metres or more - you'll have to use medkits or phoenix kits to have a chance of surviving. Using abilities like Wraith's phase will help you get from place to place, and it's a great opportunity for her portal to get your team out of a sticky spot as well. But if you've got to run about 200 metres and you don't have anything stronger than a syringe - because shield cells and batteries are no help whatsoever - then make sure you run well before the circle gets nearby.

Know how much damage each gun does

A key element of picking battles is knowing whether you'll be able to finish them off in the first place. It's no good giving away your squad's position to knock down one person, only for you and your teammates to not be able to follow up. And part of that decision making relies on knowing how much damage you can output.

Fortunately, the Apex community is here to help. YouTuber ThrillGame has posted an updated chart breaking down the exact specs of every single gun in the game, including how much damage they do to the body, the head, what the maximum distance is for a headshot, and the various recoil properties of each gun.

For instance, the Peacekeeper does the most damage to the head out of the game's three shotguns (165 across 11 pellets, compared to the EVA-8 automatic shotgun which does a maximum of 90 damage across 9 pellets). The Peacekeeper also has negligible recoil, but it comes at a cost: it's the second slowest firing gun in Apex, just behind the legendary Kraber sniper rifle (which does 250 damage for a headshot).

The game's tutorial doesn't offer any advice on what guns might suit players the most, so ThrillGame's breakdown is helpful for sorting out your priorities. Obviously players will go for the first guns they get initially, but what happens if you have to pick between the Prowler or the Hemlok burst rifles? Or you're not sure which light gun to hold onto for the first few rounds?

That's where it helps to know that the R-301 can output more damage more consistently than the G7 Scout - while having lower recoil. Or that the Wingman, particularly when kitted out, has a headshot range almost as far as the assault rifles (250 metres, whereas the pistols, shotguns, SMGs and LMGs can only headshot up to 60m). Just know that different attachments can make a huge impact: the precision choke on the Peacekeeper, for instance, can make the shotgun surprisingly effective at medium range.

So the Peacekeeper with precision choke is literally a sniper... HELLO?! from r/apexlegends

Use the midnight skin

The expensive skins will cost a fortune to craft with the small amount of materials you get from levelling up and Apex's equivalent of loot boxes. But one of the game's best skins - best being most practical for gameplay - costs as little as 30 crafting materials, which players will earn within the first few levels.

That skin is the Midnight skin, a dull-blackish colour that blends in incredibly well with Apex's urbane and jungle areas. The skin obviously can't do anything about Bloodhound's ultimate, which makes everybody stick out like a sore thumb, but when players are trying to spot long distance - particularly in and around areas like Runoff, Airbase, Artillery, Hydro Dam or any location where grey is the predominant colour - it helps immensely to have a bit more camouflage.

Don't worry about your damage

With no leaderboard or other form of ranked progression, players tend to focus on the damage dealt at the end of the game as the primary or secondary indication of their performance. And while everyone obviously wants to do more damage, it also completely ignores all the other elements of Apex Legends that allow your team to be effective in the first place.

The stats page, for instance, doesn't have any notes about how many times a squad was able to take a player down after they were effectively tagged by a teammate. Or how many last-second shields ended up being the difference between a team wipe and extra loot. Or how much covering fire was laid down that allowed other teammates to get into the perfect position to flank a squad.

Apex Legends is a team game, first and foremost, but the game isn't especially good at relaying how much impact teammates can have. Like most games, it relays information back on the individual player. And while that's nice to have, it's worth remembering all the little things that influence a match - when to press, when to fall back, what areas of the ring to rotate towards, spotting correctly, making sure your squad is as kitted out as you are, and not rushing in blindly - are just as important as someone's ability to go full Rambo and max out their damage. It's entirely possible to get to the final three by having as few firefights as possible. You just need to make the right decisions at the right time, and that always, always has a bigger impact than trying to headshot everything on the map.


    Always wondered about the impact of choosing a more exciting skin. Guess its like a difficulty setting by making you easier to spot!

    I'd like to add one: ALWAYS get the Peacekeeper, even if shotguns aren't normally your thing. It's so far above and beyond other weapons (especially with the choke) that you're actively crippling yourself if you don't use it.

    I finally managed to get my first kill after about 20 rounds. I'm absolutely terrible at this game but I'm enjoying it far more than other entries in the free to play battle royale genre.

    I'm not very good a PVP but I do enjoy some forms of the genre. I love using the Peacemaker, it's the gun I've had the most success with. My favorite legends are Mirage, Caustic and Wraith. I managed to wipe a squad using Mirage and his abilities with a Peacemaker, Semi Auto Pistol and some unconventional game play. I won a game with Caustic but I think his Nox gas should do a little more damage to player's.

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