How to play guide for Apex Legends

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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[edit | edit source]

Apex Legends is a battle royale game where 20 squads of 3 players each pick playable character classes called Legends and airdrop from a flying ship over an arena: either Kings Canyon or World's Edge. 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, and use a Knockdown Shield.svg Knockdown Shield if they have one, but can not take other actions. 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 deathbox and brings it to a respawn beacon, which will call in a dropship that they will jump out of.

Controls[edit | edit source]

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

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

Early Game[edit | edit source]

As is expected with most battle royale games, players begin the match inside of one drop ship flying across the map in a straight line. Checking your map for the projected flight path is a good idea, as this gives you the opportunity 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.

As 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 are automatically following 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[edit | edit source]

You've looted your first location and 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, its 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 amount 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 disappearing.)

Late Game[edit | edit source]

Hey, you've made it to 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.

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!

Tips and Tricks[edit | edit source]

  • Don't forget to make use of your abilities. It can be easy to get caught up in pure gunfights while neglecting your 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. 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 a advantage over your opponents.
  • Be careful when using airstrikes. They are very loud and visible from far away, and more enemy's 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 a 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.