One of the biggest differences between Fortnite and Apex Legends is that Respawn Entertainment’s new release features eight different playable characters, each with his or her own unique play style and abilities. While there are general strategies that apply across the board for surviving a match in Apex Legends, playing to the strengths of your chosen character can be a huge factor in determining your success.
On a more macro scale, there are also considerations to be made about how your character pairs with the other two Legends in your squad. Some strategies will only be available with specific combinations of characters, so as a general rule of thumb try to think of your teammates as extensions of your own capabilities, and vice versa.
So let’s break down the eight characters in Apex Legends – their abilities, play styles, preferred weapons, as well as their weaknesses.
Apex Legends Character Guide
Bangalore is the most straightforward and versatile class, and if you’re an old pro at shooter games like Call of Duty or Fortnite, you’ll likely find a lot of success with this character. Bangalore’s abilities make her an expert at weaving in and out of firefights while taking minimal damage and harassing enemy squads with hit and run tactics. Bangalore favors an up close and personal style of play, so don’t be afraid to dive headfirst into the action with her. Our advice is to leave the long-distance shooting to other characters. Bangalore is unique in that she is likely the best character to play solo, though you’ll still want to stick close to your team.
Double Time (passive):
If you’re shot at while sprinting, you’ll receive a buff to your run speed. The first thing to note about this passive is that bullets don’t necessarily have to hit you for the effect to trigger. If bullets hit in close proximity, that’s enough to boost you.
The best aspect of this is its versatility. You can use this to quickly dart behind cover, re-position yourself, or to press the attack. The latter option is the one enemies least expect, so if you’ve got a high-tier weapon you might consider bullrushing.
Smoke Launcher (tactical):
Another extremely versatile ability, Bangalore can fire a high-impact canister that explodes into a thick curtain of smoke upon contact. Use of this ability really separates new players from more experienced; enemies cannot see through the smoke, but neither can Bangalore (unless she has specific modifications to her weapon such as Digital Threat). As such, poor placement of the smoke can actually be detrimental to you.
Your best bet is to use this ability to literally smoke out enemy squads, causing them to panic and forcing them out of cover. If you have an upgraded shotgun (ideally the Peacekeeper), follow up by dashing into the smoke and taking enemies by surprise. Another popular use for the Smoke Launcher is to use it as a smokescreen, masking your movement and deterring enemy fire. It’s also a great way to revive downed teammates, since there’s less chance of taking enemy fire.
Rolling Thunder (ultimate):
Bangalore’s ultimate summons an artillery barrage at her location. This deals good damage, though not quite as much as Gibraltar’s similar ultimate. The advantage of Rolling Thunder is that it covers a much wider area than Defensive Bombardment, peppering the area more effectively and ferreting out enemies more reliably.
While it’s certainly possible to get kills with Rolling Thunder, it’s best effective when combined with Bangalore’s high mobility and hit-and-run gameplay. As with all Legends, you are immune to your own attacks, so call down the artillery and use the ensuing chaos to zip in and finish off weakened enemies as they scramble to evade the barrage.
Bangalore is best off with machine guns and shotguns. Both capitalize on her mobility and her unparalleled strength to weave in and out of combat. Bangalore pairs especially well with Bloodhound, since he can see through her smoke. Fire the Smoke Launcher at an enemy team holed up in a building, and let Bloodhound run in and mow them down with close-quarters weapons. Later in the game, you can enhance this tactic by dropping Rolling Thunder on their position at the same time. Bangalore can maximize control of the battlefield in this way. Another good teammate is Mirage since his holograms can sew confusion among enemies in smoke, catching them off-guard and giving away their position.
While Bangalore pairs excellently with Bloodhound, he is also the perfect counter to her for the same reason: If his ultimate is charged, he can see right through her smoke. Also, be careful not to enter the smoke yourself unless you’re armed with a high-tier close quarters weapon like the Peacekeeper. You can easily end up blinded and open to dangerous flanks.
Bloodhound is unparalleled at recon and tracking. Battle Royale games focus heavily on movement and set-up to such an extent that they are potentially more important than the actual firefight. As such, Bloodhound’s ability to scout, manage the environment, and provide intel make him a powerful character both in solo play and on a team. If you want to feel like Batman – analyzing battle scenes, orchestrating brilliant ambushes, keeping tabs on the enemies you’re facing, and striking when they’re most vulnerable – Bloodhound is your man.
One of the most useful curious passives in the game, Tracker allows Bloodhound to see tracks left behind by enemy players. This can come in the form of bloodstains where someone died, doors that were recently opened, footprints, or bullet casings. This information may seem trivial at first glance, but if you consider the implications, it can be hugely helpful in preparing you and your team for the eventual encounter.
Marked doors give away buildings that have already been looted. Bloodstains indicate that a battle took place here recently, and that someone could still be here. Bullet casings hint towards what kind of weapons were involved in the fight: Something that can give you a particular edge in how you approach the enemy. Note what you see, and relay important information to your team.
Eye of the Allfather (tactical):
Sticking with the Batman comparison, this tactical ability allows Bloodhound to briefly send out a pulse akin to detective mode in the Arkham series. This snapshot reveals enemy positions and traps, letting you avoid or engage at your own jurisdiction and on your own terms.
While this ability is obviously helpful in controlling the battlefield, it’s a snapshot and nothing more. Enemy players are typically very mobile, and just because someone was there doesn’t mean they stayed there.
Beast of the Hunt (ultimate):
This is like Eye of the Allfather on a timer instead of as a snapshot, and allows for even greater tactical reconnaissance, even allowing Bloodhound to see through smoke. Beast of the Hunt also speeds up Bloodhound’s movement and highlights enemies no matter their location. Simply put – there’s nowhere they can hide during this ability’s duration.
This is the best way to avoid ambushes, but the ability can also be used offensively. While it does not boost your defense or damage output, it does provide the unique opportunity to flank from unexpected angles, catch enemies off-guard, and completely negates Bangalore’s Smoke Launcher.
Since Bloodhound’s abilities all rely on close-mid proximity to work, Bloodhound is another Legend ill-suited for long-range engagements. You can operate similarly to Bangalore if you’re willing to play a little more risky, using a shotgun or high-tier assault weapon in tandem with Beast of the Hunt. A good idea is to keep weapons that are dissimilar; never forget that you have the advantage of knowing what the enemy is holding and where they are! Being able to quickly swap between a burst-fire gun and a shotgun ensures that you’re prepared for any encounter.
While Bloodhound’s abilities lower the chances of catching him unaware, he has very little in the way of actual defense. He doesn’t have a shield like Gibraltar, he can’t heal easily like Lifeline, and he can’t consistently match the speed of Wraith, Bangalore, or even Pathfinder. Engage Bloodhound at a distance and he’ll have very little he can do to counter you, since he can’t defend himself and can’t see you from that far away.
One of our favorite Legends, Gibraltar plays the part of the stoic rock, the immovable anchor, and the aggressive defense. Looking at Gibraltar, your first glance might consider his bulky frame and wide hit box a poor choice for the high-mobility, frenetic gunfights of a battle royale game. You’d be wrong, however; the development team has confirmed that all characters run and mantle at the same speed, and all characters move faster when their weapons are holstered. As such, Gibraltar can keep pace with other Legends just fine, while also offering superior defensive abilities both for himself and his team. If you’re dying a lot in Apex Legends, Gibraltar is an excellent choice for survival and atypical gameplay.
Gun shield (passive):
Any time you look down the sights of your gun, Gibraltar puts up a gun shield, offering you defense when facing targets. This is a great ability since you’re practically always facing enemies that are shooting you, and why would you NOT want an extra layer of defense?
Gibraltar can shoot through the shield himself, meaning that there’s no way this can hinder your ability to return fire. It also makes Gibraltar a good candidate for sniping, since first attempts to retaliate will be blocked by the shield.
Dome of Protection (tactical):
The Dome of Protection is the primary reason most players pick Gibraltar. This awesome tactical ability allows Gibraltar to put up a semi-permeable dome shield that covers several meters and lasts for 15 seconds. This will repel bullets and artillery with 100% efficiency, but will not stop enemies from entering themselves. As such, this makes a great defensive option when fighting at a distance, caught off-guard, or when you’re trying to revive a downed teammate.
An interesting feature of the shield is that it also goes through walls, meaning you’re able to partition multiple rooms at once, leading to a very different combat scenario.
Defensive Bombardment (ultimate):
Defensive Bombardment is very similar to Bangalore’s, summoning an artillery strike at Gibraltar’s location. The difference is that Defensive Bombardment deals higher damage in a smaller radius of effect. It’s excellent for crippling enemy players in combat, sealing off an area, sewing chaos among clusters of enemies, and providing your teammates opportunities to take potshots at fleeing squads.
This ability does charge slowly, however, so be sure you’re using it at the most opportune place and time.
While Gibraltar can run and gun with the likes of Bangalore or Mirage, he’s far better in a king of the hill-type scenario – camping out in an abandoned building, maintaining control of a vantage point, or forcing enemy squads to close the distance rather than fighting from far away. Gibraltar does particularly well with shotguns like the Peacekeeper or Mozambique since he can force enemies into his zone of control, but his Gun Shield means he can also keep pace at longer distances with sniper rifles. Much like Bloodhound, Gibraltar benefits the most from a disparate arsenal of weapons.
He’s not slow, he can bombard areas with high damage, and he’s got crazy defense! What’s the trick to getting rid of this guy? Beat him at his own game. Much like Bangalore’s smoke, Gibraltar is just as impaired by his own Dome of Protection as enemy players are. He can’t shoot through it either, and if you’ve got a better close-quarters weapon or shields than he does (or can just aim better), you can take the fight right up to him and win. Gibraltar’s Gun Shield also won’t protect against prolonged sustained fire, so don’t let it deter you from attacking him head-on, particularly if you’ve got the advantage of numbers.
Mirage is all about messing with the enemy team’s heads. While he doesn’t have anything in the way of buffs or debuffs, in the right hands, he can fool enemy players into making poor tactical decisions, revealing their locations, moving out of cover, giving up a strong foothold, and overall making their teammates face-palm as they realize the fatal error they just made. The strategy behind playing Mirage is all about clever use of decoys, and all three of his abilities involve them. Without the decoys, Mirage doesn’t have much going for him, so spam those things in clever ways to make the most out of this unique character.
If you get downed as Mirage you’ll briefly turn invisible and spawn a decoy at your location. While on paper, this sounds like a pretty disappointing ability, amidst the chaos of the match, this might prove useful. What this ability implies is that when you get knocked down there’s a higher chance that you’ll be able to limp away without getting finished off, particularly if you don’t get downed out in the open.
Another nice feature is that if an enemy shoots your decoy, they’ll get marked as usual, helping your teammates avenge you. Still, Mirage can just ping when he’s downed, making this addition less than ideal. Bottom line: It’s frustrating when a character’s passive relies on him getting downed to use it. It’s pretty poor incentive, to be honest.
Pysche Out (tactical):
This is the core of Mirage’s strategy. Psyche Out fires off a decoy like the hologram ability from some of the later Halo games. The best thing about this ability? Not only does it move to the location, but it interacts with it as well: Ping a zip line and the decoy will ride it, ping a resurrect beacon and he’ll mime using it. You get to experience the true joy of bamboozling your enemies, and if they go so far as to shoot the decoy, it will reveal their location.
Altogether, in the right hands, this can be one of the most useful tactical abilities in the game – you just need to constantly be revolving your tactics around it.
Vanishing Act (ultimate):
Vanishing Act combines Mirage’s passive and tactical abilities into a true mess of an ultimate. As soon as you initiate it, Mirage turns invisible and sends out a swarm of holograms. If you thought his tactical ability was effective, amplify that by four or five more holograms and see what chaos you can sew.
The ability can be used either for a quick escape if you get ousted from your position, or it can be used on the offensive to flank behind enemies and score some devastating kills with your high-tier weapons or grenades.
If you have a Bangalore on your team, you can literally play the smoke and mirrors game. Have Bangalore fire a smoke canister into an abandoned building that you know the enemy has occupied. Then use Mirage’s ultimate in the smoke to completely throw off your enemies, reveal their locations, and utterly destroy all three of them before they even know what hit them. Mirage’s tactical ability bolsters his capabilities with pretty much any weapon, too; you can lure enemies out of cover, then follow up with a headshot from a Longbow from far away. Or in the thick of combat, you can send one out as you strafe and fire on them with a machine gun. Real success with Mirage stems from frequent and clever use of decoys, and the decoys can do a lot. If you crouch, they crouch; if you slide, they slide. The recharge time is only 10 seconds, too, so spam it!
Once the enemies have caught wind to your decoy tricks there’s really nothing more up Mirage’s sleeve. He has no way to defend himself, has no advantage of mobility, and can’t deal any extra damage to you. Additionally, if he uses his ultimate or passive to go invisible, scrutinizing players can still see him (much like with Wraith’s tactical). While it may be instinct to shoot the first Mirage you see, it may be worth playing the long game and striking when you know it’s the real one.
Lifeline is one of the most useful team players in Apex Legends, and is therefore one of the most frequent characters seen in champion teams. Lifeline’s abilities all involve keeping your other teammates in the game longer, and her ultimate goes a step further by outfitting them with better loot. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Lifeline is the passive healer type, though; her fast personal heal and higher chance for more powerful items can make her a tough enemy to take down even by herself.
Combat Medic (passive):
This passive is extremely useful in the early game, particularly if you drop in a bad location or your team gets ambushed before you’re ready to fight. Combat Medic does two things: First off, it places a shield when you’re reviving downed teammates. The shield appears wherever you’re facing, and is strong enough to repel fire for a few seconds – usually all you need to get them back on their feet, especially since Lifeline’s revive process is faster.
Combat Medic also allows Lifeline to use healing items 25% faster than any other character: That’s not only Syringes, but also Medkits, Shield Cells, Shield Batteries, and even Phoenix Kits. The fact that Lifeline can use a Shield Cell in 2.25 seconds should not be overlooked!
D.O.C. Heal Drone (tactical):
This is another ability that shines in the early game when your team has only a few healing items and limited inventory space. The drone automatically heals nearby teammates over time, which, in and of itself, is great on paper, but poor in practice. Without a strong shield, it’s very easy to get downed in Apex Legends, especially if you’re standing in one spot next to the drone instead of moving around evading fire and repositioning.
Lifeline’s tactical is best used in cover and in a position where you can return fire while healing. It’s also worth keeping in mind that you don’t need to stockpile on a dozen medkits with Lifeline; she can already heal. Fill that inventory space with something more useful like Accelerants, Shield Cells, or ammo.
Care Package (ultimate):
Lifeline’s ultimate is one of the better ones, and allows her to call in a Care Package with three random items: An equipment piece, a healing item, and a high-tier attachment. Care Package is a great ability because not only does it help you, but it helps the team. It’s a good way to outfit yourselves before a tough fight, refresh your health and shields, and buff up someone’s weapon.
The unspoken side effect is that dropping a Care Package also attracts attention, both from your teammates and from the enemies. You can regroup your team by using this carrot on a stick, and can also lure enemy teams to your location while you’re slotting in better gear.
Lifeline is the safety net character, getting teammates back on their feet, buffing them up, and tethering them to health over time. If you play Lifeline your top priority should be your teammates, not killstreaks, as you’re relying on strength in numbers in Apex Legends. You’ll obviously be the designated healer in the squad, and as such it’s best to stay relatively close so you can help out frequently. That said, Lifeline isn’t a good choice for close-quarters combat (unless enemies are already weakened) because if you run in and get downed, you’re not able to help the others. Stay a safe distance that still allows you to quickly run in and help if need be (zip lines or portals are good here), and keep an eye on your squad’s health.
Lifeline’s effectiveness dwindles as you approach late game territory since by then everyone’s got higher-tier loot and strong enough weapons to negate her Heal Drone. While Lifeline can heal and buff herself faster than other characters, she still can’t attack while doing so. Keep firing on her and don’t give her the chance to get behind cover. Once she’s down the rest of the team should follow more easily.
Wraith is a scary blend of mobility and tactical appraisal. Her three abilities are dissimilar from each other, giving her an edge in versatility and allowing her to play a little more risky than other Legends. If you’re familiar with shooter games, Wraith is a good pick since nothing she has will radically affect shooter gameplay, but rather introduces some new opportunities involving movement and dodging. She’s also in touch with some creepy mysticism and dimension-hopping, so if you’re into magic, you might give Wraith a go.
Voices from the Void (passive):
Voices from the Void gives Wraith a warning when she is being targeted or pinged by enemy players. Normally when you ping someone it’s a visual and audio nudge to your teammates towards the direction that you ping. The pinged target is not alerted to this, and is suddenly attacked from all sides. In contrast, if Wraith is pinged she will tell the player, and the player then has the choice to alert the team (which they should always do).
Voices from the Void isn’t overly helpful in the middle of a firefight since by the time the warning is issued, you’re already being shot at, but it can protect you against long-distance snipers or Caustic traps.
Into the Void (tactical):
This is a really handy ability that allows Wraith to turn ephemeral, making her immune to damage, speeding up her movement, and making her much harder to see. This can be used in a variety of ways, but is most commonly used to escape ambushes or encounters where she’s outgunned, outnumbered, or caught out of the zone. Into the Void does not make you invisible, but it does let you quickly move to cover, through a portal, or behind a friendly curtain of smoke or Gibraltar shield.
Another caveat with this ability is that you cannot fire or activate items. This means you won’t be able to zip-line away or even open doors. Still, this is a handy ability in places with sparse cover like canyons, fields, or small encampments. One other thing to note about this ability is the shadowy silhouettes you’ll see while it’s active. These indicate where you’ll become visible again, which helps you judge the best spot to exit.
Dimensional Rift (ultimate):
Arguably Wraith’s most interesting power, Dimensional Rift opens an entrance portal and plants an exit portal upon completion – wherever you want to put it. This connection lasts for a full minute, which is a good amount of time for you or teammates to make the most of it. This is typically used to flit back and forth between two areas that are normally hard to reach quickly. The best use for this is in vertical areas lacking in zip-lines where fast traversal is normally impossible.
Another use is for when the ring is closing but you want to linger in an area that will soon be out of the zone. Plant the portal, go into the zone, then teleport back to where you were. Once the ring starts closing, you and your teammates can run into the portal to safety. Lastly, Dimensional Rift can also be used offensively. Enemies can enter the portal, too, and often do so to chase after Wraith players. You can anticipate that, however, and put the portal in a dangerous spot like over a cliff, out of the zone, or (our personal favorite) right into a Caustic trap.
Wraith plays well with mid-long range weapons, using portals to set up great sniper positions while her passive protects her from spotters and counter-snipers. Into the Void is a great panic button in the more frenetic moments of the game, particularly when the zone is smaller and encounters are more frequent. The Dimensional Rift is a versatile ability that clever players will be able to make good use of in a number of situations or strategies.
While good portal placement can change everything, poor portal placement can spell the death of both you and your team. Since enemy squads can easily follow you through the portal, much of the advantage is lost if you’re unprepared for that possibility. While Into the Void and Voices from the Void can help you negate and avoid damage, it’s still not a guarantee, and observant or aggressive players can still come out on top.
Caustic is one of the least-used Legends, and also one of the most unusual. He doesn’t have the speed of Bangalore or Wraith, and he doesn’t have the defense of Gibraltar or Lifeline, so at first glance, he may seem weak. In the right environment, however, Caustic can be absolutely deadly – he just has to initiate these battles at the right time and place. Caustic is the trap master of Apex Legends, and is at his most lethal in small enclosed spaces, waiting in ambush, or at a good long-range vantage point. With good map knowledge and a patient team, Caustic can be a huge factor in a team’s strategy and survival.
Nox Vision (passive):
Caustic’s passive simply allows him to see the outline of any enemies affected by his gas. It’s similar to Bloodhound’s Eye of the Allfather in that it provides quick intel on enemy locations, but is worse and better than this ability at the same time. Nox Vision is not as good since it relies on enemies being affected by your gas in order for it to work at all, making it less useful on the fly.
It is more useful than Eye of the Allfather, though, in the sense that it’s not an instant snapshot, but a debuff that continues for as long as the enemy remains in the gas. This makes it very useful when you have control over an area, and is especially good since any enemy marked is also under the DoT effects of the gas itself. This basically lets you quickly locate and finish off any weakened enemies.
Nox Gas Trap (tactical):
For the trap-loving player, this ability is the reason to prioritize unlocking Caustic. Caustic can have three Gas Traps active at any given time, and the cooldown is just short enough that while the ability is not spammable, it can be used at once or twice per encounter – enough to make choosing Caustic worth your while. There are two ways these traps can be detonated: When an enemy walks close enough they will burst automatically, or you can simply shoot them yourself to detonate them preemptively. The latter option is usually better during firefights, and the former is better left behind as traps. Once the gas starts flowing, enemies will take light damage, suffer a severe movement debuff slowing them down, and also receive blurred vision.
The Gas Traps are clearly not meant to deal the finishing blow to enemies, but rather serve to start fights off in Caustic’s favor, catching enemies off-guard and funneling them into situations where they’re handicapped. Caustic can also use his gas in much the same way that Bangalore uses her Smoke Launcher – a defensive place to retreat to heal up or revive downed teammates. Caustic has the advantage here, though; while Bangalore is blind in her own smoke, enemies of Caustic will be highlighted clear as day should they step into his gas. Very few enemies are willing to suffer these debuffs, so hiding in the gas is usually safe.
Nox Gas Grenade (ultimate):
Caustic’s ultimate is the same as the Gas Trap, except it can be thrown over a long distance and detonates immediately. Like the Gas Traps, this is mostly effective in that it debuffs and hampers any enemy affected, leaving them vulnerable to you and your squad.
The difference between this and the Gas Traps is that while the canisters need to be set up beforehand, the grenade can be used on the fly, making it useful during instances where you get ambushed or overwhelmed.
While many other characters excel at movement and mobility, Caustic is unique in that he excels at denying that same mobility. With his gas attacks, he can make easy pickings of entire teams, and set up very powerful control in enclosed spaces like the Supply Ship or in the small zones of late-game. While Caustic can hold his own in any given fight, the only instance where he really has an advantage is when gas is involved. As such, make sure to frequently involve it as part of your tactics.
While Caustic performs wonderfully in small spaces and in the late game, he’s an easy target everywhere else. Big fields, canyons, and wide open spaces are the bane of Caustic, and should be avoided as often as possible. Without narrow choke points and ambush spots to hide in, Caustic sticks out like a sore thumb and lacks mobility and defense. Lastly, it must be said that Caustic’s gas will negatively affect teammates. While it will not deal damage to them, it still blurs their vision and hampers their awareness. As such, Caustic can’t typically perform well in close-quarters team dynamics without negatively impairing his squad. A final note is that if enemy players shoot the red marks on the bottom of Caustic’s Nox Gas Traps, the canisters will break without spilling out the gas.
Pathfinder is a great choice for recon, intel, and mobility. Most of his effectiveness comes down to how well – and how frequent – players can use his rappel and zip-line to traverse the map and set up in more beneficial locations overall. Pathfinder answers the “what if I get shot?” question not with defensive abilities, debuffs, or blocking, but by saying “I won’t even be there.” Additionally, Pathfinder’s passive offers him foresight and encourages more forward-thinking positioning throughout the entire match.
Insider Knowledge (passive):
This is a neat ability that lets Pathfinder know where the upcoming zone will be well before the ring starts to close. The only caveat is that in order to do this, he has to locate and hack a survey beacon (the locations of these are marked on your map). This process takes several seconds, but in the mid game, it can be well worth your time.
Having this knowledge allows you to better position yourself before the zone closes and you’re vulnerable to damage. While this knowledge is handy, be sure you’re in a defensible position with your team before attempting to hack the survey beacon; you’re an easy target during the long animation.
Grappling Hook (tactical):
This is the ability that separates the wheat from the chaff with Pathfinder players. A really good Pathfinder player can use the Grappling Hook to make themselves mobile at a split second’s notice, faster than other Legends, very hard to hit during combat, and able to position themselves in advantageous spots far from enemy fire and with a wider, longer viewcone. The ability simply fires a grappling hook that can be used either to scale walls and cliffs, to zip along horizontal surfaces, or to swing like Spider-Man if the terrain allows for it.
Pathfinder’s Grappling Hook has a very short cooldown, so it can be used both to preemptively set up shots at higher altitudes or to dart around in the midst of a firefight to confuse your enemies.
Zipline Gun (ultimate):
This is a very handy ultimate, and allows Pathfinder to equip and fire a zipline at locations pretty far away. Much like Wraith’s portal, this is a two-way door that functions in pretty much the same way – getting your team from one spot to the other quickly and as a group.
The Zipline Gun is more straightforward than Dimensional Rift, and also charges up way faster, meaning this ultimate can be a frequent bonus to having Pathfinder on your team.
If you lump Pathfinder’s abilities together, you end up with a Legend who’s extremely capable at reconnaissance, vertical gameplay, and team mobility. Ping survey beacons when they’re within reach, and set up a Zipline so your team can watch your back as you hack it. Then ping a safe location on your map where your team can start heading. You’ll also want to keep a little apart and above your squad as Pathfinder since he can move around so quickly with his Grappling Hook and open up more angles to shoot from. As such, he’s best given long-range weapons like the Triple Take or Longbow DMR.
In positions where Pathfinder has no clear target to rappel to, he’s going to suffer a handicap. Also, poor execution of his tactical ability can leave him vulnerable to enemy fire while stuck with a cooldown on his only means of escape. As mentioned before, Pathfinder also has no ability that actually enhances his defense, so he’s more vulnerable to actual damage than characters like Wraith, Lifeline, or Gibraltar.
Octane is a high-risk, high-reward Legend who’s unmatched when it comes to movement and mobility. His incredible speed and potential for verticality gives him a huge prosthetic leg-up over other characters, and offers unique angles for ambush, escape, flanking, and re-positioning. Fittingly, playing with Octane is an addicting experience; you may be tempted to use his speed boost frequently, but doing so not only depletes your health, but also distances you from your teammates if you’re not careful. In the best of scenarios, you can flank a team and play the role of a one-man army, surprising and overwhelming your opponents with blitzkrieg tactics. In the worst of scenarios, you might run headfirst into an enemy team with less than full health, and get killed far away from your squad.
Swift Mend (passive):
On paper, this is one of the best passives in the game. During an actual match … it can be. Swift mend lets Octane regenerate health over time, as long as he’s not taking damage. The caveat isn’t so much that the effect only occurs when you’re not taking damage; if you’re playing the game properly, you should be moving a lot more than shooting, and throwing bullets a lot more than catching them. The caveat is instead that this health regen effect is extremely slow. You’re not exactly Deadpool or Wolverine with this. It’s more just a way to encourage players not to shy away from using Octane’s Stim ability.
Use Swift Mend to save a syringe or two if you’re not in combat, but don’t expect it to take the place of a well-timed medkit. You can either choose to spend a kit to heal, or spend time waiting for the slow passive to do its job. Weigh your options, and consider the current state of your health bar and how likely it is you’re going to be ambushed.
This is the real draw of playing Octane. When Octane uses Stim it gives him a speed boost for six seconds, but costs him health. It won’t cost you much health, mind you, but since the cooldown for the ability is only two seconds, it can be very tempting to use the ability again. And then again. The more you use this ability in quick succession the more you run (pun intended) the risk of accidentally dashing into an ambush or firefight you weren’t prepared for. Use this with caution.
Use the Stim to traverse the battlefield faster, come off the drop before any other Legend, evade behind cover during fights, flank your enemies, or get to downed teammates before the enemy can stop you. There’s a ton of utility behind this ability, just be sure it doesn’t eat away your health; it comes back very slowly.
Launch Pad (ultimate):
To further compliment Octane’s mobility and speed, his ultimate ability is to throw out a trampoline that launches both him and teammates up into the air. This is a great way to quickly jump onto buildings, hop fences, go over and around Caustic’s traps or Bangalore’s smoke, or scale the larger rocky outcroppings and cliffs of Kings Canyon.
While this may seem like a disappointing ability compared to other ultimates, the good news is that the cooldown is very quick, just like Pathfinder’s Zipline Gun. Like the Zipline Gun, the Launch Pad can get your whole team to a better position and do so frequently. While the Zipline is easier to aim and control, and allows for more precise maneuvers, the Launch Pad is more discreet and can be used from any direction, making it ideal for flanking and ambushing.
Octane can be a good candidate for a lone wolf player, who spends a lot of time covering ground, pinging loot, and tracking enemies far from the rest of the team. Doing so is, of course, a risk, and should your teammates need you closer, you might be too far away to help or be helped. Octane is best with rapid-fire guns that deal high damage, like Assault Rifles or LMGs, since he can dart in and out while harassing the enemy team. He does decently with a shotgun too, but if you’re using the Launch Pad to get above your enemies you’re better suited to rain fire down with a Spitfire than a Mozambique. If you do choose to stick close to teammates, your best friend will undoubtedly be Lifeline. She can outfit you with better equipment, heal you consistently, and quickly revive you if you bite off more than you can chew.
When you hear that Octane has both health regen and super speed, he sounds like a pretty hard Legend to kill. Sadly, this isn’t always true. Swift Mend works so slowly that most players probably won’t even notice the health regen unless they aren’t using Stim. And if you’re not using Stim, you may as well be playing a different Legend. In the end, playing Octane is a double-edged sword; his abilities grant him functions and angles that no other Legend can match, but exploiting them is costly to both your success and your team’s. Skilled players will be able to carefully tread the line between using and overusing Octane’s abilities, but overeager novices might bullrush right to their deaths.
Mind your teammates!
Once you’re familiar with your Legend’s abilities, strengths, and weaknesses, start thinking about how they can best interact and bolster other Legends that might be on your team. How can you angle yourselves in such a way that you’re playing off each other’s advantages and abilities? Are you prepared to fight a team comprised of X, X, and X?
Let us know in the comments below who your favorite Legend is, and what you’ve found to be the best combination of characters. Stay tuned for more guides and we’ll see you in Kings Canyon!