Season 1 of Apex Legends, I was terrible. At the time, I was simply racking up experience points to accumulate unlocks, and see how many times I can come in 2nd place. In some cases, I went through King’s Canyon without loot, without a team, just rolling through the meadow going the opposite direction of the fight until the ring killed me. Yeah, I was toxic. Sue me.

I completely checked out of Apex in Season 2, the game simply wasn’t fun for me. I was only matching to randoms, no one I knew played Apex, and I just moved on to playing No Man’s Sky, because the updates to NMS have been fantastic, and the game became incredibly fun. I digress, enter Apex Legends Season 3 – new map, new weapon balances, and new lease on playability.

As far as I can tell, Respawn paid a lot of attention to the play styles, favorite tactics, quantity of explicit choke points, rat-infestation, and exploits in King’s Canyon and addressed a lot of that with the design and optimization in World’s Edge. King’s Canyon had loads of exploits – bushes, ditches, glitches, and rat spots. World’s Edge has a few, but not nearly as many as King’s Canyon. Weapon balance and legend ability balance, timing, effects have been improved greatly to the point where Apex Legends is (from my experience) far more enjoyable in Season 3, and now Season 4 than in Season 1. Granted, this is coming from someone who never really played Season 1.

Fast forward to meeting a few really awesome people during season 3: JasonVNeck (a friend of mine from High School) and his crew (AFK Gaming: afk_apparel, afk_graphix, tr0_wa) and thus a few of tr0_wa’s friends (IamtheCostco, MrForestttt), IFC clan founder (IFC_JFRESH) – I decided to get my shit together and start to give things a go:

There are still a lot of matches (300) in Season 4 where I play with randoms, and nearly 90% of the time, those randoms are insanely frustrating – either too aggressive without any skills to back their push’s up, or so incredibly tactically inept that it hurts my soul, however – a KD above 1.0 on stats (even though it doesn’t account for getting knocked & not waiting for the randoms to wait for me to die so they can loot my corpse and never revive me, etc, etc), looking at matches that actually matter – overall; here’s what I know helped me overcome my Shitpex Legends days to allow me to get a whee bit better, at least to the point where I feel more confident entering a fight:

  1. Getting cover to reload and heal during a fight – this one is critical, mainly because it takes so damned long to do anything other than fire at someone (unless you have the Havok), and those 1-3 seconds are critical, given the speed, someone with a fully kitted R99 can melt you, or that you can get 1-tapped with a PK in close range if you’re anywhere under 100% of a level 1 shield.
  2. Know when to push, know when to pull back – Apex feels like a fast-paced, high impact, run-and-gun shooter. It is, mostly; but if you want to improve your game, you need to know when to make those split-second decisions to lay pause to your fight, even if it’s for 3-6 seconds. The counterbalance is – do your opponents have their timing correct as well? If they’re off, and you spot it – you can push when they’re in a pull, to overpower – this has been critical for me to grasp. Before Season 4, I was simply “All or Nothing”, now it’s a steady flow of push-pull through the match, fight to fight, and keep a momentum that feels more inconsistently consistent.
  3. Must. Loot. Faster. I’m faster, but I’m still slow by standards set by people really good at the Apex Legends. Looting is your most vulnerable time – you’re disconnected from the environment, focused on making decisions for your kit, trying to allocate space in your backpack, dropping one item to pick up another, etc. Plan ahead, manage your inventory before you loot, and loot fast when you do… I’m still working on it, but steadily getting better. The byproduct of looting quickly is, you maintain situational awareness if you’re not trapped in a loot box for 3-10 seconds trying to figure out how to get another 80-stack of light ammo into your level 2 backpack filled with frag grenades.

Of course, fewer distractions from looting or not finding “my weapon” have helped a considerable amount to get better at engaging in combat. Knowing a weapon’s limitations (for example, it can take up to 6 rounds with a PK to actually knock someone with 200 hitpoints – or that a Wingman pulls right after the first shot, so you need to account for a slight offset to land two consecutive rapid-fire hits) is paramount to maintaining a level of confidence going into a fight, and expect to fail. If you’re not a top-notch billy-bad-ass FPS sweaty and want to have fun and get better – prepare to get your ass kicked, but don’t go about it in a way that is so incredibly haphazard you simply disregard Apex Legends as a trashy run-and-gun crapshoot.

Oh, and there is no “RNG” for the Peacekeeper’s hits. I heard some idiot the other day say he rolled two consecutive 11 damage hits with the PK. No, douche, you hit the opponent for 11 damage thanks to your placement of the shots.