Apex Legends, a free-to-play multiplayer online first-person shooter (FPS), is a phenomenon. It has more than 70 million players worldwide and massive competitive prize pools.
The battle royale game is currently available on PS4, Xbox One and PC, with planned releases for next-gen and Nintendo Switch in the near future. Here's a handy guide to make your experience legendary.
What is Apex Legends?
Let's start from the beginning. Apex Legends was a surprise release in February of 2019. Developer Respawn Entertainment and publisher EA built no hype or fanfare for the title. Fortunately following Fortnite gave the creative, team-based shooter a fast lane to success.
The game's set in the Titanfall universe, a 2014 title featuring mechs in outer space colonies. Apex is the traditional battle royale experience involving 100 players looting, searching, surviving, and strategically eliminating until no one else is left.
The legends referred to in the title are playable characters, each with unique abilities. Teams can only have one of each of the game's 15 characters (as of season seven), so your two or three-person squad must decide who gets who. Either 20 three-person squads or 30 two-person squads are dropped on the map.
The playing field shrinks over time, forcing the players into closer encounters. Explore early to strengthen your inventory before the circle forces you into unavoidable battles, then worry about coordinated attacks and flanking enemies. Players can communicate nonverbally via a ping system and revive allies if a teammate takes their respawn banner to a beacon. Victory and defeat are never assured until the final foe, or friend, has fallen.
Players are dropped into an area on the map chosen by the squad's jumpmaster. The jumpmaster can change this location on the fly. It's easy to see where other teams are landing thanks to brightly colored smoke trails.
Levels are laid out vertically with zip lines to help players traverse the map in a short amount of time.
Teams should stick together to avoid ambushes and outnumbered encounters. Moving quickly helps since staying in the same spot for too long gives enemy teams the chance to capitalize on your stagnant position with more effective strategies depending on their abilities and equipment. Slide down slopes and holster weapons to increase speed avoid getting cornered in disadvantageous situations.
There is also no falling damage in the game, so huge jumps are common for pursuers, escapees, and simple navigation.
The game's ping system is super important and influenced a number of other titles in the genre like Call of Duty: Warzone and Fortnite. Players can ping everything from enemies to weapons, and even request ammo or call dibs on certain items. It's a convenient way to communicate quickly, especially if you don't want to talk.
Looting is also key. Different items are colored based on quality. Gold is top tier, followed by purple. On the other end of the spectrum, gray-colored items are the most common.
Players have two bars – one for health and one for shields.
When a player is hit, a colorful damage number shows up. The color tells the player what type of shield the enemy is wearing. Gray is barebones, while purple and blue are good shields.
Once only three squads remain, the game will obscure the number of survivors, adding to the tension.
Apex Legends as an Esport
Apex Legends professional events run by EA are called the Apex Legends Global Series. There's more than $3 million in prize money. Right now, the ALGS is in its Autumn Circuit, with playoffs expected to begin on Dec, 19. Professional teams from all over the world compete in the circuit.
The Apex Legends Story
The story involves a society that sprang up after what was called the Frontier War. The frontier is a group of planets at the edge of the solar system that was first colonized by the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (IMC).
A war broke out on Earth and the IMC left the planets to refocus on that war. When it came back, there was a sprawling civilization that refused to give the IMC control leading to a second war.
A few legends in the game fought in that war, providing a backdrop for the continuous narrative. Eventually, a sport called the Apex Games emerged, where legends would battle for dominance.
Here's a video of the lore/story so far:
Characters in Apex Legends
There are currently 15 playable characters. They each have a passive, a tactical, and an ultimate ability. They are:
EA Sports and Respawn created a sprawling online battle royale game that continues to flourish and gain fans daily. Check back for more information about the game in the future.