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This page will serve as a basic how to play guide for Apex Legends. Check back often, as new information is being added all the time! Feel free to edit this guide with any tips, tricks, and suggestions.

Basic Gameplay[]

Apex Legends is a battle royale game where 20 squads of 3 players or 30 squads of 2 players pick playable character classes called Legends and airdrop from a flying ship over an arena: either Kings Canyon, World's Edge, or Olympus. On landing, they must search for weapons, gear, and other items to help them kill off the other teams while simultaneously staying inside of a shrinking safe-zone called The Ring. The last team still alive will be the winners.

Each Legend has 3 abilities unique to them: a tactical ability that can be periodically activated and has a cooldown between uses, a passive ability that is always active, and an ultimate ability that can be used once charged. Ultimate abilities charge over time and can be sped up by using Ultimate Accelerant.svg Ultimate Accelerants. Some legends also have Perks, that modify damage taken.

Each player has 100 health, and when they take enough damage to reach 0, they will enter a downed state. While downed, they can move around and ping, interact with doors, and use a Knockdown Shield.svg Knockdown Shield if they have one, but can not take other actions if you have a Knockdown Shield.svg Knockdown Shield you move a little slower. A teammate can approach a downed player and spend 5 seconds reviving them. If the downed player takes enough additional damage or is not revived after enough time, they will be killed. Dead players can only return if one of their teammates collects a "banner" from their death box and brings it to a respawn beacon, which will call in a dropship that they will jump out of.

Controls[]

These controls are for the default control scheme. Keyboard users can rebind most of these however they like.

Action Keyboard Xbox One PS4 Switch Notes
Move W/A/S/D Left Stick Left Stick Left Stick
Sprint ⇧ Left Shift (hold) Left Stick (Toggle) Left Stick (Toggle) Left Stick (Toggle) Press while aiming down variable scopes to change zoom level
Jump Space A X B
Crouch (toggle) C B Circle A
Crouch (hold) Left Ctrl Circle
Tactical Ability Q LB L1 LB
Ultimate Ability Z LB + RB L1 + R1 LB + RB
Interact/Pickup E X Square Y
Alternate Interact X X (hold) Square (hold) Y (hold)
Inventory (toggle) Tab ↹ Menu Options +
Map (toggle) M Windows Touch Pad -
Attack Left RT R2 RT Also hold to activate Knockdown Shield.svg Knockdown Shields while downed
Toggle Fire Mode B Left Left Left
Aim Down Sight (toggle) Right
Aim Down Sight (hold) LT L2 LT
Melee V Right Stick (press) Right Stick (press) Right Stick (press)
Reload R X Square Y
Cycle Weapon Middle (scroll) Y Triangle X
Equip Weapon 1 1
Equip Weapon 2 2
Holster Weapons 3 Y (hold) Triangle (hold) X (hold) You run faster while weapons are holstered
Equip Grenade G Right Right Right Hold to open grenade wheel
Use Selected Health/Shield Item 4 Up Up Up
Health Wheel 4 (hold) Up (hold) Up (hold) Up (hold)
Extra Character Action H Down Down Down
Inspect Weapon N Left (hold) Right (hold)
Ping Middle RB R1 RB Hold to open ping wheel
Ping (Enemy Here) F 2x tap RB 2x tap R1 2x tap RB
Push to Talk (Hold) T
Text Chat ↵ Enter

Visual map of Apex Legends keyboard controls. Click on the image for a clearer view.

Your First Match[]

Early Game[]

As is expected with most Battle Royale games, players begin the match inside of one dropship flying across the map in a straight line. Checking your map for the projected flight path is a good idea, as this allows you to predict the amount of initial traffic each named location will have. Locations near the drop ship's flight path are usually densely populated at the start of the match because players can land at them more quickly than distant locations.

One of your squadmates will be chosen as jumpmaster, giving them the privilege to initiate the drop sequence for your team, although you can always decide to split off from your squad before the drop, it is discouraged unless the jumpmaster is inactive. If you are the jumpmaster, find out if your squad is looking for immediate action or a chance to get nicely geared, and then go ahead with the drop. Your two squad members (or one squad member) will automatically follow your movement during the freefall until they decide to break away and fly on their own. Sticking together largely increases your chance of surviving once you land, but try to avoid landing right next to the jump-master, or else you'll all be scrambling for loot in the same building. Detach from the jump-master when you are close to the ground and re-group with your squad after you've looted your own building and Supply Bins.

Once you've found weaponry and gear, collaborate with your squad when deciding where to go next. The safe zone is ever-shrinking, and you will be dealt damage for every second you're outside of it. Be sure to check your map and head towards the areas inside of the next predicted safe zone.

Mid Game[]

You've looted your first location and may have headed towards another one. Maybe you've gotten into a fight with another squad along the way, maybe not. When the mid-game approaches, it's best to assume that most players have become equipped with better weaponry and gear. There's a good chance that most players now have 150 health or more due to finding rare body armor and helmets.

Be sure to stock up on ammunition and consumables as untouched locations have now become uncommon. If your squad is unable to sufficiently recover after its next fight, you must find more consumables. Be sure to look for backpacks as they increase the number of inventory slots you have for any held items.

Do not forget that by engaging in combat with another squad, you are inadvertently advertising your squad's location to any other nearby squads. Don't get caught off guard while looting their death boxes!

Speaking of death, have you died? If you are dead and gone, your squad has the opportunity to bring you back into the match by picking up the respawn chip from your death box and delivering it to a Respawn Beacon. (Beacons may be used only once before being disabled.)

Late Game[]

Hey, you've made it to the late game. You'll probably be facing the tough squads now. If your guns do not have attachments, you should really start looking for them, as they can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your weapons in combat. You should also definitely seek out epic body armor and helmets as most other squads are probably using them by now.

Early repositioning is key to winning a game. Predicting where the circle will pull is essential to get an advantageous position that might win you the game. If you can get to a building that is in the ring before other teams then they will be forced to take the fight to you. It is a lot easier to hold a building than to push it late or be forced outside to fight the rest of the squad. Caustic gas is deadly in the later rings. If you are playing Caustic, make sure to save your ultimate until it can either block a team from rotating or when it can cover the whole area inside the ring. Fights will be harder now that the unfortunate have been eliminated. Play cautiously by keeping your attention focused far ahead of your immediate location. Scale walls to avoid walking along obvious pathways. Use ziplines to quickly traverse open areas. If you enter a building, close the door on your way in as it may be the final giveaway that leads to your squad's demise.

The safe zone is getting quite small, and squads are encouraged to move quickly due to the unsafe-area's ever-increasing damage per second. Stakes are high, and squads are alert. Do whatever it takes to increase your chances of survival. Control some high ground or maybe decide to camp in an area. Nothing is off the table when it's life or death.

Good luck!

Unlocking New Legends[]

Unless you purchase Apex Coins Apex Coins, you'll likely be unlocking new legends with Legend Tokens Legend Tokens. You receive Legend Tokens 600 every time you level up, and each legend costs Legend Tokens 12,000, so you can unlock a new legend every 20 levels.

Below is some advice for picking a legend to unlock.

Legend Details
Portrait Caustic full.png
Caustic
Caustic is easily the most straightforward of the trap-setting legends. Though he is very close-range by necessity, and his large hitbox can make him an easy target, his ability to coat entire buildings in gas is very strong. Not only is Nox Gas a very easy source of chip damage, it also slows enemies, making them easy to pick off. Although he usually will be playing in a very defensive way, his Nox Gas Grenade.svg Nox Gas Grenade helps him to make offensive pushes on occasion.
Portrait Mirage full.png
Mirage
As a legend whose playstyle is all about trickery, Mirage is strongest when his enemies are gullible. That said, a good Mirage player can fool anyone by using their decoys right. There are lots of uses for decoys; luring enemies into danger, distracting enemies while you escape, distracting enemies while you shoot them from a different angle, or simply making enemies waste ammo on nothing. In addition, Mirage's ability to cloak while reviving with Now You See Me....svg Now You See Me... can allow for some bold revives right under an enemy's nose.
Portrait Octane full.png
Octane
Octane has one of the simplest but most powerful advantages that any character in any game can possess: speed. While other legends can increase their move speed under certain circumstances, Octane has constant access to a 30% speed boost, making him very strong for flanking, repositioning, and head-to-head combat. He does sacrifice health to do so, but his passive Swift Mend.svg Swift Mend helps to counteract this. On top of the speed, his Launch Pad.svg Launch Pad is easily the best tool for a coordinated, aggressive push.
Portrait Wattson full.png
Wattson
Wattson can be difficult to pick up for new players; her defenses take a lot of time and map knowledge to set up, and even when they're set up it can be hard to tell how effective they are. However, a well-built web of Perimeter Security.svg Perimeter Security fences will convince most enemies to slow down and avoid fast, aggressive pushes - and those that push anyway are easily finished off after being electrocuted. Adding an Interception Pylon.svg Interception Pylon will further reduce the chaos of fights by shooting down ordnance. A calm Wattson match is a successful Wattson match.
Portrait Crypto full.png
Crypto
Crypto has the best tools for finding enemies over large swaths of land. Being able to scout entire POIs with the Surveillance Drone.svg Surveillance Drone, as well as always knowing how many squads are near, means that Crypto's squad is rarely caught off guard and can always find a fight. During combat, a well-placed drone can be a very powerful tool; where other recon legends' scans wear off, Crypto's can last forever if the enemy never has a moment to shoot it down. Besides tracking enemies, Drone EMP.svg Drone EMP is an excellent opener for initiating a fight.
Portrait Revenant full.png
Revenant
Revenant is an excellent generalist, great for any kind of offensive push. Silence.svg Silence is a great thing to use on any enemy, preventing them from using abilities to escape or set up new defenses. Though his mobility options granted by Stalker.svg Stalker are very subdued compared to other legends, they are the most generally applicable, and unlike others make no sound. Death Totem.svg Death Totem is a very powerful tool, allowing your whole squad to make a bold push with a safety net, and forcing enemies to fight you off twice to survive.
Portrait Loba full.png
Loba
Loba's primary draw is her ability to get herself and her squad the best loot available. In the early game, she can find the exact weapons she wants; in the midgame, she can quickly check entire POIs for high-tier attachments and gear; and in the late game, she can keep herself and her squadmates topped up on ammo and grenades. The Burglar's Best Friend.svg Burglar's Best Friend is an underrated mobility option - not only is it versatile in getting you anywhere you want to go, it is also very safe since you don't need to cross open sightlines yourself.
Portrait Rampart full.png
Rampart
Being able to build cover that allows you to shoot your enemy while they can't shoot you is powerful enough on its own; the fact that it boosts outgoing damage is the icing on the cake. Rampart setups can be vulnerable to flankers or grenades, but survive those and you've got the best tools for exerting pressure on an enemy from a distance. Especially when coupled with a well-placed Sheila, you can mow down enemies in seconds. And of course, if you're an LMG enthusiast, Rampart makes them even better thanks to Modded Loader.svg Modded Loader.
Portrait Horizon full.png
Horizon
Horizon is a mobility legend for team players. Though Gravity Lift.svg Gravity Lift seems a lot more restrictive than other options, it's the only mobility tactical that your whole squad can use. Lots of legends can scale a building, but being able to bring backup while you do it means you can pull off unusual full-squad pushes far more easily and frequently than with a zipline, launch pad, or rift. For those pushes, the Black Hole.svg Black Hole is a great thing to drop on unsuspecting enemies to keep them from fleeing easily.
Portrait Fuse full.png
Fuse
For those that enjoy the simple pleasure of throwing explosives, Fuse is the perfect legend. Knuckle Cluster.svg Knuckle Cluster is an easy way to rack up a little chip damage and force an enemy to back up, and if that's on cooldown, just stock up on regular grenades and start throwing those. Not only can you carry a lot of ordnance, you can launch it much farther than other legends, allowing you to flush out camping squads without even being near. And if they try to flee, use The Motherlode.svg The Motherlode to keep them from escaping unscathed.
Portrait Valkyrie full.png
Valkyrie
Valkyrie's ability to fly is straightforward, but its flexibility makes it very strong in the right hands. Flying high into the sky can be great for scouting, but leaves you very vulnerable in the air; more often you'll be flying in short bursts to get over gaps, scale buildings, dodge fire, or find a good angle to launch a Missile Swarm.svg Missile Swarm from. On top of that, Skyward Dive.svg Skyward Dive is one of the best ways to relocate your entire squad over a very long distance, either as an escape or to drop on enemies.
Portrait Seer full.png
Seer
Seer almost entirely nullifies the element of surprise. His most powerful tool is Heart Seeker.svg Heart Seeker, allowing him to roughly find enemies' locations without them knowing they've been found. If you notice an enemy staying still nearby, hit them with Focus of Attention.svg Focus of Attention to cancel their healing and mark them for your squadmates to pounce. Combining all that with Exhibit.svg Exhibit to track quickly-moving enemies, squads will have a very difficult time hiding from you.

Tips and Tricks[]

  • Don't forget to make use of your abilities whenever possible. It can be easy to get caught up in pure gunfights while neglecting the abilities that could give you a crucial advantage.
  • For new players, if you want to survive, drop away from the path of the plane.
  • The hot zone and the supply ships do have more loot, but that also means more players will go there.
  • Always pick up a body shield from a fresh death box or the ground, especially during a fight. It will always be fully recharged once equipped. Pick it up to avoid having to recharge your shields and avoid getting ambushed.
  • Wear a Headset or Earbuds if you can. This will allow you to hear enemy footsteps better, which may result in an advantage over your opponents.
  • Be careful when using airstrikes. They are very loud and visible from far away, and more enemies might come to join the action!
  • Try to find a Legend you enjoy and are comfortable with using (often referred to as a main). Being experienced with one or two Legends will give you an advantage over players who don't main that Legend, and make you more likely to win.
  • If you are having trouble aiming, spend a few hours in the Firing Range to learn the recoil of all weapons. A few hours doing that will significantly help your aim in the months ahead.

See Also[]

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