Apex Legends Best Characters Tier List: skills and gameplay tips

Apex Legends Best Characters Tier List: skills and gameplay tips

The Apex Legends Character Tier List arranges the heroes in five tiers based on the value of their abilities. Learn how to use the best heroes and skills.

I believe that a character tier list for a battle royale FPS game such as Apex Legends will never be totally accurate, but I tried my best to not show any personal bias in the distribution, and to rank the characters based on the objective usefulness of their skills.

We should appreciate the gameplay choices of the developers as they have not created overpowered skills.

In most games with ultimate abilities, their use can change the outcome of the entire game (Overwatch) or provide lots of easy kills (Destiny 2). In Apex Legends, the ultimates are not game-changing; they just bring utility.

Some abilities have a solid value during the whole game, others are excellent only in specific circumstances, and a few skills are purely supportive or work very situationally, but at the end of the day every character is playable right now.

Note: In order to help newcomers, I have indicated the passive, tactical, and ultimate abilities of each hero. The tutorial videos are the official ones published by Respawn.

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Tier S - Tier 1 - Tier 2 - Tier 3 - Tier 4

Tier S

Bloodhound

In my opinion, Bloodhound have the best skillset in the game because they counter several abilities and enhance the performance of their user.

  • Passive: Tracker

See tracks left behind by your foes.

Many players consider Tracker a weak passive ability. I acknowledge that it is not the best one, but it still provides you info on the enemy moments that took place in a certain location up to a minute ago.

If you see hints that players have been there, most probably you are very close to them, so you might consider alerting your team and activate your tactical ability to scan a nearby building. Depending on the situation, this skill can save the team from a possible wipe.

  • Tactical ability: Eye of the Allfather

Briefly reveal hidden enemies, traps, and clues throughout structures in front of you.

Eye of the Allfather is a strong skill both offensively and defensively. It gives you the exact location of the opponents at the time of the scan, which increases your chances to find their actual hiding spot.

It is particularly useful in buildings, but be aware that the range is quite limited and the enemies can also see the scan, so they will know a Bloodhound is looking for them.

  • Ultimate ability: Beast of the Hunt

Enhances your senses, allowing you move faster and highlighting your prey.

Beast of the Hunt doubles your movement speed. This is a massive advantage in a dynamic game such as Apex Legends, especially if you are chasing the enemies with a close range weapon.

The real strength of this ultimate is the ability to show the outlines of the opponents from a certain distance. There is no team fight in which such knowledge doesn’t bring a substantial benefit to the user.

Your skill works well also with and against Bangalore and Caustic. Their smoke and gas obscure the vision of both allies and enemies, but Bloodhound is able to see through them without issues, gaining an outstanding advantage during a team fight.

I believe that any veteran FPS player can be terrifying with Bloodhunt because the legend provides all the skills necessary to chase and hunt their prey. Have fun!

Tier 1

Wraith

Wraith is a character with a high skill ceiling, but her tactical ability alone is sufficient to make a difference between life and death. You will need a lot of practice to master her, and a proper team to exploit her ultimate: she has one of the best kits for an aggressive team player.

  • Passive: Voices from the Void

A voice warns you when danger approaches. As far as you can tell, it’s on your side.

Voices from the Void alerts you if an enemy is scoping in on you, so you can react and relocate before being attacked.

  • Tactical ability: Into the Void

Reposition quickly through the safety of void space, avoiding all damage.

If the situation is precarious, you can just activate Into the Void, and escape towards your teammates or away from the battle. Note that you are not completely invisible, so the enemies can still see and follow you, but the ability gives you extra seconds of invulnerability.

In the middle of a team fight, even if you are very low HP and the opponents wish to kill you, they might not be able to waste time chasing your “ghost” as they are also facing your team. The ability is stronger from a longer distance as spotting you is exponentially more difficult.

Expert players do not use it just as an escape ability, but also as an engage tool in order to gain a positional advantage over the opponents, catch them by surprise, and kill them.

  • Ultimate ability: Dimensional Rift

Link two locations with portals for 60 seconds, allowing your entire team to use them.

Dimensional Rift has an unlimited potential.

You can use it to relocate your whole team to a safer area, escape from a nasty situation (such as an air strike), flank the enemy team, move quickly between two covers so the enemies won’t know from where you are attacking, relocate the entire team high ground to gain an edge in team fight, etc.

For example, I saved a friend who was behind in the red circle by placing the rift exit at a long distance, so he instantly teleported away from the dangerous area.

Wraith players must be creative and find the best ways to exploit this ability, but at the same time they need a team able to coordinate with them for any advanced offensive approach. I recommend calling out your ultimate in voice chat when you have set up a good portal.

Bangalore

Bangalore is a versatile legend who is able to boost the survivability of the whole team with a well-placed smoke. I consider her both a pusher and a defensive hero.

  • Passive: Double Time

Taking fire while sprinting makes you move faster for a brief time.

If you are shot at (even if the bullets do not actually hit you) Double Time increases your movement speed for a few seconds. This is a simple but amazing ability as it helps both when escaping and engaging the opponents.

  • Tactical ability: Smoke Launcher

Fire a high-velocity smoke canister that explodes into a smoke wall on impact.

Smoke Launcher stores up to two charges and covers a wide area.

The utility brought by this skill is immense. You can hide your position while helping a downed teammate, disorient the enemies and relocate to a better place, push or flank aggressively enveloping the area with smokes.

Be aware that while you are obscuring the vision of the enemy team, also your own character and allies won’t be able to see through the smoke, so if used at the wrong moment you might be a nuisance for the team and help the opponents.

Combining the smoke with her passive ability, Bangalore can move quickly and relatively safely during a team fight.

  • Ultimate ability: Rolling Thunder

Call in an artillery strike that slowly creeps across the landscape.

Rolling Thunder is an air strike that covers a wide area and inflicts a massive amount of damage. Be very careful because it can also kill yourself and your teammates.

You can wipe the enemy squad, zone them out, or prevent a push. Unfortunately, there is a certain delay before the missiles explode, so they are not difficult to avoid (unless the enemies are right in the middle of the affected area).

Lifeline

Lifeline is a defensive character: this is her only specialty, but she is great at it! You can place Lifeline in any team and no one will ever complain about your pick.

  • Passive: Combat Medic

Revive knocked down teammates faster while protected by a shield wall. Healing items are used 25% faster.

Combat Medic provides faster revive times and an invincible shield when reviving a downed teammate. The shield is an amazing tool at a medium and a long distance. Be sure to face the opponents to not protect the wrong side.

  • Tactical ability: D.O.C. Heal Drone

Call your Drone of Compassion to automatically heal nearby teammates over time.

D.O.C. Heal Drone does wonders in the first fights while both teams still have weak weapons and no healing kits.

Afterwards, it remains useful to save medkits between actions, and gives you an edge both in close quarter battles and long-range sniper fights.

  • Ultimate ability: Care Package

Call in a drop pod full of high-quality defensive gear.

Feed all the ultimate accelerants you can find to Lifeline!

Care Package is a great asset for the team as it is basically a free air drop you can call in a safe location.

Of course, it loses almost all its appeal in the late game once you are fully geared.

Octane

Octane is a fast, aggressive, and insanely fun hero to play if you love mobility. I believe he lacks in teamplay - which is an important aspect to consider in a 3vs3 game such as Apex Legends - but also heroes with solo-abilities can have their place in the meta.

  • Passive ability: Swift Mend

Automatically restores health over time.

Swift Mend helps to sustain your health points considering you will spend them constantly to activate your tactical ability.

It works well in situations in which you are lacking medical kits, but do not rely too much on it because the health regeneration is very slow.

  • Tactical ability: Stim

Move 30% faster for six seconds. Costs health to use.

Stim is exceptionally useful at the start of the match because you can outrun all the opponents in the hot zone. I strategically use it while looting because it helps to clean buildings faster.

Stim costs 10 HP to activate and has a cooldown of around 2 seconds, so you can almost always be under steroids if your health is sufficient.

Do not be afraid to use it in the middle of a combat. The extra movement speed will confuse your enemies and make them miss most of their shots if you know how to move. Also, Octane can’t kill himself with Stim (it leaves you at 1 HP), so feel free to use it when trying to escape from nasty situations.

Activating it right before using a balloon will make you go faster. I believe this might be a bug and will be fixed soon because this interaction doesn’t make much sense.

  • Ultimate ability: Launch Pad

Deploy a jump pad that catapults teammates through the air.

Launch Pad can be used to reach certain locations (such as the high ground areas around Skull Town), as an escape mechanism, or as a bold way to engage a fight.

The cooldown of this ability is only 90 seconds, so you can use it whenever required.

Using Stim before jumping on the Launch Pad increases the distance reached.

Tier 2

Mirage

Mirage has a huge potential in the hands of an expert player, but he is not as valuable as higher tier legends. His abilities do not fit a team gameplay and he is mostly a solo player.

Currently, I rank him at the very edge between tier 2 and 3. His placement might change in the future as I believe fewer people will fall for his tricks after playing for a few months.

  • Passive: Encore!

Automatically drop a decoy and cloak for five seconds when knocked down.

Encore! is a weak passive. Most players only spend a few seconds shooting at the decoy, but it might be enough to save your life if your teammates are nearby.

  • Tactical ability: Psyche Out

Send out a holographic decoy to confuse the enemy.

Psyche Out works extremely well against inexperienced players, but I have noticed that also “veterans” still get baited by it. While they are shooting at the decoy, you can headshot them.

You can use it to disengage from nasty situations or to flank the opponents; it similarly effective both in buildings and in the open. It has a short cooldown, so it is possible to activate it multiple times during the same fight.

  • Ultimate ability: Vanishing Act

Deploy a team of Decoys to distract enemies while you cloak.

Vanishing Act is a stronger version of his tactical ability as it summons eight clones and grants you invisibility.

Note that Bloodhound can see you while you are invisible thanks to their ability.

Gibraltar

Gibraltar has a solid defensive and supportive kit. I consider him an average character who does his job and that you won’t regret having as a teammate.

  • Passive: Gun Shield

Aiming down sights deploys a gun shield that blocks incoming fire.

Gun Shield is excellent at a medium and long range, while in close quarters shotgun users can just run around you. The shield doesn’t protect your entire body, and in particular your feet are completely exposed.

  • Tactical ability: Dome of Protection

Throw down a dome-shield that blocks attacks for 15 seconds.

Dome of Protection is great to revive a downed teammate, regroup your team in a safe location after a sudden attack, and protect them from an air strike (including your own ultimate).

Overall, it is very effective at a long range, while in close quarters combat the enemies will just run inside and engage you with shotguns and SMGs.

  • Ultimate ability: Defensive Bombardment

Call in a concentrated mortar strike on a marked position.

Defensive Bombardment is very similar to Bangalore’s Rolling Thunder. Personally, I prefer Gibraltar’s ultimate, but honestly there isn’t a best skill as their success depend on the situation and the placement.

Defensive Bombardment is faster, harder to dodge (if well-placed), and deals more concentrated damage, but it also covers a smaller area and you need to be near the enemies to activate it.

Pathfinder

Pathfinder is a very underestimated character. He is the king of mobility and a great team player: if the squad moves together, his Zipline provides a huge positional advantage.

Thanks to Grappling Hook, he can quickly help teammates who have been caught in a dangerous position.

  • Passive: Insider Knowledge

Scan a survey beacon to reveal the ring’s next location.

Insider Knowledge is a super situational skill because you need to actually reach a survey beacon to use it. It is very useful in the late game, but you won’t always have the chance to use it.

  • Tactical ability: Grappling Hook

Grapple to get to out-of-reach places quickly.

Grappling Hook is the best mobility skill in the game and grants Pathfinder an immense versatility. It can be used to escape, move faster from a location to another, reach the high ground during a clash, hide quickly behind a cover, etc.

  • Ultimate ability: Zipline Gun

Create a zipline for everyone to use.

Zipline Gun gives your whole team an insane mobility and is a great tool both offensively and defensively.

It is exponentially more powerful in the later stages of the game: you can use it to reposition, escape, flank, rush a location, or reach quickly the next circle.

The ultimate charges very fast so it can be deployed several times during a match.

Tier 3

Caustic

I decided to place Caustic in tier 3 because he is a highly situational character.

His Nox gas doesn’t deal a lot of damage and it is mostly used as an area denial tool, but it is effective only in certain locations. For example, it is absolutely useless in the open.

I know that Caustic’s mains won’t like my words, but even if you find the best placement for your gas, many players dislike playing with you because the gas is a hindrance for the whole team.

The gas affects also your teammates, and it doesn’t just obstruct vision like Bangalore’s Smoke Launcher, but also damages them: you are denying the movements of your own team, and this is not fun in a mobile game such as Apex Legends.

I think that all Caustic’s teammates should be immune to the damage of Nox gas to make the character more viable and welcomed in random parties.

  • Passive: Nox Vision

Allows you to see enemies through your gas.

Nox Vision gives you a vision advantage while fighting in your gas.

It is important to point out that you are immune to the damage caused by your Nox gas and likewise the one released by an enemy Caustic.

  • Tactical ability: Nox Gas Trap

Drop canisters that release deadly Nox gas when shot or triggered by enemies.

The canisters can be used to partly block doorways. You should practice the placements as the behavior changes based on the space considered, but overall try putting them just a little back so that the door can slightly open.

Once the gas is triggered, the enemies can either wait for it to dissipate, or push through it. The damage isn’t huge, but you will gain a vision advantage and potentially kill or heavily damage them.

  • Ultimate ability: Nox Gas Grenade

Blankets a large area in Nox gas.

Caustic shines in the very late game. Nox Gas Grenade has a massive value in the last circles (especially in buildings) as there isn’t much space left, so you will end up denying a critical amount of space, potentially blocking all the enemy movements.

Note that the gas inflicts direct health damage and also slows down the players affected.

Tier 4

None.

The number of tiers and the character distribution might change in the future - especially once new legends will be added to the game - but currently I believe there are no “awful” heroes you absolutely do not want in your games.

A perfect example of a bottom pick is the lord and saviour Lord Tachanka, a character in Rainbow Six Siege. Even if you do not play this game, I recommend checking out the memes! :D

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Header image: Respawn

Vincenzo is an esports writer with five years of experience. Former head editor for Natus Vincere, he has produced content for DreamHack, FACEIT, DOTAFire, 2P, and more. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.