Apex Legends includes a lot of systems that players familiar with battle royale games will already know. But some systems are unique to Apex or they may seem similar to other games like Fortnite while including some key differences.
In particular, the item rarity system in Apex hides some interesting and very important details that anyone looking to up their game needs to know. In order to loot more efficiently and make sure you’re using your kit to its fullest potential, you’ll need to know the details of Apex’s item color coding system which includes everything from guns and ammo to shields and armor.
Understanding Item Rarity Colors
Items that have different rarities are color coded, as they are in many other games. This part will seem familiar to avid gamers: the rarity tier goes in the order of white (common), blue (rare), purple (epic), and gold (legendary). All items you can pick up except for guns and ammo will fall somewhere into this rarity color coding scheme. In general, you want the rarest items but it’s important to know the finer details.
What Rarity Means for Weapons
Weapons in Apex Legends do not come in different rarity tiers, unlike in other battle royales such as Fortnite. All weapons except two will be color coded as grey. The two that aren’t are the Mastiff shotgun and the Kraber .50 Cal sniper rifle, both of which appear as golden legendary items. These two guns can only be found in air drops that spawn throughout the map or that get called down as part of Lifeline’s ultimate ability.
What Rarity Means for Weapon Attachments
There are currently 20 different attachments to be found in Apex. For most of the attachments, the rarity color determines how effective the attachment will be. The easiest example is scopes.
Scopes will have a higher zoom capacity the better their rarity is. For Barrel Stabilizers, the recoil reduction is improved between rarities. Magazines give you higher ammo capacities and faster reloads as you climb the rarity chart. Shotgun Bolts will increase the firing rate of your shotguns. And finally, Stocks will improve recoil drift suffered after firing.
The exact degrees to which each rarity tier increases the attachment’s performance (aside from scopes) isn’t publicized and are also likely to change frequently as the game undergoes balancing patches. Just know that rarer equals better.
There are also 4 “hop-up” attachments that only come in one color (either epic or legendary) and add an extra function to the gun.
The Precision Choke will tighten the spread of both the Peacekeeper shotgun and the Triple Take sniper rifle, but it requires a short charge time performed while aiming the gun down sights. Skullpiercer Rifling increases the headshot damage for the Wingman revolver and the Longbow DMR. The Turbocharger decreases the spinup time for the Devotion LMG. And the Selectfire Receiver enables full auto for the Prowler Burst submachine gun.
Finally, there are two special legendary scopes, the 1x Digital Threat (for shotguns, SMGs and pistols) and the 4x - 10x Digital Sniper Threat (for snipers only). These scopes will highlight enemies you pass over with the scope, making them easy to pick out at a distance or even through smoke.
What Rarity Means for Armor, Shields, Backpacks and Healing Items
Body Shields, Knockdown Shields, Helmets and Backpacks come in three different rarities. For Body Shields, you’ll receive 50, 75 and 100 points of shield for the common, rare and epic versions of the item. Helmets offer headshot damage reduction at -30%, -40% and -50% damage.
Knockdown Shields, which can be triggered when you’re downed and crawling, will block 100, 250 and 700 points of damage from the front before breaking. Backpacks will increase the number of inventory slots you have by 2, 4, and 6.
Each of these items also have a fourth golden legendary version that offers the same performance as the purple epic version, but with an added and very potent bonus. Legendary Body Shields will be fully restored upon performing a finisher on a downed opponent. Legendary Helmets will passively reduce the cooldowns on your character’s active abilities. Legendary Knockdown Shields will allow you to self-revive once. Legendary Backpacks will reduce the usage time of shield or health restorative items.
Healing items are also color coded to help you quickly identify them, but they do not come in multiple versions. Syringes are always white and heal for 25, Med Kits are always blue and heal for 100. Likewise, Shield Batteries are always white and restore shields for 25, Shield Cells are blue and restore 100 and Phoenix Kits are purple and restore 100 points of health and shield.
Lastly, the Ultimate Accelerant is an item that reduces the cooldown of your character’s ultimate ability by 20% and is blue.
Ammo Color Coding
Ammo does not have a rarity coding, but the different ammo types are color coded using different colors to help you easily identify them. Brown is for Light Ammo, teal is for Heavy Ammo, red is for Shells (for shotguns) and yellow is Energy Ammo.
More Apex Legends Tips
- Apex Legends: 13 Key Tips for Starting Out
- Apex Legends Weapons Guide: The 10 Best Guns So Far
- Apex Legends System Requirements: What You Need to Play on Your PC
- How to Download Apex Legends on PC
- Apex Legends Character Guide: Which Legend Should You Pick?
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Andrew Melcon is a freelance writer who specializes in covering games and gaming hardware. He's tackled everything from PC game controllers to Pokémon and PUBG and his work has appeared on sites including Tom's Guide, Tom's Hardware, Laptop Mag, and more.