Apex Legends Beginner’s Guide: Tips, Pinging, Characters, Hop-ups & More

Don't know your Caustic from your Pathfinder? These Apex Legends tips will set you on the right path.

Apex Legends
Apex Legends

Despite just releasing on February 4th, Apex Legends is already shaping up to be a brilliant battle royale game for those bored by Fortnite or PUBG. It has all the ingredients for long-term success — it just needs Respawn Entertainment to give it a lot of their attention.

If you’re one of the one million who played the free-to-play phenomenon within eight hours of its launch, or the 25 million plus that followed shortly thereafter, or even the 50 million it has reached in just under a motnh, you know that it takes plenty of ideas from elsewhere while also adding plenty of its own to make it feel totally fresh.

If you’re constantly dying, however, that’s no fun for anyone except the guy whose kills you’re embellishing. There’s a lot to get used to for new players, so you’ll need some Apex Legends tips if you want to get that epic victory royale crown as the champion.

Here is an Apex Legends beginner’s guide packed with tips and tricks ranging from the basic to not quite so much, to lend you a helping hand when you drop into Kings Canyon.


Apex Legends Beginner’s Guide & Tips

Apex Legends

1. Ping it to win it
Without a doubt the most useful thing I’ve ever seen in a battle royale game, Apex Legends allows you to ping pretty much everything, which effectively entails you highlighting items and enemies for your teammates.

This is a godsend for those who can’t be bothered with mic, so use it liberally and you will find things just flowing together much better. So, for instance, if you have come across duplicate loot, you can let your teammate know that it’s up for grabs or can spam it when you spot an enemy so they rush to your position.

2. Respawning
When you’re killed in Apex Legends, it’s not quite like any other battle royale. Your teammates can pick up your banner card and then take it to a respawn beacon (denoted by a green shape on your map) to bring you back to the fray.

This is fraught with tension, however, as there is a bit of a wait until you can return. If your teammates are a bit hapless, you can even use the ping system on the nearest respawn beacon for them when you’re dead.

3. Shield up
Apex Legends has a very interesting way of utilising its shields, known here as armour. Once your armour is worn down and you’re taking “real damage”, you can use shield cells to replenish it. The rarer the shield, the better, so anything from purple variety and above should be an immediate pick-up.

Don’t sleep on knockdown shields either: these can protect you from being finished when you’re down with the rarest form even allowing you to revive yourself once.

4. Learn the character classes
Having a well-balanced trio is vital to success in Apex Legends. The current meta this early on is a combination of Wraith, Bloodhound, and Lifeline. The first is the stealthy pick, the second can highlight enemies, and the latter can call upon a healing drone to help out teammates in the vicinity. They all complement each other really well, but you really ought to find one that gels with you best, familiarise yourself with them, and then move on to others. I started off with Lifeline but am now competent (but not amazing) in all classes.

5. Better loot, better chance of dying
Basically any named location in Apex Legends is going to have a lot of loot, but it will also comes with a lot of enemies. The biggest areas tend to attract other squads, so there’s no shame in slinking away to somewhere off the beaten path. Look for small collections of houses/huts and you will almost assuredly find a weapon for each member of your squad and you can then continue to loot from there with some security.

Unless you’re a streamer, you don’t need to go for the risky plays.

6. Stick together
Stop going off on your jollies in Apex Legends. It’s infuriating for one member to push on ahead when the other two are still looting way behind, but equally annoying when someone is spending minutes looting a single spot.

The unit is stronger than the individual, so if your teammate pings a new location and sets off, drop what you’re doing and get behind them — they either know exactly where to go or have seen an enemy.

7. Break away before landing
This directly contradicts what I was just saying, but when you’re jumping as a team, stick with your allies right before you land and then break away so you can (seemingly) land faster.

Not only does this get you down quicker, but it stops all three teammates from going in the exact same looting spot. Spread out in quick walking distance from others and find your own looting spots to be better equipped as a unit.

8. Save your ultimates
The ultimates in Apex Legends can really save your ass, but they take their sweet time to become available. With the exception of Lifeline, whose ultimate should be used immediately to get better loot, you need to really bide your time with the ultimates.

The frag-heavy ultimates from Gibraltar and Bangalore should be used as a hail mary when you’re under the cosh, and Wraith’s should get you and your team out of the mayhem in quick time thanks to portals, while also allowing you to use the same portals to surprise enemies. Bloodhound’s ultimate, meanwhile, is hilariously overpowered as it allows you to follow enemy tracks and even move faster.

9. Inventory management is key
Backpacks are almost as important as ammo in Apex Legends as they allow you to carry plenty more items, including ammo, health, and shields. Your starting inventory is pretty paltry, so you need to properly manage it if you want more useful items.

Consider swapping out incompatible attachments for your weapons (made clear by a red cross on them), which will then allow them to be picked up by your teammates. Try to pick up health and shields over anything else first and foremost.


10. Loot bins are your best friends
You will often find what look like large cylinders out in the wilds, or near some buildings in urban areas. Make a beeline for these immediately. You can find plenty of decent enough gear in these and some weapons, but they are most vital for picking up heals.

Once you’ve fully looted one, don’t forget to ping its location so that others can possibly sweep up your cast-offs. As an aside, if you see a loot bin that has already been looted, be on high alert as this may mean another squad is near.

11. Shotty hops
One for the Fortnite converts, this. Shotguns are absolutely vital for most close quarters confrontations, but you need to make sure you protect yourself at the same time. Do this by jumping while laying the smackdown to make you harder to hit; Apex Legends’ jumps can be quite meaty so bear that in mind.

Don’t forget to try to predict movement; most players don’t tend to sit still in a shotgun fight. If you can slide into a hop and then shoot someone in the head, that’s a Snapchat post right there.

12. Don’t linger
While you might want to take your time to look through deathboxes, do not. Apex’s map is large, but the way its designed is so that the sound of shots travel far and makes it easy to pinpoint the direction of them. This makes third-partying a constant issue, so maybe speed it up a bit if you’re trying to pick between scopes (you only really a 1x-2x, by the way). This obviously comes with practice, but also just stay on the move as a general rule.

Gibraltar Bio

13. Learn the TTK
The time-to-kill in Apex can feel mighty meaty, especially when the enemy have full shields. It’s 200 combined HP just like Fortnite, but unlike that game, Apex seems to have far lower number variables; a shotgun headshot does not hit for as much as you might think.

Remember to not stop shooting until they are absolutely down and remember that shield cells and syringes are aplenty, so they could technically just keep healing.

14. Don’t be too aggressive
Likewise, there’s something to be said for playing more conservatively when you come across another player. If you run right at them, there’s a huge chance they will have their pals right next to them — wait for your squad to be right next to you.

On a similar note, if you’re finding yourself getting hit regularly during mid-long range engagements, take yourself out of the firing line and get healed up.

15. Consider single fire for assault rifles
The ARs in Apex Legends can be on and off in terms of stopping power from distance, so it’s recommended that you put them into single fire (the Hemlok in particular) to use it as a more powerful G7 Auto.

There will be less spread and you will be able to surprisingly chew through opponents’ health, so long as you land your shots, but this is also a great way of practising your aim. Speaking of which:

Lifeline Apex Legends

16. Lead your shots
Apex Legends is a fast-paced game, so fast that it can be hard to keep up with what you’re doing. If you are in a medium range engagement and see your opponent strafing away, lead your shots into what you think their path may be.

Likewise, don’t just assume that a shot will land big damage and get complacent, keep up the pressure as long as you can until they drop while also remembering to make use of cover.

17. Ultimate Accelerants
If you have an Ultimate Accelerant, you basically want to forcefeed it to Lifeline. Her Ult is one of the slowest to become available, but cam be boosted by a whole 20% with these Accelerants. Her Care Package has shield and useful gear, as well as the small chance of getting gold gear with boosts to things like healing time and even to revive yourself. There’s an even smaller chance of getting gold weapons as well, but I haven’t seen a single Mastiff in dozens of hours of playtime so make of that what you will.

18. Pair Ultimates
There are some Ultimates in Apex Legends that are simply designed to work together.

On the defensive side of things, Gibraltar’s and Lifeline’s Ultimates provide almost total cover if you’re going for the revive, and offensively speaking, a combination of Caustic/Bangalore and Bloodhound will allow your team some visibility through fogs, though be wary of Caustic’s as it can also somewhat daze your teammates at the same time.

Apex Legends Wraith

19. Sometimes the loot is just bad
Feels weird to mention this as a tip in an Apex Legends beginner’s guide, but you should try not to depend on Epic armour and a Peacekeeper until you feel comfortable in an Apex Legends match.

The RNG nature of the game (and every battle royale in general) can really feel like it’s working against you, so you should make the most of what you have. Basically, do not be overly aggro with a P2020 without any armour and stick to your squad.

20. Don’t sweat the ring too much
The ring/zone/what have you in Apex Legends really isn’t too much of an issue until it gets right to the end of the match. You can quite comfortably outpace it early on due to all the balloons and general speed of movement, so honestly: take your time.

If the ring has already closed and there is a death box outside of it, you wouldn’t be blamed for strolling out and getting it — just make sure you are carrying some health items.

21. Legendary gear is king
If you can find a Legendary item early on in Apex Legends, you might be in for a good time. There’s a lot them, ranging from attachments to fully-kitted weapons, so if you see gold in someone’s deathbox, you may want to make a beeline for it. Weapons tend to be a lot rarer, however, so bear that in mind. Legendary gear can help you revive yourself among other things, so do not pass up the chance.

Apex Legends

22. Different supply drops, different risks
There are two different drops that falls from the skies: offensive and defensive. Offensives come at intervals during a match and can land anywhere whereas defensives can only be called in by Lifeline. You can tell the difference by colour: an offensive drop has a red ring around the top and a defensive one has a blue ring around the top instead. Be careful of both: you can rest assured that you won’t be the only one trying to snaffle up some loot.

23. Hot Zones and Supply Ships
Apex Legends highlights two landing spots from the off in a match: the Hot Zone and the Supply Ship. Hot Zones designate where some of the best loot is, which tends to involve everyone landing there and hell following them. Supply Ships, meanwhile, are just as bad, with often at least three squads duking it out for loot on a tiny ship — you should really just jump off if you’re kitted. The Supply Ship will also rove until it reaches its destination, so you may be able to come back to it later.

24. Hop-ups
Hop-ups, Epic and above attachments, basically transform weapons in Apex Legends.

The Peacekeeper shoots lasers with a Precision Choke, so you will be wanting to keep hold of one if you find it.

The Turbocharger, meanwhile, makes the Havoc rifle and Devotion LMG far more viable.

The Selectfire Receiver turns the Havoc into a faux-sniper and makes the Prowler not quite as terrible, allowing you switch the gun to automatic fire.

Basically, if you find a Hop-up in Apex Legends, try to find something to use it with or ping to let your teammates know its location.

25. Just get your teammates up
Look, if you leave your teammate knocked as you take all the loot (that they may well have contributed towards you earning), you’re just a bad person.

Not only is this a selfish thing to do, but you are giving yourself one less defender if you’re about to get third-partied — and that happens a lot in Apex Legends. Get your team up ASAP and loot/heal up when you think you have the all clear and you will be a much better team overall.

Enjoyed this Apex Legends beginner’s guide? From our Apex Legends review:

“Even the most jaded of battle royale fans will find their interest rejuvenated by Apex Legends thanks to Respawn’s attention to detail, superior gunplay, and fantastic innovations, though the loot boxes and progression system certainly need addressing.”

Apex Legends Legendary Gear Guide: Locations, Weapons, Attachments & More
Apex Legends Characters, Ultimates, Abilities & More
Apex Legends Weapons Guide: Best Weapons, Stats & More

Some of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures contains affiliate links, which provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site. We cover gaming news, movie reviews, wrestling and much more.