Apex Legends characters guide: how abilities work, strategy for every legend

Apex Legends characters: Gibraltar's key art - wearing his standard tactical armor skin, holding a gun on his shoulder
(Image credit: EA)

Looking for details about the newest Apex Legends characters? Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of every legend is the only sure-fire way to become the best player on the server. The only problem is that there are 17 characters to choose from now, not including the newly-revealed Seer who launches on August 3. 

Luckily, Apex Legends' characters are usually defined by three main things: their passive, tactical, and ultimate skills. These are what gives each legend their own particular playstyle—such as Valkyrie's jets, or Seer's powerful tracking abilities

In the end, those twitch reflexes will only get you so far in Apex. The best players are those who can integrate a legend's particular playstyle into theirs with ease, using their abilities to often astounding effect. In this Apex Legends' characters guide, there's info for each legend's abilities, as well as a few little tips to help you get started playing them.

Universal character abilities

For balance reasons, a few Apex Legends characters have universal passives to help them with larger hitboxes, or to adjust for the smaller size of their hitboxes. None of these traits make a huge impact on fights, but they're worth knowing.

Legends with the Fortified passive are easier to hit, so they’re a bit tougher as well: Fortified Legends take 15 percent less damage from all attacks, and are immune to the slow effect from weapons fire.

Low Profile
Legends with the Low Profile passive are harder to hit, but take a little more damage when you connect: Low Profile Legends take five percent more damage from all attacks.

Apex Legends characters: Seer

Unlockable: 12,000 Legend Tokens / 750 Apex Coins (Seer releases on August 3, 2021)

Passive: Heartseeker

  • Hear and visualise the heartbeats of enemies within 75 metres when aiming down sights.

Tactical: Focus of Attention

  • Summon micro-drones to emit a delayed blast that goes through walls, interrupting and revealing enemies

Ultimate: Exhibit

  • Create a sphere of micro-drones that reveal the location of enemies moving quickly or firing their weapons within.

Apex Legends characters: Valkyrie

Unlockable: 12,000 Legend Tokens / 750 Apex Coins

Passive: VTOL Jets

  • While mid-air, press jump again to activate VTOL Jets, allowing flight at the cost of fuel.

Tactical: Missile Swarm

  • Fires a swarm of mini-rockets that damage and disorient opponents.

Ultimate: Skyward Dive

  • Launch into the air and sky dive. Allies can hook into take-off systems to join you.

Strengths: Valkyrie's greatest strength, unsurprisingly, is her jetpack, giving her impressive verticality on the battlefield, and allowing her to boost and pick off opponents or gain a strong position in a fight. Her ultimate is particuarly powerful, as it can be used to attack opponents, escape from them, or just to redeploy in a stronger position on the map.

Using Valkyrie's jetpack in short bursts to gain momentum, in tandem with other movement abilities, is a great way of getting around the battlefield and dropping in on opponents. Flying consistently gets you shot at, so it's better to boost and then fall, firing your jetpack just before the ground to make you harder to hit. The jetpack does rely on fuel, however, so be sure to keep an eye on the gauge.

Apex Legends characters: Fuse

Unlockable: 12,000 Legend Tokens / 750 Apex Coins

Passive: Grenadier

  • Stack an extra grenade per inventory slot. Fire grenades farther, faster, and more accurately.

Tactical: Knuckle Cluster

  • Launch a cluster bomb that continuously expels airburst explosives on impact. 

Ultimate: The Motherlode

  • Launch a bombardment that encircles a target area in a wall of flames.

Strengths: Fuse is an offensive character that's capable of dealing lots of damage in short bursts, even at range. He also happens to be an explosives expert, so he's able to stack grenades and use them more accurately than any other legend. His tactical can remove huge chunks from enemy health bars in seconds, whereas his ultimate can trap a squad on the spot.

Tips: Throw an Arc Star or Frag Grenade at an enemy squad to stun them, then fire Fuse's cluster bomb directly at them to damage as many opponents as possible. If you see an enemy team fighting with another squad in the distance, use The Motherlode to keep them in place until you can reach them.   

Apex Legends characters: Horizon

Unlockable: 12,000 Legend Tokens / 750 Apex Coins

Passive: Spacewalk

  • Increase air control and reduce fall impacts with Horizon's custom spacesuit

Tactical: Gravity Lift

  • Reverses the flow of gravity, lifting players upwards and boosting them outwards when they exit.

Ultimate: Black Hole

  • Deploy N.E.W.T. to create a micro black hole that pulls players in towards it and hits them with a graviton blast at the end.

Strengths: Horizon thrives when she can initiate a fight. Her zoning capabilities with Gravity Lift and Black Hole can set up enemies for quick executions, especially if Black Hole can be combined with a few well-timed grenades. The Spacewalk passive can also be paired with the Gravity Lift to quickly and accurately reposition out of a bad spot.

Tips: If you feel overwhelmed in a firefight, use Gravity Lift to make a quick exit over a fence or building. When an enemy squad is lurking in a building, use Horizon's Black Hole to pull them into view and work with your team to send all your shots and grenades their way.

Apex Legends characters: Rampart

Unlockable: 12,000 Legend Tokens / 750 Apex Coins

Passive: Modded Loader

  • Faster reload and increased magazine capacity when using LMGs and the Minigun.

Tactical: Amped Cover

  • Place a crouch-cover wall that deploys a full-cover amped wall. This blocks incoming shots and boosts outgoing shots. You can place a maximum of five.

Ultimate: Emplaced Minigun 'Sheila'

  • Deploy a mounted machine gun that anyone can use. It has a long reload time and high ammo capacity. You can place a maximum of three.

Strengths: Rampart is one of the defensive Apex Legends characters at heart, but that doesn't mean she has to sit back and wait for opponents to come to her. Her tactical ability mows down enemies quickly as it boosts her shots. It also serves as a temporary cover with which you can crouch behind when you're in desperate need of healing. Rampart's passive gives her an edge with LMGs such as the Spitfire and Devotion, but you shouldn't feel pressured to use these. If you're keen to stick with your weapon of choice, pairing it with an Amped Cover wall is enough to become the kill leader.       

Tips: Sheila is a powerful weapon, but being able to use the minigun to its full potential heavily relies on good positioning. There's a significant delay between placing the minigun and actually being able to shoot with it, so it's not a snappy reactionary tool like some of the other legends' ultimates. 

I've yet to find the perfect moment to deploy Sheila, but my playstyle is fairly aggressive, which doesn't exactly complement a stationary machine gun. It's best used when holding a specific point, as its high ammo capacity can down full squads quickly in the right conditions. The minigun’s laser is visible across the map, so try to hide it for as long as possible. Hold right-click to charge (and Shift to zoom), but aim at the floor until you’re ready to start shooting. Your shots also become more accurate the longer you hold down Mouse 1, so don’t ease up unless you’re being flanked.

Ranked's slower late-game appears to be where the minigun shines brightest, so far. If your gameplan prioritises defense, team up with a Caustic and Wattson, and set up the Amped Cover around Sheila to build the ultimate fortified base.

Apex Legends characters: Bangalore

 Passive: Double Time

  • Being shot at triggers a brief 30 percent speed boost when running.

Tactical: Smoke Launcher

  • Fires a projectile that explodes on impact into a cluster of smoke grenades in a horizontal line. 
  • Hitting an enemy deals 10 damage. 
  • Range is about the same as a thrown grenade.
  • The ability holds two charges.

Ultimate: Rolling Thunder

  • Bangalore throws a flare that, after a brief delay, calls down a barrage of missiles from the sky, which hit exterior surfaces (including roofs) and stick, then explode.
  • Rolling Thunder’s flare behaves exactly like a thrown grenade.
  • The missiles cause a concussive effect and damage. Allies will be hit by the concussive effect.
  • 40 damage per missile.

Strengths: An aggressive playstyle suits Bangalore, advancing with her speed boost and smoke. She can zone enemies with her ultimate, and smoke to set up flanks, retreats, and revives.

Tip: Locate and equip a Digital Threat scope to see enemies through smoke. SMGs such as the R-99 and Alternator are ideal for shooting through smoke. In close combat, shotguns such as the EVA-8 Auto is also a viable option. 

Apex Legends characters: Bloodhound

Passive: Tracker

  • Certain actions by enemies will leave behind clue markers with a timestamp, up to 90 seconds old, to help you track them.

Tactical: Eye of the Allfather

  • Sends out a pulse ahead of you (not radial, despite the animation), highlighting and tracking enemies, traps, and loot ticks through walls for 1.5 seconds. This is also visible to teammates.
  • The pulse can be detected by enemies and makes a small noise.

Ultimate: Beast of the Hunt

  • Turns your vision black and white. Enemies and their tracks will appear red.
  • Downing players (not killing) adds five seconds to the timer.
  • Increases your speed by 30 percent.
  • Lasts 35 seconds.

Strengths: Bloodhound is one of the strongest aggressive Apex Legends characters. The speed boost from their ultimate is powerful enough to take on an entire enemy squad, not to mention finishing off wounded individuals. Their passive ability can help the team decide where to head next, while determining how far away enemies are lurking. Eye of the Allfather will alert your squad of nearby hostiles and traps. This helps the rest of your team to avoid unnecessary damage and encourages them to head towards you to eliminate nearby threats. 

Tips: Ping opponents promptly and update your teammates when you notice enemy tracks. You build your ultimate ability reasonably quickly so activate it just before you attack an enemy squad to make the most of the speed boost. Consume spare Ultimate Accelerants (but share with legends like Lifeline and Wattson) to head into firefights with a healthy advantage.

Apex Legends characters: Gibraltar

Passive: Fortified
Passive: Gun Shield

  • Aiming down sights will deploy a gun shield with about 75 health that protects the upper body.
  • This shield regenerates slowly, but will come back faster if you use Shield Cells or Shield Batteries.

Tactical: Dome of Protection

  • Throws a deployable shield that will allow enemies and allies to pass through it, but blocks all damage going in or out for 18 seconds.
  • Healing is 15 percent faster inside the dome. 

Ultimate: Defensive Bombardment

  • Throws a grenade to call down a mortar strike in a circular area.
  • Strikes explode immediately upon impact, dealing 40 damage to enemies (per hit) and concussing both allies and enemies. 

Strengths: Gibraltar is the defining team-player, his abilities are all best-used in support of his allies in order to protect or compliment them. Safeguarding revives, looting, and heals with Dome of Protection and his Defensive Bombardment are his bread and butter.

Tip: Layer your ultimate and tactical on the same spot if you want to try to discourage anyone from disrupting your revives. 

Apex Legends characters: Lifeline

Passive: Low Profile
Passive: Combat Revive

  • Lifeline deploys a drone that revives a downed teammate.

Tactical: D.O.C. Heal Drone 

  • Places down a drone which will heal nearby players (allies and enemies) over time. 

Ultimate: Care Package

  • Calls down a special care package containing useful items. When the package contains healing items and attachments, it'll spawn more of them.  
  • These packages won't contain Legendary weapons, unlike neutral care packages.

Strengths: Lifeline is both a powerful combatant and support Apex Legends character. Her Combat Revive ability allows her to help downed teammates get back on their feet while she defends the area and eliminates opponents. Her ultimate ability helps smooth out rounds where you don’t find the right loot.

Tips: Your Care Package is hard cover, so don’t be afraid to use it for temporary shelter or even to add some cover to a spot you know you’re going to fight in, like an exposed roof. Place your healing drone so that it can latch onto multiple teammates and remember that you can push it along, if you need to. Consume Ultimate Accelerants for the duration of the game to earn more Care Packages. 

Apex Legends characters: Pathfinder

Passive: Low Profile
Passive: Insider Knowledge 

  • Survey beacons will spawn around the map, mostly in high places. You can interface with one to learn the location of the next ring. 

Tactical: Grappling Hook

  • Shoots a grappling hook that grabs onto the first solid object it hits and pulls you towards it. Your crosshair will turn blue over available grapple surfaces.
  • Can be used in a variety of interesting ways to gain momentum and distance.

Ultimate: Zip Line 

  • Creates a permanent zipline between the location you target and wherever you’re standing. 

Strengths: Incredibly mobile and unpredictable, Pathfinder excels at rapid advances and reaching unusual locations quickly. He plays the pressure game well and can enable his team to take advantageous high ground.

Tips: Grab an enemy with your grappling hook to bring them to you for the easiest shotgun blast of your life. Grapple to higher ground to get the drop on enemies, and swing away to retreat when you feel overwhelmed.

Apex Legends characters: Wraith

Passive: Low Profile
Passive: Voices from the Void

  • You will be warned by a voice if: enemies are nearby, enemies are looking at you, a grenade is thrown near you, or if there are traps nearby.

Tactical: Into the Void

  • When activated, you will enter the void for four seconds, becoming invulnerable and invisible, and gaining a 30 percent boost to your movement speed.
  • Activating the ability slows Wraith's movement speed.
  • Leaves a trail in your path that others can see. 
  • Everything will appear gray in the void, and you can still see other players.

Ultimate: Dimensional Rift 

  • When used, you will place a rift portal at your location and gain a 'Rift Energy' tracker. 
  • As you move away from the first rift portal the energy will decrease. When you activate the ability again or the energy runs out, you will drop another rift portal.
  • Any player can travel between the two portals by walking into one of them, including downed players.
  • Movement between the portals takes a moment.
  • You can activate your tactical during your ultimate for the speed boost.

Strengths: Capable of engaging and disengaging herself and her squad, Wraith is very slippery and an excellent point person. Coordinated Dimensional Rift usage can end fights before they even begin or salvage lost fights.

Tip: One creative use of Wraith's portal is to place one in a doorway defensively, preventing anyone from entering a structure that you're holed up in. If an encounter with another squad looks as though its about to go pear-shaped, use your ultimate to transport allies to safety and regroup. Guard the other end of the portal to catch aggressive opponents, if they try to follow you. 

Apex Legends characters: Caustic

Unlockable: 12,000 Legend Tokens / 750 Apex Coins

Passive: Fortified
Passive: Nox Vision

  • Enemies moving through your gas will be visible to you as if highlighted by a Digital Threat scope. 

Tactical: Nox Gas Trap

  • Throws down a canister trap that after a brief setup delay can be activated by enemies in a short proximity or by being shot by enemies or allies.
  • The gas blocks vision when released, lasting a maximum of 12.5 seconds and dealing four damage per second, ramping up one more damage per tick to a maximum of 10 per tick.
  • Caustic can store up to three charges of Nox Gas Trap and six traps can be active (on the map) at once.
  • Enemies can disarm the traps by shooting the base of the trap, even before it has fully inflated.

Ultimate: Nox Gas Grenade

  • Throws a grenade that blankets a large area in Nox Gas, with the same obscuring and damaging effects as one of Caustic’s Nox Gas Traps, but lasting 20 seconds.

Strengths: Caustic is a defensive focused Apex Legends character, with no mobility bonuses and a setup time on his tactical ability. As the ring shrinks in size, he can become the most deadly Legend. He’s also got an edge in blocking doors and putting out gas clouds to revive teammates or heal.

Tips: Throw down and shoot a Nox Gas Trap when you need to heal to create some instant cover (and a deterrent to push you). When dropping in hotspots, place traps early on in close proximity to your team while they search for loot. This will soften up opponents that are competing for gear and make them easier to eliminate. 

Apex Legends characters: Mirage

Unlockable: 12,000 Legend Tokens / 750 Apex Coins 

Passive: Encore!

  • You automatically drop a decoy and cloak for five seconds when knocked down.
  • The cloak isn’t true invisibility, you’ll still be visible to players that are less than five metres away.

Tactical: Psyche Out

  • Sends out a holographic decoy—that you can take control of—in the direction of your crosshair to bamboozle your enemies (can be used when skydiving).
  • It will copy a variety of actions you may have been performing when you use the ability (running, crouch-walking, standing still, etc).
  • If the decoy takes any damage it will ping the location of the enemy that did the damage. If it doesn't take damage, it will dissipate on its own after 15 seconds.

Ultimate: Vanishing Act

  • A star formation of decoys will appear around you and you'll be cloaked for five seconds. The cloak is not true invisibility, you will still be sort of visible.
  • While cloaked you cannot do anything but move.
  • You can cancel out of the cloak early.

Strengths: Mirage’s specialty is causing confusion. Use Psyche Out if you're unsure of which threats lie ahead. Send in your decoy to test how safe an area is before rushing in to loot, or use it to initiate a fight. His ultimate can excuse you from sticky situations, giving you a brief window in which to escape and may just be the distraction your team needs to win.

Tip: You can run decoys into traps like Wattson’s fences or Caustic’s gas to learn where they are for free. 

Apex Legends characters: Octane

Unlockable: 12,000 Legend Tokens / 750 Apex Coins

Passive: Swift Mend

  • Automatically restores 0.5 health per second. Disabled briefly when taking damage, or during Stim’s duration. 

Tactical: Stim

  • Grants 40 percent move speed for six seconds at the cost of 10 health.
  • Removes movement impairing effects. 
  • No, you can’t kill yourself with Stim, it just takes you to one HP.

Ultimate: Launch Pad

  • Throws down a jump pad, which will launch players who step on it into the air.
  • Allows you to double jump, making it easier to change direction while airborne.
  • You can jump as you do for a little extra boost.
  • Four pads can be active at once.

Strengths: As the king of mobility, Octane is all about chasing, leaping, and escapability. Not just adept at flanking, you should also be juking back and forth to make yourself an absolute nightmare for enemies to hit during firefights.

Tip: Unlike Pathfinder's zipline, you’re still perfectly accurate while in the air off your jump pad, so use it to get great air shots on the way into the fight. Don't be afraid to continuously use your Stim to get out of trouble, either.  

Apex Legends characters: Wattson

Unlockable: 12,000 Legend Tokens / 750 Apex Coins

Passive: Spark of Genius

  • Ultimate Accelerants fully charge your ultimate.
  • Standing near Interception Pylon speeds up the cooldown on Perimeter Security.

Tactical: Perimeter Security 

  • Places down a node, which will automatically connect to other nearby nodes to generate an electric field between them.
  • Enemies walking through the field take damage and are slowed.
  • Allies walking through the field deactivate it for a brief moment.
  • The nodes can be shot and destroyed.
  • Stores up to four charges at a time, and 12 nodes can be active at the same time.

Ultimate: Interception Pylon

  • Places down an electrified pylon that will destroy all enemy and allied grenades (including ultimate grenades) in a large area around it. 
  • Lasts 90 seconds.
  • Will recharge ally shields in the area.
  • Can be destroyed by enemy fire.
  • Up to three can be active at a time.
  • Wattson can carry two Ultimate Accelerants per inventory slot.

Strengths: Wattson is the ultimate in defensive specialists among Apex Legends characters. She’s all about creating defensive strongpoints that are difficult to assault, and much like Caustic gets more powerful as the ring shrinks in size.

Tip: Hide your Perimeter Security nodes behind the sides of doors to protect them from being shot. Place Interception Pylons behind some cover to stop enemy teams from removing it too quickly.  

Apex Legends characters: Crypto

Unlockable: 12,000 Legend Tokens / 750 Apex Coins

Passive: Neurolink

  • Whatever Crypto's Surveillance Drone detects is visible to the entire squad. Works up to a 30m radius.

Tactical: Surveillance Drone

  • Deploys an aerial drone that can travel up to 200m away.
  • The drone has 30 health and can be recalled to heal.  
  • When piloting the drone, Crypto remains stationary; direct damage forces him out of that stance.  
  • Items and enemies can be pinged using the drone and banners can be retrieved.

Ultimate: Drone EMP

  • EMP blast that deals 50 damage to shields and affects all opponents within a 30m radius. Effective through walls and capable of disabling Wattson's pylons. 
  • Slows enemy players for one-two seconds and disables traps. 

Strengths: Crypto excels at surveillance and is well-suited to keen team players. All three of his abilities revolve around his drone. He's especially valuable on the World's Edge map as he can locate enemy squads from long distances and ping useful gear. If a teammate dies outside the ring, Crypto's drone can even retrieve their banner, avoiding the risk of having to backtrack, or pick another fight when the squad is a person down. 

Tips: Always get behind cover before deploying the drone and alert teammates when an enemy is flagged. Coordinate with your squad when using Crypto's ultimate to ensure they can attack directly after the EMP blast. Remain close to the rest of the team and send the drone out as often as possible.

Apex Legends characters: Revenant

Unlockable: 12,000 Legend Tokens / 750 Apex Coins

Passive: Low Profile
Passive: Stalker

  • Climb higher and crouch-walk faster.

Tactical: Silence

  • Throw an item that disables enemy abilities for 10 seconds. This affects Pathfinder mid-grapple and stops Wraith from attempting to Phase Walk. It also prevents Lifeline from using her Combat Revive ability, and Mirage controlling decoys.
  • Deals a small amount of damage to opponents.

Ultimate: Death Totem

  • Places a totem that (when interacted with) protects legends from death for a short period of time.
  • When an ally is downed, they'll return to the totem with low health.
  • The Totem is easy to destroy. 

Strengths: Revenant shines as a supporting legend in a squad that opts for an aggressive approach. Hunt down enemies with his passive ability and access buildings faster by climbing the side of them. Revenant's tactical silences opponents' abilities, which puts them at a brief disadvantage as your team pushes. His ultimate promotes aggressive play by protecting the team and transporting them back to safety with low health if they're downed.

Tips: Use Death Totem and Silence just before you engage an enemy squad. Place the Death Totem in a safe spot that's shielded from enemy fire. Communicate with your team to ensure they're aware that you're activating your ultimate. Silence as many of the enemy squad as possible, but if they're split up, focus on legends like Lifeline, Bangalore, and Pathfinder.    

Apex Legends characters: Loba

Unlockable: 12,000 Legend Tokens / 750 Apex Coins

Passive: Eye For Quality

  • Nearby Epic and Legendary quality loot can be seen through walls. The range is the same as Black Market Boutique.

Tactical: Burglar's Best Friend

  • Teleport to hard-to-reach places or escape trouble quickly by throwing your Jump Drive bracelet.

Ultimate: Black Market Boutique

  • Place a portable device that allows you to teleport nearby loot to your inventory. Each friendly or enemy Legend can take up to two items.

Strengths: Loba's passive and ultimate abilities make her a great support hero for a squad looking to get an edge before and after a fight. Her Jump Drive bracelet lets her step out of sticky situations and lay down supporting fire from above.

Tip: If you're dropping in hot, you can use Loba's Eye For Quality ability to help you and your team narrow in on weapons quickly without wasting time chasing empty rooms or unhelpful loot. Loba can toss her Jump Drive bracelet through windows with bars, which is a handy trick to master as long as you don't accidentally toss it right at the bars and watch it land on the ground. Her Black Market Boutique can pull loot from death boxes alongside regular loot so it can help clean up during or after a big fire fight.

Emma Matthews

As PC Gamer's guides writer, Emma is usually juggling several games at once. She loves competitive first-person shooters like CS:GO and Call of Duty, but she always has time for a few rounds of Hearthstone. She's happiest when she's rescuing pugs in Spelunky 2.