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Apex Legends blends elements of the battle royale genre and hero shooters like Overwatch for something magical. Take into consideration that it’s made by the same team as the Titanfall franchise (themselves ex-Call of Duty developers), and you’ve got one of the smoothest, snappiest, and most satisfying battle royale games since Fortnite and PUBG. Where Apex Legends truly sets itself apart is its diverse cast of characters and their unique ability sets. While everyone is still subject to the same guns, grenades, and health packs, these abilities can quickly turn the tide of battle. So don’t go in without brushing up on your legends. Here are all of the Apex Legends characters ranked.
The best Apex Legends character
- Passive: Nox Vision that lets you see through your poison gas.
- Tactical Ability: Nox Gas Trap lets you release canisters of area-denying poison gas.
- Ultimate: Nox Gas Grenade lets you cover a large area in poison gas.
While Apex Legends might avoid a lot of toxicity thanks to its voiceless pinging system, go figure that a literal toxic character would be low on the list. Caustic can be successful enough when you’re waiting for an enemy team to come down a hallway, or you’re trying to ferret them out of an enclosed space, but early to mid-game, he’s pretty ineffective. At best, you’re waiting for an enemy to come to you, which goes against everything the game tries to teach you about being aggressive and setting the pace of a fight.
To be fair, his gas traps can cover a fairly wide area. Two can cover a large room (like those at the sewage treatment plant), but that still requires you to be in the thick of a fight or stick your neck out so enemies follow you. You’ll want to pass on this gas.
- Passive: Scan a beacon to find the ring’s next location.
- Tactical: Grappling hook lets you get to hard-to-reach places.
- Ultimate: Shoot a grappling hook that everyone can use.
Despite being the most charming character of the bunch, Pathfinder…uh, finds himself trailing most of his friends. The ring-finding ability certainly helps if you’re looking to avoid trouble in the early game. Lord knows mid-range fights on pistols alone never go well. Pathfinder is another example of a character who works too well at the opposite of what Apex Legends is. It’s an aggressive kind of game, and any time spent evading is probably better spent trying to push an enemy into panic mode. His personal grappling hook is great for reaching high-level locations that can definitely turn some areas into shooting galleries, but unless you’re dragging your whole team with you, it feels less valuable.
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When you do get the chance to use your ultimate, it can be really fun to go zip lining with friends and squirrel out enemy players. Again, though, it’s more of an evasive tactic than flanking, and it can be difficult to line up the perfect angle on it while in the middle of a firefight.
- Passive: Tracker lets you view the footsteps of nearby enemies.
- Tactical: Eye of the Allfather, which scans nearby for enemies, traps, and clues.
- Ultimate: Beast of the Hunt, which essentially amplifies your abilities to lead you straight to an enemy with a quicker running speed and a live highlight of your enemies’ locations.
Oh, how I wish Bloodhound’s scan reached a little farther. As far as Apex Legends characters go, Bloodhound is great if you get stuck in a tight situation and need to ferret out your enemies. In that way, Bloodhound is a solid distillation of the aggressiveness Apex Legends encourages. All that said, it kind of sucks that all of Bloodhound’s abilities are essentially better versions of the ability that came before it. That your friends can’t see the scans you make of enemies is just another bummer. For a team game, that’s just weird.
- Passive: Double Time, which lets you run faster when being shot at.
- Tactical: Smoke Launcher, which lets you fire a smoke grenade a fairly long distance.
- Ultimate: Rolling Thunder, which lets you call down an artillery strike that slowly moves forward from where you call it.
The equivalent to Overwatch’s Soldier 76, Apex Legends character Bangalore is a really solid choice for both beginners and experienced players. In a game of quick ironsights, her passive ability does actually throw enemies off-balance just a bit. While her artillery strike is huge and really effective at denying enemies an area, it’s her more consistent smoke grenade that has saved countless games for me. If you throw it into a hallway, that turns the tide in your favor since you can coordinate and push as a team without worrying (too much) about incoming fire. If you throw it into a building, it’ll usually cover most of the ground level, and it’s really effective at getting enemies to panic. Even out in the open, it’s surprisingly long range and area-of-effect make it difficult to contend with unless the enemy has a rare (and often short-range) threat-highlighting optics.
- Passive: Voices from the Void, which warns you that danger is nearby.
- Tactical: Into the Void, which turns you invisible and invincible and allows you to run faster, allowing for easy flanking.
- Ultimate: Dimensional Rift, which allows you to place a teleporter down at one end, turn invisible and run a long distance, and place the other end somewhere else.
If you love flanking, Wraith is your favorite Apex Legends character, bar none. I haven’t noticed the Voices helping too much, but Wraith’s void abilities are really crafty. The only downside to Into the Void is that you’re not really invisible up close. I almost never miss the telltale stream of void energy that Wraith leaves behind, and it makes her pretty easy to lock onto when she finally comes out of it. The Dimensional Rift ability is one of the best in the game, allowing the entire team to reposition. Sometimes you’ll want to use it to flank an enemy team, but it also works great for getting through tough chokepoints. All things considered, though, she’s still mostly a solo player, which means she’s only occasionally helpful in team-focused scenarios. Keep in mind that enemies can use that portal too, so don’t leave your back exposed.
- Passive: Gun Shield, blocks a lot of incoming fire.
- Tactical: Dome of Protection, a big bubble shield that lasts 15 seconds.
- Ultimate: Defensive Bombardment, a smaller version of Bangalore’s artillery.
Gibraltar is a bro, and a well-rounded fighter between defensive and offensive abilities. His shield won’t cover every inch of him, but it is handy in forward-facing fights where you need to make a big push, and it takes about the same level of damage as a helmet, but it does take a small amount of time to activate and needs to recharge.
His shield bubble is great in a pinch, and can act as an extra barrier for when Lifeline or someone else needs help reviving a fallen ally. It blocks damage both from the outside and inside, so it’s value is more as a defensive tool, or at least something to disorient the enemy and force them to think too quickly. It’s also handy when you’re on the receiving end of mortar fire, as its 15 second lifetime outlasts a majority of damage.
Gib’s mortar fire ultimate ability is essentially a smaller version of Bangalore’s, concentrated over a smaller area. On the bright side, it’s much quicker, and a good way to force enemies to move out of cover. Just don’t expect to really hit too much with it.
- Passive: Encore, which activates a hologram of yourself when you’re knocked down, and cloaks your actual body so you can crawl away.
- Tactical: Psyche Out, which sends one hologram out to distract enemies.
- Ultimate: Vanishing Act, which sends out an entire team of holograms in various directions while also cloaking you.
This guy. This guy. I’ve been bamboozled enough times by Mirage’s hologram abilities to be convinced of its viability. Considering you’re going to be engaging with people at mid-to-close range for most games, it can be difficult to tell if you’re looking at a real person messing around or a fake. It’s not great that his abilities essentially just build upon one another, but Vanishing Act is about as effective as Wraith’s tactical.
Considering the game is already pretty tight with its ammo counts and relies on fast-paced reactions, anything you can do to keep people pointed in the wrong direction, uselessly dumping bullets and forcing them to waste time reloading, the better.
Apex Legends Characters Ranked: #1 Lifeline
- Passive: Combat Medic: Healing items work 25 percent faster, revive friends faster while protected by a shield wall
- Tactical: D.O.C. Heal Drone, which slowly provides health to friends in a small circumference.
- Ultimate: Care Package, which drops three high-tier armor, health, or shield items.
Whether it’s early game, mid-game, or the final few seconds, Lifeline is an integral force in Apex Legends and a relatively clear winner among other characters.
Lifeline’s passive ability, though not as encompassing as Gibraltar’s bubble shield, still really helps cinch those precious few seconds you need to revive a friend. The helpful D.O.C. drone is a pivotal tool whether you’re taking a minute to patch up or staring down a chokepoint. Its healing rate won’t keep you alive if you’re taking a full magazine to the face, but you’ll certainly be pissing off enemy players who don’t understand why they’re not whittling you down fast enough.
Where Lifeline shines is her ultimate ability, which brings a large drop pod right to your doorstep chock full of helpful items. Even on a bad drop, you’re probably getting a 3rd level (purple) helmet, a shield recharge, and a large med kit. On a good drop, you’re probably getting some purple armor, maybe a Phoenix kit, and other goodies. It’s the best way to kit out a respawned teammate who lost all their gear. Just be careful: The smoke trail and general noise will draw nearby enemies.
Joseph Knoop is a gaming writer for Daily Dot, a native Chicagoan, and a slave to all things Overwatch. He co-founded the college geek culture outlet ByteBSU, then interned at Game Informer, and now writes for a bunch websites his parents have never heard of.