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

apex legends characters
(Image credit: EA)

The list of Apex Legends characters continues to expand in Season 2. Life in the ring is deadly when you have all the details, and a nightmare when you don’t, but knowledge is the one weapon that can keep you from sauntering through Rolling Thunder like a field of poppies. Leaf through this rolodex of Apex Legends characters and their abilities, and your next drop can be one where you strut into the final ring with confidence.

Universal character abilities

(Image credit: via SookieSpy)

For balance reasons, a few of Apex Legends’ characters have universal passives to help them with larger hitboxes, or to adjust for the smaller size of their hitboxes. These were an attempt to level the playing field a bit by Respawn.

Fortified
Legends with the Fortified passive are easier to hit, so they’re a bit tougher as well:

  • Fortified Legends take 15% 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 5% more damage from all attacks.
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 Passive: Double Time

  • Being shot at triggers a brief 30% 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 2 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: A Digital Threat shotgun or SMG pairs amazingly with your smoke launcher. 

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.
  • The pulse is visible to enemies and makes a small noise.

Ultimate: Beast of the Hunt

  • Turns your vision black and white, shows and highlights cold tracks, highlights all enemies in red, and increases your speed by 25%. Valuable for spotting enemies at a far distance or anyone hiding in dense cover.
  • Lasts 35 seconds.

Strengths: With their speed-boosting ultimate, Bloodhound is one of the strongest aggressive characters. They are excellent at chasing and finishing off wounded enemies and closing distances quickly.

Tip: If you catch an enemy with Eye of the Allfather, make sure to ping them immediately (through walls, even). 

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.

Ultimate: Defensive Bombardment

  • Throws a grenade to call down a mortar strike in a circular area.
  • Strikes that hit explode immediately on hitting the ground, dealing damage to enemies 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. 

Lifeline

Passive: Low Profile
Passive: Combat Medic

  • Lifeline revives downed teammates faster than normal, and deploys an invulnerable shield wall in the direction she’s facing during revives.
  • Healing items are used 25% faster than normal.

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 three items: One Level 3 defensive gear, one healing item, and one Level 3 weapon attachment.
  • Cannot contain Legendary weapons, unlike 'map' care packages.

Strengths: Lifeline is both a powerful combatant and support Legend. Her Combat Medic passive lets her duck out of a firefight to heal and return, making her surprisingly durable, and she’ll help smooth out rounds where you don’t find the right loot.

Tip: 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. 

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

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.

Tip: Grab an enemy with your grappling hook to bring them to you for the easiest shotgun blast of your life. 

Wraith

Passive: Low Profile
Passive: Voices from the Void

  • You will be warned by Wraith speaking aloud if someone looks at you, or there are traps nearby. 

Tactical: Into the Void

  • When activated, you will enter the void for 3 seconds, becoming invulnerable and invisible and gaining move speed, but leaving a trail in your path others can see. Everything will appear gray in the void, and other players will not be visible.

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.
  • Portals persist for 60 seconds.

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. 

Caustic

Unlockable: 12,000 Legend Points / 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 4 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.
  • Enemies can disarm the traps by shooting the base of the trap. 

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 defensive focused, 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.

Tip: Throw down and shoot a Nox Gas Trap when you need to heal to create some instant cover (and a deterrent to push you). 

Mirage

Unlockable: 12,000 Legend Points / 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 sort of visible.

Tactical: Psyche Out

  • Sends out a holographic decoy towards your crosshairs to bamboozle your enemies.
  • 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.

Ultimate: Vanishing Act

  • A star formation of decoys will appear around you and you'll be cloaked for 5 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. With the most recent changes to his ultimate, you can use it as a tool to initiate fights and try to 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. 

Octane

Unlockable: 12,000 Legend Points / 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 30% move speed for 6 seconds at the cost of 10 health.
  • No, you can’t kill yourself with Stim, it just takes you to 1 health.

Ultimate: Launch Pad

  • Throws down a jump pad, which will toss players who step on it forward into the air in the direction they’re facing.
  • You can jump as you do for a little extra boost.

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. 

Wattson

Unlockable: 12,000 Legend Points / 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 4 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.
  • Will recharge ally shields in the area.
  • Can be destroyed by enemy fire.
  • You can have up to three active at the same time.

Strengths: Wattson is the ultimate in defensive specialists. 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.