Apex Legends' map doesn't work like other battle royale games. Each location has a set loot tier, meaning it is more likely to produce high-tier, mid-tier, or low-tier loot in floor drops and in chests. While everyone has their favorite drop locations in Apex Legends, mastering the map depends more on securing and area with great loot and little competition.
Read on below for our Apex Legends loot map breakdown, which includes what you need to know about the loot tiers for every area in Apex Legends' map.
Apex Legends map and loot tiers
We don’t yet know the specifics of how Apex's loot randomization works, but here's the important bit. Each zone has a differently weighted chance for the loot tiers in every game. Most of the time you drop into Airbase, for example, you can expect loot to high-tier, but there will be outliers.
Head to Apexmap.io for the probability of each zone being a particular tier (you can even contribute data to help track the different probabilities).
—High-tier loot zones—
The best loot zones tend to run the perimeter of the map, perhaps to compensate for the fact that they're more remote.
Artillery (High Tier)
Artillery is one of the most plentiful zones on the Apex Legends map, with six large buildings, three small buildings (two rooftops, and one out the southern exit) in addition to a number of supply crate locations. Fights in Artillery are usually brutal close- to mid-range affairs, with valuable high ground on top of both buildings and the zipline-connected balcony of the northern bunker.
- There’s enough loot to have a shot at equipping your entire squad.
- Six supply bins when exiting west (through Artillery Tunnels) and plenty to the south (the grassy fields leading to The Farm).
- Respawn beacon in Artillery makes recovering from near-losses easier.
- Often a long sprint to keep up with the ring.
- High cliffs surrounding the base and the remote location can make a clean entry difficult when the dropship is far.
Relay (High Tier)
Apex Legends tips: How to play
Apex Legends guns: Which to use
Apex Legends characters: Skills and tips
Apex Legends performance: Get the best
Apex Legends map: Where to land
Apex Legends loot boxes: How they work
Apex Legends Battle Pass: Everything you need to know about the current season
Apex Legends Update: Latest patch notes
Another fairly remote choice, Relay is perched in the northeastern edge of Kings Canyon and marked by a large sunken concrete area with supply bins, a massive satellite dish, and 8 buildings surrounding a waterfall. If you’re forced into a fight in the area, be cautious about sliding off surfaces or ziplines as your momentum can easily carry you into the abyss.
- Directly adjacent to Wetlands for an easy rotation to/from.
- Pretty large quantity of loot, enough to equip your entire squad.
- Often ignored, you’ll probably be unchallenged as Swamps seems to be the more attractive drop location for most players even if the dropship runs in the area.
- Respawn beacon nearby (on top of the waterfall, partially sheltered from low ground)
- Located in a corner of the map, it’ll frequently be the first hit by the advancing ring, so you’ll need to loot quickly.
- If Swamps was accessible from the dropship, be extra careful when exiting. You’ll often run right into people rotating to Wetlands towards Relay.
- The jump balloon present in the area isn’t the most useful given its positioning.
Swamps (High Tier)
A huge and far-flung lowland on the eastern edge of the map, Swamps represents the single largest area in terms of total volume of loot. However, this comes at the cost of the time it takes to blitz the area, and the risk of having to climb to higher ground to get out.
- Three good rotation options available (northwest towards Wetlands, west through Hydro towards Bridges, and southwest towards Repulsor).
- Such a large variety of loot you can usually not only get your squad fully equipped, but often find your favorite gun.
- Ziplines help with moving around the area faster.
- Respawn beacon located in the southern part of Swamps, adjacent to a jump balloon.
- Being on the edge of the map and taking a long time to loot isn’t the best combination. Expect to often be running with or after the ring.
- Very popular.
- Leaving can put you in a disadvantaged fight against other squads on higher ground.
Repulsor (High Tier)
This large military complex on the southeastern edge is linked by two massive bridges to Hydro Dam, and has a fairly concentrated jumble of small buildings, three trapezoidal bunkers, and a pair of massive buildings linked by underground service tunnels. Get ready for deadly fistfights in tight quarters inside the massive tank storage buildings or their tunnels.
- Compact, with two large structures.
- Should be easily enough to equip an entire squad.
- Great rotations are available, being next to Watchtower South and River’s End.
- A respawn beacon is nearby.
- A very popular dropsite.
- Early fights will often attract anyone who dropped on Hydro Dam.
Water Treatment (High Tier)
A cluster of walkway-connected industrial buildings and a few exterior storage bins make up the small lootable area at the center of Water Treatment. The outlying treatment vats have little to nothing of value and don't offer much cover, so be aware when moving through them.
- Water Treatment is tightly grouped. The buildings are so close together that your squad can quickly grab everything of value and move out.
- The balloon placement around the back is very convenient when you’re done looting, and redeploying skillfully can take you straight to several great spots. We recommend the zipline just barely into River’s End that will take you straight into Watchtower South.
- The quality of loot is high, but because quantity is low, you’ll sometimes find a bounty of attachments you don’t need.
- Bad rotation options. The best bet is probably towards Watchtower South and River’s End/Repulsor if you’re prepared for a possible fight. You can also make the balloon jump & run to Skull Town if you’re comfortable in one of the most contested zones.
Thunderdome (High Tier)
An open sandy bowl, the Thunderdome has three large multi-level ‘cage’ structures with some sparse loot at ground level, one larger multi-level ‘cage’ that hangs from the rocks above accessible from ziplines, and a few smaller platforms on the northeast side. Firefights here tend to be brawls in the center, ducking between the rows and piles of stones, but there are also long sightlines across the area, so be aware of the nearest cover.
- Lots of choices for movement. West and South Settlement are both decent ‘safe’ choices since they’re rarely dropped on, or you can attempt to fall into the usual brawl at Skull Town with a leg up in guns & gear.
- A respawn beacon is present right in Thunderdome for a quick recovery after any initial losses.
- The loot here isn’t always going to outfit you. You’re almost certainly going to need to hit another place or two—or win some fights—to be properly outfitted.
- Layout and quantity of buildings makes it very difficult to reach and protect squadmates who are separated from you.
Airbase (High Tier)
With two large runways jutting out into open air and a massive perimeter wall, airbase is a unique location. The zipline between the two runways is a deathtrap if enemies notice you on it, so be cautious about using it. Loot is spread out between jumbles of supply bins, the interior of two aircraft, and a few small buildings, and takes awhile to gather up unless your squad is very organized and communicates well.
- Good amount of loot, although it's fairly spread out.
- Another high-tier loot location with a respawn beacon, which is especially important because Airbase tends to get more than average numbers of people dropping.
- Rotations are pretty good. Runoff is a staircase away to the north, and the zipline on the southern exit leads right to West Settlement. Just be cautious with the zipline as it goes over a chasm.
- Not a great place to be when someone gets high ground on you, and nearly all the walls and entrances will give squads who approach this advantage.
- Long sightlines across the two runways can be frustrating to deal with if your drop is contested—hoping to find the appropriate gun/scope isn’t the best feeling.
Runoff (High Tier)
With its string of connected industrial buildings, Runoff has well-concentrated loot. There are a couple of supply bins outside, and most people often forget that the unnamed complex to the west is part of the same loot zone—don’t forget to check it.
Another good tip, especially if you’re dropping hot, is to remember that the two small buildings up on the wall (east central and southeast) are almost guaranteed to have guns in them. They won’t have much else, but this can get you that all-important early firepower.
- You’ll usually leave Runoff with your squad geared up.
- Airbase, The Pit, or if you’re fast enough, Slum Lake, are all adjacent and good choices. Pick one and continue to polish your loot quality or chase gunfire.
- Runoff is a popular dropsite. Focus on getting that early gun if you drop into a scrum.
- Bad respawn beacons. The western one is closer to the edge of the map, and the one to the east is incredibly exposed to long range fire/spotting.
Bunker (High Tier)
Bunker is a cramped and deadly dropsite. There are three supply bins on the west side, two on the east side. On the inside is a long staircase going down to the east. At the bottom on the east side are three small rooms with loot. At the top of the stairs on the west side are two long rooms with loot. Fights here are brutal, awkward, and often devolve into punching and logjams around doors.
- Looting bunker usually takes less than a minute if you’re unopposed.
- Caustic shines in Bunker at all stages of the game, and can really control this space well if you want to play him here and try to win a brawl.
- Can be a good spot to drop if you’re looking to improve your aim and reactions since you’re usually guaranteed a fight.
- Bunker may be the single most popular dropsite in Apex (competing with Skull Town and the Supply Ship).
- Closest respawn beacon is pretty exposed, out near High Desert to the southwest.
- Often not enough loot to equip a squad.
- The only close rotation spot is Cascades, which isn’t a bad choice, but can be rough if it’s immediately contested and your squad is still missing guns or toting the dreaded Mozambique.
The Pit (High Tier)
Wrapped in towers of rock, this secluded spot seems attractive, but The Pit is a trap you should be careful not to dwell too long in. With three entrances and almost no cover, it’s best to grab and go. Sparse loot is scattered on the ground and in a trio of supply bins. Keep your ears open for a loot tick, which is sometimes stuck to the upper part of the wall.
- Pit seems to nearly always have a tier 3 (purple) armor in the center (though occasionally we’ve been bamboozled by a Phoenix Kit).
- Takes less than 30 seconds to loot completely.
- If you’re confident, it can be a decent choice to split one person off to drop Pit when the other two are hitting Runoff or Slum Lakes.
- Very little loot. Your squad won’t leave geared up for a fight.
- Your best rotation spot is either Slum Lakes or Runoff. Given the popularity of Runoff, it’s likely you’ll be late to a fight you’re unequipped for.
- With little cover and three entry points, getting caught in here can be a rough fight.
Supply Ship (High Tier)
Slowly and noisily floating over the map, the Supply Ship is a three-deck flying trap. You’ll often find one landing near you in the late game only to discover it’s basically a car up on blocks, already stripped bare earlier in the round. You’ll find caches of loot that usually include guns and the highest tier at the bow and stern of the topmost deck, and several caches more in the lowest (interior) deck that sometimes include higher tier loot and always have guns. Fights here will be determined by who gets punched off the ship and/or who gets a gun first.
- You can sometimes recover from losing the early fight by simply crawling off the side of the Supply ship and waiting for an ally.
- Very quick to loot completely.
- Heavily contested. Competes for most popular dropsite with Bunker and Skull Town.
- Who's driving this thing? Where you’ll be when you’re done looting is a roll of the dice.
- Not enough loot to fully gear a squad.
- Can be difficult to land on, and if you miss the ship, you may be off to a rough start in the middle of nowhere.
Watchtower North (High Tier)
A huge military monolith dominating the view of the river valley around it, including a perfect vantage point over Cascades. Loot is spread inside the bunker (don’t forget it has ladder access to the roof—useful for a flank or escape), and between a few supply bins and a pair of small buildings.
- A zipline runs from the roof to the west side of Cascades, giving you the option to quickly close with other squads below.
- Connected to Artillery by Artillery Underpass, which can be a great way to quickly gear and then pick a fight with squads who dropped in Artillery.
- This elevated overlook provides excellent visibility for plotting your next move.
- Modest quantity of gear. You won’t always leave with your squad fully geared.
- While there is a zipline that gets you near it, the closest respawn beacon requires you to commit to moving to Cascades.
Watchtower South (High Tier)
With the same prominent bunker and setup as its twin to the north, Watchtower South unfortunately doesn’t see as much traffic, so its vantage point isn’t quite as useful. Watchtower South is also missing one of the two buildings present at its counterpart.
- Direct zipline access to the northeast edge of Water Treatment (one of the longest ziplines in Kings Canyon).
- Adjacency to Repulsor and River’s End means plenty of options for rotation.
- Great vantage point to check adjacent areas before moving.
- Won’t always fully gear your squad. Gun choices will probably still be limited. Supply bins are a bit of a crapshoot.
- Expect contact when you start to move. River’s End, Repulsor, and Bridges are all usually pretty busy.
Head over to page 2 for our breakdown of mid-tier and low-tier loot zones on the Apex Legends map.