Apex Legends beginners: essential tips and tricks

Image credit: Respawn Entertainment/EA

Who needs Tilted Towers? King’s Canyon is where it's at now. Respawn’s Apex Legends stealth released to the world on February 2019, and within one week hit 25 million players worldwide - smashing numerous records set by any battle royale competitor prior. 

Within a few matches of play you can immediately get a grasp of why everyone is talking about Apex Legends. Expanding on a number of past elements in the battle royale genre, while adding a loveable set of rogues into the mix, has helped the Titanfall spinoff make an impact like very few titles have. 

With a tutorial requiring completion before being set free into the world, it can be jarring listening to Pathfinder run you through all the mechanics. There’s a lot to this game, and for good reason. Then you have the frightening reality that every Twitch influencer that boasts half a setup is currently competing for dominance, meaning a couple of ruthless rounds can turn a player off for good. 

So, with that in mind, we’ve put together a guide of essential tips that (if adhered to correctly) will help anyone in their route to becoming a true Apex Champion. 

Learn the ping system 

One of the undeniable genius features of Apex Legends is the ping system. No mic? No problem. The ping system allows players to highlight pretty much anything to make teammates aware of its presence. 

From deciding where to drop at the start of a match, to requesting a particular item for your arsenal, to making a song and dance about an incoming adversary. Everything is covered under one simple click of a button, accompanied by a toggle wheel of selected responses that your character will shout about accordingly. 

Being able to quickly action these commands from memory makes strategizing a smoother experience for all. Talking to people is overrated anyway. 

Hug the circle’s edge 

Apex Legends

Those that are new to Apex (or battle royale in general) may want to consider working with the ever-enclosing circle. If stationed outside of the ring your character will immediately start taking damage before inevitably collapsing to an untimely death. 

That said, if you play your cards right by positioning yourself near the edge of the circle your less likely to face combat early on. Multiple times we ended up in the top three merely by hugging this fine-line. Don’t drift off though as you’ll end up running for the hills. 

Stick together 

It may seem obvious, yet the number of players that separate from their squad within the first few minutes of play opting for the lone wolf route is staggering. Finding a regular party that has your back no matter what is clearly the preferred outcome but single play can still yield success if the group sticks with one another. 

Venturing out by yourself is the easiest way to be eliminated within the opening minutes. One wrong turn and you can be confronted by a full squad that chose to stick together. Furthermore, you’re so far out from your teammates that any chance of resurrection is futile. 

Understand Color Codes

Weapons and gear found in Apex run off a color code system. When first landing your main priority needs to be grabbing a firearm and shield regardless of its shade. However, when stumbling upon later inventory you will be forced to decide between your choices. 

Knowing which is better can be daunting but by following the simple color setup of grey being Common, blue being Rare, purple being Epic and gold being Legendary, you’ll give yourself the best chance for success. If still struggling, the game does automatically opt for the better protection. 

It’s gonna be legen…wait for it 

Sticking with gear for the moment: Legendary loot is unsurprisingly the rarest to come across. Once you do get your blood-soaked hands upon the items you may not be aware of its advantageous properties. A Legendary Helmet when equipped will recharge character’s special abilities at a faster pace alongside reducing headshot damage. 

Legendary Body Shield will not only give you an extra full bar of defense but will regenerate your shield after successfully completing a finisher. The Legendary Knockdown shield boosts defense when downed as well as giving players a one-time chance to recover yourself. Last but certainly not least is the Legendary Backpack, allowing users to heal at a 50% quicker rate, on top of maximizing your inventory slots. 

Maintain the high ground

Apex’s map contains a huge variety of terrain to traverse, including: the Swamps, Airbase, Cascades and Hydro Dam. Each brings its own set of tactics for taking down opponents, though for the most part they all have one common factor that will place you in optimal position for combat - high ground. 

Apex’s sliding mechanic is undoubtedly one of its most fun. That’s why resisting the temptation to slide down banks can actually bring benefits in the long run. Stick to elevated grounds and you’ll have an eagle-eye view of encroaching enemies.  

Learn at least three characters

Six characters are available from the beginning roster, with two more unlockable by either building up enough Legend Tokens/Apex Coins or purchasing them with real cash. Deciding who best fits your Suicide Squad requires time to test each out. What you don’t want is to fall into the familiar trap of only honing in on one particular character. 

You may feel strongest with this specific personality, though chances are your main will be someone else’s pick too. Without first choice guaranteed, it’s worth exploring outside of your comfort zone and really getting to grips with three Legends as bare minimum.

Go for the supply ship but don’t dawdle

Just like the cornucopia in The Hunger Games, the Supply Ship can seem like forbidden fruit. Those that venture towards it face high risk albeit even greater reward. More common than not, these flying vehicles will hold onto the most powerful items on the map. Epic Body Shields and Legendary attachments are rare to find on the ground, though in the Supply Ship you’re likely to find one every round. 

Additionally, for those of us that are more fortunate, Legendary equipment may spawn here from time to time. The interesting factor is that during our playtime, players would either head for the Supply Ship in their droves or avoid these treasure troves like the plague. Get in, grab what you need and get out. 

(Image credits: Respawn Entertainment/EA)

Matt Poskitt

Matt is a full-time freelance journalist who specializes in arts, culture and tech – be that movies, TV, video games, or otherwise. He's also turned his hand to everything from mattresses to motorbikes as a journalist. Prior to this, Matt headed up the games and entertainment section at T3.com, alongside being published across TechRadar, IGN, Tom's Guide, Fandom, NME, and more. In his spare time, Matt is an avid cinema-goer, keen runner and average golfer (at best). You can follow him @MattPoskitt64.