Apex Legends: Everything You Need to Know About 2019's Hottest Game

Managing Editor

Watch out, Fortnite -- there's a new battle royale king in town. EA's just-launched Apex Legends is the hottest online shooter out there right now, amassing a whopping 50 million players after just a month out in the wild.

The latest game from Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment, Apex Legends stands out from the likes of PUBG and Fortnite by focusing on team play and delivering a variety of playable characters that each have unique abilities.

Whether you’re a battle royale vet looking for something new or just want to see what the hype is all about, here’s everything you need to know about Apex Legends.

What is Apex Legends?

Apex Legends

Apex Legends is a free-to-play battle royale first-person shooter from Respawn and Electronic Arts in which teams compete to be the last squad standing. You can download it for free right now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

What makes Apex Legends different from other battle royale games like Fortnite?

You’ll still be dropping onto an island and scavenging for gear, but Apex Legends stands out from the battle royale pack in a few ways. For one, the game is entirely team based -- there’s no solo mode for you lone wolves out there. Every match consists of 20 teams of three battling to be the last group remaining, and the game offers a ton of in-game tools for communicating enemy and weapon locations even if you don’t have a mic handy.

Apex Legends is also unique in that it offers eight distinct Legends (or characters), each with their own unique abilities and special moves. For example, Wraith is a ninja-like soldier who can go invisible and create portals, while Gibraltar is a walking tank that can protect his teammates with an energy shield. This makes Apex Legends more akin to a hero shooter such as Overwatch, as you and your squad will have to think carefully about picking a team whose abilities complement one another.

MORE: Fortnite vs. Apex Legends: Which Battle Royale Is Right For You?

Fittingly, Respawn’s new shooter is also made unique by the fact that characters can, well, respawn. When a player dies, they’ll drop a Respawn Beacon, which a teammate can pick up and bring to a respawn station to bring them back into the fight. This further separates Apex Legends from the rest of the battle royale crop, and truly drives home how important teamwork is in this game.

What characters can I play as?

Apex Legends currently has eight playable Legends: the soldier Bangalore, the tech-focused Bloodhound; the toxic bomb-wielding Caustic; the heavily shielded Gibraltar, the medic Lifeline, the hologram-wielding Mirage, the robotic scout Pathfinder; and the teleporting Wraith. All of the game’s characters come unlocked aside from Caustic and Mirage, who can be unlocked with either Coins or Legend Tokens (more on those later).

Considering that Respawn plans to support the game over a long period of time, it’s safe to assume we’ll see more Legends show up eventually.

When does Apex Legends Season 1 start?

Much like Fortnite, Apex Legends will have unique seasons, as well as Battle Passes you can purchase to unlock around 100 new cosmetic rewards based on your performance.

EA says that the first season will start in March, though it hasn't specified a date yet. It’s also not yet clear which items you’ll be able to get from the Battle Pass just yet or how much the Battle Pass will cost. Seasons are expected to last around three months each, and will bring with them new Legends, weapons and cosmetics.

What we do know is that the new season and content seems imminent. A leaked screenshot suggests that a new Legend named Octane could be on the way, and his arrival could herald the start of Apex Legends' first official season.

You can also expect plenty of limited-time events in Apex Legends. Respawn released special loot for its Valentine's Day event, and we wouldn't be surprised to see more chances to snag limited-time loot throughout the year.

What kinds of microtransactions and in-game currencies are there?

As a free-to-play game, Apex Legends has a variety of in-game currencies that you can both earn as well as spend real money on. However, it’s important to note that all of Apex’s unlockables are cosmetic-based, so there’s no way to pay real money to get an in-game advantage.

The game has three main in-game currencies: Apex Coins, Legend Tokens, and Crafting Metals. Apex Coins are the game’s premium currency and can be used to buy Apex Packs (the game’s version of loot boxes), Legends and shop items such as character and weapon skins.

Legend Tokens are earned by leveling up in-game, and can be used to purchase Legends. Crafting Metals are found in Apex Packs, and can be combined to craft things such as weapon and character skins.

Does Apex Legends play like Titanfall?

Despite being a Respawn game and being set in the same universe, Apex Legends is a very distinct experience from Titanfall. The first and most obvious difference is that there are no Titans, the lumbering, powerful mechs that players can pilot in the Titanfall series. Secondly, many of Titanfall’s movement mechanics, such as wallrunning, aren’t present here.

That being said, it quickly becomes apparent that Apex is a Respawn game. Running, sliding, climbing and shooting simply feel fluid and satisfying in a similar way that Titanfall does, and the game’s myriad of unique player abilities, from smoke bombs to invisibility, bring Respawn’s previous shooter to mind.

How can I get better at Apex Legends?

Like most battle royale titles, Apex Legends has a bit of a learning curve, and it can be easy to get discouraged when you're dying quickly during your first few matches. Fret not, we're here to help. Here are our latest Apex Legends guides, whether you're looking for general tips or are trying to figure out the best characters and weapons to use:

Image Credit: EA