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If there’s any justice in the world, Apex Legends, the new battle royale game from Titanfall developer Respawn and EA, will hopefully maintain its incredible popularity beyond its first month. Otherwise, we’re stuck with Anthem, which is a fine shooter in its own right, but it ain’t no Respawn game. While those two budding franchises are duking it out, you have to worry about whether you’ll actually win any matches in Apex Legends. I’ve played my fair share of the game and have figured out some offbeat tips for how to win in Apex Legends.
How to win in Apex Legends: tips, tricks, and respawn banners
1) For god’s sake, use those chat commands
One of Apex Legends’ greatest tools is its array of dialogue prompts, chat commands, whatever you want to call them. They’re those little pings you can make using R1 that prompt your character to say something like “contact!” or “some ammo over here.”
Make sure you’re using this as much as possible. The beauty of Apex Legends is that even though it’s a squads-only kind of game (no solo runs here yet), you can pretty effectively communicate everything you need with one or two taps of a button. In one match, my squad and I weren’t on any sort of actual voice chat, but we were able to monitor not one, but two incoming squads as they came down a long dirt road towards the military base we had been occupying for a while.
Here’s the full list of Apex Legends commands:
- Go – tap R1
- Enemy – double tap R1
- Looting this area
- Attacking here
- Going here
- Defending this area
- Watching here
- Someone’s been here
As important as it is to communicate where you want to go and where enemies are, make sure to use all of the commands at your disposal. In that same scenario where my team and I did a great job of defending our post, my teammates could have done a better job of telling me they were pulling back by using the “defending this area” or “going here” command. Instead, I was left to feel like an exposed dummy for still sitting at the bottom of the hill and had to clamber my way back up to them. Similarly, it would have been smart of us to announce which areas we were looking toward so we knew all our entrances were covered. We managed to luck our way into the new circle each time, but we squandered it by not communicating more and were taken out by a pretty smart enemy squad that had surrounded us more effectively.
2) Someone’s been here
You’ll also want to make judicious use of the “Someone’s been here” command. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds players know the struggle that is spotting an open door and going “oh god oh god oh god” as you rush for cover. Thankfully, I’ve yet to really encounter any instances of super stealthy campers sitting near opened doors, but that’s probably just because the game’s mix of health and shield usage (to say nothing of powerful shotgun blasts and team mechanics) make it a little harder to get the jump on enemy players.
3) Multiple players can pick up respawn banners
At first, I wasn’t sure how effective respawning your fallen teammate long after they’ve died would be. After all, this is a battle royale. Half the fun of something like PUBG or Fortnite is downing someone, then fully eliminating them with a shotgun blast to the dome. Even if someone kills you during the same fight, at least you ruined that person’s run, eh?
Not so in Apex Legends. Unless your entire squad gets downed, there’s still a chance to resurrect your buddies and turn the tide. While it’s easy enough to get to a survey point to respawn them, what I didn’t expect was that two players in a three-man squad could pick up their friend’s banner, which you’ll need to respawn them. I caught myself acting a fool, wondering where my other ally was going after our friend had been eliminated. Hey, I thought, I’m the one with the banner. Follow me to this survey point. Thankfully, my friend knew exactly what they were doing and revived our other friend at a separate point, having already grabbed their banner when I wasn’t looking.
4) Enemies on the high ground? Make it rain.
Any shooter player knows the hassle that is keeping the high ground. In a game made by the team behind Titanfall, you can expect plenty of it. Thankfully, even if you’re at the bottom of the proverbial bullet sandwich, you’re not totally out of luck. Multiple times now, my squad has felt our distinct advantage get washed away in a hail of artillery fire.
If you’re playing as Bangalore, your ultimate ability will allow you to coat a large forward-facing area in artillery fire, and boy does it hurt. Alternatively, you can play as the beefy Gibraltar for a similar attack, but you’ll need to be better with your aim, as he throws a smoke grenade to mark an enemy position. Do this and you’ll effectively have a fighting chance against any team playing the long-distance game with sniper rifles, and they’ll be forced to jump down to your level to finish the fight.
5) Lifeline is, well, a lifeline in a tight spot
As a Mercy main in Overwatch, you know I’m going to go healer fairly often. It’s just what makes sense to me as a player. Hopefully, you’ll meet plenty of players who feel the same way. Even more hopefully, they’ll know how to effectively use her.
One effective trick is to use Lifeline’s D.O.C. heal drone near chokepoints. Say, for example, your squad is trying to push down a single hallway that’s littered with enemies returning fire. Plant Lifeline’s drone near the center of the hallway (or whichever angle is most advantageous), and you’ll effectively be healing your friends while they’re providing fire. Your enemies will wonder why in sweet Jesus’ name they can’t seem to take you down, and you’ll be laughing as you continue the fight with relatively full health.
6) Prepare for Distraction-fall
One other great way to turn the tide of battle is to simply distract and confuse your enemies, and there are some surprising ways to do it.
Take Lifeline. Her ultimate ability drops a tall care package from the sky. It’s big, it’s loud, and it has goodies inside. I’m not actually sure if an enemy can access it for themselves, but regardless, it’s the perfect thing to draw attention away from yourself, and it’s the closest thing Apex Legends has to an actual Titanfall moment. Get a good vantage point while your friends provide some distraction fire of their own, then launch that pod in a place that’ll keep eyes off of you while your squad circles around to finish any kills.
Similarly, the Wraith’s portal ability can be used to distract. If you place it in a location an enemy would see, they’ll be stressed that someone is going to come out of it eventually. The Wraith’s L1 ability, which allows her to cloak, pairs nicely with this.
7) Gibraltar and Lifeline are best friends when reviving
You wouldn’t think it looking at the guy, but the hulking Gibraltar character can actually be a huge boon when reviving downed teammates. If you’re playing as Lifeline, when you revive someone, you revive them faster and receive a small bubble shield that helps block damage. But if you combine with the Gibraltar, who’s L1 ability is dropping another protective dome that blocks all damage for 15 seconds, you’ve essentially guaranteed yourself that revive. Don’t be afraid to combo up.
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.