Since first dropping in to the world of Apex Legends some time ago, I’ve gradually grown used to the quirks and intricacies of the game. The layout of the island is no longer a mystery and as with all good Battle Royale experiences I’ve begun to single out areas, weapons and tactics that I find to compliment my own jerky and uncoordinated style of play.
As a side note, I’ve also begun to characterise the different specific types of Apex player who joins my three-being squad each round: There is the player who rants and raves that you’ve picked ‘their’ favourite class, the Skull Town fanatic who drops there regardless of the team decision, and that one player who runs off on their own, gets killed then complains that their squad-mates are all terrible players… oh, beneath the veneer of reasonable players there is a vein of douchery running deep.
Along with this, I’ve also gotten to know a few of the classes – after all, this is nominally a class based affair with each ingame character (of which there are now nine) having a passive, tactical, and ultimate ability. To give EA due credit, they’ve actually managed to create a reasonably diverse band of misfits that manage to pack in (albeit fairly unsubtley) some distinctive character traits for each one.
Armed with this experience I thought I’d take this opportunity to write a class guide… but not a class guide outlining good play tactics, or which character has the best hair. No, I’m going to stick to what I know and write a class guide outlining the absolute best ways to screw-up a round. Apex legends is full of opportunities to puncture your own spacehopper, but the true master of fail will be able to utilise each character’s unique abilities to snatch defeat away from the eager jaws of victory.
Those unfamiliar with Bloodhound will not be aware that he passively sees tracking markers showing recent player activity and for the beginner screw-up you’ll almost certainly get picked off once or twice trying to work out what these mystical pictographs mean. More advanced fail is often achieved through Bloodhound’s ultimate hunter vision-thing which handily highlights enemies and grants some sort of speedy movement. The trick here is to forget that it doesn’t grant any kind of invulnerability so the overzealous charge is usually the key to unsuccess. Really advanced tactics involve using the area scan to momentarily highlight enemy players, charge in to a room guns blazing, only to find out that they’ve moved in the few second since your scan and absorb a hefty rattle or R-301 fire in the back.
Certainly a challenge for those wishing to tumble out of a round in style, this robot’s slim profile makes getting shot much trickier. Their passive ‘scanning for next ring’ ability also doesn’t open up many possibilities. Luckily the grapple allows even the most professional of player the occasional moment of trying to scramble up a building and being picked off at an inopportune moment whilst flailing at the end of a cable. Most face-palmery comes from ziplines however which can be used to guide you and your squadmates over enemy infested territory in a kind of clay-pigeon shoot; bonus points if you manage to get other members of your team knocked out as a result of your poor line placement.
Gibraltar’s ability to call in a focused airstrike is an invaluable source of failure. One mistimed flare thrown at the exact moment that your teammates charge in to engage the enemy is all it takes to bring a rain of explosives down upon them, and if possible yourself. Even if the explosions don’t knock you out of the round, the ensuing chaos often will. Gibraltar’s true strength in the field of self-inflicted misery however lies with any player (like myself) that is monumentally flummoxed by that protective shield dome that he can throw up at a moment’s notice. There are countless permutations of ‘doh’ including trying to fire out of it, getting trapped in it with an enemy, accidentally backing out of it into a hail of bullets, and the advanced accidentally positioning it so that it protects the enemy and not your own team.
My own personal character of choice, Bangalore doesn’t offer quite so many routes to an early shower as some of the other classes; her passive speedy-speedy-when-threatened run is difficult to screw up. Luckily, as with Gibraltar, her airstrike does present the possibility to turn a calculated offensive in to a complete sheep-show, but my most successful failures have resulted in poor use of her smoke grenades. It’s an ability that paints such a rosy picture; pop a smoke grenade in to a building then run in under its cover and take the enemy by surprise… only… well, you can’t see them any more than they can see you and in the resulting chaos you’re more likely than not going to be the one blindsided.
As a newer character (at time of writing), the gaping flaws in Octane’s special abilities haven’t been explored quite as well, however I would like to venture that already I’ve been sent tumbling out of a round more than once from poor use of those jump pads; these really could be the key to this class’ ineptitude. I don’t quite ever seem to be able to hit them as I want and as a result tend to miss the rooftop/safety that my teammates managed to gracefully fly to. More than once I’ve ended up travelling in entirely the wrong direction with my desired landing spot drifting further and further out of reach.
Wraith presents multiple levels of embarrassing fluck-ups. At the most basic level her phase jumping thing might let you avoid damage to flee an onslaught, but it also hides enemy locations from you for those few seconds of rushing through that swirly blue smeared world. Inevitably you’ll reappear, low on health, directly in front of an enemy. Placing a portal is no safer; I’ve managed to be ambushed at the other end of a portal whilst I was using it to escape and, more skillfully, on one occasion managed to wander backwards back in to a portal that I’d just used to escape a fire-fight which promptly sent me to the title screen. For the real connoisseur of Wraith based ridicule however you’ll need to make use of that passive ‘voices’ perk; those ghostly words that warn you of danger also suggest that you press ‘H’ to pass that warning on to your squad which the expert fail-er can use as an excuse to try and find ‘H’ on their keyboard whilst a sniper picks them off.
As the team medic Lifeline can revive people quickly behind a handy shield and summon supply drops; the former being a subtle bright neon blue and the latter displaying a column of white light at the landing location for the rest of the map to see. Both of these may as well just be Wile E. Coyote style signs reading this team is distracted and vulnerable attack now. You get double credit here if you manage to accidentally heal the enemy team with your health drone whilst they’re gunning you down.
… he spawns poisonous gas that slows and impairs the vision of EVERYONE… walking liability…
Mirage’s holo-dukes (decoys) are a tricky thing to mess up and really managing to fail using Mirage’s skillset is only for screw-up-pros. Having said that I’ve managed to fail because of Mirage’s decoys as other classes; I’ve not only opened fire on friendly decoys in a blind panic, but I’ve cheerfully run alongside them in to a fight before they fizzled out of existence and I found myself alone with a well armed enemy squad.
So there it is, my class guide to failure; remember to really make some of these work takes practice and patience so don’t give up. You too can loose rounds in pointless and baffling ways just like me!